If you are brand new to marketing or perhaps have been doing it for some years, you’ll already know that part of your marketing mix should be eMarketing campaigns.
eMarketing (known as electronic marketing) is when marketing is done online. This could be using different methods such as blogs, videos, and social media.
While working at ZC Social Media, I have had many people come up to me asking where to start when it comes to eCampaigns.
There are many online programmes these days such as Infusionsoft, Dotmailer and Mailchimp that allows you to be creative, to construct an HTML email and to target your customers using the eMarketing method.
I have used all three of these programmes and each one has its benefits.
- Mailchimp – This is a very user friendly programme and can be picked up by most marketers. It’s great for any small to medium sized businesses
- Infusionsoft / Dotmailer – This works in a much similar way to Mailchimp but is a step up in terms of marketing communications. Both Infusionsoft and Dotmailer allows you to set up one campaign with multiple actions against it. This means that depending on what your customers click on, means there could be “trigger” campaigns that sends further details to them
Seeing that most of the people starting out have asked me “where do I begin with eMarketing” I am going to talk to you in particular about the Mailchimp programme.
Data and Customers
Before you even start to create your campaign, you need to think about your target audience. Who is the message for? Is it a product or service you would like your customers to know about?
There are several steps in Mailchimp to complete your campaign and the first part is your “List”.
A list is your customers. Do you already have a database, if you don’t, you need to start to pull one together. Just remember before sending to anyone, your customers need to “opt-in” to receive your emails. If you have a small list, think of ways to build this up. Do you run events, if so, produce feedback forms where people can sign up to your newsletters. Have you got a “sign up” page on your website? In the footers of your emails, do you have a “signature block” to allow people to also opt-in?
Once you have your list in place, think about what “data fields” you will be uploading to Mailchimp. It’s always good to have a “first name” for all your contacts so that this could be mail-merged into your eCampaign to make it more personal.
In addition, try and add as much information as possible against each contact as you may want to use the “filter” section within Mailchimp.
Recipients and Filtering
Once you have uploaded your data into Mailchimp you can then begin your marketing campaign.
Mailchimp campaigns are set out in FIVE stages, the first being “Recipients” which is your database that has previously been uploaded.
Rather than sending to your entire list, think about targeting a section of people by filtering down your list.
Perhaps look at the following columns:
- Town, target a particular area
- Size of company, are you targeting a small to medium sized business or perhaps corporates?
- Job titles, is there a specific audience your message would appeal to more?
The next stage of your campaign is the initial setup. Who is the email coming from? What is the subject line you are going to use?
- From: Don’t always use your company name, think about if this is a personal message or not, if so, do you want this coming from yourself?
- Subject line: This is so important to try and get right. Think of a hook and something creative. Be careful not to use words which may mean your email goes into peoples “spam folder”.
In Mailchimp there is an option to do an A/B split test that allows you to send your email out to a small part of your list with two different subject lines to see which has a better “open rate”.
The third section of your campaign is using one of the many Mailchimp templates. You need to use what is on offer as these templates work on all mobile devices as well as your desktop computer.
The design section is where you use your creative flair! Your screen is set up in half with the left-hand side being used as a preview of your email campaign and the right-hand side used as an editing panel.
There are many things you can do in this section from a “drag and drop” feature and the option of changing the look and feel of your email to co-inside with your companies branding colours.
Have you remembered to add a “call to action” near the top of your email? If you are using social media channels, remember to add these links to your campaign as well.
Depending on your marketing message, are there “hyperlinks” to take your customer to different parts of your website? These click-throughs become very important when looking at the reports afterwards.
Once you have put everything in place, remember to send a test to yourself for any mistakes.
The final section is your confirmation page. This displays all your previous steps in a “tick sheet” style summary.
One area that needs to be updated is the “plain text” section. This is a simplified version of the HTML that you created in the “design” part.
When this is all done, you are good to send out your message! You’ll be presented with two options; do you send your message “Now” or would you like to “schedule” your campaign for some time in the future? Choose what you feel is right for you.
Most people think that once a message has been sent that you job is done! Unfortunately, if this is you, then you are missing so many possible leads and future customers.
It’s so important that after a campaign has been sent that you go back to the “report” about 24 hours later. Within this section, you can see who has opened your campaign, who has clicked on what and you can see a “heat map” which displays your email but shows which area of your campaign has had the best reaction.
Look at this information and follow up.
In summary, if done correctly, this is an excellent marketing communication method that could bring in new customers and results.