Top Tips for SME METS' Email Marketing
Written by Megan Edwards, Head of Membership Services, Austmine
If you have been working in the mining industry for more than a couple of years, chances are you have a great network of contacts. However, surprisingly few Australian small and medium sized METS leverage this network of contacts in a regular, reliable and commercial way to increase awareness of their business, or sales.
Whether you’re working off excel for your contacts, or you have a proper customer relationship management system (CRM) that you can send out emails through, there’s no excuse for not being in touch with your contacts, both clients and prospects. Here is some advice from me on how you can go about this in a low cost, engaging manner, that doesn’t take days of your time:
- First things first – make sure you have all your contacts in one place and one electronic format. It doesn’t matter if it’s an expensive CRM or excel (naturally I would advise having some kind of CRM, but for the purposes of basic communication with contacts, you can survive without), it just needs to be in the same location and format.
- If you don’t have an email system, invest in one (Outlook doesn't count). Austmine uses Campaign Monitor, which is owned by Mail Chimp. Both are low cost and incredibly user-friendly/idiot proof systems (I use it with no problems!). They also allow you either to have people sign up directly into your list, so providing a form of CRM, or you can upload data into them (I use it this way) through excel.
- Segment your data. This can be in as many, or as few ways as you want. If you are beginning on this journey, I would suggest two main ways – clients and prospects. You may have overlapping messages you want both to receive, but you’ll certainly have different messages and content for both also. My three main segments here at Austmine are members (including affiliates and partners), non-members and miners. Members receive weekly emails; non-members and miners just a monthly one.
- Ensure a balanced communications schedule. If your prospects and clients only hear sales messages from you, they will swiftly unsubscribe from your emails. I would recommend at least a 1:1 approach in terms of sales/content electronic direct mails (EDMs/emails).
- Decide your frequency of communication based on your ability to generate unique content. If you don’t have a full time marketing or communications manager, you will be limited on your ability to come up with fresh content and press releases each week. I would suggest aiming for a monthly communication as a minimum. Provided you have a website you can edit yourself (absolutely critical in this day and age), so you can easily pop your news items, interviews, thought leadership, press releases etc. up there, a monthly newsletter or email with your company news is not too much of a stretch. Austmine members who need more ideas or advice on creating this content, check out the webinar I delivered last year on Content Marketing.
- Match your tone to your audience. This is important when thinking about the overarching demographic of your audience(s). The tone of my newsletters is significantly more formal than when I email a long-standing client, or well-known Austmine member. However, the mining and METS industries are generally a relatively casual bunch, so we can use a more engaging and friendly tone.
- Use the analytics in your email distribution system to measure what’s successful and what isn’t. Check open rates from different subject lines (it can sometimes be useful to divide your audience in two and use different subject lines to each audience - check to see which gets the higher open rates); see which pieces get the most click throughs. Use this information to help shape your future email communications in a way that engages your audience more, based on their previous interactions. We all know the use of data analytics can help improve productivity on a mine site, so use your email marketing analytics to help improve your conversion rates or customer retention!
Austmine members, want more advice on marketing for SME METS? Then don’t miss out on our webinar at the end of the month on this topic. Register now on our website.