Email marketing is an often overlooked commodity that is very useful when implemented right, as a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. It is always the one that people think to be intimidating and thought to have no proper return on investment. In fact, it is the other way around. It is insanely rewarding to build from the bottom up!
Since it is restricted by GDPR compliance to protect personal data being unlawfully available, it is something that you have to work for, but it always brings ROI over time, and according to the latest Kinsta statistics, “87% of B2B marketers use email as a distribution channel.”
This means that they use it to spread the news about their businesses (oh flyers, art thou transformed so?), create excitement for existing and new customers for their latest events and updates, and so on. The possibility of what it can be used for is really only limited by the imagination of the digital marketer (and their clients).
That alone should be significant for anyone inspiring to grow their business and their revenue.
Intrigued, yes? Let’s jump right into the basics to figure out how to do email marketing yourself so.
1. Build your template ䷓
So you’d like to start your email marketing campaign. Good. First of all, you need a template, right?
You can avail of a template by signing up for a 3rd party tool, like Mailchimp (I most recommend this one), MailerLite, Convertkit or suchlike.
I will go into another, more in-depth way to get started with Mailchimp’s template builder, but for now, all I am going to say is that I think that most businesses should use the 1:2 or the 1:3 template.
Unless you have coding experience, in which case you may want to code your own. Hat’s off to you! You’re a cool dude.
Since Mailchimp has a multifaceted UX (User experience), it is rather easy to use, and you can play around with font size, text and background colours, you can insert your business logo and of course, you can write your message.
Templates are highly recommended, so you don’t have to start from absolute zero every time you want to build a completely new email whenever you have enough content to send out and update your customers.
I recommend making up at least two types of templates right off the bat: one for the weekly/biweekly/monthly and one for seasonal (Christmas special, Business updates, Special offers, Valentines Email, etc.).
When you start out, give yourself less, so you have some time getting used to the platform and learning your way around things.
Keep it simple though. You don’t want to overload your email with too much info!
2. Front-load your priority content 🥇
When you set up an email, you always have to make sure that what your message says will engage your customers the right way. It is difficult to know what to put first when you’re just starting out, but I have you covered.
Front-loading your priority content will help you immensely, and it just means that whatever services/news/new products/latest blog posts that you’d like to push the most will go first in your email.
‼ My husband (also a digital marketer) taught me a trick on how to realise what’s this most important thing.
Make a list of what you want to put into your email on a separate collection of your Bujo or just on a piece of paper, and once you have your list ready, number your items in terms of priority.
Hey, Presto! There you have your content that is to be front-loaded. This item should be the one that will capture the attention of your reader/customer.
3. Make it interactive
One of the things I’ve heard a couple times now is that an overly interactive email (too clickable) is just too much for your intended customer.
It is simply not true.
The email’s main purpose is to intrigue, to excite and to inform.
To make it interactive, I don’t mean for you to put in an image with flashy colours that will induce an epilepsy attack, or four hundred colours to break up the text with. You should keep it much more simple than that.
Stay with the brand colours? Yes. Don’t give a litany on your news in an email? Yes. Keep it simple and clean? Yes. Make it interactive? Absolutely yes!
An interactive email simply means that when you add your logo, buttons and images, you add your appropriate links to them, essentially making them clickable, so the customer can be redirected from your email to the elaborated information that you don’t have to fit into the email. Just take care that they work when you send yourself a test email – which you should ALWAYS do.
4. Alt-text and links
- Alt-text: this is a best practice for when you upload images anywhere, from your website to your email, and it will make sure that whatever original art that you’re using (logo, business-related pictures, fun art) will be showing as a text, even if the image itself does not. It is good to do in case your email goes out the first time and the email engine doesn’t recognise the images. You tell the reader what it is, so they’ll download them, and then you won’t have this problem the next time.
- Links to logos, images, buttons, social icons: that interactive part I mentioned above? This is where you make it happen. You just need to click into the editor, which should take you to the surface where the links can live, and when you save them, everything will automatically become clickable. (I’ll be talking about this more in the next post) Very important, so you can make sure the links will direct them to the more information that I also mentioned above.👆
- Include your email as a link: say you have a competition, and you want the participants to send their work to your email. You can link your email address to an image, logo or social button. It is a quick and easy way to make sure that your people find your intended email, and not a random email@example.com, on which their message will not be read and will probably be forgotten about altogether.
5. Know your tools
I know that for me, when it comes to email marketing, the big thing is to show off my creative side. I used to spend hours on perfecting something that looks overly elaborate to me now.
To avoid unnecessary work and make sure all is high quality, I’m making sure that I am using the right tools when it comes to the images and the art that I include, be it my logo, background images and so on.
I consider using the right tools best practice. You wouldn’t want to ride a bike that has a hole in the tire, right? 🚵🏿♂️
- MailChimp: To my point of view, this is THE tool to use for email marketing. Whenever I think of an example for anything, I think of how the surface of Mailchimp works. It’s user friendly, it has everything you need to have a campaign look good and yet make it unique for your business. First-time users, you’re in for a ride! Caution – just like with everything, take your time and get to know the platform. I promise it’s great!
- Image compression tools: They are great to use, so when you use an image anywhere on your site, the images won’t take up a huge space, meaning it will help your site speed, ergo you’re doing a bit of a technical SEO without trying.
Canva – Canva is mainly an image creator tool (and boy do I love it!). However, when you download your images (and you’re on a free trial or it’s a paid version) you can compress your images right off the bat. (See my banner image at the top of this blog post? It is a compressed Canva art I made). You will not lose a lot of quality, at least not enough to notice with the naked eye.
TinyPNG – compresses png and jpeg images, same as Canva. It has a quantity limit (20 images of max 5MB each) but if you do only couple at the time and you don’t want to pay for the pro version of Canva (I understand, money doesn’t grow on trees), then this site is your best friend for compression.
Photo Resizer – We all have businesses that has loads of pictures they give to you that will not be in the right size for using on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or any of the other of the social media platforms. To avoid random cropping – use Photo Resizer. It is a free tool that you will appreciate in avoiding future headaches. The website is simple, but as always, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with it and play around with the settings at your leisure. You’ll be able to crop the pictures to size according to the different social platforms as well as making sure the size of the file is smaller too as a result. Brilliant!
- Embedding: Embed your videos- don’t directly upload them. Embedding just means that instead of uploading a video directly somewhere within your content from your computer, you first upload them to Youtube, Vimeo or another 3rd party video hosting site to store your video, and then insert the link of that video into your email template. It helps with the loading time of an email. No one likes to wait for loading in any longer, we’re not in the 2000s (the stone age is long gone too). And yes, embedding is a best practice across the board too (social media, except Instagram (at least it work a different way), websites in general and blogs, of course).
Further reading to expand on your knowledge:
Neil Patel’s Beginner’s guide to Email Marketing
Set up your Mailchimp campaign
SEO optimise your Images
The power of the Interactive Email
Thank you for reading this article.
Do you have any questions? Is there anything, in particular, you’d like me to write about regarding digital marketing? Let me know in the comments below👇, and I will address it in one of my next blogs.
Until next time, may we all have satisfying conversations. 😉