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E-mail Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide

E-mail marketing is still proving to be one of the most effective marketing strategies available, with higher conversion rate than any social media marketing. Follow these simple steps to create an effective e-mail marketing campaign.

Stage 1: Set Clear Long-Term Objectives

Decide what it is you want to achieve with your e-mail marketing campaign. Do you want to improve sales? Are you trying to increase e-mail engagement? Set clear and measurable goals. This will help to focus your campaign and allow you to evaluate how successful it has been.

Stage 2: Create An E-mail List

Firstly, you need to make sure that you have proper permission to send e-mails to the list you have created. You may have access to e-mail addresses via your customer database and this can be a good starting point. You can also attract new customers by encouraging them to subscribe to your e-mails.

A good way to entice new subscribers to your list is to offer specific content. For instance, get people to sign up in exchange for new releases or product updates, or to receive free downloads or eBooks. Another useful strategy is to segment your e-mail list into more targeted groups, such as a customer list and a newsletter list. This allows you to send targeted content that customers are more likely to be interested in. It creates a more personalized campaign and has greater chances of retaining subscribers.

Stage 3: Create Great Content

Receiving an e-mail is only the first step. You need to convince recipients to open the e-mail and potentially click through to any links you have included.

There are three key elements to consider: the from name, the subject line and the preview text. Use a suitable ‘from’ name. Avoid using ‘no-reply’ in your e-mails as this is likely to discourage recipients from opening the e-mail. Instead, try using your brand name so that it’s clear who the e-mail is from. Your subject line should capture the recipients’ attention. Choose one main focus point from the e-mail and use that in your subject line. Short and snappy lines tend to be more successful. Finally, think about what to include in the preview text. This provides a good opportunity to expand on your subject line. Most ESPs will pull from your e-mail copy if you don’t set the preview text, so make sure you’re really making the most it.

Once your e-mail has been opened, you then need to ensure that the main body copy is engaging. There are no set rules for this and the tone and style will be dependent on your business. However, most successful copy tends to be conversational and aims to build a relationship with the reader. The content should focus on the benefits for the reader and what it has to offer them. Using images helps to enhance the visual experience and makes the e-mail more engaging. Spending time choosing an image that represents the topics of your e-mail can make your campaign stand out.

As your list grows, you will also need to use an autoresponder. This allows you to schedule e-mails in advance and then automatically sends them out. This tool enables you to reply promptly (thus keeping customers happy), whilst saving you time and effort.

Stage 4: Analysing Your Results

The final stage of an e-mail marketing campaign is evaluating its success. There are a whole range of ways you can measure the performance of your campaign and there are lots of tools available to help you do just that (e.g. Sendinblue, Constant Contact and Drip). The most important metrics to note and analyse are:

  • Open rate: This data tells you how many people actually opened your e-mail. High open rates suggest that you have built a strong relationship with your customers, whilst low rates suggest you have a lot of unengaged subscribers.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): This shows how many people clicked on any links you included in the e-mail. A low CTR indicates that either your message is not sufficiently targeted or is not getting through. In this case, you should focus on improving the quality of your copy.
  • Unsubscribe rates: This tells you how many people clicked the “unsubscribe” button. You want your opt-in rate to be higher than your unsubscribe rate. It is worth analyzing when customers are leaving to try to fix the problem. For instance, are they leaving after a particular autoresponder e-mail or after a marketing message?

Although it might seem daunting to begin with, the more experience you gain, the more efficient your campaigns will become. There’s no full-proof formula for creating a great e-mail marketing campaign, but by mastering the basics, you will be in a better position to create more advanced and successful campaigns in future.

Beatrix
Beatrix is an experienced writer and editor at Essay Writing Service and Essayroo.com. She writes about email marketing.

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