The email list of your audience is the only thing you really own. Your social media channels could go away tomorrow without notice, but you will always have access to email addresses on your list. Because of that, an email marketing plan is the direct line to your customers and potential customers. With a competitive email market, you need to create a strategic and unique approach to reach your audience. We’ve outlined the steps for creating a successful email marketing campaign.
Determine your goal
Before you get started sending emails, you should determine what your goal is and why you are sending email updates. Are you looking to sell a product or are you looking to drive traffic to your blog? Maybe both at the same time. Clearly outline what success looks like, then focus your efforts.
No matter what your specific goal is, you should be doing a couple things with your newsletters. First, make sure you are building relationships with your current clients and potential clients. Then, make sure your email marketing efforts create value and provide something viewers want to see. You shouldn’t always go for the hard sell, instead share useful content. As you build out your plan more, the strategies used in individual emails will vary to help meet your overall goals.
Determine your frequency
How often are you going to be sending email newsletters? For some organizations, twice a month is enough. But others need to send updates two times a week. Take a look at how often sending out updates would be beneficial and go from there. Just make sure you keep it consistent. If you send out content on a regular basis, your brand recognition will go up.
Find a service to use
When emailing groups of people, it’s important to keep subscribers organized and track the analytics for your campaign. That’s why you should select an email marketing software to meet your needs. We recommend starting with MailChimp, which is completely free to get started (until your list is over 2,500 subscribers)! A couple paid options we have used are ConvertKit and Constant Contact. Both offer a free trial period to determine if it’s a good fit for you.
Build a list
In order to reach your audience, you need to have a list of people to send your emails to. You can build your list from existing customers/clients. Another great place to start is creating a general sign-up on your website. People on your site will be prompted to sign up to receive ongoing communication. You can also create opt-ins by offering content that is of value to your site guest. Someone on your site will be granted access to exclusive content after they enter their email and sign up for your list. Locked value content is the best way to add people who are not already connected to your brand. You can include a quick checklist or resource sheet related to your brand and the content on the page.
Set up a template
Every email you send should have the same look and feel. Simply start with a header that includes your logo and brand colors. Then, set up where images and line breaks will appear. As you build the content, you will write for the template you’ve already created.
Build the content
Determine what content will best serve your audience and make sure everything you share has value. Organize the email so it flows well and is easy to read. If you’re including multiple sections, be sure to provide an introduction listing what’s included in the email.
Write effective subject lines
Your email is only as good as your subject line. Make sure the subject is catchy and appropriately details what is in the email by giving the reader an incentive to open it. The better the subject line, the more opens you’ll get.
Monitor and adjust
A couple days after you send an email, check your return. Look at the number of opens, click rate and unsubscribers. Based on this information, you can adjust your strategy. If the open rate is low, maybe your subject line was bad or you sent the email at a bad time. If the unsubscribe rate was high, maybe the content wasn’t valuable for your audience or off-message from what they were expecting.
Want some help setting up a stellar email campaign? Drop us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk about how we can help.