Articles & Features

The less complicated way to Email Marketing- Learn it from a Rookie.

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A number of people have asked me how we manage our email promotions seamlessly. You’ll agree with me that having to send out Newsletters to a database of over 4,000 email recipients every week, that is apart other promotions we run, it would be such a daunting task and practically impossible to send such mails if you are doing it manually.

Before I stumbled on the email marketing services we now use, we had gotten blocked and our emails stalled a number of times for sending several ‘bulk emails’ within a short time frame as we were suspected of spamming.
That is apart from the fact that it is such a tedious exercise trying to send thousands of mails manually and the finishing is usually not very tidy- a lot of editing, forwarding, etc. makes it a handful to manage.

The purpose of email marketing is to keep businesses connected with their customers and if you are to effectively reach a large number of people via email, using the right email marketing service is sine-qua-non for your business.

While it is advisable to have a marketing budget for your business and probably hire a consultant to help manage your email and social media strategy, this is a DIY approach and considering that I am not the most Tech savvy person in town- and I am very certain about this, it is actually easy to get a hang of.
Having been conned by a so-called Social Media consultant who walked away with the money and couldn’t deliver on the job, I had to go learn the basics and getting the right support from the platform we chose has helped us to get some result so far.

There are a number of email marketing services you can choose from- iContact, Mailchimp, Campaigner, Mad-mini, Pin porte, Get response, Graphic mail, constant contact, etc. and the good news is that they all offer a free package you can start with.

We currently use two of these services and I am happy to share with you about the one works that better for us and why we are happy using them.

1) You can start with zero-budget:
Who doesn’t like freebies? Especially when you are starting out in business and don’t have a fat budget for marketing or hiring a consultant then boot strapping is the way to go. Like I said, most email marketing services offer a free package, although this may restrict the number and frequency of emails you can send, by hey if you don’t have a very large database, this works quite fine for a start.

2) Reduced mail bounce rate:
Generally Email marketing services have an anti-spam policy that protects recipients from receiving unsolicited
mails and also gives them the option to opt out of your mailing list if they are no longer interested. How this works for you is that it helps to reduce your mail bounce rate and dead weights (e.g. email addresses that are no longer functional) and you can have a healthier mailing list and also be sure that the people receiving your mail are those who are interested in your subject.

3) Simple and Effective designs:
Mad Mini has an easy to use template for designing your promotions in simple steps- add text, insert pictures, choose theme, edit, etc. What’s more, they offer to help you design a banner for free in case you don’t have one. If after trying you are still lost for ideas, there is a quick video tutorial on the page which runs for about 2minutes and you’ll be good to go.

4) Email Automation:
You can schedule your promotion indicating what day, time and frequency you want it to be sent- how else do you think we keep up with sending our Newsletters to you same day, same time, every week?

5) Free Tutorials and support:
When we signed up, we not only got a Video tutorial on how to use the platform, we also had someone from the Mad-mimi team contact us to give us a step-by-step “how to” and we got quite some follow up in the days that followed. It helped us to learn the ropes faster.

6) Social media Syndication:
With the RSS feed, our latest posts automatically find their way into our newsletter and other Social Media platforms that are linked to our blog. This would mean that your posts are trending on facebook, twitter, Instagram, google plus, etc. while you are sleeping.

7) Best Customer service ever!
For me this is the prize winner- Mad mini has the best customer service I have come across (I promise that I was not paid for this). I’ll give you a case in point. A while back, I had tried to reschedule our promotion manually and in the process, tampered with the setting- that meant our newsletter wasn’t going out that week. So I sent an SOS mail and I got the first response in 13minutes. Within an hour, I had been attended to by 3 Customer Service representatives who were all on hand to resolve the problem and the beauty of it all is how one person picks up from where the previous left off so seamlessly, I could see the teamwork. Their services have been especially supportive and come highly recommended by me.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this tip I learnt as applies not only to email marketing but most services you’ll get online- if you are just starting out, use the FREE package first and when you get full value for it, you can upgrade to a premium paid package. Apart from saving money, you also get to test the services before deciding whether you want to pay for it or not.

Go try it and thank me later!

Bukola is Founder, SMEBizInfo.com and apart from being a blogger, She is a travel consultant with over 13years industry experience. She is passionate about helping small businesses harness opportunities to grow their business and also runs a group on Facebook called ‘WomenOwned’. You can be reach her by mail- info@smebizinfo.com

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