Business Marketing Class – Part 3
Welcome to Business Marketing Class Part 3 – Email Marketing. This week we will be discussing email marketing. Topics covered will include statistics, mailing list generation, legalities, best practices, software choices and pros and cons.
Email Marketing Statistics
“The average person gets 121 emails per day and globally the total is around 193 billion of which roughly 108 billion are business related.”The Radicati Group, Inc.
“95% of people who sign up for newsletters from a recognized brand consider the email to be useful.”2014 Mobile Behavior Report
“24% of marketers report that their emails are opened on a mobile device more than 51% of the time.”2014 State of Marketing
“88% of digital marketing organizations are using email marketing today.”2014 State of Marketing
“Emails containing social sharing buttons experience a 158% increase in click through rates.”Non Profit Hub
“The estimated economic cost of spam emails could be as high as $50 billion dollars a year with the U.S.A. shouldering $17 billion of that total.”Information Week
Email List Generation
Obviously the first step of any email campaign is to have a list of recipients. Also, this first step is frequently done incorrectly and thusly leads to a variety of problems down the road.
The first thing you need to know is that you must always refrain from any temptation to purchase a mailing list. By default, this is inherently wrong and can lead to a host of potentially serious issues. While this route may be quick and easy – any list that you purchase will not be defendable against formal complaints of unsolicited spam email. Additionally, any list that you purchase comes with no guarantee that the recipients have any interest in what you will be sending them.
Also, while we are on the subject of unsolicited spam email – if you ever have the need to lodge a complaint make a note of the following information. If the sender is using a Gmail account just forward the email with the headers included to email@example.com Also, Gmail or any other domain can always be reported to the Federal authorities. All you have to do is forward the email with headers included to firstname.lastname@example.org
So now the next obvious question is what is the correct method for creating a worthwhile and legal emailing list? The first thing you need to know is that if a formal complaint is lodged against you for unsolicited spam email – the burden of proof will be on you to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the recipient did in fact authorize you to send them emails.
The best and safest way to handle this is to require an email verification that the signup was authentic. For example, if someone clicks a button on your website to sign up this is not sufficient because someone who knows their email address could have done this without their consent.
This is why you should always send them an email to notify them of the signup while also asking them to click a link to verify the authenticity of the signup. Some people refer to this as “double opt-in” but I like to call it email verified sign up.
Aside from requiring email verification as mentioned above, there are a variety of options to gain sign ups. You could put a call to action button or form on your website, you could include a sign up pitch on outgoing emails and you can include a sign up pitch on social media content, video content and any and all other forms of marketing that you might be using.
Email Marketing Legalities
The first thing you must realize is that email laws vary by country and even by state. This means that depending on where your recipients are located you need to be vigilant to follow the law that is in effect for their location. Below are a list of very good resources:
Also bear in mind that you need to be aware of and follow the regulations of any software service that you might be using such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.
Most generally a few of the basic requirements for email solicitations are as follows:
- The recipient must have genuinely authorized you to email them
- You must explain how the recipient can stop future emails
- You must have a link which allows the user to stop future emails
- You must honor the opt-out request quickly and permanently
- You cannot use deceptive information in the email headers
- You cannot use deceptive subject information
- If your email is an advertisement you must make this clear
- You have to display your business and physical location
Be thorough in knowing and following the law as each violation of the CAN-SPAM Act can carry penalties up to $16,000 per each contested email! Also, you could face extra fines such as $250.00 for each email sent after a user opts out and potentially $750.00 per each email sent out after a user opts out IF they are able to show that you purposefully ignored their opt-out request!
If you do the math it becomes clear that even a few emails gone wrong could devastate your business financially. If you email to Canada be super wary as they can fine you as much as $10 million dollars for each email offense! Another draconian example would be Japan where the fines are up to $1 million yen and the UK at up to $500,000 pounds for a serious breach.
Lastly, never assume that you are in the clear because you hired some company to handle your email marketing for you. Even if they are the ones at fault your business will ultimately be the one who carries the legal and financial liability.
Email Marketing Best Practices
The very first things on this list are to properly generate your mailing list and to then be prudent in obeying all applicable laws and regulations. Past that there are other techniques which can improve your success rate such as:
- Include high quality images
- Make sure your email displays well on tablets and smart phones
- When possible include the recipient’s name in the opening line
- Provide links to relevant landing pages
- Include links to your social media pages
- Allow some emails to be non-solicitations such as friendly greetings for birthdays and holidays
- Use A/B testing to learn which formats are most effective
- Include obvious “call to action” that compels a response
- Cull your list for opt-outs and bounces
- Monitor responses and success and track them for reference
- Add value by offering sales, rebates, bonuses, etc.
- Enhance your results by following up via direct mail, phone call, etc.
- Be sure that your emails match your brand’s look and feel
Email Marketing Software
While smaller campaigns can actually be done with a simple email client like Microsoft Outlook, using a professional email marketing software provides additional benefits. These include helpful tools for creating the email, organizing lists, sending the emails and monitoring the response.
A quick list of 10 popular email marketing software options which you can check into:
Email Marketing Pros and Cons
- Fairly inexpensive
- Can be very effective
- Builds branding
- Keeps you in front of interested people
- Effective on desktop, laptops and mobile
- Can be personalized
- Easy to track results
- Difficult & time consuming to generate a good list
- Formal complaints for unsolicited spam email
- Requires ongoing maintenance to keep the list healthy
- User may perceive it as spammy
- Your domain/IP could find itself on a blacklist
- User response may deteriorate over time
- Knowing and following all applicable laws & regulations
WEEK 1: INTRODUCTIONS AND OVERVIEW
Member introductions, overview of each class, marketing overview, marketing statistics, marketing trends. Go To Introductions And Overview Class
WEEK 2: KEYWORDS
Keywords defined, keywords history, types of keywords, importance of keywords, keyword research, keyword examples, keyword tools, keyword implementation. Go To Keywords Class
WEEK 3: EMAIL MARKETING
Email marketing overview, mail list generation/acquisition, legalities, best practices, pros & cons, software choices, results monitoring.
WEEK 4: SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING (ORGANIC & PAID)
Social media overview, social media platforms, social media demographics, organic social media marketing, paid social media marketing, best practices, results monitoring, pros & cons. Go To Social Media Marketing Class
WEEK 5: SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (ORGANIC)
Organic search engine marketing overview, on page seo elements, off page seo elements, local citations, backlinks, penalty avoidance, algorithm updates, webmastering, analytics, pros & cons. Go To Organic Search Engine Marketing Class
WEEK 6: SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (PAID)
Paid search engine marketing overview, search engine choices, types, account setup, account monitoring, results monitoring, non-profit grants, pros & cons. Go To Paid Search Engine Marketing Class
WEEK 7: VIDEO MARKETING
Video marketing overview, best practices, video production, video marketing channels, pros & cons. Go To Video Marketing Class
WEEK 8: TRADITIONAL MARKETING
Traditional marketing overview, print advertising, radio advertising, television advertising, direct mail marketing, billboard advertising, hosting seminars and workshops, attending trade shows, networking group participation, door to door selling, pros & cons. Go To Traditional Marketing Class. Go To Traditional Marketing Class