3 Email Marketing Tips for Beginners

The following is a short, basic outline of email marketing tips for beginners. Whether you decide to incorporate email marketing campaigns or email newsletters into your marketing activities, the following ideas will give you the basis for beginning.

The most effective email campaigns and newsletters are delivered to an audience that has agreed to receive (opted-in) your messages.

But many businesses don’t have a large email list of opted-in subscribers. For those businesses that want to utilize email campaigns, tip 1 is especially important.

3 Email Marketing Tips for Beginners

Tip 1: Get the Facts About Sending Email

We are neither a government entity nor a law firm. The following is not legal advice but instead merely suggestions before you begin any email marketing campaigns.

Can I Legally Send Cold Emails?

According to a number of online sources, a cold email is defined as an unsolicited e-mail sent to a receiver without prior contact.

In the United States, but not in all countries around the globe, sending cold emails is legal as long as the sender follows some important rules.

According to search marketing company Wordstream:

“Cold email shouldn’t be confused with spam emails, spam emails are sent to countless addresses at once, without researching the relevancy of the recipient or confirming that the email address itself even exists.”

What is the CAN-SPAM ACT?

The CAN-SPAM Act, enacted in 2003, is a law that sets the rules for commercial email and establishes requirements for commercial messages. The following list are CAN-SPAM ACT main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law

How Do I Know if CAN-SPAM Act Covers the Email My Business is Sending?

According to the FTC here is what to look out for before sending your email.

“What matters is the “primary purpose” of the message. To determine the primary purpose, remember that an email can contain three different types of information:

  • Commercial content – which advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose
  • Transactional or relationship content – which facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer about an ongoing transaction
  • Other content – which is neither commercial nor transactional or relationship.”

For more information on determining the type of content you are sending, refer to ftc.gov CAN-SPAM rules.

Once you have done your legal homework by visiting the FTC CAN-SPAM guidelines, you will be ready to begin utilizing email marketing campaigns for your business. This is one of the most important email marketing tips for beginners – do your homework.

Tip 2: What’s Your Strategy?

Email Marketing Campaigns vs Newsletters

Before you begin, you need to know what you are going to produce.

Two of the most effective email strategies are email marketing campaigns and email newsletters.

If your organization has enough manpower or the ability to outsource, you may decide to produce both.

Although both email marketing campaigns and newsletters ultimately are intended as methods to sell services and products there are differences.

Email Marketing Campaigns

  • Email marketing is most often used to promote, sell, provide offers, inform, announce news, and educate
  • The main intention is to generate sales

Email Newsletters

  • Newsletters focus on informing and educating the reader, answering questions, providing solutions, and giving value through tips
  • The main intention is to build trust as a go-to-resource that helps the reader

Determining your strategy(s) will effect how you use these email marketing tips for beginners guide. Once you have chosen your strategy, you need an audience to send your value proposition to.

Tip 3: Build Your List

List building is a critically important aspect to the success of your email campaign or online newsletter.

Although businesses can purchase compiled lists or opt-in lists from list brokers, the best method, if you can afford the time, is to build your own targeted list.

Here are some methods to building your list:

  • Speaking Engagements: Before COVID-19, one of the most effective methods of building your email list was to land speaking engagements at your local networking groups, industry associations, and trade groups. You can still provide value through Zoom or another online virtual event platform. Request an email address from all attendees
  • Free Training: Create a mini training course that offers ideas that help solve problems, provide answers to questions your audience needs help with, and strategies about how your prospects can use internet tools to help them solve their challenges. People are more than willing to provide their email address or sign up for your newsletter if you are willing to give them something first
  • Exclusive Content: Offer prospects your best most valuable written or video content (blog, YouTube) in exchange for an email address. The prospect gets your best problem-solving ideas and you have new opted-in email recipients. You can provide white papers, case studies, listicles, videos, and interviews
  • Pop Up Forms: Create a pop-up email sign up form for your website. When a visitor scrolls down below the fold on one of your blog articles, the pop-up form appears and provides an opportunity for them to sign up for your email campaigns
  • Email Signature Line Link: Add a email subscription link to your signature line in your business emails
  • Leverage Tools: Did your company put together a cool tool people can use? Think of the company that offers a “website grader” that grades the effectiveness of your website and produces a score (0-100). Do you have a tool that could help your audience?
  • Free App: Do you have an app that provides value while connecting people to your product or service? Every sign up requires an email address
  • Contests: People enjoy winning prizes. Can you offer the chance to win something of value for their email address?

Take the First Step

If you follow the 3 tips outlined in this article you will have the foundation for email marketing for your business. There are more advanced strategies like list segmentation, using recency strategies when determining when to send an email, mining the data from your email platform and using it for future targeted email campaigns, and understanding subject line copy.

As you get into your email program, if you have any questions or want to learn more about Inner Architect’s email marketing services please contact us, email us dean@innerarchitect.com and susan@innerarchitect.com, call us (415) 485-6961, or hit us up on Live Chat on our website. Best of luck and we hope to hear from you!