A Novice's Guide to Email Marketing

If you're in the marketing “biz” and haven't really tried out email marketing yet, the chances are you've at least heard tell of it from co-workers or other peers. It's being talked about for a reason. It's one of the best and most affordable ways to market a product in the 21st century and believe you me – you want in on this ship. As with all new things it can sound a bit daunting at first, but just like first learning how to use email, you will soon realise it's the simplest thing in the world. If you just take a deep breath and look step-by-step at how email marketing works and how you can set yourself up, you'll have a great email campaign up and running in no time.

Probably the first thing you'll want to do as a newcomer to email marketing as a marketing method would be to invest in a subscription to one of the many popular and fantastically useful email marketing services available out in the big, wide web. It's not a necessity for an email marketing campaign, but it may as well be with how handy they are and how much legwork they save. Times is money, right? So it's almost like by subscribing you're actually spending less money? They can offer you some great features like email templates, message builders, help you get subscriber lists together and that sort of thing. It helps you set your campaign up super fast, and in a professional manner.

But even the best email marketing service in the universe can't help you when it comes down to some aspects of building an email marketing campaign. Unless they come up with sentient AI soon that can do whatever you ask, but by that time your job will be pretty much obsolete anyway. One of the things you'll have to think about on your own is where you want your chain of marketing to begin. Your desirable end of the chain will probably be getting someone to perform an action such as “liking” a Facebook page or buying a product, but you need to start that chain off someone and that is by putting emails into the inboxes of people. But what people? Well, that's the question isn't it? What kind of people do you want to market towards? Blanket email marketing hasn't been effective since pretty much the 90s. If you want to build a good email marketing campaign you've got to make it tight – really focus where you're aiming those emails. Then you have to tailor your campaign to appeal to the demographic you're aiming at.

Once you have your demographic sorted out it's just a matter of obtaining a subscriber list from somewhere for the demographic you have chosen. Sometimes email marketing service will be able to help you find these, but you can also just find them being sold online, or you can build one yourself. A subscriber list is just a list of emails who are interested in certain things – usually these are opted into by the email owner – say if they are interested in finding out information about your business specifically or just said somewhere that they were interested in, for instance, “technology deals”.

With this done the major legwork of building the campaign is done. You have an email marketing service to help you actually create your campaign, you have a plan of who you want to be receiving your emails, and you also actually have emails to send it to. The next steps are to build and send. You just have to commit to it. Don't worry if your first email marketing campaign isn't some sort of second coming of Christ. It's not going to be perfect right off the bat. Get some data back from your first wave of emails and tweak and refine it to get more people to pay attention to your emails and to make sure you're making it clear what you're providing whilst also providing what people want. It's a system of refinement, but once it's refined it's a really great tool to add to any marketer's belt. And it's really not that scary after all, is it?

Matt Jenkins is a small business owner with an interest in marketing. His inquisitive nature has led him to try out a every marketing method and 'trick' out there before using his own version; he likes to show others that you don't have to know the jargon to be successful and is tackling it one article at a time!