Email marketing revolves around the execution of a specific process. There are four main parts to this process. Stores need to execute this process on a consistent basis to maximize results. We’ll call this approach the CSTR approach. Each letter stands for an actionable step that can have a major impact on your ability to drive sales.
These four steps are:
- Collect Email Addresses
- Send email blasts to your list
- Track the results and analyze for improvement
When you establish these four processes it will have an impressive impact. You’ll see improved relationships with your customers and an increasing bottom line.
To begin you’ll need an account with an ESP.
Email Service Providers
This is an important decision. You will not want to switch your ESP after you start building your list and sending email marketing newsletters.
To make this simple, I am going to recommend two platforms. Choose Constant Contact or MailChimp. That’s it. Of those two, MailChimp is my number one recommendation.
There are two reasons I recommend MailChimp. It is easy to use and it free for those who are getting started with email marketing. An email list of up to 2,000 subscribers is free on MailChimp. This gives retailers time to grow their email marketing efforts before taking on an extra expense.
Furthermore, MailChimp is easy to use. There are pre-made email blast templates and the software makes it easy to build and send your first email.
I find Constant Contact to be a little more expensive and a little bit harder to use. But, it is still a very popular platform for small businesses.
Link for citations – second to MailChimp
Both platforms provide room to grow. As your skills as an email marketer progress, you will want more tools. MailChimp and Constant Contact offer advanced tools and features too.
MailChimp and Constant Contact both have ways of accomplishing the following:
- integrations with other services
- email blast automation
- A/B testing
- performance analytics reporting
- list management
- import tools.
Rarely will an independent retailer outgrow the capabilities available on these platforms. From small stores to chains, I recommend you check out MailChimp or Constant Contact. I think you will find they are right for you.
Once you have your email service providers set up. It is time to collect email addresses!