In your small business, there may come a time when you’re faced with the task of sending out a standardized email to a large group of customers or clients. Maybe you’ve just attended a conference and have met hundreds of new leads you’d like to keep in contact with. Or perhaps you’re about to release a new product or promotion and want to inform your existing customers. If you’re planning on sending out these emails one by one, I would suggest trying out an email marketing tool.
While some people choose to send out emails one by one in order to keep a personal touch, if you’d like to reach a large audience, this can get very tedious. A better option for sending out emails to a large group is to use an email marketing system, such as Constant Contact, Benchmark, or MailChimp. These programs are great because they have anti-spam measures in place, provide an “unsubscribe” option if a customer wants to opt out of future emails, and offer various templates to allow you to customize your email formatting. A lot of these programs also integrate with other software tools such as CRMs, which makes it easy to export your contacts into the program.
Regardless of the tool you use, there are a few common guidelines that will apply to all programs. Here are five tips for creating an effective email marketing campaign.
- Choose your contact list carefully: before you send out an email, ask yourself for whom this campaign intended. The more specialized your contact list is, the better, as you can tailor the information to a more specific group. For example, if you’re a financial services group that wants to let its clients know about a new student loan program, it’d make sense to send this email to only students or clients with college-aged children instead of your entire client base. If an email doesn’t apply to someone, they’re less likely to open it.
- Determine the purpose of your campaign: there are many reasons for sending out a bulk email, and each will require a different approach. Are you sending out a recurring newsletter, a welcome email to new customers, information on special promotions or introducing a new product? For example, a welcome email may include some basic product and contact information, while an email introducing a new product may include photos and pricing information. With a clear purpose in mind, you’ll be able to determine which information to include in your email while excluding any irrelevant information.
- Write a strong subject line: you want your emails to be opened, and the first thing a customer will see in their inbox is the subject line. Emails with subject lines that are short and explain the contents inside are more likely to be opened than those with URLs or too much punctuation. As a general rule, to optimize your email response rates, be clear and concise with your subject lines.
- Be personal: many tools have personalization settings that allow you to send a standardized email to a large group that substitutes in a customer’s name and company information. Utilize these features! Even if you’re sending the same email to a thousand people, if their name and place of work, for example, are included, it will feel less like a generic mass email and more like a personalized message to the customer.
- Take advantage of reporting tools: many systems like Constant Contact have metrics that show you how many of your emails have been opened. Statistics like this can be very helpful in determining how successful your email campaign was. You can test out sending emails at different times of the day or using different subject lines or formats and see which has the best open rate. After your campaign has finished, you’ll have the necessary statistics to determine the successes or pitfalls of your campaign, which will allow you to adjust future marketing plans accordingly.
Overall, if you’re planning on sending out emails to a large group of contacts, I would recommend trying out an email marketing tool. These programs can help you reduce the amount of time you spend sending emails and provide useful metrics to judge the effectiveness of your campaign. There are also often free trials to see if the program works for your business. If you’ve decided email campaigns aren’t right for your business and prefer to stick to direct mail, check out this article about the benefits of direct mail campaigns!