So You Want to Start Email Marketing: Here’s What to Know
Marketing your business via email is a vital tactic in any marketing strategy. And while it may seem simple, that’s only because seasoned marketers have perfected the craft and hide the complexities of it quite well.
After all, we are all inundated with promotional emails daily. So, how do you get people to click on yours? It’s more than just a catchy subject line – which is important – it’s a unique formula that can vary between audiences and even season to season.
1. Get a database
First things first, you need an email list. This can be utilized in several ways, all depending on the nature of your business. You can use customer relationship management (CRM) software, a self-sign-up on your website or social channels, or a third-party database provider.
For starters, we recommend finding a way to store and update your clients' emails. This audience is most likely to provide this information to you (via orders, contracts, etc.) and also engage with your communications. Once you have a database or list of emails, the real work can begin.
2. Have a purpose
Some people talk just to hear themselves, don’t do that with your marketing emails. When you communicate to your consumers, it should be intentional. Remember, they are already receiving more emails than you can count which means you need to ensure that your email doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. And the more you email, the more likely you are to see engagement.
As you develop your email plans, think about each message. Is it relevant to your consumers? Does it offer something to them? Allow these questions to drive your communication frequency.
3. Identify the action
Marketing emails serve to drive awareness, adoption, and sales for your business. A strong email delivers value and persuades the consumer to take further action – typically in the form of a click. Essentially, this is a link that opens to a new page – maybe to a page of new arrivals at your online boutique or to download an ebook that explains the importance of cleaning out their HVAC system – whatever it is, make the action clear and decisive.
4. Find your tone
Emails are a way of talking to your target audience(s) and by keeping true to your brand personality and mission, it helps them make a clear connection between your website, social, and email marketing. Having different tones of voice and branding styles on each channel can be confusing and lead consumers to search elsewhere.
5. Track engagement
If you do nothing else, which we hope isn’t the case, track the performance of your emails. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential to understanding how your email marketing is performing. Things like click-through rate (CTR) allow you to see the percentage of your audience that directly interacted with your call to action in the email. A general benchmark of success for a CTR in an email is 8-10% but this can vary based on distribution list size, timing, and industry.
At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to experiment with your emails. Taking risks and trying new things can reap tremendous benefits, and if not, they’re valuable learning lessons for next time.