Email Is the 2nd Most Important Tool a Small Business Can Have

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For Hispanics, especially, mobile is hugely important:

26% of Hispanic internet users use their smartphone to access the web, which includes email.

So, it is basic that your mass mailing provider be mobile friendly and that your messages are structured so that clients accesing them via mobile can read them well.

The four steps:

Step 1 – Assemble your database.

1. The easiest way to create your database is to export your contacts to Excel. If you use Outlook, go to “File” then “options” then choose Export:

2. Once in Excel, open the file, delete all the content you don’t need (if you did not export only the email addresses, name and company of the person) and assemble a simple base like this.

Notice the use of filters so that you can order and re-order the list by type of campaign, job titles, companies and any other factor

  • You might want to add whether the person is a medium-sized company, a wealthy client or any other classification
  • Separate the first and last names because all mass mailers allow you the possibility of personalizing your email and this will increase the open rate

Once you have your list well segmented and reasonably clean (don’t worry, all mass mailers automatically remove duplicates) you can select the mailer.

Step 2 – Choose a mass mailer.

Personally, I use MailChimp, but, as I said there are dozens. If you don’t have one, go into their site and sign up for an account. Many companies have free (though limited) accounts.

 

Once there, follow the prompts to establish your account.

Your next step: Create your mailing lists.

My recommendation is that you create a mailing list per campaign (e.g., retention, referral) so that when it comes to mailing to these lists you avoid any potential confusion. Creating a list is amazingly simple, just import it directly from Excel into the website.

This is the kind of information you will be seeing:

Once you have your list, you can also combine them, purge them and work with them in a variety of ways:

 

Step 3 – Create your Message

Every mass mail provider provide a huge range of templates that you can either use directly or modify to suit your needs.

This is just an example of the kind of screen you will be seeing:

After this you will be choosing colors, typepography, sizes, etc.

The best way to make sure that the entire process goes smoothly is to have everything prepared beforehand. This includes:

  • Writing all the copy for each campaign prior to creating templates
  • Choosing the pictures that will go in the templates (remember that there ARE copyright laws and that you must obtain permission to use any pictures)
  • Creating your logo in camera-ready form
  • Having complete contact information: name, phones (office and cell), email, address, website, even a microsite where the recipient of the email can go for any specific offers

Preparation is key to a successful email program.

Getting help.

By now you are probably saying “I don’t have time for this” and throwing your hands up in despair. This is where spending a bit of money pays off handsomely: hire a couple of experts. At the very least, you should be able to find a copywriter and an art director who can help you for a few hundred dollars. The keys to hiring freelance help are easy:

  • Use your network to find referrals
  • Have a clear brief of what you need to accomplish
  • Have all the information ready in a single place
  • Be realistic in your cost expectations. You don’t work for free, neither do they.

Finally, just publish your mailer.

Step 4 – Results Analysis

Once you have sent your emails, you will start receiving information from your mass mailer. This is just an example, but you can see:

1.The basic information: the name of the campaign, how many people you sent it to and the subject.

2.How many recipients opened your email. In this case, 176 people opened my email, 44.7%, higher than the average I have been getting for the list itself (35.9%) and way higher than for the industry in general (17.5%)

3.The number of people who clicked on your mailing. Again, 43 people clicked on my email, or 10.9%, higher than that for the list in general (7.5%) and way higher than for the industry average (2.3%)

Continuing on, you can see:

  • 10 email addresses bounced
  • 5 people unsubscribed

There are many other datapoints you can get including where your readers are coming from, how many times they click (some click more than once) and much more. But, initially, you should concentrate on a just a few metrics:

  • How many people opened your email
  • How many clicked
  • How many requested more information or filled out the contact request
  • Naturally… did any business happen?

Ideally, as you do more and more emailing, you will also have many different emails to compare and will be able to draw conclusions as to what works and what doesn’t.

And, naturally, all the mass mailers have a huge amount of information, white papers and research that will help you create and manage email programs successfully.

Bottom Line

Nothing is ever just easy. However, establishing a successful email program is among the easiest things you can do to increase your sales:

1.You already have a database

2.It is easy to use established mass mailers

3.There is ample information to analyze

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Small Business Email Marketing Basics- Entrepreneur Minuto [Video]

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Marcelo Salup
Marcelo Salup
Marcelo Salup's 30+ years career in advertising covers a wide range of everything. A wide range of roles -he began his career on the creative side, won 2 Addies, changed to media, included strategic planning and consumer insight and has been an agency owner several times. A wide range of venues: Spain, Latin America, International and the U.S.  A wide range of clients that go from automotive through banking, electronics, fast food, soft drinks and much more. His professional philosophy can be summed up in four words: “Only performance is real”. Today, he runs a successful strategic planning consulting,  Website

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