Email Marketing and Your Business

How electronic newsletters and email advertisements promote top-of-mind mentality and raise brand awareness

advantagebizmag_articleWe are proud to announce this article was published in Volume 3, Issue 6 of The Jacksonville Advantage Business Magazine. Read the article below or at Jacksonville Advantage Business Magazine website.

By Chris Edwards

Driving sales, generating revenue, and growing a customer base are key goals to running a successful business. To do all that, consider email marketing as part of your marketing mix of business development activities.

While many business owners already know email marketing can generate new business and retain current customers, it is also important to know that electronic newsletters and email advertisements promote top-of-mind mentality and raise brand awareness.

You undoubtedly have received email from something you signed up for, whether it’s your bank providing a service update, a local sports team listing upcoming games, or your favorite fruit smoothie place announcing a new tropical flavor. That’s the simplicity of email marketing—you target an audience who is generally interested in your product or service.

Begin with a list

All email campaigns begin with mailing lists. If you’re in business, you already have a mailing list—your customers. The next, most common mailing list is your leads, and chances are you’ve got that information available as well. Most small businesses start with these two mailing lists, but as you grow your business and marketing efforts, you may want to employ multiple mailing lists.

For example, if you have a service that is specific to your customers in Jacksonville only and not available to your customers in Tampa and Miami, then you would organize your customers mailing lists based on their location. This control of the relationship between your message and your audience can be critical in maintaining a solid email campaign.

Managing your mailing lists as you expand is important too. You should get permission to send marketing-related emails to your lists whether they signup online or tell you in-person. Providing unsubscribe options and deleting contacts that do not exist or return bounce back emails are more ways to ensure your email campaigns see the best return possible.

Making it count

Your email competes with every email in someone’s inbox, so you need to make it count!

  • Introduction. Most people tend to forget this, but the first introduction a recipient has of your email is who it’s from and the subject line. The sending email address should use the same domain as your website, and you should make it so if anyone replies, the emails go to you or a designated email account that you monitor. The subject line should be appropriate in that it’s accurate to the email’s message and it’s interesting.
  • Look. The look of your email needs to generate attention and capture interest. After all, the average email user probably runs through several emails every day. Make yours stand out! Colors, graphics, and a well-planned design to boost your message helps grab attention. If you have a solid website design, make your emails look like your website to present your message in a consistent marketing effort.
  • Message. The message of your email should be clear. A discontinuous or rambling message will turn readers away while text that drives them to a point or action, such as clicking a link or calling, is the intended goal.
  • Links. Links should be available to your website and in some cases, a re-creation of your website navigation menu can be ideal for giving recipients access to your company’s entire website from a single email. If you have a specific page in your website you are referencing, hot link the text or pictures directly there. A recipient that clicks on a link for a coffee mug is more likely to buy that coffee mug if the link takes them to a Web page where they can buy it versus if the link takes them to the home page forcing them to find the coffee mug purchase page.
  • Results. With any marketing, you need measurable results. Whatever platform you decide to use, review the performance of your emails to see how well they did and decide on improvements for future campaigns. Emails can be measured based on how many people open then, and better yet, how many people clicked in them. You can also break information further down. For example: If you had links to three separate products in your email, a report indicating which links were clicked and how many times will let you know which product is more popular for that market. Other common reports are bounces (contacts that did not receive your email), spam reports, and opt-outs which will need to be monitored to keep your mailing lists clean and your campaigns doing well. Many programs also report how many people forwarded your email.

Success!

There are many facets to running a business, advertising holding a significant role for many. Within the realm of advertising, email marketing is a relatively cheap method that can be utilized to speak to your market. Like any successfully marketing maneuver it takes planning, execution, and review. Then improve and repeat.