10 Steps to Becoming an Email Marketing Pro
You’re probably already aware how important it is to adopt an effective email marketing strategy for your business. It’s a great way to directly engage your audience and increase sales. But how do you start? Well, first thing’s first, you need to get your strategy together. Plan your goals and how you’re going to achieve them. But then what? Well, then it’s time to grow that email list. Below, we’ve included the ten fundamental steps that you need to follow, and if you do, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a brilliant email marketer.
Plan your email marketing communications strategy
You should start by developing your email marketing funnel, and then plan the email marketing communications that will address your audience’s needs at each stage of the funnel or subscription.
Types of emails that you can send include newsletters, surveys, loyalty programmes, follow-up emails, win-back or abandonment emails.
Concentrate on growing your email list
You should create dedicated landing pages, carefully designed to promote sign-ups which you can direct your audience to. On these email sign-up landing pages, you should create a clean and clear design without distractions, with the focus being on the call-to-action button. Make sure that the content on this page tells people how they will benefit from signing up. You could offer an incentive to increase sign-up rates, such as a product discount or free download.
Work on your email templates
It’s important that your emails are on-brand and aesthetically pleasing, but make sure you check their usability. It’s likely that your email will be opened on a mobile device, so open the test email on several different device screen sizes if you can. Once you know that your email will look great on mobile, test everything else, and we mean everything. You should ensure that each element within the email is carefully thought-out, including the subject line, image links, text links, CTA buttons and footer information.
Make sure your emails are being delivered
After all the hard work and effort you’ve put into building your email lists, creating an email communications strategy and designing the perfect template, you want to make sure your audience actually receive your emails. If they land straight into their junk folder, you’ve wasted your time. There are a number of things that you can do to avoid those spam filters and improve deliverability, including double opt-ins on your website, sending valuable content, encouraging people to add you to their contact lists and keeping your own email lists clean by removing inactive subscribers and bounce-backs.
Send targeted emails
Unfortunately, you can’t just spend weeks/months/years collecting email addresses and dumping them all into the same list to mass email. You should think about who these people are, segment your audience into different email lists, and then send your content out to the relevant people. You should also think about personalising your emails based on data collected – both informed and behavioural.
Track your subscriber activity
Of course it’s important (and exciting) to see how many opens and clicks your email has had, but you also need to track the metrics that relate to your KPIs (which should have been identified during the strategy planning stage in step 1). These will likely be conversion metrics such as number of downloads, sign-ups or sales.
Create email automation
Whilst its still great to email customers when they’re not interacting with your business to re-engage them, you also want to catch them at the right time to really deliver value to them and see results for your business. If you set up automated emails whenever a cart has been abandoned, or they have signed up to your website for the first time, or they have placed their first order, or there is a relevant event they are attending, this is when your email will really stand out.
Test your email communications and optimise them!
You should gain value from every single email that you send in some form or another; even if you’ve just learned something from them. Use each email as an opportunity to learn about your audience and improve your communications. Track how each email, and each element within each email, performs. From this, you can test different designs, different lengths of content, different button colours and different tones of voice and see which performs better to create higher conversion rates. If something isn’t working, change it and try again.
Test email frequency
We’ve already discussed the importance of measuring your email communications performance, but you should also monitor the frequency in which you send them. If your unsubscribe rate is high then maybe you’re sending too many per month, or if conversion rates are low then maybe you’re not sending enough. The average email send rate in the consumer goods sector is 1.5 emails per month, but you need to test what works for you. (In the banking industry expect 12.2 emails per month!).It’s important to remember that even if a customer does not directly convert from your email, it is still a little branded footprint that has been left in their mind ready for when they want to purchase. This works best when emails do arrive in their inbox regularly and with attention grabbing subject lines. (Never rush a subject line, this is crucial for your open rates!)
Put a value to your email lists
By now your email lists should be looking great and nicely organised into useful segments. Now you want to see how each segment is performing for your business. You may have one acquisition list for customers who have signed up through your newsletter or PPC, and you may have another list from event attendees and another for long term/loyal customers. Identifying which segment is performing best will help to understand which audiences are the most engaged and which ones are creating the most revenue for your business.
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