How to harness the power of your email database<![CDATA[
Pretty much everybody communicates via email these days. Chances are your business has built up quite a repository of contacts over the years. But now that you’ve amassed a database of contacts, what do you plan to do with them?
If you’re not keeping in regular touch with past business contacts, you’re not taking advantage of a great digital marketing opportunity. Because despite all the advances in digital communication, email remains one best ways to communicate with today’s distracted consumer.
It makes sense when you think about it. We typically only let brands and individuals we know into our inbox, and we very quickly unsubscribe from content that doesn’t keep our interest.
The first step to harnessing the power of your email database is to make sure your database is organized. Are you contacts still accurate? Are your entries complete?
At minimum, you’d like to have a complete name to go along with each email address. Add an identifier such as zip codes to your database and produce campaigns that target specific cities or regions.
A platform such as MailChimp or iContact will help you sort contact database into marketing lists. They can help you add a customized greeting to each email you send, too, such as including the recipient’s first name. An email marketing platform can also help you track the behaviors of your recipients, such as how many people opened your message or how many clicked on a particular link.
Now that you have your organized database, you can prepare to send them your first email. Ideally, each email you send should offer added value to the recipient in some way. Otherwise, your content will quickly be deemed spam and you’ll be shut out of the inbox, possibly forever.
What are some ways to add value to your recipient’s inbox? Whether your audience is a consumer or another business, will determine the best approach. Ideas to consider:
- Important announcements
- Networking opportunities
- Special promotional offers
As you’re developing your email content, it’s also good to consider how you will measure the success of your email campaign. Are you trying to drive your recipient to take a specific action such as downloading a new white paper or registering for your upcoming event? Do you simply want to keep in touch and stay top of mind with your contact?
By knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time, you’ll be able to identify some key performance metrics to determine your success and tailor an email marketing campaign that resonates with your audience. The more emails you send, the more data points you’ll acquire, allowing you to fine tune your strategy over time.
Now that you’ve got your list of contacts, a draft of your first message and a couple metrics in mind that will help you measure your success, you’re ready to take your email marketing to the next level.