You know you want to integrate email marketing with your website but you haven’t yet because you aren’t sure where to start. Never fear, you don’t need to be a master programmer or techie guru to set everything up … in fact, today we are going to show you the basics and even help you automate your email marketing process! Two birds with one stone … or maybe the saying should be two opportunities with one blog post? Let’s get started …
How to Get Started
1. sign up for mailchimp
So easy … visit mailchimp.com and create your free account. You won’t be asked any hard questions … your name, email, business address, etc. Easy Peazy. Have your logo handy, too, as you will need to add some basic graphics to your email template. Like we mentioned earlier, you can start with the basics and get into fancier emails and graphics as you feel more comfortable. (Yes, we can make some awesome graphics for your campaigns!)
2. add opt ins … to your homepage, sidebar and/or after your post
There are a few ways to do this. If we built your website, this stuff is already done for you … unless you said, “No, Brittany and Collin, I am not going to do email marketing.” (Yes, people have said that to us!)
If you have a Genesis powered WordPress website you can simply download the Genesis eNews Extended Plugin. Add the plugin to the widget spaces you want to have an email opt in and complete the setup. Here is a helpful tutorial from the creators of the plugin.
If you have WordPress that isn’t powered by Genesis, simply copy and paste the html provided by Mailchimp into a Text Widget. You can find the html under Lists -> Signup Forms -> Embedded Forms. Here are some easy to follow directions from Mailchimp: Embedded Form Directions. A second option is to use the Mailchimp Lists Subscribe Plugin they created.
If your website isn’t in WordPress it might not be as easy as we would like it to be for you. You may want to contact your web designer and ask them if they’ve created a space for your email opt-in forms. You can be proactive and send them the html for your form and hopefully they can add it for you or direct you to the place in your website dashboard where you can do it yourself.
A last resort would be to simply add a link to a basic mailchimp form. It isn’t ideal because it is not part of your website, but it is certainly better than not collecting addresses!
3. create one helpful piece of content each week
This doesn’t need to be complicated. I promise! Simply start by answering questions. I am sure that you get phone calls and emails from current customers asking you questions. I bet you can look mighty smart by answering those same questions on your website! We’ve answered some of the most common blog related questions we are asked … one of our shortest and most popular blog posts to date!
4. set up a weekly rss-driven campaign
Mailchimp has an awesome tutorial that walks you through the steps to setting up your rss-driven campaign. Don’t let it intimidate you. Follow the steps. Test it by emailing it to yourself and then let your subscribers know that you aren’t an email expert, but you want to help them and hope they will overlook any typos or snafus as you get better at the technology side of things. (Yes, we can set it up for you so you don’t have to … we like this kinda stuff because it means you are going to be using your website and marketing your business!)
5. measure success
No matter how long we do this, we get our most thrill from sending an email and measuring the success. Start by measuring opens and click through rates. Mailchimp gives you super easy to read analytics .. and they even have an app for your phone so you can track success on the go. As you become more experienced and comfortable with your email marketing, you can integrate goals and conversions between Mailchimp and Google Anlaytics. We will go more into that later … today we want you to get comfortable with the basics.
in closing …
Collin and I both hope that you will open a new tab in your browser right now and get started with integrating your email marketing and your website. This is the first step to a very powerful online marketing system for your business. As always, email us if you need help along the way.
And not to tempt you … but this month we are launching our new website packages for small businesses just like yours … get excited!