There are two ways that you can look at email marketing – and with this email marketing top tips special, we will aim to point you in the right direction. There’s a right way to do it, and there is the wrong way to do it from an ethical point of view.
A couple of years ago in the UK and Europe, GDPR came into force. Basically what that was trying to do was to try and apply some rules about what data you can and can’t use, and who you can actually send an email to.
Although there are lots of loopholes, essentially, you can only send emails to people who have expressed an interest in what you do or sell; or because they’ve given you consent.
Consent is a big part of email marketing now and just because GDPR came in, it hasn’t actually changed the people who are successfully email marketing and those who aren’t. Those people who are successful understand that consent is a really valuable thing to have. If you send you an email and to someone who has said yes, I’m happy to receive your emails, then they are much more likely to open them. They are more likely to engage with it, which means that your email marketing is going to be more successful.
If you send an email to someone who has no idea who you are and has no understanding of your business whatsoever, then they are unlikely to not look at it. They may even turn around and say, why is this person emailing me and as a consequence, the email is going to fail. What GDPR did was highlight to people that cold email is not a very good route to success for anyone.
If you want to do well at email marketing, getting permission (getting consent) is really, really important.
There are several good permission based email marketing tools out there that can only be used to email people who you’ve got permission to communicate with. For example, if I was a customer and you were selling power tools or a cordless drill – if you released a new model, and because I was a previous customer, that’s legitimate interest (it’s reasonable).
However, if you started selling holidays and communicated with me about holidays, that’s not reasonable. Communicating with me about power tools is legitimate. Being successful in marketing is treating people like you would in the real world. If you’ve basically walk up and spoke to someone completely out of the blue, they would turn around and say, who are you?
Email marketing is about building relationships and using that relationship to exchange value, give information, advice and tips – so they buy from you.
How does GDPR affect data you can collect?
GDPR is there for people who are misusing data, not protecting it and not managing it securely.
What tools can I use to manage my data?
MailChimp in its core market (which is small businesses) has got a 33% market share worldwide. That represents almost double the share of any other email marketing tool and they have got 12 million users worldwide..
Successful marketing is about two things. It’s about understanding the next step in the journey, and then secondly, how can you make it more likely that that will actually happen? So for example, to send an email, you need someone’s email address.
How are you going to capture someone’s email address?
This could be from a form on your website for example. You can make it more likely that they’re going to fill in the form by designing content to incentivise them for doing so.
- We have a way to capture data.
- We have a way to incentivise sign up
- We have a clear message
- We have a tool to manage our data and send out our campaigns
Be consistent with your tone of voice, plan your campaign timings and organise your content. Employing a consistent approach over time and building those relationships so that you can essentially sell off the back of them is key.
Here are three top tips you might want to consider to help you get started in email marketing:
- Concentrate on data that you’ve already got. Take your existing customers, put them into a system such as MailChimp and start sending emails to them.
- Understand your customers. In other words, email marketing might not actually be the right tool for you – is email something that they’re going to be comfortable using to communicate with you.
- Develop a very simple plan to capture new data ie. a form on your website and then understand once you’ve collected it, what you’re going to say. Keep it simple.