The ABC’s of email marketing are the basic “How to” steps once you’ve determined the “Why?”
Alphabetically speaking, putting why before how may sound a bit out of order. However, if you don’t know why you do something…why bother?
The logical side of your brain wants to know “what’s the end game.” You may have heard the quote “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?”
So it is in email marketing.
So where are you going? What do you hope to accomplish? Why do email marketing at all?
Some marketers actually just do it “because they can.” They don’t track costs and they don’t track results. They don’t use professional email marketing services. “Someone” told them they should send emails so they did.
Smart email marketers, however, not only track costs…they budget for email marketing. They track results, and use professional email marketing services.
Why? Because email marketing works. It:
- brings in business
- builds customer relationship & loyalty
- builds company brand
It does those things by:
- Using available data to segment, customize and personalize
- Driving direct sales
- Supporting sales through other channels, like TV, printed ads, and social media
So…the “end game” is to build relationship. If, in fact, everyone is connected by no more than “six degrees of separation,” then one drop of water…your email… can have a ripple effect to build relationship circles in a widening range.
Email marketing can increase your presence in the arena where customers truly are king…or queen. With the ability to search, compare, and find any commodity known to man on the Internet, consumers are clearly showing their thirst for instant information, and instant gratification. This is especially true in the knowledge industry…where purchase to receipt of the knowledge you desire is nearly instantaneous.
You may now be thinking, “Well, then, why bother with email? Why don’t I just pay for advertising on the Internet?” Well…”If you can, do both.” Paid SEO and email marketing are both proven marketing techniques. Because it’s less expensive, however, and because it can be so much more advantageously personalized, email has been shown to result in a higher return on investment.
Hopefully, you now know why email marketing is a great strategy. Now, let’s talk about the “how to.”
The ABC’s …the “How to” of Email Marketing basics are:
- Action. Design the action steps that will help you create an email list. What web analytics do you currently have that you can employ to segment, target, and follow up once your prospects sign up to receive emails from you? What tactics are likely to be most effective for you? What marketing services are cost-effective for your business, and how will you select one? How will you ensure your emails are SPAM-compliant, and your opt-in, opt-out features are easy to find and easy to use?
- Budget. Once you’ve decided what tactics will best help you build relationship through email, determine how much money to spend, and prioritize how you will spend it. We could spend more time here, but this is basic budget stuff…that I’m pretty sure you’re already familiar with.
- Control. This is where you see what works and what doesn’t, and make appropriate changes. It will take creativity and perhaps conversation with your customers to rework the canvas until you begin to see measurable results. Making sure your emails get through to everyone who’s asked to receive them…at the right time, and in the right way is a key control factor.
Now you have the beginning of a great email alphabet soup.
You’re creating just the right mixture of customers and information, seasoned perfectly with meaningful words, graphics and images to build relationships…that last.