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Tuesday, 16 June 2020

The Ultimate Step by Step Email Marketing Guide (for SMEs)


Email marketing is still the most effective channel to direct your digital marketing efforts. It's direct and effective with lead nurturing and is one of the highest converting marketing channels. Mailchimp covers some great industry statistics on email marketing here.

The biggest benefit of investing in an email marketing funnel is the ability for you to sell once but to many. In this guide, we'll take you step by step in setting up your email marketing funnel so that you can acquire leads and generate sales.

What is email marketing?


Email marketing is a strategy which uses email as a way to promote your products and services to prospective customers or to keep in touch with purchasing customers. 


Email marketing keeps the conversation going as converted customers are consistently kept in touch with key marketing topics to nurture and drive interest in your business.

Who is this guide for?



This guide is for you if you have the intention to implement email marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy. Also, this guide is for you if you intend to learn about the time and effort required as you plan to implement an email marketing strategy.

Disclaimer


This guide is long and detailed. You'll walk away with results if you implement and consistently apply the teachings here. To ease your ability to reference, this guide is segmented according to different sections.

What you will gain from this guide?


  1. How to build an email list full of targeted customers.
  2. How to optimise your emails for the highest open rates and click-through rates (CTR).
  3. How to automate the process of nurturing your leads and turning your prospects into customers.

Why choose Email Marketing?



Despite the rise of social media and the negative connotation with email and spam. Email still remains the most effective way to nurture leads and to turn them into customers.

Why Email is great for Sales?


  1. Email is still the world's #1 communication channel. 
  2. You own your customer database. Your Social Media Platform can be suspended at any time without notice.
  3. Email converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers.

How to Start?


Although email marketing may seem complicated, in essence, but it just covers a few major sections which can be easily broken down into 2 major sections.

  1. Start with your list. 
  2. Add an email service provider.

How to grow your email list?


Growing your list does generally involve an opt-in form on your website. However, just placing an opt-in form on your website and hoping for people to sign-up is a strategy that is sure to fail.


To entice people to sign-up for your email list, you need to attract people with a compelling offer. This can be done through a Lead Magnet. A Lead Magnet is something free that you give away in exchange for someone's email address. Some common examples of Lead Magnets include PDFs, MP3 Audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost.

Some ideas of Lead Magnets are:

  • eBooks
  • Cheat Sheet with Tips and/or Resources
  • White Papers or Case Studies
  • A Webinar
  • Free Trials or Samples
  • A Free Quote or Consultation
  • Quizzes or a Self-Assessment
  • A Coupon

How to create an Opt-in Form which converts?


An opt-in form isn't just any boring old form. Its main purpose is to convey the big benefit of your Lead Magnet.

Here's how you can create an opt-in form which converts:

  1. Enticing Headline: Make sure your headline is attractive and clearly describes the big benefit of your Lead Magnet. 
  2. Write a helpful description: A short and brief description is clear and to the point. Use bullet points to help the reader's eye quickly scan what they will get.
  3. Attractive visuals.
  4. Construct a simple opt-in form.
  5. An easy to understand button.

Some places where you can place your opt-in form for maximum results are:

  • Floating bar
  • Your website's header
  • Blog archive page
  • Within your blog posts
  • Your sidebar
  • In a scroll box
  • Your footer
  • Your about page
  • Resource Pages
  • Email Signature

Choosing an Email Marketing Service


To email anyone you need their permission. If you started with an opt-in, usually this includes a permission intent. This is what makes opt-in email marketing great. 

OptinMonster


Constant Contact


sendinblue


Drip


AWeber


ConvertKit


Mailchimp


Personalise your marketing with Email List Segmentation


This is done by all marketing experts and is a process of identifying groups of your subscribers based on smaller interest or criteria for the purposes of sending them more personalised and relevant emails. For example, you wouldn't send father's day promotions to a teenager.

Segmenting your email list is proven to increase your email open rates, and decrease your unsubscribe rates. There are many ways to segment your email list into segments, and to get you started here are a few ways you can organise your segments for your email list:

  • New subscribers: You can send a welcome email series
  • Preferences: Based on what type of content they are interested to receive (eg.: marketing, promotions, etc.)
  • Interests: Based on interests (eg.: pop music vs. rock music)
  • Location: based on where your subscribers are located to share a local event happening near them.
  • Open Rate: Reward customers who are more engaged with a special offer
  • Inactivity: A reminder or a new promotion to entice further engagement.
  • Lead Magnet: Send targeted emails depending on which Lead Magnet has attracted them.

Take time to spring clean your email list


It is important to email your subscribers on a consistent basis, so your list doesn't go stale. Even then, over time, email subscribers will go stale. This can be for various reasons but the most common reasons are a change of email accounts or they are generally not interested in your brand anymore. To keep your list fresh and active, it is advised to remove inactive subscribers periodically.

Write to Just One Person


When you draft your email subject line and message content, it's natural to think of the many thousands if not millions of people who are about to receive it. However, remember the recipient is only receiving an email from you. Thus, it is far more effective to write as though you are writing to one person with a highly personal subject line and a personalised message. To write this way you'll have to really know your buyer persona. You need to understand their problems, their desires, their values, their likes and their dislikes.

Inject some humour



Humour has a way of making a strong, instant connection with people. It's personal, entertaining and stands out in people's minds. It isn't really that hard, all you need to think outside the box.

Conclusion


You should absolutely be sending emails. Even if it is just an email newsletter. More than 83% of business-to-business marketers send email newsletters as part of their content marketing strategy. Email marketing is a very cost-effective way for brands to communicate with their customers and email is an essential piece in any marketing strategy.

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