If you aren’t sending out emails as part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to start now!
With its low-cost and high return on investment (ROI), email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage with and keep potential customers warm with relevant and valuable content.
Whether you’ve been in business for 20 years or you’re just starting out, email marketing should have a place in your marketing plan!
Let's dive into the 8 essential steps to kick-start your email marketing journey:
1. Choose the right email marketing platform
Working with an email marketing service is the simplest and most accessible way for your business to leverage emails in your marketing strategy. There are countless providers (such as Keap and Mailchimp) who all offer a similar service – the key things you want to look out for are automation features and tracking capabilities.
2. Get your contact data email marketing ready
If you’re an established business, you should have a good idea of where to find this information. You might not have it all in one place, but it’ll be there. Whether in your Outlook contacts, across multiple Excel spreadsheets or in your LinkedIn connections, you have data – you just need to collate it.
Think of your existing customers, anyone who you may have an existing business relationship with, enquiries that went cold, the list goes on. We break down where to find useable data in this blog here.
You’ll want to structure these contacts into their own spreadsheets in a format that is suitable for your specific email marketing platform.
We’d also recommend splitting your data into customers and prospects at this stage as the messaging you’ll be sending to these two audiences is very different.
Don’t be tempted to purchase your initial email list. Email marketing is about building and nurturing relationships into trust that will evolve into sales over time. Think quality over quantity.
3. Import your data and organise
Once you’re all set up with your email marketing service provider, you’ll want to create lists and add the relevant segmented contacts to those lists.
And hey presto – you’ve made the first step towards running a personalised marketing campaign!
Segmentation is key – one size does NOT fit all when it comes to email marketing!
4. Craft the perfect welcome email
Your welcome email is the very first message your audience is going to see from your business. This email needs to set the tone in helping your audience understand why they are receiving this email and what to expect from future messages.
You’ll also want to include clear steps on how to get in touch with you in case they want to enquire with you… You’ll want this in all your email messaging going forward.
You should expect a higher-than-average open rate on this email and take advantage of this fact by not selling, but rather by providing a useful piece of content like a blog or guide.
This might seem counterproductive not to sell in your highest-performing email, but it will cement you as a trusted source with your readers’ best interests at heart.
5. Create a reusable email template
Now I know you might be thinking this is the fun part, getting to design a beautifully crafted and professional-looking email – like the ones that land in your inbox from your favourite brands. However, it’s very important to consider who your audience is and, more importantly, where these emails are most likely going to land.
If for example, your contact lists are made up of work email addresses, then there’s a good chance your emails will be landing in an Outlook inbox – which is by default configured to block images, meaning that email you spent hours designing will simply show up as red X.
Keep your designs simple and predominantly text. This will ensure readers have no issues displaying it.
Heavily designed emails immediately scream “Marketing email!” which more often than not means it ends up in the bin – keep it simple and as if it’s coming from a person, not a brand.
6. Master the art of subject lines
The subject line of your emails is the most important line of copy in your whole email.
Why? The subject line is the very first thing a potential reader sees – it’s what determines whether they take the time to click and open your email or not. Subject lines should be kept short and sweet whilst drawing attention to your message.
Compelling subject lines that leave the reader curious are the highest performing e.g. “We don’t normally do this…”
7. Test, test, and test again!
Emails are a daunting medium as once you’ve pressed send (or your automation does it for you), it’s out there and there’s no going back! This shouldn’t sway you from wanting to start email marketing though. It just means you need to take a little extra care before sending.
Be sure to send yourself email tests before going live and check for spelling/grammatical errors and click the links to make sure everything is as it should be.
If you happen to catch something in your test and change it through your email marketing platform, always resend another test and review again.
8. Monitor and adapt
As nice as it would be, email marketing doesn’t end with a send. To maximise its effectiveness, you need to track open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribes over time.
This will give you clear indications of which emails perform well, and this will inform your strategy for future messaging. You can also determine warm leads by following how many times a prospect engages with your content and what links they’re clicking on – giving you ample information to run even more personalised marketing campaigns to win them over.
We hope this gives you everything you need to feel a bit more confident about going out and trying email marketing for your business. With these 8 easy steps, you should be more than ready to give it a go!
If you want some further help with your email marketing strategy, book in a 60-minute strategy call with Emma to discuss just what’s possible with the power of email marketing.