I have spoken to three people this week who use their Outlook as the method for keeping an email marketing list (or lists in one case) for their business. When I highlighted even a couple reasons why an email marketing program is a better use of their time and resources they were sold.
Here are five main reasons for using an email marketing program:
- Signup boxes for your website – a way to promote your newsletter and allow new subscribers to sign up with ease.
- Security for subscribers since most email providers have strict rules regarding email privacy and spam and this makes them feel more comfortable entering their email and knowing that you are following a policy with regards to their personal information and email address.
- Autoresponders – These allow you to setup a series of actions to happen with new subscribers. You can setup a thank you note, a double opt in (meaning they must, enter their email a second time so you tend to get a better quality of subscriber this way – people will enter their name twice only if they are serious about receiving your newsletter.) You can give away a free report when people sign up to your monthly newsletter and much more. All this happens automatically once setup properly – saving you time in managing your email contacts and new signups.
- Reporting – All of these services provide instant reports on emails. With one look you can see how many people opened your email, if any bounced (never delivered), how many people clicked on any of the links inside and more. All information to help you see whether the time you spend creating and sending a newsletter is worth it.
- Cost Effective – Email campaigns take less money and resources (especially when having to respond to every request to add to the list manually) to run over a traditional mail marketing campaign like direct mail or print advertising.
Many of my clients use 1 Shopping Cart because not only does it have the email/autoresponder system but also a method for selling products online; Aweber, and Constant Contact are two other email systems as well. Generally monthly fees will run anywhere from $15 US to $129 US depending upon how many contacts (email addresses) you have and what services you want from their program. Most companies also give you a discount if you pay yearly.
The initial setup of your system, process and a template for your newsletters is the most time consuming and technical aspect of using an email marketing system. (This is why many business owners use the services of a virtual assistant) Once ready you can change/edit the content each month and also use special tools to place sign up boxes on your website or links to social media profiles as well.
When we provide ongoing email marketing support for our clients, they provide the content and we take that info and format it into their email marketing system adding images, links to special places on their website (or elsewhere) and proof the articles to get it ready to send – creating the newsletter.
Then we assist in checking the reports, cleaning up the list of email addresses and names. Using the report information we may have ideas/recommendations to make changes for next time. This is all part of using an email marketing system.
If you have a mailing list and are doing many aspects manually you may want to investigate some of the systems above. The time you save can allow you to do so much more within your business, but even more so – the reporting lets you know what I working and worth doing and what is not.