So you’re still using Outlook to send your marketing emails? There is a better way! On the basis that you’re sending email marketing campaigns, it’s safe to assume that you appreciate the benefits of maintaining regular contact with your clients and prospects. It’s also safe to assume therefore that you want your communications to look professional and appealing and for them to reach as many of your intended recipients as possible.
Unfortunately, many small businesses are still using Outlook (other email applications are available) to send hundreds of emails on a regular basis as part of their marketing strategies. There are many pitfalls involved when it comes to using Outlook to share your marketing messages, not least the danger of exposing your entire email list if you fail to use the blind carbon copy (BCC) facility – yes, it happens way too often!
Using newsletter tools and email marketing software enables you to effectively maintain your marketing activities whilst ensuring industry regulations and best practices are met. And in case you needed a bit more convincing, here are 5 reasons why it’s time to join the modern world when it comes to your direct email marketing:
Dull style and poor formatting - Using Outlook to send your marketing emails can leave your contacts thinking that technology moved on, and you got left behind! Worse still, emails you create in Outlook may appear presentable enough when you send them, but there’s no guarantee how they will be shown when opened by other email clients such as Gmail or Yahoo. Proper email marketing software allows you to create professional, attractive newsletters, reflecting your image in the right way!
Stop wasting time writing emails that nobody is reading! - If you’re regularly sending multiple emails from Outlook, you run the risk of your IP address being blacklisted (Internet Protocol address is the number which identifies your unique computer). This means your messages will either end up in your recipients’ spam folders or be deleted before they’re even read. A major obstacle to marketing success!
Allow recipients to unsubscribe – it’s the law! - Contacts who wish to unsubscribe but can’t find an obvious button will often choose to mark your email as spam instead. Proper email marketing systems are designed with these standard options, Outlook is not. Even if your contact’s instruction to unsubscribe reaches you, it’s impossible to ensure you won’t email them again by mistake, a potential reputation killer.
Limited ability to manage your lists - Outlook doesn’t allow people to ‘opt-in’ and sign up to your e-newsletter – And once you’ve begun to develop your lists of contacts, the ability to segment them into different groups is invaluable - both are vital facilities offered by email marketing systems.
Analytics are invaluable - Email marketing software beats Outlook hands-down when it comes to uncovering valuable information - not only are you missing out on knowing exactly who has opened your email, you’ll never know which articles were particularly popular, whether an alternative subject line may have been more effective or how many contacts clicked your links. Outlook offers none of this data that’s essential for improving future communications.
So before you consider sending your next marketing email from Outlook, think about the benefits of switching to a cost-effective email marketing system. Not only will you immediately avoid the common pitfalls above, you’ll be presenting a much more professional, credible organisation that genuinely cares about the image it portrays.