We all know that email marketing is a fantastic tool for small businesses. How great? A recent study said that for some firms, ROI for email marketing was up to 38:1.

 

Use this guide to get your email marketing plan up and running in 5 easy steps!

 

  1. Decide on an Email Marketing Strategy

 

Do you want to use newsletters as a CRM tool, a lead generation and conversion technique? Or more as generic marketing and brand awareness? You should decide what your strategy is, and write down a few concrete goals. This will help focus your efforts and be able to evaluate your newsletter campaigns down the line.

 

  1. Choose an Email Marketing Software

 

Email marketing is easy once you get the hang of it. You might find that the most time-consuming part is choosing an email vendor in the first place. There are lots of helpful tools around the internet for making sense of the email marketing space. One of the better sites out there is Email Vendor Selection.

 

Newsletter software ranges from the mild to wild: super simple and easy to use, to mind-blowingly complex. The most expensive services are great – but they’re not for everyone. Depending on how you’ll be carrying out your email strategy, getting the biggest and best software might not be the best idea. Driving a Ferrari to work every day would be great, but is it worth the cost?

 

On the other hand, automatically choosing the cheapest freemium model won’t necessarily help you, either. You wouldn’t want a car that broke down every day on the way to work, would you?

 

The ground rules are as follows:

 

  • Find a software that’s easy to use and set up
  • Make sure the software performs the basic functions easily: creating, sending, and analyzing your email campaigns
  • Make sure the software fits your company’s specific needs

 

  1. Start Collecting Email Addresses

 

Once you’ve signed up for a software, it’s time to get started! Before you send your first email, you’ll need to have at least a few email addresses. Use your email software to create signup forms and put them on your website, or insert them into the checkout process on your e-commerce platform.

 

To stay on the safe side, I always recommend using a Double Opt-in registration processes. This means that everyone who enters their email address in your form will receive a confirmation email with a unique link. Only those who click on that link will receive your emails.

 

  1. Create and Design Emails

 

Now the fun part. Design newsletters that look great, include your best content, and are likely to get opened and clicked. Make sure you pay attention to your subject line, which goes a long way in determining whether your email is opened or deleted. As far as the newsletter itself, put your best content above the fold, e.g. at the very top of the email so that people won’t have to scroll down.

 

  1. Analyze Reports

 

Email marketing isn’t a once-and-done activity. One of the best parts about email marketing software is that it offers sophisticated tracking and reporting tools. Find out where exactly in your newsletter people clicked, which content was most interesting, and how the newsletter performed among different demographics.

 

Conclusion

 

And that’s it! You’re well on your way to becoming an email marketing pro. If you want to get your email marketing started today for free, check out Newsletter2Go, a German-engineered software made especially for small online businesses.