How To Run Your First Email Campaign

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Email marketing. It’s accessible to virtually everyone, it’s cost effective, measurable and targeted, and it’s something your business needs in 2017. Not to mention, email marketing easily links to your social media accounts, helping you build and grow your online presence. With automation tools (we love SharpSpring), it has never been easier to create simple and effective email templates that you can use repeatedly. SharpSpring is completely customizable and you can really make each email your own, sticking with your brand’s personality. You can also schedule your posts to come out whenever you’d like, and have the option to test the email before it goes out to the mailing list. It doesn’t get any better than that!

While automation tools make email campaigns easier, we have some more tips up our sleeve to help you make the most of your campaign. If you’re new to email marketing campaigns, don’t worry – we have you covered. Here are our Top 5 Tips You Need to Know About Email Marketing Campaigns.

1. Set a Timeline + Have Goals

Before you even think about sending the first email of your campaign, you need to set some deadlines. When will you be posting? How many posts will you make? Will each month have a theme? Will there be any sort of incentives? If so, do you need to create any guides or infographics that readers can download? These are all important components that need to be addressed right away, and time needs to be set aside to plan for them. At Spot Marketing, we love spreadsheets. It’s easier than you’d think – set up your months and choose a theme (you can divide this into thirds, quarters, however you’d like). Have specific points you’ll be discussing, whether it’s a month of social media advice or a month of sales boosting tips, have a list of things you’ll be covering, and how you’ll do it. Will it be a blog post, social media post, infographic, newsletter? It can be anything, but it needs to be added to a timeline. Remember to be realistic, and give yourself enough time to create your content. You don’t want to promise your readers three email newsletters, and 4 blog posts a month if it can’t be done. You want to make sure you’re creating content that you’re proud of, and you don’t want to ruin your credibility by not posting when you originally said you would.

Next, have some goals. What do you want to accomplish with your campaign? Do you want to increase sales? Generate new leads? Grow your online presence with social media? How are you going to do it? Again, be realistic. SMART Goals are the way to go, and before you begin your campaign ask yourself, “Are these goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and can they be done in a timely manner?” If you answer no to any of these, it might be a good idea to revaluate your campaign before things go any further.

2. Utilize Your Tools

Now that you have determined what you want to get out of your campaign, and have a set timeline in which you are going to do it, you need to establish which marketing tools you have access too, and how you can use them to benefit your campaign. Some examples of marketing tools we love are:

  • Calls-to-Action: If you send out an email or are trying to direct online traffic to your social media, do you have an indicator to let them know where to go? Wherever you’re sending your customers, they need to get there efficiently and they need to find what they’re looking for. If you’re sending out an email a great option is to include a button that includes a hyperlink to take readers to your website. With automation tools this is so simple, and will help keep your traffic on the digital platform.
  • Social Media: Seasoned tweeter or not, social media is a huge platform that you don’t want to be absent from. There are social media tools that you can schedule your content to go out on, so you don’t even have to worry about making a post each day of the campaign, or for an entire year – if you plan your time accordingly. Hubspot, Hootsuite, eClincher and Sprout Social are some social media scheduling tools you may want to become familiar with before you launch your campaign.
  • Blogs: If you’re starting a campaign, you should be talking about it. While social media is great, blogs allow you to get more in depth, link to other resources that could benefit your customers, and again, will drive traffic to other online platforms.
  • Analytics: See who sees you, optimize your websites, calculate your ROI and choose some keywords to make sure your website is top of mind, and top of the google search page. Analytic tools can be a simple addition to your website, and can help you analyze your audience. Keywords are a way to help with your SEO, and will make it easier for prospects to find you online.

3. Testing 1-2-3

Nothing is worse than getting an email from a business and trying to click the button that is supposed to direct you to the website, and going nowhere. You don’t want to answer the dreaded “How did this happen?” with “I didn’t know it wouldn’t work.” To prevent this from happening, be sure you are double and triple checking your work. Hubspot has a great resource that we recommend using as a checklist before the launch date, to ensure your campaign runs as it should.

4. Smooth Any Wrinkles

Before the launch of your campaign you need to make sure you have crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s. If you are sending an e-blast at 7a.m that is promoting new products, or a social media challenge, the relevant information needs to be on your website at 7a.m for your customers to see. Details are critical, and if you launch a campaign without explaining the specifics, you will lose prospects before you even start. This process comes full circle, and you can see here how important it is to set deadlines to ensure steps that could potentially ruin your campaign are not forgotten.

5. Measure Your Success

The final stage in launching a successful campaign is making sure you’re tracking your successes and losses. If this is your first campaign, it can be difficult to compare the effectiveness of your campaign, but you can use this campaign as your benchmark. Throughout your campaign, you need to evaluate each step to determine which areas were the most successful, and which aspects could use a little improvement. Metrics are a huge component of this, as they can show you which social media platforms are getting the most hits, as well as how many people are clicking through to your website – and how long they’re staying on each page. With these tips, we know you’ll be able to launch a successful email campaign, that will be so much more than just an email newsletter sent out each month. It’s important to link your email campaign to your online platforms to create a well-rounded, effective campaign.

To make things even sweeter, download our free email marketing templates to help you take your email efforts and first campaign to the next level:

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