How to Build an Email Marketing Program from Scratch

Email marketing is one of those things most businesses know they should do but don’t know how to do well. Why worry about email when you could post something on Facebook and be done with it?

Why? For starters, there’s the return on investment (ROI). For every $1 spent on email you receive $38 in return. Social media, while still valuable in its own right, doesn’t come close.

Email is one of the oldest and most effective digital marketing channels for a reason. It’s personal and highly targeted—the more you learn about your audiences over time, the more you can segment messaging to their specific needs and interests.

If you’re starting from scratch, here’s how to approach building an email marketing program that works.

Choose an Email Marketing Service Provider

In marketing your business, there’s no such thing as one tool that does everything. Every company has their specialty, even if they position themselves as doing “it all”. The trick is adopting a Martech stack of tools that work well together.

Before choosing an email marketing service provider, take inventory of the tools you already use for your website, digital ads, and elsewhere. Compare tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact for both functionality and integrative capabilities.

Set Realistic Goals

Any marketing tactic you choose to pursue should come with a defined objective. Why are you turning to a channel like email to get the word out? What do you hope to get in return for your efforts?

Use your first few email sends to help set performance metric benchmarks. Review open rates, click-through rates, and other email marketing KPIs regularly so you can gain an understanding of what works and doesn’t work over time.

It doesn’t make sense dedicating time to a marketing initiative if you’re not willing to invest the resources it requires to deliver results. You can’t automate everything.

Build Out a Contacts List (and Add To It)

One of the key factors behind a successful email marketing program is your contacts list. You want to engage with people that are interested and invested in your brand.

Email newsletters are one way many businesses attempt to build loyalty and awareness. Subscription forms can easily be added to most websites, with contacts synced into your email service provider.

Retailers can incentivize sign-ups using discounts and access to exclusive promotions. Keep the call-to-action (CTA) simple while making the value clear to people at sign-up.

Create Branded Email Templates

Optimizing your email marketing program for efficiency may require a bit of legwork upfront but it’ll pay off in the long run.

Create cohesive templates for different types of emails you expect to need. This may include:

●     A welcome email

●     An abandon cart email

●     Product emails

●     Transaction emails

●     Newsletter emails

●     Special occasion emails

With the basic design of these emails mapped out ahead of time, you can focus exclusively on the messaging later on. This also gives you room to iterate with A/B tests around messaging and creative.

By Staples Canada

May 08, 2020

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