How to do Email Marketing – For Beginners
Mails have come a long way from physical postcards to telegrams, direct mails to the modern email.In
the modern world they not only are the mode of communication between individuals but they are means for brands to communicate with their audience. And this is what we call email marketing. So how to do email marketing? You don’t want to write to thousands of your customers directly one by one? Do you think it is practically even possible to do this? Isn’t it easier to ‘push’ a ‘bulk mailer’ campaign as it is called, in one go? Well, the good news is, yes it is possible. But the bad news is you cannot do it from your own email provider servers. Then the question comes back –how to do to email marketing?! .In the next few paragraphs, I have tried to make it as simple possible for the first time email marketers.
Email Marketing Steps
I have divided the email marketing activity into simple steps. Some of the terminologies within the steps, I will explain as you proceed to read this
Step 1 :
Identify your objective for the email marketing activity: Decide what is your aim to do this particular campaign for eg; Your objectives could be -build awareness, sales, sign-ups, etc
Research for email service providers or email marketing companies(I will explain this as we move further) who will run the campaign for you
Design your content on the email copy with appropriate images, text and touch points (buttons, website links, forms, etc).This design can be created on the email service providers platform or by a designer who can create an image file with all the elements within. The later is an old method though.
Convert the email design into an HTML. On the email service provider’s platform, this happens automatically. With the old method, the same has to be done manually.
‘Publish’ the Email on the server: The email copy has now to be published or hosted on a server within your domain just like any other webpage of your website. For example, if your domain is “mydomain.com” and you are promoting an offer via the email then your email url could be ‘offer1.mydomain.com”.
Step 6 :
Upload your email marketing database: You must have collected data of subscribers on your website or otherwise through an ‘optin’ process. The optin data is data where the members of the database have agreed to receive timely marketing emails or updates from you.
This list of your audience needs to be cleaned for incomplete or invalid email addresses and has to be uploaded on the email marketing service provider platform
Step 7 :
Create a campaign: The ‘Dashboard’ of the email service provider gives an option to create a campaign. This campaign then has to be ‘mapped ‘to the audience list and the email copy created earlier. Assign an appropriate subject line for the mailer.
Step 8 :
Test, Schedule and Shoot: The dashboards usually give an option to schedule the marketing campaign to a future date/time or shoot the same right away. Choose what suits you and your team. But don’t ever forget to test the mail activity before running the final one
Reporting and analysis: Finally the most important is to know about the outcome of the activity – the reports. The email service provider provides you with a detailed report of delivered, failed, opened, clicked emails. Watch this report for as much time as the numbers keep increasing. Analyze and conclude from the same and repeat the activity if you need to.
Email Marketing Companies:
As I mentioned that a brand cannot do a bulk email activity from their server. More than a certain number of emails from your domain can penalize your domain for spamming and get it blacklisted. And you do not want that. Here is where the email marketing companies come to your rescue.
They have licensed email service providers who have bought what we call a ‘push pipe’ or a license to do email marketing or bulk mail campaigns for marketers. They do not have a limit to the number of emails that are being pushed through the push pipe.All they need to do is to map your domain within their servers so that the email of your campaign shows your domain name and not theirs in the “’ From” Field for eg : Form: [email protected].
How do you work with these Email Marketing companies?
You can directly signup on their website or get in touch with them to help you alternatively you can work with your digital marketing partner like me to get through with your campaign.
Many of these companies offer free email marketing for a limited number of subscribers or quantity. Go ahead and check what suits you the most. Start with a free service to test the platform and upgrade to the paid version once you are convinced.
Ok, before you go ahead and create your first email campaign, I want to give you some tips
Email marketing tips :
- Define a clear objective for the campaign
- Use images that are relevant and to the point
- Use a relative or same image somewhere on the landing page where the user will land if he clicks the email.
- Use enough touch points that serve the purpose of your email and satisfy the users need.
- Use a crisp subject line. Avoid the blacklisted words such as ‘free’ within the subject line
- Do the spam test. Check if the mail is landing into your inbox or spam folder
- Try creating two slightly different copies for the same objectives to split in the campaign to see which one works for you
- Never send an ‘Image only’ email. Let it be interactive.
The list is endless. What I could talk about to you here is just the beginning of the basic understanding of the email marketing campaigns. A lot of email marketing tutorials are available across the web. They will help you in getting deeper into the subject and polish your skills for email campaigns.