Email marketing is essential for all businesses. Although “newer” marketing strategies using social media and messenger platforms might seem fancier and more up-to-date, email marketing remains highly valuable for any business. While you may think your business doesn’t need an email marketing plan, numbers don’t lie – email marketing has an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. This data demonstrates that email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels.
All organisations can benefit from a strategic email marketing plan, from the largest corporation to your favorite corner café. Businesses can use email marketing to achieve several goals. Here are some of the most common objectives of an email marketing campaign:
- Promote products and services, such as new arrivals
- Improve brand awareness and help keep your business top-of-mind
- Call attention to events and other special promotions
- Share useful information with customers, such as blog posts and other informative content
- Engage with customers by providing them valuable information, like the announcement of a flash sale or a special limited-time discount code
- Maintain customer loyalty by giving special coupons
Remember that sending out a few random emails to your customers is not the same as having an email marketing strategy. An effective email marketing campaign takes planning and preparation. Each campaign should also have clear goals, such as those mentioned above.
If you have no idea how to start, don’t worry! We’ve got the essential steps you can take to create your own email marketing campaign:
1. Begin building your email database
To start email marketing, you must create a database of active email addresses. These customers and leads have agreed to receive emails from your business. You can start collecting email addresses by offering a coupon, discount, or other helpful information, such as a free ebook, in exchange for their email address. If you have a website, make sure there are several sign-up forms on the site that make it easy to subscribe to your email newsletters.
2. Choose an email marketing provider
There are dozens of options to choose from with a wide variety of price ranges and features. Many email marketing providers offer their services for free until you reach a certain number of email subscribers. Ensure that the one you choose has the features you need, such as an email editor, contact segmentation, or personalisation.
3. Define your email marketing campaign goals
Is it to drive traffic to your store’s website? Promote an event? Announce a special sale?
Based on the goals you’ve decided, segment your email database to send a specific type of email to each segment. You can segment your database based on geography, customer behavior, previous engagement, and more.
Once segmented, you will send them a specific type of email. For example, you can send a first-time discount to new sign-ups or a reminder email to the segment of subscribers who haven’t visited your website in the past four weeks.
4. Use email marketing automations
Many email marketing providers offer the option to set up rules automatically. Based on how you decide to segment your email database, you can automate your email marketing and start sending highly targeted emails.
One way to do this is to use an autoresponder. This is a series of emails you set up to be sent out automatically when a lead or customer does a specific action. For example, someone buys an item from your website for the first time. Based on this action, they’ll receive an email for free delivery on their second purchase. Next, they’ll receive an email on their birthday, after three months, they receive another discount code, and so on.
5. Test your email marketing
Many email marketing providers also provide A/B test options. You can test subject titles, photos, and email content. Based on the test results, your email has a higher chance of being opened and converting to a click, sale, or more. The more you test, the higher the chances are that you are sending out the right type of email to help you achieve your goals.
Keep in mind that email marketing is not perfect and also comes with its own set of challenges. For example, many emails automatically go into SPAM without your customer ever setting eyes on the email newsletter you spent hours working on getting perfect. Others receive your email but never even bother opening it.
Despite these issues, the pros of email marketing continue to outweigh the cons. This is why, even with other marketing strategies appearing, email marketing remains relevant and valuable.
No matter your goals, implementing a strategic email marketing campaign can help you reach them. When your email marketing campaigns start showing results, maybe a direct sale, increased event attendance, or a more engaged customer base, you’ll realise that the effort you spent setting up email marketing for your business will be well worth it.