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How to get new customers and repeat business with email marketing

2Point Agency

Step #1: Building your email contact base

Before you can start with email marketing, you need an email contact base (or simply an email list). The more quality contacts you have in your email list, the more your email channel will work for you.

YEssentially, your email list is a list of people who have shared their emails with you and are allowing you to email them. One of the best ways to build your email list is to offer a downloadable in exchange for an email. Such downloadables come in many forms:

For instance, if you’re a local catering service, you can create an exhaustive event launch checklist and put it up for download on your website.

Another option is to gather all local catering providers’ prices and create a free price comparison guide. It’s only natural for your guide to be positively biased toward your services while being fair to competitors.

Another handy resource that event planners and corporates would appreciate in exchange for sharing their email addresses would be a bundle of menu cards for all sorts of events.

You get the drift.

For a list-building incentive, you can also offer a coupon code.

Once your opt-in offer is ready, set up email opt-in boxes everywhere on your website. Plaster these email subscription boxes in all the prominent places on your website. Also, try adding popups with your signup offer.

You should also ask for permission from your current customers to include them in your email contact list. So, if you serve 100 customers currently, your email contact database is 100 people strong already!

You’ll need an email marketing solution too! Sendinblue is a good option. You can start with the free plan and upgrade as you grow. MailerLite, too, is good.

2. Setting up the needed autoresponders

Once you’ve your email contact base in place, it’s time to set up autoresponders.

So what are autoresponders?

Autoresponders are email sequences that get delivered to your contacts’ inboxes — automagically. For example, as soon as a lead signs up for your free download offer, they instantly get an email with the download link without you needing to manually send it.

Email autoresponders handhold your email contacts from where they are to where you want them to be: ready to engage your services. They help nurture the leads, engage them, and finally get them to convert.

The following example shows how your automatic email sequence can look for a corporate event planner who downloads your event planning checklist:

  • The first email is your welcome email that carries the download link to your checklist.
  • Your second email can be sent about three days after the welcome email can talk about how to choose the right catering service provider for a catering event.
  • The third email — that goes three days after the second email — can discuss the pricing scenario of the local corporate caterers.
  • Your fourth email can be delivered within 3 days of the third email and can introduce your corporate catering services.
  • The fifth email in your series can help position your catering business as the best option.
  • In the sixth email, you can make an offer to connect with the subscriber over a quick call.
  • In the last email of your series, you can remind your lead about connecting over phone to move things forward.

Your autoresponders will vary largely depending on your service and the audience segments they target. For example, if you’re a biotech business, your email contacts will need a different type of an autoresponder.

Your automated email campaigns will look very different for industries that move fast — home services, for instance. If someone is looking for some quick AC repair work and emails you for a quote, you won’t add them to a 7-email autoresponder. Instead, you could design an autoresponder on AC care tips to send to such users.

Also, depending on the audience segments you cater to, you might need to adapt your email campaigns. A corporate looking for a catering service and a parent looking for someone to cater for their child’s birthday party will need different types of messaging.

Most businesses need at least three autoresponders:

  • Nurturing, engaging, and converting email sequences to send to new email contacts
  • Onboarding campaigns to send to new customers to welcome them onboard, deliver services, and collect feedback
  • Up-selling and cross-selling email sequences targeting current customers to make up-sell and cross-sell offers

3. Create your email marketing calendar

In addition to the automated email campaigns you create, you’ll have a lot of other email communications to send as well. Think:

  • Special offers
  • Announcements
  • New service/product launches

You should also consider adding a newsletter to your email marketing mix. Your newsletter can share useful content from your blog with your subscribers. If you don’t post frequently, you can curate stories and industry news that your email contacts will find helpful. Such emails help you position yourself as a genuine business that cares about delivering value.

To ensure that you use the email channel well, create an email marketing calendar. You can set one up with Google Calendar. So create a new calendar and plot all your email campaigns right inside it. For example, mark Black Friday through Cyber Monday. If you’re a seasonal business, mark the peak periods as well. And so on.

Also, set up a recurring event for your monthly or fortnightly newsletter. For many businesses, a newsletter is all that’s needed to make the most of the email channel.

In addition to the big picture, you need to get the more granular logistics right as well. For instance:

  • Crafting good subject lines (Should you use emojis? Should you use the word “FREE” or “OFFER” in your subject lines? Should you bother about the preview text? What about A/B testing email subject lines?)
  • Writing good email copy (How long should your emails be? Which call to action copy might work best?)
  • Getting the email design right (Which layout will deliver the most clicks? Are your emails really mobile-friendly?)
  • Monitoring results (Are you only getting opens and clicks but no orders? What’s not working? Are too many people unsubscribing? Are your emails getting marked as SPAM?)
  • Maintaining the health of your email contact base (How do you treat dormant contacts? Do you need a double opt-in?)
  • Segmenting and maintaining the lists and segments in your contact base (Is your customer segment getting updated correctly? Are the right emails getting delivered to the right segments?)

And we’re only starting.


Wrapping it up…

To get a head start with your email marketing channel, subscribe to a bunch of competitors and see what kinds of emails they send, how frequently they email, and what their email offers are. Use what you learn to fine-tune your campaigns.

First, though, get the main stuff (like setting up opt-in offers and boxes) right. Then, focus on the more granular aspects.

If you’re looking for done-for-you email marketing, check out 2Point’s email marketing services. We help businesses just like yours leverage the email channel and drive consistent new and repeat business with it. Get in touch to see how we can make your business look its best online.

About 2POINT

We are 2Point, a digital agency, creatively driven and data inspired. We work with ambitious brands around the world, handling all their digital production needs and helping them achieve increasingly higher sales goals.

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