Get your fundamentals right! This episode will take you through the building blocks of an actual e-mail marketing campaign so you know what you're going to be working with.
Now in the last episode we talked about the different levels in e-mail marketing and we’re going to go over that in a lot more detail in the next chapter, but we want to use this episode to take a step back and talk about the different building blocks that go into actually building an e-mail campaign.
The How of it more than the What. So how do you do it?
Unlike normal e-mails, where you pop open your Gmail, compose your message and click send, e-mail marketing is done using specific tools. These tools give you everything you need to effectively grow your business using e-mail. And while some tools are more advanced than others, the fundamentals stay the same. So let’s get into it.
The first building block in any e-mail tool are forms.
You know what’s a must-have when it comes to e-mail marketing? E-mail addresses. And, how do you collect e-mail addresses? You use something called forms. Forms are what you use to collect key information from people who visit your website, landing page or even your app. We interact with forms all the time. Just think about it.
Every time you sign up for a 30-day trial with Netflix or book a ticket to a movie, a flight ticket or even signing up for Tinder. Forms are a big part of our life on the internet. And while they can be very detailed and ask for a lot of information, the bare minimum you need for your campaign is the name of the person, and his or her e-mail. In fact, you can probably do with just the e-mail as well.
The point is – forms are the first step in bringing a user into your e-mail marketing ecosystem.
The second building block is what we call an e-mail list. This is simply a list in your e-mail tool of contacts that have filled out your form. How this works is that the form on your website is connected to your e-mail tool, so every time someone fills the form, the information is sent to the tool that then populates the list.
Every brand will need to create multiple lists because people might fill different forms for different things. For example, someone might sign up for your newsletter, the other for a product demo, and the third to have someone give them a call. Lists allow you to give each person what they came for and treat them differently.
The next element is what we call a Contact. When someone fills a form, they are added to a list, and within that list they become a contact. Now in each contact you can have multiple fields, which is dependent on…. well, the number of questions you ask on the form they fill. So if you have 5 questions on your form, you have 5 fields in your contact. It’s quite simple.
Number 4. E-mail builder. Every tool has a builder that allows you to build your e-mails. You see all these fancy e-mails in your inbox? They’re all put together using an e-mail builder in the tool. The builder allows you to drag and drop images, GIFs, write your content, space it out, and do anything else you want.
Now, whether you choose to go with a very extravagant design or maybe something more minimal, that’s up to you. But, the builder makes it all possible.
And then you have campaigns. This section in every e-mail tool is where you go to send your marketing e-mails. In the campaigns section, you select the campaign type, whether it’s a single e-mail or a series of e-mails, the list you’d like this e-mail to target, and then the design and content from your builder that you’d like to use. Now you’re going to want to really get familiar with the campaigns section cause you’ll be using it a lot, especially as you start out.
And finally, you have automation. This is the big league of e-mail marketing. The Black Belt. The MVP. Automation makes your e-mail marketing campaign come alive. And while it has so many features and benefits, we can narrow it down to two things.
It allows you to personalize your e-mail. Personalization is what makes e-mail marketing so effective and automation allows you to do just that. It lets you send specific e-mails to each contact on your list based on their behaviour. And depending on their behaviour, you can decide who gets what e-mail when and how often.
The second thing automation allows you to do is well...automate your e-mails. You don’t have to actually be there to hit the send button each time. Your automation takes care of it.
This means while you’re ordering another round of beer, learning how to make pasta, or playing with puppies in a field, your e-mail campaign is doing its job.