Breaking news! Email marketing isn’t dead. Let me ask you a few questions:
- Are you looking for ways to grow your business in a meaningful way?
- Do you want to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry?
- Are you sick of posting to social media every day without seeing the engagement and results you want?
I’m sure you answered, “yes” to at least one of those questions. Here’s one more:
Do you have an email marketing strategy?
Maybe you think email isn’t right for your business. Or that email is dead. No one uses email marketing anymore. I want you to rethink what you’ve thought about email marketing. It isn’t dead. It is alive and well, and you just might not be using it right.
Why Email Marketing Is So Powerful
In the fast paced world of digital marketing, we have a tendency to focus on the things we see, like social media. We try to keep up with what other people are doing and then get frustrated when the algorithm doesn’t serve up the results we want. First, it’s not the algorithm’s fault (that’s a conversation for another day). Second, email is algorithm free. That’s what makes it so powerful.
Here’s the thing—once someone opts in to your email list, you own that contact and can guarantee your messages will be delivered to them. When you post to social media, 4-6% of your followers will see your content. With email, 100% of your subscribers will have your message delivered to them.
Every time you show up in a subscriber’s inbox, you are building your brand and a trust factor with them. They may not open every email, but they are still seeing your brand. Even if they delete your email, they are exposed to and interacting with your brand.
If you still aren’t sold on the power of email, consider these facts:
- On average, email generates $38 for every dollar spent, which is a 3,800% return on investment. (source: Hubspot)
- 58% of people check their email first thing in the morning. Are you showing up when they do? (source: MediaPost)
- You own your email contacts. If you lost all your social media followers or your social media account, what would you do? How would you connect with your audience? It happens to people all the time. If you are putting all your eggs into the social media basket, you are missing out.
3 Steps For Getting Started With Email Marketing
When you are getting started with email marketing, here are the basic steps:
1. Create a place and a reason for people to sign up and opt-in to your list
Before anything, choose an email service where your audience can sign up for your email list. There are many options out there, but my favorite is Flodesk. My best advice is to choose a platform that works best for you and your business.
Once you have a place for people to sign up, you have to give people a reason to sign up. The days of just saying, “sign up for our newsletter” are gone. Give them something of value in exchange for their email address. This could be:
- A free download that will help them
- A template they can customize
- A quiz
- A discount code
2. Share your opt-in often
Remember that 4-6% stat? If you announce your opt-in offer once on social media, best case, 6% of your followers see it. That means you have to share it over and over again. Create a pop-up form on your website, talk about it on social media, share it in Facebook groups. Be sure to also mix up how you share it. Stories, feed posts, video, Reels, Guides. Keep it fresh, and reach your audience the way they like to get information. I promise, if your offer is valuable, you will not annoy people by sharing it frequently.
3. Serve your subscribers well, eventually selling to them
There is no denying that email is a great way to grow your business and close more deals. But you can’t just jump right into selling. Aim to serve your email list 90% of the time, selling to them 10% of the time.
Think of email as a cocktail party. At a cocktail party, would you walk up to someone, introduce yourself, and then try to sell them something in the next breath? I sure hope not! Email is the same. You need to share some stories, find things you have in common, eat some passed apps and then talk business. Create a plan to serve before you sell to build the know/like/trust factor
6 Dos and Don’ts For Writing Great Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great opportunity to get more personal with your audience and connect in ways you can’t on your website or through social media. It’s also an art form that takes time, thought, and practice. Keep these best practices in mind when crafting your emails.
1. DO spend time on your subject line
If no one opens your email, it doesn’t matter how good the content inside is. You should spend almost as much time crafting your subject line as you do the actual email.
2. DON’T try to be cute or clever
Be clear and don’t overwhelm your subscribers with too much information or insider language. Speak their language and keep it clear and concise.
3. DO show up consistently
Marketing is an exercise in memorization. You have to remind your customers that you exist by showing up consistently in their inbox. Aim to show up weekly, but know that consistency is key. Find a schedule that is sustainable for you.
4. DON’T fear the unsubscribe
Worried about annoying your subscribers by emailing too often? Don’t make decisions based on trying to avoid unsubscribes. If you are addressing the problems you solve for your ideal customer and showing up to add value for them, your ideal customers will stick around. With that perspective, unsubscribes are actually a good thing—those people aren’t your ideal customers.
5. DO spark their curiosity
Open a story loop in the subject line that makes the reader want (need) to read more. Think of the subject line as the cliffhanger at the end of an episode of your favorite show. The body of your email is the next episode. Make sure they don’t turn the TV off before the next episode.
6. DON’T tell people what you are about to tell them
This one is a personal pet peeve of mine. Have you ever gotten an email that said, “I am writing you this email to tell you…”. You would never do this in an actual conversation. Why do it in email? Think back to the cocktail party analogy. If someone walked up to you at a party and said, “I am going to introduce myself by telling you my name. My name is Amanda,” how uncomfortable would that be?
Not only is that an awkward way to communicate, it also makes you sound weak. It’s like you are asking for permission to tell them the thing. If what you have to say is worth sending an email, own that. Own the fact that the people on your email want to hear from you. You don’t need to ask for their permission. That’s what the opt-in process is for. You already have their permission. They want to hear from you. If they don’t want what you have to offer anymore, they can unsubscribe.
Subject Line Tips—Getting People To Actually Open Your Emails
You’ve got to get people to open your emails to serve them and ultimately sell to them, right? So how do you write a good subject line?
- Personalize the subject line
- Use emojis to stand out in their inbox
- Create a sense of urgency: Make your audience feel like they have to open the email right now. If they don’t, chances are your email may get lost in the email shuffle.
- Do your research: How many emails do you get every day? Which ones do you open? Pay attention. Study those subject lines and use what is working for other marketers. Be original, but also be inspired.
- Deliver on your promise: You are not a gossip magazine. You have to deliver on what you promise in your subject line. If you write a subject just for shock value and open rates your unsubscribe rates will go up right along with your open rates.
- Keep them short: 50 characters or less if you can, and always include the most important words at the beginning.
Sample Subject Lines
- Did you know….
- Our favorite tips for…
- I get this question all the time…
- Save your seat today…
- Today only….
- Ends today…
- Time is running out…
- 5 ways to….
- The 10 things you need to know about….
- 6 lessons I learned when I….
- The ultimate guide to…
- The top 10…
- Are you struggling to…
- What do you need to accomplish ___?
- What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to___?
- Quick question…
The big picture here is that email marketing is an important tool that should be part of your marketing strategy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Consistency is king when it comes to email. Don’t make the mistake so many people do by not starting. Starting is the first step. Each week you get a new chance to improve your email strategy and build a connection and trust with your audience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda runs 2Ls Marketing, a one woman digital agency helping businesses build marketing strategies that empower them to reach the right customers in the right ways so they can focus on growing their business.
Amanda lives in Northwest Montana with her husband and son. When she’s not working, you can find her teaching indoor spin classes or outside enjoying Montana life and adventuring with her family.