Are you trying to get an email marketing campaign up and running? These six easy steps will get you started in promoting your business website with simple, effective email campaigns.
Ask any seasoned marketer, and they’ll tell you that a good email campaign is worth its weight in gold (and that you should send emails on a Tuesday). It’s one of the most cost-effective methods of building a community of repeat customers around your brand.
No wonder 80% of retail professionals say it’s their main customer retention driver. For small business owners, your email list can be your most valuable marketing asset. It’s great for keeping customers informed, promoting products, and distributing incentives to encourage traffic and sales.
Once your new website launches, you’ll want to focus on building your list and converting your email campaigns into reliable marketing tools. Here are six steps that will help you get there.
#1: Build a Targeted List
Step 1—Get your mailing list started.
Your business website is finished, but there’s still something that you need—a way to collect email signups! This is the first step to building your company’s email list. You need an area on your website that will collect email addresses from your customers.
As a small business owner, you will invest some money into Google or social media ads to attract website traffic and drive sales. As a secondary tactic, the traffic this inspires will also fuel your email marketing practices. Add a signup box on the homepage, or use a pop-up box to snag customers.
Customers won’t just add their email addresses to your signup box (opt-in form)—you have to offer them something that they find valuable in return. This is called a lead magnet.
- A discount or free coupon
- An e-book, guide, or whitepaper download
- Interesting case studies or exclusive industry information
- A free assessment (SEO companies use a free SEO tool assessment, for example)
Once you’ve collected a set of email addresses, you can target people on your list for specific promotions or information. Targeting and segmenting your list is key to your success.
#2: Make Sure Your Design Works
Step 2—Find the right email marketing tools to make your design look great.
Email marketing can indeed create outstanding returns for your small business. Some companies enjoy a 3800% ROI when they use email as the cornerstone of their marketing efforts. But you have to design a logical, beautiful email first, using the right email marketing software.
- Pick an email service that works with WordPress.
- Find one that lets you design your mails like a pro.
- Add a plugin.
- Opt-in Monster, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact are popular choices.
Make sure that your email reads well in HTML format, too, in case your subscribers block image downloads and formatting styles to prevent spam and phishing attacks. Personalize each email by selecting the option in your email service to use your subscribers’ names.
Visual content will attract the eye, so consider adding strong images that support your message and email goal. If your goal is to get someone to buy a specific product—then include the best photos of that product you can find (or take new, better ones).
#3: Write Content That Tells a Story
Step 3—Email is about storytelling, so make yours engaging and worth reading!
Spend some time crafting quality content that is in line with your brand message and yet also reaches your customers on an emotional level.
When you tell stories in your emails, your customers will learn things about you—beyond what you sell—strengthening your connection. Stories also tend to be more memorable, so when you tell them about a product or service, this is what stands out for your customer.
- Write short, anecdotal stories to enhance your mails.
- Keep your emails short, sweet, and to the point.
- Leave out the platitudes and speak like you’re chatting to an important friend.
- The best stories are “reason why,” “origin,” “vision,” and “rapport-building” stories.
- Send an email newsletter that your customers will love.
Think about the last great email you received. What made it stand out? Most emails are terrible, formal nonsense that is all about the seller and what they want. Make your emails about your customers, and they’ll be clicking as soon as it hits their inbox.
#4: Focus on Your Subject Lines
Step 4—Use the 80/20 principle and focus on what matters most—the subject line.
To get your message to your customers, they need to open your email. The one element that entices your customer to click your mail is the subject line. This short description explains what your email is about and follows after the sender’s name in your inbox.
- Work on your open rate
- Work on your average click rate
Email open rates vary depending on your niche, but Smart Insights places the eCommerce average at 15.68%. This means that about 15% of everyone who received the email decided to open it and take a peek. The better your subject line, the higher this metric will be.
- Use numbers, be friendly and keep it simple.
- Avoid clever subject lines, and instead, inspire curiosity or create a sense of urgency.
- Always add value in your mail and hint at it in your description.
- Never use all capital letters or multiple exclamation points (!!!).
As part of your email marketing strategy, you should check out these subject line examples and adapt them for yourself. Pick a few of the best ones and test them out.
#5: Create a Call To Action That Pops
Step 5—Create a single call to action that leaps out at your customer.
A big part of creating engaging content in an email is getting your subscriber to click on your call-to-action prompt. This will be a button or link that directs them to where you’d like them to go—either a product page, a landing page, or something similar.
- All strong CTAs have a clear purpose and use simple language.
- Don’t get fancy—use what people recognize.
- Consider the commitment, size, and placement of your CTAs.
Most email services let you track these metrics to see what your subscribers are doing and what is getting people to continue along your sales funnel. This is online marketing 101!
#6: Review and Test Your Mail Before Sending
Step 6—Review and test your email campaign.
You’ve drafted an amazing looking email. It’s snappy and full of personality—and you’re ready to send it out into the world to see if it performs. Before you do that, you need to test if it works.
- Send your mail from your business website address to several other addresses.
- Take note of how it looks in different email hosts.
- Check how it looks on your mobile phone.
- Click on every link and re-read for errors.
If you start small and focus on a few key metrics, you’ll get the hang of what your niche wants from you and what works. Make sure that your current website hosting and website design are up to date and in line with what you’re sending your subscribers.
Start selling on your small business website when you delve into your first ever email marketing campaign, using these easy steps.