When it comes to marketing your company efficiently, email marketing is a no-brainer. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should already know that. But I do get some push back every now and again. And last week, I heard from someone I know that email marketing “takes too long to get right”.
Fair enough, I guess. But doesn’t any marketing program take time to get up and running and prove successful? I guess if you are just handing off PPC or social to an outside agency, you don’t have to spend much time on it yourself. But you’d do better to understand what they’re doing at the very least.
With email, a little bit of effort can go a long way. And you don’t have to master it in order to see results. But if you are one of those people looking to save time on their email marketing program, here are 5 ways to do it:
- Better list management – use a company like iContact and a plugin like Formstack in order to feed new signups directly into the appropriate list so that you don’t have to do much sorting and uploading each time you want to send out an email. And this doesn’t just apply to sales emails, iContact’s list management can be an effective software for fundraising purposes, email newsletters, and other outreach programs.
- Preset email templates – a little more time spent up front can make the time you have to dedicate to email design later that much less. Either hire an HTML designer or put your skills to work and create some basic templates that are quick and easy to update with each campaign.
- Let them decide the subject line – instead of agonizing over what the most enticing subject line will be, run an A/B test to a small percentage of your list, then come back later and send the winner to the rest.
- Track live results – track what works and what doesn’t with each email by setting up reports for yourself that come right to your inbox. The more you know about each email on the go, the less time you have to spend remembering that info when you go to create a new email.
- Automate sending – pick a day or a few hours of a day that you can devote to email marketing, and build your emails in advance. Most senders will allow you to set an email for deployment at some point in the future. Then you can sit back and forget about it until the next email marketing day.
One thing I do is ask people to be guest writers for my e-mail newsletter. This helps them to promote their stuff, and helps me have content to send out. Gives the e-mail a fresh voice as well.
I would think an even better way to save time is just skip the A-B testing on the subject line. Might cost you in the open rate, but if the goal is saving time, I think this could be skipped.
Tim, good tip. I use guest posts for the same reason.
The point with A/B testing was to save as much time as possible but still get the best possible performance.