How To Guide: What you need to know to do successful email marketing

Some of you are closed, some of you are doing less business and some of you are plodding on in a weird new world. All of us are doing business differently in some way.

How many of you have always wanted to have a streamlined, email marketing system in place that allowed you to communicate with your customers and audience with ease?

Sounds dreamy doesn’t it?

You may have started out but got lost. Maybe you write the odd email but it feel forced or difficult. Perhaps you just left it all on the ‘to do’ list.

Either way, communicating well with your customers now is crucial. You can share news, delight them, inspire them, give away some special top tips, encourage them, share you new online services, keep them connected until you re open.

Why email marketing?

Because open rates and engagement for emails is so much higher than social media posts. Because your content goes directly to an individual. Email marketing doesn’t have algorithms. Best of all? All the emails and data add huge value to your business and is not owned by a third party.

Here are the common objections I hear from clients and members all the time – & here are my answers!

  1. I don’t have anything to say – yes you do! Your business is special and has a story to tell. Your business helps, delights, support or inspires people. You are living a life just like them & you can share insight, top tips, free ideas, interesting facts, entertaining videos or make them feel special.
  2. It’s too technical for me – you’re not alone! The Member’s area has resources to help. I am available to help. There are simple steps to learn once and then after that it’s easy. You can’t break the software. We will hold your hand.
  3. I don’t have enough email addresses – that doesn’t matter. Delighting just a handful of subscribers is a great start. PLUS,¬†now is a great time to start to build that list.
  4. I tried it once & it wasn’t worth it – this is not a race. Email marketing is about building string, log term relationships with your audience. They will become your advocates, super fans and most loyal supporter.
  5. GDPR has frightened me – if you use emailing platforms, you can’t make a mistake. There are some simple steps to ensure you have set up your email marketing in the right way.
  6. I don’t have the time – it take little or no time. Once you are set up and you have made a plan, your emails can be short & quick. They can be scheduled way in advance and you can use the same design each time. It may be one of the best investments of time you make.

 

So, if you think I have answered your main barrier to email marketing then read on….I am sharing what you need to know to make your email marketing a success.

  1. Choose an email marketing platform that you like. I still like Mailchimp the best. It is where I started and still offer a great package for beginners. It is also very cost effective for those with a small list. the free package will give you a basic small list and even if you had to upgrade it is just $9.99 per month. NOTE: you can get a 15% discount of you are a non profit organisation. Also worth looking at is Mailerlite which has a very similar layout to Mailchimp but offer slightly more features in their free package.
  2. Set up data capture first. Once you have an account, make sure you have set up ‘Sign Up’ forms for your audiences. These will give you code or integrations to add the sign up form on your website, social media platforms and as links in content. Once these are set up, you can grow your audience in your sleep.
  3. Make signing up¬†irresistible. Remember that it is a privilege to have access to someone’s inbox so make sure they understand why signing up is worth it. Think about making your list a special hub for exclusive support, information, inspiring content, VIP treatment and more. Avoid ’email sign up’ and think more ‘VIP club’.
  4. Set up a template. If you set up a template email to start with, including your logo, brand colours and feel, then all you need to do is add images, video and text, each time you email out. NOTE: you can also ‘replicate’ your last email as a quick start way to composing an email.
  5. Give generously. This is not giving away your products for free or discounting heavily, but sharing insight, delighting, inspiring and entertaining. If you have a cafe, can you share a secret bake recipe each month. If you are a close retail or tourism business, can you share a video tour of spring or crafting ideas? Each email should have something of value to give your readers a reason to open them & avoid unsubscribing.
  6. Keep your emails short. Nobody wants to be faced with a long piece of text to read and you haven’t got the time to read them. If you have lots of ideas or content then break it down into more frequent, shorter emails. Give each item a taster and then try to link it somewhere with more detail like your website, online shop or blog.
  7. Engage, don’t sell. Like any great relationship, this isn’t all about you. It is important that you are offering content that might be of interest, help, delight, support or inspire. Save the selling for subtle links to your online portal or for the end of your email. Give first, ask later.
  8. Fulfil a need. For those of you stuck for content, then think about your audience needs. Right now, they are locked down, not where you are, need recipe ideas, ways to relax, ideas on future business projects, gentle reminders, entertaining videos or images, beautiful things to look at. All businesses can offer something like that.
  9. Get your timing right. Not all emails are equal. We open our ones from the bank first and we save our indulgent recipe email until later. So, take a note of your open rates, click rates and unsubscribe times and adjust accordingly. Although life is far from normal now, you can assume that many people are more receptive to a new recipe just before tea time or at the weekend.
  10. Be consistent. This isn’t about sharing all your information in one go once a month. It’s about having a series of easy, short conversations. So don’t give up at the first hurdle, plan your content for the month and, if you are giving generously, you will avoid annoying people with rubbish. Treat your audience like friends, pop by with something useful or happy. Don’t demand much in return. Don’t leave them hanging for too long.

I hope that this has been helpful and you are not alone. There are more reousrces about email marketing in the Member’s Area – simply search the How to Guide archive. PLUS – you can ask me and fellow members when you get stuck or have a wobble.