So you have a small business and know you should be sending out emails to customers. The problem is that you have no idea how to start. The entire thing feels complicated. What kind of emails should you send? What should they say? How often should you send them? You first need to know how to plan an effective email marketing strategy.
First, you are right that you should be sending out emails. Why? Because even in this day and age of Google search, Facebook and Twitter, email remains one of the most powerful and effective marketing tools out there.
In fact, 59% of business marketers say that email is their most effective channel for generating revenue. Campaign Monitor reports that email generates 174% more conversions than social media. And – get this – for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect $43 in return revenue.
With numbers like these, you are probably thinking, “What have I been waiting for? It is time to start email marketing!” This is true, but before you jump into the world of email open rates, CTRs, segmenting, and all the rest, you first need to know plan an effective email marketing strategy.
Why is this important? Because without a consistent, thoughtfully-planned and well-executed strategy, your email campaign will be disorganized, random and ineffective. It might even be off-putting.
On the other hand, a well-planned email strategy can build a positive relationship with your customers, get them to engage with your business, increase leads and sales and improve ROI. So take a little time to consider these five steps for creating a successful email plan.
What is the purpose of your email campaign? Do you want to welcome new customers? Promote a new product or service? Re-engage with current subscribers? You cannot set up an effective email campaign without first knowing what your goals are.
For example, if you sell shoes and are sending emails about new products to previous buyers, then your goal might be to generate a specific amount of revenue from each email send.
Define Your Audience
Who are you reaching with your emails? Why are these people on your list? Knowing this helps you determine what to say in your emails.
For example, if you are a political blogger sending an email to generate downloads for your latest podcast, then your email might want to highlight some current political controversy or event. If you are a pastry chef sending an email to obtain subscribers for a new baking video, then you might want to tease the video content.
Figure Out Your Content
Email content needs to be targeted to the audience receiving it. Nothing sends readers to the Unsubscribe link faster than receiving irrelevant or trivial content.
Recipients also need to find the content valuable, interesting and useful, something that helps them in some way. You can include third party content, too, such as relevant tweets, Facebook posts or YouTube videos.
Once you know what you want to talk about in your emails, then break the information down into pieces. Make a list of these pieces and then group several of them into a campaign. Separate other pieces into a different campaign with a slightly different angle.
Figure out how often to send your emails. You do not want to spam your readers, but you do not want to send emails so infrequently that people forget about you, either. Some businesses send one or two emails a month. Others send several a day. The number you send largely depends on your customers and how they react to your emails. This takes some testing to see what works best for you.
Make a Schedule
Once you have determined how often to send your emails, then it is time to make a sending schedule. Jot down what topics you want to cover on what days. Think about what time of the day you want to send your emails. Stick to a schedule as much as possible. It will make your life easier and ensure that your email campaign does not end up at the end of your to-do list.
Setting up an email marketing plan can seem confusing at first. Yet by setting goals, knowing your audience, creating targeted content, figuring out the right send frequency and sticking to a schedule, you can create a profitable and successful campaign.
If you want to know more about setting up an awesome email marketing strategy check out my Electrified Email Marketing Ebook.