If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either an entrepreneur, a marketer, or someone who manages a marketing department. Congratulations! You’ve decided to grow a business, launch a product, or promote a service via email marketing. As you’re probably aware, email marketing is one of the most effective and efficient ways to communicate with customers, potential customers, and people interested in your products and services.
You might already have an established email marketing platform, or you might be looking for ways to build an email marketing program from the ground up. Either way, you’re in the right place. Let’s get into it.
How To Build An Email Marketing Program That Works
Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: building an email marketing program is not as easy as sending out a few emails and seeing success. It takes time to see real results from your efforts, and that’s the disappointing truth for many marketers who rush into this space, thinking they can shortcut the process.
Here’s what you need to know if you want to be able to build a successful email marketing program:
1. Create a purpose for your email marketing program
Why are you sending out this email? What’s your goal? What do you hope to gain from this? The answer to these questions should dictate the strategy and framework for your entire email marketing program.
You don’t want to send emails just to fill up your in-box, so you need to have a clear purpose for every email you send out. This is especially important if you’re building a brand new email marketing program. Before you start sending out any emails, ask yourself these questions and make sure you have a clear answer.
2. Define your target audience
If you can’t answer Yes to Question 1, then you might be sending your emails to the wrong person. Have you ever sent an email to someone, thinking they would get the point of the email, but they actually didn’t?
If you can’t define your target audience, it’s very difficult to reach them. You can either send your emails to a broad group of people (i.e. everyone on Earth), or you can send them to a select group of people (i.e. only your best customers).
3. Identify the main email marketing platform/s you’ll need
There are various email marketing platforms available today, each with their perks and quirks. Before you get started, you’ll need to determine which one is right for you.
Check out our blog’s analytics to find the platform that works best for you. We use HubSpot, which is a powerful tool for building and administering an email marketing program. If you already use HubSpot, then you can continue with that platform. If not, then you have a few options including Microsoft Exchange, Salesforce, or Mailchimp.
4. Choose a mailing list vendor
You’ll need a mailing list for any form of email marketing. There are many different vendors that you can choose from, each with their perks and quirks. Before you make a decision, do your research and find out what will work best for you.
Some vendors are more expensive than others, but the costs are generally justified with the level of service you receive. When comparing different vendors, look for the following:
- Ease of use
- Customer support
5. Create marketing material
A successful email marketing program requires good, consistent marketing material. If you’re using an email marketing platform that doesn’t offer HTML formating, then you need to invest in a formatter before you start sending out lots of emails. You also need to ensure that the emails look the same, regardless of whether they’re being sent from a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
If you do a lot of online marketing, then you’ll likely be able to find the tools you need in one place. For example, HubSpot includes a formatter inside the tool, as does Hubbell.
6. Test different subject lines
With any form of marketing, you’ll want to test different subject lines and see which ones perform the best. Since you have a purpose for your email marketing program, you can test different subject lines to see which ones generate the most interest or engagement.
Subject lines work in a very specific way. When someone sends an email to a mailing list with a particular subject line, their email client will display that subject line in the email’s header. In general, you want to keep things simple and easy to understand. When someone opens your email and doesn’t understand the point you’re making, it can cause them to either delete your email or mark it as spam. Testing different subject lines is a great way to find the ones that perform best.
7. Personalize your emails
You can take the automation theme I mentioned above and apply it to your email marketing. For instance, you can create separate email marketing campaigns for different products or services you offer. Or you can create a campaign for a specific task, like collecting names and email addresses for a mailing list.
With every email you send out, you need to include something personal. If you haven’t told your subscribers or customers that you value their business, don’t expect them to value your product or service. Create personal emails that reflect your own interests and hobbies.
8. Choose an engaging email design
The look and feel of your email should match your website and social media content. If you have a general look and feel for your website, then you can apply it to your email. If you want a fun, engaging email design with a heavy bent on UX/UI, then you can find the right tool for the job.
With a purpose in mind, you’ll want to choose an engaging email design that gets your message across. For example, if you’re an eCommerce store owner, you might want to choose a design that promotes your products.
9. Measure the success of your email marketing program
It’s extremely difficult to assess the success of your email marketing program without precise, clear metrics. Luckily, you have a platform that can help. At this point, you’ll want to make sure you have defined metrics that will allow you to track results and determine if you’re making progress towards your goal.
You might want to consider using a tool like HubSpot. With this platform, you can setup goals for yourself (e.g. grow my email list by 5,000 subscribers by the end of the year) and track your progress along the way. If you want to see how effective your email marketing is, then you can use tools like Marketing Essie or HubSpot’s own analytics to track results.
10. Enjoy your newfound success!
As I said at the beginning, building an email marketing program is not an easy task and it takes a lot of work. But once you do, you’ll see the benefits for yourself. When you’re sending out these emails, you’re engaging with potential customers, which in turn grows your business.
If you want to grow a business, create products, or promote a service via email marketing, then you’re in the right place. But before you start sending out any emails, take the time to lay the groundwork and choose the right email marketing platform. Then, once you have a functioning email marketing program, you can enjoy the benefits for yourself.