Email marketing can be an incredibly effective method of marketing your business. It’s useful for raising awareness for your business or driving conversions on your website. While emails may be seen as a bit outdated, especially when compared with things like social media marketing, they remain highly advantageous for marketers.
Email marketing has many significant advantages. It’s cheap and relatively easy to operate. It’s easy to share, and it’s immediate. Moreover, email marketing allows us to reach an engaged audience. If they’ve signed up for your emails, they’re interested in what you do, and having a committed base of subscribers makes the ultimate end goal of your marketing – conversions – much more likely. That’s why 93% of B2B Marketers use email marketing.
To achieve success, you need to build an email list that can get your promotions out to the right people. Without one, all your other marketing endeavors could go up in smoke.
In this blog, we run through six questions you should be asking yourself before building your email list.
Email Marketing: 6 Things You Need to Add to Your Checklist Before Starting
1. Do You Really Know Your Target Market?
Take the time to properly research your target audience. When you come to build your email list, data is your friend. This is where all your other forms of marketing come into action.
If your blog is getting views, then use your website content to ask people to sign up to your email list. Likewise, if your business is really active on social media, then Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are your friends. When you’re promoting your email marketing, you need to demonstrate what value they’ll get from emails that they’re not already getting.
People should feel like they’ve been invited to an exclusive club. You don’t want people to feel like they’ve signed up for something they may not necessarily want. You could consider hosting an event and getting people to RSVP with their email addresses. Alternatively, a direct mail campaign is a right way of gathering data.
The best way to know for sure that this truly is your target audience is knowing that they have actively chosen to sign up for your content.
2. Are You Able To Segment Your Lists If Needed?
Marketers who used segmented campaigns will see as much as a 760% increase in revenue. It’s all well and good, creating one huge email list with all your potential customers, but there are a time and a place for proper segmentation. There are many methods for achieving adequate email segmentation, with some particularly effective ones being sorting by content type and stage in the sales funnel.
If your end goal is to raise brand awareness, there’s little point in sending out an email campaign to existing customers. Additionally, if you want to drive conversions from people who’ve had little interaction with your business, it can seem like spam.
Make sure that you have enough data about your email list to be able to segment it to best suit your requirements. A few ways to do this include:
- Asking for first names and second names, phone numbers, people on your website to check areas they are interested in before signing up.
- Creating different email sign up forms for a different product or landing pages.
3. What Are You Going To Send Out?
Define your content before you start preparing your email list. You may already have a good amount of marketing materials built up, but before you create your email list, it’s important to have a clear idea of what exactly you’ll be promoting to your audience. It’s unlikely that simply copy and paste the same ad from another platform will generate as good a result as bespoke content. The U.S. will spend over 350 million dollars on email advertising in 2019, so make every dollar count.
Emails don’t have to be direct sales pitches. The end goal is to create value for your customers. Think about what you can do with your emails that will make people really want to open them. Educational content might be the way to go, for example. Likewise, a round-up of industry news that keeps your subscribers informed while also establishing your organization as a thought leader in your field.
You can combine this with your promotions, so you don’t miss out on those all-important click-throughs. The emails you send could also focus on company news and your latest offers. Whatever you decide, remember not to feel constrained. The email is your canvas, so make sure you feel free to use it.
Deciding on what you’ll send out is essential, as this is the bait you’ll be using to hook new subscribers. The fastest way to new signups is by creating content that people want to read. Get thinking about your content well in advance, as this will be essential to your success.
4. When Are You Going To Send It And How Often?
Research when and how often you should send emails. An email has the great benefit of being able to be sent immediately, so use this to your advantage. One of the most overlooked things when it comes to email campaign delivery is time zones. If your email list is based in a different country to you, you don’t want to send out your campaign at a time of day when emails are easily overlooked.
There have been a number of studies into email open-rates at particular times of the day. One from Deloitte suggests that 40% of users check their phone within five minutes of waking up and an Experian study said that users were surprisingly active late at night, with emails being checked between 8 pm and midnight.
Look at data from your previous campaigns. If possible, try and look at other campaigns within the same industry. This will be tremendously essential data. You’ll find that the correctly chosen time slot could make a massive difference in terms of sales.
You should also be wary of not bombarding your subscribers with too many emails. This is the fastest route to people unsubscribing. Being spammed or emailed too much is the main reason given for users hitting ‘unsubscribe.’ Knowing the ‘Goldilocks’ number of emails is difficult, but if you are unsure, you can always ask your customers to sign up for a specific number of emails.
5. Is Your Website Perfectly Optimized?
This is the final crucial stage in your customers’ journey. You may have a great email and a well-chosen and accurately segmented email list. You may even be confident about the time of day at which your campaign will be sent. However, it could all fall down at the final hurdle.
You want your email list to be able to take action on your campaign, but unless your website is optimized correctly, you will find that you lose potential sales at the final stage of the sales funnel. So make sure that your website is clear, easy to navigate, and can take the strain of hundreds of interested parties flocking to your page.
Last year, mobile opens accounted for 46 percent of all email opens, so get your site optimized for mobile.
Have a good understanding of Google Analytics, so you can identify problems with your website optimization early.
6. Do You Have Access To Tools That Can Help You Optimize This Whole Process?
When it comes to building the email list itself – there are several great tools available to help you segment your data, but there are tools to make the process more straightforward every step along the way.
Email Marketing tools that can help you in the whole process:
- Optinmonster and Thriveleads can design lead magnet forms for collecting email addresses.
- Active Campaign and Mailchimp help you automate your email campaigns.
- “Designer” and Canva are useful for designing images, graphics, and you can use Mailchimp templates for your emails.
- Google Analytics can show you website data from your emails, including crucial statistics like bounce rate.
- There are several useful Calendar apps and extensions (Google and Microsoft Outlook’s calendars are highly functional) that you can use to set reminders and schedule your email campaigns.
The more you can streamline the process, the more comfortable you will find everything. So don’t be afraid to use every weapon in your arsenal when creating a smooth and efficient campaign.
Off You Go
As the old adage goes, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. By thinking about what every aspect of your email campaign will entail before launch, you minimize the risk of failure. So with the right tools in place, you’ll find that email marketing is still alive and kicking as a great way to drive sales. A well-curated email list will be at the core of this. Make sure it really is your audience that you are targeting.
Email marketing can drive sales when handled with care. While there’s a great deal that can go right, there’s also a lot that can go wrong, so it pays to ask yourself questions about every stage of the sales process before start building your email list.
Deana is an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a digital agency providing custom blogger outreach services. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and singing karaoke. Also, her day just can’t start without a hot cup of coffee.