Welcome to this fast-paced, quick, and easy, guide on everything about Email Marketing. There are a lot of elements, terminologies, and concepts in Marketing that we tend to float in endless space and wonder… What the heck is an opt-in? Well, my friend, if you’re in a hurry and want to know the basics of Email Marketing… this is your first stop.
To understand the basic concepts of email marketing, we need to answer the most important question first…
What is Email Marketing?
Email Marketing is one form of promoting, and/or communicating to a list of interested contacts of your product, service, or business. Let’s go back a few words and talk about the word “communicating”. Email Marketing nowadays is not just promoting your latest service, or showing off your new discount, or doing giveaways. Email Marketing is a communication line where you and your contacts are building a relationship. Send personalized emails that have emotion and empathy. Nurture your contacts with honesty and transparency.
Let’s delve into the Inbound Methodology… What is it?
The Inbound Methodology is a method to not only communicate, but to attract, engage, and entertain people to grow a healthy and trustworthy relationship.
Now the question you may have right now is… How do I attract, engage, and entertain people with my business?
Well like with any relationship, it takes time and patience. We’ll look at different ways on how you can…
Grow your Email List
Create killer Opt-in Forms
Choose an Email Marketing Provider
Segment your Email List
Personalize your Email
And Create an Email Marketing Strategy
It’s a lot to cover but don’t worry. We know you’re in a hurry so, we’ll make sure to only cover the most important concepts.
On your mark… get set… go!
How do you grow an Email List?
First things first, do not buy emails or databases. If you want to nurture your contacts from the ground up, there must be some level of transparency. Also, your Email Service Provider will not allow any bought lists if it does not follow GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Wouldn’t want to risk your whole reputation by going the “easy route”.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into some pointers on how to grow your email list.
Whether you’re using Social Media Ads, promoting through certain Facebook groups, or other means, you need to know how to create awesome lead magnets.
A lead magnet is attracting potential contacts in providing their information in exchange for something free.
For example, recently I provided my email address to a company that provides email marketing services. After 60 seconds of going through their website, I was ready to click on the “X” button. Guess what stopped me from exiting? A pop-up window appeared right before my eyes and it read “Sign Up to our Newsletter for a Free Online Course”. It then proceeded to provide me further information. I was intrigued. I did not think twice.
This is one out of many lead magnets that you can conjure up. Perhaps your business does not offer courses but offers reports or studies. Provide your potential contacts with information relevant to your market. You’ll then be able to segment your list from these different lead magnets. But that will be a separate discussion soon.
Here are steps in creating lead magnets:
- Create Pains relatable to your market and add Benefits to overcome their Pains.
- Provide easy to reach content. For example: send a link or a document through email. Do not make it un-user friendly or impossible to get.
- Provide relevant information and paid alternatives as follow-up emails. Once you have your contacts in your list, ease them in with information related to what they signed up for.
- Having a double opt-in (or confirmation email) gives a higher quality list.
Now that you know how to grow your email list, you need to know how to create attractive landing pages or opt-in forms.
An opt-in form is a method of retrieving your potential contact’s information.
“Get Email Marketing Certified and Learn Modern Techniques for Free!”
Wow, I can get certified, learn modern tips and tricks, and get it all for free. Doesn’t that sound enticing? It does.
Headers are extremely important when getting your readers’ attention. Usually, when it’s an offer you can’t refuse and it’s related to your interests, there’s no doubt that you’ll peek in and see what’s behind that exciting header.
So, what do we expect to see once we click? Follow these steps to keep your potential contacts reeling for more:
- Relevant copy. Providing any information in this form should be relevant to what you’re offering. No deceit. No suspicious workarounds.
- The form, or landing page, should be simple and straight to the point. Do not ask anything more than their names and email address. There are some instances that a phone number can be provided for text messaging. People are not yet ready to give so much info to a business they barely know.
- The layout of the form, or landing page, should flow. Make sure all the links work, and all the pages appear appropriately. The form’s structure should flow effortlessly as well. Use AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) to have your readers engaged in no time.
Ok, so you have your opt-in forms ready, you have your contacts waiting eagerly for more content, what else do you need? An Email Marketing Provider (ESP).
An Email Marketing Provider is a tool that manages your email campaigns, and contacts to send the right emails to the right people at the right time.
We’ll mention three popular ESPs that you can use today at a low cost:
A fan favorite for bloggers and small businesses with their complete package deal all for $0. They offer landing pages, drag and drop builder, tools for social media ads and posts, and tools like Shopify, Eventbrite, and Salesforce.
Choose Mailchimp if you’re a small business and need eCommerce support. They offer marketing automation tools as well for abandoned carts… Which can be useful and engaging for future clients.
Gaining popularity in the past two years, MailerLite has one of the best offers for small to mid-size businesses. For $15 a month, you can have 2,500 subscribers and gain advanced features such as CTR heatmaps, and A/B testing.
They do not offer a sophisticated Marketing Automation tool. They have other great features that help you interact with your contacts with ease… And with beautiful templates.
Another great Free-to-use or low-cost service for businesses that have over 2,500 subscribers. You can send up to 60,000 emails per month for $10. That is not a bad deal if I say so myself.
It has some cool features that some ESPs do not have such as converting your videos to GIFs inside emails, and Google Analytics tools. It has great segmentation tools as well for your contacts.
Speaking of segmentation, this is a good Segway to get into segmenting your email list. But first, we’ll need a little bit more clarity.
What is Segmentation?
Segmentation is breaking up your list into smaller lists under sub-categories. For example geographical location, interests, preferences, language, industry, birthday, and more. Depending on your business, you should segment your list according to your products or services.
Let’s take McDonald’s as an example.
Recently they offered you a free coupon for a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal. But to get the coupon, you must subscribe to their list. So, you did. (Was that a lead magnet?)
You left your early teens email address that you thought was cool at the time but now you use it to get free online stuff.
Once you subscribed, you received your coupon. Awesome! A week later, you receive another email from them. This time, it’s a limited-time deal at one of their locations. And guess what? It’s another location nearby that you didn’t even know existed!
Segment your list according to your business needs. Only send the right emails to the right people. Not everyone wants limited-time deals at a specific location. Maybe they’re interested in the latest news about the company.
Know your contacts. Nourish them for a healthy relationship.
Now that you have all the tools at your disposal, let’s start personalizing your emails.
According to a case study from Experian, personalized emails have 26% higher open rates.
You’ve been collecting information from your contacts such as first name, last name, and email address. Or maybe you added a line to add their birthday or zip code. Why not use all this information for your emails?
Most ESPs provide personalized emails where you can use unique codes to add your contacts’ first name or last name. This is a great tool to tweak your emails ever so slightly to make a big impact.
Subject lines and preview text are extremely important to capture your contacts’ attention. Use A/B Testing to see which is the most effective subject line.
A few examples of personalization are:
- Add the first name to your email
- Send relevant information to your segmented lists
- Send region-specific holidays or events
- Add a personalized signature to your emails
We’re almost at the finish line! What are the next steps in sending your first email?
Strategize your email marketing and create awesome campaigns to bring helpful content and nurture relationships along the way.
What should you do once you’re ready to send your first email? Here are few steps to have your email campaign ready:
Define your goals
What is the purpose of sending your email? Is it to promote your new product? Or perhaps you want your contacts to be aware of the latest news of your company?
You must define a goal before starting any email campaign. Start by choosing what segmented list you want to send an email to.
(Do some research. Analyze the market. As a business owner or marketer, you should have an expert understanding of the industry that you’re in. This information will provide you a better understanding of what kind of goals you should have for your email campaigns.)
Create an email layout
Once you decided what kind of email you’re sending, now you will need to design the email itself. As mentioned before, AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) is a great tool to use in creating engaging emails.
- Start with the header, the second element that your contact will look at. Like the subject line, create a compelling and engaging header where your contacts would want to read more.
- Do not create sketchy or vague headers where your contacts are going to ask or say, “Why am I getting this email?” or “This email is not for me”. Make your header simple and straight to the point.
- Next, the subheader. Here you’ll provide more information on what content you’ll be showing to your contacts.
- If you’re offering coaching services, you can maybe add an interesting fact about coaching. Or maybe add a question where your contacts will relate to it.
- Now for the content itself. This is where you’ll add the relevant information that you mentioned in your subject line, header, and subheader. Keep it brief and entertaining. Long emails tend to be ignored… usually.
- Lastly, the Call to Action (CTA). Make the CTA button pop. Don’t hide it from your readers. The CTA is where readers would want to know more about the product or service you’re providing. This is where you either add a link to your website or a landing page to learn more.
- Make sure the email contains a button to sign up. Once you start sending emails, people are going to forward them, and share them. You want to have your list grow as organically as possible.
Schedule your email campaign
This is where you decide how often you want to send your emails. What is the best day or time to send your emails? You wouldn’t want to send 3 emails in one day. On average, people receive more than 100 emails a day. Try not to push their buttons.
You can also announce ahead of time your newly planned email campaign. Make your contacts aware of what they should expect from you in the coming days. This is a good practice to keep a healthy relationship with your contacts.
Analyze your results
After you sent your emails, you got your feedback, now is the time to analyze the results. Check your heatmap (if your ESP provides it), see the open email rate and the click-through rate. This will tell you if your contacts were interested or engaged with your subject line.
Put in place A/B Testing in your campaigns. Try what works best for your list. There is no standard or set subject line formula for every email campaign. You must find what your contacts will engage more with.
Send many emails, do not only send one and use that as your go-to template. Trying to get the best results will take time and that is ok.
Like we mentioned before… Like any relationship, it takes time and patience.
Thank you for reading through and for any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!
And yes if you were wondering, I like to read Neil deGrasse Tyson’s books.