Are your emails not being read?
If you’re manually sending out emails then you’re more likely to get your emails marked as spam and never seen by your recipients. Learn how to send your emails to reduce the risk of them being spammed or, worse, having your day to day emails blacklisted.
Are you breaking the law?
There are specific laws about sending emails, while we’re not lawyers we can point out where you need to be careful.
This is the final part of the series on running successful email campaigns, the other parts are; finding an audience, writing great content, email campaign types and analysing/refining email campaigns.
Step 5: How to send email campaigns
There are three main ways you can send out an email campaign; manually, automatically via software on your computer or via a commercial online service. While each method has it's pros and cons I would strongly recommend using a commercial service as the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Do you have time to waste?
If so the manual method is for you. This involves you sending emails through your normal email client. The main advantage to this is that it's zero cost if you don't factor in your time. It is possible to mail merge email addresses in programs like outlook.
You will need to keep your list up to date and manually remove each person if they unsubscribe. There is also a high chance of your emails being marked as spam and that includes your normal day to day emails if your server gets blacklisted. Your ISP might even start blocking you from sending emails if they think you are spamming.
Formatting your newsletters in an email program so they look good is hard and also unlikely to work across different email clients. Finally you won't have any statistics on how effective your emails are.
Manual email pros:
Manual emails cons:
- Slow to send
- Time consuming – you need to handle each unsubscribe personally
- Can blacklist ALL your emails
- Very hard to format emails to make them work for all types of email program.
- No statistics
Want something a bit quicker?
Using software on your computer like SendBlaster will automate some aspects of the process, managing your email list and unsubscribes. The software will also provide some statistics.
However you'll still be just as likely to get marked as spam or blocked from sending emails as you would with the manual method. You still face issues creating an email that looks good in all email clients.
You'll likely need to buy the software to do this, but it's a one off cost rather than per-email cost.
Email sender software pros:
- Takes some of the hassle out of sending emails manually
- One off cost may be cheaper than a commercial services
Email sender software cons:
- Can blacklist ALL your emails
- Very basic stats
- Creating and formatting emails still difficult
So what's the easiest and most reliable choice?
Using a commercial service really is the way forward. Each service works hard to avoid your message from being marked as spam.
Online services will handle your email list automatically, all you have to do is import a list of emails at the start, they even give you widgets to put on your website so people can sign up automatically.
The area where the online services really excel is how easy they make it to send an email, they have carefully created templates, that work across all the major email clients and services, which you can customise. With a template set up you can create a new email in minutes.
Adding content is as easy as typing in a box or uploading a picture. And once you've sent the email they'll provide comprehensive statistics on who opened the emails and what links were clicked. You can even run A/B tests quickly and easily to increase your conversions.
The only real downside to online email services is that you will have to pay for the emails you send, but this can be less than a penny per email. Some systems will also restrict how you add email addresses to stop them being abused by spammers.
Commercial email system pros
- Quick and easy to use
- Powerful statistics
- Reliable, much lower chance of getting spammed
- Won't affect your day to day emails
Commercial email system cons
- More expensive
- Spam protection measures may stop you from adding large lists of emails.
What are the laws for sending emails
The law regarding sending emails to consumers is that they should be solicited, i.e. the emails were given to you (whether to sign up to the email or during your normal business communications) or to a third party with the knowledge the email could be distributed to 3rd parties. You should ensure that your emails are obtained in this way.
Secondly the law requires that anyone can unsubscribe immediately from your email list. This is automatically handled by most commercial email services, but if you're sending emails manually then it's down to you to keep an up to date email list.
Note we're not lawyers, so if you want legal advice you should speak to a legal professional.
My goal is to help the clients of The Travel Web Design Agency turn more browsers into buyers. These articles are just a small portion of the knowledge and experience that helps our clients grow.
I've been creating websites since the nineties – before most people were even online! As a perpetual traveller I've first hand experience of what people are thinking when they're booking a tour. And as someone who has worked with the travel industry from my first professional website back in 1998 I understand what tour operators need in today’s competitive market.
Are you looking to fill up your tours? If so, you need to call the experts 01722 346404.
The Travel Web Design Agency can help you with more than just email campaigns. Whether you want to improve an existing site, reach more customers or create a new website we can help you with it all.
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