Firstly let’s clarify what exactly email marketing is. There are a couple of common opinons on this;
- the first is that it is spam – read our article ‘Is Email Marketing Spam?‘
- the second is that it’s something that you use to send out email newsletters with.
The second is partly right but Email Marketing extends much further than just sending e-newsletters.
Using email marketing software as you would find at www.emailmarketer.com.au you gain access to a variety of tools that can automate some of your business processes to save time, increase efficiency and get more results.
Autoresponders allow you to send out a series of emails over a specified period of time. For example if you own a garden centre you may want to set-up an e-course that will send your customers weekly tips on how to maintain their garden, suggested plants to grow etc. If you want your customer to be sent an email once a week for a year then you would set-up 52 messages to be sent a week a-part. Then once a person joins your list they will start receiving your messages.
You can also use Autoresponders on more of a random basis, such as sales follow-ups. You may get a lead to your business that you think has gone ‘cold’ but why not set-up a few autoresponders to randomly send the customer an email? You can then remain in the forefront of their mind when considering a provider for your particular product or service. Of course the word ‘random’ here is essential in this example so they receive your message when they’re not expecting to. We’ve been researching the ways people use Autoresponders for over 12 months and it’s surprising how ‘random’ some messages are sent, they can be 3 or even 6 months a part.
How Autoresponders are used and the best course of action to take does depend a lot on what they are being applied to, remember though don’t create a nuscance value to your contact, you want them to value the information that you send them.
Triggers are more flexible than autoresponders and can be used to send individual or a series of email messages. Whilst autoresponders rely on your customer to join your list before they start, trigger emails can be ‘triggered’ by a variety of different actions, including:
- Specific date or date associated with your customer (eg. Birthday, Anniversary).
- Your contact clicking on a particular link in one email message can trigger another message to be sent. eg. “Click here for more information on our upcoming seminar” by clicking on this you can then set-up another email to be sent with information on that seminar.
- Your contact opening a particular email.
These are the actions you can use to activate the trigger. Once the trigger email has been activated you can:
- send an email message instantly, or in a specified period of time (eg x amount of hours/days/weeks etc after ‘the action’
- add or move the contact to a different mailing list (eg. with reference to the example above you might want to move the contact to a list called ‘Interested Seminar Contact’s)
This allows you to not only automate the distribution of your promotions or information, but also group your contacts into particular interest groups for more targeted marketing.
Email Marketing software can also automate management of your contacts. 3 very simple features can take a lot of manual work out of having a mailing list.
- Unsubscribe handling – this allows your contacts to opt-out of your list instantly by clicking on a link. This facility is required by the Anti-Spam Act, so instead of you having to manually remove the person from your list at your request the system handles all this for you.
- Gain new contacts through your website – by adding a subscription form to your website you can allow new contact to join your list instantly.
- Allow contacts to update their own details – using this feature you can allow your contacts the facility to update their own information through a simple online form.
There are many other powerful email marketing features available that can be very valuable to your business. Best of all email marketing is affordable to every type of business.