Email marketing has been around for a long time, and since its inception in the 1970s and early 1980s, it has come a long way. Although it isn’t as up-to-date as other marketing forms, it is still one of the best and most effective marketing strategies. This article will help you learn more about email marketing and its importance to a business.
In this article
- What Is Email Marketing?
- Why Is Email Marketing Important?
- When Is Email Marketing Used?
- The Benefits of Email Marketing Campaigns
- The Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
- Creating an Email Marketing Strategy
- Building an Email List
- How To Send Marketing Emails
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Road To Email Marketing
- Related Reads
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is where a business informs its customers about new products and services through the form of emails. Loyal customers will sign up for the newsletter and email notifications. Businesses will then send emails to the customers regarding new products or services and other important messages if the product they requested is in stock or to give a status update on product delivery.
Why Is Email Marketing Important?
An email marketing strategy is an important part of a business because it helps to reinforce the relationship between the customer and the company. More importantly, it helps them to stay in touch with the customers through periodic notifications and alerts for new products and services. It is a small touch, but it helps in the long run.
A valued customer will appreciate being noticed and given updates on the products or services they requested. It costs more to attract new customers than it takes to retain existing ones. This is why this type of marketing strategy plays a key role in customer retention and brand loyalty.
When Is Email Marketing Used?
These types of campaigns are used to
1. Build Customer Relationships
Build a relationship with the customer and maintain customer loyalty. New subscribers need assurance that the business cares about them, and this is one of the ways to do that.
2. Create Brand Awareness
A strong marketing strategy can help a business boost brand awareness when interested prospects arrive and give their emails.
3. Promote Content
Businesses share their new blog posts or content that might be useful to the user. This can help improve the business’ website traffic and help lead to more conversions.
4. Lead Generation
As mentioned in the previous point, emails from customers can be beneficial for businesses to promote their assets and lead to customers purchasing them.
5. Promote Products and Services
Many businesses use emails to promote a new product they just launched. Loyal customers or new customers will want to try out new products, and promotional emails are a thoughtful way of letting them know.
The Benefits of Email Marketing Campaigns
The benefits of an email marketing strategy are numerous, and some of them include
- In 2020, the number of global email users was recorded as 4.0 billion and still rising. This makes it a good place to implement a marketing strategy and attract potential customers while keeping the existing ones.
- Perhaps the most important advantage of this type of marketing is the cost. An email marketing campaign costs less compared to other types of marketing.
- This type of marketing gives room for flexibility, meaning you have the freedom to create the message you want to send. It can include plain text, images, creative designs, or attaching a file. The choice is yours, and you choose to send what suits your brand’s overall theme.
- Measuring the marketing success is made simple thanks to automated emails and also helps to streamline the process. Many businesses opt for email marketing software. Almost all email service providers let you create automated sequences so that you don’t have to send them to each of your subscribers individually.
- More control is available in this type of marketing since the platform is free for all. Unlike other platforms, you don’t have to worry about crashes and data getting lost. Since the sole control is in the hands of the business owner, more control is available on how the data is handled and how the relationship with the customer is forged.
The Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
There are some downsides to this type of marketing, but with a good strategy, you can even them out. The disadvantages include
- The competition can get tough; unless you start to get creative, it will be hard to get people to notice your work.
- To send emails to customers, you would first need a list that contains all your customers’ email addresses. Creating an email list can require a lot of time.
- Using emails for commercial purposes requires various certifications, and it can get overwhelming. For example, GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and CCPA. These regulations need to be addressed when using emails for commercial purposes. They also have the ability to ban businesses from sending unsolicited emails to customers. There is also the chance that a customer could report the emails as spam, even if they are subscribers.
- Deliverability is not always guaranteed in this type of marketing. Many users have spam filters in their mail, and it is safe to assume that if they don’t want to receive any more mail from a business, they will simply report it as spam.
Creating an Email Marketing Strategy
If you are a business starting out and need to work on your marketing channels, then email marketing campaigns are one area where you must place a lot of focus. To create a strategy, focus on the outline and compare it with your business goals and how you want to achieve them.
To create a marketing strategy
1. Identify Your Audience
The first thing to do is identify your audience and how to cater to them. This will help you attract and focus on the customers who actually care about your industry and are interested in what you offer. Understand what the audience wants and adjust your campaign to match their needs.
2. Establish Goals
The next step is to define your goals. Having an end goal will help you have something to look forward to. Research the ideal benchmarks in your industry and adjust your goals accordingly.
From the above image, you can see that the benchmark differs for various industries. This will help you set goals that are realistic and achievable. Your goals must include the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Open rate
- Click through rate
- Traffic from blogs
- Unsubscribing rate
3. Build an Email List
You need email addresses to send emails to in the first place. This is where an email list comes in. It lists all the relevant and interested prospects in a business. It is a list that consists of the users who have given their permission to send emails.
To build a list, you need a way for a prospect to opt in so that they can receive your emails. It is a tricky process and requires patience from the business owner’s end. Treat every subscriber with attention but never too much, so you don’t drive them away. In time, you will start to see growth in the list. Use an email service provider to get the job done quickly.
ESP (Email Service Provider) or email marketing platforms are used to handle the email list for you and helps to keep track of everything.
4. Choose What Type Of Campaign You Want To Use
There are different email campaign types, and choosing one can be overwhelming. It can be anything from newsletters to product announcements or even a blog post.
However, this is subjective, and it all depends on the audience and what is best for them. To make things more organized, you can create different lists for different types of emails. This way, customers can opt only for the ones that are relevant to them.
5. Create a Schedule
A structured schedule can help you decide when to contact subscribers and inform them upfront. This will let them know when to expect emails. Not doing so will lead to a high number of customers unsubscribing from the email marketing campaign.
Also, do not forget to be consistent with the frequency of sending emails. Once you have set a schedule, stick to it so the customers will be accustomed to it.
6. Measure Your Progress
Once you have a successful email marketing campaign, make time to check your progress to see how far you have come and what more you can do to improve the email campaign further.
Building an Email List
Creating an email list requires time and patience. However, there are two elements that play a pivotal role in this matter: lead magnets and opt-in forms.
1. Using Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is used to attract interested prospects to your email list. It should have something interesting to the user, for example, a free offer. The offer can be in any form, and it should offer some kind of value for the user so that it can be given away in exchange for their email address.
The only problem is that these days people have become more protective when it comes to giving away their personal information. So, unless what you are offering is valuable to the customer, there is a high chance you won’t get enough leads. Thus, give your customer something valuable in exchange for their emails. It can be something like
- Study or report
- Course or webinars
Some tips to keep in mind when creating a lead magnet
- The offer should be actionable and provide a realistic solution to a problem.
- The assets should be easy for the customer to access. For example, it can be in the form of a PDF file, a video, or something else downloadable. It must be in such a way that it is easy for the client to obtain and consume.
- Be consistent with the content that you have to offer. Say you have something valuable for the subscriber. The content you send them after they have become a customer should be relevant and provide value to the relationship. So, think about the long term when creating a lead magnet.
- The lead magnet should attract the prospect and lead them to a solution. Give them a demonstration of what offers you have through lead magnets to lead them to your products or services eventually.
- Segment your list so that the opt-in offers (a form of consent/choosing to participate) are relevant to the stage of the buyer’s journey the user is in.
2. Create an Opt-In That Is Tempting
An opt-in is where a web user consents to a specific activity, in this case, submitting their email. It is the path that leads a prospect to a business’s assets. The subject line should be unique and follow the theme of your brand. It can be playful or serious; the choice is yours. It should be noted that users have a more positive response to playful language than a serious tone. Here are some tips for creating an enticing opt-in form:
- The form must be branded and stand out from the rest of the page. Choose a design that is unique and bold enough to catch the attention of the user.
- Be truthful in what you have to offer because, at the end of the day, the point is to attract the audience and give them a relevant offer.
- Keep the form simple and avoid placing too many fields where the prospect would be required to fill them all. Ask only for essential information like email address, first name, and last name.
- Use a double opt-in wherein after the user submits their email, a message will be sent to their mail asking them to confirm the subscription. Users will be added to the email list only after confirming their subscription.
After everything is completed, go through the process from a user perspective to check if the opt-in works as expected.
How To Send Marketing Emails
Once you have a solid list of subscribers, you can start sending emails to them. But before you start sending those emails, there are some things to keep in mind to avoid getting in the spam folder or, worse, getting blocked.
Here are key points to keep in mind when sending marketing emails.
1. Use an email marketing service or email service provider (ESP) to help your email campaigns. An email marketing tool like constant contact can help you create a personalized and optimized marketing email to your subscribers. ESPs also offer benefits such as easy-to-build forms, landing pages, calls to action, deals with internet service providers, and more.
2. The end goal of this type of marketing is to generate more leads, which means more effort has to be put into creating an attractive and enticing email.
Here are some essentials to be included in a marketing email:
- Images must be optimized for all devices, including PCs, tablets, and, most importantly, smartphones.
- A call to action is an essential component. The CTA should lead the customer to a relevant offer. So, keep the CTA in a place where it would stand out from the rest of the email.
- Subject lines are also crucial in an email. The email subject line should be welcoming, actionable, clear, and have enticing language that aligns with the body of the mail.
- The time at which you send an email is also important. The best times to send an email are 10 AM, 9 AM, 8 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM.
- Personalized emails are preferable because they make the user feel valued and also add a human touch to the mail. Automated emails can sometimes feel too rigid, and personalized emails can help with that.
- The body of the email should be consistent and follow a single voice without losing focus from the main content.
3. Use email segmentation to break large email lists into clusters/sub-categories that pertain to the subscriber’s individual preferences, interests, and unique qualities.
As an individual, a subscriber would naturally want to feel valued. So, it is best to avoid sending them generic and emotionless emails.
4. Personalize your emails to cater to the needs of individual subscribers. Once you have segmented the email list, sending emails to each sub-category should be easy. However, you can’t email your subscribers individually because it takes too much time. This brings us to the next point.
5. Use automated emails to send multiple emails to different email lists at the same time.
6. Use email marketing templates to produce creative and unique results. Unless you are an expert at creating designs, making your own templates requires time and creativity. However, with preset templates, you can easily get the job done while saving time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an opt-in form?
An opt-in form is consent given by a user who is interested in a product or service. This form would allow third parties to send notifications and Emails to the user along with further information about the product or service they are interested in.
2. What is Email outreach?
Email outreach is a part of email marketing where a brand gets in touch with other parties through Email. The aim of this proposal is to promote content, and request backlinks or even collaborate with other brands and influencers.
3. What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your product or service. Lead generation is done in numerous ways like blog posts, social media posts, coupons, and job applications to name a few.
Road To Email Marketing
Email campaigns require time, creativity, and attention to detail. The most important part of it all is treating your subscribers like humans. With so many automated marketing campaigns, many are vague and lack a human touch. Yes, automated emails are useful, but before you send dull messages, take time to personalize and be creative, so the customer feels valued.
The whole point of marketing is to attract leads, provide service (and earn a profit), and create a sustainable relationship with the customers.