When you open your inbox, all you see are promotional campaigns and newsletters from eBay, Amazon, Google, Choxi and other big corporates. Email marketing might seem like something that’s just for big and booming internet companies. But what if we told you that email marketing works for the little guys, too? What if email marketing led to more sales for your Cell Phone Store, Electronic Repair Shop, eCommerce Website, or Insurance Company?
It turns out that an average of 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based emails rather than any other form of marketing communication.
When you send an email, you’re encouraging customers to come to your website or front store location, engage with your brand, and even make more purchases. Sending email campaigns is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and be on top of their mind. You’d be surprised – whenever we send an email customers come out of the woodwork asking for more information about our services.
So, it seems like a ton of work, but it’s not. What if you could set up an email marketing campaign in 15 minutes or less? Turns out, YOU CAN. So, now that we have your attention, let’s dive into creating effective email newsletters and promotions that don’t take hours to design.
Now, let’s imagine XYZ Computer is setting up an email marketing campaign for their cell phone, computer repair shop. Their company based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
XYZ Computer has been around for 7 years and has a bunch of loyal customers, but XYZ Computer and their team want more ways to connect. Posting flyers around town and advertizing on their local ad magazine is impersonal. Plus, they’ve got a hearty list of email addresses from current customers that are inactive. An email campaign is worth a shot!
- Remind customers that XYZ Computer is around during busy seasons.
- Reward existing customers with promotions and deals.
- Encourage customers to refer their friends and families to you.
- Do something different to express themselves and build their brand.
- Foster more engagement and better relationships with customers.
No matter your industry or business, you’ve got to outline the goals of your email marketing campaign before you get started. Inconsistent email marketing doesn’t work, so go in with goals, just like XYZ Computer. When you send your first emails, the goals don’t have to be huge. You might simply want your customers to read a blog post, visit a product page, make a purchase, or just smile.
XYZ Computer is using SEMSblast Why?
- It's FREE if you have fewer than 1,000 subscribers and send UNLIMITED emails per month to them subscribers.
- It’s extremely user-friendly and easy-to-use with pre-made templates.
- XYZ Computer wants analytics. They can get open rates, clickthrough rates, and more.
Before you can send an email, you need a list of people to send it to. Start with the easiest list: your customers. If you’re collecting customer data, you probably already have their email addresses. You can also include an email signup form on your website or blog to make it easy for anyone interested in your brand to get updates from you. SEMSblast does not allow you to send emails to addresses you’ve scraped from websites. We don’t believe in that. Great email marketing is transparent and never spammy. In SEMSblast, XYZ Computer can import contacts from Capsule CRM, Zoho CRM, Google, Workbooks CRM and From a Spreadsheet (Excel or CSV), making it easy for them to bring in contacts they already have.
But should XYZ Computer send it everyone? Well, that depends. Targeting your emails to segmented groups can lead to better results. In fact, sending to a segmented list can draw nearly 15% more clicks on web links than non-segmented emails.
It makes sense, right? Send people the stuff that applies to them most and get their attention with it. In XYZ Computer's case, they might send different emails to those who have used their cell phone repair service versus those who repaired their computer or tablet.
You’ll want to name your campaign so you can identify it later. If you send a monthly newsletter, name your campaign “February Newsletter #1” or something similar. If it’s a special promotional email, use the product or deal you’re promoting in the title.
You’ll also need to create your email subject. DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS STEP. Create a great subject so that recipients open your email!
- Be specific to what the email is about.
- Give the recipient an incentive to open your email.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Be funny, cool, engaging, witty, enticing, etc.
Questions are fantastic to pique readers’ attention. Just make sure to avoid all caps (looks spammy) and using the word “free,” as it tends to trigger spam filters. You can also try A/B testing to see what kind of response you get to different subject lines. Think spending time on subject lines is bogus? We have seen open rates as high as 92% when clients spent more time creating engaging subject lines.
You want to glean as much data as you can from your email campaign, so make sure to track your campaigns activity. You want to know how many people open your email, and how many people click the links. This will help you determine what works and what doesn’t when you’re ready to send the next message.
Here’s what this looks like in SEMSblast:
When you get to Step 7, you’ll learn a little more about analyzing your results once the email has been sent.
SEMSblast has predesigned templates set up for you already. All you have to do is choose one you like and make the modifications as you like, such as changing the colors to match your website, adding your personilized text and uploading your company logo.
We recommend starting with SEMSblast’s basic templates:
For this quick and easy demonstration, let’s use template #1:
Once you’ve modified a template the way you want, save it so that you can access it for future emails. You want your emails to be consistent so that when subscribers receive them, they associate them automatically with your company.
Words are not just filler- each one counts- so you better make them good. Writing copy is challenging, but this part of your email marketing campaign is essential.
- Make sure that the writing aligns with your brand. XYZ Computer is a fun and friendly company, so the email below is written accordingly.
- Don’t forget your contact information! Make sure to include a box with a link to your website and blog, your company email, and social media links.
- Focus on the customer, not on you. Don’t blab on about all the cool things you’re doing. Instead, focus on the customer needs.
- Don’t be too wordy. Your email should include only the basic information. It can be tempting to add more than this, but if your email is too lengthy, people won’t read it.
- Add in images. You don’t want your email to look like a business document, so be sure to spice it up with images and color.
- Think of yourself as a resource. Your goal is to create a relationship with your customers, so make sure you’re providing helpful information, even if it means sharing someone else’s content.
- If you’re not an expert writting, don’t hesitate to hire a freelancer to help you out, at least for your first email, so you can gather ideas.
- A letter or note from the CEO or another company representative.
- Useful articles (regarding your business field).
- Sidebar of quick tips (New Realease / New Updates / Special Offer).
- Special offer (15% off through February).
- Company news (XYZ Computer was nominated best repair facility and fastest growing company in NC News).
Before you blast an email with a grammatical error to 2,000 subscribers, send it to yourself and read through several times. Then to double check and be sure it’s perfect, send it to a coworker for review. Check to make sure all the links work and that everything is up-to-date, especially if you’re using an old template that might have an old address or phone number.
Before you click “send,” stop and think about the best time to send your email. The best time will vary, based on the industry you’re in. If you’re sending your email to businesses, you might see better results if you send it in the morning during the week. If you’re selling to consumers, the response might be better in the evening, after they’ve gotten off of work and are checking their email.
Whatever the data tells you, test out different times and see what gets your company the best number of opens and clicks.
Your email has been sent and your inbox is getting filled with pesky auto-replies. Thought your work was done, didn’t you?
Mmm, no. You’ve got to assess the results so that you can optimize future emails. Check to see how many clicks and opens it received, as well as which links got clicked. Do your best to use this information to your benefit. Although your first few emails may not be as great as you’d like, at least you have same data to work with. What went well? What didn’t? What are some other things you could try?
If the data tells you all your emails that had “silly” in the subject line saw higher than usual open rates, you probably want to send more emails with “silly” or words like it in the subject line. Alternately, some emails might see lower open rates. If XYZ Computer’s customers aren’t so interested in “repairing their iPhone screen” they might stay away from subject lines that are so specific, opting for more general ones.
Once you have several campaigns under your belt, you’ll have more information to use to target your strategy.
Now that you see how easy it is to send marketing emails, you’ve got to build your list so that results are even more fabulous.
Post an email signup form on your website, and encourage your social media followers to sign up for information. Be specific about what they’ll get if they sign up, and consider offering a nice freebie or a substantial coupon as a reward.
Email marketing is effective at driving traffic to your site and initiating sales. Now that you see you can create great-looking campaigns in 15 minutes or less, what are you waiting for? Send a newsletter each month, or a promotional email offering up a deal, or test out both with SEMSblast!
Send Unlimited Emails p/m to 1000 subscribers for FREE. No contracts, and no credit card required.