Email is the pickup truck of digital communications. It’s not as flashy and shiny as the new social media options, and it’s older than most platforms, but it performs reliably. Data show that people check their email more often than they check their social media each day. If you haven’t tried it because you thought it was out of date, you’re leaving money on the table. Learn what email marketing is and how it can work for you.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the act of sending commercial emails to a list of contacts who have given permission to receive communication from you. This form of marketing can be used to inform readers, drive sales, and build community. The most effective email marketing isn’t “one size fits all”, which can feel spammy to readers. Modern email marketing focuses on segmentation and personalization, which is much easier to do than it sounds. Some examples include:
- Promotions: make readers aware of sales, events, and other special offers.
- Newsletters: share news and information related to your business or line of work.
- Announcements: inform consumers about change of address, shipping issues, and other important facts.
Why You Still Need It
Unlike social media, you have control of your email list. Most social media platforms determine which of your followers (if any!) can see your content. With email marketing, you can go directly to the consumer. Also, keep the ever-changing social media landscape in mind: platforms come and go, and guidelines change unexpectedly. If you’re relying solely on a social media platform to build your audience and market to them directly there, you are in a lot of trouble if these temperamental tech giants decide to deplatform you.
How Does It Work?
Fortunately for all of us, this type of marketing in largely automated. A little work can result in a big payoff. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to email marketing success!
Create an Email List
To start off, you’ll need an email list. It’s very important that you have consent from every person whose email address is on your list. No one likes a stranger barging into their email! One of the quickest ways to build your list is with an opt-in. We have ten great examples of email newsletter signups that work.
Offer a Lead Magnet
Consumers love free stuff, samples, and discounts. Craft a captivating lead magnet that will compel them to give you their email address in exchange for something of value. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to cost you a thing! Most of the lead magnet ideas we share with you only require planning and time.
Choose an Email Service Provider
There are lots of providers to choose from to manage your email list with. These services will help design, automate, and execute your campaigns. We’ve tried a lot of them out, and a favorite has emerged: ActiveCampaign. Find out why we believe this is the best email platform for your small business.
Create Your Emails
Before you start writing an email to your subscribers, you’ll want to identify your goals. Are you driving sales? Boosting brand awareness? Engaging customers? All of the above? Once you know what your goals are you will be ready to compose. Start with the end in mind, and be sure to have a clear call to action for readers to act on.
After you get the hang of this tried and true form of marketing you’ll be ready for more advanced features, like segmenting your audience. But we’ll save that story for another post! For now, focus on growing an email list and setting up your business with an email platform. These are the foundation pieces for building your email marketing strategy.
We can help you maximize your marketing! Our Online Impact Audit assesses your website and social media channels, and we use that data to create a personalized strategy that delivers results.