Direct marketing through e-mail is still the best marketing. Think about it. How many spam or junk emails do you receive each day? The truth is, it works, or they would stop. Here’s a fun fact: there are 3x more email accounts than Facebook accounts and 6x more than Twitter. Plus, most anything you do on the Internet requires an email account. Even Facebook and Twitter require an email account!
No other marketing plan offers a direct line to your market and permission to deliver your message straight to those that want to hear it!
In today’s global market, you have billions of people to approach especially if your product is downloadable or online. With email marketing there are no physical lines, you can reach across country lines and truly make your market reach the other side of the world. The challenge is sifting through all these people to find those who are interested in your product or service.
What if I don’t want to reach the masses of the world? How do I find my market if I’m a local business?
5 simple steps to help make your email marketing plan a success!
1- Set Goals
Any marketing plan should have a way to measure its success. Setting goals is a great way to determine if what you are doing is meeting the requirements you set out. What do you hope to accomplish by building an email list? Maybe you don’t know. Are you wanting to increase sales or drive traffic to your website? Maybe you have an upcoming event and you want to promote attendance. Events can be online like a webinar or class or more tangible like a book signing or Customer Appreciation Day. Maybe you just want a way to communicate to your clients and potential customers. These are all great reasons to build an email list. Every business is different and your goals will reflect that difference.
2 – Build Your List
Start with those you know. This can be as easy as loading your known contacts from email or phone contacts into a database or spreadsheet. Make sure to check your social media platforms. Many contacts have already given you there information, just convert it into an email.
Next, ask people you come in contact with everyday. Let them know the purpose of your list and see if they are interested. Chances are they just needed someone to ask. Give a reason to sign up. Meet a need. Give a discount or free shipping. Many offer a downloadable file that contains pertinent information. Not just information about what you are selling, but information your clients will be interested in.
Make sure it is simple and quick to sign up for your list. Place it in a few different places on your website like the header bar, sidebar or a slider. Ask for it on your social media platforms. Include it in your email signature. Mention it in person as someone is checking out or inquiring about your product or service. Keep it simple. Only ask for name and email address. Any communication you need, can be done by email. As you gain their confidence, they will purchase and then you will have full contact details and a repeat customer.
3 – Campaign Type
What are you going to do with your email list? Is is to send a monthly newsletter? A marketing offer? Maybe promote an upcoming event or a special announce. Whatever type of campaign you decide to use, make sure it is consistent with what your clients expect. If you say you are going to send it monthly, then send it monthly. Remember you are trying to build trust in your brand, so be consistent. Don’t be a nuisance. No one likes to receive too much mail from any one place. It becomes annoying. If you forget and send more often to catch up, they will notice. If you don’t send if often enough, they will lose interest. Make sure your campaign is timed correctly, so your customers won’t just hit delete, or worse, opt-out.
4 – Email Layout
Perhaps the most important part of your email marketing plan (besides your goal). There is a lot to think about when building an email much like a website. Taking time to consider details of your structured email will help your campaign be more successful. Just like a website, content is important. Make your content easy to read. Don’t use too many words. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention, so plan wisely. Using pictures is a plus. Find a picture that compliments what you are trying to convey. Keep your design simple. A header and a few added details is appropriate.
Make sure to include a way for them to opt-in and opt-out as well as details about who is sending the email. If you use an email marketing service, then they will have these requirements built-in. If you want to DIY, then see the Federal Trade Commission website for more details.
The best layout is the inverted pyramid model where the most important content is at the top and bold while the less important content is at the bottom. The bottom can also be used for a last chance, call to action. Make sure you communicate relevant content to your audience. Give them information they can use and that is helpful to them. When choosing colors, keep with your brand. A pop of color to draw attention is good, but too much will distract. Remember to place links to actions you want them to complete.
Make sure it is mobile friendly! Many people will view their email with their mobile device. Most will view your offer and choose within seconds the action they will take, keep it simple!
5 – Measure Results
Be sure to measure your results. It’s good to measure both your email activity and your website stats. Using an email marketing platform like Mailchimp or Constant Contact has built in measures for your email activity. Google Analytics will let you know your website traffic. You can track details like how many opened your email, how many clicked through to your website or landing page, how many subscribed, and more. With measures in place, you will be able to tell if what you are doing is working. If it’s not producing the expected results, try something different. The measures will help you know better what to try. It gives you an inside track to your email market. Pay attention!
Email marketing is a powerful tool to drive sales and generate income with a greater reach and return on investment that many other channels available.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s simple and easy! Get started and send an email campaign. You might be surprised where it takes you!