In today’s fast-changing marketplace, marketing a business is difficult. From driving website traffic to delivering targeted content, your marketing strategy needs to cover a lot of ground. Not to mention, with so many new platforms and technologies emerging, marketers often feel like they’re chasing after bright, shiny objects.
We understand. You want a tried-and-true marketing strategy backed up by tried-and-true tools. The good news is… The solution is right in front of you!
Yes, email marketing is still very effective. Email campaigns can be used to generate leads and drive high-quality traffic throughout the customer journey. However, as effective as email marketing can be, consumers are also jaded about it. If you don’t have a well-thought-out strategy, your campaigns will be ignored, and you may even lose the loyalty of your customers.
Do you have no idea how it works with email marketing?
We created this email marketing beginner’s guide just for you. By the end, you’ll have learned everything you need to know about building an email list and running an email marketing campaign successfully. But that isn’t all. You’ll also find some helpful hints to help you improve your email open rates and, most importantly, avoid some common blunders.
Ready? Let’s get started.
What exactly is email marketing?
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that helps you achieve your marketing goals by sending emails to a list of prospects and customers who have subscribed to your list. These emails could include helpful information, company news, advertisements, special offers, or requests for a sales meeting. They are frequently tailored to the prospects’ demographics or position in the sales funnel. To manage their email lists and track their progress, businesses typically use an email marketing tool or software.
Why is email marketing important for your digital strategy
Among popular marketing channels, email marketing has one of the highest ROIs. When done correctly, you can expect a return on investment of $42 for every dollar spent. But that’s not all; here are six more compelling reasons to incorporate email marketing into your online marketing strategy:
1. It converts prospects into customers more effectively than social media. Unlike social media, you are not subject to algorithm changes, so when you send a campaign, you know exactly how many people your content is reaching.
2. When compared to most digital marketing strategies such as SEO, PPC, and affiliate marketing, it is both cost-effective and budget-friendly. It’s also quick and simple to send an email, allowing you to respond quickly to market demands or consumer sentiment without having to go through a lengthy production process.
3. It enables you to use personalization technologies to deliver highly targeted content, which is now essential for meeting consumer expectations and driving engagement.
4. It can connect all of your marketing channels to deliver a dynamic brand experience. You can, for example, use paid ads to invite recipients to a social media contest or to retarget subscribers who click on a product link.
5. As more consumers shop on their smartphones and tablets, it works well on both mobile and desktop devices. In addition, email has a much longer “lifespan” than social media posts. It is displayed prominently in the inbox, and subscribers can easily save it for future reference.
6. It drives traffic and sales to your website. Transactional emails, or those directly related to purchasing products, have been found to generate eight times the number of opens and clicks, as well as six times the revenue, as other types of email. It’s also highly measurable, allowing you to track metrics in great detail and eliminate guesswork from your email strategy.
How does email marketing work
Companies use an email service provider to effectively create and manage their email marketing campaigns (ESP).
You can store email addresses and send email campaigns to a list of subscribers using email service providers. You can distribute the right content to the right people at the right time with the right email service provider, and you can set up your campaigns to maximise your marketing ROI.
So, instead, why not use a free email service like Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo!Mail?
These internet service providers (ISPs) are best suited for personal use and not large-scale email campaigns. Furthermore, paid email services typically include professional support, which is critical for businesses that cannot afford to waste time attempting to solve a problem or comprehend how a feature works.
Pros and Cons of most popular email service providers available online;
- Free plan available for accounts with under 2,000 subscribers.
- Templates are designed specifically for the goal of each email.
- Award-winning customer service, as well as extensive knowledge base and tutorials.
- Subscription plans can get expensive as your list grows.
- Limited email automation options.
- Cumbersome process for updating the customer database.
- A visual editor that creates sophisticated and customizable workflows.
- Ability to manage complex campaigns with multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
- Exceptional customer support and educational resources.
- Expensive plans make it less appealing to small businesses.
- Somewhat limited integration with other platforms.
- Template designs are hard to customize.
- One of the best drag-and-drop visual automation builders.
- Site tracking, event tracking, attribution, split actions, and automation all in one place.
- Upgrade available for advanced functions such as customer attribution, path-to-purchase, split automation, and machine learning capabilities (e.g., predictive sending or predictive content).
- Some key features are only available for high-priced plans.
- The user interface can be confusing at times.
- Limited form and email template designs.
Check out our review on ActiveCampaign
- Easy-to-use visual editor and pre-built automation sequences.
- Automation funnels can be set up based on each subscriber’s actions.
- Customer support plus extensive documentation and tutorials.
- Limited A/B testing capabilities.
- Lack of template customization options.
- The test email feature is only available for broadcast but not autoresponders.
Check out our review on Convertkit
How to build your email list
Before you can begin running email campaigns, you must first create an email list that contains the names and email addresses of people who have opted-in to subscribe to your email newsletter and receive email communications from you.
Okay, but how do you start from scratch with an email list?
The key is to create and promote a lead magnet and use an opt-in form to collect your prospects’ email addresses.
Let us first define a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is simply something you give away for free in exchange for a prospect’s email address. Most lead magnets are digital content, so they can be immediately delivered in a variety of downloadable formats, such as PDFs, MP3s, or videos. Here are some common lead magnets that are given away for free by businesses to incentivize email subscriptions.
Now that you have created a lead magnet that appeals to your ideal audience, what’s next? You need to collect the email addresses with an opt-in form.
Your opt-in form, whether on your homepage, as a pop-up, or as a standalone landing page, communicates the benefit of your lead magnet so that visitors will provide you with their email address in exchange for the content.
To create an effective opt-in form, follow these guidelines:
- Create an enticing headline that conveys the main benefit of the lead magnet.
- Include a brief, clear, and concise description.
- Use bullet points to make your copy easier to read.
- Include an eye-catching visual, such as a photo of a person looking at the opt-in form or a rendering of the lead magnet.
- Request the least amount of information possible (i.e., email and first name). Too many form fields can reduce conversion rates.
- Make your CTA stand out. For example, the button should be large and of contrasting colour. Instead of “submit,” the copy should be action-oriented and emphasise the benefits of signing up.
How to segment your email list
There are many ways to segment your list depending on the nature of your offering and the characteristics of your audience so you can deliver content to the right people at the right place and right time:
- Location: If you’re holding an in-person event, you can limit your audience to subscribers who live in the area. You can also avoid sending promotional emails to people who live in countries where you do not ship.
- Industry: B2B marketers who work with customers from various industries can send use cases and content relevant to each sector to increase response rates.
- Job title: Recipients with different roles in a company have different priorities. In order to increase engagement, B2B marketers can appeal to what is important to each audience segment.
- Company size: An organization’s employee count is frequently a good indicator of its needs and budget. This data can assist you in promoting the most appropriate offerings to each recipient.
- Website interactions: You can track registered visitors’ interactions with your website and send them targeted content based on their actions, such as the products they’ve viewed.
- Interest: By leveraging subscribers’ profiles, preferences, previous purchases, or browsing behaviours, you can identify the product categories they are most interested in and send relevant content to them.
Priorities differ depending on job title: Recipients with different roles within a company have different priorities. In order to increase engagement, B2B marketers can appeal to what matters most to each audience segment.
- Customer lifecycle stages: Encourage prospects down the sales funnel more effectively by sending content that corresponds to where they are in the sales funnel. For example, send educational content to those in the awareness stage and a special discount to those in the purchasing stage.
- Age: The recipients’ age can give you an idea of how they prefer to interact with your content or what is important to them.
- Language: If you do business on a global scale, you can segment by language preferences and then cross-reference the data with location to deliver the most valuable content.
Customer value: Increase retention and cultivate customer loyalty by sending exclusive content and promotions to subscribers who have made recurring purchases.
Keep in mind that a single prospect may belong to multiple segments, which may affect the frequency with which each subscriber receives your communications.
Tips for improving your email open rates
Your email content is only effective if recipients open and read it. To begin, ensure that your emails are delivered to the inbox of the recipients rather than the spam folder. Then, send your emails at the appropriate time. Here’s what you can do to boost email open rates:
- Remove inactive subscribers from your list because spam filtering algorithms at mailbox providers look at the ratio of active to inactive email accounts to determine if your emails are spam.
- Make sure your subscribers have opted in to receive your emails, and never add anyone to your list without their permission. If too many people report your email as spam, your deliverability will suffer.
- Choose a reputable email provider that does its homework to ensure that your emails are sent from an IP address that is not blacklisted by mailbox providers.
- Use a name and email address that recipients will recognise in the “from” field to increase the likelihood that they will interact with your content rather than reporting it as spam.
- Avoid using deceptive subject lines just to get clicks. You may get one email opened, but this increases the likelihood that your email will be reported as spam.
- To ensure compliance, include a physical address and an unsubscribe link.
- Avoid using words like “free,” “congratulations,” “risk-free,” and “this is not spam.”
- Increase engagement rates by sending relevant and useful information to show the email service provider that your emails aren’t spam.
- Send your email at the right time—that is, when the recipients are most likely to interact with it. While every audience and every business is different, the best day is Tuesday and the best time is 10 a.m. However, you will need to track metrics for your own email list and customise it based on your findings.
Common email marketing mistakes you need to avoid
In order to optimise the results of your email marketing campaigns, you must not only follow email marketing best practises but also avoid some common pitfalls. Here are the major blunders to avoid:
- Leaving out the welcome email that introduces your brand and sets expectations.
- Not having a clear CTA that directs your readers to take the desired action.
- Not meeting your readers’ expectations, failing to deliver on your promise, or veering off-topic.
- Using cliches and sales-heavy language.
- Failure to optimise the mobile experience.
- Relying too heavily on images, as some recipients do View emails with images turned off
- Not optimizing your website for lead capture opportunities.
- Waiting till you have enough subscribers before sending out your campaigns.
Sounding generic because you don’t want to upset anyone.
Email marketing FAQs
1. What are the elements of a highly effective email copy?
Even though more marketers are incorporating images, infographics, and videos into their emails to increase engagement, copy — the actual written content—remains the focal point of marketing emails. Here’s how to write copy that engages and converts:
- Make it clear what you want your readers to do and why they should do it.
- Make your copy scan-friendly. Use concise headlines, short paragraphs, bullet points, and a clear CTA.
- Write in a conversational tone, with a simple flow of content.
- Make certain that your copy is easy to read. Check the readability level and get to the point.
- Align the CTA with your copy to encourage readers to take action.
Working with a professional copywriter is a great way to ensure that you’re adhering to the most recent best practises. To maximise your results, email marketing experts can create compelling copy based on your marketing goals and target audience.
2. How can I measure the success of my email campaign?
To ensure that your email campaigns are meeting your marketing objectives, you must measure their effectiveness against the appropriate KPIs. This will assist you in fine-tuning your email marketing strategy to achieve the best results. Here are some key metrics to consider:
- Open rate: This tells you if your subject line is effective in getting recipients to open your emails. It is calculated by dividing the total number of opened emails by the total number of delivered emails.
- The click-through rate (CTR): is a good indicator of whether the content is appealing to the audience and whether the CTA is in line with your message. It is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the number of delivered emails.
- Conversion rate: In addition to the effectiveness of your email copy and CTA, the conversion rate indicates the effectiveness of your landing page. It’s the percentage of subscribers who completed a goal action, which is frequently linked to revenues and thus the ROI of your campaign (e.g., making a purchase).
- Click-to-open rate: As more consumers use mobile devices, this metric can help you understand how to reach a larger audience. It is designed specifically for mobile opens and assists you in determining the effectiveness of your campaign on smartphones and tablets.
3. Why do people unsubscribe from an email list?
While some people unsubscribe simply because your offerings aren’t a good fit for them, you can keep the right prospects on your list by understanding why people unsubscribe. Here are the top reasons, as well as the percentage of consumers who reported each reason:
- Getting an excessive number of emails (46.4 percent )
- This email appears to be spam (17.2 percent )
- Irrelevant content (15 percent )
- I had no idea I was subscribed (9.1 percent )
- The content is not tailored to my preferences (7.2 percent )
- Too much or too little content (4.3 percent )
4. What are the benefits of segmenting my email list?
When you use list segmentation to deliver relevant, timely, and personalised content to your subscribers, you can increase engagement and conversion while decreasing unsubscribe rate. Because consumers expect targeted information from brands, an effective segmentation strategy can get your emails opened, read, and clicked.
Segmentation, for example, has been shown to help marketers increase conversion rates by 355 percent and revenues by as much as 781 percent! Furthermore, Hubspot’s analysis of over 100,000 emails discovered that the average CTR for a single email list was 13% lower than that for segmented lists.
5. How can I identify some great lead magnet opportunities?
What should your lead magnet be about? To attract not only a large number of subscribers but also high-quality prospects, you must address what makes your ideal customers tick. Here are some key questions to ask to help you identify the best opportunities:
- What does your target audience want?
- How can your lead magnet alleviate their pain points or assist them in achieving their goals?
- What is your solution to the readers’ problems?
- How do your unique selling points address their dissatisfaction with existing solutions?
- How can you divide your solution into digestible and actionable steps?
- What kind of “instant gratification” can readers expect from taking action?
- How will the content position your products and services as the best solution to your audience’s problems?
Determine how you can assist your audience in achieving an immediate win and how they can benefit from your knowledge and insights right away. This will allow you to make a good first impression and build trust with your lead magnet.
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to grow your business because it allows you to reach the right audience at the right time with the right content to drive high-quality website traffic, build relationships with the audience, enhance your credibility, increase conversions, and cultivate customer loyalty.
To begin, create a lead magnet that appeals to your target audience and collect leads via an opt-in form. Then, you should adhere to the most recent email marketing best practises to ensure that your campaigns deliver the most relevant content to your subscribers and move them down the sales funnel.
Don’t forget to analyse the results so you can adjust your tactics based on how your subscribers interact with the content to maximise your ROI while providing the most helpful content to your audience.
Working with the right email marketing professionals allows you to gain access to the most up-to-date knowledge, expertise, and technologies, allowing you to effectively implement and manage the many moving parts.