Email Marketing Basics

email marketing

Your business’s website is set up, and your social media campaign is chugging along. Now is a great time to focus on email marketing. While this is connected to your website and your social media platforms (since you’ll gather most of the email addresses from these sources), there are different steps you need to take to get this type of campaign rolling. Using email as a marketing tool is a great way to spread awareness of your brand and products and keep your customers coming back for repeat purchases. It’s a tried and true method that’s been used for decades. Below, Virtual Market Advantage will go over a few basic principals of email marketing to use for your well-rounded marketing campaign.

How to Get Started

The very first thing you need to understand about emailing potential customers is that you need to have permission from each person to use their emails to market to them. People who have not opted in to your email campaign are not the people who will buy from you, and the ads would be considered spam. For example, you cannot add a person to your email list from a business card. That person may have given you permission to call or email them with work-related correspondence, but they didn’t give you permission to email them your newsletter.

The best way to cultivate your email list is to have an opt-in form on your website and use an email marketing service. There are many options for email marketing services, including Constant Contact and Mailchimp, that you can use to host your list and easily organize and send out marketing emails. Build your list by offering incentives at the opt-in bar by giving viewers simple, enticing opportunities to sign up for your newsletter. Keeping it simple and honest will build your list quickly. For example, you can give a 20% discount for the next purchase after signing up for an email campaign.

Types of Email Marketing Campaigns

There are a number of different email marketing campaigns you can run, based on your audience and what you’re promoting. Let’s take a look at some of the different types:

  • Newsletters - This type of campaign generally focuses on one main topic of interest and is distributed regularly. If your goal is to keep in touch with existing customers, this is a great type of email to send.
  • Marketing - This is an offer to send if you want to get a direct response from your audience. You could show your customers an advertisement for your latest inventory or offer a special promotion for your product.
  • Announcement - This is a marketing tool that you send to your subscribers to announces a new product, feature, or service. For example, Netflix sends an announcement about new television series that are similar to what you’ve already watched.
  • Event Invitation - The purpose of this type of campaign is to increase awareness about an event you’re hosting and encourage your audience to attend. You can host an open house for your new business location or celebrate the launch of a new product.

Creating Your First Campaign

Now that you know a bit more about email marketing, it’s time to set a few goals. The most important thing to know when you set up this first campaign is that viewer attention spans are very short. Make everything you send out simple and to the point. Don’t write a wall of text for readers to slog through, and make sure you have an interesting topic of interest. Here are a few points to consider when writing your first email:

  • A good headline that highlights your email's topic will draw people in.
  • Provide interesting supporting information in the body of the text to let the audience know the purpose of your email.
  • Have a strong call to action at the end, letting the readers know exactly what you want them to do next, whether it’s making a purchase or visiting a new blog.
  • Creating appealing visuals that support your campaign is a great way to keep the reader scrolling down to your call to action. People are more likely to remember a visual from your email than they are the text.

Personalize Your Campaign

The email addresses you gather have real people at the other end who opted in to receiving information from you. Remember this fact as you send out your emails, and add some personal touches to your marketing campaign to help your business stand out. Treat these emails like a social media post. You want to engage your audience. Even if the viewers aren’t emailing you back, they might go revisit your website, start a discussion on social media, or tell their friends about your great newsletter. Try to connect to your audience in your emails the same way you would by sitting down with them for coffee.

If you send emails that contain quality, trustworthy content that’s relevant to the people on your mailing list, you'll have more repeat customers who want to share your brand with others. Click To Tweet

If you send emails that contain quality, trustworthy content that’s relevant to the people on your mailing list, you'll have more repeat customers who want to share your brand with others. If necessary, you can separate your list into subsections that receive different information. For example, you could send specialized coupons and rewards to subscribers who are already customers and those who are still on the fence. Or if your business provides different types of products or services, separate the mailing lists into different subjects, based on the webpage from which they subscribed. This way you can promote the right campaign to the right audience. This type of specialized campaign will take time and effort and a lot of paying attention to your readers, but it’s worth it in the end.

When first starting out with email marketing, a simple campaign is the best way to go. But when you’re ready to branch out and develop your techniques, the best way to see what works (and what doesn't) is A/B testing. This method allows you to focus on changes that benefit your business and discard ones that don’t.

When it comes to email marketing, it’s important to develop a strong list of followers, build trust with the group, and treat it like corresponding with a diverse group of good friends with whom you want to share your product. This method of marketing is a great tool to combine with other campaigns to amp up your engagement and get those customers returning for more!