Email Marketing Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to generate and nurture leads to increase sales. In this short guide, you’ll learn the six steps to create and execute a successful email campaign from beginning to end so you can turn prospects into customers and one-time customers into loyal followers.

1. Let’s Get Started

In order to send an email, you need an email address. That sounds straightforward but there are different ways to do this. The best method is two-fold.
First, you’ll need an opt-in form on your website. With this tool, potential customers acknowledge that they are willing to receive emails from you. Since the consumer signed up for your emails, the emails themselves will not be marked as spam.
Second, use an email service such as ConstantContact or MailChimp. These services allow you to test different versions of the same email and subject lines, track open and click-through rates and also schedule when emails will be sent out.
Let’s take a closer look at these vital components of an email marketing campaign.

2. Draw Someone In

You need to entice someone to sign up for your emails through an opt-in form. But how do you get people to sign up? Lead magnets, or something you give away for free, are a great way to draw people in.
You could give them:

  • Access to a free webinar
  • A free e-book
  • A white paper or case study
  • A coupon or discount for your product or service

Lead magnets need to be relevant to your audience, provide valuable information and be easily consumed. These are generally made available instantly as PDFs, audio files or videos. Whichever lead magnet you choose, it can dramatically increase your email list.

3. Grow Your List

With your lead magnet ready to bring consumers to you, now you need an opt-in form. These forms can be done in any number of ways, but you want to make yours effective at reminding people about your lead magnet.
For an opt-in form that converts, you need:

  • An attractive headline
  • A clear description of your lead magnet
  • Enticing visuals
  • A simple form that asks for a first name and email address
  • An easily seen subscribe button

An opt-in form can be placed anywhere on your website or blog, but the key is to have it consistently in the same place on every page. Whether that is at the bottom or a sidebar doesn’t matter so long as it is readily available for anyone who wants to opt-in for your emails.

4. Segment Your Email List

Growing your list is important, but separating it into segmented email lists produces higher conversion rates. Doing this allows you to send more relevant and personal emails.
You can segment based on many factors including lead magnet subscribers, new subscribers and even location. The point of segmenting your list is to deepen your relationships and increase your sales while decreasing unsubscribe rates with a more targeted email marketing campaign.

5. Increase Open Rates

Once you’ve created your lead magnet and opt-in form, and grown your list, it’s time to improve your open rates. There are many ways of doing this, including:

  • Make sure your emails avoid spam filters
  • Remove inactive subscribers
  • Send emails during the week, not the weekend
  • Create an attention-grabbing subject line
  • Write as if you are speaking to a friend
  • Double check that your emails are mobile-friendly

Perfecting your email marketing will take time, but there are pitfalls you can avoid by following these guidelines.

6. Use Autoresponders

Autoresponders allow you to create your email marketing campaign and then sit back without having to personally email everyone on your list. You simply create your email series and upload it to your email service of choice. Then, the email service sends out your emails at pre-determined times, dates and in a specified order.
You’ll want to monitor the numbers generated from the campaign and adjust your emails accordingly. The main goal is to grow your list and develop relationships with potential consumers.
When done correctly, email marketing can be a highly effective digital marketing strategy that converts not-quite-ready prospects into faithful customers. By implementing these steps, you can watch your marketing campaign reach new heights – and watch your sales increase too!