Email Marketing – How to get started

Email Marketing allows your business to connect and build a relationship with your customers and potential customers. Why is email marketing so popular. Well, let’s look at the statistics. There are 897 million mobile email users worldwide. 91% of consumers check their emails daily and finally… 68% of UK smartphone owners use their device to check email. With email being so accessible, people are more involved with this form of communication and this is why email marketing is still one of the best return of investment in terms of marketing. In fact, the estimated average return from email marketing is £24.93 per £1 spent. Think it might be for you? Well, here is a how-to guide to getting started with email marketing.

Choosing the right email marketing software.

I’m not going to do a breakdown of which is the best email marketing software. And I am sure there will be people who disagree with me about the choice of software. But, for anyone starting out with email marketing I would advise Mailchimp.

You can have up to 2000 subscribers in the free package and send up to 12000 emails in a month. The basics are enough to get you going. The drag and drop email building system is also very easy to use. There is a wide range of different email marketing software and there are some that link better with eCommerce sites. But let’s be honest, you are just getting going so let’s keep it simple.

I would state that the only thing I would not do is just send emails directly from your contact list, ie, from your outlook or Gmail. You need an email software, which will be explained as we go along.

Build your audience

There are a few ways to start building your email list.

  1. Current or previous customers – If you’ve already been in business then you may already have a few contacts to get started. Upload them to your audience list on Mailchimp to start the list. 
  2. Pop up form and sign up form on the website – Go on any blog and you’ll probably get a pop up asking to join their newsletter. It is one of those things that annoy almost everyone but if you don’t ask you don’t get. You should also have a static form on most of your pages on your website to encourage people to sign up. You could offer people something to sign up. Whether it is a code for a discount or a free ebook you have written. It gives them an incentive.
  3. Facebook sign up – Mailchimp can be integrated with your Facebook page to offer a newsletter sign up. 
  4. Facebook Ads – Share your newsletter offer/sign up with Facebook Ads. Again, people are getting tired of this but if they are genuinely interested in your services or product then they might just take that sign up. All you need is a landing page for people to sign up. You don’t even have to create one on your own website to do this (however I would advise doing this if you have one as it builds more trust). You can create a landing page on MailChimp to secure those all-important contacts for your list.

Welcome email

One of the things you can do with Mailchimp is send out an automatic welcome email, but what should you have in it?

        1. A warm greeting in the subject line

You should have got their name as well as their email when they signed up so make it more personal and use their name. Some examples you could use are:-

  • Thank you for subscribing %Firstname%
  • Welcome %Firstname% to Pinksquare Media
  • %Firstname% you are now part of the Pinksquare Family
  • Your free 10% discount code awaits

There is nothing wrong with simple when it comes to your subject line in regards to a welcome newsletter subscription. They just want to know that there is the acknowledgement and they want to get to the content.

        2. Personalisation throughout

Although you are creating a generic welcome email, you should include their name throughout to give them a more reassuring touch. This will start to build your relationship with them as a potential customer in the future.

        3. Tell them a bit about you and what they can expect from you

Now they may be more interested in getting the free coupon or ebook, but let them know who you or your business are. Tell them what they can expect from your newsletters, how often you will send them and encourage them to stay a part of your newsletter.

        4. Now put your coupon

If you have promised them a free coupon, ebook or offer then this is where you should put it. You’ve done a bit of sales, which they will have expected but now they just want their free gift.

        5. Social media

Don’t forget to encourage social media follows and likes. 

        6. Encourage feedback

Ask them why they wanted the ebook or discount code, what are they interested in? 

        7. Unsubscribe and privacy policy notes

If you are using an email marketing software then most will add this at the bottom for you.

You can have it much simpler than this if you are not offering anything at startup. It can be just a link to your blog page or literally just a thank you for signing up.

Sectioning your audience

Mailchimp offers you the opportunity to add tags and segment your audience. For example, you might have part of the list which are already customers, so you don’t want to be sending them an offer which is not helpful.

You might want to tag them into sections like; newsletter subscribers, current customers, previous customers, people who bought cameras, etc. The opportunity to retarget them through email can be endless. 

Writing your newsletters

The actual newsletters should be current, about you/your business and something of interest to your subscribers. This is where your sectioning will help you organise the newsletters. Similar to the welcome letter you want to entice them to something from your business. For example, we have customers who have websites with us, so offering them a new website in the newsletter is a waste of time. However, we might be able to push some SEO packages their way. Make sure you tailor your newsletters to the right audience.

Things you could push are:-

  • Your latest products,
  • Your next summer sale,
  • Discount codes,
  • end of season offers,

Also, remember to encourage them to read your new blogs (learn about writing blogs), or link to a new product directly on your website to pull them away from your email and get some traffic to your website. You should have at least 2-3 call to actions through your newsletter.

Don’t get too hung up on images or videos. If they are using email software such as outlook then it is likely they might not download the pictures or see them. We often use images to link to products so we ensure that we have a text link underneath it as well.

If they are customers, then you may need or want to inform them of a recent policy update or changes in the way your working. You could even ask a current customer to provide a testimonial and share with new subscribers. 

If you’ve got nothing new to share then maybe do a bit of business research and give them a top 5 tip on something. You should always have some news for your subscribers.

Statistics and Analysis

Mailchimp has some analytics that allows you to check if people have opened your newsletter and whether they have clicked on something within your email.

You can use google analytics to check your increase in web traffic as well as where customers have accessed your website, this includes if they are from email links.

Final Thoughts…

As I said this guide is a “how to get started” with email marketing and is not a fully comprehensive understanding of email marketing. It gives you tips on where to go and how to get those first few emails into customers inboxes. There are further things you may want to consider such as A/B testing and setting up a more structured campaign for your email marketing. However, I hope, for small or startup businesses, this gives you a good idea where to start.

Have any more questions? feel free to leave a comment and we will answer the best we can.

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