This blog post is all about planning and executing e-mail marketing. The first step is setting up your e-mail list then planning or building a strategy so it is easy to understand what has worked and not, so you can make adjustments and improve effectiveness.
Setting up E-Mail List:
Do you have your entire e-mail list in a spreadsheet? While this is where most people have their e-mail list, we have found that using services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact is far more effective. There is a little bit of learning, but it is fairly easy. We use MailChimp for all our e-mail services.
We recommend MailChimp because their FREE service is very generous. If you have less than 2000 subscribers (total), you can send up to 12,000 e-mails per month and it’s FREE. Other benefits of using e-mail services are:
- You can collect e-mail addresses automatically on your online assets (website, blog etc.)
- SPAM controls, unsubscribes, duplication errors and many of these time consuming features are built-in.
- Analytics are built in such as: Open Rates (how many subscribers opened your e-mail), Click Rates (how many subscribers clicked on any links you included) and many other features which will help with the next e-mail campaign you send.
- Visual: There are many pre-built templates where you can attach images; video’s to create more effective engagement with your audience.
- Customize messages to your audience by segmenting your subscribers. What it means is if you collected e-mails from a craft fair vs. your actual customers, you might want to create special messaging to each segment based on their relationship you currently have with them.
MailChimp also has many resources to help you with getting started and managing creating and managing your e-mail marketing.
Planning and Building a Strategy:
It is important that you create a consistent engagement with your audience giving them reasons to be engaged with you, may it be to see your new creations, asking them to share your work with their network and purchase your products again and again from you. Consider the following when creating your e-mail marketing calendar:
- Timing: How often do you want to communicate with your subscribers?
- Messaging: Think about topics that will help your subscribers connect with your products and remember you. For example, a special theme for Halloween, Christmas, Independence Day etc., patterns, colors, complimentary products etc.
- Design: Most consumers prefer visuals over words. There are many templates that you can use where there are fewer words and more pictures. Consider visually attractive template designs. Don't forget to add links to your products in the e-mail newsletter.
If you are deliberate in planning, it will help you avoid writer’s block and help you understand your subscribers more intimately which in turn will bring financial success.
Let us know what your feedback is on e-mails that you are subscribed to and what you like about them or not like about them.
Next time, we will talk about the Analytics, the #’s what you need to understand and how you can use these #’s to plan for your success.