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A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing

Mar 07, 2018

How to get started with email marketing, what to include in your communications and successfully signing people up to your list

Why choose email marketing?

Email marketing is a quick, easy and affordable method of reaching potential and existing customers, wherever they are in the world.

Email marketing legal requirements

  • People must opt in to receive email marketing from you – you cannot send emails to people without permission; you can gain permission by asking people to opt in when they purchase something from your website, or have a sign up form on your website
  • Your address must appear on any email marketing communications you send out – if you want to keep your home address private, you might consider our Registered Office Service
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has a full list of guidelines for email marketing

Writing a successful newsletter

Keep your newsletter short and simple, with a strong subject line to maximise the number of people who will feel called to open your email. Targeted, personalised emails generate the best response rate. Send relevant offers to customers according to their profile, position in their company or their purchase history. The easiest way to get quick access to this information is to keep it in an up-to-date database. The receiver is more likely to read and open future emails from your company if they find them of interest. Otherwise, the emails are likely to end up as part of their junk mail.

Make sure you offer a plain text version as well, so the majority of people will be able to read your newsletter in some shape or form.

Things you could include in your email newsletter

  • Website address: in order to receive a good Return on Investment (ROI) for your email marketing efforts, you need to direct traffic to your website so customers can purchase from you
  • Links to specific pages on your website: if you are promoting specific products, or a particular sale, link customers to these pages directly to maximise conversions
  • Forward to a friend button: make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your emails with other people – the advantage of including a specific forward to friend button in your email rather than readers using the forward button in their email client is that you can track how many people are sharing your message with others
  • Clear messages: clearly communicate the value of reading to the email in the opening lines to ensure the email isn’t deleted immediately

Encouraging people to sign up to your newsletter

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can’t send mass email communications unless you have clear permission from the recipients.

So how do you get people to sign up to your newsletter?

  • Create gated content that people can access in return for providing their email address: for example, allow customers to download an exclusive ebook on a topic related to your company in return for signing up to your mailing list
  • Offer a discount code in return for signing up to your mailing list: for example, offer new customers a 10% discount code if they sign up to your newsletter before making their purchase
  • Embed a signup form in your checkout process: as people are buying from you, allow them to tick a box saying they wish to sign up to your mailing list – just ensure people have to actively opt in, rather than making them opt out or pre-ticking the box on their behalf as per legal guidelines

Find an email marketing provider

There are a number of companies out there that specialise in providing email marketing solutions to other companies. Using an email marketing provider, as opposed to using your own email client, is much more appropriate for a business.

Many email clients do not allow you to send to a large number of recipients at once and not only does it look unprofessional if you send an email with a large number of recipients copied in, there are privacy concerns too.

This is why you should use a company like Mailchimp for your email marketing needs. This will allow you to send a large number of emails to different people in a professional manner that doesn’t reveal customer email addresses to other customers.

The added advantage of using an email marketing provider is that they often have sophisticated email templates you can use and great analytics to measure the success of your campaigns.

Monitoring the success of your email marketing

Most email marketing providers give you analytics relating to your email campaigns, such as open rate, click rate, bounces (emails that don’t reach their destination) and people who have unsubscribed.

You could also monitor you website traffic and sales directly – do they increase after you send an email marketing communication?

Done correctly, email marketing can have a high conversion rate at a relatively low cost – it’s a great way to communicate with customers and generate business


@UKPLC Company Registrations


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