Besides having a website, one of the most effective ways to market your business is through email marketing. A 2012 research study conducted by the ExactTarget group determined that over 90% of people now use the internet daily, with many checking their email accounts multiple times a day. Among the channels examined were email, direct mail, social media and texting. Ninety-six percent of all users check email at least once weekly. Facebook and text messaging were tied for a very distant second place in terms of usage, with fifty-one percent of users connecting with these two channels once or more daily.
Stats like this confirm that email marketing is a dynamic and powerful way to market your company, brand, product or service. It’s also affordable and relatively easy to implement — but how to get started? What are the best and most effective ways to implement an email marketing campaign?
There are a number of basic pointers you can keep in mind as you prepare to enter the realm of email marketing. Here are 10 steps to get you started and well on your way to creating an effective, successful email marketing campaign:
1. Know your audience
Before even getting started, be sure to know what your clients and subscribers are looking for. This will allow you to create content that will appeal to them, greatly increasing your chances for a highly successful email marketing campaign.
2. Craft an irresistible email title
An intention-getting title is crucial to the success of your email campaign. If the subject line message doesn’t appeal to the reader, they likely won’t even open the email. You can test different approaches and subject line content to see what generates the best open-rate and response from your readers.
3. Draw readers in with the first 2 or 3 sentences
It has been estimated that if you don’t drawn in the reader within the first couple of sentences, they will stop reading and move on. Once a reader opens your email, you’ll want to make sure they keep reading. In the short-attention span world of the internet, you have to stand out. Be sure your initial sentences pack a punch and make an impact.
4. Deliver value and substance
Your emails should offer genuine substance and value to your readers. Avoid fluff. Even as you’re marketing your business, be sure your readers will come away with something of substance in your email. Put personality and style into the writing, and stay true to your company’s brand and mission statement. Oh, and make sure the writing is of high quality and free of typos!
5. Include email sign-up forms in your social media accounts
This is an easy and effective way to garner quality contacts for your email campaign. Those who are already connected with you via social media are great candidates to become email subscribers. Facebook has an app that will allow you to request or even require your users to sign up for your email list. Addresses collected can then be imported into your master list.
6. Merge email marketing with social media
After you’ve done the email blast of that new, brilliantly written sales email or newsletter, don’t forget to Tweet it and/or alert your Facebook follwers. Include a sign-up form in each email as well linking to all of your social media accounts.
7. Link to social media within each email
Make it quick and easy for your existing email subscribers to start following you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and all your other social media accounts. Include the approprate links as boilerplate content within each email you send.
8. Use “Share” buttons in your emails
“Share” buttons embedded in your emails make it easy for your subscribers to forward and share your email communications with their friends and contacts. If you’re lucky, perhaps one of your emails will go viral! Free publicity is wonderful when it happens, and a “Share” button makes sharing easy.
9. Stay aware of what people are saying about you
As your campaign unfolds, keep aware of what people are saying about you on social networks. Keep tabls on what sort of response your emails are generating. All of the social networking sites have search features that allow you to see what people are saying about your company, and this is a great way to monitor responses to your emails. Use this information to shape your future email correspondence.
10. Consider using an email marketer
If you just don’t have time to navigate the waters of email marketing on your own, consider making use of a professional email marketer or marketing service. If you use the software yourself, be sure to make use of all the valuable tools the service provides. (If even that is too much work, delegate the whole job to an expert.)
Bonus Tip: Think mobile
With the recent surge in smartphone and tablet usage, it’s also important to consider your users who might be “on the go.” More and more people are using their mobile device as their primary means of checking email. Consider including tips, deals and offers within your email that mobile users can use right on the spot, while they’re out and about. User attention span in general is shorter than ever, so be sure your email campaigns are crafted to make an impact with people more prone to quick purchasing decisions.
The bottom line of all of these email marketing tips is that the more potential customers see you in a positive light, the better. Whether mobile or static, through social media or email correspondence, there are a wealth of potential avenues to marketing success. As the ExactTarget study confirmed, email marketing is here to stay, and should be part of your approach. It is an easy, affordable and reliable way to create and maintain with your subscriber base. The combination of email and social media correspondence is a dynamic way to cultivate ongoing, positive relationships with your clients. Properly done, the result wlll likely be more sales going forward.