Today, we’re overwhelmed by email marketing, and though, some of it still feels spammy, there’s no denying the impact a well-crafted message can have on your customers. Email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase sales. You can do a lot of things with emails, like sell products, share some news, or tell a story.
As a Marketer, it can be tempting to simply sign up for an email marketing tool and start sending your first campaign especially because you know Email Marketing has a larger reach.
But before jumping in head first, it’s worth taking a minute to think about your goals and what you really want to achieve with email as that will dictate the type of campaigns you send, who you target, the content you include, and how you measure success.
Email should be an important component of every digital marketing plan because of its effectiveness in driving conversions and building brand loyalty.
Here are easy steps on getting started;
Step 1: Build your email list
Building an email list is essential. This can be tricky as you wouldn’t want your subscribers to opt out of your list. There are a couple of different ways you can build your email list, but the right method for each campaign really depends on the goals you are trying to establish.
Build a new list from scratch
If you plan to use email to communicate with an audience whose email address you might not have yet, then you’ll need to start capturing email addresses and building your list from scratch.
Fortunately for you, there is a 2-part formula for building your email list that is followed by many of the most successful email marketers around. The formula is:
A valuable incentive + simple subscribe opportunities = large email list:
While it is a little bit of a simplification, it’s also just logic. Regardless of how many subscribe opportunities you present to a visitor, it’s unlikely they’ll act without a valuable incentive. And no matter how good your incentive is, you still need to make it simple for people to subscribe if you want to get them to join your list.
The real question is, what makes for an amazing incentive? And how can you make subscribing to your list really simple and easy?
- Compelling content – If you have a blog or produce content on your website, then offering to send your best content to subscribers via email is a powerful incentive for them to join your list.
- First order discounts – If you sell goods through an online store, then offering people a discount off their first order if they subscribe to your email list is an amazing incentive. Not only does it encourage people to subscribe, but gives them an incentive to purchase as well.
- Free or express shipping upgrade – Offering free or upgraded shipping on your customers’ purchase is a great incentive to join your list. Not only is this offer highly relevant – particularly when offered during the checkout process – but being able to get a desirable item into their hands quicker is a powerful motivator for people to subscribe.
Of course, no email campaign was ever built without getting permission to get started. This formula focuses on building a sizable email list for starters. It’s important to have a clear purpose when asking for an address. This is where a strong call to action comes into play, and copy writing is super important.
- What do I get when I give you my email address?
- Are you going to spam me?
- How often will you email me?
- Will I get discounts?
- Will you send me relevant offers or more junk?
These are the kinds of things you’ll need to address if you want to be successful in building an effective email list. Simply posting “enter your email for updates” isn’t going to get anyone excited to do so. By following the email list building formula mentioned above and coupling a valuable incentive with prominent subscribe opportunities, you’ll find it easy to build a new audience for your email marketing campaigns.
Step 2: Select the type of campaigns you want to send
There are a number of different types of email campaigns marketers like you can send to subscribers, and the type you choose really depends on the goals you established.
Let’s take a look at the different types of campaigns and how they can help you achieve your email marketing goals.
An email newsletter is a regularly distributed email campaign that is generally about one main topic of interest. The campaign is sent either daily, weekly or monthly and contains content around a particular theme.
If your goal is to keep in touch with a list of people you already know (i.e. existing customers), then a newsletter is the perfect type of campaign to send. It will keep your business and your products top of mind and drive people back to your website.
A marketing offer email is essentially any campaign you send with the goal of driving a direct response.
This can take a number of different forms, including:
- A campaign showcasing some of the latest stock and encouraging people to purchase
- A campaign offering a discount or special promotion on your products or services
The marketing offer email is effective if your goal with email is to directly drive sales. It presents a product or discount offer and includes a direct call to action for people to click-through to your website and make a purchase.
An announcement campaign is an email sent to your subscribers announcing a new product, feature, or service.
The announcement email is perfect if you want to keep an engaged audience (i.e. existing customers) up-to-date on your latest products or features. While the sharing of information is the primary goal, the email may have the added benefit of driving people back to your store or website where they can make a purchase.
An event invitation email is a campaign designed to increase awareness of your event and encourage people to attend.
As mentioned before, the type of email campaign you send depends entirely on your goals with email. If you’re looking to drive direct sales then sending marketing offer and announcement campaigns are going to return the best results, however if you are simply looking to keep your existing customers up-to-date on the latest projects, products or developments at your company, then sending a regular newsletter is going to be the best way to achieve that.
Step 3: Create your first campaign
Now that you’ve decided on your goals, built a bit of an audience and selected the type of campaign you’re going to send, it’s time to start building your email.
Certain Email tools make it incredibly easy to create beautiful email marketing campaigns, but there are some fundamentals that you should know to make sure you get the best results from each campaign.
Structure your campaign for easy reading
Research shows that an adult’s attention span is, on average, eight seconds. With such a short attention span, you can assume people aren’t closely reading your campaigns word for word and are instead scanning through them looking for something of interest.
Therefore, writing long, text-heavy email campaigns isn’t the best approach. You need to structure your emails to help draw people into reading your content while guiding them toward the email’s call to action..
Use Images and Visuals to Boost Engagement
It is effective when the bulk of the email is visual with minimal text. Ideally, you want to avoid walls or blocks of text. This is because visuals – both video and images – are more eye-catching. They’re also more memorable and help content stand out.
In fact, studies have shown that people can recall as much as 65% of visual content up to three days later compared to just 10% of the text-based content.
People also follow visual instructions 32% better than written instructions, so it’s a good idea to use visuals when directing your readers to take the desired action.
Personalize Your Email Campaigns
In a recently concluded market survey, it was discovered that improving email personalization was the number one goal for 38% of marketers and was also the number one challenge for 36% of marketers. Marketing automation, segmented lists, and third-party integrations make email personalization easier and more effective.
Your readers are most likely to respond to content that is most relevant to their interests. Start by adding their name to the subject line, then customize campaign content based on list segments to maximize engagement (more on that next).
Ensure your campaign is relevant to every subscriber
Even in the early stages of growing your email list, it’s a good idea to categorize subscribers into different list segments. List segments make it easy to choose what type of content to send to which subscriber. When you can personalize content and make it more relevant to a certain group you improve response rates.
This kind of targeted optimization is much better than sending blanket emails to everyone.
Here are some common email list segments you can create to increase click-throughs in your campaigns and plan more targeted content based on those segments:
- Geographic location – useful for promoting store-specific information and targeting specific markets while ignoring out-of-location subscribers where the message wouldn’t be relevant.
- Demographics – useful for customizing campaign messaging to any combination of age and gender ranges.
- Market – useful for segmenting users based on the market/industry interest to avoid sending the same email to everyone. Instead, tailor the message to industry/product/market specific content.
- Past activity – useful for segmenting subscribers by past open and click-through behaviour. Study behaviour to determine what type of content works best for specific segments to customize future campaigns.
- Workflow activity – useful for creating campaigns specific to subscribers who fall within certain stages of your funnel, like sending a campaign only to those subscribers who are more than 50% through an auto-responder series.
Email marketing is a powerful driver of sales & revenue for your business, and has a greater reach and return on investment than any other channel available to marketers today.
So, follow the 3 basic steps outlined in this guide to quickly and easily get started with email marketing. You’ll find it is simple to create and send an email campaign, and it’ll drive unparalleled results for your business.