In our post, we will provide you with the basic steps on how to get started with email marketing along with best practices and tips to get you started out on the right path to a successful email marketing strategy.

Step 1: What is your goal?

First things first, define your company goals. Before signing up with an email marketing tool like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact it’s important to understand the purpose of embarking on this email marketing journey.

Yes, it is a journey – it takes time to build your list, customize your emails, measure your results, and segment your audience. Overnight success is very rare so it’s important to keep your goal in mind along with the understanding that it takes consistency and many, many tweaks and optimizations to reach your goal.

Think Strategy

Taking the time to put together a content plan with a purpose beforehand will save you time and money later on.

A lot of companies use group brainstorming, also known as content meetings to help strategize campaign ideas. A content meeting is a great way to help foster creativity and bring out some really great ideas.

Here are five questions to ask your team to get creative juices flowing:

  1. What are the most frequently asked questions from your customers?
  2. How can you display the benefits of your product/ service to others?
  3. What services/ products do you want to promote that will add value to your customers?
  4. What do you want your content to look like and sound like?
  5. Does your content reflect your company values?

For a more in-depth guide to developing a content strategy click here.

Step 2: Get Started with Email Marketing: Build your List

Now that you’ve defined your goals and content strategy, it’s time to build your email list so you can start sending your emails. Here are the two most common ways to do this:

Import List

If you are lucky enough to have an existing contact database then use it! Before you import any contacts, it’s important that all your contacts have opted-in to receiving your emails. If not, email marketing tools can black list your account which will prevent you from sending bulk emails to your subscribers. The process to import is rather simple; typically there will be a specific template to follow to import a list. Here is an example of Mail chimp’s instructions on how to import a list.

Build your list from scratch

Let’s say you don’t have an existing list and you need to start capturing email addresses right away.

Check out these three ways to start building new subscribers:

1. Add sign up button to your home page
The subscribe button is a small button that has a “Sign up for our Newsletter” call to action on it. These buttons are typically found on the header or footers of a website. Two of the most common functions of a button are: when clicked on, the button will allow people to either enter their email addresses or it can link to a simple HTML form where more information about the user can be captured (i.e., Name, Email, Location, Phone number, etc).

2. Promote on Facebook
If you have a network of followers on Facebook it’s a good idea to try and convert them into new subscribers. Some common ways to do this is by designing a social post with a link to your sign up form for your followers to join or adding a Sign up for our newsletter tab within your page.

3. Offer a valuable incentive
Now that you have created multiple touchpoints for people to join your email list, the next steps are giving them an incentive to do so. Some incentives you can use are discounts and offers, exclusive promotions, and giveaways. But one thing is clear no matter the industry you are in; having high-quality content that is relevant to your audience is needed to be a successful email marketer.

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