Marketing is an ongoing challenge for most businesses.  Should you do social media, blogging, newsletters, webinars, direct mail, email, something else or all of the above?

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer, but the place to start is with the people you’re trying to reach.  When you understand your target market, you’ll have a better idea of what they respond to best.  That doesn’t mean you should ignore any strand of your marketing plan, but that some strands may get more attention than others.

So – email – does it work?

If it’s done well, then yes it does, but getting it right isn’t just a case of pinging a sales message off once a week. 

Here are our top tips to get you off to a great start

Lead with value

This doesn’t mean a great offer – it means giving the reader information that is valuable.  This might be a top tip, a tool or a technique they can use in their business.  It might be a link to something free and, of course, useful.

Think carefully about glitzy

When you get an all-singing, all-dancing email with lots of pretty pictures, what’s your response?  Most people think ‘this must be an advert’.  Some companies do this very well – for instance, B&Q gather their wares into categories to make life easier – but it’s still an advert.  Some companies send you interesting blog posts – and that works quite well.  However, you might consider that a ‘normal-looking’ email with your brand at the bottom could work just as well.

I love Kim Roach’s emails – they sound like she’s just emailing me as a friend and her presentation of her offers always includes something free as well as an upgraded version.

Promote thoughtfully

When you’re putting together a promotion or offer, try and see it from the recipient’s perspective.  What would make it compelling?  Don’t forget to mention the pain and gain aspects of your offer – why does the current situation cause a headache?  What will it be like with your offer/promotion in place?  Make sure this is not just your imagination at work, but something that will really connect with your readers.

Don’t start an email campaign, just because you haven’t done one for a while.  We all get enough spam in our inboxes!  Always email with thought and purpose – you’ll get better results.