Lesson 87: What is email marketing and does it have a place in a translation business?

Lesson 87: What is email marketing and does it have a place in a translation business?

As a marketing strategy that’s talked about quite extensively, email marketing has been brought up by one of my students in the previous edition of the Business School. I think it’s time to look at it in detail and discuss whether freelance translators and interpreters can actually use it to promote their services.

Let’s start with some definitions

  • Wikipedia tells us that ‘Electronic marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or current customer database.’
  • Entrepreneur says: ‘Marketing via e-mail, usually through the use of sales letters or customer newsletters’
  • Webopedia informs us that it’ ‘A type of direct digital marketing that uses electronic mail (also called email or e-mail) as the marketing communication delivery method. Email marketing is used in a number of ways by organizations and marketers for brand and customer loyalty building, acquiring or converting customers, company advertisements, or for communicating promotional offers and more.

As you can see from the definitions above, it’s all about sending emails to potential or existing clients informing them of our services. You’re probably getting a handful (or much more) of these direct emails every day from companies and brands you subscribed to.

If used properly by the advertisers, they’re a good way to stay in touch with clients. One of the companies selling sports clothes I’m a client of always manages to send me a good, engaging newsletter. Apart from advertising their new items, they’re always sharing tips on workout and diet. But we’ve all also experienced the really, really bad spamy emails.

The real question is, though, whether we can sell professional services to other businesses using email marketing. Let’s consider three possible uses.

Email newsletter sent to current clients

One of the possible ways you could use email marketing would be to email your existing clients every now and then (once a quarter perhaps?) with updates on your development, links to interesting articles, or even an invitation to browse your new CV. You’re probably doing it manually anyway, so automating the process is some sort of a solution.

Of course, you may say that even if you keep the recipients’ first names, emails sent en masse would still be just mass emails, without any personalisation or individual touch.

Email subscription list for potential clients

If you’re writing a blog for your clients or if you’re sharing something of value, you may offer your clients to join your mailing list to receive regular updates. Just as you may join my mailing list here on my blog, your clients could become your subscribers. This is how you can make sure that you capture those visitors who are interested in reading your content and you do them a favour: you deliver content to them, taking the burden of remembering to visit your website for updates off their shoulders.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Targeted emailing

What I’m currently doing with the help of my assistant is preparing lists of businesses who could potentially be interested in my Polish English translation services. We always categorise them by industries and fields and draft dedicated messages of interest, including some valuable pieces of information. We then manually send messages to the prospects we’ve identified, oftentimes inviting them to join my mailing list to receive more information if this subject is of interest to them. It’s never about making direct sales, but rather about making potential clients interested in what you’re doing.

What are the advantages of email marketing?

Well, it’s simple and very low cost. It’s also targeted and can be personalised, and it’s often interactive, it includes graphics, links, or even videos. It definitely helps to keep your clients engaged.

This is just the first post in the series, and I’d like to get your opinions on this topic. Do you think you could try email marketing to promote your translation business?

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