The Basics of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
When you think of “email marketing,” what do you think of? Is it the discounts that appear mysteriously in your inbox, or the newsletters you signed up for? Or do you think that it’s spam and delete it? In our experience, all of the above are true. When done right, email marketing can be a powerful and informative tool that customers enjoy receiving. When done wrong, though, it can lead to distrust and immediate complaints and unsubscribes. That’s why today, we’re going to go over some email marketing best practices so you can get the most out of your campaign.
What is Email Marketing?
Let’s get right down to the nitty-gritty of it. Email marketing is sending promotional content through email in mass quantities. It can be anything — discounts, information, newsletters, e-books, tutorials, etc.
Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself two questions. One: Does email marketing actually work? And two: how do I start?
To answer your first question, email marketing is still a highly popular practice for nearly every industry. As long as it is related to your business and resonates with your audience, then email marketing is a proven method of advertising. In fact, it is ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.
It’s true that email marketing is a numbers game, though. So it may feel like a dud if you’re not seeing results after sending out 100 emails. Ideally, you’ll want to send out thousands of emails to maybe generate 100 new customers. It is a slow game to get new customers, but one that takes very little time and effort on your part.
Now your second question is a bit easier. How do you get started? You build a list of subscribers. From there, it’s as easy as providing great content.
Build Your List of Subscribers
Building an email list is easier than you may think. You need two things: something to get people to subscribe to, and a way for them to input their email. Let’s start by talking about the first point.
Know What You’re Marketing
Many people don’t just give away their email — they need an incentive or a promise. What are you offering them in return? It can be exclusive discounts, store updates and information, a newsletter, ebooks — all of those things we mentioned before. You need to find out what you’re going to sell and present it in an enticing manner.
For example, many retail websites have banners and pop-ups that ask you to join their “exclusive” subscriber list to unlock a discount. Some of them gamify this by adding a spinning wheel that “randomly” selects your discount. You input your email and BAM, you have the discount. You’re also now put on their subscriber list and will likely receive promotional content in the future.
If you don’t want to do it that way, you can have a banner, sidebar, or form that clearly states “sign up for our email list and receive <your incentive>.”
Follow Email Marketing Laws and Regulations
Before you send an email, know the marketing laws and regulations. Look into CAN-SPAM and GDPR. The sum of it is to make sure you never buy email lists, make it easy for people to unsubscribe, and consider using double opt-in options so people know they’re signing up for something.
Invest in Automation Software
There are so many great softwares that automate your email marketing campaigns. We recommend MailChimp or Hubspot to get you started. It will make it much easier to keep track of who signs up, who opens your email, and who clicks through the links inside it.
Provide Great Content
If people take the time to subscribe to your content, they expect it to be great. If that first email is not up to their expectations, they aren’t likely going to give you a second chance.
First thing to do is to deliver exactly what you promised. If you claim that you’re going to send emails sparingly, don’t send them out every day or even once a week. Send them out wisely, with time in between. On the contrary, if you claim you’re going to be sending weekly newsletters and don’t deliver, your subscriber base will be upset as well.
The second thing is to know just how salesy you want to be right out of the gate. When it comes to email marketing best practices, the answer is usually “not that much.” Provide them with exactly what they expect first, without the sale.
A formula we’ve had the most success with is:
- Informational with no hard sale
- Less information with a slightly harder sale
- Product/Sale oriented
- Hard sell
Try it out for yourself!
Email marketing can help businesses reach a wider audience, drive sales, recover abandoned carts, and further develop your relationship with your audience. It is a great way for small business owners to build, grow, and retain their customer base. The best part? It’s easy to manage, time-effective, and won’t cost you an arm or a leg to get started. In fact, some automation software is completely free to use. Give it a shot! All of us Business Warriors are rooting for you.
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