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In broad strokes, the strategy for email marketing has to be a little bit like your SEO strategy. You can’t win without playing, but you also have to remember that neither channel brings instant gratification. Sending one email isn’t going to bring in lots of return, and neither is running a bunch of emails in one month and then stopping. You have to take a slow and steady approach.

Let’s start with email marketing tools. There are plenty of free tools out there like MailChimp, Spotify (built into the platform subscription) or Constant Contact, but keep in mind there are downsides to free. Our suggestion is: see if you can get a walkthrough or a demo on a few email marketing tools. Ask around to other entrepreneurs in your circle and find out what they like. Once you use a platform for a while, switching is a bit of work so it’s better to use the right tool than the free tool.

Once you’ve chosen a platform, you need an audience. If you’ve never done email marketing, you need to entice users to sign up for email marketing. Maybe you offer a discount, maybe you offer exclusivity (Get Instant Updates), maybe you offer useful information like white papers or case studies. Whatever your nudge is, you want to let users know what they are signing up for and why it’s worth their time.

When you’re getting started with email marketing, it’s important to pace yourself. Maybe you start with one email a month. Here are some email-worthy reasons to send out some communication:

A New Product or Service

A Sale / Event / Giveaway is Coming

A Deadline is Approaching (think, Last Ship Date for Christmas)

Announce Internal News

Remember, you’re sharing something of interest to the user in turn for more sales / leads / downloads. If the reason for sending the email isn’t compelling enough, users won’t open the email and may tune you out altogether if there is too much email or it isn’t interesting.

The reason we talk about pacing yourself is that you’re going to need to plan for a few months. Similar to the way an SEO effort needs time to grow and succeed, you’ll need to cultivate a relationship with your audience over time. They need to find your emails interesting and useful, and hopefully you’ll find enough of a lift in interest (and conversions) to justify the time spent building and sending the email. Once you build your audience and create a rapport with them, email is an efficient way to stay in touch and keep users interested.

Today, we’re discussing the strategy and expectations you should have when you’re getting started with email marketing. In the next article we’ll discuss email design and how to stay consistent with your brand. If you have questions about getting started with email marketing, get in touch. We’re happy to get into the specifics of your website and email marketing needs.