How to keep in touch with customers and contacts on a budget

Whatever effort you put into promotion through social media, there will come a time when you wish to have a more personal contact with prospects and customers and this has to be through email. So, what options are available for a small business with less than 10,000 prospective customers to contact.

Let’s first dismiss the option of using Outlook or assume similar email client to send out mass emails. Firstly, there is a limit to the number of email addresses you can put in to, cc sealed BCC address list. Secondly, if you put email addresses in a two or cc address list than everybody else on the list will see the other people getting the email and you have just given away your customer list to competition. Thirdly, those astute enough to send out an email with all the addresses in the BCC box has successfully kept details of their prospects Private, but each minute email received will be addressed to the same person or undisclosed recipient, it will look the same as so many spam emails and could be blocked simply for that reason.

The option that is going to be recommended by most online marketing consultants is a subscribe to an online marketing system. They suggest using a system such as mail chimp, constant contact, get response and aweber. Such services usually have a free offer, which may be suitable for the smallest list. However, any business creating a list of over 2000 prospects missing find monthly charges starting to mount up. If you are unable to analyse the quality and success of your email marketing and these costs will be hard to justify. Often, we find clients who tell us that they try not to use the service too often because of the cost. The unreliability you have with such services is that they are abused by many spammers and the reputation of such systems is always under threat. When your system has been blacklisted from no fault of your own you are still liable to find emails are no longer delivered in such problems are unpredictable and can last for days or even weeks. Obviously, this is not a good state of affairs but is there another way?

The enterprise solution would be to have such a system under your own control with emails being sent from your email address and your domain. Such systems can cost hundreds of dollars per month and are really out of the budget for most small to medium-size businesses with mailing lists of no more than 10 to 20,000. There is so, one platform that can control and manage smaller email lists for you and you already have the infrastructure in place. There are some quality email marketing applications that run of plug-ins within WordPress.

Such web-based applications will communicate to your mailing list using your email addresses. The ability to join and be removed from the list or easily integrate within your website and all content of emails will be referring back to your website.

The only cautionary note is that your WordPress site is designed for delivering web pages are not for doing email marketing. Therefore you should make sure that you do not stress your site by sending out thousands of emails quickly. Set your delivery speed to a slower level and will not then effect the response of the website itself. The email services connected to websites are also not designed for mass email marketing and bear for simple login into emails, order confirmations and other such low-level email traffic. You can subscribe to a number of emails sending services such as sendgrid, Authsmtp or Amazon Services,  which will send out your emails for you and can be using your email address but through their email server infrastructure, which is built for mass email marketing. The costs of using such services are dramatically less expensive than that of the full featured email marketing services and still provide options for statistical analysis of the reliability of delivery of your emails.

There are many well thought out effective marketing systems for emails, but for a company just starting their marketing campaign, and maybe still becoming used to marketing through their website, having a system within the WordPress dashboard that is integrated with the website does make sense.