It can be tempting to sign up to an email marketing tool like mailchimp and start sending your first email blast.
Whatever you do. Don't send the email from outlook or gmail. Without the ability to unsubscribe from emails, it's illegal, plus you miss out on valuable reporting capability.
But before jumping straight in, it's worth taking a minute to read this guide.
Email is a very effective tool, and reports have shown that email has the highest return on investment of any marketing channel available.
Marketing Sherpa ran a study asking consumers 'in which of the following ways, if any, would you prefer companies to communicate with you'.
70% of respondents chose email.
1. Establish your objective
- To promote and sell new products
- To promote your subject matter expertise
- To gain donations for your charity
- Promote your social media channels
- Brand awareness
2. Build your contact list
In order for your email campaigns to be effective - you need to send them to people who are interested to read them.
Ideally this consists of 3 components
You will need an effective way to capture leads. The best way to do this is to offer an incentive and include a simple subscribe process.
The incentive could be to keep up with the latest news, download an ebook, get a first offer discount, or just write compelling topics on your blog that are useful - so people subscribe to be informed...
Ideally you want the leads to feed into a customer relationship management (CRM) system, the benefits to this are vast, and worthy of an entire blog article. Ryze recommends Hubspot hands down as the best one for most businesses, we can help here - contact us!
Some good reasons for using a CRM are;
- Future sales opportunities - when you know who's reading your emails you can take action...
- Better understanding of ROI (return on investment) - you can assess the returns from your email sends.
- Easier customer data record keeping - you can add information to your contacts, and you can update sales data in real time
- Targeted communications - you can make the emails more personalised and relevant with an understanding of your customers purchase history for example.
- Automation - you can trigger emails as customers move through the various stages of the buyers journey, or trigger a communication at the time of membership renewal for example.
If you don't have a CRM solution, you can use an excel spreadsheet, but it's not ideal.
You need to send the emails - so you need an Email Service Provider. Often a CRM has this capability, but there are several standalone solutions as well.
The email service provider (ESP) can handle all the specific tasks related to building the email, email delivery, legal requirements (processing unsubscribes), and reporting.
You want to make sure that your ESP integrates with your CRM and your Website.
Again, Ryze can help with this.
3. Select the type of campaign
This is where you figure out what type of campaign you want to send.
There a number of different types of campaigns
Usually around a topic of interest that you are a specialist in, for example
As mentioned earlier, the type of email campaign depends on the goals of the email campaign and your business.
If you are looking to increase sales then sending marketing offers are a great idea, however if you're looking to keep your existing customers up to date on the latest developments (improve retention) then a regular newsletter is recommended.
5. Create your email campaign
Don't make your emails too long! - research shows that an adults attention span is on average, eight seconds.
You need to structure your emails so that you draw people to your call to action.
Here's some tips;
1. Use Images, they help the content stand out.
People respond to pictures better than text, so use visuals to help direct your readers to take the desired action.
2. Use personalisation
Use their name in the subject and/or the email body, and make the the email relevant to them based on their list segments.
What are list segments?
You can segment your list based on specific information to make the content more relevant. For example;
Geographic location, demographics - age, gender etc, market (industry vertical), past activity, customer data. Make sure you capture the data you need to segment on your sign up forms or from your CRM.
3. Ensure your emails are on brand and build trust.
This goes without saying really, don't send an email which doesn't gel with your brand and brand personality.
4. Make it easy
Ensure the email looks good everywhere. Make your 'call to action' especially look appealing and work on all devices. Most emails are opened on mobile devices now.
5. Get the timing right
Here's some research from marketingsherpa to inform.
6. Finally, don't just send promotional emails
This is an easy way to annoy people - if every email is a blatant promotion then the recipients will lost interest. Mix it up a bit!
6. Measure Results
It's really important to track how your emails are doing to identify issues and see what's working.
Some key stats;
Delivery Rate - Did your emails get delivered, or did the ISP reject them as spam?
Open Rate - The number of subscribers who opened your email
Click Thru Rate - The number of subscribers who clicked a link in your email
Unsubscribe Rate - how many people unsubscribed - was the topic not relevant?
Bounce Rate - there are hard bounces (e.g. bad email address) and soft bounces (e.g. mailbox full)
Hot Tip - To improve open rates, you can do AB Testing on your subject lines.
How does this work?
You send 10% to subject line 1, and send 10% to subject line 2.
The subject line with the best open rate wins, and that's the one the remaining 80% receives...
Email marketing is quite a subject, there's lots to know! Hopefully this guide has been helpful with some of the basics.
If you'd like assistance with marketing your business, Ryze have extensive experience in this space and we'd love to help your business gain the benefits of email marketing.