We’ve all been there.
You want to cook something impressive. A knockout dish to wow the special someone in your life, impress your guests or simply to challenge yourself and try something new.
But it’s hard to know where to start. A Google search brings you a mountain of results, your stack of abandoned cookbooks has grown every birthday and Christmas since some undefined point in your mid-20s and, above all else, you want to make sure you get the dish right.
What’s worse is, when you finally think you’ve found the perfect recipe, there’s a list of ingredients so long it needs an appendix and you’re not entirely convinced you know what half of them even are. I once picked up Heston Blumenthal’s ‘The Fat Duck Cookbook’ and realised if I were to ever attempt to cook anything from it I’d need to book two weeks off work first and then buy a chemistry set.
Sometimes, too much choice, and too much complication, isn’t always the best thing. The same is true with email marketing. There are countless ‘recipes’ for success out there but they are so complicated it becomes impossible to know where to start. There’s things like dynamic content and marketing automation to get your head around when all you really want is to create the same happy glow in your customers that a home-cooked dish would for your dinner guests.
That’s why, to get you started, we want you to focus on simplicity. There are two things we want you to know: 1) starting to send email marketing campaigns for your business will be one of the best decisions you ever make 2) when things get daunting, we’re here to help.
There’s five simple steps you need to follow to get started:
1. Build a list
First off, build an email marketing list and collect the right data (you can read more about collecting data here). Again, there’s a huge amount of depth we can go into here when it comes to getting the right data for your business, but to get yourself started, all you need is a list of email addresses. These will be your existing customers or someone who has signed up to receive emails from you. Once you have a list, you’re good to go.
2. Have something to say
Only send out email marketing campaigns if you have something good to say. Seriously. Inboxes are busy places and there’s a worrying volume of poor marketing emails sent all the time. You don’t want to add to this burden and you won’t if you have something great to say, that your customers want to hear and, in some small way, enriches their daily lives. Having something worthwhile and relevant to say is the most important thing to get right.
3. Have a design that works
Having the right message is crucial but if that message then gets lost in a poorly designed email you’re minimising the impact it’s going to have. You can do this part yourself too, there’s 1000s of different templates out there to use. Or you can minimise the fuss and effort it takes you by getting a designer or email marketing experts like us to do it for you. If you have a beautiful website you should have a beautiful looking email template to work alongside it. And remember, with typically 75% of website visitors now using a mobile device, your email needs to look as good on a phone as it does on a desktop.
4. Send & measure
Get sending! If you’re happy with what you’re saying, how it looks and who you’re sending it to then let it fly. An element of fear before you send is a good thing, it shows you care, but don’t let the fear prevent you from action. Send your emails and then measure them. Of course you’ll look at open rates and click through rates but you can go further and look at what your email subscribers do when they come through to your website. How did they interact with your site? Did they do what you wanted them to? Ask yourself these questions and then…
Learn from each email you send. What worked? What didn’t? And if it didn’t work, why didn’t it and what can you do to change it next time?
Sometimes the very best recipes are the simplest to execute. Good quality ingredients, proven techniques and an end product everyone loves. It’s easy to cook up an email marketing storm but if you ever need help with the recipe or want to push your boundaries, we’re here to help.