Email marketing can be an effective channel to reach your audience. In fact, it is one of the only channels that you can deliver personalised and targeted messages directly to your prospective customers. This alone makes email an essential part of any digital marketing strategy.

There are, however, significant challenges with using email to reach your audience. Think about your own inbox. If you are like most people, it is overflowing with emails. You need a plan to make your emails stand out from the crowd. Here is a guide for beginners who want to get started with email marketing on the right foot. With these basics, you can get started on a successful email marketing strategy.

Build Your List

The first step for a strong email marketing strategy is to build your email list. Most people build their list by offering something of value in exchange for an email address. You might promise some valuable information in a white paper, an ebook or other free downloads. Another option is an regular email newsletter. Some people are in a position to offer a coupon or a discount to someone who leaves an email.

Make sure that your website has a strong call-to-action that clearly invites visitors to accept your offer and leave their emails. You want to make sure that you clearly spell out the benefits that the person will derive when they sign up on your website. No one wants any more spammy emails that do not offer any value filling up his inbox. Make sure that your offer is one that people can get excited about. They should look forward to receiving emails from you.

Provide Value for the Long Haul

No one signs up for a series of sales pitches. People want valuable information and offers. If you provide these in their inbox, then they will keep opening your emails.

The first step in constructing an email marketing strategy is to set expectations that you can meet. If you promise daily emails, then you have to deliver an email everyday. On the other hand, if you promise a monthly newsletter, don't start sending emails every day.

The next step is to develop a sequence of emails that start off your relationship on the right foot. These high-quality emails are crafted to showcase all the ways that you can offer value to your subscribers. Set these up on an auto-responder so that new subscribers automatically receive these in the right sequence.

Offering an email newsletter is a good way to nurture an ongoing relationship with your subscribers. You want to make sure that your newsletter has a good mix of educational material along with updates and promotions. Keep the promotional material light and focused on a clear objective. Don't clutter your email with multiple calls-to-action. Make one CTA the most prominent in order to provide focus to your message. If your newsletter is disorganized and unfocused, people will likely ignore it and may even unsubscribe.

Develop a content creation plan for your newsletters. This way you can share relevant content at regular intervals with the people on your subscriber list.

Customise Messages

One of the most important aspects of email marketing is the idea of list segmentation. You can break down your list in a variety of sub-groups. Then you can target these sub-groups with more specific messages and offers that are tailored to appeal directly to the members of the group. For example, if you run a cleaning service with both residential and commercial customers, this is one way that you can segment your group. Your residential customers have different concerns and pain points from your commercial clients. By developing different content for your emails to each group, you can keep the members of these groups more engaged than sending a generic email.

You can segment your list based on any classification that you want. It is helpful to treat people who have made purchases from your business differently from those who have not. You can send different content based on the gender or age of your subscribers. The more targeted and focused you can make your email, the stronger it will appeal to the group of subscribers that you send it to.

Measure Results

As with anything related to Internet marketing, you can collect enormous amounts of data to gauge your results and guide your future strategy. Most email management software provides complimentary analytics to help you do this. As a beginner, you should start by paying attention to three pieces of data. The first is the open rate. This tells you how many people at least look at your email before deleting it. The second is the click-through rate that measures how many people actually get from your email to a landing page on your website. The last data point is the unsubscribe rate. This tells you how many people are dropping off your list and ending their relationship with you.

You can fix poor open rates by improving your subject lines of your emails. If people are looking at your email but not clicking through, then you need more engaging content and offers. Finally, if people are dropping off your list, you have to consider why they want to end their relationship with you and do something about it.

Don't let email marketing scare you just because you are a beginner. With some basic tactics, you can construct an effective email marketing strategy to grow your business.