Like most marketing techniques, you will find mixed reviews about the effectiveness of Email Marketing. Just like social media, email marketing is only effective for your business when used properly. Email marketing is a great way to promote your website, to interact with your customers, to promote your blogs, to encourage attendees to come to events your sponsoring, etc. Yet, the majority of businesses are still not taking advantage of email marketing. So here is Part 1 of a guide to get you started:
What is Email Marketing?
Businesses use email marketing to compile the email addresses of prospective clients and current clients, and then send emails regarding product information, special offers, etc. Businesses must ask for permission to send emails to their subscribers. This is typically done with an opt-in process (where the subscriber confirms that they would like to receive these types of emails).
Why You Should Use Email Marketing for Your Business
Email marketing is a great way to directly reach your subscribers. Your marketing materials are delivered right to their inbox. Blogs, social media posts, or advertisements are all great, but require the user to be on your site (assuming they will see them with all the other online noise anyway). From asking for feedback to promoting an event, you can use email marketing in whatever way you see fit for your company.
Don't Confuse Email Marketing with Spam
A lot of people call email marketing spam mailing. Email marketing tools can be used to spam people; however, if you are using best practices email marketing is not spam. Spamming is when people (or businesses) send you emails without your consent. They access your email through a variety of ways and begin to send you unsolicited emails with the hopes of getting your business. I'm sure most of you have received plenty of spam mail yourselves. This is obviously NOT the way to effectively email market.
You should not be sending any email campaigns to people who did not explicitly signup to receive your email updates. When users have subscribed it is possible to email them without spamming them. You just need to make sure the quality of your email newsletter is relevant to your subscribers (like any materials you use for any marketing channel).
Email marketing should be a conversation between you and your customers, and it’s your job to provide informative, engaging, and valuable content that they look forward to seeing in their inbox. I will briefly explain the steps needed to get you started and go into more detail in my upcoming blog posts (subscribe so you won't miss out.):
1. Choose an Email Marketing Platform
You want to choose an email marketing platform that will let you collect email addresses, send well-designed email campaigns, and provides statistics for you to measure the success of your campaigns.
2. Capture Email Addresses
As I mentioned above, subscribers have to opt-in to receive your email updates. You can do this by having people subscribe directly to your blog (to receive your posts via email), or sign-up for your updates via a subscription form on your website.
3. Design Your Emails
Most email marketing platforms offer a variety of templates that you can customize for your brand. The design of your emails should vary depending on the type of content you will be emailing to your lists.
4. Create a Schedule for Your Email Campaigns
Email marketing is a lot like social media; you should post to social media at optimal times, and plan your content well-in-advance. Email campaigns should be sent carefully. You want to email your lists just enough to stay on their minds but not so much that you're annoying them.
5. Track Your Success
If you are spending time and money on any type of marketing, why wouldn't you make sure you are getting the best results? Tracking can take many forms, but here are a few things you definitely need to pay attention to:
- Open rate: Review the number of people who open your emails
- Click-through rate: Review the number of people that click through the link in your email to your website. Your emails may have more than one link (that's fine!) just pay attention to which links get the most clicks and where you placed them etc. to see what works best.
- Conversion Rate: Review the number of people who become a client. For example, if your email is promoting a product, then see how many people clicked the link to that product and actually bought it.
All you need to do now is get started. Switch up your subject lines constantly, and play around with the design and frequency until you see start to see the numbers you want!
If you have any specific questions or want to add to my guide with your own advice, leave a comment below!