The 7-Day Challenge to Jumpstart Your Email Marketing in 2020

Every year,
80% of new year’s resolutions fail
by the time February rolls
around. Launching your email marketing strategy shouldn’t be one
of them. That’s why we created a simple, 7-day challenge to help
you dominate email marketing in 2020. By the end of it, you’ll
have launched the most important parts of a successful email
marketing strategy. And the best part? You only need 30 minutes or
less each day to complete this challenge. (Don’t have an email
marketing platform? You’ll need one.

Set up a FREE email marketing account in AWeber
.)
Day 1: Choose your email template and brand it. (30 minutes) This
step is often overlooked. Many people use different email templates
every time they send an email. Or, they never fully customize a
template to match their brand. But branding an email template and
using it consistently are important. Your brand sets you apart from
your competitors. It allows you to be unique and develop a
personality for your business. It builds credibility and trust
between you and your subscribers. Your subscribers can see your
content and immediately tie it back to you. Step
1:
Choose your email template. Find an email template that
works with your brand and your message. A plain template is often
better than one already filled with colors and background images,
because it’s easier to make it your own. Then, add your logo to
the top or bottom of the email. (Inside AWeber, there are 8 NEW
email templates you can easily customize to fit your branding.
Choose the template format you’d like. Then drag and drop to add
your images and build the layout you want.) Step
2:
Add your brand colors to your template. Don’t overdo
it! Too many colors can be distracting. Try adding your brand
colors in just a few places, like your call-to-action buttons,
header image, or headlines. For example, in the welcome email of
AWeber’s
FWD: Thinking newsletter
, we incorporate our brand colors by
using a header image with AWeber’s green and blue gradient and a
call-to-action button with our brand’s shade of blue. Homework: Watch this video
on How to
Design an Awesome Welcome Email
. To do: Choose an email
template and add your logo and brand colors to it. Day 2: Customize
your confirmation message. (15 minutes) A confirmed opt-in message
is an email you send people immediately after they fill out your
sign up form. It asks them to verify they want to subscribe to your
emails by clicking a link or button in the message. Confirmation
messages are optional but strongly recommended. They serve as proof
that your subscribers definitely want to be on your list. So
internet service providers (like Gmail and Yahoo!) may deliver more
of your messages to the inbox when you use confirmation messages.
Plus, it prevents subscribers from signing up using fake email
addresses. To make your subscribers more likely to confirm their
subscription, you can follow these common best practices for
confirmed opt-in emails:

  1. Keep your content short.
  2. Explain the value your subscribers will receive by subscribing
    to your list.
  3. Tell them what they need to do to confirm.

Homework: Read
Writing Confirmation and Welcome Emails People Love
. To
do:
Set up and customize the subject line and content of your
confirmed opt-in email. (If you’re an AWeber customer,
you can follow these directions
to complete this step.) Day 3:
Create a sign up form. (30 minutes) Sign up forms allow your
subscribers to easily join your email list. You can promote your
form by adding it to your website and sharing
a hosted sign up form
with your audience. Hosted sign up forms
allow you to share your form anywhere, even if you don’t have a
website. Homework: Read
9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List
. To
do: 
Write your sign up form copy and
build your form
using ideas from the homework post you just
read. Day 4: Write your welcome email (30 minutes) A welcome email
is the first message subscribers receive after joining your list
and confirming their subscription. And it gets a lot of attention
— on average, open rates are 4 times higher and click-through
rates are 5 times higher than other emails, according to marketing
research company Experian. You can take advantage of this above
average engagement by crafting an excellent welcome email. Your
welcome email should:

  • Welcome subscribers to your email list.
  • Deliver the lead magnet you promised on your sign up form.
  • Explain what kind of content you’ll send subscribers, how
    often you’ll send it, and what they’ll learn.
  • Introduce yourself or your business.
  • Ask subscribers to add you to their address book. (This is
    called whitelisting and it can help more of your emails bypass the
    spam folder.)

Once you draft your welcome email, take some time to personalize
it! Personalization makes your subscribers feel you’re writing a
message specifically to them. Something as simple as including your
subscriber’s first name in the subject line or body of your
welcome email can boost opens and clicks.Homework: Read

The One Email You Should Always Send
and
How Personalization Can Help You Connect with Subscribers
.
To do: Write and build a welcome message for your
subscribers using AWeber’s
Drag and Drop Email Builder.
Day 5: Automate your welcome
email. (10 minutes) You wrote your welcome email. Your next step?
Automate it. That way, your subscribers will receive it immediately
after they sign up for your list. Simply create an automated series
for new subscribers in your email marketing platform. Here’s how:

  1. Build a new automation series in your email marketing platform.
    Make sure it’s set up to send to every new subscriber.
  2. Paste your welcome email content into the template you chose on
    day 1.
  3. Add your welcome email to the series.
  4. Activate your series.

Your email marketing system does the rest! Homework: Read .
To do: Create a welcome series using AWeber’s automation
platform Campaigns and add in your welcome email. (Here
are step-by-step instructions for setting up your own welcome
series in AWeber.
) Day 6: Publish your form on your social
media channels. (20 minutes) Your list is set up and your
confirmation and welcome messages are ready to go. Now it’s time
to put your hard work to the test and start to grow your list! An
easy first step is turning you social media followers into email
subscribers. People who follow your brand on social media have
already shown they want to hear from you. And there’s no better
way for them to stay up to date on your latest content and sales
than joining your email list. Post a link to your hosted sign up
form on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and ask your social
followers to subscribe for exclusive updates. Homework: Read

7 Expert Tricks to Grow Your Email List with Social Media
.
To do: Add
your sign up form to your Facebook profile
and tweet out the

hosted URL
to your form. Day 7: Share your sign up form with
your connections. (20 minutes) Reach out to the people you already
know, like colleagues, friends, or family members. Ask them if they
want to sign up for your email list. Let them know what content you
are offering and explain the benefits they would receive if they
sign up. If they say no, maybe the content you’re offering just
isn’t for them. But maybe they know someone it would be perfect
for. You never know until you ask! Homework: Read
How To Get Your First 50 Email Subscribers in Less Than 30
Days
. Use the fill-in-the-blank copy template in this post to
easily reach out to people. To do: Contact 5 people you
know. Send them the hosted URL to your sign up form and ask if
they’d like to join your email list or share it with someone they
know. Ready, set, go! Congrats! If you completed this 7-day
challenge, you’re well on your way to launching a successful
email marketing strategy. Want more content like this? Subscribe
to our FREE weekly email newsletter FWD: Thinking
for email
marketing tips from the pros. Bonus challenge Ready for your next
challenge? Then try this: Create a lead magnet — a freebie you
give subscribers when they sign up for your list. Lead magnets can
increase the conversion rate of your sign up form. For example,
author and productivity expert Paula Rizzo offers a free List
Making Starter Kit in return for signing up for her email
newsletter, which she sends via
AWeber
. Homework: Read

How to Create a Lead Magnet in Less Than a Day
. To
do:
Build a lead magnet, add a link to it in your welcome
email, and mention it on your sign up form.

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The 7-Day Challenge to Jumpstart Your Email Marketing in 2020