As a business owner, marketer, or brand manager responsible for building and growing a business in Florida, you know how important it can be to connect with your customers. With so much competition, building a community online is a smart move and, nowadays, more effective than ever before. It’s essential that you find the right email marketing tools to support your business in this modern age. Here’s how you can get started.
Set Up Email Accounts
To successfully utilize email marketing in Florida, you’ll need to set up a variety of email accounts across different platforms. You’ll probably want a dedicated email account for customer service, another for general marketing (e.g., to invite people to a Facebook group), and one more for individual marketing (e.g., to send a promotional offer to an existing customer).
To get started, visit Protonmail, Mailchimp, or Hootsuite and create a new account. You’ll then want to import contacts from your phone or LinkedIn into the platform. Don’t worry — you’re not limited to these three platforms. You can take advantage of the plethora of free email services available online.
Find the Best Email Marketing Platform
Now that you have your email accounts set up, it’s time to figure out which one is the best fit for your needs. There are several benefits to using an email marketing platform over simply creating an email account and sending out emails from there. First, you can automate many aspects of your marketing — from email campaigns to content creation — with the click of a button. Second, you can develop and track custom audiences based on interest levels, behaviors, and more.
The best part is that you can integrate your email marketing platform with other major online platforms like Facebook and Instagram — making it much easier to reach your audiences where they are (i.e., online).
Set Up A Template
Just as with most marketing efforts, creating an email template is the best way to ensure consistency and minimize the amount of time you spend on content creation. Rather than creating emails from scratch, you can use a tool like Mailchimp to pull together content from different sources (e.g., your website, social media profiles, etc.) and organize it into a cohesive document. This makes it much easier to send out consistent campaigns.
One of the challenges with email marketing is getting people to take you seriously as a business when you’re sending out unproven messages to a highly technical audience. To gain credibility, you’ll need to prove that you understand and take into account their needs and interests. For this reason, it’s best to look for a professional-looking email template that incorporates all the right elements and fits your brand.
Choosing an email template doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are several free, professional-looking email templates out there you can use. Here are just a few examples:
- Docusign — Great for businesses with a physical presence in Florida and those looking to conduct business in the state. Integrates with your favorite CMS (e.g., WordPress) and offers a drag-and-drop builder for simplicity.
- Flowtown — This is a free email marketing tool from Buffer, designed for businesses interested in taking their marketing a little more seriously. It comes with a variety of designs you can use, or you can borrow one of their preapproved templates.
- Mad Mimi — Created by my company, Grow with Mimi, this is a beautiful, mobile-friendly email template that’s fully responsive, meaning it looks the same no matter what device you’re on. It also integrates with your favorite CMS and comes with a variety of marketing tools to help you automate your email outreach.
- Mikkeller — This one’s from the makers of Oslo Cafe, a popular coffee shop in Oslo, Norway. It’s a clean, flat design that puts emphasis on the food rather than the physical building. It’s simple and easy to use with some amazing branding assets you can use for free.
There are many more options to choose from, as you can see from the list above. Take some time to browse through some of the templates and decide which one is best suited for your needs.
Use A Service To Build and Manage Your Email List
One of the biggest advantages of using an email marketing platform is that they provide you with a ready-made audience you can use to send out your marketing emails. Rather than having to create an email list and then send out a bunch of messages to people who may or may not have wanted to hear from you, with an email marketing platform, the ball is already in your court.
To get started, visit the platform’s homepage and click the Get Started button. You’ll then be asked to select a plan that’s right for your needs. You can choose between a free account and a paid account. If you go with the paid plan, you’ll be asked to enter your credit card information. Once you make the purchase, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to get set up.
Set Up Autoresponders
An autoresponder is a great way to ensure you stay in touch with your customers. When someone opts in to receive email updates from you, you can use an autoresponder service to send out a series of emails (e.g., once a week). You can even set up automated reminders so you don’t forget!
One of the major benefits of using an email marketing platform is that they integrate with various autoresponder services, so you can get all the benefits of automatic email marketing without having to set up and maintain a separate autoresponder account.
Choose an email marketing platform that integrates with the major autoresponder services and makes setting up and using autoresponders easy. This will make a world of difference in your journey to build a business.
Set Up Single-Opt-In Lists (SPLs)
While automatically capturing emails is great, it doesn’t mean you have to send out unsolicited messages to everyone who subscribes. You can, however, choose to offer a special deal or incentive to those on your email list to grow or retain your audience. To do this, you need to set up single-opt-in lists (SPLs) in your database.
An SPL is a list of people who have opted in to receive emails from you. You can set the frequency and amount of emails you’ll send out (e.g., once a week, or once a day, for two days) as well as the duration of the offer (e.g., a free trial, discount, or other incentive).
You can use a tool like ActiveCampaign to create an SPL and then segment and apply specific offers and discounts to different groups of people on the list.
Use Mailchimp To Grow Your Email List
One of the best, and most popular, free email marketing platforms is Mailchimp. Not only does it have a massive community of users, but it also offers a variety of free tools to make your life as a marketer easier.
Thanks to the combination of a strong community and some incredible tools, Mailchimp is one of the best choices for those looking to get started with email marketing in Florida. To get started, visit their homepage and click the Get Started button. You’ll then be presented with a form to enter your contact information. After you enter your email address, you’ll see a button that says Subscribe & Get Notified.
In addition to the standard free plan — which allows you to send out up to 2,000 emails per month — Mailchimp offers several other plans that provide you with additional features and tools.