10 Steps to Successful Email Marketing for Beginners

Email marketing is an effective way of getting and staying in contact with leads and converting them to customers. When compared with other marketing channels, email marketing yields the highest ROI. For example, studies show that that email is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than social media. In addition, for every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign, you can earn up to 10 times in sales value.

Here are our top 10 tips to get better results out of your email campaigns.

1. Build your email list

If you are considering email as a viable marketing initiative for your business, the first step is to build an email list; in other words, you need to capture the email addresses and contact information of people interested in your company. There are many ways to incite people to give their email addresses. You can create a newsletter subscription form your website, a personalized call to action on each page of your website or blog, offer free content, such as an ebook, trial subscription to your service, or discounts via social media. All of these lead magnets work wonders to create your email list. Never, under any circumstances, buy an email list. This violates rules of consent and can be subject to liability.

2. Develop a plan and goals

The last thing you want to do is simply send out a barrage of emails without a concrete plan or measurable goals you want to achieve. What do you want to accomplish with your email campaigns? Are you looking to clean your existing list? Nurture leads and turn them into customers? Win back customers who haven’t bought from you in a while? Once you have figured out the strategy for each email campaign, then you must define the objectives. For example, you may want to increase your open rate by 20% within 6 months or achieve a 10% conversion rate for a product or service you sell.

3. Produce engaging content

Next, you must properly craft your message for each email you want to send out. Don’t skimp on the quality of a properly written email message. Make sure the emails you sent are topical, and relevant to your recipients. You can showcase your products and services, especially the ones that have proven to attract the most buyers; however, when early on in your campaign, don’t be overly salesy. Convincing a recipient to open your email requires an engaging subject line, preview text, body copy and call to action. There are no hard and fast rules for copywriting in email campaign—but always keep your reader top of mind with benefits. When in doubt, ask yourself if what you are writing is worth your recipients’ time. 

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4. Design aesthetically appealing emails

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create simple , yet professional emails. You can use templates from your preferred email program to simplify the entire process or you can build a template from scratch. They don’t need to be fancy or complicated; however, they should include a header and footer to reinforce your brand, social media, unsubscribe link and any contact information you see fit. Oftentimes with email design, less is more; nothing turns off email recipients more than an email chock-full of images and texts they have to read ad nauseum. Generally, one email should include only one topic and a sleek visual experience. Don’t have a lot of business pictures? You can find rights-free online photo galleries and free image libraries to help you out.

5. Make sure you consider mobile responsiveness

According to recent statistics, at least 65% of emails are read on mobile devices. Just because you design an email for desktop reading does not mean it will turn out well on your customers’ smartphones or tablets. Most email campaigns nowadays automatically enable your email templates to be mobile responsive. Nevertheless, keep in mind that large image sizes can impede loading times. On the other hand, call-to-action buttons that are too small do not offer the best user experience—and your conversion rates will likely be impacted.

6. Consider your email timing and scheduling

Never assume that you can send emails at any given time of day. Email marketing campaigns require extreme precision. Your best bet is to develop a calendar and schedule emails at times you deem most likely to interest your recipients. Make it a periodical process; only send newsletters once a month and emails should be a maximum of once a week. The rhythm should be enough to keep your recipients interested without being too pushy. With regards to timing, weekends are rarely a good option. Send your emails during the week, at the start or end of day, when they are less distracted by their work.

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7. Personalize your emails

If you want to boost the success of your email campaign’s success, there is tremendous value in segmenting your audiences to personalize your emails. How does it work? You can divide your email list into micro-segments based on where they are landed in your sales funnel. New recipients or leads should receive more general-purpose content. Warm prospects near the end of the funnel will most likely want to read product- or service-related information. Long-standing customers will enjoy educational content or more-in-depth coverage of your products and services. You can also segment your email lists based on location, interest or any other profiling categories.

8. Leverage the power of social proof

Social proof is defined as people doing what they see other people are doing. As an email marketer, it is crucial that you build social proof to boost your professional credibility and authority. Social proof does not mean you should be shouting from the rooftops how great your customers view your business. Instead, during your email campaign, offer case studies or promote reviews of satisfied customers. What if you don’t have any reviews? Encourage loyal customers to give reviews, answer surveys or provide customer testimonials in exchange for an incentive, like a discount on an upcoming purchase or rebate on a monthly service fee.

9. Conduct email drip campaigns

If you are ready to conduct email campaigns, don’t just one-and-done it. You should be in it for the long haul. A drip campaign is a set of carefully crafted email that are sent automatically to your recipients based on triggers. For example, if someone subscribes to your newsletter, this is a trigger for a welcome email with perhaps a promo code. Drip campaigns can convert prospects into qualified leads and then customers. Ultimately, drip campaigns turn customers into brand advocates with a profitable lifetime value. The easiest way to increase these conversions is to set up one message after another in a preplanned sequence. Besides the benefits of boosting sales, drip campaigns can increase cross-selling opportunities and re-engage passive recipients who have not yet taken action.

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10. Track your and test

Don’t just send emails out blindly. Monitor the analytics provided by your email program so that you can know if your strategies are working and can adjust them if you need to. Pay special attention to:

  • Deliverability: The number of successful send and delivered emails.
  • Open rate: The number of people that open your emails.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR): How many recipients who clicked on the links in your email.
  • Unsubscribers: The number of people who cancel their subscriptions.

A/B testing is equally important for you to implement. This type of test allows you to compare different versions of the same email; in other words, you tweak one email versus the other and see which one has the best results. You can simply change subject lines, call-to-action buttons, color schemes and so on.

As with most anything in business, having a carrying out email campaigns is, in part, a matter of trial and error as you determine what is right for your business and customer base. With these steps, though, you should be on your way to emailing success!

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