As a small business marketer,
learning the ins and outs of customer profiles is pretty much my muse. During a recent client meeting, I was asked if email marketing is worth its weight in gold, and how it can affect business growth. More importantly, what application works best, if at all.
Email marketing, along with other components will attract customers, distribute news, book clients and generally keep your business connected with customers. It expands your reach and your market with real-time feedback and insights.
The good news – if your subscriber list contains less than a certain number of recipients, some of the services are free.
So to prove my point, I decided to let you in on my little marketing secrets as to why email marketing works and why it’s imperative small businesses should be using an email service provider to get the job done.
What is an email service provider?
An email service provider (ESP) is a web-based application that allows bulk emails to be sent through a template. Businesses can build lists, implement subscription forms, unsubscribe functions, integrate with products, carts and RSS Feeds to name a few. ESP’s also help filter emails and stop the distribution of spam.
Why email marketing works – The short version
Email has proved to be more effective than social media in terms of clicks. Generally, emails have a guaranteed reach, unlimited content and characters, and better targeting. In short, emails get in front of your customer and get noticed.
Why should I use an Email Service Provider?
1. Emails will mostly be protected from spam boxes.
Gone are the days of receiving blasts of spam and certain emails with…well describing certain body parts.
Spam filters have become extremely smart at learning what we prefer to view. Google, with efforts from other companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and PayPal, participate in DMRC.org. This organization promotes and technically initiates delivery authentication protocols to stop spam and phishing. This is a good thing.
If you send 4000 emails from your personal computer, chances are, email filters will push it into the junk bin (even if those emails successfully send out on the server). Why? Because this technique is suspicious to computers. A lot of data damage, not to mention viruses have been distributed using this method. It’s a protection.
2. Emails are more likely to be read by the means they are delivered and help you build lists.
How it works: Email Service providers automatically confirm when users are added to a list. This ensures, 1. the user is real, and 2. the user consents to receive said communications.
When a user accepts confirmation, a proverbial communication gate is opened up and allows an email to get to the right place.
Lists are an incredible tool to build qualified customers. As a side note, be sure to add value and discounts as a way of subscription.
3. Backed and constructed by coding specialists.
Email Service Providers adhere to strict guidelines by way of email distribution lists.
Basically, the software developers know how the back-end design can let filters know, not only is it harmless, but it’s communication the reader wants.
You can also be sure emails created within any template or even a custom design will look good on any device. Google tells us that now, 67% of emails are read on a mobile device, while real conversions happen on a desktop.
4. Easy interface.
If you don’t know HTML and the mechanics, participating in email marketing is easy. It’s best to go with an email service provider simply because it will make your life easier – no coding involved.
The interface is pretty much drag and drop. It will save you time and headaches. If you’re so inclined, insert your own HTML where applicable.
I use email service providers for many of my clients and it allows me to set up a template for which anyone can easily edit and send.
Tutorials are available in abundance and any platform can be easily integrated to build lists. I use a sign-up form built from MailChimp on my WordPress website (to your right). It’s an easy-to-install plugin from either my website or as an embedded form.
5. Analyze insights and the effectiveness of your message.
A/B testing uses different versions of the same message to measure success and distribute as such. For example, if I send this blog in an email, I can evaluate different ways of communication.
A. 7 Reasons small business owners should use email marketing Service providers
B. 7 secrets marketers know about sending emails you can’t ignore
ESP’s have the ability to decipher which phrase fails and send the bulk of communication to the winning message.
Interactive graphs and trends and click maps:
See who clicked, where and how much. Find out open rates and percentages until you are blue in the face.
Click Maps give you insight into hotspots; where users are clicking on your email. It’s hugely important to understand what is successful to build on those concepts.
I find the best value with MailChimp. Here’s the skinny. It’s free – up to 2000 subscribers + 12,000 emails/month. That’s quite a value.
MailChimp will pretty much give you a back rub if you’re not careful.
Here’s the rundown of the top (among many) available options:
- List management and segmentation of those lists
- Design emails through drag and drop templates
- Create Facebook ads
- Manage custom forms and subscribers to embed on your site
- Deliver emails with e-commerce integration and customized notifications
- Analytics with a simple interface
- A/B testing, plus reports
- Mobile app technology
- Various sharing options
- RSS Feed emails – so you can automate your blog
- Integration with social
- Management of media
- A huge amount of resources and tutorials
One last point…
Trending these days is the notion of eliminating Feedburner. MailChimp, or many other services offer RSS distribution through email which uncomplicates the process. I stopped using Feedburner.
Email Service Providers give business owners so many options when it comes to communications. Since getting started is free, it’s a great way to learn and get your feet wet by building your list and sending news and/or discounts to your customers. Do it!
Do you agree/disagree or wish to add something? Be a part of the conversation and leave a comment!