This week’s Lowdown – part of The Production Office Live – is focused on email marketing:

TOOLS

If you’re going to be marketing your content and products to your email list you first of all need a tool to help you do it. By far the most popular are MailChimp, which starts from free and scales up, and Aweber, which is a paid service, but offers much more in terms of functionality and interaction with other programmes.

Both are good choices, but like most programmes of this ilk – and there are many – it mostly boils down to your budget and what you want to do with your emails. Take a look at them both (and others) and see what you think.

BUILDING YOUR LIST

We all have an email list, we just call it our address book. Most of us don’t like to think of sending marketing messages to our friends, and that’s why there are all sorts of protections in place (in the UK at least) for holding people’s data.  Everyone you send a marketing email to MUST have consented to receiving them, either by giving you their address on a sign-up form or expressly agreeing in another manner.

There are many ways to capture email addresses and many examples of good practice. The two most common ways are through your project website – check out dontlethimin.com for a good example of Opt-In email forms – or by offering something in exchange – see Seth Godin’s offer of the first four chapters of Permission Marketing.

As we talked about previously with Crowdfunding, you have to be able to offer value to your list through your email. Which brings us to…

TIPS

54% of people who unsubscribe from email lists do so because they either receive the emails too frequently or because the content is too boring or repetitive. You need to make any marketing emails you send out interesting, informative and relevant. As soon as you lose those three things from your emails, you will start to lose subscribers quicker than you gained them.

Another great tip is the use of social media connections. Adding “Share” buttons from the major social media sites on the ‘net increases click-through by 55% – a huge advantage over all those emailers out there who aren’t leveraging social media in this way.

More than likely, you subscribe to several email marketing lists and the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t is simply to look through your inbox. Some of your emails will be out-and-out marketing, some will be sharing and some will seem to be neither. Look carefully at all of them and work out for yourself what you like, don’t like and how you could do it differently to promote yourself, your film or your products.

I hope this is all useful to your quest to gain more from your online marketing. Have any other tips about email marketing, or your own success story? Post them in the comments section below.

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