Email Marketing for Beginners – How to Get Started with Email Marketing
I used to underestimate the importance of having a Newsletter section on a website. When I was writing a blog I was so focused on creating, I completely ignored the part of keeping connected with my readers. I should have asked them if they would like to stay in touch and be updated about new articles. I only communicated with them on social media. I believed that was enough.
But it wasn’t.
There was a time when I didn’t feel like sharing my stories in public but still wanted to write. Eventually, I stopped blogging completely. If I had my loyal subscribers on my email list I could just write for them. Because people who sign up for your newsletter voluntarily want to stay connected with you via email. It also feels as if they are more like virtual friends who support what you do and are curious about what you have to say. When I got back to writing I had to start over with announcing new blog posts on social media. But at this point, the algorithm changed in the way that my fans wouldn’t see my posts unless I ‘boost’ them with paid advertising…
If I was to start any online venture now, the first thing I would do is to set up my newsletter and add a subscribe bar on my website/blog.
That is just one side of why having a newsletter in place is important. If you are running your own business, it is even more crucial because it is not just sending newsletter updates. It’s building the email marketing strategy where the ultimate goal is to nurture your audience toward making a purchase decision.
Let’s look closely into email marketing so you start taking advantage of this powerful and massive marketing channel, and not missing out on an effective way to reach your target audience
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a kind of Internet marketing that allows you to send customised messages in the form of an email to your readers, followers and visitors of your website to inform, advertise, or solicit certain actions from them.
Email provides you with the opportunity to send a message to your audience for any purpose on any day of the year that costs you next to nothing. This makes email an incredibly powerful way to communicate with your target audience.
Why do you need email marketing?
When you are able to create a solid email marketing campaign and send the right messages to the right people at the right time, you are sure to build an audience of highly engaged fans that can’t wait for your next message to hit their inboxes. Additionally, they are ready to buy whenever you have a product or service to promote.
There are several compelling reasons why you need to start implementing email marketing for your business.
Most effective Strategy.
Email marketing is ranked as the single most effective strategy for generating awareness, acquiring leads, generating sales, and improving customer retention, compared to the other marketing strategies most commonly employed.
If you start by collecting opt-ins for your newsletter, in a long term, a good number of subscribers that signed up will continue to read their content, engage with your offers, and buy products and services from your business.
Consumers say that email is their favourite way to communicate with the companies that they do business with.
Outperforms Social Media Marketing.
A recent study found that businesses are more than 40 times more likely to create a new customer from email marketing than they are through social media.
It’s Resilient and Universal.
With email marketing, you don’t have to worry whether or not your target audience has an email address or not, unlike social media. While other communication technologies have come and gone, email continues to withstand the test of time. When your business invests in email marketing, you know that a bigger and better thing won’t replace it in the next couple of years.
No one can take it away from you.
When you build an audience on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram, you are at the mercy of companies whose best interests aren’t aligned with yours. You can put a lot of time, energy, and money into building an audience on one of these platforms only to have that platform change the rules in a way that kills the profitability of your campaign. That will never be the case with email because no one company has control of the technical specifications for email or control over the technology infrastructure that allows email to be delivered to the world’s six billion inboxes.
How to grow your email list
If you want to develop a successful email marketing campaign, you will need to develop a consistent strategy for building and growing your email list.
Your website is one of the primary ways to gather email sign-ups. Add a signup form as a bar on your Home Page, in the footer, and in the sidebar of your blog. To grab even more attention you can set up a pop-up that encourages people to opt-in before they leave your site.
- Lead Magnets.
In exchange for signing up for your email list, you need to offer your subscribers something of value. Many website visitors are hesitant to enter their email addresses into an opt-in form on a website because of the perceived risk of receiving more unwanted spam emails. However, if you develop a compelling and valuable offer that potential subscribers will desire, like a discount for their first order, a checklist, a short guide, a mini course, and free access to the resources library, your lead magnet should outweigh any possible fear of receiving unwanted email.
A good lead magnet will help your website visitors learn a specific skill, accomplish a particular task, or solve a specific problem. The lead magnet on any given page of your website should be directly related to the content on that page. While you may be required to create multiple lead magnets for different parts of your site over time, the additional work will be well worth it when you significantly improve your opt-in rates.
Where to distribute your Lead Magnet
On Social Media -on your Facebook Page you can pin it to the top of your page, on Instagram add it in your links, and stories highlights, and remind your followers regularly.
On Pinterest – create a post and link it to your subscribe landing page.
On your website – in the footer, as a pop-up, in the sidebar, in your blog posts – pretty much everywhere it’s appropriate.
How to write emails your audience wants to read
Writing an email and sending it to a large group of people requires a set of skills. You have to understand who your audience is if you want to write to them effectively. However, if you defined your niche and connected with your ideal customer then talking to them via email should be as easy as sending an email to a long-known friend.
You need to be able to craft a message that not only attracts the attention of a diverse audience, but also clearly communicates a single object and inspires the readers to take the desired action, and it all must be done without the use of audio, video, images, and other dynamic content.
You need to keep the focus on your subscribers as much as possible, making sure to make your emails about them, and not about you.
When you are getting ready to put together an email, it is easy to think that the only thing that you have to worry about is writing the message body. However, there are several different components of every message that you send to your list.
- Subject Line
This is the subject of your message. It is the first thing that your subscribers will see, and it is what will determine whether or not they open your message.
The preheader is the preview text that is included after the subject line in some email services like Gmail. It can serve as a second subject line that should further encourage the reader to open your email. If you don’t intentionally add a preheader, most email services will use the first sentence or two of your email as a preheader.
- “From “Name”
This is the name of the person who is sending the email. You want to use your personal name rather than the name of your company because most email users are more likely to open an email from an actual person.
- Message Body
This is the main text of your email. It will contain the message that you want to convey to your subscribers.
This will be a hyperlink situated at the bottom of your message body that will persuade readers to take a specific action, such as clicking on the hyperlink.
You want to keep your email signature simple. Long email signatures can be a distraction to the main content of your email. The best signature is your personal name on the first line and the name of your company on the following line.
You may want to consider periodically using a ”P.S.” below your email signature to serve as a secondary sales tool after your primary email.
The footer will typically contain an unsubscribe link and other information that you need to include to stay compliant with antispam laws. This might include your mailing address and the name of your company. The footer will likely be the same for every email that you send out.
Things to remember when writing your email newsletter to your subscribers:
Structure it for easy reading.
You want to create precise copy for the sole purpose of driving your audience toward the final call to action.
Personalise your campaign.
To encourage more interaction with your campaign customization, you want to make sure that you add the individual name on the subject line to attract the reader’s attention, and then create copy that includes relevant information based on their interests.
Keep Your Emails Balanced.
While you will send your audience emails for a variety of reasons, you need to maintain a healthy balance between sending emails that provide value to your audience and email that take value away. Emails that contain information that is helpful to your audience, at no cost to them, such as educational content, tips, resources, and training videos, provide value to your audience. Emails that ask your audience to purchase a product or take action that benefits you more than them will take value from your audience. You should consider sending at least two value-added emails to your audience, for every one email that takes it from them. Ideally, you will provide so much value to your audience that they respond to your sales and marketing emails out of sheer gratitude for the value you have already provided.
Write Great Subject Lines.
The most important words that you will write as part of your email marketing strategy are your subject lines. If you write a subject line that is uninspiring and doesn’t grab the attention of your subscribers, they probably won’t open your message. According to a recent report, 64 percent of people say that they will choose to open an email because of the subject line. If you write a compelling subject line, you are guaranteed to receive higher open rates, which will lead to more click-throughs and more sales. There are also a number of techniques that you can use to modify subject lines to emphasize words and to make unsaid promises about the content of your message.
Best Practices to Follow with Your Email
- Don’t rely on images
When you are creating an email, there are several best practices that you should follow in order to obtain the best results. Don’t Rely on Images Approximately 10-30 per cent of your readers will never click “enable images” on your emails. This means that you should never rely on images to convey critical points in your copy. If you do decide to use pictures, make sure that you use clear and descriptive ALT text.
- Avoid Grammar and Spelling Errors
A huge turn-off for many email subscribers is poor grammar, capitalization, and spelling errors. If you want to speak with expert authority to your audience, then you need to do so with clear and proper writing. No one will believe you are an authority on anything if you can’t write a complete, grammar and spelling-free sentence. Make sure you double-check every email you write for errors or consider having someone else check your email before you send it out.
- Include Multiple Hyperlinks
If you have a specific link that you want your readers to click on, then you need to add a total of three hyperlinks to every email. Be sure to hyperlink your main call-to-action at the bottom of your message, as well as just above your email signature. You also want to add hyperlinks to a few relevant words in the first paragraph of your email to direct readers to the page on your site that you want them to visit. Finally, you need to include a second call-to-action below your email signature and in any postscript that you add to the emails.
- Avoid Design-Heavy Emails
Subscribers are more likely to read emails that come from a person rather than a faceless company. While companies frequently use templates in their email, people rarely do. You want to try to avoid using design-heavy templates so that your emails appear more personal.
- Only Use One Call-to-Action Per Email
You don’t want to try to get your subscribers to do multiple things in any single email. Each email that you send out to your list should have a sole purpose and a single call-to-action that you want them to take. Readers will be less likely to respond if they have to consider which, if any, of your calls to action they wish to take.
- Have a Clear Unsubscribe Link
Don’t try to high or obscure your unsubscribe link. Have a clear unsubscribe link in average font size. If you decide to obscure your unsubscribe link, your subscribers may report your message as spam, which puts you in jeopardy with your email service provider if your account receives too many spam complaints.
Copywriting is a skill that will take some time to master. For the first several months, the emails that you send won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. Over time your copywriting skills will improve, and you’ll eventually become a great copywriter whose emails get results