This past week I’ve been helping one of my clients with an email marketing campaign. Email is a great way to market to your existing customer base. It allows you to send a simple message to remind your customers that you’re still around, and that you appreciate their business. The basic requirements to market via email is, of course, “the list”, and a good software package to do the heavy lifting. Sure, you could use Microsoft Outlook if you’re just sending a simple email to a couple hundred people from your contact list, but what if you have several thousand email addresses? Your PC would probably choke on that many.
First, get your list ready for import. You’ll have to extract your customer list from your order database. Hopefully you have access to it, or you know someone who does. Then get it into a spreadsheet. The data fields you’ll need are: First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, and Email. I also recommend including the Customer ID if you have that field in your database. If you are including the Customer ID in your list, you’ll want to rename this field to Foreign Key. This lets your software know that this is a unique record.
Next, you’ll need a good email marketing software package to import your list into. After a little searching online, I came across a superior solution. It’s a program called PHPList. This is not Windows software you can simply download and install on your PC. It is actually for use on a web server. This is very cool, since you can do everything you need remotely, just using a web browser.