If you have read about the benefits of email marketing but you’re not sure where to begin, a good place to start is by answering some fundamental questions about your business, your customers, and your goals, including:
- Who is your primary target audience?
This is typically the same as for your business, but don’t forget to include your referral partners, suppliers, strategic alliances, and your mom – she likes to brag on your success.
- What are your goals for email marketing?
Increased sales? Increase brand awareness? Drip Marketing? To establish yourself as an expert in your field?
- What type of content or free offer would entice your target audience to subscribe to your email list?
Free tips? Exclusive discounts? A special report or white paper?
- What ongoing messaging can you share with your audience that will be of VALUE to them?
Information about your industry or field of expertise? Specials? Exclusive access/announcements?
- Which email marketing program will you use to manage your list and messages?
There are multiple options in the marketplace including my personal favorite, MailChimp.
- How will you display your sign-up widget?
A separate squeeze page? A site-wide opt-in box?
- How will you measure your success?
New subscribers? Increased sales conversions?
- What are your key benchmarks and how often will your measure your success?
Example: A 25% increase in site traffic or 15% increase in the number of direct messages from clients and potential clients. How often: after 90 days? Monthly?
Free Offer Ideas
One of the toughest aspects of starting an email marketing program is getting people to opt into your distribution list. A great way to entice them to sign up via your website is to give them something of value. I suggest sitting down with a business associate and brainstorming ideas. Here is a handy “seed” list to kick-start your brainstorming session:
- Offer a free or discounted consultation
- Offer an eBook, White Paper, or Special Report
- Special Discounts or Coupons
- Have a contest with a valuable prize
- Write an industry survey and offer to share the results
- Create a video series or interview series