Email Marketing 101

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You have carefully crafted an email marketing campaign; you have your timeline set, your content created, your posts scheduled, and every aspect of the campaign has been double and triple checked. You’re off to a great start – but there is still more to know to guarantee your campaign will be a success and reach its desired audience. Think of this as your guide to monitor the success of your campaign throughout the process, and use this as your checklist to make sure you have your ducks in a row before your first marketing email goes out.

Here are our 9 best tips on how to become an expert in email marketing.

1. Pick a Provider

Having an email marketing service can change the way you work. An email marketing service provider should simplify your campaign, track and measure your success, keep the file size low, tell you who has unsubscribed, opened your email, used the click-through links, forwarded the email, and how many times they have done any of these things. A provider should also allow you to design your email and save it as a template, and schedule when your email will be sent out, both of which are huge time savers. We recommend doing some of your own research here, as there are so many different providers and only you can decide which one will benefit you the most. Some providers are free and are best for small businesses just starting out, but there are more expensive providers that include all the bells and whistles. To get you started, here’s a list of some of the providers we think you should check out: MailChimp, Aweber, SharpSpring, GetResponse, Campaigner or iContact.

2. Make a Mailing List

A mailing list helps you target your desired customer. It will store your contacts’ email addresses, as well as some details that will help you break them up into different segments – more on that later. If you’ve been in the industry for a while, or have a website that allows you to collect visitor’s information, you could already have a lengthy mailing list. If not, don’t worry – there are ways to grow your mailing list and you’ll have enough qualified leads to send your emails to in no time. If you frequent networking events you should consider collecting business cards, this allows you to get your contacts name, email, and industry. This will be beneficial during the segmentation process, just make sure you send them a welcome email so they can confirm they want to be receive your emails (otherwise you’re spamming).

3. Opt-In to Optimize

Now that you have an email list made, you need to make sure you’re always adding to it. Fact: Your mailing list becomes 22.5% less effective each year. People change their email address, or change companies altogether and your contact is lost. Be sure you’re checking in on your subscribers to make sure they’re opening your emails, and if they aren’t, it may be time to remove them. You can easily grow your mailing list by holding contests on social media, co-marketing with similar businesses, or adding a QR code to your traditional print material that will direct people to your website, where they can be prompted to opt-in to your database. There are so many ways to grow your list – you just need to make sure you’re offering an “opt-in” to your prospects so they know what they’re getting into. This reduces Graymail, and un-subscription rates, because you are only talking to people who want to listen.

4. Segment Your Sectors

Once your list has been made and is a good size, you’ll need to break it down into segments. Say you have collected contacts in these industries: retail, architecture, marketing and agriculture. You know you’ve hooked them, but now you need to reel them in. Someone in the agriculture industry might not be interested in how to run a retail space, and it’s important to know that. By sending mass emails, people can lose interest fast, so it’s important to zero in on pain points. A pain point is a problem, and you, or your business, should always be the benefit that will solve it. You don’t need to construct 4 different emails, but you should try to cater and personalize your emails to maximize your success. There are simple ways to do this too; your emails could begin with the prospects name, or company, you could section your contacts based on area and send an email targeting a specific region. Your service provider will be able to do this and it will save you the headache of dedicating each email to a specific person.

5. Choose Your Purpose

You don’t want to start an email without having a plan, there’s nothing worse than receiving an email that doesn’t seem to know where it’s going. It’s a great idea to work with your marketing team during this step, so you can all determine specific points you want to address in your email. If you’re unsure about what to write about – think of what your company is doing internally and how it could benefit the people on your mailing list. Do you have any upcoming events? A new product launch or promotion? Write about them! Add them into your campaign tie everything together. Content is King and makes all the difference.

6. Have a Way with Words

The copy in your email is the most important part. Marketing emails should be a minimum of 60% text and a maximum of 40% imagery. If you have a lot to say, you could even go with 80% text and 20% imagery – but you should never have more photos than text. You’ll want to make sure copywriting is one of your strong suits, and if it isn’t, consider hiring a freelance content writer – or to keep things in house check out Hubspot’s “Copywriting 101.” They show you how to write like a pro, and keep your audience engaged and coming back for more content.

7. Test It

You’re almost there! Your campaign is almost ready to launch, you just need to test your emails. Automation services make this so simple, and you can send the email to just yourself, or your whole creative team. This way you can see how it will look in different email providers, as well as the responsiveness of the design by viewing it on both mobile or desktop. Now is the time to make sure your font size, colour combinations and format appear the way they should. Other things you can check that don’t necessarily need to be tested in a technical sense, are subject lines, style and tone, and your calls to action. A/B Testing is an option here – and if you have the time, why not try it. A/B Testing compares two slightly different versions of something to determine which is preferred. You can do this with people in your office, or send out two slightly different emails and see which one generates the more positive response.

8. Track It

With whichever Provider you choose you can effortlessly track your campaigns deliverability, open, click-through, and conversion rate. This information is crucial as it helps you monitor the effectiveness of your campaign, and keep track of your prospects and leads. An easy way to do this is with Google Analytics – but some email marketing provide this information as well. If your provider (or Google Analytics) gives you details about what happens “Beyond the Click,” take advantage of it. Beyond the Click data tracks your visitor after they’ve used your click-through button or link and are redirected to your website. Web analytics help isolate your prospect, and help you understand their preferences and behaviours. You can find out which pages they looked at and how long they stayed, giving you an idea of what they’re looking for. This may seem like a ton of information, but it will help kick-start your campaign, and you’ll want to thank us! These steps are the foundation of email marketing, and will help you launch and run your campaign like an email marketing veteran.

Good luck!

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