If you are wondering when to use email marketing in your business, you are in the right place.
I have been email marketing since the last century. So my views on when to use email marketing have changed. However, a recent visitor to my email marketing guide article asked when he should start email marketing.
My first thought was, “Wow, I hadn’t thought about that in a long time.”
My typical response is to plan and set goals for your email marketing campaigns. Just don’t jump in and sign up with first email service provider you see.
So today, I am going to tell you when to use email marketing.
When to Use Email Marketing
You want to use email marketing and start building your email list today if you have not already started.
You need an email list to help grow your business from the first day a person visits your website. There is no point in waiting until you have a certain number of people visit your website. Building relationships and creating trust with visitors should start on day 1.
If you are running an e-commerce site, then you must have the ability to communicate with purchasers from the beginning. The fact is that most people who visit a website will never return. So it is up to you to do something or anything to improve the chance they will return.
Deciding when to use email marketing is vital to business growth.
Why You Should Start Building Your List Now
I used to say that people should not start email marketing until they had a steady flow of visitors to their site. Old time marketers (me being one of them) used to say wait until you had 200 visitors a month.
200 was such a bogus number based on superstition I guess.
I changed my mind because I had a website hacked. That meant no visitors and no business. Fortunately, I had my email list. So I sent a broadcast email to everyone telling them what happened. Also, I told my readers the technical support people were working on it, but they did not know how long my site would be down.
My site was down for almost two weeks. At least I was able to communicate with my subscribers and continue building relationships.
This experience showed me the importance of building an email list and sooner the better.
How to Start Building an Email List
Starting immediately to use email marketing does not mean jumping in and signing up with the first email service provider (ESP) you see.
Too many ESPs and marketers say the first step is to sign up with an ESP.
That’s wrong, and I will tell you why.
The first step is to create an email marketing plan. In the purest form, it defines your target audience and how you will communicate with your audience. Don’t rule out social media as a means of communicating with your audience. However, understanding your audience will help determine whether to send newsletters, short email notices, or long-form emails.
For example, if you are planning on educating your readers with long-form emails (lots of content), then you should have a content creation strategy.
People sign up to your list because they want to hear from you.
So it is vital to determine the frequency and timing of your emails to your subscribers. It is like the childhood story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You will have to find the balance between too often and not often enough.
Your plan should include the purpose of your email list. Will the primary objective be to build your brand, educate your subscribers, promote new products, build your list, or a combination of these or something different?
Why is this important to know?
For example, if your purpose is to educate your readers, an automated sequence of emails sent periodically by an autoresponder would be appropriate. Not all ESPs provide automated email sequences with free or low-cost plans. Therefore, you would have to manually broadcast emails to your subscribers, which defeats the purpose of automation.
Here is another example.
If your purpose is to build your brand, you will want an ESP and plan where the ESP does not add their logo or advertising on your emails to your subscribers. You do not want your brand competing with that of your ESP. Branding rules out using a FREE email service provider plan as well as some paid plans.
When to Use Email Marketing Summary
Hopefully, I have answered your question of when to use email marketing. Now is the right answer.
You may have astutely noticed that I did not say much about choosing an email service provider. That was by design. Because the next step is setting up a selection criteria for choosing the right email service provider based on your plan.