(MC-5) Using Workshop Angel or External Email Marketing Tools
There are several important issues and decisions to make around working with email marketing tools... in this lesson we discuss these to help you find the best way forwards!
As we have discussed in the previous lessons, Workshop Angel offers email marketing possibilities. However there are also some very capable email marketing tools available as stand-alone products, and you may already be familiar with using one or more of these.
So the question come about: if I use Workshop Angel for my booking system, what should I use for my email marketing system?
Here are the topics and specific issues for you to consider...
If you are running a business in an efficient way, it is very helpful to have one location where your complete contact database is stored. Without this, you are spending time copying contact details from one system to another which is both time consuming and error prone.
Sometimes when we talk to small workshop based businesses, they cannot easily answer the question "Where is your contact database stored?". It may be they use an email marketing system, have another location where attendee's booking details are stored, and also have other contacts whose details are within their email environment.
We have designed Workshop Angel with the possibility to centralise all your contact details in one place - within the contacts area of Workshop Angel itself. It isn't the only approach you can take, but we'd like you to understand the advantages and disadvantages.
The other most common place to store your contact database is within an external email marketing system. This has been the easiest place for many businesses, as these systems provide an easy mechanism for subscribing and unsubscribing to mailing lists, and sending out your email marketing.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages...
- Is integrated with the email marketing tools.
- Already have subscribe/unsubscribe functions.
- You may be using such a system already so it will be familiar and will contain all your contacts.
- Is not linked to your booking system, so you will need to be copying contacts between the systems for attendees who book and wish to be added to your mailing list.
- Difficult to create a sub-list of attendees who have attended a certain type of activity.
- Is integrated to your booking system so you can easily search for contacts who have attended certain activities and invite them to follow-on activities you run.
- Has subscribe tools to use both in your marketing tools and in your booking form.
- Has automatic unsubscribe tools which can be used if you send your marketing emails from within Workshop Angel.
- You are using the same system for managing attendance contacts and marketing contacts.
- The marketing tools are less sophisticated in Workshop Angel, so you may prefer to use an external email marketing system for this reason. In this case you will need to copy email lists to the external system (quite easy to do), and also manage those who unsubscribe from the list in a manual way (a bit more work). (Note that it is possible we will add an automatic unsubscribe link from popular external email marketing tools back into Workshop Angel in the future if many users request this feature).
Dedicated email marketing tools generally offer features which are not currently available if you choose to send your marketing emails from within Workshop Angel. These types of features are:
- Content Creation - there will be a more sophisticated user interface for creating emails with rich content and graphical structure.
- Open and Click analysis - there will be tools for analysing how effective your email campaign was in terms of emails opened and links clicked.
On a practical level, if you choose to have your master contact database stored within Workshop Angel then the process of sending marketing emails from within Workshop Angel will be easier to manage, as we have discussed earlier in this lesson.
You can use the search function within the Workshop Angel Contacts area to find a specific group of contacts you wish to send a specific marketing email to.
You can then create a list of those names and email addresses and import them into your dedicated email marketing system.
We have looked at the topic of where your master contact database is stored, and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of making Workshop Angel or a dedicated email marketing system the location for this.
We have also discussed how marketing emails can be sent from within Workshop Angel as well as from dedicated email marketing tools, and the issues involved in making this decision.