Email marketing has changed a lot. Now it has many features. What has changed about email marketing is its effectiveness.
Case studies show that email marketing continues to perform than other digital marketing channels i.e. social media and SEO (search engine optimization).
From my search and case studies with many businesses out there, I’ve learned that figuring out how to get started with email marketing is often the hardest part.
To help you out of lion’s den, I’ve compiled 10 things you need to do when you’re getting started with email marketing. Let’s get started:
Choose an email marketing service provider
If you’re really serious about email marketing, you need to work with an email marketing service provider. Working with a provider is the only way your business can leverage email marketing automation to effectively deliver messages to large groups of contacts or subscribers.
You’ll also benefit from professional email templates, tools to help you grow and manage your email list, and tracking features that show you who is opening and engaging with your campaigns and messages.
I have compiled the best software and email marketing service providers for you to get started with email marketing. This software can do the following:
– It can effectively deliver messages to large groups of contacts and subscribers.
– Have email templets you can use for email lists.
– And many more features.
Gather contacts for your email list
Most businesses will have some existing contacts to start an email list. Think of the customers and people you already have a relationship with. Maybe it’s the business contacts you email with on a regular basis; maybe you just start with a few supportive friends and family members.
Even if you’re building an email list completely from scratch, don’t get discouraged. Start by putting a paper sign-up sheet near your register website or a landing page, adding an online sign-up to your website or landing.
The best way you can do to grab emails for your email list is to do the following:
– Create a website.
– On your website create a sign-up form and or any contact form
– Use social media and direct people to your sign up form or contact form to collect emails.
– Add all your collected emails to your email list.
Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to purchase an email list. Email marketing is all about building trust and natural relationships with people.
Connecting with a smaller list of quality contacts will be more impactful than blasting out messages to contacts that don’t even know your business. So be careful.
Add your contacts into your email marketing account
Once you have an email marketing account and an initial list to send to, add your contacts into your account.
You can start by uploading a contact list from an existing spreadsheet or importing contacts right from a Gmail or Outlook account.
If possible, organize your contacts into separate lists based on what you know about them. For example, if you own a medical facility, create separate email lists for people who have taken weight loss lessons versus those who have attended disease lessons. That way you can send out a targeted email based on their specific interests.
Set up a welcome email
A welcome email is the first message your new email subscribers receive from you. Welcome emails are especially important because they serve as your first impression and reach people at a time when they’re highly engaged with your business. You can expect a higher than average open rate for your welcome email, so make sure you’re delivering value right away.
Start with a warm greeting, provide an overview of what they can expect to receive from you in the future, and offer them something useful right away. Once set up, your welcome email will send to all new contacts automatically.
Practice writing persuasive messages
When it comes to writing about something. Usually what get me out of it is pretending is that I feel like I’m having a face-to-face conversation with someone and writing down exactly what I’d like to say to them.
It also helps to follow a repeatable process and break your message down into three important sections:
- Headline – What are you offering?
- Message body – How will it help the reader?
- Call to action – What should they do next?
This simple three-step formula helps you stay focused so you can write effective messages fast.
Consume most of your time on subject lines
Your email subject line is one of the most important lines of text in your whole email. Your subscribers see your subject line even before they open your message. Make a good impression and people won’t be able to resist opening. Write something bland and they might skip over your message without a second thought.
Your subject line should be short and snappy around 40 characters. You can draw attention by asking a compelling question, just teasing your message, and including a deadline for urgency.
Preview and test before you send
Especially when you’re first getting started with email marketing, it’s easy to slip up every once in a while.
Maybe you forget to add an important link or make an embarrassing spelling mistake right in the subject line. Unluckily, there’s no back button with email, so always remember to send yourself or a staff member a Test Email before sending out to your entire list.
Send your email at the right time.
When you’re ready to send out an email, timing is an important factor to consider. Every audience is different and the best time to send will differ based on who’s on your email list.
You can also create a consistent sending schedule and stick to it. For example, if you send out a newsletter on the first of every month, your audience will come to expect it in their inboxes.
If you do decide to follow a set schedule, tell people at the point of sign-up by saying something like:
Would you like to sign up for our hints & Tips newsletter on upcoming blog posts, webinars and best marketing strategies and many more?
Your subscribers will know when they’ll hear from you next and you can schedule your message to send based on your established schedule.
Track your results
Email marketing doesn’t end with a send. You will want to track your open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rates, etc. and work to improve over time.
If you want to see real results from your email marketing, you need a strong understanding of how each email performs so you can make improvements and learn more about your customers and subscribers.
Spending a few minutes in your email reports will tell you valuable information like who opened your email, who clicked on specific links, and what information was the most interesting to your readers.
It is also important to know how engaging your campaign messages are, make sure you’re tracking actions that happen beyond your emails, i.e. what is the total amount of funds raised from a single email?
These are the types of questions that will show you the real impact of your marketing efforts.