In Part 1 we talked about building your database and storing the information. Now we’re getting to how to actually use that information. This article is about bulk-emailing your database – not about your day-to-day emails.
The first thing to say about email is that if you are sending out more than a few emails, you need to use a service to send them out – otherwise they won’t get sent. Your standard email provider won’t let you send out hundreds of emails at a time (although you may not know they didn’t get sent). So this leaves you 2 main options:
Use software to manage your programme which includes email
By far the best option if you really want to grow your business. We use software called tennisbiz, but there are several options out there. Any of them should have a good database facility and the ability to email straight from the software using various filters or tags.
Using the example of tennis camps, in about 5 minutes, I can go into the software, apply some filters so that I’m only emailing parents of all 3-14 year olds in our database (the age group for our camps) and email 1500 parents. The email is a template, so I don’t need to write it again – just change a couple of details. There is no doubt that we’ll get a good number of kids signing up just from that email.
Use an email service like Mailchimp
This is harder work and more difficult to target your emails to the right people, but is the best option if you’re not yet using software. Mailchimp is FREE for a list of up to 2000. Click Here to read my article about it.
There are other paid email services such as Aweber, but if you are going to start spending money, better to spend it on software to manage the programme.
How To Use Email To Market Your Programme
A few years ago, I would have suggested things like a regular newsletter, emails with tips for improving your tennis, including details of sessions which you want to promote, competitions & surveys.
But with people being so busy and receiving so many emails, I would now say that the above is ideal only for people who are currently in the programme – attending sessions once a week or more. Great, by all means keep in touch with them with a newsletter etc. But for people in the database who are not regular – maybe they only come to tennis camps, or a school session or stopped attending regular lessons – use email more sparingly, just for things that you really want to promote, like tennis camps or the start of a new term/semester of lessons at the club or occasional one-off events. Otherwise, there is more chance that they will unsubscribe or just not read your emails.
There are some other ways that you might use email to market your programme – for instance, asking schools or other organisations to email something out for you, but I’ll cover these in another article. Here we are really just talking about emailing your database.