Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Email marketing

Obviously, I'm always on the lookout for ways to persuade people to buy our beer. There are a lot of breweries selling beer now, so being proactive is just about essential.

Ann was sending out an email list of beer availability to pubs and wholesalers every week. It's informative, but normally not particularly eye catching. She sends it out manually, populating the BCC field herself (copy and paste, I expect)

Yesterday I decided to have a look at MailChimp. It produces nice output and emails to people as HTML formatted pages. I think it is handy, and has various features that are useful. If you've not tried it, and you send out emails manually like Ann was doing, then perhaps you should give it a look.

I think it would be handy to have a list of people, Hardknott fans, etc, that are not business, but might like to get emails from us from time-to-time. We could then send out handy information about what we are up to. Saves you all having to check this blog, or our less than frequently updated website.

If you'd like to go on our mailing list, you have to do something called a double-opt-in as the law prevents us sending out to people who we haven't previously had contact with.

So, if you'd like to take part, click on silly oversized button below to take you to the sign-up form.

 Click me to sign up to Hardknott's stunning news letters
You will have a tiny bit of typing to do, but it's not much.
You can leave a silly name if you don't want us to know who you are.
The important thing is get your email address correct!
Then click the "Subscribe to list" button

Did you do that? Good. Now, check your inbox, you should have an email from us. Click to confirm you are happy to go on our list and you are done. Sit back and wait for us to send stunningly informative, well presented news mails every time we think there is something of interest.

As an aside, one of the things MailChimp prides itself in is allowing genuine unsubscribe features. There is a theory out there that if you press the unsubscribe button in some spam you actually prove that the email address is active, and you just get spammed more. MailChimp does not allow this kind of monkey business.

14 comments:

StringersBeer said...

Dude, you have to do a giveaway or a competition or something if you want people to sign up.

Dave Bailey said...

Both good ideas that I might well try out sometime or other.

Jake Perks said...

Yeah, but then you'd get people signing up for the wrong reasons. Like people who join a consumer group just to get pub discount vouchers.

I signed up because I like to hear what's going on.

Dave Bailey said...

Well, I quite like to sign up to lists that are relevant and of interest to me. For instance, I regularly get emails from my friends over at LemonTop who do all our label designs. Mostly they are trying to sell extra services that I'm not interested in, or can already perform myself, even if not as well as they can. I like getting their emails because it sometimes gives me ideas. Besides, this is an excuse to mention them, because they do a good job, partly because I don't give up until they deliver what I want, and party because they put up with me nothing them with endless edits.

I also get mails from various other breweries, confusing me with a real beer writer, because I'm a member of The British Guild of Beer Writers - again, these are relevant, even if I don't really like the brewery or their beers, simply because I get to know a little bit more about what is going on in the industry. And sometimes it sports new ideas for me.

I am get quite a lot of emails claiming that a long-lost relative has left me some huge sum of money, and if I'd just pass over my bank details it'll be transferred right away. I like getting these too because it amuses me that people think that sort of thing might work.

The scary thing is, they might just work on some.

Anyway, I have no idea quite how successful this newsletter mailing out thing will go, but I've had a few subscribers tonight, enough to make it worth starting.

StringersBeer said...

@Jake yeah, or like buying "shares" to get discount in overpriced bars.

Anonymous said...

Each post gets successively more embarrassing.

Tandleman said...

Just signed up - with my real name too!

Dave Bailey said...

Thanks Tandy, and all the other people who have already signed up. I'm sure giving away beer or something might well swell the numbers, and I might even consider it. Either way, we've got a start.

I'm really not sure why the Anonymous Troll is embarrassed. Tempted to delete that comment, but lets just leave him there for us to consider for now. If he gets too much trouble we'll just invoke moderation settings in Blogger.

Jeffrey Bell said...

Mail outs from breweries you rarely if ever buy from just become a nuisance for publicans. As do sales calls. But I sympathise with brewers, what else are they meant to do?

The problem with manually sending emails and filling out the bcc field is there's no simple "unsubscribe" button for those who don't want to get it - you have to reply to it and ask to be taken off which can be seen as spiky and also doesn't always get the desired result anyway. So what you're doing is a really good idea. Looks professional too.

In terms of doing a consumer version, why not? For your particular brewery I think this is a good approach, what with all your videos and what not.

Jeffrey Bell said...

Mail outs from breweries you rarely if ever buy from just become a nuisance for publicans. As do sales calls. But I sympathise with brewers, what else are they meant to do?

The problem with manually sending emails and filling out the bcc field is there's no simple "unsubscribe" button for those who don't want to get it - you have to reply to it and ask to be taken off which can be seen as spiky and also doesn't always get the desired result anyway. So what you're doing is a really good idea. Looks professional too.

In terms of doing a consumer version, why not? For your particular brewery I think this is a good approach, what with all your videos and what not.

Dave Bailey said...

Nicely balanced comment Jeff.

Having been a publican I know it can get frustrating the number of calls that come through from people you really don't want to buy stuff from.

Equally, and I know I'm only agreeing with you comment, but it is tricky for a brewery. We have to try at least a little of the hard-sell otherwise we get absolutely nowhere.

Tricky to get right I'd suggest.

The thing I like about the MailChimp option is that people can unsubscribe if they just don't want to hear from the brewery. Hopefully that way there is a detached and non-human form of filtering. As you say, it seems rude to simply phone up and ask to be taken off.

We can still see who has un-subscribed of course, but I have to go and search for it. I think it's a less painful way of learning who doesn't love me, which I can look at when I'm feeling emotionally strong enough to cope.

The beer fan mailing list is building OK actually. I'm planing the first edition for Monday, when we do have a little bit of news. I hope to not make them too frequent, or irrelevant, that way people will not get to irritated by them coming out.

Rob Nicholson said...

I like MailChimp - it's one of the best HTML marketing tools and free if your mailing list is of limited size. Cheers, Rob.

Rob Nicholson said...

I don't think companies have the same protection for "opt-out" as individuals. Not 100% sure as bit out of date with the law here.

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