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Creating an Email Marketing Plan

By | 02.01.17

First of all, congratulations. Lots of people dream about starting their own business. You actually did it. Though we hope the fish are just jumping into your boat, we also know that that’s not the way it typically works. No, instead, you’re going to have to email the right fish at the right time to set your business up for massive growth.

Email marketing – the best bang for your buck

According to recent research, customers say they prefer you contact them via email over other methods. So basically, they’re waiting for an email from you at any minute. Don’t disappoint them. On the flipside of the coin, does email marketing make sense for your bottom line? Sure does. Businesses see the biggest ROI from email marketing. In fact, email dwarfs more traditional marketing methods like radio – and even newer methods like social media marketing – alike. It’s not even close.
Great, so…

Where to start?

Getting started with email marketing can seem daunting: how often should I send my customers emails? Should the emails come from me? Should I send all of my customers the same emails? (No, but we’ll get to that in a second.) The best way to start is to put down on paper what you’d like to get done with these emails. For your loyal customers, it might be rewards, membership and sales announcements. For your new customers, it might be a warm welcome email, followed by a series of emails with incentives to get them back to your shop or scheduling their next appointment. And for customers who’ve tapered off, you may want to re-engage them with offers they can’t refuse.

You may have noticed something about that above paragraph. You definitely don’t want to send all of your customers the same email. To see the best results, you’ll want to segment your list so that everyone is getting only emails that are relevant to them.

Stay organized

With everything else you’ve got going on, sending automated emails can be a blessing. Once you’ve put in the work to make your lists, set goals, and get things up and running, you can safely go about the rest of your business and wait to see what comes back. But you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a calendar of when each email goes out and periodically test to be sure everything is working as expected. Even the most experienced marketers have had that moment of almost spitting out their coffee on the computer screen when they realize someone got their email who should not have. Not interested in 50% off full-coverage bras, grandpa?

Send the kind of email you’d actually read

The kind of emails you send your customers should reflect what customers actually care about. Again, this may be different depending on your audience. It should also reflect your company’s voice. Are you tongue-in-cheek? Cool? No-nonsense? Out to save the world? The way you speak to your customers matters just as much as the offers and info you include in your emails.

Another thing that customers can smell from a mile away is bad stock photography. We know it’s a challenge (and expensive) to get quality photos and graphics to put in your marketing materials, but if you’re using images that look overly posed or don’t match your business, chances are it’s not doing you much good.

Test, test, and test again

To get the most out of your email marketing efforts, you’ll want to test and document results from your email campaigns as often as possible. If you’re seeing a lot of your contacts unsubscribe, that’s a good indicator that you’re sending too many emails or you’re frequency is off. Try spacing out your emails and see what happens. If you’re emails aren’t getting opened, test your subject lines and make sure you’re not ending up in people’s spam folders. And if you’ve got plenty of people opening your emails but not enough people clicking on your offers and links to other info, change up your message.

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