Getting Started with Email Marketing

Getting Started with Email Marketing – Photograph by Boris Misevic | Kathy Ennis | LittlePiggy

Why wait for January? Why not set yourself a new marketing resolution? Namely, that you’ll give email marketing your best effort.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where or how to begin.  Over the next few blogs, I’m going to be sharing some handy tips, tools and advice about the business-boosting world of email marketing.

Once I have finished this series, I’m confident that you’ll have absolutely everything you need to press ‘Send’ on your first campaign or give your current email marketing activity a good refresh.

Ready to get started?

The Benefits of Email Marketing

The positives of email marketing are far too many to ignore, particularly if you’re in charge of a small or micro business.

Not only does email marketing come with the highest potential return on your marketing investment, but with very little work, you could be communicating with thousands of interested people all over the world.

Did you know, for example, that there are three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter profiles combined, or that you are six times more likely to get a click-through response from a well-worded email than a Tweet?

If that’s not enough incentive to give email marketing a go, I’m not sure what is!

How to Get Started with Email Marketing

First, you’ll need a dedicated email marketing platform.  While it’s fine for arranging catch-up meetings over coffee, your usual Yahoo or Hotmail account just isn’t built for the job.

Email marketing platforms come in many shapes and sizes, and many have basic free-of-charge options to get you started, such as the ever-popular MailChimp.

ActiveCampaign offers an initial free trial and is ideal for smaller, segmented lists, and Constant Contact allows additional integrations such as event planning.

Meanwhile, at the higher end of the pricing scale, Infusionsoft includes a built-in CRM system and some very sophisticated reporting tools.

As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. I would definitely recommend thinking about the potential size and possible segmentations of your list, and the type of communications you will be sending out, before taking a look at the options and making a decision.

How to Add People to Your Email list

Once you’ve chosen your email marketing platform, it’s time to load it with email addresses!

While it’s tempting to build your list with friends, acquaintances and just about everybody you’ve ever said hello to, applying some thought and planning will ensure your messages have the best chance of being opened, read and actioned (which, after all, is the very purpose of creating an email list!)

How many times have you received a marketing email from a company you didn’t sign up to?  It could be that you gave your business card out at a networking event or a trade show, which that person then took as permission to add you straight onto their marketing list.

Keep in mind that if people don’t actively sign up to receive your emails, it can feel like an unwelcome intrusion to see them waiting in their inbox – no matter how useful your product or service.   Also, don’t forget that adding people to your email list without their permission is in contravention of the much-discussed GDPR regulation.

Instead, simply ask people for their permission to be added to your list.  Better still, create a relevant and downloadable lead magnet that will actively encourage people to sign up themselves!

(I covered the topic of lead magnets in a previous blog post – catch up here to find out more about them, and learn how to create your own).

Sending Your First Email

When it comes to email communications, my first piece of advice is this: no surprises.

Make sure people understand exactly why you’ve contacted them – if they’ve downloaded your lead magnet then you could start with a simple ‘thank you’ – and then set their expectations for how you’ll communicate with them in future.

I’ll be covering the importance of an email ‘Welcome’ series in a future blog post.  These are a sequence of timed emails that help introduce your subscribers to you and your business over a defined period of time.

For now, bear in mind that your emails should never be written with a ‘hard sell’ approach.  Each one should offer useful, relevant and easily absorbed information.

If in doubt, take the same approach you would take to speaking with people at a networking meeting.  It’s not about getting people to buy from you straight away, but building long-term trust through a supportive and informative approach.

I’ll be spending more time on email list building in my next post – a very important topic!  In the meantime, please feel free to post any burning questions or thoughts below.

Want Some Help Getting Started with Email Marketing?

Why not book a Discovery Session and we can spend an hour working out an email marketing campaign specifically for you.

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