As an advocate of regular emailing to customers, I was both surprised and delighted to have an email drop in my inbox yesterday, telling me I am a Constant Contact 2013 All Star Award Winner!

Alyson Reay - Email Marketing award

Alyson Reay – Email Marketing award

It’s always great to have our efforts recognised, and I know my clients are grateful at how I engage with their customers through online communications. But it is really quite exciting to have a special badge… it’s the little things you know!

As one of my clients, Paul Power, Managing Director of the Hothouse Café at The Medicine Garden in Cobham, says

“The investment we have made with Alyson designing a data capture system, building our contacts list and drafting and sending regular emails has really paid off for our business. Our customers at The Hothouse Café tell us how they look forward to receiving our emails with details of menu changes, events and news.

And it works. Immediately the email goes out, the phone starts ringing with new bookings!”

Constant Contact is my particular choice of Email Marketing software – there are many, many others and popular names you may recognise, or use, are Aweber, e-shot and Mailchimp. I use this platform to build and maintain relationships with my own clients, potential clients and contacts. I do the same for my clients’ businesses.

As (almost) everyone has an email account these days, sending an attractively styled email, branded for your business, full of useful content, is a great way of reaching your people where they already spend a considerable amount of their time.

I believe the keys to success with Email Marketing are:

1) Capturing contact data, and building your list so that you can reach your clients and potential clients with your news, offers and useful giveaway expert material.

2) Crafting an email subject line that intrigues and entices your busy audience to open your email – they get so many, you need to give them a reason to open yours and not just delete it unread.

3) Delivering well-written, quality content that makes it worth their while opening your email, reading what you have to say, and wanting to do so the next time too!

4) Leave them wanting more – by clicking through on the embedded email links to your website they are showing they are interested in what you do and what you are offering. They want to know more about you.

The 2013 Constant Contact All Star Award recognises just 10% of users for customer engagement through email marketing, and also for getting results – this is measured in the number of emails opened, and the CTR (click through rate) on web and social media links.

“Constant Contact All Star Awards recognise our customers who excel at using Constant Contact tools to engage with their own customers and build great relationships.”

Criteria include:

  • Consistently high open rates, click through rates and low bounce rates.
  • Regular contact with your audience.
  • Email management activities
  • Adding list growth tool to your website
  • Adding list growth tool to your Facebook page
  • Reviewing management reports to monitor success of email campaign
  • Sharing emails on social media
  • Adding social media links on emails

Email marketing is such an effective tool in your marketing toolkit. It gives you a chance to remind your customers why you are different from the rest.

But if you don’t have time to do it yourself, or you just don’t know what to say, or how to say it, it is worth considering outsourcing this task to ensure you capture the marketing potential in those business cards and contact details you collect in the course of running your business.