What you need to know about email marketing (but were afraid to ask)
Email marketing is something all business owners should be using in their business. Not only is it a great way to engage your leads and potential buyers, but it’s also a chance to really showcase what you’re about.
But when it comes to implementing an email marketing strategy, this is where a lot of business owners get stuck. They understand why it’s so important to their business, but they struggle with the implementation. Often, they have questions they’d like to ask, questions that hold them back from getting started, but feel too embarrassed to ask them. They don’t want to look like they don’t know what they’re doing and don’t want to ask what might be deemed a silly question.
The good news is I don’t see any question as a silly one! But to help answer a few of those common questions, and to dispel a few myths along the way, here’s what you need to know about email marketing, but were too afraid to ask.
#1: How often do you email your list?
Quality beats frequency, so go with what feels right for you. But monitor the results and tweak as needed. Bear in mind the people who have just signed up, may want to hear from you more often. Also, if you’re only emailing once a month, you may not see a very engaged result — so as a starting point, email once a week and go from there.
#2: Should you sell in every email?
You don’t have to sell in any email, but you do need to ask yourself why you’re emailing. If you want to make more sales, you’ll need to sell in some of your emails — so opt for a ratio of one sales email for every 3–5 informational/conversational emails. You can then use the non-sales emails to build the relationship, showcase your expertise and offer helpful tips and information.
#3: How do I grow my list?
Offer a lead magnet that gives them something they want. Then share the landing page for this lead magnet everywhere you can — on your website, on social media, link back to it in your guest blogs etc. You can use some of the tips in How to launch your lead magnet to help you grow your list.
#4: What is the best time/day to send emails?
There is no magic answer, as it varies from list to list and depends on your audience. So go with what your analytics tell you. However, there are general trends — such as weekends and mornings — that tend to get higher open rates.
#5: How can you stop emails going in the junk folder?
There are so many reasons why this happens, and not all of them are things you can control. But what you can do is avoid using spam-inducing words (free, only $, order) and always encourage your subscribers to reply and whitelist your email address. [You can see a list of spam-inducing words over on the HubSpot website.]
#6: How can you get people to open your emails?
Several things can influence open rates, including how often you email your list, when you last emailed them, and the way your email address shows up in their inbox. But if you want to help improve your open rates, look to write better subject lines and personalise your emails. Also, keep your email list fresh by removing inactive subscribers and those email addresses that bounce.
#7: What is an open rate?
Put simply, an open rate is the number of people on your email list who opened or viewed your email.
#8: What’s a good open rate?
Smart Insights report shows it as anywhere between 13–35%. However, this will fluctuate, due to several different factors — including how many emails are in an email sequence, how new the subscriber is and how relevant the email subject is to them.
#9: Can you email anyone who gives you their email address?
No. You need their permission. GDPR dictates that you need their permission to contact them via email. But permission isn’t a blanket ‘free to email me anything’. Check out MailChimp’s list of examples for what you can and can’t do.
#10: Why should I bother with an email list?
An email list enables you to build relationships with potential buyers. It enables you to stay in touch with them and be there with solutions when they’re ready to take the relationship further and buy from you. It also gets you in front of warm and hot leads, rather than spending your time chasing the cold ones.
#11: What is the best email marketing software for small businesses?
If you’re a startup business, I’d recommend Mailerlite. However, if you’re scaling up, check out Active Campaign.
#12: What can I write about?
There’s so much you can share in an email! As a few examples, share your story and those of your clients, in the form of testimonials and case studies. Look to write about the problems and solutions your clients need help with and do what you can to help them. Share useful resources and paid solutions (yours and other people’s), that will help them move forward in some way.
#13: How can I build a relationship with the people on my mailing list?
Stay in touch with them. Look to build trust, solve a problem and share useful information, resources and advice that will help them in some way. Encourage them to interact and reply to your emails and follow you on other social media platforms. Survey them and ask them how you can best help them and what they’d like to hear about and have help with — then write about those things.
#14: How many links should I put in an email
It’s important that on the whole, you focus on one specific action per email. You can then put the link near the top, middle, end of the email, as well as in the PS. But as with anything, this varies depending on how long the email is and what feels right for you — and that could be just one link.
#15: What is email segmentation?
It’s where you separate out your email subscribers by preference, likes, interests, or actions. It helps you send emails that are tailored to your subscribers and avoid sending emails that are of no interest to them. It’s a good way to ensure those who have already purchased your products, don’t then receive an email with an offer price for that same product!
So there you have it, answers to the common questions you may have about email marketing. But I answer your question or did you have one that wasn’t on that list? If so, why not leave it in a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it.
Originally published at https://lisapierce.co.uk on August 12, 2020.