Starting an email marketing campaign can be daunting; after all, you need to create a list of subscribers, create compelling content, and then figure out a way to get people to read your emails.
There can also be a big learning curve to using email marketing software. From segmentation, automation, and personalization, it can be difficult to know what capabilities you need and how to use them.
It's no wonder that some marketers struggle to get started.
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be this way. There are great email marketing services out there–we'll talk more about those later.
The benefits of a strong email marketing campaign and strategy
With all that struggle, why even try? Well, it turns out that email marketing is one of the most beneficial marketing strategies a brand can deploy. In fact, it's estimated that for every $1 spent, you get about $40 in return.
Who wouldn't want a 4000% ROI?
Besides the financial boon to your bottom line, there are several other key reasons why email marketing can be so effective.
Great for relationship-building
Email is a great way to keep in touch with customers and build relationships with them. It's quick and easy, and you can reach a large audience with just a few clicks. Plus, customers can easily reply to your messages, making it a two-way communication channel. With email, you can stay top of mind with your customers and cultivate loyalty over time.
Perhaps the most important part to remember is that a customer must have opted in to receive your email marketing messages (do not buy lists!). This means that they are choosing to let you send them emails and want to hear from you. Never forget that!
Email marketing is relatively inexpensive
Email marketing is a great way to reach out to potential customers without breaking the bank. Compared to other marketing channels, email is relatively inexpensive to set up and maintain. You don't need to spend money on postage or print ads, and you can easily automate your email campaigns. In addition, email gives you the ability to track your results and get real-time feedback from your customers.
And thanks to the data that comes from running email marketing campaigns, you can make adjustments quickly and easily so that your emails become more and more valuable to your customers over time. Unlike social media, you aren't bound by gatekeepers or forced to run paid ads in order for your message to be heard.
It lets you cater to your audience's specific needs
Email marketing is a great way to keep your customers informed about what's happening with your business and build relationships with them. But one of the best things about email marketing is that it lets you cater to your audience's specific needs. With email marketing, you can segment your list so that you're only sending out information that is relevant to each group or individual.
This way, your customers are more likely to read what you send and be more interested in what you have to say or what you are offering. And when they're interested, they're more likely to do business with you.
You can also send emails during specific times and days to ensure that the message is relevant and timely.
How to begin email marketing
Now that you've heard the benefits and are aware of the struggles to get started with email marketing, it's time to ask, "But, how?"
Email marketing begins with a list. And this list will always be yours.
Developing your email list
If you're looking to start email marketing, you first need a list of subscribers.
Here are a few tips on how to develop your email list:
1. Make it easy for people to sign up. Include a prominently placed sign-up form on your website and make sure the process is quick and simple. Collect first and last names, email addresses, and any other information you may need to create a valuable email marketing strategy.
2. Give people a reason to sign up. Incentives like coupons, free shipping, or exclusive content can entice people to join your list. PDF downloadable can be a great giveaway, as long as they provide value that's hard to find elsewhere.
3. Use pop-ups, but use them sparingly. Pop-ups can be annoying, but they also collect email addresses effectively. Just make sure not to overdo it, or you'll end up driving people away.
4. Leverage your existing audience. If you have a database of customers or followers, reach out and ask them to sign up for your emails. Just like in life, consent is vital. Sending an email marketing message to an unsuspecting customer is a surefire way to lose their business forever–and perhaps get fined in the process.
5. Keep growing your list. The more names you have, the more potential customers you'll have for your email marketing campaigns. So keep working at it, and eventually, you'll have the sizable list you need to start seeing some serious results from your email marketing efforts. You should always dedicate some of your time and resources to collecting new potential customers.
Next, you need a message
In email marketing, the message you send is just as important as the list of recipients you send it to. After all, what's the point of spending hours crafting a beautiful email campaign if your message is going to fall flat? So how can you make sure your message is effective? Decide the purpose of your email marketing strategy.
Do you want them to make a purchase, sign up for a trial, or download a white paper? Perhaps you want them to visit your store or website. Maybe you're emailing them to announce an online conference. Whatever the purpose of your emails, consider what action(s) you want the recipient to take.
Once you have a purpose in mind, craft your message around it. Then, make your message clear, concise, and persuasive.
Make sure your content is great
Good content is available anywhere. Your aim should be to make your content great if you want your email to stand out. The latest research shows that the average person receives 100-120 emails a day. That's a lot of competition for eyeballs and clicks.
To make great content, consider these:
- Make it relevant to the recipient
- Write and design it well, and make sure it's free of errors
- Use images and follow best practices for crafting emails
- Keep it short, simple, and full of value
You can't see results if you don't send your email out. It can be scary to put yourself out there, and there's no guarantee that all your time on that email will be worth it. But, the great thing about hitting send on an email is that you immediately begin learning.
You'll learn how many of the recipients opened it, clicked on a link, or downloaded what you sent them. As the results start rolling in, you can adjust your emails so that they continue getting better and better.
Yes, there will be unsubscribed. Yes, some people will never open your email (actually - most people won't). But, hopefully, the ones that do find your emails valuable and are anxious for the next one you send them.
All of the above is great and good advice for starting your email marketing plan. But, we left out one essential element: what program should you use to send and track the emails with?
Sure you can send it from your work or Gmail account, but that's probably not the best strategy if you want to have a robust email marketing program. Instead, you'll need to sign up for email marketing software. Many, like Cakemail, offer a free version that lets you test the waters and see if email marketing is right for you.
But that's not all they offer.
The benefits of email marketing software and tools
Email marketing software and tools offer a number of benefits for businesses. Perhaps most importantly, they can help to automate the email marketing process, saving you time and effort.
They also provide design tools that are easy to use and update. Cakemail, for example, offers hundreds of great email templates made to be displayed appropriately on a computer or on a mobile that remove the need to hire a designer or programmer.
In addition, email marketing tools can provide valuable insights into your customers’ preferences and behaviors. With this information, you can tailor your marketing messages to be more effective and engaging.
Additionally, email marketing software can help you to stay motivated by providing metrics and data that show the results of your efforts. Finally, many email marketing platforms offer a wide range of features and integrations that can make your life easier. When it comes to email marketing, the right tools can make all the difference.
Find what works for you!
Not every piece of email marketing software is created equal. Some are more difficult and require a certain amount of coding knowledge. Others are more simple. Most importantly, you should find the tools that work best for you and your needs.
We think that's Cakemail, but we are biased. :-)