In last week’s blog, we looked at why email marketing is important and what you need to consider before adding it to your marketing strategy. In this week’s blog, we’ll look at the practical steps you need to take to launch an email marketing campaign.
Before you get started with the steps, however, make sure you identify a need. With the email marketing tools that are available, the technical aspects of setting up an email marketing campaign are relatively straightforward. The challenging parts include ensuring people:
- Don’t – unsubscribe or report you as spam
- Do – open your emails and click through to your website
Therefore, you must decide what your target audience wants to read. This will increase your chances of success.
Email Marketing Software
The starting point is to select the email marketing software application you will use. There is a large range of options with varying features, levels of complexity, and price points.
One of the most popular, however, is MailChimp. It is easy to use and is free for up to 2,000 email subscribers. For most SMEs in Ireland, this will be sufficient when getting started with email marketing.
Alternatives to MailChimp include AWeber, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor, but there are others as well.
Build an Email List
The next step is to build your email list. If you are an existing business you may already have some email addresses of people who are willing to receive regular mass emails from you. You should add them to your list.
Then, you have to implement strategies to build your email list. There are two main ways of doing this:
- Adding email capture forms to your website – this can appear at the top of your pages, in a sidebar, or elsewhere on your website. You should keep the forms as simple as possible so they require minimal effort for the visitor to complete. It is also helpful to explain in brief exactly what you plan to do with the email address, including the content you plan to send. The more compelling you can make this pitch, the more email addresses you will get.
- Incentives – you can also offer the customer something additional in return for signing up to your email list. This could be a report or white paper on your industry, an eBook the visitor will find useful, access to exclusive special offers, a discount on their first order, and more.
The email marketing software you select will have tools that will help you quickly and easily add the above forms to your website. Depending on your level of knowledge and how your website is set up, you may need help from your website designer although adding the forms is usually a straightforward job.
You then need to start sending emails. You should do this on a regular basis so the people on your list get used to receiving emails from you. Don’t be rigid as to a time of day or day of the week, however. It is always good to test different send times to see what works best.
Make sure you don’t send emails too frequently, though, particularly if the content of the emails is not sufficiently unique or engaging.
Here are some tips for sending emails as part of your email marketing campaign:
- Write enticing subject lines – make sure the subject line is not too long or the recipient will not be able to read it – your email marketing software will help with this. You should also get straight to the point explaining what is in the email. In addition, make sure you don’t use common spam triggers like exclamation marks, words all in capital letters, pricing information, or subject lines with a heavy sales emphasis.
- Make the email content snappy – the people on your list will not give the email much time so make every word count. This means removing any fluffy welcome content at the start and filler content throughout. Write short sentences and include images. Links should clearly indicate what the recipient is clicking to.
- Measure the results – always measure the results of emails you send and then use that data to make improvements.
For more help and advice with your business, please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.