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Marketing Monday # 22 – Email Campaign: Where Do We Start?

It’s been said that in the face of social media, email marketing is dead and gone.  This is one of the biggest misconceptions out so business owners, listen up!  Email marketing is the best way to engage with your customer’s one-on one, building a trust and conversation that is hard to establish via social media.  Given this information, if you aren’t currently utilizing an email campaign, it’s something to consider. 

THE SET UP

It’s a great idea to say “start an email campaign” but how do businesses obtain people’s email addresses?  This is a good question and definitely the place to start.

Create a form and make it obvious.  A form is what people will use to enter their email address (and other information if your business requires it).  Make sure the form isn’t hidden in your Contact Us page or at the bottom of your blog page.  Ensure that it is easily seen.  In fact, make it visible in several places on you businesses website.  Some ideal page locations include the home page, sidebar, blog page and about page.

Make it easy for people to want to sign up.  The more information that is required on your form, the more chances a person will move to another site before completing the form.  People value their time and information and measure the value of what you’re offering against that.  To make it easy, simply require the email address.  If you are looking for more, consider limiting the required fields to “name” and possibly, the type of content people want to receive (i.e. Tips, Offers, Coupons).

Highlight your sign up everywhere.  Incorporate it on your social media sites, add to your email signature, and include the link when you post anywhere online.

One thing to keep in mind: People don’t sign up for fun – tell them what they’re getting or offer them something in exchange such as an eBook or info graphic.

GETTING YOUR EMAIL CAMPAIGN MOVING

As your email list is building it’s beneficial to begin planning your campaign.  The key to a great campaign is content.  Content truly is king.  People have allowed you to enter their inboxes and tell them something so make that “something” worth their while.

Identify email worthy content.  Just because you published a blog post doesn’t mean all of your customers/subscribers saw it.  When you post something of true value (blog, tweet, a received testimonial) make note of the ones you feel are worth sending in email.

Subscribe to an email marketing service.  There are plenty of services out there.  You’ll have to decide which is a best fit for your business.  However, it’s beneficial to purchase a service.  These email marketing services have mastered everything there is to creating the tools for a successful campaign (newsletter templates, auto responder emails and more) in addition to providing services to interpret campaigns data, which guide you on how well (or poorly) a campaign is performing.

Brand your newsletter template.  Your business is a brand and the email campaign is another aspect of that brand.  Utilize the look and feel of your brand in your newsletter.

Make it scan-able. Include headers and sub-headers that make your point.  If you include a long post include only the first paragraph with a link back to the original post on your site.

Test, Test, Test.  Test your campaign for look, feel, responsiveness, spam filtering and more.  Sending out untested campaigns can do harm to your business.

Don’t spam!  Know and understand the spam rules to ensure you are not spamming people.  The biggest thing to note, you can only send out emails to people who have submitted their email for your mailing list.

Now that you have the basics, considering getting started this month.  It takes a little time but the pay off is worth it.  If you don’t have the time contact us to help get you started.