Although ESPs have been around for over a decade and email marketing is mainstream, there are still plenty of newbies just jumping into the email marketing waters. And for them, there are many mysteries surrounding the ins and out of email and email marketing best practices.
Below are some tips for beginners in response to frequently asked questions we get here at ClickMail as an email marketing vendor.
Using an ESP for automation
Using an ESP to get an auto-feed going via a web-opt-in form is a good first step to get automation in place. Most email service providers (ESPs) offer some variation of this functionality. Here’s a link to some good yet inexpensive options for an entry-level ESP.
Using your website to grow your email list
Make sure you have real-estate carved out on every page of your website to promote and make it easy to sign up for your emails, and make sure you sell the value of what a recipient will receive for signing up! It is also important to select an ESP that enables a preferences center for recipients to self select their interests on, and to enter any information that they might wish to share.
Using the welcome email
After someone subscribes, the initial welcome email is critical. First, it’s critical that you use it. Secondly, it must convey the value, set appropriate expectations, and confirm their initial reasons and interest for signing up. In fact, more than one welcome email might work best for you. You can find just the right formula for your audience by testing.
Using an email newsletter
Most beginners want to use an email newsletter. The e-newsletter idea is good, but be aware that it does take a fair amount of time every single month to get a few useful content pulled together. We don’t recommend sending less than once per month because people will forget about you and even forget they subscribed! Also remember email newsletters aren’t for lead generation. Rather they are great relationship building and lead nurturing tools. Done well, they are also quite shareable.
Using a landing page
Email best practices call for using a landing page with an email campaign. When putting together a landing page, make sure it is well-aligned with the email offer, in design and messaging both. You want a smooth transition from email to landing page, and for prospects to know at a glance they’ve landed at the right place.
Using email marketing vs. search marketing
Remember that email is not an ideal method for lead generation. Search marketing is much more effective to get the traffic to your website. Once someone finds you and lands on your website, you can start the dialogue with an effective email campaign. Remember the marketing trifecta: search to attract, website to engage and email to deliver relevant content.