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24 Sep 2015

5 tips on how to get started with email marketing

5 tips on how to get started with email marketing

Here are five tips to get started with email marketing:

1.  Build a database

The main foundation to successful email marketing is to build a quality database, which means gathering email addresses and other information about people who are genuinely interested in your brand. The best way to start is by collecting emails from people who buy in your shop. Give them an incentive, such as discount vouchers or updates on in-shop promotion.

2. Create the right content

Email marketing is about building relationships, so before you start be very clear how you want to keep the conversation going in the long run. Make sure you get the right mixture of sales offers and interesting content about your brand. Think about frequency and only send emails if you have something interesting to say.

3. Use email marketing software

There are lots of software platforms for email marketing. Most of them charge by volumes of email sent and/or number of people on your database, but there are a lot of free subscriptions available for small businesses. The top three we can recommend are MailChimpBenchmark and Vertical Response. All of these will allow you to design and send free email campaigns. MailChimp for example lets you use their free service if you have less than 2,000 contacts, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month.

4. Measure your campaigns

The beauty about email software is that you can measure exactly how many people have opened and clicked through to your website or online offer. Use this data to learn what type of emails work best. Try and vary the messages from sales offers to stories about your shop or products. This will help you to find out what tone resonates best with your audience.

5. Optimise and personalise your messages

Once you have mastered the process of sending relevant, interesting emails perhaps once a month, it is time to start getting more sophisticated. For example, splitting the email campaign between customers and prospects and refining the message accordingly. If you have enough insight in the customer database to distinguish between hot and cold prospects, it is also worth considering varying the frequency of the emails – creating a stronger, more frequent relationship with those on the point of purchase, for example. Email software like MailChimp allow you to segment your database, which means you can run personalised and relevant campaigns with little effort.

It’s all about building a relationship, so ensure you get the messaging and frequency right by measuring and analysing your response rates and listening to your customers.