Whether you run an e-commerce store or promote your physical business online, you’ll need an easy way to communicate with your customers. Fortunately, email marketing enables you to share promotions and discounts, along with news within your industry. What’s more, it’s not difficult to build your email list and connect with customers.
In today’s guide, we’ll explain the benefits of email marketing for your business. Then, we’ll help you get started in a few easy steps. Let’s jump in!
The Benefits of Email Marketing
- High open rates. The average email open rate is a staggering 21.3%. With so many subscribers opening your messages, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to entice them to your store, share news, and foster ongoing customer loyalty.
- Segmentation. Many email marketing platforms make it easy to segment your subscribers according to their demographics, interests, or consumer behavior. Then, you can easily send targeted messages to each customer segment to increase the chances of engaging them.
- Customer feedback and communication. Email makes it easy to ask for feedback from your subscribers, particularly with customer surveys. You can collect testimonials for your website and gain valuable insights into how to improve your business.
- Business promotion. Subscribers to your email list are already interested in your business. You can take advantage of this by sending promotional messages, discounts and coupons to incentivize more sales and retain your customers.
- Connecting with leads. People who sign up for your email list are interested in your business. If they’re not already customers, you’ll have more opportunities to convert them through marketing messages.
- Cost-effective campaigns. Many email marketing platforms are free or low-cost. Plus, you won’t need to invest money in advertising your business through this medium. Instead, you can craft high-converting messages and/or email series and send them directly to your subscribers.
Ideally, email marketing won’t be your only promotional method. Instead, consider combining email with social media posts, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and some paid advertising. Then you’ll be able to reach and engage with as many potential customers as possible!
How to Get Started with Email Marketing (In 3 Easy Steps)
If you’ve never used email marketing before, it might feel daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be! Just follow these three steps and you’ll be off to a good start.
Step 1: Choose an Email Marketing Provider
Firstly, you’ll need to select an email marketing provider. This step is essential to organizing your email list and crafting promotional messages.
Using an email marketing provider can speed up your workflow and automate many tasks. These include:
- Segmenting customers to send messages to specific subscribers
- Creating messages from pre-designed templates
- Tracking email performance statistics
- Integrating the platform with contact and signup forms on your website
- Sending automatic confirmation and welcome emails
There are plenty of email marketing solutions available to choose from. The best option for you will likely depend on these considerations:
- Price. Plans range from free to hundreds of dollars per month, depending on how many subscribers you have on your list. More expensive plans will generally include advanced analytics, testing tools, and priority support.
- Design features. It’s worth choosing a provider with plenty of customizable templates to save time on designing emails. Some platforms include a message builder to speed up the process.
- Built-in analytics. You can benefit from multiple testing streams and analytics that show open rates, engagement and more.
- Automated settings. Save time by selecting a marketing platform that helps you segment your audience, schedule emails, send automatic customer messages, and create customer journey message sequences.
- Integrations. Many email platforms link with your social media accounts, WordPress, payment gateways, and online store. These integrations can simplify and speed up your workflow.
For example, Mailchimp is a popular option that provides multiple message templates, A/B testing, predictive segmentation, and analytics to track your campaigns:
Alternatively, AWeber is a popular email marketing platform with attractive email templates, a drag-and-drop message builder, automated mailing settings, and dynamic content:
Many email marketing solutions have free plans, so it’s worth signing up for one and testing the features. Then, you can see which platform best suits your needs.
Step 2: Grow Your Mailing List
If you’re just starting with email marketing, you’ll need to build a list of subscribers. These will be existing customers or people interested in your business.
There are a few simple strategies to grow your email list. For example, you can reach out to your existing contacts and ask them to sign up. They might be professional connections, friends, family and customers. Then, it’s just a matter of introducing your business and letting people know what they stand to gain from signing up for your mailing list.
Social media platforms are another excellent source of potential subscribers. Consider sharing teasers or snippets from your newsletter on Facebook and LinkedIn. Then, encourage your followers to sign up for the rest of the information.
It’s also worth offering an incentive to new subscribers, such as a discount code or a free resource. Make sure to display it prominently on your home page, landing page or popup, along with a link to a sign-up form for your mailing list:
Ideally, you should work continually on growing your list. However, you don’t have to wait until you have hundreds of subscribers before sending messages. You can get started right away to engage your existing audience and drive them to your products and services.
Step 3: Design and Send Email Content
Once you’ve picked an email marketing provider and built a list of subscribers, it’s time to design messages and campaigns within the platform. This process will work differently depending on your chosen platform, but we’ll give you a brief overview with AWeber.
Within your AWeber dashboard, head to Messages > Create a Message. To access the pre-built templates, click on Drag & Drop Email Builder:
You’ll be taken to the message-building interface. Now click on Templates to open up a selection of pre-designed emails, including newsletters, promotional messages, and holiday-themed emails:
Click on your chosen template to add it to the editing interface. Then, you’re free to adjust its written and visual content by editing existing elements, deleting them from the message, or adding new ones:
Next, click on Preview & Test. You’ll then be able to see the message on the front end and send it to your email address.
When you’re happy with how your message looks, click on Save & Exit. You’ll be taken back to your drafts, where selecting Schedule will let you send the message:
You should now see a series of options for sharing your message on social media, choosing recipients from your subscriber list, scheduling the message, and adding automated settings:
Finally, hit Send Message Now to send the email immediately or schedule it for later. Then you’re free to go back and craft more messages using the built-in templates.
Email marketing is essential for engaging with your customer base, sharing promotions, and learning more about your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, it’s easy to get started by choosing a user-friendly platform like Mailchimp or AWeber.
Do you have any questions about getting started with email marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!