Yesterday I attended an Email Marketing course held in the East Midlands Chambers of Commerce building at the NG2 Business Park (for all those who know Nottingham!). The all day action-planning workshop, which was provided freely by the E-Business Club, focused upon the best way to plan an email marketing campaign.
Leading the 26th October course was professional marketing strategist and software developer Andrew Talbot, who gave all who attended the tools and skills to plan and run their own marketing campaign. As all of the available places on the workshop were taken, it became obvious that the event has certainly previously been beneficial to SMEs in keeping up to date with their customers.
The importance of email marketing for a successful business was stressed, being cheap, easy and efficient to use as part of a multichannel networking strategy. You were encouraged to understand the term of “perceived indifference”, which means that a customer generally will assume that your business does not value their custom. From the point of the consumer, do your emails have relevance to them? If you examine your own attitude to emails that arrive in your inbox, do you get annoyed if they do not have any relevance to your business?
This course definitely taught me some handy tips to becoming a successful email marketer –
- Email marketing is not necessarily a tool for winning new clients. The main purpose of email marketing is to retain and maintain good relationships with current customers.
- You only get one chance to make a truly good first impression.
- However, if you do happen to get zero response to your emails, this is a good thing – because you will then know that everything that you did was wrong! You can then change your approach…and it didn’t cost you the moon and the stars.
- It is easy to become a spammer through sending emails without permission and without targeting a specific audience. Nobody can sell you a permission-based data list for your business. If you are reported as a spammer, you can have your IP address blocked!
- You should always strive to make the person receiving the email feel like it is specifically for them. It is about establishing trust between the marketer and the consumer.
I was also taught the pros and cons of several different types of marketing software and the benefits of social media to an SME. What I also found to be encouraging is that Andrew Talbot mentioned the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott as a great source of information for how marketing has been changed by the rise of social networking. This is, coincidentally, the book that I have recently read and reviewed, finding it as well to be very helpful.
This workshop was one of many Transformational IT services that are part of the government’s “Solutions for Business” portfolio. This aims to provide eligible businesses with assistance to define the specific requirements that are needed to enable them to progress. Planning and implementation of E-Business knowledge is then handed to the key SME personnel.
The “Solutions for Business” support products are funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) and the European Region Development Fund. All events are currently running until March 2012. Unfortunately, there has been talk of pulling the funding for these programmes so they will not be able to continue after this time. This is a shame, as I found the Email Marketing course to be considerably helpful and understandable. Meetings were held last week in which it was discussed as to whether the funding for these workshops should remain available. The outcome is yet to be known. There are still places available on these free courses, so if you live in the East Midlands and would like some free SME advice, sign up now!
The E-Business Club is a virtual support network created to help you make the best use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to boost business performance.
They provide information, events, workshops and advice on topics like planning a website, online marketing, social media, e-commerce, security, wireless and mobile working to help you to maximise the benefits of ICT productivity.
To find out more about the East Midlands E-Business Club and what they have to offer, visit:
Post by Rebecca Wardle, Graduate PR Trainee at Nellie PR, a B2B PR, Marketing and Communications consultancy.