Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy through which you communicate with people, present them your offer(s) and make sales or promote your services online.
If you run a business whether online or offline, you should consider this marketing strategy as it is by far cost-effective compared to other forms of marketing like Content marketing. Besides, it is easy to implement especially when you know what to do and how to do it professionally.
Considering that a lot of businesses are looking for cost-effective means to boost their sales and increasing their brand awareness, I decided to write this short beginner’s guide on email marketing. I have made it short and straight to the point.
N/B: This is not a full course on email marketing but rather a simplified guide on how email marketing works and the basic things that you should know about it.
Step 1: Choose an Email Marketing Software/Platform
There are a good deal of software for email-marketing: Getresponse, Aweber, Mailchimp, Convertkit, etc. Some of these are free while some are paid. Among the paid ones, there are free plans to enable users test their platforms and decide whether to do email marketing with them or not.
For example with Mailchimp, you can have up to 2000 email subscribers to which you can send email campaigns to Free of Charge forever. When you exceed this number of contacts, you’d have to pay a monthly fee to have your email contacts on the Mailchimp platform.
Please, note that you may not be able to perform advanced email automations like setting up autoresponders with the free emailing plan on Mailchimp.
On Getresponse, you have access to all the emailing features including advanced automations for one month free. After this time, you’d have to pay a monthly fee if you wish to continue your email marketing business with them.
Other companies have their own terms and conditions.
Step 2: Acquire Your Subscribers
There are 2 ways to get contacts into in your email list.
Method 1 is to strategically place an opt-in form on your website/blog/landing page. This form could be in the header, footer, sidebar of your website. You could also configure your opt-in form -with an offer to automatically show within your blog posts/articles.
Another strategy is to configure an exit-intent popup to show a form luring visitors who want to exit/leave your website to subscribe to newsletters, sign-up for an event or get a gift (i.e., an e-book or a free course). If they agree, they would give-in and in the process subscribe to your email list.
Outside your site, you can link to this form when running an ad online either on a social media platform or on a third party website.
This way, you give people the liberty to subscribe to your email list or forgo it. It is the best way to grow an email list as people who subscribe do so at their own volition and give you the consent to email them.
Method 2 is to buy an email list from a vendor and manually add or upload to your email contacts list. This is not recommended although people do it at times.
Chances are that many of the contacts could unsubscribe from your list since they don’t know you and did not give you the permission to email them.
On noticing the massive unsubscribes, your email marketing company could penalize you or disable your account. So, I do not recommend this approach unless you know what to do.
Step 3: Stop Spam: Configure Double Opt-in.
The idea of activating double opt-in in email marketing is to keep off spammers from your email list.
You want only serious people to subscribe to your list. So, you ask every user to login to his/her email and click a link from you in their email to confirm that they give you consent to email them.
That way, people who came with the intent of supplying a fake email address or a dysfunctional email address or an email address that is not working would be kept off.
There are settings within every email marketing software to activate double opt-ins. Check the one you use and configure. However, you may want to be lenient and allow users to opt-in to your email list without activating a double opt-in.
Step 4: Create Your Campaign & Send, Setup Automations
After someone opts-in to your email list, what follows is to send them email campaigns. An email campaign is simply the message that you send to your subscriber. This could be a simple plain text message, a video, a picture, an infographic or a combination of all of these.
The email that you send to your email subscriber is simply the email campaign.
Now, you should configure your email such immediately someone subscribes to your list he/she gets an email from you such like a “Welcome Email” or “Thank You”.
You should have programmed your email system to be sending him/her emails in sequences so that your business stays afloat on auto-pilot without you writing and sending emails every time.
This is what is known as email automation and this is configured in your email autoresponder.
Of course, you have to write these emails and schedule them to auto-send themselves to contacts on your email list. Where you can’t write the emails yourself, you can simply hire someone to write them for you. All you do is take them and schedule in your email autoresponder to send when you set them to send.
This does not mean that you’d not be sending occasional fresh emails to your contacts. No sir! From time to time you would have new offers, new launches, new products and/services which your subscribers may be interested in. So, you’d write them emails on these offers.
You can see from this that email automation is a basic part of email marketing while sending of fresh, occasional emails is equally important.
Dear reader, the idea behind email marketing is to make sales. So, whatever you’re doing should be targeted towards this whether its is obvious or not.
This means you should get your copywriting skills up to standard.
You should know how to customize your messages in your email text editor
You must know how and where to place links to your offer to attract more conversions
You must know how to configure the autoresponder in your email marketing software
You must know how to segment, tag, and categorize your subscribers and track their activities within your emails.
And many more!!!
It is not a less than 30-minutes lesson like this guide. You need to learn and practice email marketing like a course. This could take weeks or months.
This brief article cannot teach you everything on email marketing no matter how hard I try. If you need such training, go on YouTube and stream/download courses on email marketing and learn from basic to advance.
As I step aside, I leave you with some tips which will help you on this journey of email marketing.
See a few tested strategies that can help you to have better conversions with your email marketing efforts in Nigeria today below:
- Use simple, attractive yet powerful subject lines
- Use appropriate graphics in your email body
- Create Value Using Your Emails
- Write Mobile-friendly Emails
- Optimize Your Links Placement
- Track your subscriber’s activities and use this to optimize your marketing
- Encourage Email Sharing
- Respond/Reply emails
- Personalize Your Emails
- Test emails before sending
That’s all for now on email marketing. Meanwhile, you may want to see how to make passive income with email marketing. Till next time, bye.