Grow your business. It’s what every business owner and employee wants. But how does email marketing fit into the picture?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Email marketing provides an easy way to stay in touch with your audience and engage new prospects – whether you want more customers to purchase your products/services or more readers on your blog. And when you have an opportunity to get your message before the eyes of your subscribers every day, every week, or once a month, you can make a personal connection with each individual.
In addition to the warm fuzzy feelings, email marketing is simply an effective way to influence others to take a desired action. In fact, 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email.
So the question now is, how can you get that?
If you’re just getting started with email marketing for the first time, don’t worry – setting up is a breeze. Here are the first three steps you can take towards growing your business with email.
Grow your subscribers.
Before you can begin sending out emails, you first need an audience of subscribers to send to.
Above everything else, your email list is the most important part of your email marketing strategy. These are the people with whom you’re going to build relationships via email. They’re the audience you can potentially turn into loyal, repeat customers.
The first step to growing your subscribers? Add an email sign up form to your website. Ideally, this should live on pages that receive a lot of traffic, such as your homepage and/or blog page.
In your sign up form, be sure to tell people what kind of content you’ll be emailing them. Will you be sending them product discounts or new featured blog posts? Be sure to tell your site visitors because people want to know what to expect by signing up to your email list.
In the example below from Social Media Examiner, the sign up form introduces the incentive offer and explains that subscribers will receive article updates.
In addition to adding a sign up form to your website, consider situations where you could add email subscribers when you’re on the go. This might include an event or conference, or even at your cashier register if you own a brick-and-mortar store. Simply download an email sign up form app to your mobile device, and ask people you meet to sign up to your email list.
Tip: Consider using a pop up form to grab the attention of your website visitors. While they have a bad reputation, if used correctly they’re really effective at converting visitors into new email subscribers.
Write and send compelling emails.
The second most important aspect of email marketing? Your emails.
This is what makes or breaks an email marketing strategy. In order to attract people to sign up to your email list, you need to send emails that will bring value to them. If your emails don’t do this, your subscribers will be more likely to unsubscribe, or worse – mark you as spam.
The first place to start with your emails is by creating an autoresponder welcome email.
The welcome email is an email that is automatically sent to every new subscriber who signs up to your email list. It arrives after a new subscriber confirms that they want to receive your emails.
By sending an autoresponder welcome message (meaning that it gets sent automatically to each subscriber after they get added to your email list), it not only creates a “welcome to the family” feeling, but it also keeps you top of mind with your subscribers. Otherwise, if they don’t hear from you for a coupe of weeks, they might forget they signed up to your list. As a result, they might ignore your message, unsubscribe from your list or worse, mark you as spam.
In the welcome email below, Courtney Slazinik of the photography blog Click It Up a Notch, does a great job welcoming her new subscribers. She also uses this opportunity to deliver the incentive she offered on her sign up form.
Once you’ve written your welcome message, you should also consider other types of emails you want to send to your subscribers.
A broadcast email, which is a one-time email you can send to all of your subscribers at once, is perfect for sharing timely information. This includes newsletters, recent blog posts, and event or company updates.
Check out the email newsletter sent by The Prairie Homestead:
For the homesteading blogger, Jill finds the most value out of creating a newsletter with links to her blog posts to share with her subscribers.
In addition to sending a broadcast email message, you could also consider expanding on your autoresponder welcome email to include a series of autoresponders. This might include a few emails that introduces new subscribers to your business, such as key pieces of content they might find relevant to help them understand your value.
Whatever you decide to write about, your emails should always put the subscriber first.
Tip: To help you identify what to write, tap into your own expertise and common questions you receive from your audience. This is a great place to pool email content ideas.
Measure email performance and make improvements.
Aside from building relationships and turning your subscribers into loyal customers through the awesome content you email them, you’ll have the ability to instantly see how your emails are performing.
While there are a number of insightful analytics you can check in your email account, the key reports you want to review to determine how people are engaging with your emails are open rates, click-through rates, web traffic, and unsubscribes.
By reviewing each of those reports, you can determine what’s working and what isn’t working with your emails. Are your open rates low? Then maybe your subject line isn’t doing a good job of capturing the attention of your subscribers. Once you’re aware of that, you can try new techniques for creating a subject line that stands out in the inbox.
Or, if your click-through rates for a particular email were much higher than another, you can infer that your audience really likes the content you shared with them. For future emails, consider ways in which you can send similar content.
Tip: To get an accurate sense of what works for your audience, create an A/B split test with your emails. Test one thing at a time, such as the subject line in the same email.
If you liked the tips you just read, be sure to download our free guide, Growing Your Business with Email Marketing. It covers each of the three tips in greater detail, in addition to other things you should know when getting started with email marketing.