5 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Start Email Marketing
More than 87% of marketers say they use email to distribute content and increase sales. In addition to helping increase sales, email is an ideal channel for increasing your brand awareness. To achieve these benefits, however, email requires planning and constant care.
If you’re about to start your email marketing, take a minute to consider these five aspects to get the most out of your newsletters and campaigns.
1. Are you in it for the long haul?
Consistency is the key here. Many companies start sending out marketing emails only to stop soon after. You don’t want to be one of them. Like most things in life and business, email marketing takes time to work.
So before sending your first email, ask yourself if you have the resources to continue. Staying consistent is the only way to build engagement and see results. You don’t need a six month content plan – you’ll figure that out as you go. However, you need to be sure that you will be able to send regular emails.
2. Can you trust your mailing list?
Data degrades rapidly. No matter how big your email list is, making sure it’s healthy is key to reaching your subscribers. “Receiving bounces or contacting people who might flag you as spam is a surefire way to land in the Spam folder,” says ZeroBounce COO Brian Minick.
Even a newly created mailing list can contain bad data, especially if you are in the B2B space. So, adds Minick, “before hitting ‘Send’, run your list through a reliable email checker. This will weed out old invalid contacts and increase your deliverability.”
Every few months, repeat the process and also remove subscribers who never check your emails. This way, you’ll maintain a good sending reputation and keep landing in the inbox.
3. Do you have the correct ESP?
Choose an ideal email service provider for your business. You’re ready to commit to a long-term email marketing plan and you have a good list of subscribers who can’t wait to hear from you.
Matt Harris, founder and CEO of email building platform Dyspatch, has some great advice.
“Carefully review case studies and customers using ESP, and make sure these companies are like yours or the ones you would like to be like,” Harris advises. “ESP features may differ, and small feature differences may be important to your type of business. For example, some platforms prioritize marketing and automation tools, while others focus on deliverability and scale.”
Paying attention to social proof helps you determine which ESP is best for your business. Also, before committing to any service, take advantage of the free trials offered by these companies.
4. Are you sending what people expect?
Relevance is important. When they sign up for your emails, people expect the kind of content you promised.
“One of the best ways to keep subscribers on your list is to make sure people get what they opted in to,” says Emily Ryan, founder of Westfield Creative and Mailchimp Pro Partner. “If people are tricked into signing up for something and then receiving different email promotions, they will unsubscribe. Too many unsubscribes could land you in the Spam folder and damage your sender reputation. hard to change after the fact,” Ryan adds.
5. Are you following best practices?
Send emails legally. Email marketing has huge benefits, but it also comes with responsibilities. So following best practices is a must. Until they become second nature, you can create a checklist to use as a guide:
· Never add anyone to your list without getting their consent. Everyone should register.
· Avoid buying or renting email databases. They are not your customers.
· Your “from” name must clearly express the identity of the sender. This builds trust and ongoing commitment.
· Don’t use an unanswered email address. People should be able to answer you.
· All your email templates need a visible “unsubscribe” link.
· Avoid misleading subject lines. Honesty will get you more clicks in the long run.
Finally, obey the laws on sending emails in the countries where your customers reside. Be aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CAN-SPAM Act and other regulations.