What is Email Marketing – and how can you make it work for you?

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your potential customers.

When it’s done correctly, it enables you to connect with your target market by sending them well-structured and engaging campaigns. Great email marketing isn’t about spamming your email list with sales pitches. Instead, the content offers real value to the recipients. 

The goal for your brand or organisation should be to develop a trusted relationship with consumers by sharing impactful information. As such, the content of your emails depends on the goal of your campaign. Some emails are simply a welcome, a thank you or information about an upcoming renewal. Other content can revolve around offers, insights into how clients benefit from your services or news stories around your brand or industry. 

In email marketing, timing is everything. That’s why it’s critical to make sure you have clarity about the desired outcome of your campaigns. 

It can feel daunting and difficult to craft campaigns that will achieve the outcomes you want. For those new to email marketing or who’ve been disappointed with their results so far, we offer a helping hand. 

Our Smart Messenger team are ready to create time-saving bespoke template designs for your campaigns, will get you set up on our user-friendly email marketing system and provide the support and advice you need. 

When people approach us to find out more about email marketing and its impact, there’s one question that regularly gets asked. 

They want to know:

Does email marketing really work?

The answer is yes, but only if you do it right. This answer may seem infuriatingly simple, but it is backed up by feedback from the numerous Smart Messenger customers who use our email marketing service regularly.

 There are three simple dos and don’ts for sending campaigns.

  1. The timing must be right – watch your open rate plummet if it’s not
  2. Your email header must be engaging – give them a reason to hit ‘open’
  3. The information must be targeted and useful – don’t spam them

Most people regularly access their emails from desktops and mobile devices, which means email marketing is a very efficient and convenient way to reach them.

Once you identify the optimum time to send your emails, you need to make sure the content is engaging enough to prompt the recipient to take action.

 Remember, every product or service that is being sold meets one or both of the following criteria

  1. It will solve a problem or pain point that the target market is suffering from.
  2. It satisfies an aspiration that the potential customer has been dreaming about.

From those two simple truths, you can spin out creative, exciting email marketing content that will be of genuine interest to your recipients.

Now, you just need to make sure you have people to send your campaigns to.

How to get an email list

Homegrown email lists are the way forward. These are the ones where your contact has actively agreed to go onto your mailing list and is happy to hear from you.

When you send a message to somebody who already knows you or your organisation, they are much more likely to open and engage with the message.

There are numerous ways to collect the data of people who would like to receive your emails.

Here are a few useful examples:

Website sign-up forms
Tell people what you have to offer them. Maybe it’s a newsletter containing valuable articles to help them out, or perhaps you promise to send them notifications about special offers and promotions.

Event sign-ups
If you exhibit at an event, whether that’s a local business event, a national trade show or even a wedding fair, these are prime opportunities to collect data from people. But remember, you shouldn’t just send a quick follow-up once you create a list like this, you should strive to maintain an ongoing relationship by sending relevant emails on a regular basis.

Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest can be a great way to put information in front of your audience. If you encourage them to sign up to your emails too, they can get your messages straight to their inbox.

Competitions
A competition can really help to boost your email marketing subscribers; however, you cannot force someone to join your list with a competition, it has to be optional to be in line with GDPR data protection laws.

Sharing
Encourage your existing recipients to share your email, either by forwarding it or sharing on social media. If their connections like what you have to say, and it is easy for them to subscribe, they will add their email to your list.

Consent
It is vital that you obtain permission from your subscribers and you display a privacy notice when they sign up. If you are unsure about how to implement this, please speak to us.

However you build your lists, do not purchase email data – it’s a huge mistake.

People on bought-in email lists tend to receive a large numbers of emails from all sorts of people and they have no current connection with you. As such, they are highly unlikely to engage with your campaigns and will probably mark you as spam.

Once you are in the spam folder, you can forget about any email marketing aspirations you have. Not only will you have damaged the reputation of your brand in the eyes of this recipient, but you’ll be impacting your sender reputation as well. Too many of these incidents mean you could be seen as a spammer by email providers, and your campaigns will be redirected to the digital bin. 

Opting out
Under GDPR legislation, opting out should be as easy as opting in. Ensure you have an easy-to-find unsubscribe link in your emails so people can opt-out if they choose to. Helpfully, Smart Messenger will not allow you to send an email without an unsubscribe link, so that’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Which email marketing system should I use?

There’s a reason why we use the Smart Messenger platform to deliver email marketing services to our customers. We believe it’s the best service out there.

Smart Messenger is a UK based email marketing service and is full of features to help you get the most from your campaigns. As well as the fantastic functionality of the user-friendly platform, you also get access to our knowledgeable team. Anytime you want to pick our brains, ask advice or simply get some support, call us and we will be there, happy to help.

Smart Messenger offers tools which allow you to personalise your messages and send targeted emails to your recipients. We have a drag and drop editing tool, which makes creating emails a breeze!

Our bespoke template design service begins at just £149 and is a great way to get off to a professional start. However, if you have your own designer or want to build your own templates, we have the tools for you to do that too.

There are all the campaign reports that you would expect and then some, so you can track opens and click-throughs as well as discovering which devices and email clients your recipients are using.

If you want to send automated campaigns, such as welcome emails, annual renewal reminders, action-based follow-up emails or any other kind of automated messages, our standard account has automation facilities to allow you to build your own workflows.

How much does email marketing cost?

Many people think using a professional email marketing service will be too expensive for them. But it’s not as costly as you might imagine.

Smart Messenger offers a range of options depending on the level of functionality you require and the volume of emails you wish to send. Our Lite service starts from just £10 per month for 1,000 emails.

There is a handy calculator tool on our pricing page that you can use to calculate how much you will spend on your email marketing campaigns.

We cater for all kinds of email marketing clients. There’s a service for those just getting started with their email marketing and who need an entry-level service. But there are also options for seasoned email marketers who regularly send a few hundred or thousand emails per month.

Smart Messenger offers a solution for every email marketer.

As well as being great value for money, all our accounts are fully supported – that means you can call us or email us whenever you need assistance.

How secure is the Smart Messenger email marketing service?

We are serious about data protection and security.

Data is core to our services and our practices are in line with the General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR).

We have trained and accredited in-house data protection staff who are happy to discuss any aspect of data protection with you. We also provide a data-sharing agreement tailored to your specific requirements for your data protection records too.

This is designed to ensure a proper data controller/processor relationship - as required under GDPR - exists between us.

What if I need help? 

All of our customers receive unlimited access to our ‘Just Call Us’ support service, which is as simple as it sounds – you just get in touch and we help you!

There is no such thing as a silly question as far as we are concerned, we love to help people, so if you are unsure about anything give us a call. We’ll help you with queries as wide-ranging as ‘what button do I need to press?’ to ‘how can I increase my open rates?’ Just try us.

How do I get started?

Setting up an account with us is easy, drop us a line by either completing our enquiry form or give us a call on 01603 858250. We will need a few details from you to set up your account, which we will request once we have your enquiry. It takes just a couple of days to get your account up and running, ready for you to use. 

If you would like a bespoke template, provide us with your logos, colours, any imagery you wish to use and details of how you would like it structured. Using this information and design collateral, we will create a bespoke email marketing template for you within 2 – 3 working days, depending on demand.

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