Email marketing is an important tool for getting your business some traction and connecting with your audience, and I think it’s often overlooked. So we’re going to talk about it today. We’re going to talk a little bit about what kind of goals you can achieve with email marketing, and we’re going to talk specifically about the importance of using a platform, the kinds of things a platform will get you, and why it’s important. My name is Susan Czajkowski, I am the Com Coach, I am a digital marketing consultant and a communication coach.

Setting Goals for Email Marketing Campaigns

When you use email marketing for your business, your specific goals are to build a relationship with your audience. It’s an opportunity for a one-to-one relationship where you can really connect with your audience, talk to them personally. You can include your name in it, and you can include it not just at the beginning, “Dear Paul…” but also halfway down the email say it again: “Paul, I really want you to understand…” So there’s an opportunity to engage and even call them out into the email a little bit.

Asking questions and getting them to respond is something that you can do with an email, and to include think that you can have them click on and then measure that engagement. The thing is, those features are only available when you for use an email platform. The platform I like to use is Constant Contact; I find that I get the best results from it, it’s what I recommend to my clients. But what’s important is that you use a platform. This platform is designed by an email service provider that’s giving you the ability to reach to many people at once.

Read More: Email Marketing: Why Your Business Needs It

Key Features For An Email Service Platform

There a number of different features that an email service provider and their platform will give you. We’re going to talk about some of those features really quick, because as you select select the right platform for you, these are some things to make sure you have available to you.

Mail Hundreds or Thousands of Addresses At Once

The first is that you can send out emails to many people at once, and personalize them. So you’ve got a hundred, a thousand or more email address that you’re sending out to all at once.

Schedule Emails In Advance

You should be able to schedule them, so that you could be writing it on Sunday but it’s not going to go out until Thursday, or a much as a month in advance is fine. Whatever you can fit in your business. What’s nice is, as a business owner is, you don’t have to write this email right when you’re sending it. You can think about what writing, you can do it as part of your email marketing strategy, which is part of your larger marketing strategy, schedule it, and have it go out at the time that you need to relative to the campaign you’re running, and have it go out to a mass of people.

Track Clicks on Links in Emails

The other thing is that you can include links that you can that track. You can put something in the email that says, “click here to learn more” or have a button that says “click here to register”. When a person clicks on it, you can see who clicked on it, you can see when they clicked on it. And when you get a list of people that have clicked on it, maybe you can send them a message that says, “we think you’ll find interesting, so we want to give you a little more information…”

Especially if, as you do your tracking let’s say – for the scenario here – you’re running an event, you’ve got ten people that clicked on the event and three people didn’t register for it. Seven people did – yay! For those three people, you can send a follow-up email that says, “we do think this is an event you’re going to find interesting, here are a few more things you might want to know about the event, hopefully you’ll register for it, please let us know if you have any more questions,” and include the link again. So with that follow-up email, you’re continuing to build a relationship, be informative and hopefully get them to register as well.

Build a Branded Template

Some of the other benefits that you’re get when you work with an email platform are the ability to build a template that is branded, so that whenever you go in to build your email, you can go in there and just build the content of email because the brand, the shell is already there. You should be incorporating your logo, your branded colors, any other things that really make your brand your own. Maybe there’s a statement at the bottom about who you are, or who your company is. So that ever time you go in an email to build the next email, you only have to incorporate that content and send it out.

Advantages of Using an Email Platform

When you pay for a platform, you’re paying for efficiency; you’re paying for consistency of that same template going out, as well as all that data that you’re going to get when they open it, when they click on things. It really is to your benefit as a business owner to have a platform that you can use to be sending out tracking your email and your email data.

Read More: 25 Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List

Monitoring Email Data Metrics

So I’ve been talking about data, and the data that you can track with your email marketing, and the two pieces of data you really want to start out with and really monitor are going to be Open Rates and Click Rates.

Open Rate

Open Rates are the easy one, and everybody talks about them: how many people opened your email? And that’s great! You should be tracking that. If you sent out 500 emails and 40% of the people opened it, you got a 40% open rate, and that’s huge, that’s an excellent response.

Click Rate

But then, the next important thing you also want to look at is the Click Rate. And that click rate is, of the people that opened the email, how many of them clicked on something that I put in the email? Now, the catch there is that you then have to put something in the email that you can click on. So you’ve included a link, or a button that they can click on that will get more information, event registration, something. Maybe it’ll click them just through to your website. Whatever it is, what that’s telling you is engagement. What that’s telling you is that they have at least skimmed, because most people do skim, not read. They have at least skimmed your email, and have expressed interest and engagement by clicking and going further from that.

So it’s important to look at both your open rate and your click rate and enable your email so that they have something to click on so you can have that click rate. So it’s important to look at both your open rate and your click rate, and that’s going to be the success of the email you sending out.

Read More: How To Understand Email Marketing Metrics

Don’t Be Discouraged if you Don’t Get Immediate Results

The first emails you send out, you’re going to have a little trouble with. You’re creating it. Over time, you’re going to be improving on these rates. So, take a look at what your first email responses are: you’re going to get some really good ones at first, because everyone’s excited to see it; you’re going to get some nominal numbers, and over time you just want to keep those email open and click rates higher. When they drop down, look at that as, “okay, what didn’t work?” and improve it. Any measurements here, just like any other marketing data, is about the over time, where am I going, making sure that you’re just doing really well and improving your data.