Recently, Jason Hirschhorn, a man with serious digital savvy, raised $2.25 million in seed funding to turn his popular email newsletter into a company. That’s right, he built and then pitched a successful business idea based on linking to great content other people created. The vehicle that drives those links (and essentially the business)? Email. Marketing.
Whether you’re actively ignoring email as a marketing channel (because you think it doesn’t work) or it’s just one of those things you “haven’t got around to”, we have a few suggestions. Change your mind and/or find the time. Quickly. It takes time to build lists and concoct the perfect email recipes, but it’s going to pay dividends well into the future, so the sooner you start, the better.
Think about it: we all use email. Most of us use it daily and some of us use it all day long. Email is at the core of our digital experiences. While it might seem like email is old and out of style, that’s only due to the rapid growth and popularity of social media. It’s understandable that the flair and panache of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are more intriguing than tired old email. But at the end of the day, you have to go with what works. And for many businesses, the simplicity of email marketing has become little more than a missed opportunity.
Hirschhorn, somebody who would know, summed email marketing up perfectly when he said: “It’s a great place to get in front of people who are interested in what you have to say. Email is a 40-year-old technology that is not going away for very good reasons — it’s the cockroach of the Internet.”
Embrace The Newsletter
If email isn’t going anywhere and everybody is using it, why aren’t you? It’s a question that deserves an honest answer. “It’s too hard,” “I don’t know how” and “it costs too much,” might have been legitimate answers a few years ago – but now they’re just excuses.
The fact is there are tools and services that allow you to get an email newsletter up and running in no time; and if you really need help with strategy and set-up, we at WSI would be happy to help.
After all, doesn’t remaining connected to potential customers who have asked you to send them information on topics they’re interested in sound like a good, long-term idea?
Too many people think email marketing is dead, which is simply not true. There are also a great number of email marketing campaigns that break the rules for all the wrong reasons. Whatever your current stance on email marketing, you should be aware of the rules and best practices. And make no mistake, with the presence of UK legislation and the CAN-SPAM Act in the US , there are consequences for breaking these rules.
With all of these laws and best practices in mind, we understand that email marketing can be tricky. But fear not, our latest digital marketing infographic is here to teach you how to stay on the good side of email marketing. There’s always going to be a temptation to do something easier and more convenient with your email campaigns. That little voice telling you to buy an email list or send a massive, spam like message to non-subscribers. Don’t do it, or at least stop and think before you do because just one wrong email can tarnish your brand’s reputation.
If you’re doing the right kind of email marketing then you’ll know that permission is extremely important. Your subscribers should know that they are on your list specifically because they intentionally signed up to receive your messages. If you’ve gamed people in any way and they’re unsure of why they’re getting your messages, you’re definitely on the wrong side of email marketing. Make sure your opt-in process is super simple, but never pre-check the opt-in box to automatically add people to your list. It’ll do more harm than good in the long run!
In keeping with the theme of permission, being honest and up front with your subscribers is another key to success. Yes, you need to be creative and appealing with your subject lines. But you should never mislead your subscribers with your headlines or about who the email is from. It’s just not worth any gains you think you’re making; as soon as people realize you’re being dishonest with them, you’ll lose their trust forever.
We’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth repeating: your subscribers have asked to receive content from you because they believe you have interesting and relevant things to say. Your job is to give them what they not only want, but also expect. Instead of focusing on selling your readers a product or service (even if that’s what your business is), aim to provide a mix of valuable information and entertainment. As you’ll learn, highlighting value while being interesting is the key to many digital marketing tactics.
That little voice telling you to cut corners with your email marketing will undoubtedly whisper about using as many graphics as you possibly can. And given that the Internet is such a visual environment, this temptation to lean heavily on graphics is understandable. However, if you use experienced designers and keep your designs clean and simple, you can still create visually pleasing email campaigns.
Similar to the way becoming a subscriber shouldn’t be a trick, unsubscribing shouldn’t be a game, either. If a person no longer wants to receive messages from you – regardless of the reason – then they should easily be able to unsubscribe from your list. Don’t hide the unsubscribe button – do the opposite. Making your unsubscribe button present and obvious is a great way to give your customers a choice and build trust over time. If and when people do unsubscribe, make sure there’s an easy way for them to opt back in if they change their minds!
So there you have it – that’s how you stay on the good side of email marketing. Here’s a full infographic summarising all of the above points:
Many charities and not-for-profit organisations are missing out on significant support from Google because they are unaware of its Google for Non-Profits initiative.
Google for Nonprofits offers qualifying organisations access to highly discounted or free products. These tools can help you find new donors and volunteers, work efficiently, and get supporters to take action.
Currently the scheme provides free access to the following premium products:
Google Apps for Non-Profits – free access to the Apps suite of products including Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive cloud storage.
Google Ad Grants – Free Adwords advertising to promote your website through keyword targeting. ‘Free’ click budget of up to US$10,000/month.
YouTube for Non-Profits - Premium branding capabilities on YouTube channels,including the ability to select custom thumbnail images, and call-to-action overlay on your videos.
Google Earth Outreach – visualise your cause through Google’s mapping technology, such as custom maps of projects.
To learn more about this exciting program and the application process, visit Google for Non-Profits today.
Email marketing is a central pillar of the digital marketing strategy for many businesses as it can encourage engagement and interaction with a wide audience and build loyalty. This in turn can lead to more referrals and repeat business.
There are five important factors to consider when constructing an email marketing strategy and these are explored in the video below:
1. Actively encourage subscribing when undertaking any marketing actions.
If you are interested in making your email marketing campaigns more effective, contact WSI Chester today on 01928 787026.
Content marketing is the foundation for an effective digital marketing strategy to build customer engagement. And the ‘Holy Grail’ is when a piece of content goes ‘viral’ and is shared and shared.
But this will not happen instantly as soon as you publish that blog post or video.
Think about your content as a seed and social media as the soil. When you start creating content and sharing it on social media, you are essentially planting a seed. Most seeds don’t germinate in an hour or even a week, and they don’t reach their fully blossomed state for much longer.
Similarly, your content (as a whole) won’t begin to blossom and bear fruit for quite a while. The only certainty is that if you don’t water and care for your plant, it won’t grow. If you are not giving your content creation and social presence the attention and care they need to be effective, they won’t grow and mature they way you want them to.
But if you trust that your hard work will pay off, you will eventually have a fully-grown content plant surrounded by rich social media soil!
If you are interested in attracting new customers to your business using content marketing, contact WSI Chester today on 01928 787026.