Although the importance of email marketing has been overshadowed in recent years by SEO, social media, and PPC, the value of this now ancient marketing technique should not be overlooked. While it’s true that you cannot expect the highest response rate from email marketing, that does not mean it cannot be a valuable tool for your business.
Email marketing can be used to keep your customers up to date with what is happening with your business. It is a perfect way to announce new items, distribute coupons, and promote special upcoming events. The idea is to keep your customers actively involved with your business, or at least keep it on their mind. Sending out newsletters once a week is a must for any business.
How Do I Get Subscribers?
The first step in starting your email campaign is creating a list of subscribers. Obviously, it is illegal to just find a random email address and spam them with your promotional emails, so you will have to build your list organically.
Start by adding a newsletter subscription form on your website. Make sure there is a visible link promoting this page on each page of your website. Have it say something simple like “subscribe to our newsletter.” Promote your newsletter subscription form periodically across all of your social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. This should help you slowly, but surely, build a strong subscriber list. In addition to promoting your newsletter on social media, reach out to former and current customers and clients and ask them to join the list.
Once you have a good sized subscriber list, you are ready to start your campaign. Fortunately, there are many websites that make it easy to send mass emails and newsletters to your list.
Let’s take a look at four of the best websites for email marketing.
MailChimp is the most well-known free email marketing website. It makes it extremely easy to upload your subscriber list and create custom email campaigns. MailChimp’s free package allows you to upload up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month. This should be more than enough for a small business. The site also offers newsletter templates that are very easy to design and look extremely professional. In addition to sending the emails, MailChimp gives you data reports on all of your email campaigns.
Mad Mimi’s free plan only allows you to store 100 subscribers, but it does not put a cap on how many emails you can send. 100 contacts should be enough if you are just starting out your subscriber list. This free plan includes image hosting as well as reporting and data tracking. Mad Mimi is perfect for a small business owner just starting out their email marketing endeavors. If at any point you need to expand your number of subscribers, you can upgrade to one of Mimi’s paid packages and receive more room for contacts as well as extra features.
Benchmark’s free starter plan allows for 2,000 subscribers and supports up to 14,000 emails per month. The site allows you to build an email design using your own pictures or professionally designed templates. Unlike the previous two websites mentioned, Benchmark has signup forms which you can plug into your website’s WordPress or your businesses’ Facebook page.
VerticalResponse has a free package which allows up to 1,000 contacts and 4,000 emails per month. Like Benchmark, VerticalResponse lets you create web signup forms which can be used to build up your subscriber list. In addition, you can even connect one Facebook and one Twitter account to VerticalResponse. The free email templates adhere to responsive design principles, meaning that they will adjust automatically to look great on any device they are accessed on.
What are you waiting for? Get started on your email campaign today and start bringing in new revenue to your business.