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Tips for Getting Started With Email Marketing

Updated on May 18, 2016
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If you are just getting started with email marketing, you may be wondering what are the most important things to do first. If you work with an internet marketing company, you can get better results from your email marketing campaign than you might on your own. However, it is still important to understand the basics. Here are the first steps in getting started with an email marketing campaign

  • Choose an Email Marketing Provider

An email marketing provider is one of most important tools that you need in order to run your email marketing campaign. A good email marketing provider will include templates, analytics and ensure a high deliverability rate to your subscribers. Test out a few providers before you make a decision so that you can find the one that is the right fit.

  • Create Landing Pages

In order to get subscribers for your email list, you will need to make sure that you have landing pages available for them to visit. A web designer can help you to create highly effective landing pages that incorporate all of the visual elements and well-written content that is needed to get subscribers to sign up.

  • Content

The next step is to figure how what content you will use to get subscribers to sign up. Businesses typically give away something, such as an eBook, in order to get subscribers to sign up. Having a download will encourage subscribers to stick around, especially if the content is good. You can also give other incentives to sign up such as discounts on products and services.

  • Testing

An internet marketing company can assist you with testing your email marketing campaign. You will need to do this in order to ensure that your emails are attracting the subscribers that you want and you are reaching your sales and marketing goals.

  • Come Up With Good Content

You will need to spend time on creating good headlines for your emails and creating email content that will be shared. In order to get as many subscribers as possible, your email marketing content needs to be of extremely high quality. There is no room for error when it comes to sending emails because it can cost a lot to maintain your list when you start to have a lot of subscribers.

The most important part of this process is, not to get overwhelmed with the process. Working with an internet marketing firm to develop your email marketing campaign can take a lot of stress off of you, especially as you are still trying to learn. If you plan to do most of the work on your own, you should prepare to spend many hours setting up and running your campaigns.

Creating an Email Marketing Calendar

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Creating an email marketing calendar is one of the initial steps of planning a successful email marketing campaign. An email marketing calendar should carefully schedule all of the events of the campaign, as well as, track important campaign milestones. Here is a brief overview on how to create an email marketing calendar for your email marketing campaign.

  • Start By Setting Goals

If you have specific goals in mind for your email marketing campaign, it is important to isolate what they are upfront. For example, if you want to increase the number of contacts, find new sales leads, or increase engagement with your company’s message, these goals should be set with a defined deadline or benchmark in mind. The goals that you have for the campaign will determine what kind of landing pages you create and what type of content should be included in the emails that you send out.

  • Figure Out How Often to Publish

How often you publish your email marketing newsletters will depend on your industry. Some industries such as technology and financial may opt to publish email marketing content on a quarterly basis. While other industries, such as the retail industry, may require more frequent publication.

In addition to the frequency, the order and dates of publication of your email marketing messages must be timed appropriately. This is important so that your message will reach your target audience at the times when it is most relevant to them. By carefully planning these aspects, you can increase the likelihood that the campaign will be a success.

  • Tracking

Tracking email marketing campaigns is especially important because it can be difficult to determine how your visitors interact with your content without it. Tracking and analyzing the emails that you send out can often be done through email marketing software applications. However, in some cases, more advanced analytics software may be required in order to determine which pieces of content are most effective in achieving the goals of the campaign.

  • Stay Consistent

In order to see results from email marketing, it is essential that you remain consistent in your efforts. Email marketing is similar to social media in the sense that without continuous participation, your audience may be driven away by the message of your competitor. For the best results, your campaign messages should be distributed on a schedule that will allow for the constant creation of new content without overwhelming your team.

While these general steps can apply to many email marketing campaigns, your industry may require customization of this project. The best way to ensure that you incorporate the right ideas into your email marketing calendar is to work with a professional.

Give People a Reason to Subscribe to Your Newsletter

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If you are having a hard time getting people to sign up for your newsletter, you are not alone. Many small businesses struggle with getting subscribers for an email newsletter. However, the issue is typically that they simply aren’t doing enough to get readers interested in subscribing. Here are some tips to help get your website visitors interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

  • Offer More Than a Sign Up Box

Many small businesses make the mistake of thinking that simply adding a box for email subscribers to their websites is enough. The truth is that you have to do much more to get people interested in your newsletter. Start by asking the following questions:

  1. Is your content relevant to their needs?
  2. Do you have anything to offer other than updates from your blog feed?
  3. Can you offer any special benefits that make being an email subscriber worth it?

If you can’t answer yes to these questions, it is important that you start with your email marketing content first. Figure out what your email newsletter subscribers might want and then deliver on those promises with well-written email newsletter content.

  • Ask for the Subscribers

Every email newsletter signup should have a clear call to action. You should ask your subscribers for the signup and clearly explain while signing up is beneficial to them. These days, people receive so much spam in their email inboxes that they don’t want to risk being subscribed to yet another newsletter that provides little to no value.

If you think that you can deliver a newsletter that will deliver on a specific promise to your customers, include this point as a reason to sign up for your email marketing newsletter.

  • Don’t Forget Gifts

Free gifts are a compelling reason to subscribe to an email newsletter. If you want to attract newsletter subscribers, consider offering a free giveaway that can be delivered immediately after sign up. This free gift might be a report or guide. If you operate an online store, you might give away discounts and coupons that customers can redeem on your website.

Free gifts are still one of the most popular tactics that online marketers use to drive newsletter subscriptions. If you provide a free gift and also offer a compelling call to action that explains the benefits of signing up for your email newsletter, you are well on your way to attracting new subscribers.

  • Consider the Placement of the Signup Box

In many cases, if your email newsletter signup box is not in a prominent location, you won’t get as many newsletter subscribers. Many people tend to sign up for an email newsletter because it is a natural extension of the content that they are currently reading. Popover email newsletter signup boxes also provide a powerful method of driving newsletter subscriptions. However, the methods that work best will depend on the layout of your website. Test a few different locations for your email newsletter signup box in order to determine what works best.

Writing Effective Email Autoresponders

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Autoresponders are often automated responses to client e-mails, but they can also be a series of short e-mails, which companies send to their mailing list to attract new clients. These are further used as an e-course to potential customers to get them acquainted with your company and new product. Client leads must be contacted regularly and kept up to date in order to secure a sale and ensure the contact becomes a recurring customer. Therefore, it makes sense to write an effective autoresponder message.

The subject line determines whether the recipient opens the e-mail or not. Make it as descriptive as possible without including unnecessary words. Including the name of your company in both the mailing address and the subject line will reassure the customer this is not spam. Consider putting the date, or at least the month, so that your recipients can go back to find previous e-mails when needed.

When writing the body of the mail, think of the customer and what they expect to see. Try to personalize the e-mail using one of the many automating programs1. Use the first few sentences to describe the reason for the e-mail – a response to a client request, a weekly update, a limited discount, etc. Note that big companies usually put their customer reference numbers before anything else for easier access. Consider using bullet points with topics and/or product names.

Think of the client when structuring the main text. Use non-technical language, which is easy to understand and follow. Do not assume that all your clients are specialist, so using a footnote can make your autoresponders informative and lucrative. Divide the body of the mail into separate sections with subheadings for quicker browsing. Don’t use misleading titles just to attract attention as it can lead to a lot of missed sales.

Consider the main paragraphs as a brief opportunity to describe your business products and explain why they are better than your competitors’. A narrative can elucidate the usefulness of your products as it puts them into context and matches them against a problem. Another approach is to put all the benefits into a single section and explain at length each advantage and the problem it solves. Customers love examples, as these are easier to relate to, while graphs and charts can be understood more easily than raw data. Pictures also work marvelously and are better than any description because they let the client imagine themselves owning it.

Any additional material such as charts, images, infographics, and animations should be incorporated into the e-mail where possible because users are generally hesitant to open attachments (mainly for safety reasons). You should also make sure that the e-mail uses and mentions all the resources of the business. For example, if there is a money back guarantee or any other special service for customers, make sure it is highlighted in the appropriate section. If your previous clients are fine with it, include their opinions and testimonials as well. Be aware, however, that each quote must be followed by an accurate name, company, and position for maximum effect. PSs are also well accepted and can be used to summarize the e-mail contents.

An effective sales campaign revisits the customer a couple of times2 to convince them of the seriousness of the problem, the competitors’ inferior product, the benefits of the product offered, and previously satisfied customers. These steps should not be rushed but spread out across two or three weeks so as not to annoy the potential client. Make sure that they are prepared for the incoming e-mails and have the option to opt out if they want. This will only improve the company image as somebody who doesn’t wish to buy will not change his opinion but can do a lot of damage.

Optimize Your Emails for Mobile

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You know how important it is to make sure that your customers are receiving and engaging with your messages. Increasingly, mobile devices are what customers are using to open email messages. Therefore, it is important that you make sure that you email marketing strategy has been designed to accommodate the needs of mobile users. Here are some tips for how to optimize your emails for mobile.

  • Use Responsive Email Templates

Responsive email templates, like responsive design websites, are becoming increasingly popular because they are designed to look good on nearly every device. If you want to make sure that your emails are easy to read and access for your mobile users, then you have to also make sure that they display correctly. Use a simple responsive email template for your messages or have a professional website design code a custom responsive email template that will match your brand.

The best responsive templates for email tend to have larger text and a single column display for mobile devices, while there may be additional features available for users that access the email on a desktop client.

  • Focus on Conversions

When it comes to email marketing, your focus should always be on conversions. If you want your users to engage with your emails, make sure that you provide clear call-to-actions with buttons and text that are larger for mobile users. You also want to make sure that you keep your messages concise so that your users can quickly review your emails and take action. Work on optimizing your email subject lines and headlines so that they do not take up a lot of space on a mobile device.

  • Use Images

Images are especially important for mobile emails because they can help to break up the text of your emails so that they are more exciting to read. With mobile devices, reading long paragraphs can be boring and may cause your readers to lose interest, especially if the email is not highly relevant to their current needs. In addition, images are more likely to be shared on mobile devices so you will need to make sure that you include relevant information within every image that can make users interested in your site.

  • Don’t Forget About Testing

While testing is an important aspect of email marketing, it is especially important for mobile content. With mobile devices, you have limited space to display your content. Your users are also more likely to be on the go when they are reviewing your content. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are continuously testing your mobile emails in order to determine what works best.

Don’t Be a Lazy Email Marketer!

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These days, everyone is simply overwhelmed by the number of emails that they receive. While you may place the blame on not having enough time to answer everything, part of the problem is because some email marketers are simply bad at what they do. If you don’t want your business to be lumped in with email marketers that just don’t care about what they put out, don’t be a lazy email marketer! Here are the lazy email marketing mistakes that you should avoid.

  • Typos and Display Errors

While it might be an honest mistake if your email is sent with errors, consistently sending content that has typos and problems displaying without errors on user devices, this is a sign that you are simply lazy about doing email marketing. If you want to keep your subscribers happy, proofread your content before you send it out. You can also use email marketing software to test whether or not the email will display properly on all devices.

  • You Don’t Keep a Regular Schedule

While some of your subscribers might be thrilled to receive an email on Sunday morning at 1 am, if you are constantly sending out emails at odd hours, your subscribers will catch on to the fact that you are simply not doing enough to keep them interested in your content. As a result, you will find that you will lose subscribers if you do not send emails on a regular schedule. If you set a schedule for your email marketing campaign, inform your subscribers and stick to it.

  • You Are Spamming Your Subscribers

If you are not taking the time to figure out what type of content interests your subscribers, you are effectively spamming them. If you want to get your subscribers to engage with your email marketing campaign, you need to figure out what their interests are and personalize the campaign to their needs. However, if you don’t have the means to use complex analytics software to determine what they need, running a few simple surveys can get you started on the right path.

  • You Send the Same Messages Over and Over

Don’t convince yourself that your customers want to read the same content over and over, even if you think what you have created is amazing. In fact, you will find that the number of unsubscribes from your list will increase because your customers will get sick of reading the same things. If you can’t invest in fresh content, don’t bother with an email marketing campaign!

  • You Auto-subscribe People to Your Email List

If you are auto-subscribing people to your email list without telling them that you are planning to do so, you may find that you are in violation of CAN-SPAM Act or other local legal regulations. These regulations require that you only send emails to people who opt into your campaign on their own terms. Auto-subscribing someone to your list is not considered to be providing consent to being on an email list in most cases.

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