3 Steps for Email Marketing That Actually Grows Your Business

You may have heard “the money is in the list” – but have you had much success actually cashing in?

If you haven’t you’re not alone.

Many companies “think” they’re executing an email marketing campaign, but all they’re really doing is going through the motions, and they’re not really making sure that they’re approaching email marketing with clear purpose and direction.

This post is going to cover the 3 steps that you must follow in order to run a successful email marketing campaign that’s going to grow your business – not just suck up a lot of your marketing team’s time and create frustration with your prospects and customers.

3 Steps to Create Email Marketing That Grows Your Business

Step One – Really Know Your Customers

From Day One of starting your business, you should have a clear picture of your customers. You do this by going through the process of building your Buyer Persona.

Your Buyer Persona gives you a targeted image of your Ideal Customer. While you can have more than one, your Persona should be detailed and targeted to the point where the traits you apply to your Persona can easily “fit” into one person.

It’s best to go through the exercise of envisioning meeting your Buyer Persona at a cocktail party and striking up a conversation. If you can’t create that person in your head, then work on getting more specific on your descriptions. For more information on creating your Buyer Personas, click here.

Step Two – Collect Emails Wherever and Whenever You Can

Don’t just put a form on your Contact Us page and call that Email Marketing. A strong email marketing strategy includes a variety of list-building techniques.

1) Use Exit Pops on your website to capture site visitors before they leave. (I recommend PopupAlly if you use WordPress. This plugin helps you create great-looking popups that are timed to appear when a visitor starts to exit your page – so it doesn’t interrupt their user experience.)

2) Offer targeted Lead Magnets on different blog posts on your site.

3) Create specific Landing Pages that only offer a targeted Lead Magnet and use those pages to build your list.

4) Make sure you add email information from business cards you collect offline at various networking events. (This is often overlooked!)

Step Three – Have a Plan

As with any part of your business – you need a plan if you want your strategy to succeed. Email is no different.

Your email marketing plan should include the following elements:

1) Buyer Persona(s) – if you have more than one, who is the email targeting?
2) Purpose for each piece of email communication (ex: “To inform”, “To sell”)
3) Delivery Dates
4) Days Since Last Email (to make sure you space your emails in a way that doesn’t overload your list)
5) Subject Lines – while these can change as you get closer to your delivery date, writing down strong subject lines when they come to mind will ensure you remember them
6) Outline of content – remember, try to keep the emails short and to-the-point. Most people read their emails on a mobile device first, so include a “Read More” link for long posts so that your readers can go to your website later.
7) Broadcast or Nurture? Is this email intended to be put into your automated Nurture Funnel, or are you Broadcasting to your full list?

Make sure that you have a plan to engage with your list at least twice a month. Don’t let your list go stale – and don’t just sell to it either. Your content should be 80% informative and 20% promotional. Otherwise, your contacts will either unsubscribe, or just ignore your emails when you send them.

Building a list and then creating the email follow-up funnels is a building block of successful businesses. However, if you don’t take the time to plan your strategy first, you will find that you spend time, effort and money to build your list – only to have it grow stale, or worse, because you don’t have a plan, you overmail, and your subscribers quickly bail. But if you follow the 3 steps above, you will be on your way to a healthy email marketing strategy that will grow your business.