Knowledge is power. In my many years as a marketing strategy consultant, I gave and saw a lot of training. But not every training is the same. It’s important to get the right type.
So, from my experience, here is a guide to the email marketing training options out there.
With decent email marketing training, you’ll not only up your email game, you’ll also get more accurate data on how email marketing is working for you. And data is what good strategies are built on!
Email marketing is more than a tool
The tool alone is not enough. Your software may have stunning potential, but it can’t fulfil that potential all by itself. You need to define the strategy and objectives of your email marketing activity first and then use that shiny new tool to fulfil your goals. That means the person or the team using it need to know what they’re doing. Email marketing training is essential.
There are some fantastic ESPs and Marketing Automation tech out there which can give you the slick, well-oiled campaign of your dreams.
Only this client isn’t optimising…. yet. They’re churning out bland emails on an fixed schedule.They aren’t learning anything, missing out on tons of revenue opportunities, and not letting the tool reach its full (awesome!) potential.
So what gives? Well, it’s often down to one of two things:
· Complacency. This usually happens when you buy in some snazzy new marketing automation software. People assume that the software can handle things all by itself. So they sit back and let it do its stuff. Which, 9 times out of 10, it doesn’t. Marketing Automation software needs human input if it’s going to work!
· The wrong resources. Often, companies have invested in software which doesn’t work for their business. Or have a team or people working on any part of the email marketing that could do much better if they knew more and more in-depth.
Luckily, there’s a solution to these problems: email marketing training.
I see this all the time. I’m contacted by clients, who want to improve their marketing strategy. Along the way, they mention that they’re planning to downscale their B2C emailing.
I advise against it. They’re surprised. So we run the stats – and find that emails actually get the most customer engagement of all their marketing channels! Email is still one of the most effective tools in any marketer’s arsenal, especially when optimised.
What Email Marketing Training Do You Need?
Your email marketing strategy should be tied in with your marketing strategy. That depends a hell of a lot on your business, its customers, and its aims.
For example, a small domestic cleaning business relies a lot on individual connections. The email will likely come from the owner of the cleaning business because it will need a much more personal email marketing style.
Therefore, a personalised, bespoke training session would be the best kind of email marketing training here.
It’s also essential to evaluate the level of training that is required, based on your personal knowledge gap and two qualifying areas:
– The current type and level of email marketing activities you are conducting now. Is it at a basic beginners level, with limited automation for example or is your email activity advanced and highly sophisticated with highly personalised email journeys?
Maybe you’re a frequent user of email marketing software, but it’s the strategic side of email marketing that needs more focus?
– Secondly, ask yourself, what is your target? What do you want to achieve with email? Are there particular types of campaigns that you want to send or things you want to be able to do with email that you currently don’t know how or where to start?
Think about what you want from email marketing and what you need it do bring to your business. After reading your email, do you want your customer to click a button or to pick up the phone? Are you B2B or B2C? Big or small? Product or service? It all makes a difference to what you might need.
Email marketing training topics to consider
Some trainings will combine several topics or be bespoke. A focus up front, knowing what is your current knowledge and what you want to learn more about is a good start.
· Marketing Tactics You may be great at punching schedules into software, but for an email campaign to achieve results you will need to understand and choose effective marketing tactics.
· Targeting. Who you’re targeting depends on what you’re selling. How you do it depends on who they are. But there are a few tricks of the trade which it’s useful to know about.
· The Law. With data privacy laws tightening, EVERYONE with a marketing list needs to know their legal duties of data, privacy, opting-in and so on.
· Content Creation. A good email template doesn’t happen by itself. Crafting irresistible copy and setting that copy in an enticing design are skills which need training.
· ESP and Marketing Automation Tool (MA) Training. You need to know how to use the tools you’re working with. Otherwise, your marketing strategy won’t get off the ground as fast. If the tools are a bit complex, or you don’t have the experience, this is a must need training.
· Analysis. To hone your campaigns, you need to know what works, what works, and what flops. There are some fabulous tools which can help you with this, but – again – they’re worthless unless you’re using them properly!
The same can also be said from conducting better analysis; maybe you’re not looking in the right places or focusing all of your efforts on vanity metrics like opens & clicks when there is a lot more to analyse.
· Optimisation. Optimisation should follow from the analysis; you have the results, now it’s the time to evaluate them, take learnings from both the good and the bad. Run tests to optimise campaign, to continuously improve results.
Where To Get The Email marketing Training You Need?
· Paid Online Courses
A quick bit of googling will bring up hundreds of shiny online e-marketing courses, all with glowing reviews. But it’s worth doing a bit of independent research first. Try and talk to the course leaders before parting with any money. There are a lot of sites which promise the world until they’ve got your money, and then fail to deliver. Make sure that what you’re investing in is legit.
· ESP/MA-Provided Email Training
Many Email service providers /Marketing Automation software have in-built training on how to use the software (if your one hasn’t, we’re a bit dubious about it!). The training provided by your ESP/MA is definitely something you need to get to grips with. But it can only do so much. It’s unlikely, for example, that your software can teach you how to maintain relationships with your customers via email.
· Free Online Content
There’s a wealth of information out there on the internet. The great advantage of self-training online is that you can do it for free.
But, you do have to hunt down the info yourself. That’s not so great if you’re an e-marketing newbie and not 100% sure what you’re looking for. You’ll also find that this is a lot more trial-and-error than other methods. Different types of training can really accelerate by giving you what you need and fast.
The internet also can’t give you that vital feedback at the training stage. A blog can tell you about techniques, but it can’t tell you whether you’re applying those techniques properly. You work that out at the coalface.
· Events and seminars.
Some agencies run training events for anyone to join. Attending one of these is a great way to spread the cost of a more personalised training experience (and is a networking opportunity, to boot!). The good ones often book up fast, so if this appeals to you, keep your eyes peeled and be ready to grab your place quickly!
· Bespoke In-House Training.
By far the most effective option is to get someone to teach you and your team. In-house training may be pricier, but the returns are way more impressive.
A good trainer will be able to identify exactly what kind of training you need (and in what depth) and provide that training in a relevant way. They will also be able to provide feedback on how you’re doing. They’ll be able to draw out your specific strengths and teach you valuable lessons drawn from their own experiences.
If this sounds good to you, what you’re looking for is someone with plenty of experience, and a real desire to share it. They should be a confident communicator, who’s sensitive to the needs of the audience. They should also be able to get a great strategic insight into what you, specifically, need.
As with everything, you get out what you put in and the saying knowledge is power is true with email marketing. Teaching people how to use the email tool you’ve plumped for and letting them work the rest out themselves may be cheap and easy. But if you want to start seeing ROI rise, it’s worth the investment.
If you need to keep yourself up to date with new developments, subscribing to an email marketing blog may also be a good addition for you. If you’re a beginner, doing a course will help you to hit the ground running.
But if you want to be sure that you’re getting exactly the training you need, you can’t beat in-house training by an experienced professional. It will fill the gaps all other methods miss, and provide a bespoke experience for you and your team.
The best email marketing training for you
With an array of training options available, it’s vital to distinguish what you’re wanting to achieve from undertaking the training that will steer you in the direction of the appropriate training to fulfill that objective.
Bespoke training provides enormous advantages against ‘off the shelf’ one size fits all training, as it will be tailored to your business challenges and needs whether that to improve your skills when using email software or on improving your email campaigns performance. There is a training option available to suit everyone, make sure you do your research!