A couple of months ago I started using my email list more and have been connecting with a new community through my email marketing. Before I started picking up the email frequency, I knew I needed to create a system to manage it and stay on top of the emails. I call this my easy email marketing system because it is simple and straightforward, and the same process can be used for blogs and social media too. It can be summed up with plan, write, send, repeat, but I go in depth below with how I go through each step of the process.
Define your goal/mission
Before doing anything else with my email list, I established a goal and mini mission statement for it. I wanted to have a set guide for what I wanted to accomplish and do with my email list. I also made sure that it aligned with my overall brand mission statement. This helps keep you on track and keeps your emails focused.
Just like with a blog, you want to have a niche and a reason for talking to you audience. I narrowed down my focus and came up with a couple of different categories for emails I wanted to send. I also set guidelines for the type of content I would write and how I would structure it in the emails. Because I have two different email lists, I made sure to separate the use of each and establish guidelines for each. This also makes it easier when creating content because you know exactly what you need to write about instead of being all over the place.
Create an editorial calendar
Setting up an editorial calendar for my email list was one of the best things I did. It helps keep me organized, keeps all my ideas in once place and let's me schedule what topics I will send on specific dates. By knowing what needs to be written next, I don't have to spend time thinking of ideas for content and trying to decide when to send it. I keep a running spreadsheet of email ideas and then schedule when I want each to send. I also try to group things together into series so it makes sense from one email to the next.
Establish a schedule
Once I decided to start sending more emails, I picked specific days to send those emails so that I had an expectation set and could maintain consistency with my audience. You first need to determine how often you want to send emails (weekly, monthly, etc.) and what day of the week works best for you. There is a lot of research about what days and times are best for sending emails, but like I always say, you have to figure out what is best for you and your audience. Nail down a set time and day of the week to send your emails so that you can stay on schedule.
Write, edit, and send
I think it goes without saying that once you do the planning, you have to actually write the emails. The planning and preparation you have done before now will help make the email writing easier. By knowing a specific mission, topic, and target, you will have a better defined goal when you sit down to write your emails.
For me, I work on email marketing as part of my Monday daily task. (For more on my daily task method and how I schedule my work week, visit this post.) This is when I write, edit, and schedule my emails for a couple of weeks at a time. With mail chimp paid accounts and other email marketing tools, there are several scheduling options to optimize your sending too.
Respond and follow up
The purpose of sending an email to your audience is to directly connect with them. Like blogging or social media, It is just another channel to communicate with them, so use it that way. When I send emails, I always try to ask questions and encourage readers to reply to the emails with questions of their own to get a conversation going. You can use your emails as a way to directly communicate with individuals and get to know them. By getting to know your audience, you will better understand what they want and how to serve them. The key here is to start the interaction and be sure to respond back to your readers.
Email marketing can be another thing that business owners dread doing because of the time commitment and confusion about what to do with it. Creating and email marketing system that works for your, your business, and your audience will help to make it easier and a more efficient process. Plus, you will gain a great new way to connect with your readers on a different level.