The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

Published by sinhaparthasarthy on

Email Marketing may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but email still reigns supreme when it comes to usage.

Sure, there are other newer methods of communicating with your audience and customers. Communication methods like social media, live chat, and many others. However, with a user base of over 4 billion people, email is the king of marketing channels.

Additionally, email marketing has an ROI of $38 for every dollar spent, meaning it deserves a place in every marketer’s toolbox. 

It may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but email still reigns supreme when it comes to usage.

Sure, there are other newer methods of communicating with your audience and customers. Communication methods like social media, live chat, and many others. However, with a user base of over 4 billion people, email is the king of marketing channels.

Additionally, email marketing has an ROI of $38 for every dollar spent, meaning it deserves a place in every marketer’s toolbox. 

There’s a problem—most people don’t know how to do it right. (In fact, you’ve probably seen those people in your email box.)

This post will walk you through tips and strategies for executing impactful email marketing campaigns.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the act of sending promotional messages to people in mass quantities. It typically is to generate sales or leads and it may contain advertising.

Remember: You’re a Guest in Their Inbox

People are inundated with interruptions, pitches, and advertisements everywhere they look.

Though you might think your email is special. To the reader, your email is one in a million—and not in a good way.

This is why it’s important to remember where you are and use good manners.

Getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited to their home for dinner. If they ask you to take your shoes off, you respectfully do so.

It’s the same with email marketing, so before we begin I’d simply like to remind you to be on your best behavior at all times and remember… you’re a guest in their inbox.

Now, let’s talk about how to build your email marketing strategy from the ground up.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

Email marketing is one of the top-performing strategies, in no small part because it’s fairly intuitive and often automated.

In its basic form, an effective email marketing campaign requires three essential elements:

1. An Email List

For you to pull off successful email campaigns, you need an active email list. This is a database of email contacts who have expressed interest in receiving marketing communications from your brand.

There are many ways to build an email list. One of the easiest is to create a lead magnet (also called an offer) your target audience is interested in, like a coupon, in exchange for their email addresses.

2. An Email Service Provider

An email service provider (ESP), also known as an email marketing platform, is software that helps manage your email list. It also helps design and execute automated email marketing campaigns.

Using an ESP allows you to automate actions triggered by your target audience’s behaviors. These enable you to personalize each interaction with them, meaning engagement and conversion rates generally improve.

3. Clearly Defined Goals

You can use email marketing to achieve many business goals. For example, you can use email marketing to:

  • drive sales
  • boost brand awareness 
  • generate and nurture leads
  • keep customers engaged
  • increase customer loyalty and lifetime value

To execute an effective email marketing campaign, your email list, ESP, and goals must align. Then, you can get to work.

The first step is to segment your email list according to subscriber demographics or actions.

Next, create an email or series of emails designed to get consumers to do something (your goal).

Finally, use your ESP to send emails and monitor the campaign automatically.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Just like any other marketing channel, email marketing has pros and cons. Let’s briefly dive into some of the more significant ones:

Advantages :

Email Is Permission-based

When a customer trusts you with their email address, it’s the virtual equivalent of being given the keys to their house. Gaining permission to enter rather than showing up uninvited increases the chances of engagement and conversion.

Affords You Direct Access to Your Audience

You can communicate directly with subscribers on their schedules. In addition, because people check their emails daily, your email is likely to be viewed.

Gives You More Control

With most other marketing platforms, you don’t own the platform. If the platform ceases to exist, all your hard work sinks with it.

With email, you own the relationships you forge with your subscribers.

More Personalization Capabilities

You can use demographic or psychographic data to create personalized and hyper-targeted campaigns. Research shows segmented and personalized campaigns increase revenue by as much as 760 percent.

Measurable

Measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is crucial, and automated email marketing makes measuring your campaign a breeze.

Scalable

Email marketing campaigns can scale without putting a strain on your resources or compromising quality.

Disadvantages :

Tough Competition

Standing out in a cluttered inbox can be quite a challenge. You have to be creative to ensure your emails get noticed and opened.

You Need an Email List

You should already have an email list for your campaigns to be effective.

Tricky Rules and Regulations to Navigate

There are a lot of rules governing the use of email for commercial purposes. Common examples include GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and CCPA. All of these state you can’t send unsolicited emails.

Unfortunately, some subscribers also report your emails as being spam even after they subscribed to the list. As a result, your sender reputation takes a hit.

Delivery and Deliverability Issues

Getting your email to land in receivers’ inboxes is not guaranteed. To run effective email marketing campaigns, you must contend with delivery and deliverability issues.

Email Marketing Examples

Let’s briefly look at a couple of examples for a bit of inspiration.

Teaonic

Teaonic is an e-commerce brand specializing in organic, healthy teas.

Subject line: Getting Low On Wellness?

Teaonic email marketing

What does this email get right?

  • Great subject line: The subject line focuses on the target audience’s main pain point, i.e., improving their health.
  • Leverages color psychology: The bright, warm colors trigger feelings of health and happiness.
  • Well-timed: The email is targeted at people who have purchased the product and is sent when the customer’s supply is about to run out.

Bluehost

Well-known for its hosting services, Bluehost decided to try its hand at creating a website builder.

Subject line: Bluehost’s new Website Builder makes building simple.

Email Marketing Examples - Bluehost
  • Sells the benefits, not features: Focusing on the benefits makes the copy more compelling.
  • Clean design: The simple design makes the email aesthetically pleasing and easy to read.
  • Excellent targeting: Bluehost knows their audience is mainly made up of small business owners without technical expertise. The email uses language targeted at this demographic.

How to Automate Your Email Marketing

While the automation process varies from one ESP to another, there are some universal steps to automating your email marketing.

Define Your Segments

Effective email marketing campaigns start with list segmentation. Use the data you have about your subscribers to group them. This allows you to create more personalized campaigns.

Design an Efficient Workflow

After segmenting your email list, it’s time to design a workflow. This is the series of emails to fulfill the objective of the campaign.

Determine the Right Triggers

Once you’ve designed your workflow, determine the triggers that will set off the following email in the sequence. Examples of triggers can include customers opening your email, clicking on a link, or not opening it at all within a predetermined time frame.

Best Email Marketing Strategies

To succeed with email marketing, you have to be strategic in the way you design your campaigns. Here are some of the best strategies you can employ.

Use the Right List Building Strategies

The success of your email marketing campaigns depends on the quality of your email list. To build such a list, you must use list-building strategies designed to attract your target audience. For example, a case study promoted on LinkedIn may help a B2B brand build a list of engaged subscribers but flop when used by a B2C brand.

Practice Good Email List Hygiene

Another essential email marketing strategy is practicing good email list hygiene. Cleaning out inactive subscribers and email addresses that are no longer in use will ensure you have a good sender reputation.

Keep Your List Warm

Regularly send emails to your list to keep your subscribers engaged (warm). However, sporadic emailing could result in subscribers forgetting who you are and lead to low conversion rates.

If some of your subscribers go cold, you can run a re-engagement campaign.

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