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A Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing

The oft-repeated business adage, "The money is in the list," has existed for longer than the Internet, but it remains as true today as ever. Despite a shift toward social media for business communication, email marketing remains a powerful option no company should ignore. Billions of people all around the globe still use email and the ROI statistics point to exceptional returns.

How do you start email marketing and make it profitable for your brand? Startup advice from a business mentor can help perfect opt-in strategies and newsletter creation, but these tips can get you started on your own.

Target the Right Audience and Keep Your List Clean

Email marketing only works if you send messages to people interested in your types of products and services. Ideally, they are either prequalified leads or hungry shoppers looking for the type of solution you provide. You can collect contact information from a secure form on your website or other platforms after placing targeted ads or engaging in content marketing.

Once you attract the ideal consumer to your list, only allow them to stay if they remain active and interested. For example, if a sign up never opens your mail or clicks on any of the links inside, it makes more sense to remove them then waste energy and potentially money sending unwanted messages. Segmentation, which means you send different marketing messages to different groups of people, also helps. A growth mentor may advise separating your list based on where the individual is in the sales funnel.

5 Steps to Quality Email Message Creation

1 – Create a subject line that encourages people to open the email. Focus on benefits the individual desires. Keep it simple with a personal touch.

2 – Make sure the preview encourages a closer look. Most email providers show about 140 characters before opening the message. Do not waste space with readings or meaningless fluff.

3 – Structure the email message for easy reading and engagement. Mix graphics and text in an attractive manner. Keep paragraphs short and use bulleted lists.

4 – Use clever marketing psychology to engage the reader. This includes everything from trigger words like "Free," and "Act Now," colors chosen for their emotional impact, and personal touches to demonstrate appreciation for their actions.

5 – Keep the call to action specific and avoid the 'used car salesman' feeling. "Buy Now" feels rather aggressive and mercenary. The last thing you want to do is convince your email recipients that you only want to them for their money. Instead, invite them to take action, learn more, or get started with something they value more than you do.

Always Provide Value Tailored to the Recipient

It may seem obvious that you want your email content to make a great impression. However, this involves more than using a well-organized template, eye-catching graphics, and clear structure that shows well on any size screen. Appearance is only one small part of the overall value. Depending on your brand identity and the types of products or services you offer, the benefits to the email recipients may include a sense of community, special discount deals, more advanced offers, education and training, or entertainment. Share the benefits they will receive instead of what you want them to do, although a strong call to action at the bottom always helps.

When in doubt, find a mentor to help give you specific business advice tailored to your company. While email marketing remains an incredibly strong option to engage with your target audience, you run the risk of spam complaints and dissatisfied customers if you do not optimize your process perfectly.

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