What is email marketing automation and who is it for? What are the legal requirements if you want to run an email marketing campaign? Our recent webinar guest, Lon Safko, gave us his answers and provided actionable tips on how to automate your communication, and sell more online.
Why you need an Email Service Provider (ESP)
Email, the original social media, can be a very effective channel of communication. If you use an Email Service Provider like GetResponse, it’s easy to run your campaigns and build strong relationships with your audience.
There are a number of advantages why it’s worth running your communication with the use of an ESP. Some of them are:
- Easy list management. This means unsubscribes, new sign-ups, bounces, and spam complaints will be dealt with automatically
- Additional features, such as sign-up forms, pop-ups, and apps, that can be quickly plugged into your site to collect new leads
- Good deliverability and relationships with ISPs, to make sure your messages reach the audience
- Web analytics and knowledge about your recipients
If you’re running email marketing campaigns, you should know exactly who you’re communicating with. If your audience is located in different countries, e.g. USA or Canada, the legal requirements might be different. In fact, in the US, you’re communicating under the CAN-SPAM Act, while in Canada it’s CASL, and there are some important differences between them.
It’s important to know all the legal requirements that you need to meet when contacting your audience. The fines for not respecting the law are high and your subscribers’ trust isn’t something you want to lose.
All in all, the main points you should remember are:
- Only send emails to people who have opted-in to receive your communication
- Make sure that your audience knows who you are and what’s the purpose of the communication, be honest and trustworthy
- Don’t mislead your audience, using tricks such as re: or fwd: in your subject lines or false from names
- Make it easy to get in touch with you, through a postal address and a reply-to email address placed in your newsletters
- Allow your users to unsubscribe at any time. Make this process as easy as possible
It’s worth noting that your ESP should help you with the last 2 points, by providing the unsubscribe link and adding your postal address to the messages automatically.
If you’d like to learn about international laws a bit more, a good resource has been recently published by Litmus. You can check it out here.
Running email marketing campaigns isn’t only about designing good-looking templates, it’s also about getting your messages to reach your subscribers. In other words, to get them delivered.
There are a number of factors that affect whether your emails will get through to your audience. These include the quality of your email list (e.g. are there any inactive addresses there?), the content your providing (are people engaged with it), and the frequency of your communication.
If you’re interested in this topic, here’s a handy guide that was written by our Deliverability Manager, Irek Rybinski.
Syncing email with other channels
It’s quite likely that your audience isn’t only using emails to read about the things that they are interested in. The chances are they’re also using Twitter, Facebook, or any other popular platform. What you need to do is sync your email campaigns with these channels.
Your email campaigns have to be social.
It means that you should provide links to your social media profiles in your newsletters so that people who read them can also follow you using other platforms.
It also means that your messages should be easy to share across other channels, and you should be able to track those shares to see how viral your campaigns have become.
Last but not least, social media should not only generate the buzz but also new sign-ups. So add the sign-up forms or links leading to them onto your profiles.
Email drip campaigns
Email drip campaigns are a sophisticated way of connecting with your audience. With a set of rules and conditions you can decide on what kind of content will be sent to whom, and at what time.
That means you can welcome your audience with an automated thank you message. Or you can send them an e-course that will be deployed to them at different time intervals. Or any other kind of message you would like to send in response to your subscriber’s actions.
Watch the Webinar Recording Now
Lon’s provided some great examples of email marketing automation, including how you can do the basics using your regular Outlook email client. If you want to learn more about this, watch the webinar recording and download the slidedeck below.
So what do you think about email marketing automation?