The practices of big corporates can teach you a lot not only about office policies, but about marketing as well. Check your inbox. You’ll probably notice the messages from huge online stores, as well as magazines that have you in their email lists.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you own; it’s important to follow that example. Email marketing enables you to keep your users engaged with reminders, new offers, and special promotions.
Email marketing is a cost-effective tool. You can choose an affordable service, which will automatically send the messages you schedule. The question is: how exactly do you plan an effective email marketing strategy? We’ll give you few tips to implement.
1. Set Your Goals
The success of your campaign depends on how well you plan it. You’ll need to measure the effectiveness of your messages, and you’ll need to compare them to the pre-set goals. You should start by setting those goals.
What exactly are you trying to achieve with this campaign? More conversions? How many more?
Align the goals of your email marketing strategy not only with your vision for the company’s future, but with the interests of your audience as well. What does your target customer want to get when they sign up for your emailing list? They want actionable tips, discounts, and calls to action. That’s what you should deliver.
When you have your goals straight, it will be easy to act.
2. Set a Budget
Did you think that email marketing was free? Well, it’s affordable, but not absolutely free. As in everything else related to marketing, you have to invest some money to see more money coming your way.
At this point, you’ll need to consider the cost of different email marketing services. We’ll suggest few of them in the continuation of this article.
However, you’ll also need to think about graphic design. If you don’t have such skills, you might need to hire a designer who’ll make your messages irresistible. If you’re struggling with writing, you’ll need a paper editing service to help you with the content.
Plan all costs and set your budget. You can use Mint – an app that keeps track of the way you spend your money. Use it for this specific project, and you’ll make sure you’re not going above budget as you make progress.
3. Perfect the Subject Lines
We all get tons of emails on a daily basis. Most of us don’t have enough time or interest to go through them all. We glance through the subject lines to decide what we should read, and we don’t even open the rest of the messages.
When you’re dealing with email marketing, the chances for the recipients to ignore your messages are huge. If you have a subject line that rocks, however, you boost your chances of being seen.
Here are few tips to follow regarding the subject lines:
- Make it simple and on-point. Descriptive, short subject lines inform the recipient of the importance of the message. “Discount Code for Your Next Order at X.com” is just fine. You don’t need flowery language to announce a discount.
- Keep the subject line under 50 characters. If you go over that limit, the subject line will be cut in the middle of a word. That doesn’t look appealing in the inbox.
- Humour is good. “Take back control (of your scalp). Anti-flake hair heroes to the rescue!” – that’s the subject line of an email that promotes scalp healing treatments. It works because it’s not only informative regarding the message that follows, but is also smart and funny.
- Test your subject lines! Services like MailChimp allow you to put different versions of the subject line through A/B testing. The tool will send the identical message with different subject lines to randomly selected parts of the emailing list. Then, it will give you a report that shows what subject line your audience was most attracted to.
4. Consider the Timing
Do you like getting email notifications in the middle of the night? Of course not. We often forget to put the smartphones to do not disturb mode, so these messages can be extremely frustrating. The conclusion is simple: send the messages over daytime. Here are few more tips to consider:
- Avoid sending messages on Mondays. People are too busy then. Plus, they have to go through the emails they missed over the weekends.
- Avoid the weekends. They have low open rates.
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are safe bets.
- Those were the general rules in email marketing timing, but that doesn’t mean they are appropriate for your audience. Make sure to monitor the results and experiment with the timing, so you’ll figure out what works best.
5. Choose the Best Email Marketing Service
You won’t be writing and sending each and every email manually. You need a service that will help you design a nice-looking message and automate the process of sending. These services include other tools as well, so it’s important to invest in the one that meets the needs of your small business. Here are few suggestions:
It gives you an easy email creator and effective analytics tools. There’s a free plan that lets you send 12,000 to up to 2,000 subscribers. That should be enough for the start of your email marketing campaign. If that’s not enough, you’ll pay $10 per month for the Growing Business package.
This tool gives you beautiful templates to work on. It takes only few minutes for creating great emails with AWeber. You can try it for free for 30 days. If you like what you get, you can continue using the service for $19 per month. This plan lets you send unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers.
This service also gives you great templates that are easy to use. You’ll get tracking and reporting tools, as well as social media sharing tools. The free trial period lasts for 60 days. If you like it, you can get the Email package for a price of $20 per month. For this price, you can send messages to up to 500 recipients.
Any business owner with average technical and management skills can start a successful email marketing campaign. You only need to choose your approach, plan the goals, set the budget, and opt for the right email marketing tool. Are you ready to face the challenge?
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