Email Marketing Crash Course

November 11, 2014

You know you want to do email marketing, but are unsure where to start. Luckily for you, this crash course is your roadmap to success.

Let’s begin by touching on the benefits of email marketing - why get involved? For starters, email marketing has 3 times as many users as Twitter and Facebook combined. When email marketing campaigns are done properly, they can drive conversions, increase ROI and give you a channel to spark your customer's interests directly. But perhaps most importantly, it’s one of the few platforms where marketers can be sure their messages are reaching their user. 

Know your readers

Before starting your first campaign, you have to understand your audience. Are they friends, family, vendors, customers, prospects or all of the above? One way to navigate this question is to determine how they joined your email list. If they signed up during a website transaction, they are your customers. If it was through an event or trade show, they may be prospects (and hopefully soon, your new customers). Once you define your “reader profile,” you can craft and hone what type of content gets shared.

Know what to say 

Now that you know who you are communicating with, what do you say? This is your content. If you are blogging, your subscribers will be interested in the latest industry expertise. If you are a retailer, your subscribers will be interested in your newest offerings, protection/warranty information and any promotions or sales. Start by thinking about what marketing content you are already creating, and work smarter, not harder. Chances are some of the assets you already create can also be disseminated via email marketing. Only then should you explore what type of content should be shared with your subscribers through email marketing exclusively. Exclusive content can serve as a reward your audience, but remember to work smarter.

Set your time & goal

How frequently you communicate with your audience will be based on your own goals. Do your subscribers want new content monthly? Or are you refreshing their interest for the upcoming weekend? Ultimately the decision is yours. At a minimum, you should communicate with your audience at least once per month. Ensure to strike a balance of not over-emailing (SPAM-ing) but not too infrequently that people forget you.

Once you determine the frequency, decide what you would like to achieve with your marketing campaign. Are you promoting sales, increasing awareness of an event or driving traffic to your website? There needs to be a goal. Once your goal is set, track the progress of your goal so you can make changes as needed.

Email marketing can be a very effective tool. Having a simple road map to follow will get you started right away. Know your readers. Know what to say. Set a time and track your goal. Get started today.

Bonus material. Which email marketing provider should I begin with? While there are many potential vendors to use for email marketing, our favorites remain: MailChimp & Constant Contact. Both are affordable and MailChimp offers a free version - both are very reliable. And best of all – if you’re not a designer, both offer an email builder to help brand your masterpieces through drag and drop!

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