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Email Marketing - A 'How to' guide

Considering all other digital marketing options available today, email marketing might sound like something out of a history book. But it's just as relevant now as it was 10 years ago! Whether you’re just starting out on your eDM journey or looking to relaunch an existing e-marketing approach, follow this guide for steps to success.

First, the facts:

More people signing up for email accounts - the number of e-mail users worldwide is set to reach 2.9 billion users by 2019 (Statista).

Customers who didn’t make a purchase on an e-commerce site but who later received multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who only get one follow up email. (Experian, 2016). 

How to set up effective email marketing campaigns:

1. Decide on the frequency of your email communications

How often will you distribute your e-newsletters - one-off, weekly, monthly, or quarterly? Being frequent with your comms helps build brand awareness and to stay on your subscribers’ radar.

2. Choose your resources

Newsletter software resources will do everything from managing your database/mailing list to offering customised templates, newsletter distribution and analytics. Some are free (MailChimp) for the basics and others come with monthly, yearly or per-campaign options. Choose carefully based on your needs and think about the long-term benefits of committing to one service provider!

3. Get planning

Before you start writing a newsletter, consider what other elements you will want to include in it - from written email copy, video, infographics to advertisements. Will it be to make an announcement, welcome new customers, call for donations, discounts or incentives? Consider personalising your campaigns - Statista (2016) said that the open rate for e-mails with a personalised message was 18.8%, whereas those without personalisation were just 13.1% (email open rates average around 34%).

4. Build a database

Take a look in your ‘little black book’ for a list of professional contacts - current or former customers, people who've shown interest in your business, suppliers, contractors, friends, family. It takes just a few steps to import your contact list (usually in .csv format) to the newsletter resource. Make sure you keep the database updated and check it before every e-newsletter goes out. Remove people who asked to be unsubscribed and add new registrations as they come in (if you don’t have a system that automates this for you).

5. Make your content awesome

Stay on brand with your messaging, use concise language and an enticing subject line. Use images, videos and infographics. Target your customers’ interests - see their preferences through the topics in emails they open and the links they visit. This will help you tailor email communications more specifically in the future.