Email marketing is generally acknowledged to be among the most effective kinds of marketing, when managed correctly. And yet we all experience an overwhelming number of examples of brands that fail at staying in touch with their clients via email. We decided to look into this matter by asking someone who deals with email marketing at the highest level, by enabling others to do it properly. Alexandra Radulescu is the Inbound Marketing Manager at SendinBlue, an all-in-one marketing platform that allows users to easily create and manage their email and SMS campaigns. Alexandra has an international background, with study and work experience in France, Italy and the UK.
SendinBlue offers email and SMS marketing services and it also powers a blog, offering marketing tips and insights. In your experience, what makes an email marketing campaign successful?
When you’re sending email campaigns, the most important thing is to have a good database of email contacts. If you truly wish to generate positive results, you need to use 100% opt-in contacts. This means that all of the contacts have given their explicit consent to receive your newsletters. Once you have a quality database and you’ve segmented it, you must create effective content for your recipients. The content must be tailored to your recipients’ needs and expectations, as well as to your objectives. You may want to generate direct sales, improve customer relations or reactivate inactive recipients, so the content of your campaigns should be different depending on your goal. Next, consider these elements: the subject line and content (e.g. information, images, links, calls-to-action), as well as your sending frequency and the time of the day/week you send the campaign. Last but not least, the tools that you use to create you campaign will have a major impact on the success of the campaign. The solution one uses to create a campaign must provide essential features like being able to create emails adapted to screen size (responsive design), contact segmentation, and sign-up forms. It should also guarantee an optimized deliverability on all ISPs and include detailed campaign reports.
Email marketing is a powerful tool, but it requires companies to stay on top of rules and regulations in matters of privacy, which vary from country to country. Have you encountered any specific national differences in that respect? Do certain countries make email marketing harder than others do?
Every country has its own specific regulations. The laws that govern digital communications and marketing vary from country to country, which makes compliance a challenge. Marketers that send their campaigns to recipients in different countries/continents should always be up to date with each country’s anti-spam legislation; that’s what we always try to explain to our customers. Some countries have more strict rules, such as Canada or Germany, which require opt-in, opt-out options, proof of signup for each contact, clear information about the sender’s identity and so on. The EU has additional rules for each country, whereas South America, Africa and Asia have looser requirements. Based on our experience as an email marketing platform, users need more guarantees in countries like Germany, which place a high importance on certifications like CSA, SignalSpam, DDV, SNCD. So as an email platform, if you want to become bigger in certain countries, you need to “take all the tests” and comply with all their specific rules.
SendinBlue is currently available in six languages: are you planning on expanding to new markets in the foreseeable future?
We are always planning to expand ☺
For now, we are focusing on growing further within the countries and for the languages where we already have a customer base. For example, our platform was launched in German exactly one year ago, so we’re quite new in that market. Who knows, maybe in the future we’ll launch our platform in Russian, Chinese or Japanese… We’ll let you know in the next interview!
What’s the most valuable email marketing tip you have ever come across?
The advice we always give our customers is to send their emails to people that want to receive them, and always send them the content they signed up for. Without this foundation, all email marketing efforts are useless.
You have recently launched a mobile app. What are the main differences between managing an email marketing campaign with your traditional desktop interface and with your app?
The mobile app was designed to complement the existing features within our web interface and allows our users to take the most important features with them anywhere they go! The app allows you to send/schedule your email campaigns or send test emails. You can also check your campaign reports and view the information about your subscribers. These are all actions that you can do “on the go” and are perfect for people that manage a part of their marketing tasks while on the move. Users still do the most involved processes like importing contacts, creating email campaigns/templates or accessing the SMTP platform from the desktop interface, since this provides the best user experience.
Is mobile the future of email marketing?
It surely is! An increasing volume of research shows that mobile email marketing is on the rise. In fact, mobile email marketing has seen a 500% growth in the past 4 years. Today, half of all emails are opened on smartphones and tablets.1 So mobile should definitely be a priority for all marketers that contact their prospects and clients via email marketing campaigns. Responsively designed newsletters and mobile-optimized content will play a big part in email marketing success.
You are a relatively young company: in less than four years, you have gone from launching to opening offices in multiple continents and you were named a Top Email Marketing Solution last year. Any growth tips you would like to share with our readers?
Our motto has always been “focus on the quality of your product and the results will follow”. SendinBlue’s goal was to offer a simple and powerful tool for all marketers and allow them to become autonomous when creating email campaigns. Using SendinBlue’s main features does not require any technical knowledge or skills, so everything is very easy to use and user-friendly. Once you understand people’s needs and are able to build a solid product that meets those needs, the customers will come! SendinBlue has greatly evolved over the years, thanks to our customers’ feedback and a great dose of R&D. Growth and marketing is simple when your product speaks for itself!
Are you planning your email marketing campaign for the Italian market? Contact us!