Generally speaking, email marketing is still very effective especially if you want to increase brand awareness, point people towards other channels, promote products and services or nudge people along their buying journey.
But before you just jump straight in, there is legislation around marketing by email that you must comply with unless you want to be fined and fall foul of the law. You can find more detailed information in our section on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) but essentially you should only market to people who have expressly asked to be added to your email marketing list; you must make it easy for them to opt out at any time they want; you must be transparent about who you are and the purpose of your email when you do contact them (there can be no hidden surprises!).
Mostly people capture email addresses either from past bookings or from website enquiries. Because of the GDPR regulations you will need to be careful what data you hold on your customers/potential customers, but it is customary to keep these on a database for ease of future communication.
Excel or Google spreadsheets are equally good to store and manage customer contact information. You can also manage permissions on these sheets.
There are also free and paid for Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs) that can be very helpful if you want to send regular updates to your customers by email.
We’ve included 5 of the most popular below:-
There are a number of areas where e-mail marketing can be very beneficial for your business, for example
- You may publish a regular newsletter with updates on your business or the industry and emails are an inexpensive method of distributing these to everyone on your mailing list.
- Or perhaps you have a time bound promotion running that you want to let your customers know about quickly.
- Or if you’ve built up a loyal following, there may be exclusive offers available for repeat customers. And with email marketing you are able to assign specific emails to specific customer groups – allowing you to reward loyalty at different levels.
- You might even decide to target individual customers with personalised offers, perhaps a 50% discount on a meal on your customer’s birthday.
5 Top tips for creating an email marketing strategy include:
- Ensure that you comply with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which means gaining explicit consent to be on your email list and an easy way for them to unsubscribe.
- Whilst you can purchase lists of potential customers for your product or service, your aim should be quality over quantity, and you are better building your own list of subscribers containing people that already know who you are.
- Put yourself in your customers shoes and consider the volume and frequency of emails that would be welcome by them. Then create a schedule and follow the schedule religiously.
- Taking this one step further, what type of information will your customers be interested in receiving and in what format? (For example competitions; embedded videos; newsletters?)
- Check that your emails display correctly on mobile devices. More and more people are now accessing their emails on mobile platforms.