Running your own business can be difficult, and it can be even more stressful when you try to keep in touch with your customers to keep them coming back. Something you may want to consider helping you in this endeavor is to start email marketing.
Email marketing has been around for a few decades now, and it’s a huge help to anyone trying to run their own business. But how do you start email marketing? Is it a difficult process?
The answer is no – it’s not hard at all. There is quite a lot of decent software out there that can help you get started, and the costs aren’t bad at all.
In this article, I’m going to give you some tips on how to start email marketing and where you can go to get started.
Why Do I Need Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a useful tool for any business to take advantage of, no matter how big or small you are. It will help you to keep in touch with your customers and alert them of any upcoming deals you may have.
Some of the advantages of using email marketing include:
- Loyal customers
- Returning customers
- Getting the word out on sales and deals
- Spreading news on your business
- Drive traffic to your blog
- Informing customers about your product
I personally recommend anyone that has a small business to get into email marketing. As long as the emails are unsolicited and sent only to those that gave you their email willingly, it is the perfect way to gain a customer’s loyalty.
What Ways Can I Get People to Sign-Up?
When you’re starting an email marketing campaign, you need a solid tactic that will get people to give you their emails. You should never use a bought list of emails, as you can end up in some trouble for sending unsolicited emails. The CAN-SPAM Act was implemented in 2003 to protect consumers from receiving non-solicited emails.
So basically, what this means is that you need a way to get people to willingly give you their email addresses. Worry not, there are plenty of ways out there that can help you in this endeavor, and I’m more than happy to go over some of them with you.
Call to Action
The call to action (CTA) is the most important start to getting people to give their emails for your list. If you create a personalized CTA that is more specific for your business, you’re going to be more likely to gain some subscribers.
I don’t know about you, but I know I’m going to be more likely to connect with a business that actually has some personality to it. Make your CTA really speak to people, something that matches what you’re trying to do. This will help build a relationship with your audience right off the bat.
Create A Pop-Up
Pop-ups can tend to aggravate people if they are too annoying, so you want to be careful with this one. However, if done correctly, pop-ups can be the booster required to rake in those subscriptions.
Take this survey done by Digital Marketer as a prime example. They succeeded in creating a pop-up that wouldn’t appear for first-time visitors and would appear 15 seconds after returning visitors had been on the website. The results? 2,689 new leads in two weeks!
Promote on Social Media
Social media is HUGE nowadays. Almost everyone has an account on at least one popular social media platform, and it is a perfect ground for generating some traffic for your email marketing.
Make social media for your business on all available platforms, as you’ll never know where you can get a bite. Promote your marketing strategy, your landing page, your sales… everything on social media in a way that will get heads to look in your direction. It’s silly not to take advantage of these platforms.
Consider a Timed Pop-Up Survey
This can kind of go hand in hand with creating pop-ups, but it’s a little bit different. This is a strategy you’ll often see with news sites, where you will be reading an interesting news story, and then a pop-up survey pops up with a prompt to subscribe.
Why do they all do it? Because it’s effective! After your potential customers have a taste for what they are looking at after about 15-30 seconds of being on your website, a timed survey popping up to prompt their email will trigger their impulse senses. And what do you get? More email subscribers!
How Do I Get Customers to Read My Emails?
Sending your customers emails won’t do much if they don’t take the time to open your email and read what it contains. You want to be able to snag them with a good title to open it, and then wow them with what’s inside.
This means you don’t want to send mundane emails that they’re not going to be interested in. More than likely, a customer is going to want to open an email from you that includes information on a current or upcoming sale.
Hook your readers right from the get-go with the subject line. Make it something relatable while also being blunt about what the email contains.
You can read here about some good tactics that can be used when it comes to making subject lines for your emails.
What Are Some Good Email Marketing Services?
I get it – when it comes to setting all of this up on your own, things can get a little overwhelming. There’s a secret to sending out hundreds or even thousands of emails out a day: email marketing services.
Most people and businesses don’t send emails out physically by themselves. They have one of these software programs that do it all for them, and some of them might even do some of the promotional benefits as well. This sounds great, right? So, what are some recommendations?
ConvertKit is an email marketing service that targets the “creators” in the marketing business. When they say creators, they mean self-made marketers like bloggers, vloggers, Instagramers, authors, and others.
ConvertKit is wonderful as you don’t even need a base website to use it. If you run your business and marketing solely on social media, then ConvertKit is perfect for you.
With ConvertKit, you’ll have 5 tabs to go through to get started. These sections for customizing your campaign are:
- Landing Pages & Forms
It’s great for helping to generate sales, or if you’re just aiming to inform rather than sell, then there are quite a few success stories in that region as well. The best part is it’s fairly easy to follow and get started!
- No need for a website beforehand
- Targeted for social media stars and “creators”
- Easy to use
- Free starter plan
- Fairly priced advanced plan
- Access to stats
ConvertKit comes with two plans: Free and Complete. Let me go over the cost and what both of the plans offer.
Free: Obviously, it’s free!
- Up to 1000 subscribers
- Unlimited traffic
- Unlimited forms and landing pages
- Customizable domain
- Subscriber tagging
- Send email broadcasts
Complete: $29.99 a month or $300 a year (2 months free!)
- Has a 14-day free trial.No credit card required and can easily be canceled!
- Has all benefits of free and more!
- Unlimited subscribers
- Automated email sequences and funnels
- Premium support
ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one marketing platform that targets to send fewer emails while achieving better results. This software is the go-to for those seeking a logic-based funnel.
The automation is created by using the logic of if/then situations and corresponds to your subscribers’ behavior. This will hook your customers in and then keep them coming back for more!
ActiveCampaign is a little more complicated to use than the other choices on my list, but I’ve chosen it because of all it can do for you. It helps all of your marketing and strategies, not just your emails.
Some of what you can expect from ActiveCampaign is:
- The ability to send SMS messages to your contacts
- SMS integration
- Segmenting based on user location, actions, social data, and behavior
- Prioritizing using contact and lead scoring
This is a fantastic tool for those that really want to streamline their audience and know exactly how they want to run their campaign. It may not be for those that need an easier-to-understand platform, but it delivers great results for those that are up for the complex settings.
- Multiple marketing tools
- Fewer emails but better results
- Powerful automation
- Thorough reporting
- Free account migrations
- Complex and effective tools
ActiveCampaign offers 4 plans: Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise. Here I’ll go over each plan and the benefits you get from each (all plans are billed annually):
Lite: $9 per month
- Unlimited sending
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
- Subscription forms
Plus: $49 per month
- All the above and more
- Facebook custom audiences
- SMS marketing
- Lead and contact scoring
Professional: $129 per month
- All the above and more
- Predictive content
- Customer attribution and purchase path
- Split automation
- Site messaging
Enterprise: $229 per month
- All the above and more
- Custom domain
- Dedicated account rep
- Free social data
- Free design services
Aweber is one of the longest-running email marketing software on the market, and it’s for a good reason. It contains several features such as pre-designed templates, a drag and drop builder for emails, and a lot of other integrations.
One of my favorite things about Aweber is that it’s incredibly in-depth with so many options to make my campaign as customized as I want it to be. All without being incredibly complicated, which is great for those like me that aren’t well-versed in this sort of thing.
You’ll get a lot of features if you decide to choose Aweber, some of which include:
- Free templates
- Ability to host and import mailing lists
- Split testing
- Landing page builder
- Responsive email designs
- Been in the market for a long time
- Free pre-designed templates
- Drag and drop email builder
- Easy to comprehend
- Access to stats
- Great customer support
- Fairly priced advanced option
Aweber also has two plan options: Free and Pro. Let’s take a look at the prices and some of the benefits for each.
Free: the name says it all, it’s free!
- Up to 500 subscribers
- Send up to 3,000 emails a month
- Unlimited landing pages
- Tagging subscribers
- Email templates
- Email automation
Pro: $16.15 per month – billed annually
- Unlimited subscribers
- Unlimited monthly emails sent
- All of the above and more:
- Email split testing
- Behavioral automation
- Remove Aweber branding
- Advanced analytics
- Webpage tracking
Email marketing is a tool that anyone serious about building their business should be using. The majority of your customers will be found on the internet, so why not build a relationship with your audience to keep them coming back for more?
If you want to learn more about email marketing, I’d like to recommend taking an online course to further your understanding of this helpful tool. Even if you think you can do it on your own, there is no harm in learning more to exceed your goals even more than you would on your own.
My personal recommendation is Udemy’s email marketing courses, as they are extremely informative and fairly priced. These courses will help to sharpen your email marketing and really bring in those subscribers.