One of the best ways to participate in the new marketing conversation is to send a regular newsletter to your customers and prospects.
For tips on getting started with Email Marketing, check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Email Marketing page.
Sending your newsletter electronically via email makes the process much less expensive than sending traditional print newsletters. It also allows you to personalize each newsletter for its intended recipient.
Personalizing your email correspondence is simple when you use an Email Service Provider (ESP). These companies host your email list, help you manage that list, and give you great tools to make creating a beautiful email quick and easy, all for a low monthly fee.
Personalization can be as simple as adding the recipients name to be beginning of the email:
Or as complicated as referencing the customer’s latest purchase.
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Here’s How Personalization Works:
Each “record” in your database belongs to a single individual. This record is like a row of information in a spreadsheet like MS Excel.
The separate details for the record — the name, email, and mailing address, for example — are then stored in columns. Many of the fields are standard — like name and email — but you can store any information in your database by creating a Custom field.
|John||Smith||@">@||July 20||Ultimate Leadership|
It is the headings on the columns that your ESP uses to pull information into your email with what is known as a merge tag, or a shortcode, or, in the case of Constant Contact, simply Contact Details.
To place the information in the column in your email, you simply type the corresponding code for that column and the computer pulls the correct data and places it into your email.
I use Mailchimp, so I’ll illustrate with the codes from that system.
- To add the contacts first name, you type *|FNAME|*
- To add their email address, you type *|EMAIL|*
- To add their birthday *|MMERGE3|*
Any piece of information that is contained in your database can be used to personalize the email, so the more information you have on each of your contacts, the more options you have.
Some ESP’s, like Mailchimp, will allow you to segment your list based on this information as well. You could use this to send emails to everyone with a birthday in the coming month and gift them with something special.
I just celebrated my birthday and I received a special code from Redbox for a free movie rental as a gift. That’s only a loss of $1 to Redbox but I was touched by the effort, in particular because it was the only such offer I received although I am on hundreds of mailing lists.
Start collecting more information from your customers and prospects and then use this information to increase the effectiveness of your email correspondence.