5 Steps to Get Started on Email Marketing
Just in case you’re on the fence about whether email marketing is worth the time or money, let’s get you off of it. To a staggering degree, email marketing is a worthwhile investment! How’s a ROI of 122% sound? That’s right, companies are seeing an average return of $1.22 for every $1 spent on email marketing. Ready or not, it’s time for your business to ride the email marketing wave all the way to the bank.
To get you started with an EFFECTIVE email campaign, we are giving you the road map to success in 5 simple steps. Are you ready?
1. Choose An Email Service Provider (ESP) With The Right Features
An ESP is an online platform used to compose and distribute mass emails. To say there are tons of them would be an understatement. With so many to choose from, you need to narrow down the list according to the types of features and functionality that meet your goals.
Before committing to an ESP, look for features like:
A large selection of templates
Templates are a time-saving way to deliver professionally- designed emails to your customers.
Email automation tools
Automation gives you the ability to send emails automatically, based on predetermined timing or actions performed by your customers (e.g. Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails)
All your customers are different. You need to tailor the way you connect with them and the messages you send to fit their personas. This feature allows you to categorize them as needed.
When your leads or customers contact you via email, it’s important to respond quickly. Setting up an autoresponder for your messages allows you to reply immediately with preset messages.
Because millions of people are using mobile devices to access the internet, quality ESP’s offer message layouts in HTML and CSS. CSS formats your content for a great look on all devices.
Measuring your campaign effectiveness is vital. If you come across an ESP that doesn’t offer the ability to track your email data, cross them off the list.
2. Begin Uploading Your Contacts
Now that you’ve chosen an ESP, the step is simple. Assuming you already have a list of existing contacts, begin to transfer them to your email contact lists. If you don’t have a lot of contacts, now is a great time to start asking customers for their email addresses. Since you have chosen a provider that allows you to segment your contact list, categorize the email addresses according to contact type or need.
3. Plan Your Goals, Message Content, and Schedule
For your email campaigns to get the ROI you need, you’ve got to thoroughly plan them out. First, define your goals for each campaign. Perhaps you want to increase sales or convert leads that are email subscribers only into customers. You may even want to promote your brand awareness to build customer loyalty. Whatever it is, you need to know it and let it be your guide moving forward.
Planning your message content is critical. There are several types of messages you can send as a part of your email marketing campaign, including:
- Welcome Messages
- Requests for Product/ Service Reviews
- Shopping Cart Abandonment
- Automated Responses and more
The design and value of your content is what will drive your subscribers to click your links, visit your website, share your business with friends, come into your store and ultimately remain subscribed to your mailing list.
Tone of voice is another thing for you to consider. You will need to decide how you want to come across to your subscribers.
The most common brand tones of voice are:
Tone of voice can play a big part in whether your subscribers welcome your messages. But, be mindful not to confuse it with brand voice. Tone may change as needed, but your brand’s voice is consistent.
To help you get started, download our free email templates written in “Casual/Friendly,” “Professional,” or “Quirky” tones.
Last, decide when is the best time to reach your contacts. Studies show that 89% of adults will check their emails at least once per day. Research the ideal time to reach your target customer and schedule your emails to be delivered at the perfect hour.
4. Send Your Emails
Every email you MUST include the following two components:
A catchy subject line
69% of email recipients will open a message because of who it’s from and 47% will decide because of the subject line.
Clear and compelling Calls-to-Action (CTA’s)
Your CTA’s are specifically placed icons, buttons hyperlinked words or direct links that let the recipient know what you want them to do next.
In addition to an attention-grabbing subject and powerful CTA’s, there are a few other necessary measures to carry out.
Send yourself a preview
Your ESP should allow you to send a preview or test copy. Always use this tool to send a copy to yourself and a friend or colleague who has an eye for detail.
When reviewing your preview copy, test every link to be sure they will take your subscribers to the right place. Also, pay attention to whether you may be missing links all together.
This is most important for welcome messages and newsletter first additions. Your recipients’ inboxes are their personal space, so be mindful of their privacy by making sure your messages are welcome.
Let contacts know what to expect
It’s good practice to inform your email list subscribers about the types of messages you will send and how often to expect them. If you’ll be promoting products and specials, give them the heads up.
5. Track Your Results
Using the data tracking feature your ESP provides, you will need to measure your effectiveness. It’s rare that marketing goes right on the very first try, so use your data as direction for moving forward.
The top 3 results you need to focus on are:
- Open rates – the percentage of messages you sent that recipients opened
- Click-through rates – the percentage of recipients that followed your links
- Unsubscribe rates – the percentage of people who opted to stop receiving your messages
Take the following statistics as food for thought. The average email open rate across all industries is 21.33%. While that number is low, there is promise in the following data. Welcome messages have an 82% open rate, shopping cart abandonment open rates are 45%, and personalized emails have a 50% higher open rate than other messages.
You can do this! Email marketing helps you to make an impact and grow your business like never before. If you aren’t confident that you can execute these steps on your own, reach out to email marketing experts for guidance.