Email marketing is a simple, cost effective and highly successful way of marketing to your clients and new prospects. As it’s such a popular medium you need to create a campaign that will cut through the overcrowded inboxes and reach out to your targets. Use the tips below to help with getting started and create your first campaign.
Identify your Objectives
Why do you want to market using email? Are you looking to build loyalty with existing clients or generate a lead source from potential enquiries? Identify what you want from the campaign at the very beginning and build a schedule based around this. Understanding the goals of your email marketing campaign will help you to build a successful strategy. Don’t just think of each email you send in isolation; put together a complete schedule with timings, targets and content. This way you will remain consistent in your approach and therefore more likely to be successful.
Create your List
This is probably the hardest part of setting up an email channel. Go through your existing database and gather the data you need for a successful campaign. Ensure you have the ok to send email to these contacts. If not, email each one individually and ask for permission to add them to your new mailing list.
Gathering new data should form part of your overall marketing strategy. Create touch points throughout your online and offline customer journeys.
Ask for email addresses when you speak to new clients and create opportunities to gather data at each stage of the buying process. Your online presence should be peppered with prompts to enter email details. For example, if you have a blog, include a newsletter sign-up option next to it to gather data for your email campaigns. Put a downloadable guide on your website to capture email addresses and add these to your list. At all points make sure you’re clear about what the email will be used for.
Sending Your Campaign
Use an email service provider to send your campaign. There are many options available and if you have a small list to start with you can often try a system before committing to a regular monthly account. You can’t send bulk email using a standard outlook or equivalent platform and sending via a CRM system is very limited so using an online provider is the way to go. There are many benefits to using an email service provider:
- Analytics – find out details of how many people opened and clicked on links as well as the location, time of day and device used to open the email
- Schedule the date and time to send your email or send it straight away
- Design your own template without needing design skills
- Have access to a template library
- Automatic unsubscribes – keep your list clean and legally compliant
- Split testing to establish most successful content, timing and subject lines
- Help and support with sending, templates and list management
Content and Subject Lines
Using the right subject line on an email campaign can make the difference between an opened and unopened email. Think about the content of your email newsletter and describe what it contains. Don’t try to dupe the prospect into opening; explain what it contains to avoid recipients being suspicious. One of the key elements involved in successful email marketing is timing and using ‘20% off All T-Shirts This Weekend’ sent on Friday afternoon could see your email getting opened rather than a more simple ‘T-Shirt Sale’ heading.
The content of your email very much depends upon the audience you will be targeting. Try to give your subscribers something in return for reading your email; a useful article, PDF report or exclusive discount will all be well received dependent upon the market. Try to offer fresh and useful content that retains your list.
Call to Action
The objective of your email will be to keep in touch with existing and potential clients. To make this a successful activity you need to get the recipient to leave the email and be directed to a landing page, a blog post or a sign-up page. Keep this in mind when creating your email and analyse the click throughs post send to see how successful the call to action was.
The beauty of analytics is the ability to change your campaign according to the results you got. Use this information to assess how effective the CTA was and change it should you need to.
Email marketing is a very effective way of reaching out to your clients and responding to their actions will enable you to refine your activity before every send.