Email is a simple and effective marketing tool to reach a large audience.
Email marketing is a balance between connecting with your audience and driving traffic to your website. You want to be relevant, provide valuable information, and stay in front of your audience without seeming too pushy.
If you are new to email marketing, here are some steps to help you get started and build an effective email campaign strategy.
Step 1: Select an Email Marketing Service
An email marketing service should be, above all else, easy to use. You don’t want to struggle to create and send a campaign to your audience.
A good email service provider will also ensure that your email campaigns do not end up in the spam folder of your audience. Your selected provider should have some recommendations to help you avoid the spam filter.
Additional features you will want to consider include:
- Ability to automate and schedule campaigns
- Ability to create and save email templates
- Ability to target your audience in different ways
- Ability to personalize emails
- Ability to review analytics regarding your campaigns
Email marketing is a really cost-effective way to reach an audience. As you look at different email services, consider the pricing compared to the features you want.
Step 2: Build Your Email List
Somehow, you need to get people to sign up for your email lists. After all, your strategy will be more effective with a larger audience.
There are laws around email campaigns, and you need to make sure you follow them. Beginning with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and up to GDPR compliance, there are standards that dictate how emails can be sent to large audiences.
Ultimately, you must have permission from your customer to send emails. Purchasing email addresses is not an effective strategy to grow your list. You can run afoul of the laws if the people on the receiving end report you as spam.
Instead, you can use organic ways to grow your subscriber lists through lead magnets. A lead magnet requires someone to enter an email address in order to access information. Here are some examples.
- An eBook or whitepaper
- A checklist or template
- A welcome coupon for visiting your site
- A webinar or online course
In addition to lead magnets, make sure you have an email list signup form in multiple places. As customers navigate your site, you want to provide every opportunity to sign up for emails. Your signup form should be simple, and you can keep in-line with laws by including a double opt-in.
Your email service provider should allow you to segment your list. In other words, you want the option to send different emails to different audience members based on characteristics your define.
For example, you may want to send a welcome email to new subscribers. Or, you may want to send different campaigns to more engaged vs. less engaged members of your audience.
Step 3: Send Your First Email Campaign
Once you have added people to your email list, it is time to send your first campaign! Your goal should always be to generate more conversions: driving people to your website or take some other kind of action that benefits your business.
Your email campaigns should include all of the following:
- A subject line that entices your audience to open the email
- Personalization in addressing your audience, including a first name if you can
- A message that resonates with the audience and reflects your brand
- Images that complement your message and are eye-catching
- A format that is optimized for all devices, from desktop to mobile
- A clear call-to-action that prompts the recipient to take the next step
Timing is also everything when it comes to email campaigns. Inboxes are constantly flooded with emails. Do some research to find the right day of the week and time of day to send an email to your audience to maximize your opens.
By building solid email templates, you can reuse campaigns that are effective. You may use your templates with new audience members, specific promotions, or to share news about your company.
Step 4: Review Your Email Analytics
Your email service provider should offer robust analytics for your email campaigns. You should have a clear understanding of the results of your campaign so you can make adjustments for future campaigns.
You will want to answer the following:
- How many emails were delivered vs. how many bounced?
- How many people unsubscribed from your email list?
- How many emails were opened?
- How many people clicked on your call-to-action?
Step 5: Create Your Email Marketing Strategy
Based on your analytics, you can build improve your email marketing strategy. Your strategy should mirror your overall goals from your email campaigns.
The different elements of your strategy should include:
- Continuing to grow your email list through lead magnets
- Reducing the number of unsubscribes by providing quality content
- Increasing the number of email opens and click-throughs on your call-to-action
- The timing and schedule of your email campaigns for optimal results
Over time, an effective strategy will become an invaluable tool for maintaining contact with your audience, strengthening your brand, and increasing conversions.
Improve Your Email Marketing Results Over Time
Your email campaigns should evolve as your audience grows and you review your metrics. You can experiment with A/B testing to understand which campaigns are more effective. For example, you can change the time of day that you send or experiment with different call-to-action strategies.
Ultimately, the success of your email marketing will depend on understanding your audience and catering your email messaging to their needs. Remember, you are a guest in their inboxes. You want to create email campaigns that your audience will want to read.