Email is an inexpensive and effective way to communicate with members of your community. Most (or all) of you probably use email marketing to spread the word about your events, classes, programs, and news. However, do you have a strategy in place? In this article, we'll cover eight necessary steps you should take to ensure that your email marketing is on track for success.1. Collect email addresses: Gather email addresses at every opportunity. Request permissions at front desks, events, courses, and with service forms, surveys, and contests.2. Send email campaigns regularly: Frequent email communication keeps readers engaged, drives traffic to your website, and increases online participation.3. Send activity-specific emails: Is registration for a course or event low? Send a reminder to applicable respondents that registration for this activity will be closing soon.4. Offer an eNewsletter: An electronic newsletter is an effective way to strengthen relationships with your audience at no cost. Include news items, upcoming events, hot program details, and interesting articles.5. Link emails to online pages: Placing links on your email makes it easier for readers to go online.6. Provide a clear call to action: What do you want readers to do? Make your call to action prominent and linked to the right web page so readers can instantly act.7. Encourage referral marketing: Referral marketing can drastically expand your reach. Encourage recipients to forward your email to friends and family.8. Comply with regulations: When sending out promotional emails, there are regulatory requirements to observe. American marketers, for example, must follow the main provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act:
- Bans false or misleading header information. Ensure your "From" name and email address are accurate and identifiable.
- Prohibits deceptive subject lines. Make sure your subject lines are relevant.
- Requires your email to give recipients a method of opting out of future mailings. For example, you can include the following message in each email campaign: "If you no longer wish to receive email notices from us, please respond to this email with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line".
- Requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement.
- Requires the inclusion of the sender's valid physical postal address
Make sure to check each box before sending your next email!Another effective way to get the word out about your programs is to optimize your website for search engines.