How to Get Started with Email Marketing

If you have read about the benefits of email marketing but you’re not sure where to begin, a good place to start is by answering some fundamental questions about your business, your customers, and your goals, including:

  • Who is your primary target audience? This is typically the same as for your business, but don’t forget to include your referral partners, suppliers, and strategic alliances. And your mom – she like to brag on your success.
  • What is the primary goal you wish to accomplish with email marketing? Increased sales? Increase brand awareness? Drip Marketing? To establish yourself as an expert in your field?
  • What type of content or free offer would entice your target audience to subscribe to your email list? Free tips? Exclusive discounts? A special report or white paper?
  • What ongoing messaging can you share with your audience that will be of VALUE to them? Information about your industry or field of expertise? Specials? Exclusive access/announcements?
  • Which email marketing program will you use to manage your list and messages? Aweber, Vertical Response, MailChimp, One Shopping Cart, InfusionSoft, etc…
  • How will you display your sign-up widget? A separate squeeze page? A site-wide opt-in box?
  • How will you measure your success? New subscribers? Increased sales conversions?
  • What are your key benchmarks and how often will your measure your success? Example: A 25% increase in site traffic or 15% increase in the number of direct messages from clients and potential clients. How often: after 90 days? Monthly?

Free Offer Ideas – One of the toughest aspects of starting an email marketing program is getting people to opt into your distribution list. A great way to entice them to sign up via your website is to give them something of value. I suggest sitting down with a business associate and brainstorming ideas. Here is a handy “seed” list to kick-start your brainstorming session:

  • Offer a free or discounted consultation
  • Offer an eBook, White Paper, or Special Report
  • Special Discounts or Coupons
  • Have a contest with a valuable prize
  • Write an industry survey and offer to share the results
  • Create a video series or interview series

Don’t forget to answer the most important question of all, “What’s in it for me?”

For more on this topic be sure to check out my other posts on Email Marketing.