Email marketing is a great way to create a relationship and market new services and products to your existing client base. You can also use email marketing to communicate with potential clients/customers who are interested in what your business offers. The challenge is that many small business owners are unsure about the basics of email marketing and how to get started with it.
Choose An Email Marketing Provider
One of the first steps to email marketing is to choose an email marketing provider. These providers are sometimes known as autoresponder services. Most can send autoresponder series (an automated set of emails that are sent every few days) or broadcast aka blast emails (an email that is sent to all users in a list). They will handle the capturing of email addresses, adding them to your email lists and sending out your emails. This will limit the amount of manual work you need to do.
There are some large companies that you can use, but you need to consider your budget and the scalability. Most of these companies will have tiered packages based on the number of email addresses you have in your list, but others will base their pricing on the number of emails you send. Choosing the right one will depend on the budget your business has.
We tend to recommend Constant Contact at the lower to middle level and ActiveCampaign at the upper level. Many people like starting with MailChimp as they have a free low end version, but they have no phone customer service at that level and once you get into a paid version, it’s more expensive than Constant Contact. Yet, it is an option. We can help you make the decision for what is best for your business.
Make It Easy For People To Opt-In
In order to send emails for marketing purposes, you need to get consent from the person. This is generally done through an opt-in which you need to make as easy as possible. Having an opt-in box on your website is recommended and this should be placed in an easy to see area on the website. When someone submits their email address, this is the consent you need to start sending them marketing emails. You get best results if you give them something free, such as an ebook.
You can also integrate this opt-in into your checkout process. If you sell products or services online, include a section where customers can choose to get your newsletter or information about other products. Regardless of the process you use, the opt-in will need to be an active one and you cannot auto-select this for the customer.
Create A Template For Emails
The email marketing provider you choose will often have a template builder. This is something that you need to take advantage of. Having a template for all your emails will ensure that your brand is clear and consistent. You do not want to send an email that has one template only to send another that looks completely different. This leads recipients to assume that something has gone wrong or that one of the emails is spam.
The email template should have your business name or logo on it. If you are sending a newsletter, you will need to break the email into sections. If you are promoting a new product or service, you may choose to use a different template with the same branding.
An alternative is to not use any template or graphics. If you want to create a friendly relationship with the person, using just text emails may do that better. People’s friends only send text emails, so psychologically they see text as from a friend and graphics as from a company selling something.
More to Know
There are many basics that you need to know about email marketing to ensure this is done successfully. Choosing the right company to work with is important and you need to keep your branding consistent across all email templates you use. Understanding what information the recipients want is also important which requires market research. Ask us how we can help you with email marketing.