Find new customers
Keep existing customers
Compete with online marketing
Email marketing can help you win business.
A beginner’s guide to email marketing
1. Choose an email platform
I use MailChimp. It’s one of the best and most loved. It’s free for a basic package and easy to use. There’re many others with good reviews like dotmailer or madmimi. I haven’t looked back since signing up to MailChimp.
2. Build your subscriber list
Clean, up-to-date and relevant email addresses are essential. These are your customers. Prompt your sign-up forms on social media, through your website, your email signature or wherever you can. Use incentives such as competitions and exclusive offers. You can also buy email addresses from data or publishing companies.
3. Your audience and what to say
Reward subscribers with insight and help, news and friendly chat, exclusive offers, or use striking images to entice. Remind your audience what you do, and how it will benefit them. If you have enough subscribers and details of them (you need to ask more when you sign people up), you can send tailored emails to different groups of people.
An attractive email design that compliments your brand will be your base. MailChimp have lots of good design features. If you can afford it, a graphic designer can add some subtle touches and create a unique look.
5. A clear purpose in mind
Do you want website hits, sales, event attendees, or are you generally promoting yourself and building up a rapport? Find your voice and keep your style consistent. Don’t cram in too much information.
6. Content and layout
Start with an enticing subject line. Be creative and daring, it’s competitive out there!
Compose a well crafted email with striking images and links, you can use media, moving images or video clips now.
Pixabay is good for high quality free images.
Or keep it simple and just freely write and talk, adding in natural links on keywords.
For a strong impact try a short, plain text email with 2-3 compelling sentences and one link to your website.
A plain text email is more likely to get through spam filters.
Most people read emails on their phone. So send a test to yourself to see how it looks.
Add a call to action button. They really do encourage people to click.
7. Types of email campaigns
So now all you need to do is find your voice and create some effective emails…
It would take a whole other blog to talk about campaigns and ways to tackle email marketing. Here’s a few pointers and campaign types to get you started.
- Monthly newsletter
- Help and advice – showcase your knowledge
- Image led product promotions
- Events – lots of build up emails
- Competitions and promotions
- New product or service info
- Employee profiles or meet the team – helps build trust
- Thank you and welcome emails
Ask your customers or trusted colleagues why people go to you. Use the reasons as a basis for a campaign.
Plan ahead. What’s coming up in your business? Is there a prominent time of year for you? Write your promotions in advance. E.g. For an event or promotion start with ‘A date for your diary’ email, way in advance of the event. Then build up to it. What’s it about, what will be there, who will be there, how can the reader benefit… People like to plan in advance, so put your business out there.
Remind people what you do and how it will benefit them.
Don’t forget the basics, people won’t magically know what you do!
My top tip: Testimonials and recommendations (especially by well known, respected people) or images of happy customers help build trust.
For more ideas, sign up to lots of newsletters and see what other people are doing. It will help you get started. MailChimp have some helpful blogs on their website.
Set up templates
If you’re short on time, set up templates. Take the time initially to come up with a few ideas on what you’re going to write. E.g. general news, product info, help and tips etc. And then just amend the copy and images for each email.
From experience, a short and sweet email with one link (and maybe one image) can be very effective. It may be all you need to convince your reader to take action.
8. Number of email hits and events
A build-up campaign works well with email. Events especially, or leading up to a promotion. You can really build up the momentum. Increase your emails towards the finale of an event. But for newsletters or general promos, keep it light. Once-twice a month is my limit for newsletters.
I hope this blog has helped you get started with email marketing. Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.
If you need some help to build an effective and attractive email campaign get in touch.
How I can help
My background is in B2B marketing. I’ve worked on many successful email campaigns (through Emailvision). From planning and writing the promotion plan, sourcing and preparing the data, creating the emails, and monitoring the success. I know what gets attention.
I’ll work with you to find the best approach for your business.
Example email package for a small business
- A visit to your business or phone consultation
- Brand overview. I’ll find your voice, your unique offering to help you compete
- 1 promotion plan for a build-up campaign (such as an event or promotion)
- A block of newsletters or email promotions, ready to go
- Set up on MailChimp with some template newsletters/emails for future use
Get in touch for a chat and quote.
I’ll put together a package to suit you.
See my BIO