For this blog we have had the help of Alex Marin from the BigBangThemes team. We hope you enjoy!
Let's face it, there's absolutely no reason why building a creative email template for your business needs to be such a pain anymore.
Email marketing used to be completely off limits for small businesses until a couple of years ago.
Let's have a look at how things used to be.
You had to go to extreme lengths to find a designer who understood the limitations that email building presents. That designer had to be able to provide a good looking template without going too crazy with certain design patterns or elements.
Next up, you would have to have a team of developers or hire one. This was not an easy task by any means because you needed to make sure that they know their stuff. Email coding is not to be taken lightly, and cross-client compatibility is not something that's all that easy to achieve. This would more often than not end up in an almost continuous loop of testing, fixing and updating the same templates.
Fast forward father time, and we are now approaching 2018. This means that not only has the internet massively grown but wonderful people with amazing ideas are constantly putting their heads together to come up with new, exciting ways of making lives easier for everybody. And email is no exception.
With all that is great for the world of emailing, we have pulled together a series of 3 steps you need to go through to build and send a creative email template, and the tools you can use to do just that.
1. Building your email list.
First thing’s first, here’s the basics of the process. Start with building an email list. This is probably something that you've already done if you're reading this post, but for the sake of helping everybody who might be looking for info, we're going to cover this as well.
There really isn't a catalog of 'best techniques to build an email list', but rather a few guidelines you can go through to see what would be best for your business. Things like free e-books (or all freebies for that matter), discounts codes or really valuable information, are all still very much functional ways of building your list. You need to find the thing that will appeal to most of your clients or users and go for it. Since this post is not about strategies of building an email list, but rather how to actually build it, you can look for all sorts of overlay software that you can use on your site which will prompt readers to subscribe for a number of reasons. JustUno would be a great choice, but you can also use a series of plugins or web apps for this.
2. Building the email template HTML.
This is where the internet has been most kind to us. Now, we have a plethora of tools we can use to build this template, but it's probably best to look for a really good drag & drop email builder like the BigBangThemes email builder. You have the ability to drag and drop different modules to create a layout that's unique, brand it according to your company's colors and styles, and edit things like text, images, and links. After you finish this process you can export the work you've done in HTML format and it will be ready to take you right to the next step.
3. Sending the email.
Thankfully this final step is just as easy and your options are just as broad. You can choose from a huge list of ESP's you can use, from Hurree to MailChimp and every other option you find in between - the reality is that there's not much difference between them, and you'll need to inspect them yourself in order to make an educated choice between them. For starters, you will probably want to look at MailChimp's forever free program, where you don't have to pay anything (or register a credit card) for up to 2000 contacts.
See? I told you it requires just 3 easy steps. Now it's up to you to make the best out of your campaigns, make sure you're providing value to your subscribers and contacting them in a (VERY!) non-spammy way. Otherwise, it can all go south fairly quickly.
AUTHOR: Alex Marin
Alex's input as far as design goes is priceless for the BigBangThemes team, and her love for pixel perfect designs is inspiring. She comes up with awesome designs and creatives, keeping their online presence looking fresh and professional.