Email Marketing Series – Part One: Building Your Database

DBG has been lucky enough to put together a three part series on Email Marketing for local magazine – in-Business.  In this first part, our Managing Director Daniel Wilson helps us to take a look at how to build your database.

A business must own its email marketing database to drive better returns on investment and determine customer engagement metrics.

“Email marketing enables a company to draw precise tracking information to understand what in their campaign worked and what did not,” Mr Wilson said.

“There are platforms that enable a business to see how many people opened an email, what links within the email were clicked, whether it made it to your recipient’s inbox and more.

An example of some Email Statistics from recent campaigns

“First, you must build your database. To do so you need to start small and be smart about the process.”

Mr Wilson said businesses should look to their websites as their first tool to build their databases.

“The most important element of this is gaining permission,” Mr Wilson said. “Spam laws are tightening and sending unsolicited emails can land you in hot water.

“If you’re using your website to build the database, have a sign-up form somewhere nice and clear.”

Mr Wilson suggested asking only for vital information when signing up new subscribers.  “You cannot ask for too much information from users as you need to build a level of trust with them first,” he said. “This is something that has to be built up over time and there is no substitute for it if you want ROI.”

Along with trust, creating an easy-to-use form to entice new subscribers was also important.  “People generally don’t enjoy filling out forms, however it is critical in gaining leads for a business,” Mr Wilson said. “The forms need to be enticing enough for a user to want to fill out and leave their details, so make them to the point, allowing for a quick transition to the next step of engagement. “If you are requesting detailed user information before gaining trust you are doing so too early in the process and you are likely to alienate users. “If a company requests the minimal amount of data necessary, it is likely to build a user’s trust and then gathering more detailed information later in the process will be much easier.”

Example of a newsletter sign-up on the Marryatville Hotel website

Mr Wilson said encouraging users to sign up for email marketing meant making it an enticing option.  “A simple ‘Sign up for our e-news’ is not enough,” he said. “Include detail about what they can expect from the e-news, what’s going to be relevant enough for them to want to receive updates. “Indicating the frequency of the e-news – weekly, fortnightly, monthly – as well as what kind of topics they should expect is important.”

“Also look to have a ‘Sign up for our e-News’ checkbox on your website contact form, or in the checkout process of your online store. Mr Wilson said offering email signups throughout the website was important. “Someone has gone to your website for a reason. You need to offer something – what’s in it for them? “Keep the offer up front and obvious throughout the site.”

Stay tuned for part two of our Email Marketing series, which will discuss managing your database.

If you’d like some help with email marketing for your business, get in touch with DBG Technologies – we’ve run a number of successful campaigns for clients and we’d love to chat!