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