So, you’ve learned how to use social the newest social media darling for your business in Step 9, and how to collect emails through your website and blog in Step 4, now it’s time to focus on the heart of inbound marketing: building relationships with people. A great way to do this is via email – you may have heard people call this “lead nurturing via email campaigns” which is a fancy way of saying, “getting to know someone so they build trust with you overtime.” So let’s get started.
Why Should I Use Emails For My Business?
Email is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with your customers. While social media is a great tool to share your message to the world, you have little control over who sees your messages, and it’s more difficult to adapt your message to different people. When you use email for business, you can target specific people on your email list based on a variety of factors, including when they signed up, their interests and if they’re customers yet.
Essentially, “an email campaign” or “using emails for business” means that you send emails to people that have signed up on your site. The goal is to build relationships with potential clients – they’ve already asked to learn more, so now you can relax and chat with them over time.
Segment Your Customers
The key to using email for business is to figure out how to group your clients, and who receives a specific email – then you can analyze the results and adapt moving forward. When you talk to a certain group you can be more specific and increase the level of personalization. For example, instead of sending a group of flyers to thousands of people, you send a birthday card to just one. Or in this case, a few more.
Save Time + Increase Success With A Mail Service
It’s possible to send emails to your customers straight from your email account, sort of like a mass forward. However, as you grow and have more emails from more people, it will become confusing about what to send to whom, and it’s hard to track how successful your emails are. Basically, did someone open it? Read it? Click on a link? The more you know, the better you can refine your campaign to improve results.
There are some great free tools available to manage your email campaigns and turn hours of work into a few clicks. We recommend MailChimp as a starting point, as it’s free for up to 2,000 people on your list! But you can also use AWeber or Constant Contact.
Start “Lead Nurturing”
Once you’ve registered with a mailing service (yeah, you really should since it’s free and will save you time, which is your most important resource), you can start planning what you’ll say, or “your campaign.” Even though people want to hear from you, most are afraid to send emails because it can be difficult to figure out what to say, and you don’t want to “spam” your customers and potential customers. We understand, because that’s how we felt too.
However, as long as you stick to your goal and focus on building relationships with people, you’ll be fine. This means that you can only send something you’d want to read, and share with your friend/mother/colleague over the water cooler/phone/email. Get the picture?
5 Ways To Create WOW Email Campaigns
Here are 5 ways to create WOW email campaigns, and examples of people who do it really well.
1) Have A BORING Title
The sad truth about emails campaigns is that it doesn’t matter what’s in the email if nobody reads it. So, your first job is to make sure your title is eye catching so people want to see what’s inside. As a rule of thumb, start by writing 5 different titles for every email and pick the one or two that stand out. Feel free to ask friends or family which is their favorite – you may be surprised by which title grabs people!
When you get more comfortable with email campaigns, you can start testing your titles on your customers as well. This is what we call “A/B testing.” Basically, you give Option A to Group 1 and Option B to Group 2, and see who responds better. In this case, options are your email titles, and Group 1 and 2 are a handful of people on your email list. After a period of time (approximately 12-24 hours), your email service will show you which title is preferred, and then you can send the winning email to the rest of your customers.
As you can imagine, the goal of A/B testing is to measure your results and use the best candidate to share. We’ll chat more about A/B testing later, however if you want to learn more now here’s a good article from Campaign Monitor, and a tutorial on A/B testing works in Mailchimp.
2) People Hate To Learn
Just kidding, people love it! The goal of using email for business is to connect with people and build a relationship, and one of the best way to do that is by providing something that they didn’t know – the more personalized, the better. A terrible way to build a relationship is to send robotic emails trying to sell people stuff. So instead of selling, show people that you’re a resource they can trust; when people are ready to buy a product or service relevant to you, you’ll be the first person that comes to mind.
3) Ask Yourself – Is It Newsworthy?
Give people something they want to read. Sending emails because you think you should send emails is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Be adventurous and have fun with it!
Great content can come from a recent blog post, thoughts on what’s happening in your industry or even a beautiful photo and a funny quote. If you find a solid article that you think your clients would enjoy, you can also put a link in to that in your email. Before you send any email, make sure it passes the test. What’s the test? Good question The best is to ask yourself “Do I want to read this?” It’s better to send less emails of higher quality than daily or weekly ones.
TIP: Although you can send as many emails as you’d like, we say a minimum of once a month and a maximum of once a week (until you have a larger list and really get the hang of it.)
4) Never Include A Call To Action
Come on, you know we’re kidding. Of course you want a Call To Action or CTA, which is what you want your customers to do when they read your email. Do you want them to go to your site? Share content with a friend? Sign up for a free e-book? Include a message to guide people towards your goal. For instance, if you want people to see a new video on your site, put a message that takes them to that particular page.
5) Relationships Happen Overnight
Well, for some people that’s true. But for most it takes some time to build a relationship, so have faith. Just like with social media and blogging, it will take time to find your stride and get going. You will make mistakes, and that’s okay. As long as you keep going and remember everything is progress, you’ll be well on your way to creating remarkable email campaigns.
Learn From Great Examples
Now that you understand how to create a good email campaign, check out some examples of companies that are doing a great job with theirs on Mailchimp’s Pinterest Page.
Alright, the last thing to know about getting customers online is to understand what you need to measure, so you can improve your efforts and get better results. We’ll go over these “business analytics” in Step 11.
New to Spokal? This is part of our 12 Steps To Getting Customers Online guide. Feel free to check it out and let us know what you think.