In the digital communication landscape, email is one of the most traditional channels.
Nonetheless, in recent years, an increasing number of people have questioned whether email is still so necessary – or could be potentially replaced with less time-consuming marketing tactics.
Indeed, several new forms of communication have emerged over the years, mostly in the social media landscape, where the automation tools appear to be more user-friendly and simple-to-use than designing a lead generation and email marketing strategy from scratch.
Despite this, email marketing continues to grow in popularity and is a sure bet for ROI success.
Consider this: for every dollar spent on email marketing, you can expect an average ROI of $40 (source: Omnisend)!
However, approaching an email marketing campaign – particularly a group email one – without relying on a powerful mailing list tool can force you to deal with security, GDPR, and management issues that can seriously undermine your efforts and results.
This is why today we’ll look at:
What email marketing really entails in today’s business landscape;
The key advantages of an effective email marketing strategy – such as the possibility to segment your target audience and personalize your message;
How a user-friendly and powerful email marketing tool, such as Simplelists, can make the difference.
Let’s investigate further!
What is email marketing?
Email marketing, in a nutshell, is a digital marketing strategy that entails sending emails to a specific group of people to promote a newsletter, event, offer, product, or service.
Consider that by 2025, the number of email users worldwide is expected to reach 4.6 billion (source: Statista) – accounting for more than half of the world population, – with over 375 billion emails expected to be sent and received each day.
That’s why, to make the most of it, businesses typically create a list of email addresses collected via ad hoc lead generation forms, in order to:
Efficiently track and analyze their efforts, including using the right automation tools;
Better understand their target audience;
Focus on consent, segmentation, and personalization, abandoning the outdated outbound approach.
So, let’s quickly compare a few different channels:
Social Media Marketing: Social media allows businesses to interact and build relationships with their potential customers, but the competition is fierce. Their ROI varies depending on the platforms’ algorithm, but it is typically $2.80.
Search Engine Optimization: With a ROI of $22.24, SEO is an essential tool for any business, because ranking higher on search engines means being more easily found by the potential customers.
Pay-per-click Advertising: PPC ads have an average ROI of about $17 and they help businesses leverage their search engine visibility. However, this is not a one-to-one channel, but rather an advertising tactic. Indeed, 64% of people believe that basic ads are frequently intrusive and annoying (Source: Optinmonster).
Email Marketing: With a stunning ROI of $40, email offers a better conversion rate than any social media channel, as well as a higher degree of personalization and audience segmentation. In the long run, in fact, an email strategy helps building a community of loyal customers and is the most profitable and cost-effective direct marketing channel for moving customers through the purchasing cycle.
As you can see, email is still the most effective digital marketing channel, and a combination of SEO, social, PPC, and email marketing can really help you easily build the most powerful digital marketing strategy – where email can enhance all the other channels, allowing you to retain and communicate with your customers individually.
Let’s take a closer look at the key email marketing benefits!
4 Major Email Marketing Benefits
Have you ever felt frustrated and overwhelmed while attempting to segment your target audience and personalize their message?
A non-personalized approach – whether through ads, messages, or posts – can have a negative impact on your marketing strategy and result in:
Lower engagement and conversion rates, as you won’t be able to address your potential leads’ specific needs, making it difficult to pique their interest and convert them into customers.
Higher costs, because a one-size-fits-all approach would necessitate more resources to reach a broader audience;
Inefficient customer loyalty, as personalization and segmentation are the foundations for building a relationship with customers.
So, why can a proper email marketing strategy – with the help of an efficient email marketing software – help you avoid such risks?
The answer is simple: The key is personalization, which is at the heart of mail marketing.
People, in fact, appreciate it when brands add personal touches to their messages – and email marketing, by definition, allows you to segment your target audience into specific lists that are based on different demographic or psychographic criteria, as well as easily get direct feedback.
A personalized email strategy, in fact, can drive more conversions than any other digital channel – with 66% of online consumers making a purchase as a result of an email marketing message (source: Monetate) – and it is much more efficient if it’s based on a well segmented opted-in list.
You might think it’s easier said than done at this point...
Please, hold on! If you want to segment and personalize your email lists based on various criteria, you should use an efficient email marketing platform.
We at Simplelists understand exactly how such a tool can make a difference for businesses of all sizes. That’s why our group email software includes features dedicated to email customization and segmentation, ranging from multiple lists management to styling.
As above-mentioned, email marketing clearly has enormous potential for enhancing sales and driving lead generation.
Indeed, if you rely solely on social media or search ads to increase sales, you should be aware that while these channels can help you attract new visitors – and reach a larger number of people at once, – they cannot always help you retain customers or nurture relationships with them.
On the other hand, email would give your company a direct channel to reach out to potential customers and nurture the relationship throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey.
To name a few, email marketing can help you leverage sales in the following ways:
Generating new leads through the creation of a well-structured landing page and opt-in form, allowing you to collect email addresses from both website, social, or ads, to then build a targeted email list that can really make a difference during new product launches;
Lead nurturing and helping leads move through the sales funnel by sending them highly targeted and personalized messages based on their interests and purchase habits, such as special birthday offers, welcome discounts, or abandoned cart emails, in order to create a one-to-one relationship and stimulate the brand loyalty;
Promoting new products, services, or business events through the right email campaign, including powerful calls to action and multimedia content.
As you can see, there are numerous approaches to driving sales through email marketing.
However, all of them would benefit greatly from using an email list management tool like Simplelists.
As a matter of fact, there are several technical details that can make you waste time and effort when segmenting and personalizing your email strategy, going from the design of landing pages to email footers, and email moderation.
What our clients appreciate most about our simple tool is that it allows them to quickly address all of these issues in no time by allowing them to easily customize their emails, subscription forms, footers, and even posting restrictions.
Whatever the size of your company, this can save you a lot of time and resources to devote to your sales or business strategy!
Another significant advantage of email marketing is that it allows businesses to retain and engage existing customers, encouraging repeat business and driving visitors back to websites.
This is because the use of targeted and personalized offers allows for a one-to-one relationship, which gives birth to a proper customer retention and remarketing strategy that can engage customers who have previously:
Purchased your products or services;
Visited your website, blog, or landing pages;
Abandoned their online cart.
Indeed, did you know that sending three abandoned cart emails generates 69% more orders? (source: Omnisend).
However, fidelizing a customer means being present and providing a timely newsletter in order to be perceived as also an expert in your industry. In fact, retaining a customer entails more than selling products or notifying abandoned carts, but also sharing educational content.
With the right strategy, email drives customer loyalty and becomes a necessary channel to use in conjunction with:
A sales CRM system to streamline communication;
An email list management tool to speed up the email delivery process.
Have you ever struggled to find the right channels and times to effectively reach your target audience?
This happens to almost every business.
Selecting the most appropriate channels for a specific campaign in a constantly evolving tech market can be extremely difficult and may depend on a variety of factors.
In fact, while a B2B company may find their target on LinkedIn, a B2C retailer may prefer Instagram or TikTok. However, there is one thing that all business types have in common: email marketing.
Email is unquestionably one of the digital channels that allows anyone to create a truly timely campaign to support the:
Promotion of events, including workshops and webinars;
Seasonal campaigns and product launches;
Time-limited offers, such as discounts or free shipping, which create a sense of urgency and encourages impulsive buying;
Trend-based campaigns which are based on popular topics.
Having said that, it’s clear that email campaigns can help you reach the right people at the right time, providing far more value to the target audience.
Why use Simplelists for your Email Marketing Strategy?
Last but not least, we’d like to show you how Simplelists, our user-friendly email list tool, can truly help you reap the benefits of email marketing by allowing you to:
To emphasize the significance of selecting the right tool, we can tell you that segmented and effective email marketing campaigns can result in a 760% increase in overall revenue (source: DMA).
So, to ensure that you get the best results possible, our tool includes a dedicated email delivery feature that gives you access to:
Email delivery reports, which include full receipt information on successful and unsuccessful email deliveries;
Email delivery failures, which help you track all bounces and drawbacks.
Would you like to get rid of advertising?
This is one of the major disadvantages of using free email marketing tools or providers that typically place advertisements in your emails.
It is not only annoying, but it may cause your emails to:
Go directly to your subscribers’ spam folders;
Be perceived as spammy;
Shift the focus from your content to the ads.
That is why Simplelists emails are free of advertisements and allow you to send the most professional and effective messages!
Lets you send HTML emails
Finally, another way you could use Simplelists to improve your email marketing campaigns is by designing and sending eye-catching HTML emails.
Our tool, in fact, will not limit you to the use of preset templates, but will allow you to easily customize and create your emails the way you want, so that you can:
Reflect your branding;
Gain more design control;
Send more engaging, safe, and trackable emails.
As we’ve seen today, developing a valuable marketing strategy can be difficult and time-consuming.
Emails provide numerous benefits, ranging from lead generation to remarketing and branding, but only through the use of a valuable email list tool you can make a difference for your company and achieve the desired results.
That’s a lot of emails! And with so many being sent and received every day, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the process of managing them all — especially if you’re responsible for sending them out too.
Group email services can make it easier to manage your email communications and can also help you manage your business more efficiently.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the benefits of using a group email service and what they can do for you.
What is a group email?
Imagine a world where you can send an email to clients, customers, colleagues, members, family and even friends in a single click!
With group email, you can do just that. But what is a group email and how can it be useful?
Your group email list can be created when multiple users are subscribed to the same email list.
This email distribution list can then be used to promote your company’s product or service and share your latest newsletter or content all in one go.
Benefits of using a group email
Managing large groups of contacts
Managing multiple workflows
Group emails are an extremely effective way to communicate with your network and build relationships. Keeping people up-to-date on what’s happening in your business, and helping you stay in touch with your community.
Common uses for group email
Inform customers about new products and promotions
Send out newsletters with company news and updates
Communicate with colleagues in other departments
Notify employees about upcoming meetings
There’s no denying that It’s a great way to get your message out there, but it’s also important that you choose the right audience for your group email.
If your message isn’t relevant or interesting enough for the people on your list, they won’t open it and may delete it without reading it.
Want to know how to avoid this?
Many businesses now use group email services as part of their email marketing tools but finding the right service can be hard. In our next sections, we’ll show you how to get the best out of a group email list and top group email marketing tools.
5 reasons why you should opt for a group email list
As a successful business, you know that communication is key and building relationships with customers is essential.
The easiest way to do this is opting for a group email list that will allow you to:
Build a rapport
Create brand awareness
Whether you have a business or a cause, odds are you have a group email list at your disposal.
So you’re all set and you’ve created the perfect email marketing campaign geared toward the right audience, and you’re ready to blast it out to your subscribers.
But have you ensured that your subscribers are going to receive your emails?
If not, they will bounce and end up in the trash/spam folder, which will hurt your chances of a decent ROI.
Here is some important advice and available features of Simplelists email management software to ensure your emails are delivered, rather than thrown away.
List management is a crucial and challenging aspect of email marketing. It can be as simple as having a few email addresses, or as complex as managing a database of thousands of subscribers.
For many businesses, managing your own group email list is not only cost-effective but also gives you complete control over the data. However, it’s not always easy to set up and maintain an efficient mailing list management system.
A useful feature to have is automated bounce processing and removal from your database.
This means if someone unsubscribes from your newsletter or sends back an undeliverable message (bounce), you are notified and this is then handled automatically by the service. So you don’t have to worry about manually removing them from your list anymore, keeping delivery rates high!
The advantage of an email list manager is that it allows you to have a clear overview of your subscribers and manage your lists more efficiently. Keeping track of your contacts, filtering them according to their actions and interests, and managing your list to send out the right messages to the right people at the right time.
You should also be able to automatically forward your emails to other people or groups. For example, if someone clicks on a link in one of your emails, they can be automatically added to another list (e.g. if they want to receive offers about a specific product).
There are many reasons why you might be looking for automated email list management software. Whether it be to reduce manual work and focus on more important things or handle the influx of new subscribers.
2. Customisable group email list
A customisable group email list is an important feature to have in any business.
Email Marketing is a powerful marketing tool that can be used to build brand awareness and increase sales. However, you need to make sure that your email is personalised, consistent and relevant to each recipient.
In order to address these challenges, you will want to use an email list management tool that allows you to create customised email lists.
The biggest benefit of this feature is that you can have a customisable group email list. This means that you can add your own personalised footer or footer text, members’ names, HTML for full customisation and so forth.
You can also choose to archive old emails which can be accessed in the archives section of your account. This is useful if you need to delete old emails or if you want to keep them as backups.
3. Full manage spam reporting
Spam is very common nowadays, so it is important to have a group email service that can handle your spam issues.
Not only is it annoying to have your inbox flooded with messages you don’t want to read, but it also wastes time and money.
In addition to providing tools for sending emails and tracking their results, your group email list services should provide tools for managing your email lists in real time with automatic spam management.
This means that when your email is marked as spam by a contact in your list (whether deliberately or accidentally!), those addresses of people who have reported this are automatically removed.
They then will receive no further emails from the list and prevent them from repeatedly marking it as spam. Keeping your ‘marked as spam rate’ low, delivery rates high and your email list up to date on who wants to see and receive your valuable information.
Keeping your messaging consistent with clear brand design, tone and information will help to keep you out of the spam box or mass unsubscribing.
4. Subscribe and unsubscribe options
Email subscribers are a valuable asset. They’re customers who have opted in to receive your marketing messages, giving you a direct line to them.
But if you don’t have the right permission settings in place, you could be breaking data protection laws and putting your business at risk.
You want to make sure your subscribers know how they can manage their own subscriptions and communication preferences.
You need to give them the option to unsubscribe from your mailing list at any time. In the past, customers had to follow complicated processes to unsubscribe from an email list.
Today, this can be done by setting subscribe and unsubscribe settings, plus the ease of adding a customisable subscribe form to your website.
With these simple adjustments, you’ll be in line with GDPR to give consumers more control over their data.
5. Private group email list
In business privacy is paramount, so having the function to create a private group email list is a must-have.
If you’re sending out information about a new product launch, for example, it’s important that only those who need to know about it get the information.
This feature allows you to create a private group where only you can see the members of your list. This is particularly useful if you want to send out information about a product pre-launch, private event or meeting.
With a private group email list, only you see their emails with no way for anyone outside of your organisation to see who else is on your list or what they are receiving from you in their inboxes.
This means that no one else will get access to your database and you can also remove members from the group email list whenever you want.
The best group email marketing tools
The email marketing landscape is constantly changing, nowadays, business is not just about selling products. Customers expect brands to provide value by sending them educational content or useful tips too.
You realise you need a group email marketing tool, and there are many tools out there to help you reach your audience. However, not all of them are created equal.
Some of them may seem too complex for your needs or too expensive for your budget. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right tool for your business.
What makes one group email marketing tool better than another?
The answer is simple: features and usability. Here are some features we consider when reviewing them:
Easy to use
This list will help you find the best email marketing software for your business needs:
Simplelists is easy to use and has an intuitive interface that makes creating lists and sending emails a snap.
Simplelists is a user-friendly email marketing tool that allows you to quickly create lists and send emails to your subscribers. It also has a responsive design, so it works well on mobile devices — especially important in today’s world where mobile internet usage continues to rise year after year.
Intended to be both affordable and powerful, you can create a list in minutes and send an email campaign, promotion, newsletter or discussion group in a matter of seconds.
Our features are so simple, anyone can use them. No technical knowledge is required!
With all Simplelists subscriptions, you can easily:
Manage members / list import
Integrate with your website
Automated list management
Spam & bounce management & feedback loops
Keep emails and contacts secure (ISO27001 certification)
View data and analytics
Whether you want to send a single list or multiple, Simplelists plans range from $8 pcm for a single list to $686 for enterprise-level and plenty of affordable packages in between.
They have a super-friendly and responsive support team that can help you with anything from getting started to managing your account.
Listserv is an email list management solution, offered as an in-house software or cloud service.
Listserv allows users to manage email communications such as alerts, newsletters and discussion groups from a central interface.
Providing flexible licensing to meet current and future business needs, Listserv have technical support to help you get your group email list running smoothly.
With Listserve you have:
Customise emails (not with the basic plan)
Message scheduling (not with the basic plan)
Integrate with your website
Archive emails (restricted with the basic plan)
Automated list management
Spam & bounce management (restricted with the basic plan)
View data and analytics (not with the basic plan)
Listserv offers perpetual and annual licenses with three plans available, Lite (perpetual only), Classic and HPO. Starting from $1,095 - $4,485 for annual licenses or $2,875 - $28,060 for perpetual.
GroupMail is a free email list and mass email newsletter software.
An easy-to-use group email messaging system that’s great for newsletters, event planning, personal announcements, and more.
You can download their free software to begin sending in seconds. With varied, one-time paid software subscriptions you’re able to:
Manage members/ list import
Customise emails (marketing plan only)
Message scheduling (not with the basic plan)
Automated list management (not with the basic plan)
Spam & bounce management (not with the basic plan)
View data and analytics (marketing plan only)
GroupMail also has the possibility to be installed in English, Spanish, French, German or Polish and the added ability to create autoresponders. They have three packages ranging from $149.95 to $699.95 excl VAT.
After reading and exploring features, requirements and price plans of group email marketing tools, you’ll notice that when it comes to effective marketing, sometimes the best option is the simplest one.
In short, there are a lot of reasons why you should (and probably will) use a group email list. Not only are they easy to set up and maintain, but they’ll also help get your content in front of a larger audience than ever before.
Whether you run an online store, a work-related business or a creative hub, using an email list can help you really make the most out of it.
So what are you waiting for?
Want a group email list to get your business to the next level?
If you’re running a business, sports club, charity or educational establishment, you’ll understand how important effective communication and collaboration is.
In the modern digital world it seems like there are countless ways to collaborate online, whether it’s via WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups, Slack channels or Discord servers.
But sometimes you want something that is affordable, professional, uses established technology that everyone has access to, and has the benefit of having all messages archived for future reference.
If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you might benefit from using a Listserv.
Listserv: your group communication ally
A listserv is a type of email service that allows a group of people to communicate via email.
By sending an email to one email address, it will automatically be sent to all the people who have signed up to be part of the Listserv.
This makes it a great way for groups of people to easily share information, collaborate, and stay connected.
LISTSERV® is actually a registered trademark of L-Soft, who created one of the earliest and most popular Listserv group email communication tools. But the term ‘Listserv’ is now synonymous with any list-based group email technology.
Think about it in the same way that people refer to a sticky note as a Post-it® note, or a hot tub as a Jacuzzi®.
When we’re talking about Listserv in this article, we’re referring to the commonly used term for the technology.
What are the major benefits of a Listserv?
Easy to set up
Listservs are relatively easy to set up.
Most modern Listserv software is user-friendly and doesn’t require advanced technical skills or development teams to get things up and running.
And once it’s set up, modern Listservs are typically simple to manage and maintain.
Easy to build a community amongst your subscribers
A Listserv provides an effective way for your subscribers to share their ideas and knowledge and collaborate on projects.
This can lead to a greater sense of community among group members.
Listservs are incredibly affordable. This is one of the things that makes the technology so attractive for small businesses, sports clubs and charities.
A Listserv can also be customised to suit the specific needs of each email group.
Some groups might benefit from receiving each individual message to the email address. Others might benefit from receiving a daily or weekly digest of the messages sent to the group.
Listservs automatically archive all messages. This makes it easy to search and retrieve important information at a later date if needed.
You’re able to set up a Listserv so that members can easily subscribe or unsubscribe themselves. This can make it easier to manage your email list.
Organically grow your email list
By providing a platform for discussion and collaboration, your subscribers may choose to forward messages from the Listserv with others that they think would be interested in the content.
Your engaged community can help you attract new subscribers.
Additionally, most Listserv technology can be easily integrated with your website. This can make it easy for people to sign up to your email list and begin receiving your content.
Who can benefit from using a Listserv?
Listserv technology is suitable for any organisation that wants to reach targeted groups of people with their message and potentially prompt a group email discussion.
We’ve put together a small list of the types of organisations that might benefit from Listserv and some ways they might use it.
Businesses: Collaborating with internal teams
Listservs can be a great way for businesses to keep their teams connected and aligned on important projects.
You might set up a mailing list for each department or project team so they can share updates, discuss upcoming milestones or review current performance. This can help boost productivity and improve decision making.
Businesses: Email marketing
Listservs can also be a powerful tool for businesses to reach their customers and prospects.
By creating a mailing list of opted-in email addresses, businesses can send targeted messages, promotions and updates to a large number of people at once.
This can help increase brand awareness and drive sales.
Most modern Listserv solutions can support HTML email, so you can still send emails that look eye-catching and compelling.
Listservs can be a great low-cost solution for sports clubs to keep their members in the loop on upcoming events, practice schedules and team news. By allowing members to reply to the group and start discussions, it can really help foster a sense of community and bring the team together.
By using a Listserv, charities can keep their supporters informed about their work and upcoming events. They can also be used internally between volunteers and management to help co-ordinate events and discuss fundraising strategies.
A Listserv can provide an easy and effective way to send out announcements, assignments, and other information. They can also be used for class discussion, managing group projects, and sharing resources.
Listservs can be a great way for event planners to coordinate conferences, meetings, and workshops with their subscribed attendees.
How to create a Listserv in a few simple steps
Choose the right Listserv software
There are many different types of Listserv software available, each with their own different features and benefits.
We’d recommend making a list of the things that are important to you in your chosen software, whether that’s cost, ease of use, deliverability of emails or customer support.
By understanding what is most important to you, you’ll be able to choose the software that best meets your needs and has the features you require.
Complete a simple setup process
Once you’ve made your decision on the software you’re going to use, it’s time to set up your Listserv.
Every solution will have a slightly different set up process, but the typical steps will involve creating an account, choosing a name for your Listserv, and configuring your settings.
The settings that are most important are the level of moderation, the type of messages that are allowed, the subscription process, and what types of attachments (if any) are permitted.
With modern Listserv technology the setup process is easy and user-friendly, so don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy.
Import your email contact list
Once your Listserv is set up and configured the way you want it, you can start adding members.
A common way to do this is by importing a CSV of your email contact list. Most Listserv software will need you to agree that the contacts have all opted-in to email communication, in line with relevant data privacy legislation.
You can also add your Listserv sign up to your website and other channels at this point, to help the organic growth of your subscriber list.
Send your content
Now that your Listserv is set up and has members, you can start creating content, sending messages, and setting up discussion threads.
It’s really that easy!
Interested in exploring the power of Listserv?
After reading this article, you’ll understand the potential applications of Listserv and you might even be excited by the ideas of how you might use Listserv within your organisation.
But the only way to truly appreciate the power of Listserv is to try it out for yourself.
At Simplelists, we offer all our customers a one-month free trial of our service.
By trying Simplelists for free, you can discover first-hand how Listserv email can benefit your organisation.
Two of the most popular reasons that our customers use Simplelists are as a listserve and for email marketing. However, these are not the only things you can use it for. We have designed Simplelists to be flexible so that you can complete a range of tasks. Here are some of the key ones.
Managing your email list
You can upload your email list members to Simplelists in bulk, directly from a file. If you have a lot of list members, this saves you time as you can export the list details to a file and upload it in seconds.
You can also download your list. We recognise that your email list is your property and we make it really easy for you to generate a copy of your email list. You can download your whole list of members into a file that can be opened in a spreadsheet.
It is very easy to set posting permissions in Simplelists. This means that you can select who can send emails to your list. You might choose to enable this for all members, select some members, or make yourself the sole person with the permission to post to the list.
You can also moderate messages that are due to be sent to your list. You have several options: no moderation required (messages are sent straight to the members of your list), hold all messages for approval, or allow specific members to post without needing your approval first.
You might want to manage replies as well - you can select whether email replies are sent to everyone on the list or only to the person who sent the original email.
Setting posting restrictions can be useful if you permit other members to send emails to your list. This would ensure they don’t send very large emails, for example. You can set a maximum email size (in kB), remove attachments, strip HTML formatting and/or truncate messages to a specified maximum number of characters.
Finally, you may or may not want to allow your list members to see who else is on the list. Again, you have options - you can allow members to view all names and emails, allow them to see names only, or remove the ability to see names or emails.
Customise your emails
With Simplelists, it is very easy to customise your emails by including a personalised footer and a subject prefix. You can include HTML in the footer so your members can see graphics or logos. Or, you can use HTML throughout the email for complete customisation. You can also personalise your emails by inserting each recipient’s name at the start.
You can archive all your emails. When you activate this feature, all emails will be stored on a custom website so that you can access them in the future. You can set a password for the archive, if you wish.
A healthy email list is important to ensure that you can contact a range of clients and drive success in your business. If you are already using Simplelists for email marketing, this won’t come as a surprise. If you are just starting a business, developing a list of contacts or ‘members’ can be challenging, especially when your customers are receiving other marketing messages in their inbox and becoming more sensitive to spam. Nevertheless, there are some effective ways to build a list of relevant members who will want to receive your emails.
Ensure that it is easy for people to sign up
There are plenty of ways to encourage people to sign up or 'opt-in’ to receiving your emails. If you put a subscribe form on your website, make sure it looks ‘clean’ and matches the rest of the site. Place the form towards the top of the page, and add some text to explain why they should sign up. You can create a subscribe form using Simplelists, if you wish. It is best not to ask for too much information at this stage – an email address is all you need. Asking for a first name as well will allow you to personalise your emails when you contact them.
You could also consider placing a subscribe form at the end of blog posts, in your site’s footer, or on your ‘About’ page. You can also use social media to encourage people to sign up and/or visit your website. Writing guest blogs with a sign-up form in them can also work well.
Sign up at the point of sale or when completing other forms
If your website/product requires people to set up an account or fill in a form on your website, you could also build in an email list sign-up into this process. Try to ensure that the reason for registering is clear though, and relevant to your target audience. You could make it as simple as including a check box that reads ‘Subscribe to our mailing list?’ that they can check when registering.
Word of mouth and events work well
You may like to offer those people who have been on your list for a while a small incentive or discount that might encourage them to tell others about your site/product. Make sure you ask for the friend’s email address and first name (again, to allow personalisation).
Make sure they know what to expect
It is good practice to make sure that your customers know exactly what to expect when they subscribe to your list. You should let them know what to expect with regards email frequency and content, and reassure them that they can unsubscribe at any time. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the law surrounding email marketing so that you don’t break any of the rules.
Using Simplelists - a group email manager - means you can send emails to a group of people via one email address. This is a great way to have private discussions via email in a way that ensures list members’ preferences are adhered to (e.g. how frequently they receive messages). Lots of businesses and organisations find that sharing information in this way can foster community in the workplace. This short post explains in some more detail how the service works and what benefits it offers.
How does it work?
First, members need to subscribe to the discussion list. They can do this on a website (see an earlier post on how to add a subscribe form to your website) or via email. It is then possible for any member to post to the whole list by emailing a particular, automated email address.
You can set permissions so that only certain members can post, or enable an approval process so that each post needs to be moderated by an administrator before going out to the whole list (read more here about how to set permissions). Normally, you would have one or more 'list managers’ who take charge of the list and tend to have a good level of knowledge about what the discussion is all about.
Making things personal
It is possible for list members to personalise how they interact with the list. For example, they might have an email format preference (HTML or plain text), or they might want to stipulate how often they receive emails from the list. There is also the option to receive a digest summary of the latest posts, instead of receiving them individually as and when they are posted.
You can also customise the email itself, perhaps including a company logo or a directing email recipients to a bespoke landing page within your website.
Today, most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have limits on the number of email addresses that you can send an email to. If you exceed the number, the email will not be delivered to the recipient. If recipients report your emails as spam, this can also affect whether or not the message gets through.
A lot of people still prefer receiving an email personalised to their needs rather than visiting a website to search for information. Over half of all internet users subscribe to at least one email list. For those with slow internet connections or who work offline at intervals, being able to download, read and reply to emails rather than interact in real time can be a real bonus.
Simplelists offers the function to search your email archives. This can be useful for people who join your list, helping them to familiarise themselves with the list topic. It is also very useful to have a back up of all of your communications, in case you need to refer to something or check a point of reference. We have written in a previous post about how to set up your archive and personalise it.
How to find the message you are looking for
It would not be entirely unlikely for a busy email list to accumulate hundreds or thousands of emails over a period of years. When you add a new member to a list, they can be given the option to read emails that were sent prior to the date they joined, and/or read emails about a specific topic. For the latter, the keyword search function can be used. Alternatively, it is possible to browse all messages, sorted by date or by thread.
How to access the archive
Log in to your Simplelists account. From the Members home page, under 'What would you like to do?’, select 'View list archives’. At this stage, you may be required to enter a password, if one has been set up by the list manager. If you do not know the password, you can request an access code at this point by entering your email address.
When in the email archive, emails are ordered by month and year. In the search box at the top, you can enter a keyword and any relevant emails will be shown. It is also possible to view list statistics on this page, as well as read more detailed information about the list.
These search tips will help you to find what you are looking for:
Search by specific month
This option is useful if you want to browse to a specific month and then search within it.
If you type a '?’, it will be replaced with any single character. This can help when you are not sure how to spell a word. So, if you were perhaps looking for an email related to the 'Worthbury Derby’ but you couldn’t remember whether 'Worthbury’ was spelt with an 'i’ or an 'o’, you can type 'W?rthbury’ and the generated results will include both spellings.
If you type a *, it will be replaced with any number of characters. So, for the Worthbury Derby, if you weren’t sure at all how to spell Worthbury, you could type 'W*ry’ and the results would show all emails starting with a 'W’ and ending in 'ry’.
For those of you with a multiple list account, you have the option to use your own domain rather than simplelists.com. You can add more than one domain and you have the freedom to brand the email system as your own. If you combine this with branding your landing pages (as we showed you in a previous blog), your emails will be very professional and aligned to your brand/image.
Setting up your own domain
Log in to your multiple list account, click on ‘General Settings’ and then select the ‘Domains’ tab. Type in your domain name and click ‘Add’. In the list that appears next, set your domain name as ‘primary’. You should then be able to view your new email addresses on the ‘List members’ page.
Configure your MX records
After you have added your domain name, you need to configure the mail exchange records associated with it. You do this via your web hosting control panel. In your panel, set the Primary MX record to ‘mx1.simplelists.com’ and the Secondary MX record to ‘mx2.simplelists.com’. You will find a step by step guide for doing this in cPanel in this short video. Please be aware that it can take up to 72 hours for the changes to come into effect. How long it takes depends on your web hosting settings.
There are also some things you can do to improve the deliverability of your messages. SPF records prevent spammers from sending messages with false/forged email addresses from your domain. DKIM records help to verify the sender and show that a message has not been altered on its way to the recipient.
If you choose to use your own domain with Simplelists, we recommend that you add both of these DNS records to your domain. When logged into your Simplelists multiple lists account, navigate to ‘General Settings’ and the ‘Domains’ tab. Scroll down to find the details you’ll need to add the DNS records. Then, open your web hosting control panel and complete the required fields for the SPF and DKIM records. You can see instructions for how to do this using cPanel in this short video.
All of these instructions can be viewed in two short videos on a previous post on our blog.
It has been estimated that just under 80% of emails sent by email marketers to people who signed up to your list reach the inbox. This is a pretty staggering number when your recipients have subscribed legitimately. This is because spam filters are becoming increasingly sensitive to make sure that non-legitimate emails do not get delivered. To avoid your email ending up in the spam folder, there are some simple things you can do.
Have a good email list
It is important that you make sure that the people you are emailing want to hear from you. We do not recommend that you buy or rent email lists that you can’t trust the source of, and it’s crucial that your list members have opted in to receiving your correspondence.
The easiest and most common way to do this is to get them to subscribe to a mailing list, either via a website or links on social media. You can assume that, if people visit your site, they are likely to be interested in the information/product you provide. You could add a sign-up box on all of your pages to allow users to join the list.
Ask your recipients to put you on their contact list
It is pretty much guaranteed that emails are delivered to the inbox if your list members have added you to their address book/contact list. In your welcome/first email you could ask them to add you to their contact list. You could also ask them to do this in the body of other emails that you send.
Mind the subject line
It is important to take care with the subject line of your email as it can affect the likelihood of your email avoiding the spam folder. We have written another short post on how to write a good subject line – the key message is that it should not be too much longer than 35 to 50 characters. The longer the subject line, the more likely it is that the email will go to the spam folder.
Make it easy to unsubscribe
While this might sound counter-intuitive, making the unsubscribe link visible on your emails can actually help overall deliverability to your list. It is preferable that your recipients choose to unsubscribe themselves, rather than marking your email as spam.
Email providers such as Gmail, Hotmail and others keep track of spam complaints and may penalise you, affecting how many of your other emails are delivered. If you make it easy for your list members to unsubscribe, the risk of the email service provider blocking all the emails you send is minimised.
Don’t forget that it is important to understand that there are laws governing the sending of emails to a list – you can read more about email spam and the law in one of our earlier posts.
In our last post, we shared a video that provides an overview of the Members’ Area, for Single List account holders. This time, we look at the Members’ Area for Multiple List account holders - see the video and transcript below.
The previous video gave an overview of the Member’s Area for Single List account holders. In this video, we’ll look at Multiple List accounts.
Once you’re logged in, you can access Multiple List accounts from the accounts menu at the top right of the page. Moving to the left hand side of the page, you can see the main menu. Note that this is broken into two sections: General and Lists.
The address book stores all the members of all your lists. You can also add and approve members, and download your members’ details here.
Individual lists are managed by selecting 'manage lists’. You can create new lists, delete lists, and move or copy members from one list to another. Members of specific lists are managed by selecting 'list members’. You can add members from your address book to individual lists. Members who have completed email confirmation are shown in green, while those who are yet to confirm are shown in red.
In the list settings section, you can manage settings for each individual list. You can add moderators, manage permissions and restrictions, customise list emails, and choose the details that list members see when they view their emails.
The archives enables full management of email archives for each of your lists. You can enable or disable archives and offer protected viewing, which allows only selected users to view archives.
The general settings section is used to manage your multiple list account. You can customise your landing pages, such as sign up pages and email archives.
You can manage subscription settings. For example, you can enable or disable new subscriptions, and select whether new subscriptions require approval. You can customise your confirmation email and write a message that users receive when they confirm their email address. You can add your own domain so that it replaces Simplelists.com. This enables you to brand the entire system as your own.
Aliases can be used to forward emails to different email addresses. You can forward to normal email addresses, as well as to other lists.
The approval section shows emails that area waiting to be approved. When you grant approval, the emails will be sent.
The bounces section shows email addresses that emails have bounced back from, such as email addresses that don’t exist.
That’s the overview of the Multiple List account holders Members’ Area - Simple!