Email Marketing – Getting Started

January 8th, 2010 by TCC Leave a reply »

You can have the best content or the best offers on earth, but no one will be able to read it if you haven’t built your contact list. List building is the most pressing aspect of email marketing, and hopefully this information will help relieve some of the stress that comes along with building an email marketing list.

1. Before doing anything, it is important to envision your target audience. Think about current clients, likely prospects, and the overall market your company serves. This will help build the foundation for your email marketing campaign.

2. After you have determined your target audience, the next step is to obtain an email marketing service. Many exist and can be found by doing a simple internet search.  More basic email services are free; however more highly detailed ones can cost some money.  Constant Contact is one that is commonly used and well-known.  We also offer an email service at The Computer Company.  If you need assistance getting one, feel free to contact us.

3. Email services will give you a prompt so you can add your company information. After registering, you are given an html code to place on your website.  The html code translates into a form that customers can fill out upon visiting your site if they are interested in signing up to receive newsletters and other pertinent information.

4. Creating an incentive to join is an excellent way to encourage people to sign up:

  • Make an offer they can’t refuse. Be sure to signify the offer is only available for a limited time, this way they join now rather than push it off.
  • Show them what they have missed. If you’ve recently released a newsletter or held an event, dangle some content, pictures, or videos on your site so that they want “in”.
  • Offer a discount for services if they sign up. Who doesn’t love to save money these days?
  • Increase your credibility by having a privacy policy in plain view of the sign-up. Assure subscribers you will not sell their email address to a direct or mass marketing company, and that you will not send spam or viruses.
  • It is extremely important to only make legitimate offers that you are able to follow through with.

5. Marketing your Subscription:

  • Include links to your subscription page on blogs and forums. These are great places to showcase your knowledge and build your credibility with potential subscribers. Place the link in an obvious location on the page. You will not only build your list, but you will drive traffic to your website.
  • Your email signature should also include the subscription page link. By associating it directly with your name, it builds reputation and trust in the eyes of the prospect.
  • Viral marketing, or word-of-mouth, is an effective way to build your list. WOM is a good (and cheap!) way to advertise.  Ask your current subscribers to recommend your company to other friends, colleagues, and organizations who may be interested in what you have to offer. They may give you access to people you would have otherwise missed.
  • Up-sell your company and brand on social media outlets. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great ways to network. The number of people using these networking and connection sites grows exponentially by the day, and like viral marketing, you have the potential to contact people you would never reach through classic marketing mediums.

6. The most crucial and overlooked feature in an email marketing campaign is the benefit of getting the reader to feel comfortable with you and like what you have to offer, while building your brand. Make it worth the read. They have given you permission to reach out to them, so don’t waste their time.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing:

  1. DO allow the customer to opt in and out at any time.  People will be more likely to join if they aren’t bound to the subscription for eternity.
  2. DON’T send emails to someone who has not directly given you permission or access to his or her email address. (FYI: just because a person gave you his or her business card does not mean they want you to put them on your “list”)
  3. DO provide content that is worth reading. Subscribers will only continue to be subscribers if you continue to offer incentives and provide captivating and intriguing content they enjoy.
  4. DON’T allow room for hesitation or resistance. Be sure to cover your bases and answer questions before they can be asked. You want the visitor to practically throw their information at you because they are so absorbed in what you have to offer.
  5. DO provide the email address you will be using to send marketing pieces to subscribers. Ask them to add the email address to their contact list so that you do not end up in their spam or junk mail folders.
  6. DON’T rely on one form of media to spread the word about your subscription. Use your media resources wisely and remember that things take time; you won’t have 1000 subscribers overnight!

By Bridgid Shea, Marketing Coordinator for The Computer Company, Inc.


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