What is Email Marketing?
If you have yet to get started with email marketing, there’s no better time to jump in.
Email marketing has several advantages over traditional marketing channels, including:
- Smart metrics allow marketers to track an exact return on investment from email marketing.
- Small businesses can reach substantial numbers of email subscribers who have opted in to receive emails.
- Over half of all Internet users check or send an email on a typical day.
- Email allows marketers to reach out to consumers with personalized, relevant, and dynamic messages.
- Transactional emails allow businesses to respond automatically to important consumer events, like purchases or shopping cart abandonment, with targeted follow-up emails.
Why email marketing is the way to go
Email marketing is relatively cheap. Whether you do it yourself, or through an email marketing provider, marketing to hundreds of customers via email is going to cost you peanuts compared to other channels of advertising. You can send targeted emails based on what you know about your customers – such as likes, dislikes, content preferences, age, location, and buying patterns.
Email is still the dominant form of communication and smart businesses are using email every day to turn prospects into customers.
Also, email results are easy to measure. With Constant Contact, you'll have real-time access to metrics like open rates, clicks, bounces, forwards, social shares, and more.
Eight things you need to know before getting started with email marketing:
1. Choose an email marketing service provider- If you’re serious about email marketing, you need to work with an email marketing service provider. Working with a provider is the only way your business can leverage email marketing to effectively deliver messages to large groups of contacts or subscribers. You’ll also benefit from professional email templates, automation tools to help you grow, easy ways to or manage your email list, and tracking features that show you how customers are responding to your emails.
2. Gather contacts for your email marketing list- Most businesses have some existing contacts when they start a mailing list. Think of the customers and people with whom you already have a business relationship. Maybe they’re contacts you email on a regular basis, or you could simply start with a few supportive friends and family members.
Even if you’re building an email list completely from scratch, don’t get discouraged. Start by putting a paper sign-up sheet near your register, adding an online sign-up form to your website, and encouraging your social media followers and loyal customers to sign up.
Whatever you do, don’t purchase an email list. Email marketing is all about building and nurturing relationships; connecting with a smaller list of quality contacts is more impactful than blasting out messages to contacts that don’t even know your business.
3. Set up your welcome email- The first email a new subscriber should receive is the welcome email. These are extremely important, for they set the tone of your entire email campaign.
If your welcome emails don’t resonate with your audience, there’s a good chance that they’ll click the unsubscribe button. Therefore, you must get this right if you want to retain your subscribers and turn them into paying customers.
Once set up, your welcome email sends to all new contacts, automatically.
4. Write persuasive messages- This tends to be one of the scariest steps for business owners. You don’t want to sound too sales-y or push too hard to get potential customers to buy your products, but at the same time, you want to convert them into paying customers.
When thinking of email marketing ideas, it helps to follow a repeatable process and break your message down into three important sections:
- Headline: What are you offering?
- Message Body: How will it help the reader?
- Call-to-action: What should they do next?
This simple three-step formula helps you stay focused so that you can write more effective messages.
5. Use personalization in subject lines- The subject line of your email is one of the first impressions someone gets from your brand, especially when you’re sending them an email for the first time. Using what you already know about the customer in your favor should be your first priority while sending email marketing campaigns.
Your subject line should be short and snappy — around 40 characters.
You can draw attention by asking a compelling question, including a deadline for urgency, or just teasing your message.
6. Focus on customers, not your products- Ever received a marketing email from your favorite brand that talks about multiple products available on their website, except none of them interest you? Yeah, that can get a little annoying.
An email that’s cluttered with products that hold no relevance to the customer will cause them to lose interest in your email and maybe unsubscribe if it happens multiple times.
7. Preview and test before you send- You’ve spent hours creating the perfect copy and creative for the big anniversary sale for your business. As you hit send, you realize the promo code on the main banner is wrong. Uh oh!
Not only have you lost potential customers, but also you’ll likely infuriate existing customers too. Similarly, if a link you’ve included in the email leads your readers to the wrong landing page on your website, or if it’s broken, customers may not want to do business with you.
Make sure you check all the links and promo codes by sending a test email. Include multiple people from your team so they can check them as well.
8. Track your results- Email marketing doesn’t end with a send. You will want to track your open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rates, etc. and work to improve over time. You need to know which metrics will help you create a perfect email marketing strategy. These aren’t the only indicators of optimal email performance, but they’re a good start. Remember to A/B test different emails with different segments to see what works and what doesn’t. Learning from these metrics can further help you define your goals and answer some important questions – “Are customers opening my emails, are they clicking, and do they care at all?” Knowing what works and what doesn’t help you save time, effort, and money.
Article Provided By Our Partners at Constant Contact