Email marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of reaching your target audience. Unfortunately, there are a lot of small businesses out there that aren’t using it properly – or even at all!
We’re here to help make sure that you aren’t one of those businesses. Follow these 7 essential steps to ensure that your email marketing campaign is up to scratch and provides the revenue you’re after.
1 – Chose your content
First things first, what are you going to send? It could be newsletters, articles, product reviews, affiliate links or discussion posts – to list but a few possibilities. Remember, it’s good to have a variety of content ideas in mind so you can keep up with sending regular emails out.
2 – Get an email service provider
It’s not possible to use your personal email service provider when it comes to sending commercial emails in bulk. Instead, you need to find a provider that can cater for your business needs; namely, one that allows you to schedule emails.
There are a few email providers out there that do just that, including:
It’s worthwhile doing some research around the best e-marketing services out there so you can find the one that’s most suited to you. Remember, a good provider will allow you to run various email campaigns at the same time, and provide you with valuable information like the open rates and click rates.
3 – Create your email lists
Before getting started with your email marketing campaign, you’ll want to get organised. That means creating and ordering your current email lists.
The aim of this is to divide up your list of targets so you can send the appropriate email to the members in each list. For example, this means that you can send specific emails to people at various stages of the buying process.
To best go about this, you should:
- Create a list or several email lists: Name each list so they can be easily recognised and differentiated.
- Target your lists: You want to direct the recipients of each list to a place that’s relevant to them, eg. the homepage or a product page.
- Set a maintenance schedule: Review your lists on a regular basis, and remove any emails that bounce.
4 – Built a list of emails
An email marketing campaign won’t go anywhere if you don’t have any email addresses to send content out to. Your first step to gather these email addresses is to create a ‘Sign Up’ box on each page on your website. And hey, play around with these ‘Sign Up’ boxes; experiment and test them out to see what works best in getting people to pop their emails in.
Don’t be pushy though. The more information you ask for a person to give, the less likely they are to enter their information. Try and leave it to the simple things: name, email address and phone number.
To encourage more sign ups, offer your visitors something for free in return for their information. This could be anything from your monthly newsletter to a discount code or voucher. Offering up any type of freebie in exchange for contact details is certainly one of the most effective – and quickest – ways to build up a list of emails.
5 – Send out your message!
To compose your first message, log onto your service provider’s system and add in the text and relevant links. If you’ve chosen well, the system should provide you with feature templates and have a simple formatting capability that will allow you to format your messages.
You should personalise each email wherever possible. At the least, you should begin each email with ‘Hello’ followed by the first name of the recipient, which is easily done through the use of your email service provider’s interface.
Think carefully when it comes to choosing your email format, even if it changes per email list. Some of your customers may prefer a simple text-only email, whereas others would be impressed with a flashy email laden with images and graphics.
6 – Test your emails
Of course, you want to make sure that your email is perfect before it hits the inboxes of those on your email lists. Sometimes, you might find that the formatting of the email changes depending on the browser or email programme you open it with, or that you’ve used the incorrect code.
To make sure that everything is in check and looking as professional as can be, it’s worthwhile testing it out. Test emails are something that most email service providers offer – and we really recommend you make the most of that feature. Besides, you might find some spelling mistakes too while you’re at it.
7 – Schedule your messages
As we’ve already mentioned, you should make sure that you’re able to schedule multiple messages with your chosen email service provider. Planning in advance is the key to success when it comes to email marketing campaigns, and scheduling makes the task a whole lot easier to manage. So, don’t leave things until the last minute and make the most of scheduling automated emails!
When it comes to the timing, there isn’t really a perfect time to send out your emails. However, after a while, you can get a better idea of what works for your business. By running a series of trials with small sections of your email lists, you can see what times of the day give you the best response or open rate.
Take your email lists further
Your e-marketing efforts don’t have to stop there, however. Make your email lists go that little bit further by introducing Facebook – if you haven’t already. With over a billion daily users, Facebook is an undeniably useful source for businesses big and small, and it can help you with your email marketing campaign too.
It’s a platform where you can engage with current and new customers, gather more information about your target audience, and benefit from email list remarketing or ‘Custom Audiences’ as Facebook likes to call it. You know when you spot a nice pair of shoes online and then they just seem to follow you around the internet? Scrolling down your newsfeed, and boom – there they are again. That’s not a coincidence; that’s just Facebook remarketing for you.
For this, you can import your customer or email list by various methods: copying and pasting, uploading the file filled with information, or straight from MailChimp. After creating your custom audience, you can get started on your conversion-worthy remarketing campaign, making the most of all Facebook’s business tools like Lookalike Audiences to boost your customer lists.