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Do you remember the time when your parents were checking their mailbox and after opening it - they were flooded with leaflets and advertisements?
Same thing happens today in the viral world. We’re swamped in advertisements!
You open your Facebook account and see two or three offers Facebook thinks you may like. You open Forbes, and it asks you to turn off the Ad Blocker. When you want to watch a video online, you need to go through dozens of commercials.
And there’s only one place where a user has control over the information they receive: it’s their email inbox. They don’t allow everyone to have their email address, so once they open a mailbox, they can be sure that only relevant information will be there.
That’s why email marketing can be such an effective marketing tool. Once your customers decide they want to get your emails, once they decide your offer is something they want to see, you’re half-way to gaining their loyalty and winning their hearts.
The benefits of email marketing
Email marketing is a strategy that uses email to send valuable information and valuable resources to your audience.
The reason why email marketing is so popular and effective is that it’s inexpensive. You just need to design, write sweet copy, describe your offer - et voilà, you’re ready to start. You can even make your life easier and use ready-made templates.
Another advantage of email marketing is that it goes directly to your customer’s inbox. Unlike social media channels, where you have to fight with the algorithms to get your message showed your audience, email is simple. Your message will always land in your customer’s inbox.
The last thing about email marketing is that it’s easily measurable. It’s easy to see the results of an email campaign, you can easily track how many people opened your email or how many of them clicked on your offer.
Of course, a very important thing is to gather your prospects' emails. There are a couple of ways you can do that. Whenever someone makes a purchase, you can store their email in your CRM. You can create popups and ask for emails in exchange of promo coupons. You can install a live chat tool on your website and gather emails of your website visitors via pre-chat survey. There are plenty of ways to do that, choose yours.
How to start with your first campaign
The first thing you need to decide on is how to send your emails. Probably the best way to do that is to choose an ESP (email service provider), pay a monthly fee and have access to their software. A good ESP hosts email marketing on their servers and gives you the opportunity to code an email template, send multiple campaigns and monitor their results. There are plenty of email service providers, but among the most known are AWeber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor.
Once you’re able to send your own emails, you need to start to build your email list. You might be tempted to purchase it, but there are a couple of reasons why it’s a bad idea:
- People on such list don’t know you and most probably won’t trust you enough to read your emails,
- Some of these emails can be just spammy accounts that will return a bounce rate, will harm your email deliverability and reputation,
- Good email addresses aren’t for sale, and you have a slight chance that you will reach people that will be truly interested in your offer,
- Buying list of email readers is as lame as buying Facebook or Twitter followers!
In other words, if you want to start growing your email list, you have to do it in a legitimate way.
- Create distinctive opt-in buttons on your website,
- Offer valuable resources in exchange (e.g. a free ebook, a free access or discounts),
- Run contests that need email address to be accessed,
- Host a webinar and have users sign up with their email address,
- Put a signup form on your social media accounts,
- Make paid search ads link to a landing page with an email sign-up.
Remember that every time you’re asking someone for their email address, they need to see a clear benefit of doing so. They need to know what they are going to get in exchange and how often you will email them.
Email best practices
While it’s quite easy to start with email marketing, it’s easy to make a huge mistake if you don’t know what the best practices are and what can harm your image and annoy your subscribers.
Most people will be opening the messages on their mobile devices; that’s why responsive design is so important. The same message that you send is going to be opened on both: mobiles and desktops. The same email will look differently as when they open it up on the desktop it’s going to expand and be large if it’s on mobile devices, it’s going to be divided into blocks, and it’s going to be adjusted for the size of your device.
Another thing is that lots of companies put large images into emails. These images won’t necessarily look good on a small screen. It also can make downloading problems in case there’s a weak Internet signal.
But if you think that an image is an indispensable part of your email, make sure that you have a proper ratio of text and images. Your subscribers will be filtering messages based on how good the content is in their opinion, and text is always a better message. So, definitely put large images to show the emotions write copy that resonates with your audience.
Of course, you cannot forget about a call to action button as you probably will want your subscribers to visit your website, check your promotion, etc.
Least but not last, your emails are not supposed to sell. Don’t write “buy now” kind of stuff, don’t provide all information about your products, you have to inspire some interest in it and then direct them to a landing page where everything else will be covered.
You also shouldn’t be salesy in your call to action buttons copy - instead of using words like “submit” or “download,” you can use fun copy like “get this ebook,” “read about it” or “learn more.” Align it with the tone of voice that you’re using throughout your whole marking spectrum!
Why email marketing is great for your business
Email marketing is inexpensive, reliable and measurable. All you have to do is to collect email addresses of your audience and send them messages.
Michal Leszczynski, GetResponse
If you want to start your email marketing campaign, you should focus on below steps.
1. Build your email list
Don’t buy it, don’t copy it, build it. It’s quite easy in online business as almost every time your customer buys something from you, they give you their email so you can send their order details. But if you don’t gather your customers’ emails, start doing it.
2. Choose the right software
I do recommend choosing an email platform as thanks to that you’ll be able to send your campaigns really quickly. Is it GetResponse, MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, they will help you to build your email from scratch: add contacts, choose the right template and send it!
3. Establish your goals
Why do you want to start an email campaign? What do you want your recipients to do when they get your email? How do you want to measure your KPIs?
It’s worth spending some time thinking about what you want to achieve with your email campaign. Maybe you want them to buy more - then you can send them promo codes or information about sales. You can also educate them about your product or keep them engaged.
4. Decide what type of campaign you’d like to send
Once you have your goals, choose the type of campaign you want to send. Will it be a regular newsletter? A marketing offer, an event invitation, a survey? You choose.
5. Monitor the results
All good email platforms give you the ability to check how successful your campaign was. What was the open rate, click through rate, bounce rate and unsubscribe rate. It will give you an overview of how your audience likes your email and will let you test other templates and offers.
If you stick to all above advice, I can assure you that your email marketing efforts will bring you great results.
And if you didn’t start with your email marketing and you’re afraid of making a mistake, think about what Seth Godin said: “The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.”
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