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This guest post is by our Scout Digital Training email marketing trainer, Fiona Blinco from DIY Digital. Read more about Fiona and her business below.

So you’ve started, or about to start, email marketing for your business or organisation – what’s next?

Knowing what to communicate, when to communicate and how to communicate, is what marketers are good at. But sometimes we even struggle with the options available to us.

In this article we’ll focus on email marketing. Email marketing is a great promotional channel and is used by B2B and B2C businesses, not-for-profit organisations as well as government departments and local councils. It really does punch above its weight.

Many business owners and managers over-estimate the nuisance factor of emails and under-estimate its potential to grow business. This is probably because we all get spam in our inbox.

Rule number 1. Don’t spam. 

It’s not good for business, it’s a waste of time and doesn’t suit the Australian psyche.

So what do you do?

Let’s explore the top 10 emails for business:

  1. Newsletters
  2. Product launch, release, sale or update
  3. Drive and complement social media campaign
  4. Alerts and seasonal emails
  5. Birthday emails
  6. Welcome email
  7. Targeted send
  8. Internal information
  9. Automated time-based emails
  10. Individual emails

1. Newsletters

Newsletters are terrific for building brand awareness, trust and knowledge. They are great for keeping your business top of mind.

Each newsletter is an opportunity to inform the reader about your business.

A consistent approach (eg. once a month) is a good strategy for newsletters. Share your knowledge and expertise about the products you sell or the services you offer with your reader – each time you do you’re demonstrating why your customer would want to choose you over and above your competitor.

Write quality newsletters and send them to relevant people – they’ll come to look forward to receiving them.

Expect about a 30% open rate.

2. Product Launch, Release, Sale or Update

These emails work best when there is only one product or service being promoted and one clear call to action suggested. Using a button works well.

Urgency works great for these type of emails but don’t over-use this as subscribers may leave or ignore emails if urgency is used too frequently.

These emails are essentially your sales pitch, therefore sprinkle them within a consistent newsletter send.  In this way you won’t “burn” your list.

3. Drive and complement social media campaign

If you’re running a social media campaign and you want people to like or share your post, schedule an email to go out directly after the post has been published.

The email has only one call to action and that is to share the post. You may wish to attach the graphic and note the hashtag in the email so your customer or supporter can directly post it to their social media with a link to the petition or event or sales page created for the campaign.

This tactic should not be over-used, however neither should it never be used. It works wonders for generating action.

4. Alerts and seasonal emails

If you are an accountant the End of the Financial Year will have significant deadlines for your clients to meet.

If you are an outdoor pool operator you’re likely to have an open for season date. If you’re a battery seller you’re customers are likely to want to know if you stock fire alarm batteries around daylight saving changes and what your Christmas trading hours are for the toys that invariably require them.

These emails don’t need to be over-done.  A quick, informative, friendly email letting your clients know what your hours are, reminding them of the services you provide and how they can find you is in order.

Occasionally there will be a situation where an unplanned alert needs to be sent. Whether it’s a flood at your premises or a new government legislation that requires you to do something different, keep your customers informed with a quick email.

5. Birthday emails

A favourite used by beauty salons. “Hi Fiona, it’s your birthday and we’re offering you 30% off your next foot massage” – well who wouldn’t at least consider such a kind offer?

If you collect birthdays as part of your customer information your business might very well benefit from a birthday email campaign. Let’s face it, we’re all in the mood to spoil ourselves a little bit aren’t we?

6. Welcome emails

These emails are super important and should be considered by pretty much all businesses undertaking email marketing.

Lists aren’t set and forget propositions.  People are always being added – at least I hope they are!

If people sign up for a newsletter via a website they know they’ve been added to a newsletter list and the process is fairly straight forward. But for many businesses, people are also being added to their email list because they:

  • Purchased a product
  • Shared a business card at a networking event
  • Attended a workshop the business facilitated
  • Or some other reason

In this case, a welcome email is in order.

A welcome email will be one of your most popular emails. It sits at around a 50% open rate (compared to 30% for newsletters).

Spend time considering the key things you’d like to introduce about your business to the person. Add a photo of the staff or team or manager. Create an authentic email that tells your business story. Connect with your new or potential customer.

7. Targeted send

The oft-forgot but best not to forget email. These emails can really clinch a deal.

Is there a group of your customers or people on your list who connect with your business in a specific way?

For example they’ve booked in for a service or appointment in the last 6 months or maybe the reverse, they haven’t booked in for more than 12 months?

Or they bought the top-selling yellow widget but not the new-fangled red widget?

Removing people from an email send and talking only to those people who are in a specific category is highly effective. This is segmenting.

Like the product launch emails, the targeted send works best when there is only one product or service being promoted and one clear call to action suggested.

The key with these emails is to state the obvious – yep – crazy as it sounds – mention what it is they have done, bought or attended and why, or how, this new offer you’re suggesting fits in.

Highly relevant, targeted emails are a great way to re-engage with your customers and reward your loyal supporters.  Don’t forget about this option with email marketing – it’s your trump card!

8. Internal information

For medium to large businesses and organisations don’t forget to keep your staff informed. Back-up information given in staff meetings or on noticeboards with polite, informative and emails. Try not to make them boring.

9. Automated time-based emails

High fashion in email marketing is automation. Think lead nurturing, confirmation and abandoned cart emails.

For those undertaking highly automated campaigns you’ll be working with a platform that gives you sophisticated options. Brainstorming, planning and implementing these email sequences is a big undertaking.

Speaking to the right people with relevant information is what targeted emails do. The automated time-based emails bring in that additional relevancy – time.  Now we are speaking to the right people with the right information at the right time. Heady stuff!

10. Individual emails

OK – not really email marketing as such, but I couldn’t help myself.  This is going back to the old fashioned, often used with good reason, one-on-one emails.

In the end sometimes just emailing a person individually is the best email communication piece there is!

 

Like all good digital marketing, it’s about considering the options and selecting a few techniques that best suit your organisation, goals, audiences and resources. Focus on doing a couple of things really well, rather than trying to do everything half-heartedly. Look at what works best and refine.

If you need more assistance with your email marketing, check out our upcoming email marketing training workshops in Adelaide.


Guest author: Fiona Blinco, DIY Digital

As a specialist small business and sole trader online marketer, Fiona Blinco has a wealth of knowledge that she is ready to share for those who want to upgrade their online marketing prowess.

Her obvious passion lies with keeping customers loyal whilst discovering new ones via a savvy online presence.

She’ll help participants uncover the transformative ways of using databases and segmentation and other email marketing platforms out there to create and sustain, not just regular, but effective communication.

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