CS-Cart: Starting Email Marketing - Things You Need To Know
Email has an ability many channels don't: creating valuable and personal touches.
Yes, it is not about making those sales or building traffic. Readers sign up for your newsletter because you are promising to share something powerful. Email marketing is a great tool to communicate with your new and existing customers base, but as a business owner do you really have the time to sit and shift through email addresses and plan out an email campaign? With 7 out of 10 people saying they have made use of a coupon or discount sent to them via email from a retailer, it is an essential resource to help grow your business. Before we start, here are a few questions you need to know before kicking start any email marketing strategy.
How do I grow my email list?
Building a mailing list takes time and finding subscribers is even a tougher job. People need to be convinced to signup for your newsletter. So, give it to them! Convince them what they will get if they signup for your newsletter. It could be a new product, getting discount coupons, promotions or some actionable tutorials.
Note: Remember that the type of strategy you are using will determine the type of followers you are getting.
What is the best day of the week / time of the day to send an email?
Some says weekends and mornings have the highest for open rates and click throughs. Some odd to defer. Which should you follow? None. The simple reason is because it varies depending on the type of followers you have in your list.
Sending an email on Sunday is like sending your troops to a battle you will never win.
How to determine which is the best day of the week or time of the day to send an email? By doing split testing aka A/B testings.
Most email marketing provider have A/B testing features but it comes with a price. So, here's the thing. Don't put more weight into your wallet than you can manage and this means that you should only sign up for the one that fits your requirements.
How often should I send email to my subscribers?
Again, the answer is "it depends". If you are sending time-sensitive information (financial or stock newsletter), your subscribers wouldn't mind if it goes out daily. If a huge portion of your subscribers are entrepreneurs, I am sure they don't have the time to read daily. So, once or twice a week is more than sufficient.
How does a spam filter work?
We hate spam filters a lot because it will dump your email (which you had spend 2 hours constructing the best words) into the spam box.
Using the wrong words will trigger spam filters and here are some examples:
- Meet singles
- Money back
You can check the full list here (thanks to HubSpot).
The next time you are configuring an email newsletter, make sure you don't include these words (or try to avoid them as much as possible).
What metrics should I track?
Here's the truth; there are a lot of metrics you can choose from but you only need to focus on two:
- Open rates
- Click through rates
Open rates: The number of people who actually open your email
Click through rates: The proportion of visitors who click on the links in your email newsletter
What is an A/B test?
Also known as split testing, it is used to compare two versions of an email to see which one performs better. You compare both the emails by showing the two variants (let's call them A and B) to similar visitors at the same time. The one that gives a better conversion rate, wins!
The common A/B testing variants are:
- Title and subject
- Email post (long versus short version)
- From field
If you use GetResponse for email marketing services, you can even set the winning email variants to be send to all your subscribers in the list (assuming you use 25% of the list for A/B testing, balance 75% for the winning email).
Where should I spend the most time on my email?
You should focus on two things:
- Email subject line
Here's a quick explanation of my choices. Email subject line will determine the open rates of your email while good content will increase the chances of click through rates.
You definitely wouldn't want your readers to:
- Not open the email
- Not clicking through the links in the email
What is the ideal length for my email subject line?
Go for under 50 characters simply because you want the title to be fully visible on all devices
How do I make my email look good everywhere?
Most email marketing services provide inbox inspection where you can test your email with various devices. You may have spend 3 hours configuring an email and you certainly want to make it worth while!
My favorite email inbox inspection tool is MailChimp. This service provider will compare your email with over 25 different email providers and over 10 spam filters.
Are there any rules to email marketing?
No, there is none. However, it is always recommended to practice the much needed email etiquette.
Before you kick start any email marketing strategy, here are some very useful guidelines:
- Unsubscribe link
- Adding your office address
- Avoid purchasing email list
Always remember that it is never too early or late to start an email list. If you have the budget, I would recommend to go with MailChimp, Mad Mimi or GetResponse.