The growth of email marketing as a channel was evident in 2017 as email marketing platforms grew by 24% year-over-year according to HubSpot Blogs research. However, the evolution of email marketing doesn’t end there. As the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for,” and in the world of email marketing, that’s especially true. The more you pay for – whether that’s the amount you spend on mailing lists or the click-through rate (CTR) of your emails – the more you’ll get back. It’s all about ROI (return on investment). If you’re interested in growing your business using email marketing, keep reading.
Create Customer Personas
The first step to successfully implementing an email marketing strategy is to create customer personas. A customer persona is a living, breathing representation of a person who has purchased or used your product or service. It’s very important to not just create one, but to actually use it during the email marketing process as you’ll want to tailor your approach to the persona you’ve created. If you don’t know what a persona is, then check out this handy guide on how to create one.
Choose The Right Platform
When it comes to choosing an email marketing platform, there are a few things you should consider. The first is cost – does your budget allow for paying for a robust ESP (email service provider)? Many businesses will choose to go free because they think it’s something worth testing out. If you decide to go this route, make sure you’re aware that you won’t be getting all of the features that a paid plan offers. Also, consider the amount of features – some platforms offer thousands of different plug-ins and integrations, while others might only offer a few. Finally, think about the amount of customization you’ll need – will you have to build your own sign-up forms, landing pages, and event schedules from scratch?
Set Up Autoresponders
In addition to choosing the right platform, it’s important to set up automatic email responders. An automatic responder is a feature that can be incorporated directly into your email marketing software. Most platforms come with at least one automatic responder already set up. However, if you decide to go down this route, make sure you set up multiple emails so you can segment your subscribers based on what they’ve said or done. If you’ve ever purchased a product or service and later received an email from the company thanking you for your purchase, then you know what I’m talking about. To set up an automatic responder, simply click “get started” and enter your information.
Choose The Right Mailing List
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an email marketing platform is the type of list you’ll use. There are two types of mailing lists: active and passive. Active lists are generally populated by individuals who have opted-in to receive emails from a company or individual. Passively obtained mailing lists can also be referred to as “raw lists” because they aren’t processed or cleaned by the platform vendor. The great thing about a passive list is that it provides you with a large pool of potential subscribers who haven’t opted-in yet. It’s always a good idea to start with a passive list and then gradually move to an active list as you grow your business. If you decide to go this route, make sure you’re going to be sending valuable content to your subscribers – something that isn’t easily found elsewhere. If you think your subscribers will value your input, then an email marketing list is a good place to start.
Determine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The next step is to determine key performance indicators (KPIs). A key performance indicator (KPI) is a measure that you’ll use to determine the success of your email marketing campaign. For example, if you’re looking to grow your email list, you might decide to use the following KPIs to track your progress:
- The number of subscribers.
- The total views of your website (including people who’ve visited the site, landed on a page, and then left).
- The amount of social media engagement (e.g., likes, shares, and comments).
- The amount of press coverage you’ve received.
- The amount of traffic your website receives from organic search (i.e., without paid ads).
- The number of emails forwarded to your inbox.
- And the list goes on.
Once you have your KPIs in place, it’s time to implement a marketing plan. The Marketing plan steps are:
Develop The Messaging
This phase is all about crafting the perfect message that will encourage your subscribers to take action.
What do you want them to do? Consider every part of your audience and create one clear message that will resonate with them. The most effective way of doing this is through research – sit down with people who’ve successfully used your product or service and find out what message they would have used and why (this is called “user research”). If you’re new to email marketing, then ask friends, family, and coworkers for their opinions – what do they think of your product or service? You can also ask people who’ve never used your product or service whether they’d consider using it or buying it given the information they have. The reason why we need to do this is because people have different information gaps – whether they lack knowledge, have misconceptions, or are simply biased.
Measure The Results
The end goal of every campaign is to measure the results. To do this, you need to set up automated emails – either through your own autoresponder or the one your platform provides – that will report back on the success of your campaign. The great thing about measuring results is that it allows you to adjust and optimize future campaigns – something that would be very difficult to do if you weren’t tracking results.
To begin measuring the results of your work, you’ll need to enter a specific email address associated with your campaign into a measurement provider such as ConvertKit or HubSpot. Once you do this, you’ll see a series of emails delivered to that address. Clicking on the “View details” link will provide you with information about each email delivered – this includes things like the subject line, opening paragraphs, and the like. From here, you can see how effective your work was in communicating the right message to the right audience and encouraging them to take action.
Develop A Growth Hacking Strategy
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from email marketing, it’s time to layer on top of that and create an email marketing strategy. A growth hacker is someone who optimizes digital marketing strategies and tactics to drive more organic traffic and maximize the ROI of each campaign.
To begin, you’ll want to sit down with your marketing department and come up with a game plan. This will include things like the platforms you’ll use, the types of content you’ll produce, and the target audience you’ll choose.
Next, you’ll want to choose a marketing tool – be that a platform, a software package, or a service – to help you execute your plan. The tool you pick should be capable of providing you with all the data you need to make informed decisions and offer suggestions on how to grow your business using email marketing.
Tips & Tricks
Last but not least, we have tips and tricks. These are all the little things that you wish you knew how to do so you could make your job easier or improve your work. The great thing about tips and tricks is that when you implement them, you can see the results right away – it’s like having a cheat sheet for email marketing.
For example, if you find that your newsletters are too long, you might want to consider breaking them up into two or three separate emails – people often lose interest after a while if they get too many emails in one day. Another tip is to create mini-case studies using real life examples – it’s always a good idea to personalize your emails because people feel more engaged when they’re receiving information that’s relevant to them. And last but not least, it’s always a good idea to optimize your emails – make sure you’re using a good email provider, having a catchy subject, and using calls to action (e.g., sign-up forms, download a free guide, visit a specific website)