How to Get Started With Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to market your business. In terms of revenue generation, email still wins, with 59% of B2B marketers agreeing that it’s their most effective channel.

If you’re marketing to younger generations, email is particularly relevant, with 73% of millennials stating that they would rather use email for business communication.

Email marketing should be a no-brainer for businesses of all sizes. But it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here’s how you can get started with email marketing:

Create a Lead Magnet

These days, most people are wary about giving out their email addresses. That’s why you need to create a reason for someone to give you access to their inbox.

Setting up an opt-in with ‘click here for updates’ is simply not enough. Instead, you need to give something away for free. This could be any of the following:

  • An ebook or whitepaper
  • An email course
  • A download
  • A coaching session
  • A discount code
  • A trial of your service

Think about your target audience, and consider what would get them interested enough to sign up for your email list. It should offer enough value that they feel like they got the better deal.

Know Your Subscribers

Speaking of your target audience now’s the time to think about who they are so you can tailor your emails accordingly. One of the best ways to do this is to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a representation of your target customer (backed by research). When you create a buyer persona, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your site visitors, email subscribers, and customers.

The last thing you want to do is deliver the wrong message to your email subscribers. By using a buyer persona, you’ll know that all of your email marketing efforts are being directed to the right people. You’ll also be able to communicate with them appropriately. Imagine if you were planning write a quick email to your best friend. Would you use the same language you’d use if you were writing to your 90-year-old grandma?

Luckily, you’re likely to already have a lot of data about your leads and customers. Here are some places you can find the information you need:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics can give you a lot of information about the demographics of the people who are visiting your website. This information includes their gender, age, interests, location, and more. You can also see what these people do once they’re interacting with your website, and which pages they choose to exit your site from.

Social Media

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram- these are just some of the social channels you may be used to interact with your customers. Your social media data will demonstrate your followers’ interests, location, the times they’re online, and more.

Market Research

Still not sure exactly who your customers are? Why not ask them yourself? Surveys, interviews, and polls are all excellent ways to get the most insightful, up-to-date information. You can then use this information to help you create your buyer persona.

Once you’ve completed this research, you can develop your buyer persona. There are a number of templates online which you can use for this exact purpose, or you can create your own.

Choose a name for your persona, and look for a stock picture that could represent what they may look like. Then, use your data to determine their:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Job title
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Interests
  • Level of education
  • Salary

Now, when you’re writing your emails you won’t be writing to a nameless, faceless person. You’ll be writing to Mary, a 35-year old mother of two who lives in California and loves to cook. And you’ll naturally be able to write emails that will connect with Mary much more than a random ‘customer.

Create an Opt-in

Opt-in forms help you grab attention and encourage your website visitors to sign up to your list. Some of these include:

  • Lightbox popups: These appear on any page you like, and they blank out the rest of the page content. This means that visitors have to focus on the opt-in and read the message. They usually have a high conversion rate, although many people find them annoying.
  • Welcome gate popups: These appear as soon as someone arrives on your website. These can be pop-ups, but they could also be a slide feature so people can still interact with your content.
  • Exit-intent popups: These are usually a great idea since those visitors are in the process of leaving anyway. This is a good opportunity to offer your lead magnet.

Use Automation

When you’re a busy business owner, it simply makes sense to automate everything you can. While email marketing takes time to set up and get rolling, you can use a number of different tools and services to streamline your systems and save time.

Email automation is when you write and design your emails ahead of time. Those emails are then sent automatically whenever a user performs a certain type of action.

For example, if someone decides to download your free ebook and signs up for your email list, you can automatically send them a welcome and a thank you message. This means that you don’t need to manually reply to new subscribers, but you can still make them feel welcome and appreciated.

One of the best ways to start an email campaign is with a series of emails guiding your subscribers through a funnel. These are nurturing emails, and they guide readers towards a particular action, such as calling your business, purchasing your product, or signing up for a paid service.

Make a Plan

In order to get started with email marketing, you need to create a strategy. There are four main types of marketing emails, all of which help you achieve different goals:

  • Email Newsletters
    These are sent regularly (e.g. once a week) to your list. They’re a good way to build relationships and interact with customers and leads. You can use these to generate traffic back to your company blog or website, increase brand awareness, or simply stay top-of-mind.
  • Informational Emails
    These are also known as ‘email updates’ and they’re a good way to let your subscribers know about new products, upcoming events, new blog posts, partnerships, webinars, and more.
  • Lead Nurturing Emails
    As mentioned earlier, these are often automated. They’ll usually be a connected series of emails that guide readers toward a particular action. It’s a good idea to segment your audience based on their behaviours for these emails. That way, each email will be targeted specifically to each reader.
  • Transactional Emails
    Similar to lead nurturing emails, these emails are also triggered automatically when users perform a specific action. This could be a welcome email to a new customer, a confirmation email for a newsletter subscriber, or a thank-you email after someone has downloaded your ebook.

Measure Everything

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and this is especially true for email marketing.

There are a few different metrics you should be keeping an eye on so you can see what’s working:

  • Click-Through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • List growth rate
  • Email sharing rate
  • ROI
  • Unsubscribe rate

Ready to get started with your email marketing? Don’t delay, start building your list ASAP.

About the Author

Stacey Kuyf

Stacey Kuyf is a writer and content strategist for atmail, a white label email company for telcos, hosting and service providers. Follow their news and updates here.

View All Posts