In the never-ending quest to find the “best” way to make money online, many marketers, copywriters, and content creators have begun to experiment with email marketing. The idea behind email marketing is fairly simple: build interest in your product or service among your audience, and you’ll be able to sell them something down the road. For a product-driven business such as a marketing agency or a consulting firm, gaining interest in your product might mean creating email marketing campaigns for other brands. But what exactly is the value of an email marketing campaign, and how does one go about writing one? We decided to put out an email marketing “template” to see just how easy it was to get started, and what it takes to grow an email list.
The Basics of Email Marketing
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first. Like any other form of online marketing, email marketing is simply a form of advertising that uses email as the mode of delivery. When someone clicks on a marketing message or link inside of an email, that’s called a “click-through”, and it usually leads to some type of action. That action could be that the person reading the email becomes a subscriber to your newsletter, makes a purchase, or just visits your site to learn more about what you have to offer.
When someone subscribes to your newsletter, you’ll receive an email from them whenever they have something new to share. This type of communication is called a “newsletter subscriber,” or an “email newsletter” for short. When you have 500 or more subscribers, you can consider yourself a “major player” in the email marketing world. More information on the various types of newsletters can be found in the following blog post by Mad Hippie, a popular digital marketer and publisher of marketing blogs:
The Many Different Types of Email Newsletters
To start, you’ll want to choose a newsletter publishing platform. There are many competitors in the space, so choose carefully. You’ll also need to pick a unique email address for your newsletter. If you don’t already use Google Apps for Work, you can’t use your company’s domain for your email address. You’ll also need to consider whether you want a free or paid subscription model for your newsletter. Most major email newsletter publishing platforms offer both options.
As you begin to grow your email list, you’ll want to consider whether you want to send emails regularly or whether you want to wait until something arouses their interest. People who are subscribed to your email list but haven’t heard from you in a while might get annoyed with your constant emails and unsubscribe. On the other hand, people will often subscribe to your email list simply because they want to hear from you, and will remain subscribed even if you don’t send any emails. This is called a “double opt-in” list, and it’s considered the gold standard for online research.
Types of Content You’ll Need to Create
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of email marketing, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. What types of content do you need to create? There are four basic types of content you’ll need to create if you want to get started with email marketing today:
- Headlines – The headline is the most important part of any story. It’s what grabs your reader’s attention and compels them to continue reading
- Snippets – Short captions or snippets of text that provide context for the article. They’re often used to attract and engage readers on social media platforms such as Twitter.
- Blogs – Similar to a news website, a blog is where you can publish a wide variety of content such as news articles, product reviews, and curated lists of something interesting.
- Videos – Short videos can be an excellent way to illustrate a point, give someone a quick taste of your product, or showcase someone’s expertise. You can use platforms like YouTube to build and grow your audience.
- HTML Emails – It’s usually best to go with HTML-based email templates whenever possible. Not only do they look more professional, but it’s also easy to update the template should you change your mind about the email’s design later on.
As you can see, there isn’t one right answer to this question. It depends on your goals and the size of your team. If you’re just getting started, it might be more convenient to create a blog and use a tool like WordPress to publish your content. You can use a tool like Hootsuite to connect with and engage with your audience on different social platforms.
The Best Tools For Email Marketing
Now that you have an idea of what types of content you’ll need to create and how you’ll need to publish your content, it’s time to get into the tools you’ll need to create and send outstanding email marketing campaigns. Here are a few of the best free tools that can help get you started: