You’ve probably heard that email is dead.
The story goes that mass email marketing is a relic of the past and that consumers have moved on to social media platforms. But the truth is much more complicated than that. While some companies are successful without an email marketing strategy in place, others are not—and it’s those companies who pay dearly for their mistake. Email remains one of the most important tools in any marketer’s tool-belt, and if you’re considering getting started with an email marketing campaign, there are some things you need to know first.
Define a strategy
Email marketing, like any other social media channel, is all about strategy.
The best way to approach email marketing is by first having a clear picture of your goals, who you want to reach and how you are going to do it. Here are some things to consider when defining your strategy:
- What type of content will you create?
- Who will be your main audience?
- How often should the messages go out?
- When exactly should they go out so that people are likely to see them (i.e., during peak times for web traffic)?
One way to measure success is by tracking the number of clicks on links in each campaign; if there’s no click-through rate (CTR), then it’s probably time for some tweaks! Another key indicator of success is customer feedback—if customers aren’t responding well enough or quickly enough after receiving an email message from you then that could mean something needs changing! Make sure that all recipients need permission before being added onto lists too; otherwise, this may cause problems with spamming laws too.”
Create an editorial calendar
Before you start sending emails, it’s important to have a plan.
An editorial calendar is a tool that helps you plan when to send which emails. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet or Google Doc with the different types of content on one side and the days of the week on another. The columns might include:
The calendar should also be flexible enough that it won’t get in your way if there’s breaking news or other urgent topics that need addressing before your planned content sends out.
Set up your CRM software
To get started, you’ll need to set up your CRM software.
A database that stores information about your customers is an essential tool for email marketing, allowing you to keep track of all your contacts and their interactions with your company.
The most common type of CRM software is Salesforce, but there are other options out there if this one doesn’t fit with your needs (and it might not!). You can use it to create email campaigns, track sales and manage your loyalty program in one centralized place.
Produce content for the campaign
Now that you’ve got a list of your target audience, it’s time to start thinking about the content you’ll be using.
You’ll want to produce information in a variety of formats including blog posts, videos, or infographics. The goal is to create valuable content for your audience so they will want to share it with their peers.
There are several factors that should be considered when choosing the type of content that best suits your campaign:
- Relevance: Does the piece fit within the scope of what you’re trying to accomplish? If not, consider cutting it altogether until you have something more relevant and appropriate for your purposes.
- Value: Even if something isn’t relevant but still helps add value for someone else (or yourself), include it! Remember that there are no wrong answers in email marketing—as long as people like what they see then everything goes well!
Prepare for send time
As you’re getting ready to send your first email marketing campaign, there are some things you should do beforehand.
- Make sure your email service provider (ESP) is ready.
- Test the email and make sure it looks okay on all types of devices and browsers.
- Have a backup plan in case something goes wrong with the sending or delivery of your email campaign.
- Keep an eye on the analytics for your campaign so that if there are any issues with open rates or click-throughs, you can adjust accordingly without affecting future campaigns too much!
Monitor the analytics
Once you’ve started your campaign, you will want to track how well it’s doing. You can do this by following these steps:
- Go to the analytics section of your email provider. Most offer free accounts with limited tracking options; if you are paying for a more robust account, use that instead.
- Look at the number of clicks and opens in each campaign over time (and set up alerts so that you can be notified when something interesting happens).
- Read through any unsubscribe notifications or comments from recipients about why they aren’t interested in receiving future messages from you.
You should also keep an eye on external metrics like bounce rate (the percentage of emails that get automatically bounced back), spam reports, inbox placement rates, etc., but don’t get too hung up on them until after a few months have passed—these numbers tend to fluctuate wildly early on!
If you start an email marketing campaign, make sure you have a strategy and are prepared to do it right.
Before you get started, it’s important to define the problem you want to solve.
What are your goals? Are they too ambitious? What steps will it take to achieve those goals? And how long do you think it’ll take for them to happen?
If all of these questions seem foreign or confusing, don’t fret! It’s normal when starting out with something new. The most important thing (and we mean literally more important than anything else) is that once you have a plan in place, stick with it!
If you want to get started with email marketing, then make sure that you have a good strategy and are prepared to do it right.
There are many tools available today that make it easy to create campaigns and track results. Remember, though: there’s no magic bullet when it comes to email marketing—you need to build an audience over time through consistent messaging and engagement with your audience.
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