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Basics of Email Marketing

Are you running a new blog, a business, or a start-up that’s considering spending money on an email marketing strategy? If so, read ahead to find out what email marketing is all about.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is essentially a way to reach your customers with promotional emails. You may know this from personal experience. For example, if you are an Apple customer, occasionally you will get promotional emails regarding Apple’s products, new launches, special offers, and so on. The idea is to keep Apple products in your mind so the next time you want a gadget, you browse the company’s products to see what they have.

Remember that there’s a fine difference between email marketing and sending spam mails. First, the receiver will have to voluntarily give up their contact info so you or your company can reach them with promotional material. Second, email marketing targets returning customers. Spam emails are just misleading messages with dubious links sent out in bulk. Email marketers do not bombard customers’ inboxes with unnecessary emails.

The core of email marketing is to reach out to the consumers or readers who are most likely to buy from you or subscribe to your service again. The email marketing strategy essentially gives them a little nudge to return as a customer, a reader, a follower, or a subscriber. These “nudges” could include discounts, seasonal offerings, samples, and even simple greetings.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Here is a list of the most prominent benefits of having an email marketing strategy:

  • Email marketing is a form of advertising that you can use to directly reach your core audience. This form of marketing is considered to be highly effective because you are reaching out to people who are already interested in what you are offering. So, the audience is more likely to become paying customers, blog readers, or video subscribers.
  • This is proven to be an excellent strategy to create brand awareness. As mentioned above, emailing customers will keep your brand’s name in their mind most of the time.
  • Emails are easy to share among peers, which leads to word-of-mouth marketing. Recipients could forward your emails to other interested parties.
  • It’s easy to measure the impact of email marketing using accurate analytical tools. You can directly measure how many people are converting because of email marketing. Other conventional web analytical tools, like viewing the number of clicks, do not really offer clear ways to understand the impact of marketing.
  • Email marketing is affordable and highly cost-effective. There are no additional costs involved with paying for a third party or printing.

How to Develop an Email Marketing Plan

Developing and email marketing plan is not instantaneous. It will take some time to launch, and even more time to perfect. But, if you have never had an email marketing plan, this is how you can go about creating one from scratch:

Plan to Make a Plan

The first step in developing an email marketing strategy is making an organised plan. You need to have an idea regarding what your company or website hopes to get out of the email marketing strategy. Do you hope to increase sales for a particular product, generate brand awareness, or increase traffic to a website? The goals matter when implementing the strategy. So, start brainstorming and develop your goals for employing an email marketing plan.

Collect Customer Emails

The next step is collecting emails from customers and readers. You can ask your audience for their emails, or ease them into providing their contact info during customer calls or live chat. People will also give up their emails when signing up for offers, newsletters, etc. It’s important to collect as many emails as possible and continue to keep collecting.

Here are several tips for collecting emails:

  • Link Google Ads to pages on your website with easy email signup forms.
  • Make signing up for emails very, very easy. Don’t create long forms asking for names, age, location, etc. Just present a box with a field to enter an email address and a “sign up now” button. Pre-filling the box for markers like “@” will also help.
  • Offer special offers or gifts in return for giving up email contact info. For example, many companies offer email signups a chance to enter lottery-like events to win cool gadgets like iPads. You can also give people who sign up for email newsletters free or discounted coupons. Offer something exciting that would really make people want to sign up.
  • Gather emails when your audience offers the contact info for other things. For example, a potential visitor might sign up for email updates on a pre-release or something similar. You can automatically include these people in your regular emailing list.
  • Don’t give up any opportunity, no matter how small, to collect emails.

Learn to Use MailChimp

Finally, it’s time to create the emails for mass mailing. Obviously, you cannot individually type each email and send them to thousands of people. To design emails, save templates, and send in bulk, you need to learn how to use MailChimp. MailChimp is the most widely used email marketing software currently available. You will need to learn how to use it to manage the logistics of your email strategy. Don’t worry, it’s not too hard to learn.

When sending emails, be careful not to make them look too promotional or sales-y. It’s important to add a personal touch to the emails you send. Choose topics that would interest your customers and readers. Never bombard people with emails, and carefully pace the frequency of the campaigning.

Meaning, don’t email your contacts every day or even every week. Send monthly emails, and emails on special holidays like Christmas.

While you are conducting your email marketing campaign, vigorously collect subscriber data using relevant software. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will help you perfect your strategy and reap the lucrative benefits of email marketing.

Email Marketing Examples

BuzzFeed

This news site has created one of the most memorable email marketing campaigns ever. The success of their strategy is largely attributed to mysterious and attention grabbing subject lines. Here are two examples of such subjects: “Get Up! Get Up Now!” and “Sorry, Wrong Number.” These are quintessentially click bait headlines inserted into the email’s subject line.

Uber

The ridesharing app ran a highly successful email campaign thanks to using simple designs. The templates for Uber emails were minimalist. They used minimal text and inserted sleek graphics that were easy to understand. If a deal was offered, an easy step-by-step guide to the deal was also offered. Clearly, these are promotional emails that are intriguing as well as helpful.

Poncho

Poncho is an online, customised weather forecast service. Their email marketing campaign was highly successful largely thanks to using humorous emails that customers did not regret clicking on. The emails were very colourful with brief copies accompanied by a funny and relevant image. They created a campaign where people were eager to receive their emails each morning

As you can see, email marketing is a beneficial and rewarding tool that you can utilize to your advantage. The information present here should allow you a better understanding of the concept and how you can use it.

Leaflet Marketing

Small businesses have been using leaflet marketing for many years now due to it being relatively cheap and simple. It can be also known as door-to-door marketing and involves delivering your unaddressed business leaflets through letterboxes. This can be done by anyone you wish whether it be yourself or through a leaflet delivery service. The response rate varies depending on your business, any offers you’re providing and the area you’re targeting. If you put your time and effort into the leaflet drop you can expect high response rate.

The best thing about leaflet marketing is that even if they throw your leaflet in the bin they still will look at it on the way, Even if the dog chews up the leaflet and it’s amazing how much dogs love leaflets, they will still have to clean up the mess and hopefully make out your business. Personally I’ve experienced all sorts from delivering leaflets for numerous businesses I’ve set up and I’ve had everything from dogs running full pelt at the door nearly knocking it down to old women trying to call the police on me.

A great thing about leaflets is that they’re so versatile. They can be used anywhere such as letterboxes, waiting rooms, billboards etc. You don’t just have one distribution method. Remember if you’re local, asking other businesses to display your leaflets cuts out the work of delivering. They can sit on the counter and people can pick them up if they choose too, try anywhere and everywhere from hairdressers to pet shops obviously depending on what you’re actually adverting.

Things to remember about leaflet marketing campaign

Design

Design is extremely important with leaflets. It’s what grabs their attention before they decide to keep it or throw it away. Be sure that your message is clear and it stands out especially if you choose to get it dropped along with other leaflets. Online or local printers will require a design. Most will offer a design service but online normally use template type editing software which is quite limited and local printers aren’t usually cut out to be designers. We’d recommend getting the design done separately. For this you can use any designer you find but as always we’d recommend hiring through freelancer using a project or better yet, a competition. Hiring a designer can get you much better results.

Quality

Don’t go for the lowest cheapest quality leaflets. You want people to keep it in their house. The higher the gsm the better and a nice gloss or matte finish is the best option. Although it can be more expensive people might judge your business on the quality of your leaflet you deliver. If they see a half screwed up piece of paper through their letterbox (As some can be quite tough getting the leaflets through) they will be less inclined to give it their attention.

Size

Normally the most recommended size would be A5, A4 or A4 folded three ways similar to a menu. You need to pick a size that lets you fit everything you need to say.

Area

Make sure you’re targeting the right people in the right area. There’s no point in delivering lawn mower repairs to a block of flats, I know that’s quite silly but you understand the point. Make sure the people will actually need your product or service. It might worth checking out the census for the area your thinking about distributing to. Check out www.localstats.co.uk. It can give you all types of data such as age, marital status, occupations etc.

Time

If you offering a product or a service that is for a certain date for example if your selling Christmas trees or adverting a valentine’s day meal you need to time it right. If you don’t being too early or too late will have a massive effect on the response you receive.

Be respectful

If you see a notice saying to spam mail even if we consider that our leaflet is not spam it’s up to you whether you deliver your leaflet or not. Personally we have before and had many customers come from it however be prepared to receive some abuse from certain individuals. Remember you’re representing your business.

Apprentice!

If you decide that leaflet marketing is working well for you consider hiring someone to help you. That way you can send them down the drives that look like they may have dogs… but mainly you can get the work done quicker.

Uniform

Try and dress relatively smart. It can look better going up to someone’s house wearing business uniform instead of just your weekend clothes. Many people might actually come out the house or be on driveway when you deliver and might want to ask you some questions so it’s better to look the part.

Like all marketing methods they each have their pros and cons

ADVANTAGES of leaflet marketing

  • It’s relatively cheap
  • Almost guaranteed to be seen by the homeowner (Even if that’s on the way to the bin…)
  • Many routes of distribution (letterboxes, shop counters etc)
  • You can deliver them yourself to cut costs
  • Quick and easy to produce
  • High return rates if done correctly
  • Full control on where you target
  • It’s something they are able to keep

DISADVANTAGES of leaflet marketing

  • Limited reach. It all depends on how many you can physically distribute and unless you pay to get them distributed on a large scale which becomes expensive then it won’t reach a lot of people.
  • Larger order means lower cost so you usually end up with more than you can shift.
  • Time consuming. If you end up delivering yourself it can take a lot of your time and can be quite tiring.
  • Restrictions such as locked premises, guard dogs, no spam mail stickers etc can be a problem.
  • Leaflets can be easily dismissed and thrown away
  • No long term impact, once the user sees it they either keep it or throw it away. Either one can cause them not to remember you when they come to actually needing your product or service.
  • You can only get a basic understanding on the people your targeting.

Where and How Much?

There are many places to get your leaflets printing whether it is online or via a local printers. Both have benefits but we’d recommend using online services. These days printing can be extremely cheap and get delivered to you the next day ready for you to deliver. The cost all depends on size, gsm, finish, colour, single or double sided however for 5000 high quality leaflets you’d be looking anywhere between £150-£200. Some places also offer sample packs so you know which type you’d like when you place a large order. Some places we’d recommend ordering from are: http://www.vistaprint.co.uk/  and https://www.instantprint.co.uk/. Vistaprint tend to be the best option as they’re a little cheaper, however they do add of tax and delivery charge at the end that can increase the price.

vistaprint_logo

logo-instantprint

What about printing them yourself?

If you wanted to just deliver a couple of hundred leaflets then printing yourself might be a good option but normally most home/office done leaflets look poor in quality and more expensive then you might think with the price of ink (unless you have a large laser colour printer). For the price of leaflets you’d be better ordering a small amount online.

How to do Market Research

If you’re looking at starting a new business or expanding your current business into a new area, then market research will certainly be a key part. Market research is a method of gathering and analyzing information, and then interpreting the information about the specific market that is being targeted in order to better market your product or service, or even improve it. This may include information such as basic details about your target market, how your competition is perceived or thought of, and what your target market needs or requires from your product or service. Typically, market research is conducted when one is planning to offer a product or service and specific information is needed about the target market that the business hopes to reach, and thereby gain as customers. This information can be extremely valuable in helping you to present your product or service in the most effective way to reach your future customers.

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four of them sharpening my axe”

The primary reasons for conducting market research are to determine if there is a market and if they will likely purchase the product or service being offered, to uncover why individuals may, or may not, choose your product or service over other similar products or services, to find out about the needs of your prospective customers and what they trust or believe in, and to discover areas where you may need to modify the product or service that you are offering. Basically, market research allows you to see the potential in your business idea from the perspective of your prospective customers, offering a much more objective, realistic, and honest assessment than you could otherwise receive from others, such as those you have an existing relationship with.

First, you will need to understand and determine which criteria you need to research in order to find the data you require.

Market research uses a variety of methods to find out different types of information about the target group of individuals you have identified as becoming potential customers or users of your product or service. You will need to determine which methods are the most feasible for you to conduct and are most likely to provide you with the knowledge and insights that will guide you in how to best market your product or service.

One important factor to be mindful of is that consumers will generally make purchasing decisions based on their feelings, so explaining why your product or service works and why you created it can go a long way towards generating positive feelings about it for potential customers. Explaining how it could benefit the user is also critical so that consumers can visualize how it would improve their life or make something easier for them.

First, you will need to understand and determine which criteria you need to research in order to find the data you require. Below are the main areas of market research that can be used to find out information about a target market. Decide which categories most relate to your product or service and focus on these areas in order to maximize the relevancy of the results that you receive from your market research.

Below are the main areas of market research that can be used to find out information about a target market. Decide which categories most relate to your product or service and focus on these areas in order to maximize the relevancy of the results that you receive from your market research.

Market Size

Market Size measures the amount of potential customers in your specific market for your product or service

Geographic

Geographic measures where your market is located.

Demographic

Demographic looks at different characteristics/ qualities your potential market has. For example Age, Gender, Education Level, Income etc.

Segmentation

Segmentation allows you to split your potential market into different categories normally taking demographic & consumer research into account

Consumer

Looks at the consumer’s needs, wants, behaviour, habits to better apply your market strategy.

Demand

Whether your product will be well received or not. Do people need or want your service or product

Sales

Product

Advertising

What type of advertising would work best

Sale methods

How you would sell your product or service

Competition

Look at the amount of competition your business would have

Once you’ve selected the areas of market research that you need to analyze, you need to figure out how to find the information you need within those specific areas. Market research involves two main types of gathering data, primary research and secondary research. We will explore both types of market research and list the most commonly used methods to gather data for each of them.

Primary Research

Primary research is new research that you conduct, either personally or through a third party, expressly for your business. This method yields information that is specific, reliable, and will be the most up to date. It can take a good deal of time and it may be expensive, but primary research produces the most relevant information that pertains to your business. However, when conducting primary research you should not rely on any one source or method of attaining information as a variety of approaches will yield the most accurate results.

Primary research can be broken down into two main types, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research centers on concrete data such as statistics and other figures, whereas qualitative research is more subjective and focuses on the opinions, feelings, and emotions of your target market. Furthermore, there are two types of information that can be found by performing primary market research – exploratory information and specific information. Exploratory information is broad, open-ended, detailed, and may be unorganized. Specific information is more to the point and may answers problems defined in the exploratory stage so you can get a more concrete understanding of what needs to be done.

Some examples of PRIMARY Market research are:

Surveys and questionnaires

By using surveys or questionnaires you can ask your target market to share their feelings or opinions about your product or service. These can be conducted on the internet, such as through email, your website, or social media. It’s important that your questions are carefully crafted and are ingenious enough to result in honest opinions about your business, product or service. Surveys and questionnaires can also be used to discover things about your existing customers, such as their needs, opinions, or to determine how satisfied they are with your product or service.

Trials

Field trials can be conducted by introducing your product in small quantities to retail stores and examining the market trends, customers’ responses, and complaints. It may involve releasing two different versions of your product in order to determine which one is received the best. Necessary price adjustments, better packaging, and other complaints can be rectified before introducing your product on a bigger scale. This is a very effective way to discover the best way to market or produce your product, but it can be time-consuming as well as expensive.

Observation

It’s possible to gain a better understanding of your potential or current customers through observation of how they respond to your business or your product or service. This can be facilitated through the use of website user testing, mystery shopping, or simply observing how people react to your product or service in a natural environment. This might be done through the use of public demonstrations or giving away a free sample and then observing how individuals respond to what you have offered or presented to them. By observing the behaviour of your target market, you have a better chance that the results will be more accurate and reliable than by asking the same people to respond to questions because they may not be entirely honest about how they feel when they are asked directly. When you have the ability to see how people react when they don’t feel any pressure or obligation to cooperate, you can gain real insights into what drives or motivates them as well as what their preferences and needs are.

Focus groups

Focus groups are small groups of people who meet in the same place and have a discussion, led by a researcher, about how they feel about products or services. These are often held in a physical location, but they can also be administered through online or video conferencing. The session may be recorded and the questions are structured in order to gain the specific information that is needed. Focus groups allow you to find out a wide variety of information, to gain information from multiple people at once, and they are interactive and also allow you to observe the behavior of the participants. They do have some negatives as well, such as being challenging to set up and organize and to find qualified researchers to lead the sessions, in addition to being costly to conduct.

Interviews

You can directly question your target market through face-to-face or phone interviews. This gives you the opportunity to further explore or ask additional questions as may be needed about any given point. Interviews offer a more personal way to gain information about your target market and to directly observe their behavior. Face-to-face interviews have some disadvantages however, such as being expensive, getting inaccurate or untruthful responses from participants, and it may take a long time to conduct the interviews. Phone interviews are much less expensive and easier to organize and conduct and they allow you to reach a large or varied demographic area. On the downside, you don’t have the ability to observe body language and the time you have with participants is generally a great deal shorter than with in-person interviews.

Secondary Research

This research involves using data that has already been collected by other parties and will likely be the bulk of what makes up your market research. Secondary research may be available for free or for a reasonable price and can be found by searching online or through sources such as libraries, public documents, customer databases and other sources of information specific to your industry and your target market. This may contain data that you cannot gather yourself. This could be from such sources as the government or other businesses within the industry your researching. These may be either public, commercial, or educational sources. It can be much quicker, and also less expensive, to use secondary research because it’s already done for you, you just need to locate the information.

While there may be many advantages to using secondary research, the data you acquire may not translate well to your target market or give you the exact kind of information that you need. The information may not be specific enough to help you understand the needs of your potential customers or to determine if there is a demand for what you are offering. It can still provide a good foundation for becoming more aware of what is current in your industry as well as learning about your target market so it’s a great place to start. However, it’s important to properly decipher which information specifically applies to your selected target market and is the most relevant in order to get the most beneficial results.

A combination of both primary and secondary research may be ideal, as this will provide a great deal of data but will also minimize the time and expense involved. This will optimize your chances of attaining the most useful and relevant information about your target market while making the most of your limited resources in the process.

Downside/Negatives of Market Research

  • It can be time-consuming as well as expensive, depending on how it is conducted. This is most typical with primary research.
  • The participants in market research who give their opinions in surveys, focus groups, or interviews may not give completely truthful or authentic responses. They may feel that they need to give the “right answer” versus an honest one for example.
  • The information you receive may not be relevant to your target market. This is most likely to occur with secondary research since it cannot be designed to meet your specific needs.
  • You may discover that there isn’t a demand for your product or service, or that modifications are necessary in order for it to appeal to your target market or to meet their needs.
  • Secondary research may produce data that is lacking in quality, completeness, is outdated, or may not be credible. It can also be hard to separate what is relevant to your target market and will help you the most since this usually generates a great deal of data.

Benefits of Market Research

  • Can gain valuable insights about your target market, such as what they value, what their needs are, what their feelings or opinions are about your product or service, how they feel about your competitors and/or their products or services, and what they are willing to spend their money on.
  • Can give you a more realistic view of how your business and your product or service is viewed by your target market, which can be a significant factor in deciding whether or not what you are offering is truly ready to be put on the market.
  • Can greatly help to uncover areas of improvement or things you may need to modify with your product or service.
  • Can help you to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ products or services.
  • Can help you determine the most effective price point for your product or service.
  • Primary research can produce information that is very precise and most directly reveals critical facts and details about your target market and it can be crafted in such a way that you can find out exactly what you need to know.
  • Secondary research can help you to find information fairly quickly and without much of a financial investment. This kind of information is generally readily available and may significantly reduce the need for primary research.

Market research is clearly very important for businesses that are starting out, but conducting ongoing market research periodically can also be invaluable for businesses over time. In order to stay current with what your customers  or potential customers need and value, as well as maintaining an accurate assessment of your competition, doing market research can only help you improve your product or service and/or your marketing and promotional efforts.

Conducting market research is one of the best ways to determine the needs of the individuals you hope to gain as supporters and customers of your product or service or your business in general. Every business needs to have a good understanding of their target market or potential customers, as well as the business climate of their industry, otherwise they may fail to get their business off the ground, to make a profit, or to otherwise meet their goals. While there are both advantages and disadvantages to market research, the benefits to your business greatly outweigh any negatives. If you carefully balance the investment of time and financial resources among both primary and secondary forms of market research you can end up with very critical information that will give your business the advantage it needs. Having a good understanding of what people need and what they value significantly helps you to offer the best possible product or service and also achieve the success that you desire. Market research can give you the perspective and knowledge that will help you to make the most of what you have to offer and to spend your time and money wisely as you build your business.

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Money Making Expert aims to provide the best content relating to money making, business, marketing and all our other guides and articles. All information is researched fully and correct to the best of our knowledge however we cannot accept any liability if things go wrong. We are open to any feedback about the website so feel free to get in touch.