Email marketing can be a scary world if you have no idea what you are doing. Even though it is computer-based, you don’t have to be an engineering genius in order to produce a great email campaign (like my bio page says, if a complete technology noob like me can learn … there is hope for you too!). It is always easier to learn a new skill or process when comparing it to something familiar, so in this series, I will break down the process of creating an email campaign side by side with a simple activity of planting a tree.

First off is the most important element in the planting process: the seed. Yes, that tiny little pebble the size of your pinky nail has the power to bloom into a massive tree. Of course, what kind of tree it will grow to be depends on what kind of seed it is. In the same way, the success of your email campaign highly depends on the image of your company. Your company’s brand is the epicenter of all your marketing efforts. Establishing a unique voice that truly represents your company is what will set the tone and define that campaign for others to recognize.

Next, you can’t just plop the seed onto the pavement and expect it to grow. The selection of the right kind of soil to plant the seed in is crucial to producing a strong and healthy tree. The most ideal plot of land will have soil that is rich in minerals and nutrients to provide a good environment for the seed to grow in. Likewise, where you choose to direct your campaign towards will make or break its success. Keeping the company’s brand in mind, you must surround your campaign with the appropriate demographic that will be interested in your company in order for any kind of interaction. If your company provides exactly what the audience is looking for, it will lead to continual interest and loyalty to your company.

So now you have a good start to a campaign and a selected audience to serve … don’t let it shrivel and dry! Little seedlings need to be watered regularly, BUT it must be done wisely! You don’t completely drown your plant with buckets of water, nor do you just put one drop onto a leaf and call it a day. Knowing how much your plant needs to be watered takes careful observation. Does the soil look hardened and pale? Add just enough water to make it moist again. Similarly, are your campaigns using the same templates and taglines week after week? Change it up to refresh your brand and give the readers something new to look at. Too little change will bore your readers and but too much change is distracting. Water subtlety and only when needed.

Steady sunlight is the last important element to growing a beautiful campaign tree. So you have your brand, your demographic and some standard strategies to apply to your campaign. Alas, there are still other ways to increase the light in your company’s visibility!

Contrary to popular belief, Facebook and Twitter aren’t only for tween girls to quote Justin Bieber songs lyrics and take selfies. When used in a professional and timely manner, social media is a great platform to promote your company’s latest products, announce upcoming sales or share current news articles. The one advantage social media has in the marketing world is the ability to connect with the audience and fellow companies. Opening up a direct line of contact between company and followers softens your company’s image, making it appear more personable. It also is an opportunity to befriend other companies for chances of networking and collaborating together in the future.

Other ways to spread the light can be through SMS (admit it, you know you check your phone every five minutes), join forces with stores to plan an event, designing an awesome tradeshow that will stand out among the rest, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just be creative and flexible with different ways to market your company.

Lastly, how do you know which tree in the garden is the most flourishing? It is when the tree is tall and sturdy with various branches that produce abundant fruit. This gloriousness is what attracts birds to come and nestle within its foliage. So in the Secret Garden of email marketing, the campaign that is blooming the most offers the highest quality in service, and will eventually gain the respect of other companies. Who wouldn’t want to partner with a thriving business? Establishing oneself within a web of fellow companies establishes your own company and pushes its status upwards where many people will seek after your service.