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You’ve got a stunning new website and branded social media accounts…now what? Email marketing! In this post, we’ll take a look at the basics of email marketing and we’ll share some simple tips.

What is Email Marketing?

If you’re like many of my clients, you may not be completely clear what email marketing is.

At its simplest, email marketing is when a for- or non-profit entity sends emails to a database of potential, existing or past customers. The most common purposes for emails are to:

  • enhance relationships with current or past customers
  • acquire new customers
  • solicit sales of goods/services, donations, etc.
  • advertise a sale, event, etc.
  • build loyalty and trust, nurture the business relationship, etc.
  • add value to existing customers by educating, assisting, etc.
  • promote brand awareness
  • establish expertise
  • bring people to your website
  • share third party ads

In the broadest (and most obnoxious) sense, unsolicited spammy emails are sent to a large list of (usually purchased) cold leads as part of an aggressive marketing campaign.

Thankfully, most email marketing content is sent to an existing database of (warmer) clients/customers who have been collected by the sender over time. This is the only form of email marketing I’ll be covering in this post.

How to Choose the Best Email Marketing Service

The platform that enables a business to send mass emails in an efficient and trackable manner is an email marketing service. As you might imagine, there are many and they vary in quality.

The top three factors to consider when choosing an email marketing service are:

  1. Cost
  2. Ease of use
  3. Their ability to keep your emails out of your recipients’ spam folder.

Cost

Some email marketing service providers offer a free level of service and allow you to grow into a paid plan. This sounds great, but s the internet becomes more and more settled, the free plans are become more and more basic.

Other email marketing service providers charge from the get go, usually a minimum monthly (or discounted annual) fee based on the number of total subscribers you have. Some charge only when you blast an email.

Don’t just go with the cheapest platform. It’s a a bit of a hassle to switch down the road. Choose the provider that you feel will serve you best as your business grows.


RELATED | You Need a Business Email Address


Ease of Use

All email marketing services require you to go through a bit of a learning curve, but some make it easier than others to start a list, create and design an ongoing email campaign or send out a one-time blast.

Spam

These days, there are very few inboxes that aren’t inundated — and email providers, like Gmail, have stepped up their efforts to keep your inbox as free from spam as possible.

(By the way, Gmail is NOT your only option for your small business’ cloud-based email. Here’s a helpful article on some other legit options—Best Cloud Based Email Services for Business!)

To do this, they use algorithms and some email marketing platforms are better than others at coding their emails to avoid the dreaded junk folder.

Our Favorite Email Marketing Platforms

Again, you want to do your best to choose the email marketing service that will serve you best in the long-term. While it’s possible to make a switch, it’s always better to avoid this if you can.

There are lots of good email marketing services out there. At Scribaceous, we focus on the small business owner that wants to keep it SIMPLE. So, with that in mind, here are our two favorite traditional email marketing platforms:

  • Mail Chimp—A friendly email marketing service that serves small to medium lists well. The free plan is very basic, but will work in the beginning; paid subscriptions and many other features are available as you grow.
  • Aweber—A good, cost effective choice if you expect to grow your list substantially.

Here’s a deal from Aweber, our preferred email marketing platform:




AWeber Free: Email marketing for free. No credit card required.

The NEW “Kid” in Town

The digital landscape is constantly evolving. It’s crucial for small business owners to stay on top of these changes so they don’t fall behind and hurt their business.

When we meet with potential clients these days, we introduce what we feel is the newest and best way to handle email marketing—the IHUBApp progressive web app. This powerful website AND app is EASY to use (🎉), affordable, and has content delivery built-in. Not only will it blast out your new content automatically, but it will custom curate a weekly newsletter for your subscribers without you doing a thing.

We highly recommend that you consider supercharging and simplifying your online presence by using the IHubApp instead of WordPress. This amazing platform will totally change the way you do email marketing. Contact us to learn more and find out how to transfer your WordPress website to IHUBApp.

How to Use Email Marketing Services

There are three primary ways small businesses use their email marketing service:

  • Auto responder email(s)—a single or series of emails that is automatically sent in a specific order to subscribers from the moment they sign up for your email list and at pre-defined intervals going forward. It can be a simple single welcome email or a series of emails designed to add value, educate, motivate, inspire, etc., your subscribers.
  • One-time announcement—an individual email, often referred to as a “blast,” that is sent to your email list to announce a product, service, event, etc.
  • Newsletters—typically sent monthly to add value, announce, educate, motivate, inspire, etc.

All of these emails should include links so your readers are steered to your website (This is why email marketing should be part of your SEO plan.)


RELATED | 12 Tips for Keeping Your Emails Out of Spam or Promotions


Some More Helpful Email Marketing Tips

Here are several more helpful email marketing tips to enable you to be more effective:

  • In most cases, it’s best that every email come from YOU (not the company). Think first person, not third.
  • Use the code snippets provided in the area where your emails are written to automatically fill in each receiver’s first and/or last name, company name, etc., so your emails feel more personal.
  • Write in a conversational and friendly tone. Speak like you’d like to be spoken to.
  • Keep the design simple. The more images and features you use, the more likely you’ll trigger the email provider’s spam filter landing you in your subscriber’s junk folder.
  • Don’t inundate people with emails. People will pay more attention when your “blasts” are thoughtful and contain truly important info.
  • ADD VALUE. Give your subscribers a reward for reading your email.
  • Have a catchy subject line to induce curiosity. More on subject lines HERE.
  • Keep your email as short and simple as possible. The bitter truth is that most people scan emails these days.
  • Always link back to your website!
  • Include a call to action.
  • Invite your subscribers to REPLY to you. Use bold and red!
  • If you’re on a paid plan that charges per email, you’ll want to periodically make sure your subscriber list isn’t full of bad emails. Here’s a tool to check to see if an email will “bounce”—Hunter Email Verifier (they also have a Chrome extension!)
  • Are you doing e-commerce? Check out this helpful article with 7 e-commerce marketing tips for growing your business.

Want to dig even deeper and get even more educated on email marketing? Check out this in depth and insightful article: Email Marketing Best Practices

Get Help with Email Marketing

I hope these email marketing tips make your journey into email marketing easier and more productive! If you ever find yourself in need of consultation, training and/or setup—or you decide to have someone else take care of this task for you, all you have to do is email us!

We may receive commissions when you click the links on this page and make a purchase. However, this is not why we include them here. We truly believe these service providers will help you and your business!

About the author : Janet Doré

Janet Doré is the founder and CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of Scribaceous, Inc., a boutique design company specializing in branding & graphic design, IHubApp PWAs, WordPress websites, and optimized blog content. She is also the proud creator of the Hub Mama program where she trains and mentors those looking to grow their own freelance Hubmaster business.