How to Start Your Email Marketing Campaign in 5 Easy Steps
Email marketing, like any other marketing domain, requires patience to figure out and time to master. There are many moving parts to asses and consider while planning your email marketing campaign.
With this article we won’t examine all and everything an email marketing campaign involves, but we will rather focus on few specific points, which we consider the backbone of every email marketing campaign – your goal, email category, email software, design and coding.
1. Determine the Goal of Your Email Marketing
First and foremost you have to answer the question What is the purpose of my email marketing campaign? There are various reasons to set up an email marketing campaign, so take your time to decide what will be the purpose of yours. The most common reasons for running an email marketing campaign are:
- Stay in touch with your clients and maintain brand awareness;
- Send your clients company and products news;
- Keep your clients updated on what is going on in the industry;
- Send your clients tips and solutions for industry specific problems;
- Send messages based on client’s actions or lack of activity;
- Directly sell or promote your products and services;
- Announce sales, discounts or giveaways.
2. The Email Template
The goal of your email determines the copy and layout of your message. There are various types of emails you can send depending on what you aim at achieving with your email marketing. Once you know that it is very easy to find the correct email format:
- Newsletter – (usually) regular emails with company, products or industry news;
- E-commerce email – sales-focused copy, offering products, pricing, availability, etc
- Transactional email – welcome, order confirmation, abandoned cart and cold lead activation messages;
- Promotional email – sales, discounts, special offers, giveaways.
3. Email Marketing Platforms
One thing is certain, you should not use Outlook or Gmail to send your marketing emails, carbon copying your email subscribers. You need an email marketing platform.
Finding the right email platform for you will require some research time. You have multiple options that offer different pricing models, different interfaces, different performance measurement tools. A quick google search for “email marketing platforms” will get you directly some of the best options, sign up for free/demo accounts and play around with them.
An important part of every email marketing platform are its email editing tools. Find out more on custom emails editing here Email Marketing Platforms Integration.
4. Design Inspiration
Often times when we receive an email template request from a client, they have a vague idea about what their email template should look like. A great starting point in this case is to stick to your brand identity. Keep this important rule in mind while browsing external sources for email design inspiration. Here is a list of what we consider the best sources for email design inspiration:
- Subscribe to competitors’ emails or services and see what emails they send;
- Subscribe to big brands’ emails or services and see what emails they send;
- Check email design inspiration galleries, like emaildesigninspiration.com, reallygoodemails.com, htmlemaildesigns.com, email-gallery.com, beautiful-email-newsletters.com;
- Check MailBakery’s Email Samples section;
- Browse Pinterest for email examples;
- Sign up for a service like MailCharts.com;
- If you don’t need a custom designed email, you may look into the email gallery of your email marketing platform.
5. Convert Your Designs into Email Friendly HTML Markup
Email coding is different from website coding and you have to choose your coding partner carefully. You can find various coding service providers online. The delivery options are often similar, but the differences in coding experience and code quality are reflected in the pricing. Here is a list of the most important factors that define a trustworthy HTML coding provider:
- Provides proof of experience – portfolio and client testimonials;
- Hand-codes your emails and explicitly confirms that no HTML generators will be used to convert your designs into Email HTML.
- Tests emails with services like Litmus or Email on Acid. There are over 50 major email clients in existence today (web, desktop and mobile) and you want to be sure that your email renders correctly on all of them;
- Ready to sign a non–disclosure agreement;
- No-questions asked refund policy.
As this is our own take on the most important points in an email marketing campaign, there are some topics intentionally not included here. There are various other sources where you may read about how to get subscribers, create content, avoid spam filers or measure performance and one of the good ones is the MailChimp’s Email Marketing Field Guide.
If you wish to add something to our article or comment on it, please, email us at hey (at) mailbakery.com or post your comments in the section below.