How to Get Started with Email Marketing
There are many good reasons for your business to do email marketing. Once you decide to add this to your marketing mix, here’s what to do next.
Sign Up for an Email Marketing Platform
You probably have an email account already, perhaps one of Namecheap’s affordable email plans. However, you should not do email marketing using standard email accounts.
Instead, you need to sign up for an email marketing platform. These platforms offer many benefits over standard email:
- help make sure your email marketing lands in the inbox rather than the spam folder
- manage your email list including unsubscribes
- help you stay in compliance with email marketing laws
- track open and click-through statistics
- enable you to design good-looking email
Many email marketing platforms are inexpensive when you start, as they commonly charge fees based on the size of your email list.
Here are some of the more popular email marketing platforms:
- MailChimp – MailChimp is extremely popular due to its ease of use and because of its generous free plan. You can use it for free until you get to 2,000 subscribers or send 12,000 emails per month. For most small businesses this is more than enough.
- Constant Contact – Another popular email marketing tool, Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial. Plans start at $20 per month after that.
- Aweber – Over 100,000 businesses use Aweber for email marketing. Prices start at $19 per month after a 30-day free trial.
- GetResponse – GetResponse is one of the oldest email marketing platforms and boasts over 350,000 users. Packages start at $15 per month after a 30-day free trial.
- SendX – SendX is a feature-rich email marketing software. SendX offers a 14-Day free trial; after that, the yearly pricing starts at $7.49 per month.
Create Your List
Before you can start email marketing you need to build an email list. That means you need to collect the email addresses of customers who want to hear from you.
There are many ways to grow your email list, and that will be the topic of another post. But to kick things off, you should ask your existing customers and clients if they would like to be added to your list.
You should do this on an opt-in basis, not opt-out. In other words, don’t add people to your list without asking! Send a one-time email to people informing them about what they will get if they join your list. This might include:
- Special discount codes and sales
- Tips and tricks
- Relevant news they can use
- New product announcements
This email should link to the sign-up form for your list. (The email marketing platform will provide this form.)
You can also add a newsletter signup link or popup box to your website. There are WordPress plugins for many email marketing platforms, or you can use a service like Sumo.com to add a signup box.
Once you have people on your list you can start marketing to them by sending email communication.
Each of the email marketing platforms lets you get started with a blank slate or a pre-designed template. You can add your content and then send or schedule your email.
When you get started, keep in mind that consistency will get you the best results. So make yourself a schedule for sending out emails. Some companies send emails every day, but that may be too much for your own customers. Instead, experiment with monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly emails to see what works the best for you and your customers.
There’s no time like the present to start email marketing… so what are you waiting for?
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