Building a list of email addresses is one of the best ways to start marketing your products and services. With a list of interested email subscribers, you’ll be able to grow your brand and increase your sales. But email marketing isn’t as easy as sending emails to your family and friends. When it comes to using email as an effective marketing channel, there are five essential email marketing basics that you need to know.
1. Build your list the legitimate way.
When it comes to email marketing, slow and steady wins the race. It might be tempting to buy an email list, but it’s a terrible idea. Purchased lists can be peppered with expired or fake email addresses, and sending to these addresses is one way to open your business up to liability issues. When you start building an email list, make sure that people have a way to opt into the list and that they have permitted you to send them email messages.
There are two ways to get subscriber permission:
- Implied Consent
- Express Consent
If you have a business relationship with someone, or you’ve already emailed them, then they’ve given you implied consent to email them. Express consent refers to subscribers who’ve opted-in to your email list. What many email marketers will do to entice people onto a subscriber list is to offer something free in exchange for their email address. But opt-in pages need to explicitly state that you’ll be sending promotional material to the subscriber in exchange for the gift.
Opt-in pages can be digital, where you host the form on your website or social media page. Or, opt-in forms can be in a physical format. You can have people opt into your email list at a live event, through snail mail, or with a form in your brick-and-mortar company store.
2. Know CAN-SPAM and GDPR laws
CAN-SPAM is the name of the law in the U.S. that governs how commercial email marketing methods must be conducted. GDPR regulations apply to email marketing in the E.U.
If you’re marketing to customers in the E.U., you’ll want to be aware of GDPR regulations. For example, E.U. email recipients terms of consent must be clear and freely given. E.U. subscribers must have the ability to withdraw their consent at any time.
When it comes to CAN-SPAM compliance, your subscribers must have an easy and straightforward way to unsubscribe from your email list. Your email subject lines must also be direct and not misleading. Anyone you send a commercial email to must have given you their consent before you reach out to them.
3. Don’t hide the unsubscribe button or link.
For best practices, you want to make sure that subscribers can easily find the unsubscribe link. Subscribers who can’t easily remove themselves from your email list may mark your email as ‘spam.’ Don’t hide the unsubscribe link or button in your email.
4. Occasionally clean your subscriber list.
As time goes on, your email list will become stale. Over time, people will stop opening your emails. It’s a good idea that you occasionally remove uninterested subscribers from your list. The more engaged your subscribers are, the better email marketing metrics you will see. Plus, an active list will lead to more sales.
5. Keep an eye on your email metrics.
Email service providers will give you access to your email marketing metrics. These metrics will show you how well your email campaign is doing. The metrics will show you how many people open and click your emails, how often they interact, and even the best times to send email messages for a particular group of subscribers. Email marketing metrics can give you a lot of insight into your subscriber list so you can better target your marketing efforts.
Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing techniques that businesses of all sizes can use. When you’re ready to get started with email marketing, keep these five basics in mind so you can make the most of your efforts.