Get your email marketing fired up – intro
From Jade McAuley, Rebel Marketing
I’ve done a lot of email marketing for others over the years, so when it came to doing my own – I knew exactly what I wanted. Not only does Wild Oats consistently achieve more than quadruple the standard open rate for my industry, I’m lucky enough to have a pretty engaged audience who occasionally hit me back a reply – whether I’ve asked a question or not.
Typically, this is pretty unusual – I’ve certainly not experienced it before with other eNewsletters – so I thought I’d share my tips on how to fire up your own email marketing.
For this post, I just want to give you a quick overview of what I think are the main elements of email marketing. Basically, so you can get started thinking about (and implementing) some potential improvements for your own – and then offering more in-depth information when Wild Oats resumes in 2017.
Part 1: Design
You don’t have to be a super dooper dapper designer to create an eNewsletter that is appealing and easy to read. A well-designed header certainly can make a difference but, as you can probably tell, I just did the Wild Oats one myself and it does the job for now (my designer friends will kill me, but I didn’t even bother using InDesign at first – just did it in Paint until I realised I should probs have my logo on there!).
The biggest thing to note here is to think about who you want reading your emails, and what would they want to see when they double click your subject line.
In the part 1 blog – I’ll talk more about different email marketing platforms, getting inspiration for designs and setting up a template to ensure consistency.
Part 2: Content
Again, this comes down to thinking about who you are trying to attract/engage with your emails. What do they want to know about? What is going to help solve their problems?
As for actually writing copy – firstly, write the way that you speak. This keeps your emails personal and genuine.
Secondly, imagine you are writing to just one person. You can pick a fictitious “ideal client” but, for me, I think about a current client who I really click with – or my Dad. Dad reads every Wild Oats and often texts or calls me on a Friday night to let me know what he thought of my latest intro piece (which I love – hi Dad!). He is also a small business owner, so he fits the bill for both being someone who matches my target market profile, and someone who I really click with (naw).
In the part 2 blog – I’ll look at how to come up with content ideas, the mutual benefits of not every piece of content being from you (for your audience, for your supporters, and for yourself!) and making sure you have a good content mix.
Part 3: Databases
Putting together a great looking newsletter full of insightful and inspired content won’t mean jack without people to send it to! Start off with your client and contact database and, right from the start, segment your list into Clients, Prospects and Associates. That way, when you want to do an invite for a client appreciation night – you can send just to them. Then if you want to do a special offer for prospects to turn them into clients, you can do that too. And finally, when you want to send your regular eNewsletter out to everyone who might be interested – you can also do that. The wonder!
In the part 3 blog – I’ll discuss growing your database, the legalities of which email addresses you can and can’t use and some more on segmentation.
Part 4: Tech
One of my favourite things to do (when I have the time) is to play around with different variables of email marketing to see what gets the best result. Every audience is different. So my database may be more likely to not only open but also read my email at 9.15am on a Friday morning, while yours could be mid-afternoon on a Wednesday. With platforms such as Mailchimp, A/B testing variables such as times, days and subject lines is super easy and the results can be quite surprising.
The thing with marketing, is that nothing is ever “perfect”. You don’t just set up your email marketing and then keep doing it that same exact way for the next two years – there are always opportunities for improvement and, therefore, growth. That may make you want to bang your head against a wall but, for someone like me, it’s super exciting – I love playing with things and just making them better and better and better. But that’s me.
In the part 4 blog – I’ll run through how to do split testing, the mechanics of a great subject line and some other tech features that you can play with to get a better result for you, and your audience.
If there is something specific that you think I’ve missed, let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll incorporate it into next year’s series.