If you don’t use email marketing already, building a program can feel a little like standing at the foot of Mt. Everest, contemplating a hike to the summit.
The obstacles seem insurmountable:
- You don’t have a mailing list
- You’re not sure how to create an email list
- You don’t know how to use the email marketing software
- You don’t know what to write about in your emails
- You’re afraid you’ll send out the wrong email to the wrong group of people (it happens to the best of us)
But we all know:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. –Lao-tzu
Like everything worth achieving in this life, an email marketing program has to start somewhere.
And in order to build it, you have to be willing to start from scratch.
Starting your email marketing program from scratch
What does “scratch” look like?
If you have an email list on a provider you’re not happy with, your first step is to migrate it to a new email service provider company.
This may seem daunting, but these companies assist with migrations every day, and they want you as their customers. It may take a few days, but it’s do-able.
If you have no list at all, you may feel intimidated by the time and effort needed to build one.
This doesn’t last long: if you create something worth exchanging an email address for, use it to invite people to your list, then make it easy for people to invite others, growth will happen.
If you don’t know how to make your emails look good, and don’t want to send out marketing that makes your business look unprofessional.
The good news here is that with so many emails in our inboxes, oftentimes the best way to stand out is to keep your design simple. In a world of clutter, simplicity stands apart. And — lucky for us — simple emails are easier to design.
Use a combination approach
The best email marketing programs use a combination of autoresponder emails and broadcast emails.
Let’s take a look at each:
Autoresponder emails are a series of emails that are sent out once someone signs up for your email list.
They’re delivered over time, and each email is spaced out by a predetermined number of days or weeks. On any given day, someone on your email list may be receiving message #1, someone else is on message #7, and someone else is on message #18.
Some of the best uses are auto responders are:
- A series of lessons delivered over time, one per email, like this one
- A series of emails to help someone clarify their information and make a purchasing decision
- A follow-up series sent out after a purchase is made to share additional information, encouragement, or resources
One of the best characteristics of autoresponder emails is that you set them up once, and can pretty much ignore them as they go out to the people who sign up for your information automatically.
Broadcast emails contain time-sensitive content that’s sent out to your entire list at the same time.
Good uses of broadcast emails are:
- Special announcements
- Sales or coupon offers
- Event information
Think of broadcast emails as megaphones that deliver information to everyone at once.
It is a lot to set up.
But email marketing is worth the effort: as you build lists of interested prospects, current customers, and repeat buyers, you can communicate with each group using a helpful voice that builds your relationship over time.
And it doesn’t have to be anything like climbing Mt. Everest when you know the shortcuts to success.
A free resource to help you create your email marketing program the right way
I am a proud ConvertKit customer and highly recommend their free resource, The Complete Guide to Email Marketing (affiliate link). It’s chock-full of best practices for email marketing and will get you off to a solid start.