Email Marketing is a fast, flexible and cost-effective way of reaching out to your customers and prospective companies. In today's fast-paced world it's a no-brainer. It's not a question of whether they should, instead it's a question of how, or where to get started.
Don't worry, there are definitely people out there who have wrestled with these same issues! In this case, it's your competition!
Start With Finding the Competition
You're likely not the first person to do what you're doing. Who are your competitors? Find who's crushing it in your industry or field of expertise and learn from them!
If you're a retailer, find a big-name retailer in your area. If you're a plumber, find the companies you compete with most or aspire to be more like. Find the competition in your industry. If there aren't any big names in your industry, then look for companies with similar business models.
Now it's time to start signing up for newsletters and subscribing to blogs!
You may even want to create several different email addresses and filter different companies into different folders to help keep track of everything.
Now that you've got the material, it's time to dig in!
Things to Look For
How Do They Treat New Subscribers?
Analyze how each of your competitors treat new subscribers. There are a number of different things to try when engaging prospective customers.Here are some things to ask yourself about each companies email communications:
- How quickly did they email you?
- Does it look like it was automated?
- Are there other activities that trigger further automation?
- Is it a series of emails, or just one?
- Did they offer any special offers to new subscribers?
Are Their Subject Lines Engaging?
Subject lines are HUGE for email marketing. Without an engaging subject line no one is going to open your emails.
Keep track of the subject lines you receive from those that you're tracking. Take note of any similarities too. Do most of the companies include personalization? Did they put special offers in the subject lines? What about these subject lines grab your attention?
Now you don't want to copy any of these subject lines verbatim. But take the more popular ones and see how you can apply them to your business. Don't forget to continually test the newly created subject lines to see which ones perform the best for your business.
What about the Body of the Email?
Just like with the subject lines, analyze the body of these emails.
- Does anything stand out or grab your attention?
- How long are the emails?
- Do they incorporate a lot of pictures or rely mostly on text?
- Do they offer any discounts or special offers?
If a company uses the same offer or strategy in several emails, then its safe to assume it works well for them. Take notes on what could work for your emails and try to apply those ideas to your strategies. Again, remember, this isn't about copying. Adapt an idea or strategy to work for your company, don't copy someone else's work.
How Often and When Are They Emailing You?
How often are these companies emailing you? There's a sweet spot for every industry and every company. Some find success sending out 4-5 emails a week, others can cut that in half and still see the same successes. Learn from your competitors and then find what works best for you.
The day and time you send emails is also a massive factor. Take note of the days of the week and times you're receiving emails. Do you get more in the morning? Maybe most of your competitors send emails on a Tuesday. Whatever the case is, make note, and apply what makes sense to your business and customer base.
Email marketing is all about getting started. Adapt what you've learned from your competition and start sending those emails! The key is to continually analyze results and make iterations based on what the data tells you.
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