So you want to send out marketing email communications for your business. For small business owners, mastering the art of marketing is crucial, and email remains a powerful tool in your arsenal.
While Outlook has long been a stalwart for sending 1:1 emails, small business owners can significantly enhance their marketing efforts by making the switch to a dedicated Email Service Provider (ESP), such as Mailchimp or MailerLite.
In this blog post, we'll explore the compelling reasons why investing in an ESP is a strategic move for small businesses that want to grow, and do email marketing the right way.
One of the critical aspects of email marketing success is deliverability, aka avoiding the spam box. ESPs are designed to ensure that your emails reach your subscribers' inboxes.
They actively manage and monitor deliverability, minimising the risk of your emails being flagged as spam.
This is a pivotal advantage over using Outlook, where deliverability challenges can arise due to various factors, impacting your marketing reach.
2. Professionalism and Branding:
An ESP provides the tools necessary to create visually appealing and professional-looking emails.
A 50/50 ratio of images versus text is the sweet spot for avoiding the spam box. Consistent branding across your marketing materials is crucial for small businesses building their identity.
Outlook, while functional for basic emails, may lack the design capabilities needed to make a lasting impression on your audience. ESPs often offer customizable templates, ensuring that your emails are on-brand and visually engaging.
3. List Management and Segmentation:
Targeted marketing is key to making the most impact with your campaigns. ESPs offer sophisticated list management and segmentation features, allowing you to tailor your messages to specific audience segments.
This level of granularity is often beyond the capabilities of Outlook, where managing large contact lists and creating targeted campaigns can become a pain.
4. Automation and Efficiency:
Time is a precious commodity for small business owners, and marketing automation is a game-changer.
ESPs such as Mailchimp and MailerLite offer automation features that allow you to set up drip campaigns, autoresponders, and other time-saving workflows.
This not only streamlines your marketing efforts but also ensures that your audience receives timely and relevant content, nurturing leads and driving conversions.
Using the correct email marketing software also manages duplicates for you, so you will only send one email to someone, even if you have accidentally added them twice.
And if someone unsubscribes, email marketing software will automatically put them on a DO NOT MAIL list, so even if you accidentally upload their email address again, it will not send them an email. Clever!
5. Analytics and Insights:
Understanding the performance of your email campaigns is vital for making informed decisions.
ESPs provide analytics and reporting tools, offering insights into open rates, click-through rates, and subscriber behaviour. You'll be able to see what sort of content is popular and what content sucks.
This data is invaluable for refining your strategies and optimising future campaigns. Outlook's analytics capabilities are limited in comparison, making it challenging to get any decent insights.
6. Compliance and Legal Considerations:
As email marketing is subject to various legal regulations, compliance is non-negotiable.
ESPs are well-versed in these regulations and often provide features to ensure that your campaigns comply with laws such as GDPR. For example, you must provide a way for people to unsubscribe and tell them why you are emailing them (aka 'you signed up on our website').
Using Outlook for marketing may expose your business to legal risks if proper compliance measures are not implemented.
7. Scalability and Growth:
Most small businesses aspire to grow, and their marketing tools should grow with them. ESPs are scalable, accommodating the increasing demands of your email marketing efforts as your business expands.
This scalability is often lacking in standalone email clients like Outlook, potentially hindering your ability to manage larger campaigns effectively.
Using proper email marketing software to do email marketing is a no-brainer.
While Outlook serves as a reliable email for 1:1 business communications, the unique demands of email marketing require a dedicated solution. Email Service Providers offer a comprehensive suite of features tailored to enhance deliverability, professionalism, efficiency, and scalability.
Making the switch from Outlook to an ESP is an investment in the long-term success of your small business, unlocking new possibilities for customer engagement and growth.
Interested in email marketing?
We can help. Speak to our friendly team today.