Some people put off email marketing due to the intimidation factor. Writing sales emails requires carefully worded text free from spelling and grammatical errors as well as a degree of creative thinking. These skills are essential to having your business be perceived positively and looking professional.
However, such things do not come naturally to everyone. For this reason, many businesses engage professional writers to help them. But you can do your own email marketing even if you are not a writer. There are a lot of free resources online that can help you develop your own skills – all you need is patience and to practice what you learn!
Let’s look at some of the tools that can help you write better marketing emails:
1. Email marketing services
Most businesses without inhouse technical experts will use an email marketing service that automates the process of customers signing up to your email list and the sending of the emails you create to them. There are many such services to choose from and the right option for you will depend on your budget and also the size and scale of your business and email marketing needs. Some services are a paid subscription that allow for you to send an unlimited number of emails to an unlimited number of people. However, for smaller businesses or new startups there are also free solutions like MailChimp.
Before you sign up for a service you can check out a number of providers’ features and pricing pages and find the one that is the best match for you. Here is quick summary of some of the main providers:
MailChimp is probably the most popular and best known email marketing tool online. It has been around for a long time and is popular with small businesses, non-profit organisations, and sports groups thanks to its basic options being free. It’s a great place to start.
Also check out paid services like Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, AWeber, SendLoop and Benchmark Email. These are mid-range tools that offer more capacity than MailChimp but are still relatively affordable.
The following services are even more comprehensive and provide an integrated solution to the whole process of campaign management. Email marketing is included but it is only one aspect of their solutions.
2. Resources and tools for writing
The technical side of sending emails is only one element of email marketing. The other side is creating the content. Thankfully, there a tonne of websites dedicated to writing and many of them will be helpful in developing your skills—even courses on creative writing will be beneficial! Check out some of the following resources:
- State of Writing: a comprehensive list of links to writing resources
- Grammarix: an online copy-paste grammar checking tool
- Grammarly: another grammar checker, with plugins for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox
- Hemingway Editor: Named after Ernest Hemingway, a classic author who was renowned for is ability to write in very simple English that could be easily understood by people, this is a great tool to use if you write about technical subject matter and need to learn how to simplify it for the general public
- Daily Page: a service that offers practice exercises to help people improve their writing skills
- Oxford English Dictionary: a comprehensive set of resources, including articles on grammar
3. Image and design tools
Text is just one element of successful email marketing. In fact, if your emails are always text only you’ll likely not engage with all of your audience because many people are too busy to read long articles – not to mention that many people are visual learners. You’ll also need to learn about the visual side of email marketing. Here are some good starting points:
- Canva: a great site dedicated to infographics and the visual side of marketing
- Venngage: another resource focused on creating infographics
- Piktochart: infographic, chart and presentation templates
- Meltwater’s Infographic Guide: a good article full of advice on how to go about designing infographics when you aren’t a designer
4. Hire a professional
While there are always benefits to upskilling your own technical, writing and design skills, you may not have the time and might prepare to pay someone to take care of these things for you. Rather than hiring a full-time staff member, you can hire many talented individuals who make their living as freelance writers, designers or IT administrators. This option need not be super expensive. Although you do tend to get what you pay for in terms of quality, freelancers’ rates vary significantly.
Email marketing is about more than just creating good emails to send. It’s also about managing their delivery. Once you have got the automation and technical details set up and text and images sorted, consider other elements to manage and tweak the success of your campaigns including list segmentation, and figuring out optimal times for mail-outs to increase open rates especially across different time zones.
As mentioned, there are many free tools out there that can help you with aspects of your campaigns but remember that ultimately the daily management of your campaign and your business is in your hands. Make sure to track the conversions of your email marketing so you know what is happening and can make improvements in the future.