Email marketing

A beginner’s guide to email marketing.

Here are my top tips from my own experience of working on many successful email campaigns to promote B2B events and publications.

Good luck with your campaigns!

1. Choose your 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. They have many useful features. For example they have tools and a blog to help you comply with the GDPR – the EU’s new data privacy law.

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 collaborate with other relevant businesses to promote your business and share data.

3. Your audience and what to say.

Reward subscribers with insight and help, news, friendly chat and exclusive offers.

A big advantage of email, is that you can tailor and personalise emails to different groups of people.

You do this by creating separate email lists. Your email provider will have the tools to help you with this.

For example, if you have an online shop, you can send personalised emails relating to what your customers have ordered in the past.

Or, if you provide a service or run an event, you can email past customers with an early-bird offer or discount for their next purchase.

Attracting past customers has high potential. It’s much easier than finding new ones.

4.  Style.

An attractive email design that compliments your brand will be your base.

Your email platform will 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 do you want to focus on being helpful and building a rapport?

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!

Sign up to lots of newsletters to see what others are doing.

Craft a nice-looking email.

Use media, GIFs or photos to make an impact. Pixabay and Gratisography are good for high quality free images.

Most people read emails on their phone. So send a test to yourself to see how it looks.

Add natural links on keywords and break up long paragraphs with spaces and sub-headings.

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.

Add a call to action button.

They really do encourage people to click and visit your website.

7. Types of email campaigns.

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.

Campaign types.

  • Monthly newsletter.
  • Help and advice.
  • Image led product promotions.
  • Events – lots of build-up emails.
  • Competitions and promotions.
  • New product or service info.
  • Employee profiles or meet the team.
  • Thank you and welcome emails.

Campaign ideas.

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.

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 need to know what you do.

Testimonials and reviews (especially by well known, respected people) and photos of happy customers help build trust.

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. 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.

For newsletters or general promos, keep it light. Once-twice a month is my limit for newsletters.

Useful email marketing blogs.

Learn the basics of creating email campaigns in Mailchimp by Mailchimp.

Email marketing tips and tricks for a successful campaign by a blogger for Brighton University (includes a useful link to a GDPR data protection checklist).

23 simple email marketing tips to improve your open and clickthrough rates by Hubspot.

29 simple ways to grow your email list by Hubspot.

9 different types of email your business should be sending by Vertical Response.

How to create an effective email marketing campaign by Vertical Response.

I hope you enjoyed my blog.

If you would like me to plan and write your emails or newsletters, please do get in touch.

Good luck with your campaigns!


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