How to Get Started with Email Marketing

Email remains one of the most effective ways to market your business.  It allows you to send a message, share your products and services and build relationships with current and potential customers.   

But how exactly do you get started? What are the steps you need to take to get up and running with email and ensure your campaigns are a success?

In this guide, we’ll talk you through the process of getting started with email marketing to help ensure your first campaign is a success.

How to get started with email marketing

Get Started with Email Marketing

First, you need to figure out the following:

  • WHY (you are in business)
  • WHO (you are trying to reach)
  • WHAT (type of content you are going to send)
  • A STRATEGY (to use for growing your list)
  • A SCHEDULE (for adding content)

Step 1: WHY you are in business

Determine your WHY before you start to develop your content. Your "why" will determine who you target and the types of content you create.

Examples of your possible WHY:

  • Get more web traffic
  • Generate more sales
  • Develop a relationship with customers
  • Build your tribe
  • Raise funds

Get clear on why before you start marketing. Only by knowing your why can you develop an effective strategy.

Step 2: WHO are you trying to reach?

The next step is to decide who you are creating content for.  Don’t make the mistake of trying to create for everyone.  Instead, drill down and figure out who your ideal reader is.  The more you reach out to your specific audience, the better your engagement will be.

Ideal Reader Examples:

  1. 18-35 years old, female, with a college education
  2. Busy moms who need help planning and budgeting their time
  3. A not-for-profit organization that raises funds for the local needy

Step 3: WHO are you trying to reach?

Now that you know who you want on your list, you're ready to start growing your list.  What's the best way to grow an email list? Offer an incentive for people to sign up.  This can be as simple as telling people what they'll get when they sign up for your list. For example, you could have a sign-up on your website that says, "Sign-up to our list to receive our free photography e-guide, "How to Start Your Own Photography Business."   Keep in mind that the more specific you are about what people will get when they sign up to your list, the more sign-ups you'll get.  Make your sign up relevant and useful to them and they will love you forever.

Incentive examples:

  • Free access to exclusive content 
  • Free eBook or online course to new subscribers
  • Extra 10% off your next purchase

Whatever incentive you offer should be targeted at your ideal readers. It should be helpful and relevant to them, and make them want to sign up for your list.

Step 4: Develop your content strategy

Maybe you are at the point where you are starting to build your list of subscribers. The next step is writing to these subscribers. So what will you write your emails about?  Time to Develop your content strategy.

All your emails should be relevant and valuable to your readers. That's the only way you'll turn your subscribers into loyal readers who want open your emails.

More Examples of content:

  • A local contractor could share DIY home repair with his subscribers. That way, he becomes associated with being useful and helpful. His business comes to mind for his customers whenever they think about home improvement
  • A local boutique could share stories of customers who have been seen around town wearing their goods.  This tends to create a buzz and make others want to be ‘seen’ or ‘spotted’
  • A blogger could share a series of tips and stories related to lifestyle or beauty
  • A wedding and portrait photographer could share behind the scenes or spotlight their latest work

Step 5: PLAN your schedule

The hard work is almost done because you've decided WHY you are emailing, WHO you are going to email and WHAT type of content you are going to send.  Now it's time to PLAN  your email schedule.   How often will you send out emails?
The answer depends on the time you have available and what type of business you have.  Whatever schedule you set, but sure you stick with it and come up with something that is manageable for you or your staff.

Decide when to send emails:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly

That's it! Once you have worked through the first 5 steps and have a killer plan ready to execute, its time to get to writing.  Let us know how you are doing!  We would love to hear how these tips helped you with your campaign.