Today’s technology offers several avenues for startups to reach out to both prospective and current customers. And emails particularly, offer a quick and inexpensive way for small businesses to consistently engage with their audiences. A successful email marketing campaign can grow your subscriber lists, increase your online sales, and help you build trust as an authority in your industry.
1. Get Them To Say “Yes”
Getting your prospects to give you permission to send them emails is the first step. This step is pretty easy. Give them something for free. This is also known as a Lead Magnet. It can be a free product sample, free “insider” access to discussion groups or information, or any helpful guides or kits that you’ve created. Don’t just toss a subscription box on your website that reads “Sign up here to get our latest blog posts”. Not to say that this method is wrong or won’t result in opt-ins, but if you want to do it like the big brands do, you’ll find a carrot to dangle in front of your prospects.
Your opt-in form should be visually appealing and simple enough for users to sign up quickly and easily. Don’t ask for too many contact details, just a name and email address will do for now. Remember, you have the opportunity to get more contact information later!
2. Find A Reputable Email Service Provider
A good email service provider is one that can organize your email campaigns, display data analytics, handle unsubscribe requests, create landing pages, and automate your messaging amongst other things. You want your email management to be as seamless as possible. With email service providers you can quickly upload contact lists, use templates for quick messaging design, and test your campaigns to see which ones are performing the best.
Popular email service providers include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Aweber. Sign up for their free trials to test them out and see which one offers the best fit for your business.
3. Plan Your Emails Beforehand
Your initial email should be an introductory one (and it should include whatever lead magnet you promised). Let prospects know what they’ll receive in your newsletter and how often they can expect updates. Be sure to do what you’re going to say you’ll do, or you’ll find yourself with a high number of unsubscribers. Don’t use emails to pitch prospects on your products in a straightforward way, instead use them to wet their appetite for the wonderful information that they’re going to receive from you.
Make sure your emails aren’t too lengthy and try to include some graphics to liven them up a bit. Write in a casual tone to keep readers engaged. Sort of think of yourself as someone who’s just sharing some great information with a companion. Once you have your initial email setup, you can then use them as a base to set up the subsequent emails in the campaign. Map out each email about a month in advance to avoid last-minute rushes to create content.
Streamline your campaigns using autoresponders. Create IFTTT (If This Then That) follow-ups for each action. For example, which email will you send to subscribers who want information on XYX? And how will you respond to those who make purchases? Always know the end game of your campaigns.
4. Break Your Subscribers Into Groups
Email is no different than other marketing mediums in the fact the more customized the content is to your prospects needs, the higher their level of engagement will be. Segment your email lists by subscriber activities such as open and click-through rates, demographics, the type of content they subscribe to, their most active engagement days/times, and any other details that you gather from them.
If you have a high unsubscribe rate then this can mean one of two things:
1. Your opt-in form needs some tweaking
2. Your content isn’t customized enough to hold your prospects attention
Use your emails to see what customers want. For example, try listing 3-5 different types of content in your first few emails, and then segment your lists based on your prospects’ responses. The importance of understanding your email analytics can’t be stressed enough, as it’s this data that offers you the reader insight needed to maximize your open and click-through rates.
Email lists can provide your business with a steady flow of leads and new online conversions. Be sure to continuously monitor the success of your campaigns and work to improve your open and click-through rates, as once these metrics increase, a sale is only a click away!