email marketing 101

Email Marketing 101

Email marketing is one of the best tools in your marketing toolbox.  It can help you acquire and retain customers and most importantly you have 100% control over it.  So today let’s dive into best practices for this simple and effective marketing strategy.

Use the Right Tools

When it comes to email marketing your email client (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) won’t cut it. You need email marketing software and there are a ton of options to choose from.  The best thing to do when you are starting out is to pick a beginner friendly option.  I highly recommend Mailchimp or Constant Contact as they are both easy to use and super affordable. 

Once you get the hang of email marketing or if you need more robust software you can explore options like Convertkit and Hubspot, but for most small businesses something like Mailchimp will work great

Build Your List

Step one to leveraging email marketing is building your list. You can easily gather prospect and customer emails by adding a sign-up form on your website, social media platforms and more.  All email marketing software makes doing this super easy. 

Be sure to grow your list organically. Don’t buy an email list or add subscribers without their permission. Following anti-spam compliance laws is a must. 

You can also take your list a step further by segmenting your subscribers based on preferences, gender, purchasing habits, etc. But since we are keeping this post basic, don’t worry about that right now, simply focus on growing your list.

Designing your Emails

Designing your actual emails tends to be the part that gets overwhelming. You’re likely not sure where to start, what to put where, etc. So here’s some simple tips to design an effective visually appealing email:

  • Consistent branding. Just like with your website make sure you use fonts and colors consistent with your brand. 
  • Use Templates. Leverage all the template options your email marketing software provides and start tweaking. This is much easier than starting with a blank page.
  • Header with Logo. The header at the top of your email should contain your logo. But keep your logo small & legible, NOT huge and in your face.
  • Hero Section. This is the main area of your email that should have a bold image and relevant headline. 
  • Secondary Content. If you are showcasing more than one event or product you can add additional sections but make sure to keep the copy short and to the point.
  • Call to Action (CTA). Be sure you have a clear CTA button or eye catching text that drives your reader to take the action you want them to take.
  • Social Media Bar. Your social media hyperlinked icons can live at the bottom of the email as a way for readers to see more about your products and services.
  • Footer. This is where you will keep the fine print, unsubscribe link and compliance details. Most email marketing softwares automatically have these in all their templates, just don’t delete it.

Clear Messaging

Make sure each email has a purpose and clear message.  You can use email marketing for promotions, event announcements, and most importantly providing value to your customers through educational content.  Sharing tips on using your products or information related to your industry positions you as an expert and gives your subscribers value.   

Whether you are promoting a sale or sharing a blog post, make that front and center using images and simple copy.

Consistency is key

When using email marketing make sure you are consistent.  Whether you send a monthly or weekly newsletter, stick with it.  Your promotional emails can be strategically sent based on your marketing plan. 

Wrapping it up

Email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated.  Simply sign up for an affordable software, play around with a template to make it represent your brand and decide on a sending schedule. Email marketing gives you a direct connection to your customers and the ability to provide them with added value unlike any other marketing tool out there.

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