From newsletter to email marketing: why and how?

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6, June 2018

You will undoubtedly have heard the term email marketing. What exactly is it and how can you use it to your benefit as a small organisation or independent contractor? Perhaps you already send out newsletters or emails to keep clients updated on your developments and offers. Email marketing goes one step further than “old-fashioned” newsletters. Both in terms of the content of your newsletter and in terms of the system you use for it. As it happens, use of email marketing is closely related to the appropriate email marketing software.

I can imagine that you have a number of questions first. Why should you use email marketing in the first place? How does email marketing work? Why is the right software so important? I would be happy to explain. I will also explain how to articulate your message in an email and what functionalities the software offers in that respect. Eventually, you can even develop your email marketing into the ultimate marketing channel. That could be lucrative, for you too!

Why should you use email marketing?

You might not think so on the face of it, but you actually reach your target group in a very personal way with email marketing. This creates loyal clients (who keep coming back) and ultimately, the aim of email marketing is to increase your turnover. Email marketing is a cheap channel compared to advertisements, a website, or an exhibition stand. DDMA data driven marketing research recently showed that email is still one of this year’s investment successes. You can use email marketing for B2C purposes if you have a webshop for example, but email marketing is also a suitable channel for B2B. For example, if you have a brand and want to communicate with the different dealers of your brand.

Is it worthwhile for my (small) brand?

Many organisations and independent contractors think email marketing is too much too soon for them and wonder what size database is needed to make it a worthwhile form of marketing. Marketing automation, the automation of processes, can have added value for small organisations in particular. For example, Spierziekten Nederland devotes just 0.2 FTE to email marketing (read the case study). It takes a little time to set up, but you barely need to do anything after that and it delivers nothing but benefits.

How does email marketing work?

With email marketing, you send a relevant, personal email at the right time, without having to worry about it. Contrary to old-fashioned newsletters, email marketing revolves around automation and personalisation of emails. By automation, I mean setting up a simple flow, for example. Someone becomes a client, places an order and automatically receives a confirmation email. Two days later, an automatic email follows, with a question as to whether the product was received in good order. Four days later, an automatic email follows with a suitable offer. After a month, you present the new collection to the same person. A number of simple settings in your email marketing software enable you to approach subscribers personally and display the right content to them. Because the email has a personal tone “Hey Iris, have you seen our new collection yet?” with images and text about the items in which Iris is interested, she is more likely to go to the landing page and make a purchase.

Also consider automatic personal emails such as a birthday email, for example.

Email marketing software ensures your emails are received

An email is pointless if it does not arrive in the addressee’s inbox. A very important and perhaps less obvious advantage of email marketing software is that your emails are less likely to be regarded as spam and thus do not end up in the spam folder or bounce back. In addition, you can easily manage subscribers and unsubscribers, thus retaining the quality of your mailing list. The company that supplies the software has a team of specialists to help you with that and ensure as many emails as possible reach the inboxes of your contacts. Webpower has a successful delivery rate of 99.3% and I am very proud of that.

How do I set up a database?

If you want to use email marketing, it is important that you set up a database of appropriate contacts you can email. For example, you can place a pop-up on your website where you offer people a discount if they register for your newsletter, or you can include a link with your signature. There are still plenty of other ways you can develop a database. However, ensure you adhere to the new privacy legislation (GDPR) when collecting email addresses. A software supplier can advise you accordingly.

What should you put in your emails?

In addition to text and images, email marketing software has various functionalities you can use for increased conversion. For example, create a sense of urgency (offer valid for 4 days only!) with a countdown timer, use a fun video in your email, or engage in interaction by asking people for feedback on your email. You can also use an events manager to manage the organisation of an event more easily. I recently wrote a blog item about that. Be inspired by the latest email trends.

Can I operate email marketing software myself?

Yes, you can. Most email marketing software is set up in such a way that you can operate it yourself – usually after training. In Webpower for example, we use a drag & drop editor that enables you to drag blocks of text and/or images into the email and click it together in an instant. It is also easy to view statistics and carry out tests that ensure your next email achieves even better results.

How far can I go?

There are plenty of options for expanding email marketing into the ultimate marketing channel. For example, you can switch to sms-marketing, because sms is totally back in fashion. Eventually, you can also use marketing automation, which entails automation and optimisation of your marketing and sales campaigns. You can also use lead scoring and lead nurturing by awarding points to the contacts that click your emails the most, or visit your website most frequently. One step at a time, you can then move on to dialogue marketing, in which you engage in automated, personalised dialogue.

These concepts might still appear a little removed from you, but what I am saying is that ultimately, you can go very far. Allow your email marketing to develop along with your organisation. Start small and develop little by little. The organisations with the most advanced email marketing operations also started small.

What software should you choose?

You can naturally opt for free email software. The great advantage of software like Webpower is our personal support department and our expertise in the field of email marketing, which we share with you. We help you on your way step by step, from the layout of a newsletter to offering input about strategic use of email marketing. Smaller entrepreneurs can start with a variant such as Webpower GO, with support from a marketing agency if desired. You can progress to Webpower depending on your needs. We have excellent standard solutions, but with the option of customised software connections and customised templates. Would you like to have a no obligation chat? No problem. We would love to hear from you, because we take everyone’s challenge seriously, with passion, energy and enthusiasm.

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