I’m often asked how to do email marketing. This comes as no great surprise –
Email marketing is a fast growing tactic to quickly and cost effectively communicate your message to a large audience.
It’s great for keeping in touch with existing customers and contacts as well as targeting new ones.
Probably the most powerful benefit of email marketing is the available data and statistics – it’s very easy to monitor, test and measure the impact of your campaigns.
Follow these steps to learn how to do email marketing –
1. Build Your Email Marketing Mailing List
It goes without saying that if you’re starting email marketing, then you need to have email addresses of your intended target audience.
You also need to have permission to email these people. Your audience needs to have ‘opted in’ to receive your campaigns. I advice checking with the current legislation (the CAN-SPAM Act) from wherever you’re based.
You don’t even need an online presence to attract subscribers and grow your mailing list. This can be done purely ‘offline’.
I recommend starting with your family, friends, clients and contacts.
2. Define Your Audience and Set Goals
If you understand the concerns, issues and problems that your audience need solving, then it’s easier to generate content that they will fully engage with.
It’s important to be specific! If you try to communicate with everyone, then you’ll end up communicating with no-one.
My Market, Message, Medium Workbook has a great section to help you to define your target audience. If you haven’t already done so, download it here.
I recommend having a clear list of aims and objectives. What are you trying to achieve from your email marketing campaigns?
Common objectives are usually driving more traffic to your website, keeping in touch with existing contacts or attracting additional social media followers.
Your aims and objectives should include some targets around how often you want to send campaigns. There’s no right or wrong answer here! However, I would aim to send ‘regular’ campaigns.
3. Choose Your Email Marketing Provider
It’s not a good idea to send large batch emails from your personal or business account. You need to create an account with an email marketing provider.
Most providers offer some kind of free account usually based on either your number of subscribers or the number of emails sent each month.
Some popular options are Constant Contact, Mailchimp and Mad Mimi.
I personally use Mailchimp. It’s easy to use and cost effective. The reporting is fantastic and it syncs nicely with other apps that I use.
4. Create and Send Email Marketing Campaigns
When sending ‘regular’ campaigns you need to build up a strong bank of content. Using an app like Evernote or Trello is a great way to record your ideas for content.
Your content should be tailored to your audience – giving them information on topics that they want or need to know about. The language, tone and style should also appeal to your audience.
To send a new campaign from your email marketing provider, you usually have to set up a new template. There’s often a selection of templates that you can choose from, then adapt and modify as required.
Most systems use a ‘drag and drop’ process where you simply upload graphics, then ‘drag and drop’ them into your campaign.
Headings, sub headings and body text should be copied and pasted into the campaign template.
I think it’s important that your chosen template is fully mobile responsive.
5. Understand The Results
It’s important to ‘test and measure’ the impact of your email marketing campaigns.
Understanding the data that your email marketing provider reports on, can help you to monitor impact and make adjustments to improve future campaigns.
The main metrics to initially focus on are –
Delivered – The number of emails that actually arrived in your subscribers inboxes.
Open Rate – The percentage of successfully delivered campaigns that were opened.
Click Rate – The percentage of successfully delivered campaigns that were clicked on.
Different providers use slightly different terminology for these metrics.
The danger is that email marketing is becoming more and more popular. We’re all receiving (and ignoring or trashing) lots more email communication.
Hopefully this quick guide will help you to get started with email marketing, or run better email marketing campaigns.
You can find out more in my mini guide – Discover How To Run Successful Email Marketing Campaigns.