Hey everyone! In today’s post, I want to discuss email marketing. Is it “old school” and a total waste of time?
My experience with email marketing.
Well to answer that question let me tell you about my experience. When we opened our business, we started asking people to sign up for our email. We didn’t want to be over-bearing. We just wanted to communicate important events to our customer base.
We contacted our webmaster to get her to do this for us based on our writing the content. After years of doing this I noticed that email just wasn’t effective for our business. I asked for a copy of our database and was told I could download it at our c-panel.
I wasn’t thrilled because our email database and processor was an open source php app that did not present a good customer experience. But I went ahead and tried to download the database to my local computer following the directions given after I clicked on download database. To my dismay I only got 469 email addresses and not the 2500 the software showed. I then called my hosting company and after 5 days and several un-knowledgeable reps I got a complete list.
Are my emails all going out?
This got me to thinking and asking the question if I couldn’t download the database are my emails going out to my customers? I still don’t have an answer to that question, but I decided to test the list by sending out a blast of my own. I wanted to see how many unsubscribes or bounces I got as a product of having send out a blast.
Sending out my first blast.
After signing up with Mailchimp I made an email blast from a stock template and sent it out.
Well I had a total of 363 bounces. 44 soft bounces and 319 hard bounces. A hard bounce means there is no longer an account with these particular 319. A soft bounce could be an out of office reply or maybe the server is off for maintenance. Those 44-email address would be resolved as we went forward. But the basic message here is there is no maintenance of this list. Luckily we didn’t have a lot of spam drops but we did have 45 unsubscribes, which considering the list age and the fact it wasn’t maintained I thought was remarkably good.
Furthermore, we had 659 opens with 258 clicking through to our website. That was over 30% of clicks per unique openings. How did we do overall? Well, our week following the email blast our revenue doubled the amount of our average week, I would say that was a success. It also helped our Facebook post as well increasing our reaches after the email blast went out.
Results of our email marketing campaign
Bottom line I wasn’t sure if the increase in sales and clicks was due to the whole list going out or because our format was now fully responsive allowing mobile devises of all our customers to open the email message. I suspect it was the responsive web design.But the addition of sending out responsive emails helped as well.
As we move forward we are still enjoying a lot of success in sales by regularly sending out funny and informative emails. I think hands down all small businesses should be sending out emails periodically to help drive marketing and sales. It didn’t hurt my business.