6 Tips for Getting Started with Email Marketing

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Believe in email marketing but not sure where to begin? Use the six tips below to get started down the path to effective digital marketing.

1. Choose your email marketing platform.

If you have a strong opinion on whether Adnan did or didn't commit a crime on the popular Serial podcast, you've probably heard an ad for Mailchimp.

Mailchimp is an affordable automated email marketing platform that allows you to build lists, landing pages, one-off emails, and ongoing campaigns. In my opinion, this platform provides the most user-friendly interface, but if you like to shop around before you commit, you can also check out Drip, Emma, Constant Contact and the most recent company adding email marketing to its offerings—Squarespace.

2. Plan out your newsletter.

One of the best ways to acquire leads is through a monthly newsletter. Potential customers won't sign up for your newsletter if you simply boast about your business, though. Make sure you plan out content that provides value to your readers. This can include free downloads like phone backgrounds and designed printables, helpful tips specific to your industry, inspiring stories highlighting customers, etc. Resist the temptation to merely send updates about your products or services.

3. Build an automated welcome series.

Email addresses are valuable property, so make sure to say thank you to customers when they sign up for your newsletter. Any of the above email platforms allow you to set up a welcome series. As soon as a prospect submits their information through your lead form, the first email should be triggered. Consider making your welcome series somewhere between 1 and 4 messages. You can begin by saying thank you with a free download, then send information about the mission of your brand, share a customer success story, and finally, send an email pushing customers to purchase.

4. Encourage click-throughs.

As you monitor email opens, you'll begin to understand the importance of intrigue in your subject lines. Readers should feel inspired to open and read the body of your email. Analogously, your content inside the email should convince readers to click through to your website.

As I build client newsletters, I choose to post excerpts from blog posts instead of embedding an entire post in the email. This way, I can check click maps to monitor which content is most attractive to prospects, and I can tweak future content plans to capitalize on most popular content. Additionally, I want readers to click through and land on my clients' websites because the deeper we can engage, the better our chance of converting a sale. If readers see no reason to click through to the website, businesses shouldn't expect to see resulting purchases.

5. Add preview text.

Most inboxes show preview text on both mobile and desktop. Adding preview text gives you a second chance (the first being subject line) to convince customers to open and read your message. Character counts vary depending on the inbox, so keep this addition brief and compelling.

6. Include a call to action.

Even your biggest fans won't click if you fail to call them to action. Add buttons to your email like "Read more," "Learn more," "Order now," "Access the sale," and "Get started." Don't push hard for a sale at every turn, but do invite customers to engage with you.

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for converting customers. Now that you know the basics, it's time to get started on your content strategy. Get professional help today by emailing cristywicks@gmail.com.

Cristy Wicks