Once your startup begins its operations and your product/service is all set to hit the market, the most important thing to focus on is how you shall attract new customers while retaining the old ones. The best way to do that and stay connected with your users is by adopting a combination of different marketing strategies. One such effective marketing strategy is email marketing. According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, two out of three (66 percent) consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message. If you wish to check out few tools that you can use for email marketing, check out our previous coverage on that.
If you are wondering how you can build an effective email marketing campaign, we are at your rescue. Here is a step wise guide that will help you chalk out a proper marketing campaign that will surely help you reach your targets
- Start by sketching the goal of your email
First, answer the question – why am I sending this email? Based on the answer, draft a rough sketch of what would you like to include in the email – would it be only textual? Or would it have images and graphs? Once you decide on how the email will look, you are ready to proceed. While drafting this sketch, keep in mind previous and future email campaigns of your startup. Every email that goes on behalf of your startup should be relevant and connected to the previous or future newsletters. Don’t leave the customers confused by the random sequence of emails.
2. Build an email list
You know the purpose/goal of your email. Based on that, build an audience that would suit the purpose. As a startup, you might not have your own customized email list, but to begin with – you can outsource your database. There are lot of companies that have databases of email IDs of customers of various genres, ages and demographics. Based on your requirement, purchase the list and you can then customize it as per your need.
3. Work on the content of the email
You know why the email is being sent, and you know to whom it is being sent. Now comes the answer to ‘what will be in the email?’ to work on this, get into the customer’s shoes and see what a customer would like to receive in their inbox. In short, be clear in your communication and answer the very simple question – ‘what’s in it for the customer?’ Besides just advertising about your new product or service, ensure that the customer has some benefit for them as well. You cannot always offer them ‘free’ goods, but you can always show them gratitude and thank them for being a valued customer of the firm.
4. Decide on the subject line
Once you build your content, now go backwards and come up with a creative one liner subject for your email body. Remember, the subject line is the ‘make or break’ of your email! It has to be simple yet attractive. That one line has to be enough to attract the customer to open up your email rather than just select and push it to the bin. This step comes after the step of working on the content because the subject line shall be connected to the body of the email. If you are promoting offers with deadlines in your email, ensure that use phrases like “soon closing” or “hurry up” in the subject line so that the customer gets your point directly!
5. Don’t forget to add the company’s signature and mailbox ID at the end
The end of the email is as important as the entire email body. In the end of the email, ensure that you give the customer all options of reaching your startup directly for any further queries/complaints/suggestions. Also, add your company logo to give full clarity to the customer. You can also add the option of ‘subscribe to newsletters’ in the end.
6. Test the email look by sending it to a test group
Build a test group for all your email campaigns. The ‘test group’ will consist of few of your employees, family members of friends who will act as moderators of your email. They will be the ones who will receive your email so that you can check the look of the email – while doing so, check if all images are loading as you wanted it to, check on fonting, alignment and overall appearance of the email. One more important thing that you MUST check is that – how does the email look like when opened through a browser and how does it look like when access through a smartphone! Ensure to make changes accordingly
7. Make changes and final launch
If there are any changes to be made after the testing phase, make those changes and you are all set to launch the rocket! Before hitting the send, cross check all fields once again because once the emails are sent, there is no way to stop it from the reaching the addresses you put in. To hide the email list you have got, always put all your customer’s email IDs in the ‘blind copy’ option of the email.
8. Manage email follow up and email responses
If you are using an email that invites responses back, ensure that you have a follow up process to check on replies. No email of any customer shall go unanswered. Plus, it is important to live up to your customers’ expectations. If you set the expectation that you’ll send two newsletters a week, make sure you deliver. If you exceed or fall short of this promise, you risk losing valuable subscribers.