Email marketing is one of the most effective methods you can make use of to engage with, and sell products to, your customer base. According to research by Forrester, it was the second most effective sales path for online purchases where the consumer had previous contact with the brand.
Maintaining a quality mailing list should be a high priority for your business.
Find out more about how you can achieve the most from your mailing list here.
Mailing List Segmentation
A mailing list should not just be one large list of all the contacts you have collected during your online marketing. For the most effective email marketing your list should be separated into a number of different groups or segments. Here are some suggestions:
- Those generated through the download of certain white-papers, ebooks, etc.
- Those generated through free trials.
- Current customers.
- General website visitors.
How To Generate More Individuals On The Mailing List
You should aim to continually expand the size of your mailing list and there are many different ways to do so. You should collect email addresses with a form on your website however you need to ensure that your marketing is directing them to your site.
One way to direct consumers to your website is through social media, or have consumers sign up to the mailing list through a Facebook App which you can install on your fan page.
Another option is by advertising a free ebook or whitepaper. When the visitor downloads it, they are required to give their email address. This is a great way to get the consumer’s details as it also gives you an indication of what they are interested in, so you can target the marketing content you send to them.
Buying a mailing list is rarely a good idea for a small business. Your email contacts should always be organically grown.
The main reason for this is the reputation of your server. If you don’t receive permission to send an email the receiver can flag your email to their email server and report it. This would mean that your emails will be sent to their spam or junk folder, or could be blocked completely.
If your mail server is reported due to this, you can effectively be blacklisted, causing your mail not to be delivered to many on your contact list. Once you have been blacklisted it is very difficult to turn this around. Therefore the best protection is to never buy an email list in the first place.
What To Send To Your Mailing Lists
Each mailing list segment you have created should have different content sent to them, which is highly targeted to their interests or level of engagement.
For example, those who have downloaded a particular ebook or white paper have shown interest in a certain topic, product or service you offer, so send them further information that is relevant to that theme.
Those who have signed up for a general newsletter could be sent content which offers different white papers or ebooks. This way you can identify exactly what they are interested in and subsequently send specific content to gradually convert them into becoming a client.
One of the things that you should consider is the value of the email to the audience. Emails are going to be read more if they include useful information which the audience can act upon, especially if you are in the service industry.
You can directly advertise products within your emails but these are generally less productive unless they are well targeted.
Taking Amazon as an example, they will often send emails demonstrating products which are related to previous purchases or remind the customer of what they have recently viewed online.
This gives Amazon a high value to their email marketing because of the volume of contacts they have, but for smaller businesses this will often be less successful. You should instead demonstrate your knowledge and expertise rather than the products or services you provide. This helps to create trust, which in turn converts the prospect into a client over time.
How Often To Email A Mailing List
There are different opinions on how often you should send emails to your contact list. Some companies will send emails every day to their clients, whereas others will send one email a week or even a month.
As you will have separate mailing lists requiring different content, sending emails too frequently will probably create too high a workload. Therefore, to start with, it could be a good idea to limit your content so that each mailing list group has one email a week.
If you are seeing great results from this then you could always increase it to twice a week.
When To Delete Contacts Off A Mailing List
Consumers regularly change their emails, either because they have changed work, have decided to change email provider or for other reasons. Because of this you might be sending emails to an inactive account.
Also a person might sign up to your email list but then decide that they don’t really want to read your emails after all.
Sending emails can be an expensive process. You will be charged either by cost per email sent or by a fixed amount depending on the size of the lists. So removing inactive accounts larger from your mailing lists as they grow is important. In addition to this, a number of inactive individuals on a mailing list can give you an inaccurate set of data when you are looking at the statistics for the campaigns.
Go through your mailing list and look for those who have not opened any of your emails for a significant amount of time. For each company this will be different and will largely depend on how many emails you send and the content you are sending.
Generally though, if the contact has not opened an email or clicked through to your website within three months you should delete them from the list. They always have the option to rejoin.
A well maintained mailing list can give you great contacts, increase your revenue and make your business a greater success.
- Look over your email contacts and remove those who have not opened an email for 3 to 6 months. Do this regularly.
- Split your contacts into several different contact lists according to their interests.
- Develop a plan for your content which specifically targets each of your different contact lists.
- Send different emails once a week to each of your lists.
- Initiate ways to grow your emailing list.