Email marketing continues to be one of the best forms of marketing. You may think that social media marketing has taken over, and while it’s growth is evident, email continues to perform well, likely in large part to the fact that over 50% of adults use email worldwide (Radicati). This percentage grows to roughly 85% in more developed countries. That is 3.9 Billion people using email, and when compared to the estimated 3.5 Billion social media users worldwide (wearesocial), it’s importance propels.
Numbers aside, an effective email marketing strategy will convert prospects into customers, and hopefully turn first time buyers into consistent customers. Due in part to email being controllable, it keeps growing in popularity. There are no tech giants limiting what you can do (Facebook, Google, Twitter, Etc.) with your email audience. This disintermediation is a great tool which allows freedom in communication. With that being said, let’s get your campaign started!
First things first, you need to choose what type of email campaign you want to run, and you need people to join your email list. There are many ways you can go about this. These go hand-in-hand because depending on how you lure members in, the content should cohere with that target. If you decide to recruit through giving something away for free, you should continue to do so in your newsletter. If you offer people a newsletter, they will anticipate news content, and if you offer them product updates, they are likely already engaged with your product and would like to see more tips and tricks on how to use your services/products rather than trying to sell them. Whichever you choose could work, as long as you fulfil a clear purpose when asking for an email address.
Which Email Marketing Service to Use
There is a wide array of great options here. While you can’t go wrong with the majority, there are certain service providers that vary in cost, and others that are catered greatly to specific business niches. Some email marketing services you may wish to explore include:
Constant Contact: If you run a small business, not-for-profit, or any other small operation, Constant Contact is a good option. It is cheaply priced, and the support team is well above average. They have an onboarding team that is more than welcome to assist you with any questions or concerns.
Drip: If you run an eCommerce website, then we recommend using Drip because they pride themselves in being the best eCommerce email marketing software. Their personalization features are expansive, allowing room for creativity and the ability to deliver the message you want.
ConvertKit: If you are a creator, this is the platform for you. Whether you are a professional blogger, influencer, or any type of content creator, the advanced segmentation tools offered by ConvertKit will be sure to help you grow your following and inspire others.
MailChimp: If you want a simple drag-and-drop email builder, Mailchimp is for you. You can integrate it with other platforms such as WordPress, Shopify, and more. Other features include a good auto-response system, segmentation, and convenient analytic tracking.
SendInBlue: If you’re a bigger business owner, SendInBlue offers fantastic automation tools that combine many aspects of your communications into one. You can manage SMS messages, emails, website live chats, and more from a single interface.
Of course there are various other options, but these are some of the best. The costs range from free to hundreds of dollars depending on subscription types, but they all offer a free trial to test the waters before diving in. We at Newfound Marketing use MailChimp for its sheer simplicity and effectiveness for our needs, but all are great.
Now that you’ve decided what you wish to offer and which platform to use, it’s time to recruit. At this stage it is important to establish credibility early. Explain to people the purpose of your newsletter, and what they will gain from subscribing. Avoid generic promotions saying things such as “enter your email for news” as this is not going to entice anybody. Share that predetermined call to action or benefit that your newsletter will offer. Tell people why they should join. Initial promotion is a key factor to success, as who wants to put the required time and effort into an email marketing campaign with only five subscribers. If you already have a following on social media, share your newsletter with your current fans, as they will hopefully be more inclined to further your established business relationship.
Initially, you want to set up an autoresponder that will send a follow-up email to new members. An autoresponder automatically sends out emails that are scheduled in advance. Almost all email service providers provide the ability to do this. This follow up email should be sent ASAP and should provide information such as: who are you, what do you plan on doing with the subscribers email address, what content will you be offering, a simple thank you for signing up notice, and whatever else applies to your campaign. Remember, you only get one chance at a first impression, so start with a bang!
Here is a sample welcome email from a furniture company (CB2). A few positives from this welcome email include that it showcases what new members can expect from them, and provides links to other socials to get their new customers to their social media pages.
Next, the regular content. We find that the most successful newsletters are used to further relationships with the reader/customer, rather than simply throwing products and offers at them. This is not to say do not promote products, but if you do, balance it with a nice personal message or story.
If you’re looking for a some content inspiration to fill an empty space in your newsletter, consider some of the following:
- How-to guides
- Share a blog post
- Share videos
- Insert a coupon
- Refer a friend program
- Share a case study
- Event invitations
- Share customer experiences
- Share your company story
- Industry news
- Run a giveaway
- Share a webinar
- Inspirational quotes
Consistency is key. If you provide the content and meet the expectations that you portrayed when recruiting, your campaign has much a greater chance at being successful. Try to avoid inconsistencies across the board, whether in terms of subject, length, tone, or the amount of newsletters. Depending on your industry, one newsletter per week should suffice. If that is too often, bi-weekly or even monthly can work.
Once your newsletter is up and running, you’ll want to pay attention to the analytical data that coincides with it. The most important to monitor are open rate (the rate the recipients open your email), click-through rate (the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view the email), and unsubscribers (those who opt out of your newsletter). Most email service providers will provide analytics. We use MailChimp for all our email needs. Here is a snapshot of some analytics they provide from one of our past campaigns.
The key to this is to notice trends and to use the data to improve future campaigns. If you notice that newsletters where you include more images do better, use more images consistently. The onus is on you here. Analyze and put together your ideal newsletter over time until you have optimized procedures.
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Email marketing is a tool everybody should be taking advantage of, and it has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. You can expect great returns if you’re dedicated and willing to get started. Beginning your campaign is easy, and like anything, it will only become simpler the more campaigns you produce. In following the steps in this blog post, you are well on your way to growing your business.