For everyone that has asked me about email marketing and “How do you get started”. In this guide I will help you through the process of getting started with email marketing to help ensure your first campaign is a success.
Establish your goals and objectives
Whether you have an established list of business goals and objectives or you make them up as you go, you should ask yourself a few questions before you make any email marketing decisions. Why do you want to use email marketing? What do you expect to achieve? Make sure your email marketing goals align with your company’s wider marketing goals and objectives to ensure you achieve the results that are most beneficial to your company as a whole.
For example, if you’re an eCommerce business, maybe your primary goal is to boost sales, then you can use promotional emails to increase revenue or inform customers of new product releases to drive traffic to your site. Determine your goals first and the rest of the steps should fall into place a little easier.
What is email marketing?
An aspect of digital marketing, email marketing is the use of emails to connect with customers, disseminate information, and building trust. Marketing messages are sent to groups of people in order to encourage them to engage with the business, and thereby increase conversions.
Simply put, email marketing is the use of email to deliver marketing messages to customers. It has the great advantage of being flexible, and thus customizable for audience segments. Most people are reachable via email, and it is a cost-effective, paperless means to get messages across.
Email marketing is a great way to get your message across, whether you’re a blogger and want to give your readers regular updates or you’re a business trying to generate more leads. With email marketing, you get your message straight into the inbox of the people you want to see it.
If you have a website or plan on getting a website of any kind that has traffic, then you need to do email marketing. Email marketing gives you the ability to contact your visitors even after they leave your website.
A few benefits of email marketing are:
- Increase repeat visits: Over 70% of website visitors abandoning your website will never return. When you build an email list, you can build a connection with your visitors by collecting their email addresses and sending them valuable content.
- Build a loyal following: Repeat visitors are more likely to convert into customers, compared to first-time visitors. In fact, studies show that it takes 3-4 visits to your website for your potential customers to actually think of doing business with you.
- Increase sales: Email conversions outperform both social and organic search traffic. So if you’re looking to make sales, then you’ll need to start email marketing.
How to do email marketing:
Always start with lots of research, as it saves time later on. To start with email marketing, read guides to grasp the concepts and to understand the parameters of the process. Then apply this learning within the context of whatever you choose to do.
Choose an email marketing service provider
If you’re serious about email marketing, you need to work with an email marketing service provider. Working with a provider is the only way your business can leverage email marketing automation to effectively deliver messages to large groups of contacts or subscribers.
You’ll also benefit from professional email templates, tools to help you grow and manage your email list, and tracking features that show you who is opening and engaging with your campaigns and messages.
5.000 subscribers + Unlimited emails for 3 months
Access to all features
- Modern responsive email editor with free templates
- Support and help directly via Chat
- Smart subject line recommendations and countdown timers included.
- Simple automation’s and free email autoresponder are all there
- Free landing page builder
Benchmark Email started out as a family business in 2004. Today, 65.000 brands are actively using it. Benchmark email is a simple email marketing tool with some advanced features, free small businesses CRM and great support.
Included for free
2.000 subscribers Forever Free
24/7 support on chat, email and phone.
What is great about Benchmark:
- Free templates, send emails campaigns to up to 2k subscribers
- Customizable signup forms to capture more leads
- Free version includes autoresponders and list based autoresponders
- Full customer support 24/7
MailerLite is a popular choice for simple email marketing. More than 450.000 businesses, startups and freelancers around the world use MailerLite. Together sending more than 1 billion emails every month. MailerLite is really easy to use, and it has enough features for all your small business email marketing needs.
With MailerLite, the more subscribers you have, the more you pay each month.
- Free – For 1 – 1000 subscribers, 12,000 emails per month, and limited features.
- $10/month – For 1 – 1000 subscribers, unlimited emails per month, and all features.
- $15/month – For 1001 – 2500 subscribers, unlimited emails, all features.
- $30/month – For 2501 – 5000 subscribers, unlimited emails, all features.
- $50/month – For 5001 – 10,000 subscribers, unlimited emails per month, all features.
MailerLite is best for users who need a simple solution to grow their email list. If you’re on a tight budget, then I strongly recommend MailerLite.
What is great about MailerLite:
- Automated Resend option, to send another email if the first one wasn’t opened.
- 7 languages your email being sent internationally timezone by timezone.
- The price: Free and if you have more than 1.000 subscribers the price is still very low.
- A/B testing – although you can only test 2 versions (A and B) at a time.
- Track changes while editing your email template, you can undo if you make a mistake.
- Create landing pages and pop-ups, they also integrate with a LOT of opt-in plugins as well.
Drip is the perfect solution for you if you’re an eCommerce merchant who wants to convert your visitors into subscribers and customers with intelligent marketing automation. Drip is more than just a typical email marketing service. It lets you have deeper conversations with your customers and send emails at the right time by understanding their purchase intent and behavior.
- Basic – The Basic plan costs $49/month for up to 2500 active subscribers.
- Pro – The Pro plan costs $122/month for up to 5000 active subscribers.
- Enterprise – The cost varies for this plan and is for people who have more than 5000 active subscribers.
Drip is best for eCommerce websites and savvy internet marketers.
Mailjet sends over 1.5 billion emails per month with 100.000 clients in 150 countries. The system started out as purely transnational and focusing on developers, but now it is a full email marketing platform with an advanced email editor.
Included for free
Unlimited subscribers, 200 emails / day
Advanced statistics & Full API access
What is great about Mailjet:
- Very modern editor and templates – creating emails is enjoyable
- Transactional email and API / integrations are well rounded
- Price: Very cheap
The free package is really for testing out the system, with a limit of 200 emails per day.
* Note: Not for you if you are looking for very advanced email automation’s.
ActiveCampaign is advanced email automation software that will handle your email marketing and build marketing funnels. Includes Sales CRM. Instead of email newsletters and mass mailings, the focus of ActiveCampaign is on Marketing automation and marketing funnels. That is where they are really strong. There is even built-in CRM, on-site messaging and SMS.
14 day free trial
Free onboarding and migration service
What is great about ActiveCampaign:
* Pricing is great for such advanced automation and email targeting
* A/B testing works well even on automated and drip campaigns (which isn’t as common as you’d expect)
* Helpful community of funnel building and automation enthusiasts
* The platform is quite actively developed with frequent updates and new features.
7. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is the most popular email marketing service for small businesses. It comes with tons of customizable email templates that help you get a head start.
While most email marketing services offer 14 or 30-day free trials to test the service, Constant Contact gives you full access to their tools for 60 days.
- $20/month – For 0 – 500 subscribers.
- $45/month – For 501 – 2500 subscribers.
- $65/month – For 2501 – 5000 subscribers.
- $95/month – For 5001 – 10,000 subscribers.
Constant Contact is best for smart businesses that are just starting out with email marketing.
What is great about Constant Contact:
- For small business just getting started with email marketing.
- 60-day free trial without any contract or commitment.
- Price: Very cheap
- Packaged with all the features that you’ll need to grow your email list.
ConvertKit was founded in 2013. They offer software for what they call “Creators”: bloggers, authors, YouTubers, podcasters and online course creators. It is a lead generation, email marketing and email autoresponders platform. Includes opt-in forms, drip email marketing, landing pages. They are the most expensive on the list, consider if you want the included training and community.
14 days Free trial
- $29/month – For 0 – 1000 subscribers and all features.
- $49/month – For 1000 – 3000 subscribers and all features.
- $79/month – For 3000 – 5000 subscribers and all features.
ConvertKit is best for publishers.
AWeber is one of the most popular lead generation services for small businesses. It comes with all the essential tools you need to grow your email list. You can design email newsletters with the drag and drop builder, automate email sequences, and create mobile-responsive signup forms that look great on any device.
- $19/month – 0 – 500 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $29/month – 501 – 2500 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $49/month – 2501 – 5000 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $69/month – 5001 – 10,000 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $149/month – 10,001 – 25,000 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
GetResponse has been around since 1997. It is mature email marketing software, serving over 350,000 email marketing customers. It is a popular all-in-one email marketing platform with list management, marketing automation and full newsletter functions.They have been adding some cool features over the last couple of years.
30 day free trial
What is great about Getresponse:
- Chat support available 24/7
- Webinar Feature
- Visual automation and tags
- Free image gallery with 1000+ stock photos
Build your email list
You can import existing contacts if you already collect emails from your customers or you can build a new list from scratch. Depending on your type of business, you can gather opt-in email subscribers in a variety of creative ways, such as an incentivised quid-pro-quo transaction where customers exchange their email addresses for vouchers, discounts, freebies or exclusive content. If you get brainstorming, you can come up with a myriad of successful ways to gain subscribers.
Select email campaign type
Ensure your email marketing decisions align with your company’s wider marketing goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) this goes for selecting the types of email campaigns you will send too. There are several types of email campaigns you can choose from, but I will stick with just 5 to get you started.
1. Welcome email
A welcome email is the first email that your subscriber receives from you. It should make them feel welcomed and set the right expectations. You must thank them for subscribing to your brand and offer a scaffold to strike a conversation. Send a series of welcome emails that introduce your brand and make the subscriber look forward to learning more about you. Moreover, you can entice the new subscriber with an offer they cannot deny. It is also recommended that you request for additional information from the subscriber that will allow you to send more personalized content and relevant offers. This will, in turn, bring better conversions from your emails.
A great way to keep in contact with a regular list of subscribers that you already know. Typically, these types of campaigns focus on one main story that is sent to subscribers on a regular basis. For example, if you’re a start-up loan scheme partner, you might email your customers once a month with start-up business advice.
Newsletters generally follow a fixed schedule, for instance: Tuesday or Wednesday mornings every week. These emails will include recent posts from the company blog or curated content from the leaders in the industry. It can also inform the subscriber about the imminent conferences or webinars or other important updates. Just make sure, the content you share is relevant and delivers value to the subscribers.
3. Standalone Email
Although newsletters have a significant stint, they can mask the main call-to-action because of the numerous links therein. It is quite likely that the subscribers click on a couple of links or simply skim through your email and forget about it. For marketers who wish to drive a particular action like subscription to their free trial or registration for the webinar, it is highly recommended to send a standalone email. Such emails are focused on a single goal and CTA. Consequently, your subscribers will be more inclined to take the action expected from them.
4. Plain-text Emails
Although emails with attractive formatting are extensively used nowadays, plain-text emails cannot be considered obsolete. While HTML emails always come with a possibility of landing in the spam folder, plain-text emails spare you from that horror of deliverability issues. When you want to send event invitations, a survey or feedback requests, simple plain-text emails work better. You can send minimal emails with one or two images to amp up the open and click-through rate.
5. Survey Email
Survey Emails can be used to request for feedback from subscribers. You can ask pertinent questions related to their previous interactions or purchases from your company. Asking for feedback makes the subscriber feel ap by the company. Make sure the email has just few questions as required. You can even offer something in return for their valuable feedback.
Now create your first email campaign
Depending on the features of your email marketing service, you can use an existing template, build a drag-and-drop email or if you’re more experienced, try your hand at coding a custom HTML campaign. If possible, use a responsive design that works on mobile as well as desktop as this will optimize your conversion rate. Even more importantly, align your style and tone with your company’s brand to establish trust with your subscribers through continuity.
Measure your results and evaluate
It’s imperative that you review the performance of your email campaigns for the future success of your email marketing activities. Most email marketing software includes some sort of built-in performance reports, but you can always complement this data with your Google Analytics reports for a better analysis of how your customers are interacting with your campaigns.
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