Step 1: Grow Your List
We’ll start with the first issue anyone beginning to run email marketing will face, building a list. Let me begin this by telling you something I’m sure you’ve heard before, but bears repeating: don’t buy emails. This almost never brings engagement to the website, and can hurt your marketing campaign down the line with emails that you captured organically by destroying trust customers have with
There are a few good ways to capture emails organically. Firstly, if you are launching a website, build a landing page. A simple, one-pager that talks about your upcoming website and encourages people to subscribe to your mailing list. If you can, offer some kind of benefit for people who sign up early: a giveaway, a pre-launch discount, etc. This is a proven method for growing engagement.
But what if you already have a website? The same rules apply: running contests or giveaways to bring visibility to your brand, and encourage users to engage with your website. Think about it, how many times have you visited a website for the first time and been greeted with a pop-up that says something about a discount? “Sign up today for 15% of your first order!” or something along those lines. It happens a lot because it works.
Step 2: Segment Your Email
I’ve spoken about this in past articles, and I’m sure it will come up again in the future, but that’s because it is a sure-fire success generator: personalization. Users are exponentially more likely to engage with something if it is personalized to them, be it a CTA, link, or email.
Use the data you have about your email list to decide what to send them. This is called segmented email marketing, and it hinges on separating the people on your mailing list based on demographic: location, purchase history, general interest.
Why send an email about a shoe sale to someone who hasn’t shopped online for shoes in years? Send that email to people you know will open it, and send a different email to a different client. It seems simple, but budgetary restrictions and limited mailing lists can make this difficult.
Here’s a tip for those of you who are just starting to grow your mailing list: if your email list is small, start segmenting in big chunks. Instead of going by purchase history or interests, go by location or something simple. If you have 20 emails, 10 of them will most likely fall into one category, and 10 more will fall into a different category. Now you have two possible marketing opportunities which are almost guaranteed to work better than one general email.
Step 3: Avoid the Spam Folder
Quality over quantity. It is that simple, and that difficult. The short term goal of email marketing is often to increase traffic or sales, when this is not the best way to use it. Your marketing campaign should be about building trust. Building trust with your brand, your site, or your products.
There is a general consensus that emails must go out weekly, or multiple times a week. If you find yourself struggling to come up with content for those emails, don’t force it. Sending out a fluff email can be just as bad as not sending one at all. If you are inundating your customers with emails, and none of them say anything important, they could start to assume your emails are forgettable. Plus, if you email too often, you get flagged as spam by your customer’s spam filter.
Maintaining regular communication is important, but so is maintaining your integrity. Make your emails something to look forward to, something that will share good information, or something that will provide value to your customer.
Following these three steps can help you take huge leaps forward in your email marketing. Moving from a focus on sales to a focus on nurturing trust will make your emails worth the money you are putting into them, and your customers will let you know that by engaging and converting.
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