A Beginners Guide to Email Marketing
If you're reading this blog, you have already done your research or understand why email marketing is important for your business. You have worked so hard on building a contact list and now you're ready to convert those leads into customers!
Step 1: Choose an email marketing platform that works best for you
There are so many things to consider when choosing an email marketing service. The best email marketing platform for your business will depend on the size of your contact list, budget, and requirements.
Here is a list of some email marketing services that should make your decision a little easier:
Step 2: Avoid your emails going into the dreaded spam folder
There are a few things you can do to help your campaign skip the junk folder and arrive in the inbox.
Understand best practices
If a contact does not recall subscribing to your newsletter, there is a high possibility that they will either unsubscribe from future emails or mark your campaign as spam. If your subscriber marks your campaign as spam, an email filter will likely send your next campaign to their junk folder.
The best way to avoid this is to get permission for email signups and include a disclosure of why they are receiving your newsletter. Remind them how they signed up and give them options on how they receive future emails.
Personalize the "To" field
Add merge tags to display your recipient's name. For example, *|FNAME|* *|LNAME|* will show as "To: John Smith" instead of "To: firstname.lastname@example.org." This is more personal and may help avoid spam filters.
Use a custom domain vs. a free email service
We recommend using a "From" email address that's associated with a domain you own vs. using a free email service like Yahoo or Gmail. When you use your own domain, your email will look more professional and your customers will recognize who you are.
It's very easy to register a domain, and there are many companies that offer domain registration services. Take a look at some of these options and decide what's best for you.
Keep your audience engaged
Keeping your subscribers engaged is essential when it comes to email marketing. If a subscriber is no longer engaged, they will unsubscribe from future emails. Make sure you are sharing content that your audience can relate to. You will know if your subscribers are engaged if you're monitoring campaign analytics. Engagement can be measured by clicks, shares, or product purchases. Monitor your analytics to see how well your campaigns are doing and make changes if necessary.
Step 3: Now you're ready to create your first campaign
There are a few things to consider when creating your campaign.
Choose a strong subject line
A successful campaign starts with a subject line that grabs the attention of your subscribers. Good subject lines tell the subscriber what's inside vs. sell what's inside. They are often short, simple, engaging and gives the recipient a reason to read your email.
Design your campaign
Most email marketing platforms offer campaign templates. I recommend using a template until you feel comfortable creating your own from scratch. There are templates available that can help you reach the goal of your campaign. Whether you're making an announcement, selling a product or telling a story, every campaign should have a nice and clean design.
1. Only use high quality copyright-free images, followed by details people need to get involved.
2. Choose a commonly used font such as Arial, Sans, Times New Roman, Tahoma or Verdana.
3. Use a light color text for a dark background or dark color text for a light background.
4. Always include your logo, preferably on the top header of your campaign.
Include a Call to Action
The call to action is a button or link that urges the reader to visit a website. It's designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale (e.g. buy now or click here). It should be the climactic point of the email. If you have followed all of the above recommendations, you have made it into the readers inbox, grabbed their interest with a strong subject line, told your story with a beautifully designed campaign and now the reader gets to decide how the story will end!