Frequently asked questions about email marketing part 1: Getting started
Question 1: Why should I do email marketing?
- Email has become an important communication channel for both companies and consumers. Almost everyone reads emails and have their own inboxes, often both professional and personal.
- The amount of spam decreases due to high quality spam filters. There is thus more room and tolerance for emails that are wanted and inspiring.
- Email marketing is a cost effective, environmentally sustainable and a personal channel.
- Email marketing tools have evolved over time. Today the tools are versatile, user-friendly and trustworthy. No IT-skills or coding experience is needed to create graphically appealing and functioning messages.
- Measurability speaks for its own. It is undeniably one of the biggest advantages of email marketing and other digital marketing methods. While sending out paper leaflets or an ad in a print magazine, you never know how many of the receivers or who exactly saw it.
- Email is quick and effective. Moreover, it's not bounded by country borders.
Question 2: Who should I send newsletters to?
Regardless of industry or business, every company and community has something to tell about themselves and someone to tell it to. Here's just a few examples of the possible target groups:
- Owners and employees
- Big audience (anyone who wants to subscribe to your newsletter)
In this part, we can't over-exaggerate the importance of opt-in lists. The people who subscribe themselves are usually your most loyal readers. To learn how to build up opt-in lists, read our tips for growing your email list.
Question 3: How do I choose the right companion?
Choosing the right companion for email marketing is not an easy task. If the field is not previously known to you, it might be quite difficult to compare different alternatives. This shortlist might help you out:
- Who is really behind the service and software? Does the offered software entail source code made by a third party? Who can access the material and information you load into the system?
- If problems occur, which country's laws are applied?
- You might be a satisfied user of the software before you notice you need some special feature that doesn't yet exist in the tool. Can the service provider tailor this feature to you and do they have access to the source code? Moreover, have they done such development before?
- What if everything goes wrong? Do you get assistance and help from the supplier? If your supplier is in fact the retailer at the very end of the supply chain it might take quite a while to solve the problem. If on the other hand you're in straight contact with the team that actually developed the software it's must faster to solve problems.
- Which part of the supply chain is your supplier really at? Are they selling something that one company developed, another one modified and a third one imported?
- A trustworthy company will show their names and faces when they present themselves over web. Don't be afraid to ask the company's background information and the amount of emails sent through their software. Be brave enough to compare.
- Does the supplier use their own dedicated servers for sending? Don't set up any software on your own servers. This would make them difficult to update or updating might cost you. Moreover, the risk of being labeled as a spammer increases tremendously if your company's own servers are used for bigger deliveries.
- What about information security issues and backups? Make sure you've seen an information security description.
- Re-check that the supplier is using several servers to send out the email traffic. If one the server crashes for one reason or another your email traffic is then secured.
- Make sure the supplier doesn't just talk the talk but walks the walk. Subscribe to their newsletter while you check their website. Ask for references and a demo of their tool.
- Check their compatibility with other systems. Does the supplier offer integrations for CRM systems, for example? Integrations might not be important to you right now but might become important later on when your needs and ambitions grow.
Question 4: How do I come up with topics?
- Planning is the key. Don't start composing your newsletter by saying "I need to send this out tomorrow, what do I write about?". Instead gather ideas constantly and write them down. Engage others in the company: often sales people or technical support team might know exactly what the customers want to read and know about. Don't forget to ask your subscribers as well.
- Learn best practices from others. Subscribe to many different newsletters and see how the others are doing it. Pick out things you like and apply. Invest time on content, after all it is the king.
- Be brave and innovative. Always measure and test. The good thing about email marketing is that you can always measure your results and see what worked well and which parts not that well. Remember to test, test, test and change things accordingly.
Is there something more you need to know with getting started that we forgot to mention? Post your comment below or ask straight from us.
LianaMailer is a versatile and user-friendly tool for composing and sending out newsletters. Book a free demo with us or read more details of our product if you're interested.