The 10 Questions I’m Always Asked About Email Marketing
What questions do you have about email marketing? I get asked lots of questions, so I thought I’d pull together the 10 I’m always asked.
Now, as a solo business owner, you know that email marketing is something you should add to your marketing toolkit. It sounds great, but also a bit scary, right?
Email marketing doesn’t have to be a headache – it’s about connecting with your people and growing your business. Trust me, it’s easier than you think.
So, back to the 10 big questions about email marketing you might have, the ones that maybe kept you up at night or made you push it to the ‘later’ pile. How to start, what to write, how often to send – these kinds of things.
Pop the kettle on and settle in, because this post is for you. It’s all here, from the first step to the fine details. And don’t worry, I’ve broken it all down, so it’s nice and simple.
Let’s dive into the world of email marketing together – you’ve got this, and I’m here to help!
1. How do I start building an email list from scratch?
I get it. You’re putting off sending emails because you have no one to send them to. Let me tell you a secret. When I started my business, I had two people on my list: my husband and me!
But really, my husband was never going to buy from me! I needed the right people on my list.
So, first off, I worked out how often I would send my emails (weekly, in case you’re wondering.)
Next, I worked on the value people would get when they joined my email list.
Then, I created a sentence I would use (I call this my value statement) when I asked people to join.
The last thing I did was brainstorm all the places my target audience hung out. And that’s where I asked, using the value statement I created.
Growing an email list becomes easier when people know how often they’ll hear from you and what you’ll send them.
2. What kind of content should I include in my emails to engage my audience?
What type of content do you respond to? I bet you don’t like being sold to all the time, do you?
Neither will your email list. Think back to the value statement. What type of content will your readers value?
We all have educational content, especially if you have a blog. So, 80% of the time, send out content that your subscribers will value.
The remaining 20% is for you to talk about your business – what do you want them to know and do?
3. What’s the best frequency for sending out emails – daily, weekly, or monthly?
There’s really no wrong answer here. You have to do what works for you. Remember, dear solo business owner, you have a shit load of stuff to do.
Create a sending schedule that works for you. (Value statement, anyone?) Then stick to it.
I advise businesses like yours to send monthly at a minimum. Any less than that and people forget they signed up.
Remember, when you have decided on the frequency, you need to tell potential subscribers – set that expectation right from the outset.
4. How do I comply with legal regulations like GDPR when collecting and using email addresses?
Disclaimer: I’m not a legal expert.
Even before GDPR, we had data protection laws. That’s why I always, always used to (and still) ask permission.
When collecting and using email addresses, you are obliged to register with the Information Commissioner’s Officer. There is an annual fee you need to pay. For most solo business owners, it’s £40 a year.
My email service provider also allows me to link to it on all my sign-up forms.
If you’re unsure what does and doesn’t apply to your business, have a chat with the Information Commissioner’s Office. They’re there to help you.
5. What are the differences between the subject line, preheader text, and headline in an email?
Visualise your inbox.
When an email lands in it, you’ll see up to 3 things:
- The sender’s name
- The subject line
- The preheader
The subject line is there to help you entice people to open your emails. The preheader text supports the subject line. It’s an additional space to preview what’s in that email.
The headline lives in your email. It’s usually at the top and its job is to make your readers want to scroll and read the email.
6. How can I measure the success of my email marketing campaigns?
Every email marketing software comes with reports. These are your friends. They help you understand how your campaigns are performing.
Here are a few metrics you need to keep an eye on.
- Open rate – this tells you if you’re sending your emails at a good time for your readers.
- Clicks – this tells you if your subscribers are interested in your content. Watch what they click on and give them more of what they love!
- Bounces – these tell you if your list is clean or not. A hard bounce means that the email address is wrong, or doesn’t exist. Soft bounces happen for things like out of office replies.
- Unsubscribes – if you suddenly get more of these than usual, it could mean that your content didn’t resonate with your subscribers.
This is enough to keep an eye on for a complete beginner.
7. What tools or platforms are best for a beginner in email marketing?
You want to use something that doesn’t take loads of time to learn. I’d say pick three and set up a trial with each of them. Dig around inside and see how easy it is for you to create an email.
I generally recommend three three for solo business owners who need simplicity:
There are a few things that you should consider when choosing an email service provider. One of the most important things for me is what support they have available.
It’s so important to pick the right platform for you. It’s one, whole module in my Small Business Email Marketing course – that’s how important I think it is!
8. How do I create personalised email campaigns to target different segments of my audience?
When you’re getting started, I would focus on getting valuable information out to your subscribers. When you’ve consistently sent emails, say for a year, you can look at what information you have about your readers to help you personalise.
Segmenting is when you group together people who have things in common. That might be their location, the things they’re interested in reading, things they’ve bought – in fact almost anything.
I’d say create a handful of segments to keep things simple for yourself. Stuck for ideas? Read this post.
Some email service providers let you build dynamic content (Constant Contact and Mailerlite do this), which means you can create one email but have sections of it that are relevant to specific segments.
This type of feature speeds up creating emails.
9. Is it difficult to switch email service providers if I need to?
No is the simple answer. You own all your data, so all you need to do is export it. Remember to remove any unsubscribed emails from your download before you add it to your new email platform.
You might also want to send yourself one of the emails you created so you can build your master email template in your new account.
You can also download past reports so you have a record of those.
10. How do I prevent my emails from ending up in the spam folder?
TL:DR Don’t write spammy content and get permission!
You have to become a trusted sender. That’s why getting permission is so important. It
It’s also important not to write spammy content – you know… those clickbait subject lines.
Make your content valuable and it will get through the spam filters. People will want to receive it and they’ll add you to their address books. One way to do that is to make your emails interactive.
And look, sometimes your email will end up in the spam folder. But, people do check them to retrieve emails they want.
What you want to avoid is people purposefully marking your emails as spam. Too many of those and internet service providers will block your emails.
Ready to dive in?
Hey, if you’ve made it this far, I reckon you’re really keen to crack on with email marketing for your small business. And guess what? I’ve got something that’s going to make your journey a whole lot easier. It’s my course, Small Business Email Marketing, and it’s made just for solo business owners like you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Another course? Really?” But trust me, this isn’t just any course. It’s like having me right there with you, guiding you through the twists and turns of email marketing, without all the jargon and confusion.
So why not take a peek? Go and have a look and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve built this for you, you newbie. You can absolutely do this, and I’m here to help!