Email marketing is a bit like marmite…some people love it, others hate it, but after the dreaded GDPR a lot of you may have decided it was just too much trouble!
It seems that many people weren’t really aware of Data Protection Legislation before GDPR and are under the impression that GDPR was a whole new area of legislation, but in reality, it was just an upgrade to the existing Data Protection laws. However new law, or upgrade, the fact is that GDPR has made email marketing more complicated, but not necessarily defunct.
My advice about Email Marketing has changed very little, but there are a few things to bear in mind which make it work.
In the past email marketing often consisted of buying an email list of prospects and then thinking up something very clever and interesting to get these people, who didn’t know your business, to enquire about your product or service. Unfortunately this really didn’t work and now it would actually be breaking Data Protection Regulations. GDPR says that people on your mailing list have to specifically request contact from you and you CANNOT email them (with marketing information) until you have this permission. This means that buying a list THEN emailing people to ask if they would like to hear from you is against the law and you could be fined for it.
So my advice now, as ever, is to use email marketing as a way to keep in touch with contacts you already have. Use it to get to the magic ‘7 touch points’ before a prospect is ready to buy from you.
You can contact people you know with ‘Legitimate Interest’ to ask if they would like to hear from you and giving them a link to subscribe. This is better than subscribing them manually as you have a record that they subscribed themselves. You could also have this subscribe feature on your website and mention it on your social media channels.
So, you’ve got in touch with your contacts and some of them have subscribed – yey! Next you need to figure out what you are going to say, because you can bet if it’s not interesting they are not going to stay subscribed for long. BTW it is the law to have an unsubscribe link on all your marketing emails – the best way to make sure you are on the right side of the law with these type of things is to use an email marketing program such as MailChimp, as they know what the law is and will try and keep you on the right side of it (although that is no excuse not to know the law yourself).
So what is interesting content…in general it tends to fall into two categories
- Advice and information
- Offers and discounts
It may be that you cannot really give either, in which case email marketing is not for you – if you can’t say something interesting, don’t say anything at all!
Unfortunately, your subscribers are not going to be interested in pictures of your latest work, testimonials from happy clients or details of your services (save that for social media) – you need to give them something to get their teeth into! So an offers email or an email newsletter would be great.
Next comes frequency…how often is too often? Again it depends what you sell, but it is also worth bearing in mind how much time you have to come up with content, or perhaps the seasonality of your offers. If you decide on an e-newsletter with advice on your industry then you’ll have to come up with all the advice, as well as putting the email together, I would suggest that most people don’t have enough time to do this more than once a quarter. Even if your email will be mostly quick offers it could get annoying if people are receiving it more than once a week.
Finally, a quick piece of advice about design and layout. It is very important that your email newsletter follows your brand and that all the information is neatly and cleanly laid out, as well as having enticing images and copy. You could have a designer put together the first email and then replicate and change the content each time you want to send it out.
If you want more advice about email marketing check out the FAQs section of my website, or drop me an email and we can have a chat about how email marketing could work for your business.