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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Marketing Agencies Don't Want You To Know This (Email Marketing Secrets for Small Business)


The Internet presents opportunity for any sized business. The Internet also connects everyone so long as they have a connection to the digital domain.

People use the internet to communicate, shop, date and transact, while marketers target their prospective audiences over the internet, making it the foundation of a peaceful online shopping ecosystem.

It’s common for most business owners (especially those in Malaysia) to be an  owner of a brick-and-mortar shop. Having an online presence reduces the restrictions on your target audience. For example, you are not tied down to an audience that is conveniently located around you only.

It is proven that the best way to communicate with your customers is through email.

Learn how email marketing can help your small business.


1. It helps to Build credibility


Building relationships is the foundation of any business. You can do more with email marketing, as you are able to build trust and recognition among your subscribers by sending helpful and educational information.

2. Increase and Build visibility beyond your location


Irrespective of their geographic location, you will be able to send emails to your target audience with just an email ID and this will help improve the visibility of your business.

3. Cheaper alternative to most physical forms of advertising


Assuming you are sending an email to an email list of 1000 subscribers, you may be spending < RM10. Research shows that you can earn up to RM34 for every RM1 you spend on your email campaign, you will find out that emails are the most profitable marketing channel.

4. Increase awareness about your business. Increase traffic visits (online and offline). 


A successful email is the one that manages to make the subscriber click and get redirected to a relevant landing page (for omnichannel businesses) or your storefront.

5. Market with a personal touch 


Connect personally with your customers, by segmenting the information that they want to receive. By tracking the customer journey, you can personalize the email copy to building a meaningful relationship.

6. Turn one-time sale into a repeat order / Help patrons stay connected with new updates


Anyone who purchases from you may lose contact as they step out. By having them in your mailing list, you can keep in touch with them. This will enable them to shop from you time and time again.

What your business needs to implement email marketing?


An Email Service Platform (ESP)

Email inbox services such Gmail, Hotmail or Outlook cannot be used to send bulk emails owing to restrictions placed to avoid spamming. You need to invest in a professional email service provider to send emails in bulk.

Some provide services for zero to nominal fees for emailing less than 2,000 subscribers, while others charge you based on the mailing list strength. If you are starting out, you can choose MailerLite, MadMimi ReachMail or MailChimp. We conducted a review for MailChimp. You can read about it here.

Templates are readily available, but it is good to have a customer outsourced professional to help you with this. However, sometimes you need to design a custom email template for providing a good user experience.

Tips to start your Email Marketing

Build your mailing list both offline and online


To start out, you can talk to your existing customers to share their email addresses to get information about your business. Some of the ways to create excitement are:


  1. Coupons and Sales Promotions
  2. Loyalty or Rewards Programs
  3. Company News and Updates
  4. Contests and Sweepstakes
  5. Free Content like E-Books
  6. Products or Service Information
  7. Exclusive Peeks at New Products


What emails would you send?


Newsletters

For prospects / customers to exchange their email and time to read your emails, be prepared to send them valuable information. Do not sell to them as they would associate this with spam, and you would lose email authority.

In addition to newsletter you should also send:


  1. Transactional emails like order receipts, upsell & cross-sell emails, re-order reminder emails that are associated with building relation post-purchase.
  2. Promotional emails to inform your customers about special or limited stock events and promotions
  3. Holiday and seasonal emails for the brands who conduct special campaigns during holidays.
  4. Customer loyalty emails for existing patrons to show how valuable they are to your brand.
  5. Separate your mailing list as per preference and hit Send
  6. No two customers will have same interests. You need to learn / understand their preferences and what products they are interested and segment the email list accordingly. This ensures that the customer receives the information that interests them.


Learn more about Everworks email here. You’d be surprised what email can do for your business.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Tips on How To Not Make the Mistake of Choosing the Wrong Email Service Provider


Email marketing is the bread and butter for most marketers as it draws the most ROI compared to other marketing channels.

Every brand is now implementing inbound methodology, marketers are choosing email marketing as the best way to build trust and increase sales.

The idea is to capture a prospect’s brief approach to you with a problem and subscribes to your emails with a hope to be educated and finding a solution to his problems.

During this critical moment, your catch to these prospects is that they will lose out on a valuable aspect of information that wouldn’t be otherwise available unless they subscribe to your email.

There is a large chance that this isn’t even presented to your prospects when they need it most.

And this fault is likely to be due to your Email Service Provider ("ESP"), as your message would have ended in spam.

If you wondering what an ESP is or if you are facing troubles with your current one, this article is for you.


The role of the Email Service Provider ("ESP")


To send emails to a customer you need an ESP. They help you to deliver your email to your customers in bulk. Yes there is the ever present popular options such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and more, but these are only good for sending individual cold emails to individuals.

ESPs have other features built into them, which make them the first choice for any email marketer such as:


  1. Database and App API integration
  2. Email list segmentation and management tools
  3. Automated email sending


How to choose an ESP


Setting up an ESP from scratch requires time and money, so the best option is to choose one that already has a set amount of features and service offerings that fit your needs:

1. Costing: 

In the realm of ESPs, there is one for every type of budget. There are free-to-use ESPs like Mailchimp who offer user-friendly email editor, premium looking email template library, email automation workflows and email campaign analytics for almost nothing provided that you send out less than 2,000 emails monthly. While it seems like a sweet deal, the email template is not yours and the footer will carry Mailchimp banner. Plus, you can send only 10 campaigns every month. This is an excellent option for someone who has just started out or on a tight budget.

2. Deliverability Standards: 

Any emails you send are scanned by an Internet Service Provider at the user-end before being delivered. If the IP that you send your emails is blacklisted, the ISP filter will not allow your emails to pass through. Since you shall be using an ESP to send your emails, you need to ensure that they provide you with good deliverability. Enquire about the different kinds of reputation support such as white listing.

3. API integration support: 

Sending emails is a process that is constantly improved upon based on previous campaign performances (this is dependant on whether you really need this or not)

4. Scalability: 

Since you have a mailing list of < 2,000 subscribers, you decide to choose the free model of the ESP. Will your ESP have the capability to send emails when your mailing list explodes to >20,000 subscribers? Does it support adding more users in your plan?

5. Customer Support: 

Imagine you scheduled an email to be sent early morning but owing to ESP server downtime, the campaign could not be delivered. Does your email service provider cater to customer support at odd hours?

6. Ease-to-use: 

Are the specified features easy to use? Is the FAQ section easily accessible? How quickly does customer support respond? Do you require any technical knowledge to operate the platform?

Tips to keep in mind:


1. Metrics you measure: 

Email campaign metrics such as open rates, click rates, unsubscribes are provided by all ESPs, but you need to identify other metrics that you wish to measure such as heatmap, optimum open rate, last email opened etc.

2. Plans for improving interactivity: 

You need to check whether you plan to send emails with innovations to boost user engagement. This is important since most ESPs don’t support CSS interactivity.

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Although choosing or switching ESPs is like making a life-long commitment. You may choose to change. BUT beware as it would mean a waste of resources.

You can learn more about our email services here.