How to Get Started with Email Marketing in 8 Steps

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It’s no coincidence that your email inbox is always full. Marketers love email because it’s extremely effective when it comes to getting your attention. Email is nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Mass email marketing (sometimes known as an “email blast”) is a powerful tool that allows you to reach out to numerous customers at once to ignite action, from RSVPing to an upcoming event to pre-ordering a new product.

If you’re looking to harness the power of email for your own small business, here are the steps you should take:

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1. Get the green light.

Be sure you have permission to contact the addresses you’ve obtained. Customers should have expressly opted in to your email marketing list. Without permission, you risk customers unsubscribing or marking your email as spam.

2. Optimize your lists.

Segment your email list so you can personalize content for different customers. For example, you might send an email to customers who haven’t been in lately with an offer to get them back, or send a special offer to your most loyal regulars.

3. Find a purpose.

Based on the audience of your email list, decide exactly what you want to accomplish with an email and maintain that goal with whatever you distribute. You could be driving sales, reclaiming lost customers, or updating clients with a newsletter. Whatever your focus, keep it short and sweet — no one has time to read lengthy email.

4. Encourage action.

Make sure you include a call to action in your email; this should tell readers exactly what you want them to do. Whether you want recipients to join you in the store today or get excited for Restaurant Week next month, an actionable element keeps them engaged.

5. Grab their attention.

If recipients aren’t interested in the subject line, it’s game over. An intriguing subject line draws them in and keeps them tuned in to what you have to say. Once they’ve opened up the email, the first three sentences should also be catchy enough to keep them reading.

6. Keep it fresh.

If you haven’t sent marketing email lately, avoid using a stale list by removing or reconfirming addresses. It reduces the risk of unsubscribers or your email being marked as spam.

7. Test it out.

Before you send an email to your entire list, try an email test with a small group from your email list. Divide the list and send each part versions with different subject lines or slightly different content. If you have a stronger response to one version, send that to the rest of your list. As time goes on, you’ll learn what resonates with your audience best.

8. Track your success.

Choose software to keep tabs on campaign reports. Square’s Customer Engagement tool can help you manage a customer directory, draft email, and track your hard work.


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