How can I start with email marketing?
Email is a reliable and fast tool for a business to get customers and make more sales. A business can reach a huge volume of prospects easily and repeatedly, over a long period of time. Even traditional and/or local businesses stand to gain a lot, and in my opinion,, email marketing is no longer an option, if you want to compete and get to the top of your niche.
The tips below can work as a guide for anyone who is looking to start with email marketing. Let’s explore.
First, email marketing is great for engaging with loyal and prospective customers alike and everybody in between. In other words, it’s the most repeatedly visited digital billboard to send marketing messages to your biggest fans and best customers, and you’re allowed to make big lists of them and send a huge amount of emails in total per week, or month.
Anyway, that’s the bog-standard side of things. Assuming you are aware of email marketing, its concepts, pros, and cons, etc. then let’s get to the steps:
Step #1: Plan it out:
Let me get specific here. First of all, you have to decide how you want to use email marketing. That includes how you’re going to research and plan your marketing strategy, target audience, what overall message to deliver, and how, how long to carry an email marketing campaign, how you’re going to monetize the audience and other details. Basically, this step should answer the question “why email marketing, and how should we do it?“
By the way, I know a lot of this stuff sounds like a pain if you’re new to marketing, but it’s not that difficult. There’s plenty you can look up about it to get better, including on my website.
Step #2: Pick whatever tools make the most sense:
Most businesses will simply need an email marketing service platform, such as aweber, in order to create sign-up forms, manage lists, send/schedule campaigns, and possibly handle eCommerce tracking or automation workflows. This is all really fancy lingo for things that are dirt simple, so please do not be intimidated by anything that you don’t know about yet.
Some entrepreneurs might have different needs. For instance, the b2b market usually operates a little differently, and mass email with something other than an email platform makes more sense. Perhaps an in-client email-sender app with tracking tools, or some kind of all-in-one CRM account.
Bottom line: the typical lead magnet format might not be applicable for someone like a freelancer, maybe, or a b2b online service agency. Just something to consider if it applies to you.
Step #3: Start building your email list:
There are many strategies through which you can build an email list, but by far the lead magnet strategy is the most common, usually relying on a combination blog and YouTube channel platform to draw traffic. If you don’t have all those things, I would recommend a specialized method that’s a little less complicated, like the one List Warrior is based on. LW is a course about list building I reviewed on my site if you’re curious.
Step #4: Draft your messages
Remember, an email with a short, engaging, and compelling message with proper CTAs is the starting point. You only send emails that are high value, or at least not time consuming or annoying. From there, you gotta get creative and pull something compelling together. If you can’t, get a b2b writer to do it. But you gotta send something good. Your competition is either totally clueless or focused just on not being annoying. If you come in as not just tolerable, but great, you’re guaranteed to take the lion’s share of the customers over time.
Step #5: Start sending emails: It’s rarely talked about directly, but the fact with email marketing is that the more you show up in your audience’s inboxes, the more emails that will get opened, the more links that get clicked, and the more sales you make. To a point. You can overdo it, of course, to the point where you’re losing subscribers at a rate where it’s more profitable to be a little more relaxed. But you are not obligated to send only just so many emails according to each individual person’s expectations of how many is too many. That’s not reasonable.
If you’re really concerned about bothering people, however, you can do a little extra work in order to allow subscribers to change their own settings and make that option plainly visible in each email.
Step #6: Review the results and alter your list:
Trimming and grouping your lists can be just as profitable as growing them. Make it so you send only particularly relevant emails to certain groups of people who are most likely to open and enjoy them. Obviously, you have to grow your list to target more customers, but at the same time, you need to segment your list and trim out the ghosts who aren’t opening any of your emails for several months, if required. I usually set something up that automatically removes a person who ignores too many emails in a row, if I already sent in a check-up email, for their convenience.
Step #7: Once everything is decided and you establish a routine, do everything you can to automate the process. You touch none of it. You can just relax, know that it’s making your business stronger, and focus on other things.
In addition to the above steps, I would like to share a few simpler, more ground-level tips for email marketing:
1) Convey clear, short, and direct messages regularly. Don’t irritate your subscribers by sending emails too often, and don’t send emails that are too long to compensate for their infrequency. Short, to the point, valuable, and consistent.
2) Make sure to add clear subject lines. Headline and subject writing is a surprisingly complex topic worth studying, even if you’re not a writer.
3) Optimize your emails for mobile devices. Most people use them to go online more than they use traditional computers.
4) Double-opt-in means the subscribers must click a confirmation link in an email sent to them before they’re officially added as a subscriber. Provide double-opt-in sign-up forms for subscribers. It’s legally required in many places now, and it gets you higher quality subscribers anyway.
5) Don’t forget to personalize your email messages by wishing the subscribers well on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. At the least, make sure you have a nice welcome series autoresponder that helps people get familiar with you and primes them to buy and use your products or services, or whatever you want your subscribers to do.
Feel free to reply if you need any clarification or guidance on specific points about email marketing.
The suggestions and tips covered in this answer have worked for many beginners to email marketing, who have now quit their jobs. Hope they work for you as well 🙂