Tips, and Best Practices to Succeed in Email Marketing for Beginners
This is a detailed article that provides all the basic information on email marketing for all beginners who are looking to start and run successful email marketing campaigns. It’s a beginner-friendly guide that will help you understand the basic ins and outs of email marketing.
It’s likely that your day starts after running quickly through all your emails. Most people start by scanning their email inbox for the important emails first, then leave the rest for another time of the day.
So, how come some emails, though not related to your work, are more important than others? This is an intriguing question that every email marketer must strive to understand. For you as a beginner email marketer, this article will help you tick the right boxes from the start- so that you can know how to do your email marketing in the right way.
According to computerhistory.com, the first email ever was sent in the year 1971. And since then, emails play a major role in the passing on of important communication among friends, family, organizations, businesses, and companies. As a business owner, you can use emails to grow your brand, share helpful information, and even market your products.
What is Email Marketing?
As indicated by CampaignMonitor, emails are a popular communication channel that marketers prefer to reach their audience. This is one of the top reasons why businesses explore email marketing. It remains an effective way of driving traffic, converting leads, and building brand awareness.
Even for new online business, email marketing is a building block that will help you create an authentic and human connection with your audience.
Email marketing is an effective strategy and when combined with an intuitive mix of different types of content, you stand to succeed in converting your prospective leads into buying customers.
Email marketing also helps you build relationships and create a considerable level of trust and friendliness with your clients through the use of email.
Why Email Marketing?
To date, even with brands and businesses knowing its importance, email marketing is still underutilized. Some avoid it altogether because they don’t know where to start. Others avoid it because of the “technicalities” involved in setting up an email marketing campaign.
However, the learning curve is incomparable to the benefits realized in starting an email marketing campaign.
Email marketing can be used when you want to:
- Create brand awareness.
- Grow your relationship with your clients and potential customers.
- Nurture customer loyalty.
- Educate and market your products to potential clients.
- Share useful content with your audience.
- Generate and nurture leads.
Benefits Of Email Marketing That You Should Know
- Email Marketing is Cheap, Compared to the High Return On Investment (ROI)
Successful email marketers understand the value of lead generation, lead nurturing, and conversion. Email marketing is one of the best ways that allows you to succeed in these three process at a low cost and still expect a high return-on-investment.
Of course, you will have to spend some money depending on the email marketing tool you choose. In most cases, the Email Software Provider offers various pricing plans based on the features and the number of subscribers you have.
These plans are often affordable providing you with features such as landing pages and marketing automation to aid your Email Marketing process. As a beginner, my recommendation is that you start with the basic plan and use it to learn your way with the email marketing tool. Check out the pricing plan below for the tool I use for my email marketing campaigns.
I use ActiveCampaign for my email marketing. Use this link to get your ActiveCampaign 14 days free trial. (No credit card information required for a free trial.)
The return on investment is higher when you compare to how much email marketing tools cost. According to recent statistics, for every dollar $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI ranges from $38 -$42. This shows how effective and efficient email marketing is. Perhaps the greatest reason it is still the most widely used tool of marketing.
- You Can Customize and Automate Email Campaigns
With the help of Email Marketing software, you can customize the content of your email from the email’s title to the last word. You can even send personalized emails bearing the name of the recipient and much more. A customized email is more likely to be read than a generic one. This then helps you build strong relationships with your audience as you continue to discover their needs.
Not only are you able to customize your content, but you can also automate your emails. By categorising your email recipients, you can send tailor-made marketing campaigns to the diverse categories. This helps you remain relevant and increase your conversions.
- Easy To Measure Results
While sending emails is essential, measuring your progress is equally important. One of the benefits you get from email marketing is the ability to measure and track your results.
Email Marketing software allows you to track if your emails were opened or read by the recipient, how many followed the links you shared on email, any conversions, and much more. This information can help you determine what worked and where to make necessary adjustments.
Tracking your progress helps you greatly improve your engagement with your audience as well as how your emails are delivered.
- Reach A Wider Audience
People are more likely to share email content with their networks especially if the content is helpful and useful. In this way, they begin to become brand evangelists who share your brand with a new audience. This is an indirect benefit that email marketing brings. In the end, you get more exposure to your work, and your audience grows exponentially.
- Create Stronger Relationships With Customers
Customers always want to know what is going on in your business. Sending every one of them an email addressing them by name can take a long time and a whole lot of effort.
Email marketing campaigns help you smoothen and ease the process of doing this. Everyone appreciates a well-done email, relaying useful information. Using email marketing campaigns helps you send good emails which will easily get noticed. This creates excitement in your customers and they will always be eager to receive your emails. Ultimately growing a strong relationship with them.
- Drive Traffic To Your Website
Emails provide an amazing platform for driving traffic to your website. On your email content, you have the opportunity to direct your customers to relevant parts of your website. Based on what your email content is, you can share links to your website that go hand in hand with the information you have shared on your email.
How To Start Email Marketing For Beginners
- Create An Email Marketing Strategy
Strategies are the most important step in every undertaking. And your email marketing is no different. An email marketing strategy is important as it helps you create a road map to follow and goals to set.
Not to worry though, because an email marketing strategy is simply drawing your big picture indicating your goals, how you wish to present yourself, and the long term direction for your email marketing.
When you have drawn up your big picture, it is now possible to fill in the specifics of your strategy. Every email marketing strategy should have the below items clearly outlined.
- Your business goals: The first step is always defining your goals. It is best to outline what you wish to achieve in the end and then work backwards. This can help you set specific, relevant and achievable goals which you can measure. Setting short realistic and time-based targets can help you achieve the end goal with more ease.
- The targeted audience: Identifying your target audience helps you reach out to the right people. These could be potential buyers or people who are likely to influence your target audience to buy. Understanding your target audience’s needs can help you customize your emails to meet their desires and wants.
- The uniqueness of your brand: Identifying what is unique about your business helps you have a competitive advantage over other businesses. Since there may be more businesses within your niche, you want your target audience to choose you over the other businesses. The only way to do this is to let them know what your unique selling point is and how you intend to meet their needs.
- Key performance indicators: With your goals and targets already laid out, you can now determine which performance indicators you would like to track. For example, you can check your open rate- what is the percentage of people who open your emails. Or how many subscribers click on the link you share on your emails.
Keeping track of your performance indicators helps you know how far or close you are in achieving your goals. You can also use this information to make adjustments in your strategy to reach a wider audience or even meet your audience’s needs much better.
- What resources do you have: Identifying what resources you have is important. Your resources could include an email marketing software, copywriters for your email content or any human resources you may need. While starting up, you can determine what to take on based on your budget.
If you are a small start-up with a little number of subscribers, you can begin with a manageable budget, get a good and workable plan from an email service provider and get started. As you grow you can make the necessary adjustments.
- Build Your Email List
Building an email list seems hard for an email marketing beginner. People sign up to your a list because they are interested in learning more about your business. They want to know about your products/services and all you have to offer. To build your credibility and grow your audience’s confidence, it is paramount to allow your audience to willingly sign up for your emails.
To attract people to sign up to your list, create a great opt-in form and use a lead magnet.
- A lead magnet is simply something to attract people to your email list. Essentially they are freebies. Some of the lead magnets you could create are webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, courses or tools.
Your lead magnet should be relevant, offer value, be actionable and easy to consume. Your prospective audience signs up with the hope of receiving value and solutions. Get specific on what benefit they will be gaining when they sign up for your content.
- An opt-in is a form where prospective clients sign up to receive your emails. In this form, clients can choose which kind of emails they wish to receive and how frequently. Information shared in the opt-in form allows you to understand your audience more.
A good opt-in form should have an eye-catching header, relevant and truthful information, simple and to the point.
Place your opt-in form in a part of your website where your audience is likely to see it. This can be a dedicated page, the side-bar, at the bottom of your blog post, on your about page, as a pop-up or at the header part of your website.
Your lead magnet and opt-in forms should deliver as promised. No-one appreciates clickbait. To maintain and grow your audience, the information you relay to attract your prospectives should deliver to the fullest.
If you state ” Sign up here to receive 10 apple recipes to explore in an ordinary kitchen”. Ensure that when the client shares their information, this is exactly what they receive on their emails.
- Create Capturing Email Content
You now have subscribers. Creating a compelling email campaign is the next step.
- The Subject line
You want your emails to be opened and read. The way to do this is to spur curiosity within your subscribers by having catchy subject lines.
The subject line is the first thing that your subscribers will see. It carries great weight in determining whether they will open the email or not.
The aim is to have all your emails opened and read. The best way to achieve this is to personalize your subject lines. One of the ways you can do this is by including the subscribers’ name in the subject line.
The subject line you choose to use should also be short and concise. Many individuals these days, access their emails through mobile devices. Optimizing the subject line to fit perfectly in a mobile device display will encourage your subscribers to read your emails more.
Lastly, use catchy words that are actionable and straight to the point. For example ” 10 new ways to make an extra income”. Use words that will draw your reader in.
- The body of the campaign.
Your subscribers want to know more about you. This is the space to dive in and let them know what you are all about. It is in this section where you deliver as promised.
To begin with, it is key to structure your content to be easy to read. Using smaller paragraphs, shorter sentences, larger fonts are some of the ways you can make your content easy to read.
Be personal and relatable in your email content. Some of the ways to do this are: sending a welcome email upon subscription, using the subscriber’s name in your email, telling relatable stories, and using your subscribers’ interests to know what kind of content to send.
When your individuals can connect with your content, it grows your chances of a higher click-through rate.
To keep your subscribers eager to receive your emails, ensure that the content you share always adds value to the subscriber. Use this part to educate your subscribers on what you have to offer. Where necessary, attach links to the specific landing pages on your website.
While it can be very tempting to pitch your products on all emails, it is best to do this with moderation. You can reserve the pitching emails for major announcements or special offers.
- Send Your Emails
Creating an email campaign after another manually can be very tedious. Especially when you have a whole lot of emails to do and a growing email list.
To make your work easier and more efficient, it is best to have an email marketing software in place. It is the perfect solution.
An email marketing software (a.ka email marketing service,) is helpful with segmentation, email automation, tracking open rates, and click-through rates. It helps you fine-tune your email marketing strategy. Check out this tool, ActiveCampaign by unlocking this 14-day free trial here.
Some of the common features you will find in email marketing services are:
- Easy to build Email templates and landing pages
- Good email builder
- mobile optimization for email
- Email regulations compliance
- A/B split testing
- Inbuilt analytics
- Downloadable reports
The above features are some of the things you should look for when considering an email marketing service provider. To get you started, here are some examples of email marketing service providers: MailChimp, Hubspot, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Drip, GetResponse, and AWeber.
The email marketing service providers each have different pricing based on the list size and number of available features within each plan.
For all my email marketing campaigns, I use ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign is best for non-techies who want to focus less on set up. That way, I only focus on creating effective email marketing campaigns that people love.
- Automate Your Emails
After selecting your email marketing service provider, email automation is the next step. It involves using your segmented groups to send targeted emails.
An autoresponder is a great option for this. It is simply a series of emails that are automatically sent to the subscriber upon a certain action. For instance, if someone signs up for your newsletters.
An autoresponder helps you plan out your emails campaigns; when they should be sent, to whom and how far apart they should be. You can select which subgroup should receive which set of email campaigns. This helps you stay within your schedule.
Above that, you can set your email campaigns schedule and forget about it. Assured that every subgroup within your autoresponder will receive every email.
To take this a notch higher, you can make use of workflows. They are smart autoresponders that will send a series of emails based on the actions and behaviours of your subscribers.
The workflows are often used by companies and organizations to increase revenue.
- Track Your Progress
With your email marketing campaign now fully in place, tracking your progress is what follows. It would be in vain to start an email campaign and not analyze how your emails are being received and the impact they have.
Evaluating and analyzing your analytics helps you mark your growth points and focus on getting better results from your campaigns.
Some of the analytics to pay attention to are:
- Open Rate – This shows how many people on your list opened your email. If your open rate is high, it means your subscribers are always eager to read your emails. If it is low, this means you need to make some adjustments to your emails to increase engagement
- Click-Through rate– Indicates how many people clicked on the link you shared in your email. If the CTR is low, it means your message is not being well received. Thus, focus on improving how you relay the message.
If you have a high rate of unsubscription, examine why people are unsubscribing from your mailing list and take the necessary action to fix what is missing
With full knowledge of what is lacking and what is doing well, you are now able to create email campaigns that are more targeted and direct.
Another way to help you analyze your emails is by segmenting them.
Email segmentation is clustering your email subscribers into sub-categories based on unique characteristics and interests. You can categorise your subscribers based on their geography, online behaviour, demographics and their psychographics.
The sub-categories you create helps you send personalized emails, geared to meet the specific needs of individuals within each sub-category. These details also help you connect with your subscribers more while building trust and credibility.
segmenting your emails gives you the ability to send targeted communication. For instance, you can segment your emails into a weekly email list, monthly email list etc. You can then track these emails to discover how they are being received.
Tips To Better Your Email Marketing
- Personalize Your Emails
Your subscribers need to feel a connection with you and your brand. Write your emails in a very personable tone. Use thoughtful words such as “Thank You” and “Welcome”. Where necessary include stories that your subscribers can relate to in your emails.
- Design Appealing Emails
One of the ways to make your emails appealing is to include images in your emails. Images visually appeal to human faces and leave a more lasting message in the reader’s mind.
Adding images can help you break up your email and draw your subscribers attention in. Consider using high-quality images that are user-friendly and mobile- optimized.
- Use Captivating Subject Lines
The subject line is what your subscribers see first. It influences your subscribers’ decision on whether to open the email or not. Use short, precise, and personable subject lines. Use your subscriber’s name in the subject line to make it more personal.
- Use A Clear CTA
Your CTA needs to be short and relay the message. It is key to ensure that it stands out. You can do this by using a different colour, larger font size or font type. To be more effective, use a clickable CTA. This will encourage the reader to visit the link and in turn, increase your conversion rate.
- Deliver Valuable Content
Create email content that meets the needs and wants of your subscribers. People unsubscribe from mailing lists because the content being delivered is no longer relevant to them or it does not offer them any value. Be consistent in delivering valuable information to your subscribers, keeping them in mind.
- Use A/B Split Testing
Most Email Marketing Services have an A/B testing capabilities. A/B testing allows you to test your what works in your email and what does not by putting them side by side and choosing the best of the options.
Some of the components that you can test are subject lines, headlines, images, email layout and design, images and CTA’s.
To get the best results in your A/B testing, test one component at a time.
- Segment Your Emails
Segmenting your emails simply means categorizing your email list into smaller targetted groups. For instance, you can segment into – weekly subscribers, newsletter subscribers, ebook subscribers and the like. This helps you send targeted information to your subscribers and track your analytics.
- Track Your Analytics
Analytics are key pointers in your email marketing strategy as they help you know what is working and what is not. They are a clear image of how well your email marketing strategy is.
Keep track of analytics such as: how high/ low is your click-through rate? What is your open rate? Are there any new subscribers and which content has had the highest opt-ins?
Use these results to better your emails and make changes where necessary.
- Send Mobile Responsive Emails
Many people use their mobile devices to read their emails. Optimizing your emails to be responsive on mobile devices will encourage your subscribers to read your emails wherever they are.
Email marketing is an important tool that you should explore. It creates a platform for you to grow a relationship with your audience while adding value to them.
Email marketing has a high Return-On-Investment compared to the costs you incur when you are getting started.
As an email marketing beginner, it is paramount to ensure that your list subscribers permit you to send them emails. Create an option on your website or blog where your audience can willingly sign up for your mailing list.
People subscribe to your mailing list because they want to know more about you and your brand. Whatever promises you make in your sign up form, be sure to deliver. Share valuable information with your subscribers.
Many people unsubscribe from a mailing list because their need is no longer being met. To ensure that you are always meeting your subscriber’s needs, segment your emails and track your analytics. This will constantly give you direction on what is working for you and what is working against you. Make the relevant changes where necessary.
In a nutshell, to have a successful email marketing strategy first lay down your goals and what you intend to achieve. Then build your email list by creating an option for your audience to sign up for your mailing list. Then design appealing and personalized emails that carry valuable content.
Lastly, email marketing for beginners is usually an enjoyable process where you get to learn along the way. Choose an email marketing service provider carefully to help you automate your campaigns successfully. Your email marketing service provider helps you automate your emails, send them on time, segment them, and track your progress.
Check out my ActiveCampaign Review and understand why I recommend using it for email marketing.