You want to kick things up a notch at your company and start sending out emails. You’ve always heard that “the money is in the list.” Now, you want to test that hypothesis. Well, you need an email marketing service and an autoresponder. But there are so many of them out there. Some are really great, and some have deliverability rates so low, that you might as well send out snail mail. Here’s what to consider before you sign your name to any kind of service contract.
What Are My Goals?
If you’re a company like NextdayLenses, you sell contacts and corrective eyewear. It’s pretty obvious what your focus is. But it might not be so obvious what your long-term goals are with email marketing. Maybe you want to make sure that your customers come back to you on a regular basis so you send out reminder emails when you know a customer’s supply is about to run out.
Maybe you want to upsell customers to a better quality product. Perhaps you just want to stay in touch so that the next time they’re ready to order supplies, they’ll think of you first. Whatever the reason, you must have one. Do you want to sell? Educate? Provide discounts and promotions?
How Much Does It Cost?
All good email services cost money. Most of the better-known ones like InfusionSoft, Get Response, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Aweber offer a wide range of professionally-designed free email templates. Some services also make it easy to customise templates so that things look a little more personal and branded.
Expect to pay at least $20 per month on the low end and upwards of $100 or more per month for higher end services.
How Can I Encourage Signups?
Will you have a simple email signup form on your website? Those work – at least they used to. Today, you have to be a bit more clever. Surveys that provide customized answers to users’ questions work well. They also result in higher signup rates because people want to get the results of their survey.
You can try offering free reports, or something else that’s free, but users have become really smart. The value of PDF reports has dropped like a stone. Too many marketers have used them as thinly-veiled sales pitches and scared off a lot of the market.
Should I Design Emails Using A Template or Pay For Custom Work?
A lot of the mid to high-tier services have professional customization options. A few even have professional designers on staff who will work with you to design your email templates for you. They charge a hefty fee, of course, but it might be worth it for the professional look.
Do I Need Help With Copywriting?
This is where the rubber hits the road. If you’re not a professional copywriter, and you’re not very good at writing in general (let alone sales), it’s best to hire a professional. The fanciest design in the world won’t win out over bad copywriting. Get the words in your email right, and you could get away with sending plain HTML text. Seriously. It’s that important.
Simon Walters loves working in business. He especially enjoys blogging about ways to make technology work to effectively serve customers.