Learn how to develop an effective email campaign that can be used to increase awareness about your brand, generate leads, and make more sales for your business blog!
Advantages of Effective Email Campaigns
- When done right, you can reach a large, targeted audience – with minimal effort.
- Email campaigns are pretty darn affordable. There are many email list programs and plugins that will allow you to start for free for up to a certain number of subscribers.
I prefer and use MailPoet Newsletters. It’s super easy, free for up to 2000 subscribers, and allows me to customize messages and lists.
- You can send out pretty much whatever you want to. New product info, new incentive programs, new post notifications, thank you notes, and more. You just have to set it up.
Disadvantage of Email Campaigns
The most distressing and PITA disadvantage of email campaigns is having the messages marked and moved to “spam jail”.
Every email you send that gets marked as spam is a lost sale and a lost subscriber. What good is it going to do if no one is reading what you are sending? It’s the quickest way to kill an email campaign.
Avoid Spam Jail With These Techniques
- Make sure the subject lines of your emails do not contain spam triggers. Emails which contain subject lines or content which appear to be similar to spam may be automatically transferred to a spam email folder by the email system. HubSpot has an excellent list of terms to avoid!
- Make sure you are easily identified as the sender of the email. (I hate emails sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s the quickest way to get sent to the trash bin.
- Make sure you have awesome content. Don’t use the “spammy” triggers in the body of the email either. Email providers are pretty savvy when it comes to filtering emails. You could have the perfect subject line, but then screw it all up in the content.You should be sending messages that contain exactly what you said you’d send. So, if you collected email addresses by offering a cooking course on the perfect zucchini bread, but instead started sending out messages on buying the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets – you are going to be reported as spam. Now, that’s not to say you can’t promote – you should. Just don’t “lie” to get an email address.
- Tell your subscribers to “whitelist” your emails. What better way to keep out of spam jail than to be whitelisted? Whitelisting an email address tells the email provider you want emails from that sender. It’s not foolproof but generally does work.
How to Find and Reach Your Target Market
The simplest way to reach your target audience is to have a sign-up form on your website. It’s free – and has the potential to reach millions. Promote the signup form where your potential customers are: social media.
Make this its own page – so you can track it and “sell” it. Turn it into a mini-post that highlights why you want them to sign up. See my free course at Small Business Branding 5 Day Crash Course. It gives an outline of the course and includes the form.
A good rule of thumb for the form is to request the user’s first name and their email address. When you ask for their first name – you will be able to personalize each email message you send.
Another way to reach your target market is to research where they are hanging out. Check out Facebook groups and pages that are in your niche. What kinds of questions are they asking? How can you solve their problems?
Use Tailwind to see what people are pinning, what Tribes are doing, and to keep track of your Pinterest and blog statistics.
Check out other bloggers in your niche. What can you offer that they aren’t?
Research keywords. What are people in your niche looking for? There is this really cool and free keyword tool called “Keywords Everywhere”. It’s an extension add-on to Google’s Chrome browser. Once activated, each time you do a search on Google, it will tell you how many times that keyword or key phrase has been searched. Keywords Everywhere is an awesome tool to help with research. Note: it’s also available for Firefox.
Choosing the Right Type of Content
Well written emails can give you a significant advantage over the competition. The quality of your content is a reflection on you and poorly written content with no substance won’t yield any results. Even worse? You’ll look bad. Who is going to spend money on a blog that can’t spell?
I can’t stress this enough – the right content is awesome and valuable content. Make the content special and unique to the list. No one else should have access to that information. If you want to do a “sale” on a product – your subscribers get first crack at the sale price – or even better, they are the only ones to get that special price. The possibilities are endless!
Don’t forget about SEO here either! Get your keywords in your forms!
If an affiliate program allows it, you can even include links to affiliate products. Like this:
Keep your message simple. Your email campaign should be clear and concise and easily understood by your subscribers. If they don’t understand what you are telling or asking them – you are going to lose those subscribers. Always leave a way for your subscribers to contact you – should they have questions though.
Don’t forget to proofread your emails! No one is perfect, I get it. But poor spelling and horrible grammar suck. It’s hard to read. Get yourself some help from Grammarly and Hemingway. Or, hire someone to do it. Check out my post “The Number One Reason No One is Reading Your Blog“.
Make sure your emails contain a Call To Action (CTA). This should be a statement urging the reader to take a specific action such as purchasing, joining a Facebook group or page, following you on Twitter or Instagram, downloading an incentive, answering a survey, etc.
You can even ask for feedback from your subscribers. Ask them if they like the email. Ask them if they like the info you sent to them. Ask them what kind of content they’d like to see in the future. You can include a survey in the email or link to one. Great email campaigns are interactive.
Evaluate Your Email Campaigns
In order for you to determine if an email campaign was worth it – you need to know how it performed.
Continually evaluating the effectiveness of the email you send will help make sure that the campaign is working well and remains effective whenever changes are made to the marketing strategy.
For example, your goal may be to increase the number of sales you make per month. Evaluating whether or not you are generating more sales each month is a fairly easy to see. Just look at your bank account. 😉
If your goal is to generate more interest in your products and/or your website, you would use website analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of the email marketing campaign. You should have Google Analytics installed on your website. If you use WordPress, I recommend the GADWP plugin.
Set up two versions of the subscription form. Which one performs better?