Dave Thorpe Head of Business Growth 10 Steps To Improve Your Online Sales. Step 9: Email Marketing Hi, I’m Dave from Indiespring and this series of Blogs is to help you improve your online sales yourself, with this instalment being all about Email Marketing. Not everyone has the budget to afford marketing companies to support them in growing their business, especially while they are just starting out. These blogs will hopefully give you some best practices and tips to set yourself along the right path to growing your business. Why aren’t you email marketing? No tool in your marketing toolbox is as valuable and necessary to you as your email marketing programme! Here’s why: Email done well has a great return on investment, higher than any other digital marketing, including search and social media. It extends your reach, allowing you to connect with all your other marketing channels. Email marketing can be a valuable asset for your user experience. It can also help support the message of your marketing and business. 3 tips to make your email marketing a success Content This may sounds like an obvious one and is also covered in depth in another blog. However when it comes to email marketing, content is extremely important. How many sales emails arrive in your inbox everyday and are never opened? I can wager it’s lots! To avoid this your emails must be based on advice and knowledge that you are giving away. Generating simple self help guides or new industry information in your email campaign will help make sure that the content of your emails is of interest and value to your audience. This means that over time they will come to trust the emails you send to them, giving them a much greater chance of being more accepting of any promotions you may wish to send them later on. Pro-tip: Don’t forget your Call To Action. Without it then what’s the point? This follows on from the above statement. The email marketing campaign you’re running will be driving a business goal (such as increased sales). But if there is no call to action within the email you are making it much more difficult for your audience to follow on to the reason for your campaign. Volume and Frequency Another key consideration in email marketing is the volume and frequency with which you send emails out. Some of the things I’m about to mention may seem trivial, however they’re missed regularly by people setting up their own email marketing campaigns. You need to show Internet Service Providers (ISPs, such as BT, Sky and Virgin) that you are consistent. Sending 10 emails one day and 1000 the next will make it look like you’re spamming to ISP. That will ruin all the effort you have already put into creating your campaign. By breaking up your volume you will be able to increase this over time to target more people quickly for future campaigns. Just be wary of throwing yourself into it to fast and looking dodgy. Also frequency is important. If, as I mentioned before, you’re trying to build up trust with your audience, then dropping in their inbox on a consistent basis will definitely help this. Now, how frequent is too frequent is up for debate, but assuming you’re busy running the rest of your business, once a week on Tuesday at 10am would be a great starting point for consistency (wink wink). If you are consistent and your content is good you will become part of the your audience’s routine. They will take time to read your email on a topic they are interested in and you will become their trusted adviser. Obviously as consumers we’re much more likely to buy from someone we trust, even if we pay a premium for that. List building This is a strangest of my top tips but list building is a difficult one. It is really tempting to buy a list and begin emailing straight away. This isn’t always wrong. However, unsolicited emails to people who have not opted in or even heard of you means you are starting on the back foot and you have a high chance of being ignored no matter how good your content is. Once you have reached that spam folder you are not going to get back out. Even worse – this sort of behaviour will be illegal soon. The best lists are grown organically. It is vital to begin building your own list full of: people you have met; current suppliers and clients, and groups you are part of. Most importantly of all – which sounds counter intuitive – give people the choice to opt out. You do not want to ruffle up someone the wrong way if they do not want your emails. This is especially key to people who your business depends on such as your client base and your suppliers. These are just 3 tips of many I could have talked about on email marketing. It really is a great tool for growing your business. If you ever want to talk about anything iIve mentioned in this blog or need any further advice on email marketing, please feel free to contact me! Thanks for reading and I hope you are finding our guide 10 Ways To Improve Your Online Sales useful. See you soon!