Email marketing. How to start and succeed

In today’s world, we get tons of emails every day. Some of them are spam, but most of the time we receive newsletters that we have previously subscribed to. There is a huge difference between two types of emails in your inbox. Some emails go unopened, while others are eagerly anticipated. Every time you receive them it seems to be some kind of a present, they always have something interesting and of value inside.

This leads us to the central question of email marketing: how can you ensure your customers are 100% satisfied with every email? It is such a complicated question one could write a book about it (and there’s actually plenty of them out there). Nevertheless, there are 5 simple steps that anyone can start with, here they are:

Step 1. Preparations.

Deep understanding of what your customers really need and finding the real reason for them to subscribe to your emails is a starting point of a successful email campaign.

One of the first steps you should do, is subscribe to the email lists of market leaders. Watch them do their email campaigns. Analyze their content, visual presentation, frequency and timings, as well as your experience after clicking links.

You need some technical tools as well. There is a lot of different methods and many ways to collect emails or work with them. As a subscriber list accelerator, you can use a landing page, pop-up form, promo code or whatever else that triggers users to subscribe. At this point you should also choose the right platform for your email campaigns, if you haven’t done it already. Email marketing platform helps you provide smooth customer experience for your subscribers.

Step 2. Starting out.

If you are just about to start email marketing, and your subscriber base is fairly small, you do not need an expensive design, copywriters and a complicated process. All you need is a basic template and few types of emails to work with your customers and subscribers. Moreover, what really matters at this point and later on, is to be as helpful and user-friendly to the customers as you can.

You always need to have real value in every single email you send to your customer in order to make them “warm” and ready to purchase. Do not send redundant or copyrighted information to your customers. Open rate of your emails will be much higher, if you do not disturb your subscribers with “please buy” emails every day. On the other hand, do not leave your users on their own.

Here are few recommendations of what types of emails can be used on the first stage of your email marketing campaign.

  • “Hello” email – From the very moment a person subscribes to your list, you should start delivering value to your subscribers. It is never easy, but your customers will be grateful for not receiving dozens of promotional emails. Here are some examples of what a “Hello” email could contain:
    • A brochure or any other material you could share to make people know your company better.
    • A guide on how to choose the right product to meet your potential customer need.
    • A promo code or discount for the first purchase.
    • You can also assure your customer that their contact information is safe and will be kept confidential. It is also good to tell ahead how frequent email campaigns are going to be.

    Please note, that the first 10 minutes (and some say even less) of your interaction with the subscriber are the most important. First two emails you send are the most important, so you should pay extra attention to them.

  • Promotional email – third thing you need, and we are sure you like this part most of all, is to send a message that turns your subscriber into your customer. This can be a weekly email or a holiday promotion.
  • Informational email – this may be any information that is relevant to your customer. It doesn’t have the intention to sell right away, though it won’t hurt if it does. Imagine you are a travel agency. You may send out information about places your customers can travel to and include a special offer to visit these places.

Step 3. System of relationships.

Marketing is about relationships. Always. And email marketing is about starting a long-term relationships. Just imagine a situation. You’ve met a girl and asked her phone number. She gives it to you and you are happy because you finally got her contacts, and she apparently likes you. So it’s probably safe to say something like: “It is so nice to meet you, my name is Alex and so on”. Then you go home to prepare yourself for the date and do not call her. For a month.

This situation shows you how not to do email marketing. What you should do is build a long-term, friendly and strong connection with your subscribers. You should always think how to make them happy, how to supply them with really helpful information and make them like your company and products. It is very important to keep in mind, we buy something because we like it, not always because we really need that.

Step 4. Segmentation

When you think about email communication, the best way is to have a personal message delivered. When it comes to a big subscriber list, it is almost impossible. That’s why you need segmentation. This means that every time we reach out, we address the users that share similar characteristics.

There are many different values by which you can segment customers. For example, gender, age, location, family status, or customers that previously engaged with your promos.

When you start sending specific emails to specific user segments you will see the increase in your open rate.

Think how you can implement it in your business. What are the relevant segments in your customer base and how you can separate users for that segments? You can start segmentation as early as you start your email list. You can add additional fields to your subscription form to get the most important information about your subscriber. But keep it short! After that you can ask few questions in your “Welcome” email to get additional information. It will give you plenty of data to analyze, so you will be able to further segment your list.

Step 5. A/B tests

A/B testing is another big topic. What can we test in email marketing? Pretty much everything. You can start with few simple things that may influence your Open Rate and Click Rate: subject of the email, “From” field – sometimes it is better to use your company name, sometimes some of your manager’s contacts, timings – you can see different engagement rate based on the time, when a subscriber receives your email. What we strongly recommend is not to make any decisions without testing.

And what now?

Take this post as a piece of advice and a guideline, not as a strict instruction. Think what can be applied to your business immediately, and what needs an extra twist. But start it as soon as possible and don’t wait till you make your perfect email, or grow your subscriber base to a certain magic number. Always keep this in mind: “What can I do to make my subscribers happy?”.

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