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Email marketing is an easy and affordable direct marketing channel. The setup / re-occuring costs of an email marketing platform are very minimal, and there’s even platforms out there that offer forever free plans (although usually not with all the features). Email marketing can also be highly personalized and highly automated. Here’s all the details on how to get started with email marketing.
Table Of Contents:
- What’s Needed To Get Started
- How Much Does Email Marketing Cost?
- Choosing The Right Email Marketing Solution
- Signing Up For Email Marketing / Learning The Platform
- Opting-In Email Marketing Recipients
- Building / Sending Email Marketing Campaigns
- Issues Effecting Email Marketing Deliverability
- Campaign Reports and Analytics
- Automation: Drip Campaigns and Autoresponders
- Personalization: Data-Merges and Conditional Content
- Integrating Email Marketing With Other Products
Requirements To Get Started
One of the best things about email marketing is it’s insanely easy to get started. Email marketing is low-cost and can be done remotely from any computer. Basically, all you need is the platform, the email recipients and the email message to send them.
Email Marketing Platform – There is specialized software that’s used for email marketing. This software is web-based, insanely intuitive and very effective. There’s tons of different solutions to choose from, each with their own different features.
Mailing List / Recipients – You also need a list / database of all the recipients you plan on mailing to. If you’ve already got this, you’re ahead of the game. Often times, it’s possible to sync and/or import from a CRM or POS as well. If not, the platform will contain all the tools you need to opt recipients into email marketing.
Content / Visual Assets – Last, but not least, you’ll need the content to send. This means any text and visual assets needed to compile the email message. The various email platforms will have templates to choose from, which can make this process easier.
How Much Does Email Marketing Cost?
Email marketing is insanely affordable. In fact, per recipient, it’s the most cost-effective direct marketing channel. With direct mail, you’re paying way more per piece for print and mail. SMS marketing solutions are also more expensive.
Email marketing platforms are generally priced in tiers based on the number of recipients. There are some solutions out there that charge per message sent. You can find some very good platforms starting at around $10-$20 per month. Keep in mind there might be other costs associated with the email marketing. Wages of whomever is managing the email marketing, for example.
Choosing The Right Email Platform
Compare Email Marketing Solutions
There’s a lot of email marketing platforms out there, and tons of really great ones. There’s a couple that stand out in particular to me for a number of reasons. Here is what I’d personally recommend (and have used myself, as well as on client projects):
Keep in mind, I’m kind of a junky when it comes to automation, personalization and a lot of that other more advanced stuff. That totally influences my preference of email marketing platforms. I’m also way too stingy to look at those marketing automation suites that start at a couple hundred to a couple thousand per month. The entry-level suites are starting to catch-up anyway, without ramping up their price tags.
Signing Up For Email Marketing
Once you’ve decided on an email marketing platform, the registration process is quite simple. Many of the platforms will let you get started without a credit card. You will have to enter that information after the trial period has expired, however. Also, keep in mind that the exact registration process varies from platform to platform. For that reason, this section might be somewhat vague.
To get started, simply create an account. All these email platforms are trying to sell you on their services, so that process should be pretty straight forward and easy. They’ll prompt you for company information and contact information for the person responsible for the email marketing. Once you’ve completed the signup form, you’ll have to verify the email address and you’re ready to login and start exploring the platform.
Exploring / Learning The Platform
If you’ve played around with email marketing in the past, or any other SaaS marketing solution, then you should feel right at home. Otherwise, it might take some getting used to. All the email marketing platforms are fairly intuitive (for the most part). Some are more user-friendly than others. There’s usually some guides (both video and text) that goes over using the platform in great detail. It’s highly suggested that you review the knowledge base and other training material.
What’s possible within the platform varies based on the solution you choose and plan selected. Some platforms are strictly email marketing, while other support other marketing channels as well. The navigation, look, feel and everything else will vary from platform to platform as well.
Each solution will have a section and functionality for managing lists, recipients, viewing reports and building campaigns. The exact process and flow will vary from platform to platform. Take some time to learn the program and explore all the features.
Building The Mailing List
Email Marketing Deliverability
Campaign Reports / Analytics
Email Marketing Automation
Personalizing Email Campaigns
Integration With Other Platforms