July 12, 2011 Jason

Out-Grouping Groupon part II

 

 

Email Marketing for Your Business

A few posts back, we wrote about the cost of some of the social media coupon sites like Groupon, CouvonSwarmJam, and EthicalDeal; how they work, and what the costs are to your business.  This post is going to look at how to develop your own email database, and what you can do with it.  Why give over 75% away if you don’t have to?

Gather emails

You hopefully have something in place to gather emails from your clients, but if you aren’t doing that yet, here are a few tools that can help:

  • Facebook Apps: If you have a fanpage, you can install apps from constantcontact, mailchimp, icontact, and many other email providers.  If you already have a bulk email program, check with them to see if they have an app available
  • Website plugins: Even if your bulk email client doesn’t have a Facebook app, it’s pretty much a given that they will have a widget or plugin for your website.  You can usually customize it to help it fit in with your page, and then install it yourself if you’re comfortable with HTML.  Or send the link to your webmaster and have them install it for you.  Just remember to place it on every page of your website.
  • In-store signup: Provide your clients with an opportunity to get more info about you.  Business card fishbowl, email signup sheet,   contest dropbox, etc – but remember to let them know what it will be used for (let them opt-in)

The key to success with any email program: the info you’re providing has to be worth the price of giving up their personal information and the time it takes to read your email.  If you don’t give them value, you will see your subscriber stats dropping.  And that’s not a good thing.

Email Marketing Providers

There are many different options for you to choose to contact your clients.  You don’t have to stick to one, but once you grow your database substantially there’s more value in keeping the same program.  Some of the features to look for in your next bulk email marketing program:

  • Ease of use: The easier it is, the more likely you will feel comfortable to use it.  Many of the providers have excellent “how to” email marketing  tutorials, often with easy to follow videos
  • Trackability: After content, statistics are one of the most important parts of any email marketing campaign.  Your email marketing providers should be able to tell you:
    • Who opened the email
    • What they clicked on (should be data on each link)
    • If they shared it with anyone (forward or through social media)
    • Bounce rates (emails that weren’t deliverable)
    • Spam Reports (number of times your email was marked as spam – one or more is bad)
    • Opt-Outs (people who were on your email list and chose to unsubscribe via this email)
    • Templates: There should be a variety of options for you to create a custom email campaign, as well as the ability to create/import your own code
    • Testing: once your email database grows, it’s important that you split test different concepts to ensure you are getting the best performance from each email you send.  A good email marketing client will have tools available for you to do at least some simple a/b testing
    • Price: It’s got to be something that can fit in your budget, but the lowest price options aren’t always the best, nor the cheapest.  There are some add-ons that can drive your price up if you aren’t careful.

Here are a few bulk email marketing services. In a future post we will do an in-depth comparison:

  • MailChimp – Very low cost option, pretty well known
  • ConstantContact – Large variety of themes to choose from, very well known
  • iContact – Great looking templates, good social media tools, and a decent price point
  • VerticalResponse – Not as well known as some of the other products, but the postcard directmail option is quite intriguing, as well as the ability to do online surveys (available from other providers too.)
  • GraphicMail – some interesting options for mobile campaigns/text marketing

 

What do you want to know about email marketing?  Leave a question in the comments and we will build it into the next post or find you an answer asap.

 

You Don’t Have to Choose Groupon – Stop Giving Away Your Profit

 

 

 

 

 

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