5 Vital Preparations to Make Before you Start an Email Marketing Campaign
Email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing channels because it still delivers the best marketing ROI. An email marketing campaign is cheap, easy to set up and can be easily segmented to reach different types of customers with different marketing messages. Email is a powerful tool in not only reaching new prospects but also in achieving customer retention. Both large corporations and small businesses can use email very effectively but there are certain preparations to make before you start an email marketing campaign.
Here are the vital preparations to make before you start an email marketing campaign:
1. Define Your Goals
What does your email campaign hope to achieve? You must have SMART objectives for the campaign:
- S- Specific. For example: “To drive 1,000 new readers to the blog” as opposed to “gain new blog readers”
- M- Measurable. Your goal should be easily measurable, otherwise it will be impossible to know if you’re on target. Tools like Google Analytics will be able to help you with measuring and keeping track of your progress.
- A- Achievable. Is it possible to gain 1,000 new readers within a month?
- R- Realistic. Can it be done?
- T- Timely. For example: “To drive 1,000 new readers to the blog by next month.”
Here’s a few examples:
“Gain 2,000 website hits by the end of the month”
“To gain 500 new Twitter followers within 2 weeks”
“Generate 40 new outbound leads by May 10th”
2. Build Your Email List
The second of 5 preparations to make before you start an email marketing campaign is to build you email list. Your email list is truly one of your most valuable assets. If you already have an email list, it should be clean and updated. That means no duplicate or dead email addresses.
If you don’t have an email list, the first step would be to generate some leads. This can take time so be patient and stick with it.
There are a vast amount of lead generation strategies you could try including:
- Webforms: Ask your website visitors to subscribe to your emails using an opt-in form on your homepage and blogs.
- Gated Content: Offer a free piece of content, for example, an E-book, an article or a video tutorial in return for email addresses.
- Competitions: Enter your visitors into a competition to win a free gift, all they have to do is give you their name and email address.
- Host a free webinar: Make signing up with an email address a requirement for registration.
3. Sign up to an Email Service Provider
You will need to sign up to an email service provider (like InTouch). Different email services will offer different packages, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you, in terms of your list size and requirements. InTouch provides you with a full CRM system, including an email editor, marketing automation and valuable reporting. It also allows you to build webforms within your system, ensuring everything is kept under one roof. There are many options out there however, so shop around, take some trials and find the one that suits you and your company.
4. Segment Your List
The next on our list of 5 preparations to make before you start an email marketing campaign is to segment your list. Without efficient segmentation, your email campaign will not be successful. Segmentation is the process of breaking your list into small groups based on specific data related to your contacts. Meaning you can send out more relevant and personalised emails, ensuring a higher success rate. There are many ways you could segment your lists, including by:
- Purchase history
5. Offer Amazing Content
What are you offering your readers and how will this help you achieve your SMART goal? Your email has to be engaging, relevant and informative, otherwise, you risk unsubscribes or being marked as a spammer. Some of the content that works well with email campaigns includes:
- Industry reports
- Tutorials and guides
Another key element to ensuring your emails get opened is the subject line. This is the first thing your subscribers will see in their inbox so entice them to open it with a compelling subject line.
A clear CTA is also a must. This should be something that will help you achieve your SMART goal, for example, “Read our latest blog post on…..”, Visit our website for more great content” or “Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.”
So there’s our list of 5 preparations to make before you start an email marketing campaign. A well-targeted email campaign can give promising ROI for very low costs and it is an essential marketing strategy for any business. However, preparation is key. So try these steps and reap the rewards!