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Mar 07 2013

Email Marketing: How Do I Send A Mass Email?

email marketingWe are forging ahead in our series about email marketing! Assuming you’ve been following our previous emails, you now know how to create and maintain an email recipient list, keep yourself off blacklists, and create valuable content that recipients will enjoy reading. Your next step is to create the actual email and send it to your list.

The easiest and best way to send mass emails is through an online application that specializes in mass emails. Don’t try to send them out through your regular email service provider like GMail or Thunderbird. Not only is it more complicated, but you are much more likely to be blocked as spam. Instead, look for an email delivery program like MailChimp or Constant Contact. As you’re comparing different email delivery programs, consider the following:

Templates. Most email programs have a variety of templates that you can easily customize with your own content. Before you pay  for anything, look through those templates and make sure there are designs that you like.

Easily Upload HTML. Some people prefer to design their own completely custom emails (or have a professional design one for them). If this is the case, make sure the email program you’re using allows you to upload your own HTML email*.

Easy Contact Management. Pop quiz time. Finish this sentence: An email campaign is only as good as ____________. If you’ve read our past email marketing articles you know that an email campaign is only as good as the list your sending it to. Being able to manage contacts within your email delivery program is extremely important. You should be able to easily upload new contacts and delete old ones. There should be a built in unsubscribe feature that allows people to simply click a button and, upon doing so, they are automatically taken off your list without you having to do anything.

Campaign Reports. An excellent email delivery program will give you a variety of reports after each campaign is sent. These reports should tell you how many people opened the email, which people opened it, how many emails bounced, which people unsubscribed, who clicked on links within the email, etc. We’ll go into more detail in a later post on how to use these reports, but for now know that it’s important to have access to them.

Integration with Blogs and Social Media. If you have a blog or are active on social media, you’ll want to integrate your email marketing efforts with those marketing efforts as well. You may want a widget on your blog that allows people to sign up for emails or you my want the ability to share emails over Facebook.

Excellent Technical and Customer Support. If you’re new to email marketing and tackling it on your own, you are definitely going to need some support! Talk to a representative before signing up and find out how to contact them if there is a problem. Also ask about any free training materials. In my experience, I’ve found that email delivery programs such as Mail Chimp and Constant Contact have videos and articles that teach all the basics of email marketing.

CAN SPAM Act Compliance. The CAN SPAM Act protects consumers from receiving marketing emails they don’t want to receive, a.k.a spam. Most email delivery programs are very familiar with CAN SPAM and they have features built in that ensure your emails are compliant. Some of these features include putting an opt out or unsubscribe button in every email, ensuring that your emails always display your physical address, and giving you a warning when your write a subject line that could be detected as spam. I highly suggest reading the CAN SPAM Act yourself (don’t worry, it’s not long or complicated) so you can be sure your email delivery service is compliant.

Of course, if you don’t want to deal with any of the hassles of email marketing, we can take care of it for you. We can create custom HTML emails that match your branding then send those out for you through a delivery system that is CAN SPAM Act compliant. If you’d like, we can also forward you the reports showing how many people opened the email, who clicked on links, which addresses bounced the email back, etc. Cost for designing a custom email is $55/hour and the cost of sending the email varies depending on how many contacts your sending to.

For more information or to set up an order, email or call 949-587-5301.

*HTML is a computer language that designers use to create websites and emails. You don’t need to know anything about HTML, just find a designer who does and who can make a completely custom email for you.

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