Did you know that 58% of people check their email first thing in the morning?
Why does that matter to you? Here’s the deal…email marketing is the most effective online marketing tactic. It’s the only way you can guarantee your content, message, promotion or product gets delivered to your audience and you don’t have to fight the algorithm like you do with social media.
I’m not saying you should ignore the other channels—social media is the second most effective, and content marketing is third. But in the always-connected, social-media centered world we live in, we tend to concentrate much more on that, and have pushed email marketing to the wayside.
So today I want you to take time to show some love to your email strategy. Ready? Let’s go!
Choose An Email Provider
First, do you have an email service provider? If not, that’s your first step. I love Mailchimp, but there are a lot of other services out there depending on your preference. The best part is Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers. So, if you are just starting out building your list, it’s always nice to start for free.
Build Your List
Next, you have to get people to opt-in to your emails and sign up for your list. There are a lot of ways to go about this. Here are some ideas to start:
- Add a sign up form to your website (p.s. you can create this form and grab the code from Mailchimp)
- Post about it on social media with a link to your sign up form
- If you have an existing or past customer list, you can send them a personal email saying you want to continue to keep in touch with them, and include a link to sign up in that email.
- Add the sign up link/form anywhere else your audience may see it (think email signature, Instagram profile, etc.)
Wondering why you have to get permission? Long story short, it’s the law! But it also means your audience is more likely to stick around because they chose to be part of it.
Decide How You Will Use Email Marketing
This step will look different depending on your business model and what you sell or provide, but there are a few basic option to start with:
- Email newsletter: often a monthly email where you share information/resources with your audience. Do you have a blog? Share your latest articles in this newsletter. Don’t have a blog? Let’s talk.
- Transactional emails: convert your audience to paying customers with transactional/promotional emails. Want to feature a specific product or service? Launching a new product or service? Highlight it in an email that you know will get delivered to your audience.
- Automation series: automation is one of the most underutilized features of email marketing. Automation allows you to send a series of emails to your audience either when they join your list or based on behaviors they perform on your website or in emails. It can be as simple as resending an email to people who didn’t open your first email. Or as complicated as a 7-part drip campaign.
You can choose one of the models above to get started, or build a strategy that combines all of these types of emails. If you want to connect to develop a strategy that’s right for your business goals, let me know.
Design Your Templates
Email marketing tools like Mailchimp have predesigned templates to get you started, or you can hire someone to design professional, branded templates that you can use for your email marketing needs. Either way, stick with a consistent look and feel that is simple, easy to read, and on-brand.
Calls To Action
Ultimately you want people to do something with your emails and take some sort of action. As you think through your strategy and goals, don’t forget about what action you want your audience to take. Here are some examples:
- Buy Now
- Read More (don’t give everything away in your email…have them get the rest of what they want on your website)
- Watch Now (video)
- Book Your Tickets
- Save My Seat
- Register Now
- Connect With Us On _______(Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Something to keep in mind with calls to action:
- Keep it simple
- Make it clear
- Deliver on the promise (don’t mislead people)
- Don’t overload your email with too many calls to action
- Use a button
Also remember not to overdo it and sound to pushy or sales-y. You want your audience to feel like they are getting something out of your email rather than just being sold to. Your focus should first be on being a valuable resource and providing something your audience wants/needs, and then serve up a relevant offer/call to action.
It doesn’t matter how great your call to action is or how beautiful your template is if no one opens your email, right? A strong subject line is what is going to cut through the inbox clutter and get people to open your email. It may sound crazy, but you really should spend as much time developing your subject line as you do on the email. If no one opens it, all the time spent on the actually email will be for nothing.
Spend time thinking about the emails that YOU open. What about them catches your attention?
The best subject lines spark interest and excitement and also make us curious about what’s inside. You can add personalization, ask a question, or share a headline. As with calls to action, you need to deliver on what you say in the subject line. Don’t just create a catchy subject line for open rates (you’re not the National Enquirer).
Want to dive deeper into writing subject lines that people actually open? Download this FREE GUIDE.
As with all marketing, consistency is key. If you plan to send 1 email a month, send 1 email a month. Don’t get overly excited and decide you are going to send weekly emails if it isn’t realistic. You’ll start out great and then get overwhelmed and quit all together. Be realistic about what you can do and then stick with it!