For those new to email marketing and email newsletters, signing up for a free trial with a service like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or VerticalResponse can be the perfect way to get your feet wet. Email marketing software is easy to use, with customization options built in, and ready-made templates so you don’t have to be a designer to make it look good.
Note that Constant Contact has an aggressive spam policy, so make sure you have a super “white hat” or “clean” list. VerticalResponse is another popular choice with slightly more reasonable practices on what type of lists you can send to; both are relatively easy programs to use. They may not be the most feature-rich programs, but they likely have all you need to do a great job. Try Blue Sky Factory for a more intensive and expensive program that does a nice job integrating with your social media efforts.
Designing Email Newsletters
Be sure you use a clean design or template that matches the fonts and colors on your website (to maintain your brand but opt for designs that focus on headlines not graphics). Keep in mind the average preview pane size is around 638×86 pixels, so most people won’t even see beyond the first 100 pixels of your email! Make sure that you have your value proposition and calls to action within the first 100 pixels.Large header graphics can cause real issues, so keep it simple at the top of the email. And make sure to create a text-only version as well.
Once your template and your initial list are saved into the software program you’ve chosen, you’ll find that sending weekly or monthly emails is as easy as thinking up ideas!
Resources for Starting an Email Marketing Program
- McDougall Interactive’s Email Marketing Tools – We share resources on getting started with your business’s email marketing program.
- Hosting an event? Guide on email marketing for events – BBE Booking Agency shares a great guide on getting started if you’re hosting events.
- Beginner’s guide to email re-engagement campaigns – How to maintain your email list by Web Marketing Today