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The Complete Guide to Email Marketing

Now that you've built email list and divided it into segments that make sense, it's time to start your campaign. Uh, oh, what's a campaign?
Don't Worry, It's Just a Plan
There are major events in our lives and minor events that take a major effort. Mostly all of them take some kind of thought and at least a few reminders to do them. Running away from a bear when you see one? Maybe you only think about that once and do it. Changing phone service to a better plan or trying a new restaurant might take a few mentions.
A campaign is just one in a series of email marketing messages that you send to a list of clients.
It Takes More Than One Email to Build a Relationship
It would be great if you just sent one email to a client and they come in and buy everything you have to offer, but it's going to take more work than that… or at least being clever and gently persistent. You can make this process simple, or you can take an all-encompassing approach. No two industries or even businesses within those industries are alike, so we'll take on a couple of case examples:
A Sample Campaign for a Retail Store
Introductory Email
You could start off by introducing your newly acquired contacts to your store's philosophy with an introductory email. Information about hours, employees and their areas of expertise and maybe a welcome coupon is all great content for your first email newsletter. You might also let them know what they might expect in future newsletters from you.
Promotional Email
Your next email newsletter might be full of the weekly specials. Maybe nothing but prices and information about the products you're selling would be enough.
Holiday Newsletter
A seasonal newsletter is always a winner. Many email marketing companies provide you with holiday email templates, and that's your cue to share in the festivities as you connect with your customer base with a themed newsletter.
Segmented Promotions
Segmenting might be your next choice. A hardware store might identify certain zip codes as having more pools. They can target a newsletter with news of specific products for pool owners and send it to subscribers who live in those neighborhoods. You may have asked your customers if they have kids when you were creating your list. Now you'll know exactly who would be interested in back-to-school specials!
Neighborhood Expert Newsletter
Perhaps the store is interested in the long-term strategy. Periodic email newsletters about community events might be very welcome as they build stature in the neighborhood. A home improvement store might offer newsletters with solely do-it-yourself project ideas and know-how. Even without mentioning any products at all, the store might come to be seen as the beacon of home-improvement knowledge and thusly trusted by the locals.
Special Event Invite
Maybe the store is holding an in-store product demo. Many people miss many events that they'd have liked to attend simply because they didn't know about them. A store owner can send email invitations to everyone on his/her list or use list segments to invite the specific people who have expressed an interest in that type of thing.
Survey or Poll
This can be sent on its own or included in any newsletter. The store can get vital customer response by sending out good-looking, easy-to-use customer polls. The customers feel like they have a voice as the store fine-tunes its operations based on the feedback it gets. The best part? The polls let you ask any question you want and you can create more list segments based on these answers.