email marketing 101: everything you need to know to send your first campaign.
How many emails do you get a day? Do you honestly read every single email you get, from the urgent to that newsletter from the company you don’t even remember signing up with years ago but have never got round to unsubscribing from?
Email is an ever-present marketing tool and it’s a hugely popular one with 72% of users preferring to receive promotional content through it over social media.
However, are you harnessing this powerful tool correctly? We’ll go over the basics so you can confidently send your first campaign and start seeing results!
Step 1: Planning it out
First things, plan what email you want to send, what results you want in terms of conversions, profits or signups, and what you would consider being a success.
This is the point where you want to get a brief idea of your content and the angle of the email you want to send. Write this all down and create a clear brief on your emails as it is often a team effort to get an email out.
Now, think about who you want to send to. Sending it to your entire database will be ineffective and a waste of money. Select a small proportion, perhaps some people who are active users as your test for your first email.
We’ll bring up the all too familiar term GDPR here, as it’s a hugely important thing in email marketing. Make sure that you’re sending to people who you have proof of consent for and give them an easy way to unsubscribe.
Step 2: Designing the email
In our modern world, you don’t have to just send a boring email with text, you can customise almost every single element of the email to your preferences.
We’d recommend starting with a simple sketch. Where do you want the images to go, do you want your logo in the email, do you want columns or one single body of text? With email think about what will first show when someone opens your email, how are you grabbing their attention? Remember less is more!
Design your subject line as well! What is going to really stand out in an already crowded mailbox? Personalisation often helps here, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened over any other subject line! Most email builders will have a first name field you can input, but check if you’re unsure. Utilise FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), what could they be missing if they don’t open your email?
While you’re designing, constantly check it’s aligned to perform as you want it to. With everything you do, ask yourself “Is this aligning with my goal and KPIs I’ve set?” If not, why are you including it?
Step 3: Building
Now you’ve got a sketch, replicate it in your email system, whatever you’re using!
Things to remember here: the more images used the slower it will be to load on a slower internet connection. Think about using an image compressor such as TinyJPG to compress your images without compromising on quality. The rule of thumb in email marketing is that around 40% image coverage to 60% text should get rid of most deliverability issues, so don’t go crazy on the images.
With the links, question the value of it. Does that link need to be there? Every extra link you add increases the risk of you being regarded by a mail provider as spam, similarly with images.
Make sure you include the company name and address in the email, as well as your company number to validate who is sending it to reduce the risk of being placed in spam.
Use a grammar and spell checker such as Grammarly to give you a second set of eyes on small mistakes you may have missed.
Step 4: Testing 1,2,3
With anything, testing an email before it goes live is hugely important. Checking it on multiple devices and mail providers such as Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo! is a great way to see how it displays and what might need to be altered to make it look the best it can.
Check every single link used, and check you can unsubscribe.
Send it to colleagues to check the wording, how it reads and for grammar and spelling errors and to see if they notice anything else, like an image displaying strangely or a wrongly placed link.
Don’t finish testing until every single person involved is happy!
Step 5: Time to shine
Once everyone’s happy, you’ve got a stunning email, and it’s tested rigorously, it’s time to send.
This is the fun part! You’ve now got to think about the users you’re sending to and when you think they’ll open an email. Do you want to catch the commuter on their way to work? What about the lunchtime browser or the late night scroller?
As it’s your first email send, why not try sending it in three batches? One first thing in the morning, one at around 11:30am and one at 5:30 pm. Then, next time you’ll know what works well for you!
Once this is all done, it’s time to press the big green button and let the systems do the rest of the work for you!
Congratulations, you’ve sent your first ever email campaign! Time to analyse, see how it performed and plan the next one!
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