Email marketing is a powerful tool to gain new leads and communicate with your customers. But what’s the first step to creating the perfect email campaign? It all begins with an awesome subject line and powerful copy in the body of your email.
In this post, you’ll find five things that you should absolutely do before sending your campaign. From those two crucial elements down to those small yet essential items for the “to” and “from” fields of your campaign, this post will help you to make sure that when your email hits your subscribers’ inboxes, it hits with the impact you intended.
Email marketing is one of the most important aspects of your online business. After all, it’s how you get in front of your prospects and customers and establish a relationship with them, whether they’re interested in your product or not. It’s how you get people to take action, whether it’s signing up for an email list, making a purchase, or sharing your content on social media.
But email marketing can be confusing. There are so many moving parts, from writing the copy to designing the emails, that it’s easy to make mistakes that damage your reputation and hurt your conversions.
To help you avoid these mistakes, we created the following checklist.
Don’t miss the 20 essential steps to follow before sending your emails. We’ve broken this checklist down into four key areas:
1. Know your audience
Building an email list is an essential step in any email marketing effort. But without the right audience, you won’t reach the right people — and your emails won’t convert.
The first step in any email marketing campaign is knowing who your audience is. Your emails might not be relevant to everyone on your list, so segmenting your email list into different segments will help. You’ll also be able to personalize your copy, so each audience member feels like you’re talking directly to them, rather than sending out a faceless mass email.
1.1. Define your audience
Before you start collecting email addresses, define the type of person who qualifies to be part of your list. Will it be consumers, business owners, or both? Do you have a particular gender or age range in mind? What industry are they in? Once you know who you’re marketing to, you can tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
1.2. Involve your audience
It’s tempting to collect email addresses without asking permission first, but doing so is a violation of CAN-SPAM, which could result in a hefty fine.
Instead, ask for permission right away. Once people give you their email address, invite them to join your newsletter or offers. You can also offer them a gift in exchange for their information.
1.3. Segment your audience
Instead of blasting out the same email to all of your customers, segment your list into groups based on location, demographics, buying behaviours, or past purchases.
1.4. Measure your success
Once your email list starts growing, you can use email analytics to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns. These tools let you see how many people opened your emails, who forwarded them, and who clicked through to your website or landing page.
1.5. Retarget your audience
Once you’ve built your email list, you can use email marketing tools to re-engage your audience and encourage them to sign up for more offers.
2. Create your email content
Your email content should include a clear and compelling call to action that prompts your audience to act. It should also include compelling and relevant content that educates and informs your audience and helps them learn more about your company and your product. Successful email marketing requires more than just a great idea. Your email copy also needs a few key elements. Here’s how to develop an email marketing copy that delivers results.
2.1. The right headline
You need to make it easy for people to instantly open and read your email, or at least to add your email to their ‘read later’ list, so you need to have an email subject line that catches their attention.
2.2. Clear call to action
What action do you want your audience to take? Do you want them to sign up for something? Do you want them to buy your product? Do you want them to donate money? Do you want them to leave a comment? You need to tell people what you want them to do, so you need to be very clear about your CTA.
2.3. Detailed information
Aim for conversational language, and use active rather than passive voice.
2.4. Short copy
Don’t overthink it. Focus on what your prospects need to know, then focus on how to help solve problems, and finally on how to make them feel good about you, your company, your products, etc.
2.5. Keeping your offer current
In other words, you should decide what you want to convey with your content. What are you trying to educate your audience about? What are you trying to get them to react or take action on?
3. Design your email
Once you have your email content, it’s time to design it. Your email design should match your brand, be focused and concise, and use white space well.
3.1. Graphic elements
Use your brand assets. If you’re buying something, or signing up for a newsletter, or downloading something, your branding assets are already working for you. Your logo, photos, colours, and other design elements are used everywhere. If you integrate them into your email design, you’re giving your customers something they recognize and identify with. And you’re giving them value.
3.2. Organize your email layout
If readers can’t quickly scan your content, they’ll get overwhelmed and move on to something else. This is why you should think about your email layout as a way to organize important information in a way that’s easy to digest.
The layout of an email is a lot like the layout of a book. A newsletter, for example, might have a table of contents and a subject line, as well as sub-sections with headings and sub-headings. The important part is organization — if you want people to read to the end of your email, you have to make them want to read it.
3.3. Style your text
make sure to a font that matches your message – A large majority of email clients do support web fonts, however, if an email template requires a font that you’re not sure all your users will have, it’s a good idea to look into a backup. For longer emails, it’s recommended to use a 14px font size. For shorter emails, a 16px font size.
3.4. Adopt a responsive design
Making sure that your email doesn’t look terrible on mobile devices and that your subscribers won’t have to pinch and zoom all over the place will increase the chances of those emails actually getting read. Recipients will be able to read your emails with ease no matter where or how they’re viewing them.
By incorporating a responsive design, your email readers will be able to go through an enhanced experience allowing you to improve user retention across all devices.
3.5. A/B test your design
If you’re looking to improve your email marketing performance, it’s important to regularly test which design is best. Before you design your layout, try creating a few different mockups. Update the CSS to match each one with the colors and fonts you’ll use in your campaign.
Then ask others to choose their favourite and test it on a small group of people. If you’re implementing a new design on your email marketing campaign, test the change by comparing it to your current version. After you do that, take a look at the results and decide which one worked better.
4. Prepare and launch your email campaign
A successful email marketing campaign is not only about clever copy or an eye-catching design. It’s also about the quality of what you put in the body of your campaign. Before you send your campaign, you should test your email with a smaller segment of your audience or colleagues (particularly if you’ve never sent an email before).
4.1. Define your end goal
Why are you sending this campaign? When we are talking about goals, they are mainly related to the internal performance of the email marketing campaign. These goals are often related to how well your campaign is performing or the health of your contact database.
4.2. Set your objective
They serve the holistic direction of marketing strategy. They usually answer the following question: “What do you want to achieve from (this) specific email campaign?”. The objectives are ideally related and aligned with the business goals.
4.3. Test your email
Test your email prior to sending to make sure it renders properly across all common devices and browsers. You can do this relatively easily using free email testing services, which let you see what your emails will look like in all the major email clients, including Outlook, GMail, and Yahoo.
While you’re testing, make sure to use similar email content, subject lines, and calls to action. That way, you’ll be able to spot any differences in performance.
4.4. Send your email
Determine your cadence. How many emails will you send out? When? Will you send one email per week, or several? How often will you send emails? What day and time will you send your emails? All these questions identify the include lists and exclude lists for your emails
4.5. Analyze and tracking your results
Review your campaign metrics after sending your campaign. Email marketing is important, but measuring that success is important, too. Email marketing software can help you track important metrics, such as open and click rates. In addition, some email marketing platforms, like MailChimp, offer detailed analytics to help you understand what works well and what doesn’t.
Reasons to start email marketing today
There are many reasons why you should start using email marketing to grow your business. One of the most important reasons is that email marketing is the most effective channel for lead generation. Email marketing often has a higher ROI than social media or any other channel, so you shouldn’t go wrong with email marketing. Email marketing is also reliable because you can count on your customer being there to open your emails.