What Is Email Marketing and Do I Need It?

Email marketing campaigns have been a hotly debated, yet an integral piece of business marketing for well over a decade.  Email marketing, by definition, is sending an email to market your product, brand, service, or promotion to a group of people whose information you have collected.  Some social media fanatics might claim that email marketing is an outdated strategy.  However, email marketing has proven to be an effective marketing strategy when the campaign is set up correctly.  This article will touch briefly on email campaigns, how to set them up, and what roadblocks to avoid. 

What Is Email Marketing And Does My Business Need it?

As briefly outlined above, email marketing is when you target your ideal client with a message about your business, product, service, promotion, or event.  The goal is to drive sales, increase customer loyalty, and share important information.  Today, because people can choose to “opt-in” or “opt-out” to your email campaigns, you can trust you have a targeted audience who is interested in you and your business.   Plus, the 2018 Inbox Report by Fluent reported that 80% of Americans check their email daily – this means your clients are going to see what you have to say. 

You should consider email marketing simply because it is capable of generating up to 30 times your initial investment.  That is a great ROI for a minimal amount of work. Every time you send an email out, you are reaching a captive audience who has already demonstrated interest.  You can also control exactly what you want people to see – and with the right processes in place, determine if people have seen the emails.  You can also create different campaigns and ensure that each client, or potential client, is receiving the messages they need to answer to their space in the buying process.  

Steps To Set Up An Email Campaign From Scratch 

Setting up an email marketing campaign from scratch can take a bit of work to set up – but then just entails constant content creation and ensuring your contacts stay organized. Here are the key steps in outlining an email marketing campaign.

  1. Choose an email marketing provider such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or SendGrid.  I recommend checking them all out to choose the platform that is best for you.  My preference is Mail Chimp — it is free, intuitive to use, and allows you to have a robust email list without a ton of up-charges. 
  2. Create a database.  You must have a database to have an email marketing campaign.  Your database will be the people who are going to receive your emails. My recommendation is to organize your database before you get started…and do at least monthly check-ins to ensure it stays organized.  This will help ensure your contacts are receiving the right messages. 
  3. Know your email marketing goals.  Each campaign must have a specific purpose.  You cannot send the same email over and over and expect it to convert.  Different types of emails include a welcome email; content to engage your audience and get them to sign-up for a new promotion or try a new product; nurture existing subscribers by providing something of value; re-engage people who have not been active; segment your audience into different sales paths. 
  4. Know your audience. Your content should be targeted to your audience.  This means you want to provide the content you can trust will be relevant, interesting, exciting, or motivating to them. 
  5. Trust technology to help you.  This is why having an email marketing service is helpful.  You want something that will help you format your marketing campaigns clearly, offer analytics, and create different templates for different segmented members of your audience. 
  6. Plan your Emails and Follow-Ups.  Once you know what your goal is of the campaign, you will need to write out a series of emails and follow-ups to send to your target audiences.  Each email that is sent out should be timely, relevant, interesting and valuable.  When you are planning think about the following:
    1. How frequently you will send out an email
    2. What your goal of each email will be
    3. At least a draft of the content – then sit down and create the copy of each email that will be sent out. 
    4. The main action you want subscribers to take (i.e. sign-up, buy, visit social media, send a referral).
    5. Plan on how many emails you will send in a series before transitioning to a different market campaign. 
    6. Create a subject line that is between 40 -50 characters that invites people to click on the email.  If they are not intrigued, they will not click on the email.
    7. Track your emails. Study your analytics every time you launch a campaign to know what people read and what they ignore.  This will help you creat better campaigns moving forward.  

Road Blocks To Avoid 

There are some pitfalls and roadblocks you should avoid when setting up your email campaign.  Here are some roadblocks you should avoid.

  1. Do not obtain or use email addresses illegally.  You must have an “OPT-IN” option on your emails, which gives you their legal consent to collect their data.  Some research says 80% of website visitors will NOT opt-in – having popup reminders is a good way to work around this. 
  2. Do not send everyone the same email.  Segment your audience into sub-groups.  This allows you to personalize the content specifically for different audiences and ensure everyone is receiving messages that are relevant to them. If the content isn’t relevant, they won’t read your email. 
  3. Keep your email subject “SPAM FREE”  – if the email server thinks your email is spam, your message will go to the “junk mail” and the recipient won’t see it.
  4. Do not forget the “OPT-OUT” option on your emails.  Just as you want people to choose if they receive emails, you also need to give them the choice to stop receiving them. 

Work With The Wordwell Group  

Keep in mind, there is a lot of trial and error when you first begin an email marketing campaign. You must keep with it awhile before you can be confident of what works and what doesn’t.  Also take the time to edit and proof-read each email that goes out.  One thing that turns off consumers are poorly written, grammatically incorrect copy. 

If you are ready to launch an email campaign and have more questions, schedule a strategy session with The Wordwell Group.  A free 30-Minute session can get you centered and ready to take the next steps to elevate your brand and business. 

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