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Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and customisable ways to communicate with your potential and existing clientele. It’s the best way to deliver personalised, relevant content that enhances your customer experience. 

However, even though the monetary cost is low, it can be quite a bit of work to make sure you’re getting the most out of your campaigns. That’s why we’ve compiled this step-by-step checklist to help you set yourself up for successful email marketing. The only way to see results is to get started now!

1. Define your goals

Before you start drafting your first email, you need to define the main goals of your email campaign(s). Is it to generate leads? Gather data from existing customers? Increase traffic to your website? 

Once you establish your goals, determine the metrics that you need to analyse in order to see your success rate. It may be your open rate, response rate, list growth, forwarding rate, overall ROI, or another assessment. Every word, image, and CTA you include should actively work towards accomplishing your goal.

2. Define your target audience

Now that you have your goals, it’s time to define and segment your audience. Creating buyer personas is the best way to understand and connect with your ideal buyers. The types of people you are writing to will influence the language you use, the CTAs you include, and the overall look of your emails.

 

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3. Choose your email marketing tool

Once you know what you’re setting out to accomplish, it’s time to choose your email marketing tool. HubSpot, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Sendinblue are some of the most popular. They all have sets of features including contact list management, email templates and analysis toolkits, so take some time to research and choose the one that aligns with your budget and goals. We love HubSpot because it keeps all of your inbound marketing tools in one place, but it’s up to you to find the platform best suited to your business.

4. Gather and create content (Don’t forget to personalize it!)

Once you’ve defined your goals, created buyer personas, and set up your platform, it’s time to start gathering and creating your resources. You may have text, images, and CTAs already written that you can repurpose, or change slightly to create your emails. If not, you need to start creating copy that will convince your contacts to take the appropriate actions to fulfill your goals. 

Adding personalisation through your email marketing platform’s toolkit will help you connect to your audience and stand out from all the other junk email in their inbox. At the very least it needs to cater to your specific buyer personas, but the more information you know about your contacts, the more personalised your email can be.

5. Create your template(s)

Now that you have your personalised copy written, you need to create a template that is aesthetically appealing, conveys your message, pushes your CTA, and works on both desktop and mobile. Your platform should have plenty of pre-loaded customisable templates, start with one of those and see if it works!

6. Set up CTAs and capture points

When your copy and images have been placed into your template, it’s time to add your call-to-action or capture point(s). This is arguably the most important part of the email. Every other aspect should funnel the reader into taking action, whether it’s viewing a web page, buying a product, or entering more contact information. Your CTAs should be clear and inviting; this is how you measure the success of your email campaign. 

7. Choose your sender and write a catchy subject

Having a real person’s name as the sender typically increases open rates. This way people know there’s an actual human on the other end of this email, and if they choose to reply, they’ll know where their response is going.

Your subject line is another all-important aspect of your email. It’s also one of the trickiest elements. Brevity, value propositions, keywords, personalisation, localisation, controversy, and statistics have all been successful aspects of past subject lines. But it’s really up to you to figure out what your audience responds to. Try to cater to your buyer personas, and track what works and what doesn’t work. You can even run A/B tests by splitting your recipients up and sending the same email with different subject lines.

8. Test

Please, please, PLEASE test your emails before sending them. There’s nothing so embarrassing and frustrating as spending hours creating and sending out an email with misspellings, broken links, spam triggers, or missing info. 

Send the email to yourself and a few friends, preferably ones that use different email clients (Outlook, Gmail, Windows Mail, etc.) and make sure that it looks good on Apple, Windows and Android products. This is also a great way to get initial feedback and make any last minute changes.

9. Send

Once you’ve composed your email and checked it twice, it’s time to hit the send button. Remember there’s no going back once it’s sent, but don’t let that discourage or intimidate you. The only way to get an ROI is by clicking send!

10. Analyse

Now it’s time to monitor the results of your email. Use your platform’s analysis tools to check all the metrics, comparing the key metrics against your goal to determine your success rate. Mark what went right and what went wrong and try to figure out ways to increase your conversions.

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Tagged digital marketing, email, email marketing, inbound, inbound marketing, inbound marketing strategy, starting an online business