Are your or your company new to Email Marketing? You’ve read, heard and know that email is great way to drive website traffic, revenue and build brand loyalty.
The great thing about email is that you can get going fairly quickly at low cost compared to other digital marketing strategies.
However there are basics things you must have setup before you start emailing. Some for legal reasons, and others to ensure long-term success.
Here is the checklist to get your started on your path to email marketing success:
1. Use an Email Service Provider (ESP)
Even if you are just starting out, using an ESP is important part of the email marketing picture. There are many ESPs out there that allow you to sign-up and start sending for very low cost or even free (depending on the ESP you choose).
Some great ESPs for beginners include:
Why do you need an ESP?
The ESP is built to allow you to easily send email to multiple recipients at the same time. It will manage bounces and unsubscribes – two vital basics of email marketing.
Also, most ESPs have an easy-to-use template builder so you can create your email without touching one bit of the HTML code.
2. Working unsubscribe link
Why? It is CAN-SPAM law: Simple as that. When you send marketing emails you must include a working unsubscribe link in the content of every message.
The ESP you choose will not allow you to send email without a unsubscribe link and will show you how to set one very easily. Having people unsubscribe from your email marketing is an inevitable part of email marketing and must be managed and understood to get the bigger strategic picture.
3. Physical address in footer
Why? Again it’s the law. You must include the physical address of your business in the content of your email marketing messages. Normally it is put in the footer.
4. From Name & From Email Address
The From Name is sometimes an overlooked component of email marketing but it is very important and it is a factor that can determine if customers open your email.
Your From Name should portray your brand name and be clear and concise. Don’t use your own name or an email address as it can be confusing.
Depending on the email client the From Address is also visible when someone is opening and scanning their inbox and is therefore important in determining if they are going to engage with your message. The From Address should be reflective of your brand and be a working email address.
Do not use a soulless email address like: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Reply-To Address setup
You might not believe it but people will reply to your email and expect a response.Therefore the reply-to address must be a real email address and be managed correctly. These are the type of replies you will send back to the reply-to-address:
- Customer service queries: These should be sent to your customer service department
- Change of email addresses: Your system should update the new email address
- Spam challenges: An application customers can use to protect their email address from spam
- Out of office: These should be filtered and ignored
6. Get the subject line right
Subject line is a key element in getting your emails opened. It is normally the first thing a recipient will see in their inbox. A subject line should answer the following:
- Who’s it from?
- What’s in it for me?
- How do I take immediate action?
Also don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit and include one word subject lines and special characters.
7. Sign-up form on your website
Allowing web visitors to sign-up on your website from day 1 is highly recommended. Why not? You might as well start collecting email addresses as soon as possible so you have someone to email.
Many of the ESPs will allow you to build a web form to add to your website and when someone signs up they are automatically added to the list. You can then start sending then messages via a welcome email series.
The pre-header is known as an “extension of your subject line”. It is the first part of email content (HTML) displayed before a recipient downloads images. Therefore it needs to contain the important information in the message.
Be creative and think what would make someone open your email message.
9. Use media queries for mobile display
Email is being read on a mobile device more than desktops. Fact. At Kickdynamic we see 20% more emails read on a mobile device than webmail or desktop clients. With iPhone the leader, followed closely by Android devices.
Therefore you must design your email to look good on a mobile device. It should be something that you do from day 1 and not be an afterthought.
Find out more on optimising email for a mobile devices.
Personalising email is an easy and effective tactic that produces great results. All ESPs will allow you to add your customer’s first name to your list and then via a mail merge code display their name in the email content. For example:
Don’t forget that personalisation can also be used in the subject line of your email.
11. Set your email marketing content calendar for mailing consistency
A calendar is the final point of the checklist. You should plan the emails you are going to send 6 months in advance. This will allow you to plan correctly. World events (Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc) are going to be key drivers in content selection for email messages.
Consistency is the key. Sending email regularly is going to allow you to build a relationship with your email subscribers.
If you are starting out then the above checklist will have you covered.
Any questions? Ask away in the comments.