Email cannot be brushed off as a simple way of communication that you might use professionally, or to keep in touch with your family. According to Campaign Monitor, 91% of consumers check their email once a day on their smartphone, at least. That statistic does not count how many times they check on their laptop, or even how it is open on the computer at work. Evidently, email is an incredibly valuable resource to marketing and email marketing is a key tactic in gaining and retaining customers. This digital marketing strategy can be one of the most efficient ways to turn potential customers into loyal fans of your organization.
Why is email marketing important?
It’s more than just trying to widen your audience or advertise your product or service. Platforms like social media come and go, and websites can have defaults occasionally. You do not want to only rely on these channels, but have another secure way to reach your audience. Having an email list enables you to have that direct way to contact that audience. Through email marketing, you can communicate quicker and more directly to your audience. Moreover, this strategy could be the final nudge the consumers need to have brand loyalty. Email marketing is one step closer to retaining your consumers.
In addition, email is an independent connection where you can still share your organization’s mission. You can highlight the overall mission of your organization and utilize emails to boost your content marketing. This is a chance for your organization’s voice to personally touch others.
There are five basic stages for email marketing that serve as the process for any type of campaign: goal setting, email list creation, service decision and scheduling, content development, and analysis. Follow these stages to jump into email marketing.
Stage One: Goal Setting
The first step of your email marketing journey is setting goals. Ask what the purpose of the emails will be and if this needs to be a specific campaign. What are you trying to accomplish for your organization’s mission? Many email marketing campaigns have different focuses than others. A nonprofit, for example, my focus on seeking donations and finding new donors. Or maybe the purpose is to raise overall awareness of products or the mission of the organization. Or maybe the goal is to gain attendees for an event hosted by your organization. Defining the goal of your email marketing is vital to crafting your content and staying consistent in your messaging.
Stage Two: Creating and Growing the Email List
As mentioned previously, the email list is crucial to digital marketing. First things first when it comes to email, you never want to be that email someone is unsure why they received. That is just asking for the receiver to unsubscribe. Always ask permission. Make sure signing up for the email list is easy and accessible from the website or social media.
How to build the email list can feel daunting, but just like growing a social media following, there are tactics to make it happen. The important part of building that email list is making the compelling reason why someone should sign up. What are you offering through this email? From exclusive deals and coupons to webinars and ebooks, emails need to have something unique to offer the consumer might not get through another platform. While this may appear more related to the content development stage, it is also a part of goal setting and building your email list because it defines the purpose of the emails and why someone would want to engage with this direct contact. It is helpful to develop early in the stages of the captivating motivation to sign up for an email list.
Stage Three: Deciding on an Email Marketing Services & Making a Schedule
This stage may come earlier in your process, and that is okay. It also may come easier said than done. There are several email marketing tools, such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot, SendInBlue, and AWeber, just to name a few. Constant Contact is really great for small businesses, while SendInBlue is better for a smaller budget. Alternatively, Mailchimp is consistently adding new features and could be a really smart option for bloggers. All of these are great resources, and that is why deciding on an email marketing service is a part of a beginner’s guide, because it kickstarts the email marketing process. Since there are so many options, before making a decision, it is important to consider a couple aspects besides the design and user-friendliness of the provider. There are three things to consider: budget, your email list, and data.
Stage Four: Crafting Quality Content
Value is critical to your content. You must provide value in exchange for your audience’s attention, especially since this audience voluntarily signed up for your email list. Value is the crux of marketing, so do not let that slip away in your email marketing. When it comes to your email list, remember to serve the readers.
A key idea to hold tightly onto is to not make everything about pitching your product or service. Keep pitching your product or service to every other email or every so often to make sure that there is value in the emails rather than just spam. You do not want to be just another email trashed. This is something to keep in mind when you make your schedule as well. Being able to visualize your schedule can help determine when the ideal times will be to pitch your product or service.
This prompts the question, what type of emails do you want your subscribers to receive? It could be something short and sweet about a new product (but stay away from constant pitching), a lengthier newsletter, or an invitation. Those are just a couple of examples, but consider what format would add value to someone’s inbox.
Stage Five: Post Email Analysis
The final stage involves analyzing data and results. Hopefully, the email marketing service you selected in earlier stages is equipped with data gathering tools, as this is an important step that cannot be overlooked. Look for results like open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribes. This gives insight into how your audience is engaging with your content and what works and what does not. Notice if the results reflect your goals. Use this data to improve the next email and future campaigns.
Delivering your first email marketing campaign
Now the tough part comes into play. How do you write an effective email campaign? Should it be automated? And probably the most important part: how do you generate a high open rate or CTR?
How to create a great email campaign
You have subscribers. Now, it’s time to craft an email that people want to open, read and click on through to your website.
And it all starts with your subject line.
Writing effective email subject lines
The first thing your email subscriber sees in their inbox is your email subject line. This is the point where they decide whether to open your email or send it to the trash and move on.
There are several ways to craft open-worthy email subject lines. Let’s look at three ways.
1. They are highly personalized
An easy way to add a personal touch to your email is with your subject line. Most email providers allow you to insert a subscriber’s name into your subject line by using personalization tags.
2. Make it short and clear
There’s a growing trend of subscribers using mobile devices to open and read emails. As many as 53% of subscribers choose to use their smartphones or tablets to read emails rather than using a desktop or laptop.
This trend is not stopping so to account for this growing population of mobile users, make sure your email subject lines are 50 characters or less. This is the amount of text you can see on an average 4-inch smartphone display.
For even better open rates – up to 58% better – try creating email subject lines with 10 or fewer characters.
When deciding what to say in your email subject line, make sure it reads clearly and isn’t ambiguous. Saying, “It’s finally here” is vague and unclear. Try saying something direct and actionable like, “10 new fonts for your website.”
Make sure to also avoid certain words that can trip spam filters and cause your email to never see the light of day. These include:
- Make money
- Increase your
3. Create a sense of urgency
While you can’t do this with every campaign you send out, with your time-sensitive deals, or sign-up campaigns, you can increase your open rate by placing a sense of urgency in your email subject line.
Using these three simple tips for your email subject lines can help you with achieving high open rates and creating loyal fans.
Tell a story in your campaigns
We’ve touched on personalization when using email subject lines. Next, you want to be personal in your campaigns.
Most people who subscribe to your list want to know more about you and your brand. Sending them pitch after pitch won’t help with retention and might only annoy your subscribers.
Since people are curious by nature, telling a personal story about how you got started or the behind-the-scenes of your business will help form a connection with your list and build loyalty amongst your subscribers.
Being personal also helps with increasing your click-through rates if subscribers expect a level of personalization whenever they see your email in their inbox. And over time this creates trust.
Your subscribers will know that you aren’t just sending marketing emails, but that you are opening up your business and sharing personal information.
If you can connect a feeling or emotion to your product with a story, you’ll have a better chance at conversions than with any other marketing strategy.
It’s formatted for easy reading
Since your goal is for people to click your email subject line and actually read your email, the best thing you can do is make it easy for them to read it.
Emails with big blocks of text or a small font make it difficult for the subscriber to really get into it and actually read it.
This makes it hard for your subscriber to read your email and get anything out of it.
But, if you include a lot of white space by making shorter sentences and enlarging your font, you’ll have a better chance that people will read what you have to say.
Some other ways to make your campaigns easy to read are:
- Bold or italicize words or phrases
- Use bullet or numbered lists
- Some studies show that for the easiest reading, use 16-point size.
Now, that we covered the basics of how to write an email campaign, let’s look at why creating an automated email series is a good option for your business.
The benefits of creating an automated email responder
You have meetings to attend, content marketing to focus on, and sales funnels to create.
As a small business owner, you don’t want to be bogged down by having to send out emails by hand. Why not automate your email marketing?
It helps your subscribers learn about your business over time
Sending out a drip email campaign makes it so your subscribers don’t forget about you, while at the same time letting them get to know you and what more you have to offer.
John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire does a great job of sending out a welcome series, giving his new subscribers tips and strategies to help them with their online business.
It’s an excellent opportunity to promote your products
In an automated series, content is evergreen and what you write today can apply to your subscribers months later.
If you have a product, you can create an email mentioning your product and any deals that are happening. Since new subscribers may not know about older products or aren’t that familiar with you or your business, you can create a campaign highlighting what you have to offer.
It’s ideal for setting up a funnel for your business
Many bloggers and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of using eCourses for their lead magnet.
If you want to educate your subscribers, have them get to know you and your business better, or create a drip campaign for higher conversions, having a series of time-released and automated emails will help you do this.
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