Email Marketing for Beginners

Email marketing is one of those weird things that seems simple and complicated all at the same time.  When you first start looking into it, you might think it's just sending an email to someone.  They'll read it, reply, and you'll have a customer.

It probably didn't take you long to figure out that it gets more complicated than that.  So in this article, I'm going to kick it back to the absolute basics that you need to know as a beginner to get started with your email marketing campaigns.

What is Email Marketing Really?

Essentially - it is just the act of sending an email to a contact in an attempt to get them to purchase your product or service.  But like I said before, it's a little more than that.

Any successful form of marketing has a strategy behind it and a way to measure success.  So when you factor that in, that's where the complication usually starts.

What Goes Into a Successful Strategy?

The most important step when you're developing any marketing strategy is to know who your ideal client is.  You need to know what their goals are, what their challenges are, where they find their information, how to speak their language and a lot more.  If you haven't done this step already, that's where you need to start.

Buyer Personas can be a great tool to help you do this.  Check out this article for more information:

Once you know who you're talking to, then you need to think about what they're looking for from you.  This is more than just your products or services.  It includes the type of experience they are looking for when they come to you.  Are they wanting someone who will move fast and git'r done, or do they want someone that will take their time and help them understand it every step of the way.

Then, you need to know what you want them to do.  This is the biggest step that is almost always overlooked.  Instead of just saying "Here I am and I'm awesome, Hire me!", you need to help them understand what you want them to do next.  Do you want them to contact you, read something on your website, download something...?

Success with Email Marketing

Get Permission to Email Them
It can be tempting to buy a list of emails, or enter every email from a stack of business cards you got at an expo, but this is a bad idea.  They didn't want to hear from you, so their first impression of you is that you are spammy.  Instead, be patient, and build your list organically by asking people to opt-in to hear from you and using a sign-up form on your website.

Allow them to unsubscribe or edit their subscription
Any email you send should allow them to unsubscribe.  If you are using a service like MailChimp then they will provide this feature automatically.  Another option you should consider is to allow someone to hear from you less often if they choose.  This can mean the difference between losing a contact and keeping them.

Be Human!
I know this sounds self-explanatory, but most people tend to forget that they are one human talking to another human on the other end.  They load up an email with sales-pitchy craziness and throw it out there with a "no-reply@" email address that people can't reply back to.  So be a human first and a salesman second.

Make the next step clear and easy to understand
You have a goal for this email that you want someone to follow.  So make sure that goal is easy to understand, easy to see and makes sense.  This is essential to a successful email campaign.

Test it on mobile devices
Most email today is opened on a mobile device, so be sure to test it to make sure.  Most email services will let you send a test email to yourself.  So the easiest way to test it is to send it to your inbox and check it on your phone.

The 5-second test
 People have insanely short attention spans, so you need to get their attention quickly.  Send the email to a friend or colleague and time them.  See if they can tell you what the email is about in 5 seconds

Have you struggled with Email Marketing in the past but found a way to make it work for you?

Leave me a comment and let me know how you did it.  I am always looking for new tips to share with our readers!

Ashley Burnett

Web Ninja

One of my first jobs was running a cash register in my grandmothers diner. My job was to talk to customers and and to keep everything in my area neat and organized. Now years later those lessons I learned help me in managing client files and projects. Making sure our team is working to help our clients reach their business goals is what drives me everyday.

I am a strong believer that to succeed in life you have to work hard and never let roadblocks stand in your way. You have to read and study but you also have to experience life and all that it can teach you.

My mission is to help clients and our team have the materials and knowledge they need to make every project a success, while making sure to spread some of the information I learn around for others to enjoy.