Our All-Star Guide on How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign
Say it with us: email marketing.
What comes to mind when you hear that phrase? How does it feel rolling off your tongue? Do you feel empowered or maybe a little scared?
For a lot of business owners that phrase can bring up a lot of tension and a whole ton of pressure. But with the right email marketing software and know-how, you can master the art of sending impactful emails.
Whether it’s face-to-face, over the phone, or via text message, it feels good to connect and build a relationship with words.
What would it mean for your business if email marketing felt like that? How could your email marketing change if your subscribers were genuinely excited to open your emails?
Every email you send to your list is an opportunity to build a unique relationship. Your subscribers invite you into their inbox; a carefully curated collection of their interests. After that moment it's up to you to keep the conversation going with engaging emails and prove to them you are trustworthy and helpful.
So today I'm going to show you how to create an email marketing campaign in a way that feels as good and natural as communication between friends. Accomplish that, and when it’s time to sell, you’ll see higher conversions; even with a small list.
Don't Just Send Emails When You Want to Sell Something
Imagine you just met someone and the first thing they do is open up a briefcase full of products that they want to sell you. They have flashy brochures telling you how great their products are, a perfectly scripted sales pitch, and a list of accomplishments that prove they are qualified to sell you something.
Now, picture this.
You meet someone, and they offer you a lot of valuable tips and advice for free. They sit down with you, get to know you, and make you feel like family. Their conversation is so engaging; you value their relationship. When they mention a product they sell that could help you with a particular problem you have, your ears perk up.
Now, which person would you rather buy from?
Yes, email marketing is a valuable sales tool. That’s the whole point of email marketing, right? To make sales. But if you only send out emails when you want people to buy your products, you can come across as a pushy salesperson eyeballing their wallet.
Even if they don't rush to the unsubscribe button, most likely, your emails are going to end up unread or in the trash.
But if you mix things up a little bit and keep a conversation going, people will start looking forward to your emails. When it is time to sell, they will be open and willing to hear you out.
So, how can you accomplish this in your email marketing?
Speak to Your Subscribers on a Personal Level.
It's easy to use group words when you're writing your emails. It feels natural and comes out that way because you're talking to more than one person. But when your subscribers get an email from you that feels like a group announcement, it detaches them from the message.
Shift your perspective and imagine you are one of your subscribers.
You get a notification, and when you read the email, it feels like the writer is speaking to a crowd. It goes something like this:
I have a super exciting announcement for all of you today! A lot of people struggle with this, so I’m sharing all of my secrets with my subscribers to help grow your businesses. I just posted a brand new blog post that could revolutionize how all of you find new clients!
You start to wonder:
Does this person even know that I exist? Where do I fit in here? Am I in the front of the crowd, the back, or lost somewhere in the middle?
That doesn't feel great, does it?
Now imagine you get an email that feels like it was written specifically for you. Maybe this time it goes something like this:
I have a super exciting announcement for you today! Do you struggle to find new clients? It’s tough. I’ve been there, and I understand what you’re going through. I want to make your journey easier than mine was. That’s why I’m sharing every single one of my secrets to help you build your business faster. Check out my brand new blog post that could revolutionize how you find new clients.
This person is speaking directly to me. I feel known, seen, and important!
Which example email resonates with you the most?
Your subscribers are smart. They know you have other people on your list. But when you use language that is personal and direct, to them, they feel known by you and a connection is built there.
Different Types of Emails You Can Send to Your List.
Now that you know how to speak to your subscribers on a personal level, how do you communicate with them and establish the relationship without pushing sales? Here's different types of emails you can try that will benefit your list and set you up for success as you learn how to create an email marketing campaign; and fine-tune your email deliverability.
If you haven't already, you may want to consider setting up an autoresponder to send a welcome email to every new person who joins your email list.
It doesn't have to be long or in-depth, but will play a crucial role in creating an email marketing campaign that establishes trust with new members. A welcome email provides a nice way for you to reach out to new people to get the relationship started off on the right foot.
You can introduce yourself, tell them a little bit about who you are and how you can serve them with your business. You can even link to some “start here” content so they can familiarize themselves with your business.
Encourage them to reply and tell you a little bit about themselves and what goals they have related to your niche.
For example, if your niche is editing photos with Photoshop, you could ask them something along the lines of: “Hit reply and introduce yourself. I’d love to know the top two things that you would love to learn in Photoshop this year.”
Not only will you get to know your subscribers better, you'll get some great ideas for future content or even courses that you wouldn't have thought of before.
Polls and Surveys
Everyone loves a fun quiz. When you send your subscribers polls and surveys it's a fun way for them to engage with your brand and let you know what they would like to see in the future from your business. Plus, you can gain valuable feedback and learn how to serve your audience better when creating your next email campaign.
Special Updates and Announcements
These types of emails are a great way to give your subscribers a sneak peek behind the scenes of your life and business. You can share project ideas you're thinking about pursuing, share experiences that offer encouragement and inspiration, or even announce new blog posts (which I highly encourage you to do).
Promotional emails are powerful tools for spreading the word about your product. These types of emails help increase awareness, generate new revenue streams, create a feeling of exclusivity, and ultimately drive more sales.
Think about a promo email you’ve received that really delighted you. Did it allow you to buy-in to a product in a way you couldn’t before? Or was it sent as a thank you for your customer loyalty? As you keep learning how to create an email campaign, remember to treat your customers how you like to be treated.
Confirmation emails simply let the recipient know you’re acknowledging some action they took, like downloading your awesome guide on how to create an email marketing campaign (you’ll become the expert, I promise!).
But confirmation emails should also convert. You want recipients to take a specific action after they read the email, like visit a landing page or share their experience on social media. Be sure to thank your customer and give them clear cut directions of what to expect next.
Of course, any email marketing guide would be incomplete without mention of newsletters. You can send newsletters out regularly to keep people in the loop of what's happening in your business. Be upfront about your frequency (once a day, week, month, etc.) so new subscribers know exactly what to expect. Be sure to fill your newsletters full of value, and actionable advice. Your subscribers should get the best of you and your content.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine in your emails.
Keep in mind, as you learn how to create an email marketing campaign, that emails shouldn't be stiff and boring. The best way to make your subscribers feel like they’re special is to be yourself. Sure, you're putting content out for the whole world to see on your website, but your subscribers have exclusive access to you, so that means you can be more open in your emails. You want your subscribers to feel like family.
Using Images in Your Emails
You don't have to create elaborate designs or never before seen formats in your emails. On average, people actually prefer plain text emails, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with it.
Not every email provider shows images, and a lot of people have images turned off in their inbox settings, so you need to make sure that your emails can support themselves with text alone if the images don't show up. (And if the images are crucial to your content you can always put a friendly reminder to enable images at the top of your email).
Incorporate Your Branding Into Your Images and Design.
Any logos or color schemes that are instantly recognizable from your brand are great things to include in your emails.
Don't Overload Your Email Content With a Bunch of Images.
And carefully consider placement. You have a very limited amount of time to convince your subscribers to keep reading your email. If you already use images and struggle with your click through rate, try leading with some compelling text before showing any images when creating your next email marketing campaign.
Don't Neglect Your Alt and Title Text.
When images don't load in an email, your alt text shows up to describe what the image is about instead of a lonely, empty box. You can leverage this to work for you even when your images don’t pop up. Example: if your newsletter includes an image of a subscriber who won a contest, the alt and title text could look something like this: “The winner of last month's email marketing guide subscriber contest showing off her awesome prize! Keep an eye on your inbox to enter in my next contest!”
Don't Be Afraid to Use Headers in Your Email Copy.
Everyone on the face of the earth is a natural-born skimmer. It may be a little discouraging that not every word you write is read, but try not to take it personally (you’re probably skimming this post right now. Caught you! No worries I do it, too). :-)
They're going to do it anyway, so why not make it easier for them to skim and still grasp what you’re trying to tell them. You can do this with headers and bold text on important points, kinda like you would in blog posts on how to create an email marketing campaign, eh?
How to Write Engaging Email Copy.
Even if you're not selling something, how you craft the text in your emails is so important. You're smart. You already know that writing engaging content is crucial for blog posts. But your emails require the same attention to detail that will pull your subscribers in, encourage them to read the email, and respond to your call to action.
When in Doubt, Keep It Short and Sweet.
Though some entrepreneurs do very well with dense emails, when you’re starting out, it's usually not the best approach to include blog length content in your email copy.
Your email copy should be tight and refined to include only essential information.
Don't feel like you have to add in more words if you've got your message across in your email copy and it looks a little on the small side. Even emails as short as 200 words can be effective at getting your subscribers to respond to your call to action. Keep your focus on the quality of your messaging and you’ll be golden.
Let Your Fun, Quirky Side Show in Your Writing.
Your subscribers are your friends, remember? You don't want to come across as some heartless entity that sent them an email of boring professional text. Be yourself. Be human. That’s what helps people relate to you. As you continue learning how to create email marketing campaigns, the writing will come naturally with the more emails you send.
Use a Clear and Direct Call to Action in Your Email Content.
It may seem redundant, but at the end of your email, encourage your readers to actually do what you would like them to do. You don’t have to be pushy. Think of your call to action as an invitation.
Whether it's to click a link to a blog post, respond to a survey, or follow you on social media; pick one call to action and make it very clear what you want your readers to do. If you fail to put a call to action in your email, your subscribers may not know exactly what to do with the information you've just given them.
It’s all about making it easy for them to take the next step.
Common Email Marketing Mistakes and What to do About Them
Mistakes happen, that’s just the way it is.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first time learning how to create an email campaign or you’ve been in the game for years; you will mess up an email at least once or twice. But you know what? That’s okay! In this section, I’m going to break down some of the most common email blunders and how to redeem yourself before your customers hit the unsubscribe button.
Making Things More Complicated Than They Need to Be.
If you spend hours trying to craft a beautiful email that your own mom would be proud to print out and hang on her fridge, then you may want to consider toning it down a bit.
If that's what you like to do and your subscribers respond well to that, then great! But usually, you’ll only be adding a lot of time and effort to your workload when a plain Jane email will work just as well. So, if you're stressing about creating works of art for your subscribers’ inboxes, I’m here to say: don't sweat it.
Simplicity is just as (if not more) effective at delivering results for your email marketing efforts.
Broken or Incorrect Links.
Even the most detail-oriented email marketers can slip up on this one every once in a while. Make sure you test every one of your links before you hit send.
If the email has already gone out, send an “oops” follow up as soon as you catch it with the correct links. If you feel like making yourself the butt of the joke, this can be a great way to save face and say, “hey, I’m only human.” Maintaining a human element in an otherwise automated process is crucial as you continue learning how to create a successful email marketing campaign.
Sending an Email to The Wrong list(s).
Segmentation is a great marketing tool, but accidentally getting email lists mixed up is a common issue. Make it right with an apology email as quickly as you can. And if the email was a special discount or promotion to a certain group of people it’s a good idea to honor your offer even though it wasn’t intended for a certain list. You’ll clear the air and build trust with your subscribers.
Wrong dates and times, false information, and blunders like this happen. When they do, own up and set the record straight. You can even offer a special deal or bonus to smooth things over even more.
This may seem like a critical mistake, but the truth is, especially when you are super pumped, it’s easy to miss some spelling goofs. As long as it’s not a regular occurrence, then your subscribers won’t hold it against you. If anything, you’ll come across as more human and relatable.
If you struggle with spelling and grammar, don’t let that stop you from getting your email marketing plan up and running. There are free tools available to you that you can download on your computer and catch any mistakes, so you can learn how to create an email marketing campaign with confidence. (My favorite is Grammarly.)
Everyone makes mistakes.
As long as you are quick to respond and maybe even go the extra mile to make things right, your mess-ups can actually be a great opportunity to build trust and respect. People admire brands who own up to their mistakes instead of glossing them over or hoping no one notices.
Our Top Tips on How to Create an Email Campaign That Sells.
Yes, relationship, trust, and fun are essential to any successful email marketing plan, but don’t forget that you actually need to sell something. You do have a business to run after all.
So when it’s time to finally start selling to your subscribers, here are some tips that work well for a lot of our Kajabi Heroes.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself.
It’s not your responsibility to make people buy your course or digital product. Even if you do everything right, the truth is not everyone on your list will be the right fit for your course. And that’s okay! Your only responsibility is to present all of the information needed to help your audience make an informed choice about your course. They have free will to decide if it’s the right fit for them.
Showcase the Benefits Instead of Pushing a Product.
The reason why digital courses are so successful isn’t just because they are killer products with all the bells and whistles. People aren’t buying a digital product; they are buying the benefits your course can provide.
Focus on what your course can do for your subscribers. When people buy something, it is an investment in themselves. When you showcase the benefits, they can easily see what return on investment they are buying (even if it’s not a monetary return) and make an informed choice.
What Problems Can Your Product Solve?
You want to be clear on what specific issues your course can help solve. Another great tip is to make a list email of common objections (like price, not having enough time to complete the course, and experience level) and addressing them with a solution (like payment plans, a set-your-own-pace format, and what you can offer for beginners to your subject and those who do have experience in your area of expertise.) This will help your subscribers decide if your course is the right fit for them.
Be Upfront With Deadlines.
If your course or offer is only for a limited time, be sure that is 100% clear. People are more motivated when a clear deadline is given. On top of that, the last thing you want is angry subscribers who missed the boat because you weren’t upfront and direct about a timeline.
You Don’t Have to Close the Sale in Your Emails.
Especially when you’re just starting out, think of your emails as a gateway to the sale. Make a landing page for your product and make the goal of the email to encourage them to click through to that page to learn more.
Close the sale on the landing page, not the email. This simplifies the process and makes sure your audience isn’t hit with a nasty case of information overload when you try to sell directly from the email (Hint: Kajabi makes it easy to set up beautiful landing pages that convert!)
Use More Than One Link in Your Text.
If you're having a hard time getting people to click through your emails, try placing links in your email text 2 or 3 times. This is known to increase the click-through rate from your email to your website. It may seem repetitive to you, but it makes getting to your landing page super easy for your subscribers.
Create Your Custom Email Marketing Strategy.
You can research a bunch of stats, data, and how-tos. But creating an email making campaign that’s actually successful isn’t always guaranteed.
Why is that?
Studies and stats are great, but the truth is, this data can be as different as night and day in different niches. What works for e-commerce email marketing, may not work for a digital course in business. And what works for one course creator may not work for you.
Don’t be. Here’s the awesome part:
If you try something out and it doesn’t work, you can play around with your approach until you find something that does.
The best email marketing strategy is rooted in flexibility and fine tuning your emails over time to fit your particular audience. Even the advice in this email marketing guide is simply a starting point. You are free to explore, adapt, and shape your email marketing plan to fit you and your audience the best!
Like every marketing strategy, finding an approach that works the best for your business can take time. But once you nail it, you’ll reap the benefits of a custom fitted email marketing plan that works for your business.
And I’m all about making that process as easy as possible for you.
Did you know that Kajabi has all of the email marketing tools you need to design your own, custom email marketing strategy?
One-time broadcasts, autoresponder sequences, list segmentation, and even detailed stats to help you determine what tactics are working and which ones aren’t; Kajabi can equip you with everything you need to win at email marketing.
If that feels like the right fit you and your business, think about giving it a try, completely free, for 14 days. Combine that with all the tips in this email marketing guide, and you may find that email marketing can be easier than ever!
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