GETTING STARTED WITH EMAIL MARKETING
Before you kick off your email marketing plan, be sure to research and choose a reputable email service provider (ESP).
A couple of characteristics to look for in a good ESP include quality customer service support and excellent deliverability. By having a top-notch team to help you throughout your email marketing journey, as well as the highest possible chance to get your messages delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes, you’ll be better prepared for success.
Once you’ve found your match, you can finally implement an email marketing strategy.
What do you hope to achieve through email marketing? While this may change over time, it’s important to consider the purpose of your emails and set goals that are both measurable and attainable. For those just starting out with email marketing, you may want to focus your goal on growing subscribers. In this case, your goal might look like the following: I plan to collect 1,000 email subscribers over the next 12 months by leveraging online and offline opportunities to attract sign ups.
By including a numeric value, a due date, and a general idea of how you plan on meeting that number, you’ll have a clear target to work towards. It can even provide guidance for executing tactics that’ll help you achieve your end goal.
As you plan your tactics, also consider the target audience you hope to reach. For example, a fitness trainer with a focus on health and wellness might reach out to those who want to start exercising and changing their diet. Understanding your ideal customers will help you determine the best ways to connect and communicate with them.
Creating a Sign Up Form
The sign up form is where your website visitors will submit their email address to begin receiving your emails. Typically, it lives in the header or sidebar of a website page, or as a pop up box that displays over a website.
It’s an easy first step for both you the business owner and your prospects, and one of the most important. Why? Because this is the place where you must convince your visitors that they’ll get a great benefit by signing up to your emails.
There are a few details to consider when creating your sign up form:
Within your sign up form, briefly explain the purpose of your emails and why visitors should sign up to receive them. Everyone who sees your sign up form will wonder “What’s in it for me?” – and it’s essential that you answer this question in your form. If you plan on offering an incentive, such as a free eBook or printable, be sure to mention this in your message. While you can include a variety of fields in your sign up form (e.g. name, address, state, favourite color), don’t go crazy just for the fun of it – the basics will do.
Call to Action (CTA)
This is the part of your form where you ask your readers to take action. In this case, the CTA will be to sign up to your emails. But instead of going with the generic “Sign Up” button, try using a unique and action-oriented phrase, such as “Get awesome information now!” or “Send me my free eBook!”
While the form should be featured on your homepage (preferably above “the fold” in the header), consider adding it to the sidebar and on other pages, such as your blog. To really grab a visitor’s attention, consider using a pop up or lightbox form.
From a design perspective, your sign up form should be consistent with your company website and/or branding, yet still stand out from the rest of your website. This will allow for a cohesive user experience, which further adds to your business’s credibility. Additionally, consider the size of your sign up form, as well as colors that may be more attention-grabbing.