Email marketing is a valuable tool for businesses looking to connect with their target audience and drive conversions. With a high return on investment and the ability to reach a large audience, email marketing is an essential component of any successful marketing strategy.
In this guide, we'll provide you with practical tips and strategies for building a strong email marketing campaign, from growing your subscriber list to crafting effective emails and analyzing your results.
Whether you're new to email marketing or looking to improve your existing campaigns, this guide will give you the insights you need to succeed.
Table of Contents
What is Email Marketing
Email marketing is a direct and cost-effective way for businesses to communicate with their target audience. By using personalized content, promotional messages, and announcements, businesses can reach their customers effectively.
Email marketing provides detailed insights into recipient engagement, which allows businesses to tailor their emails to ensure they are beneficial.
With the right strategy, email marketing can deliver a high return on investment (ROI) at a low cost compared to traditional forms of advertising.
How Does Email Marketing Work?
To start with email marketing campaigns, you’ll need two assets — email marketing software with features that will facilitate email marketing campaign creation and a list of subscribers who agreed to receive your emails. Once you have these two necessary elements, you can create an email marketing campaign.
And now, let’s see how email marketing works in a practical step-by-step guide:
- Set Your Marketing Goals
- Decide on the Email Marketing Campaign
- Design the First Email for Your Email Marketing Campaign
- Measure the Campaign’s Performance
1. Set Your Marketing Goals
It can be tempting to rush out and send the first email to your subscribers and eagerly anticipate results, but before you do, set a ground foundation for your email marketing campaign.
What objectives can you achieve using email marketing? The answer will decide your entire email marketing strategy. Think about your target audience and its needs and determine how you can help them and what benefits resolving their pain points brings you.
Make sure your goals are SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
For example, instead of “I want to increase sales,” set a more precise and measurable goal that is possible in a given time frame — “I want to increase sales by 10% in the following three months”.
2. Decide on the Email Marketing Campaign
When it comes to email marketing, choosing the right campaign format can make all the difference.
For instance, let's say you're in the B2B industry and your tech company is promoting a new product release. You might start with a welcome email to new subscribers, followed by a newsletter showcasing industry trends and how your new product fits in.
Next, you could send an offering email with a special promotion for early adopters, and then an announcement email when the product is officially launched.
Finally, you could send an event invitation to a virtual launch party or product demo. Regardless of the campaign type, make sure to include a strong call-to-action that clearly directs your audience on what to do next.
3. Design the First Email for Your Email Marketing Campaign
Now that you have set your goals and chosen your campaign type in email marketing, it's time to take concrete action by creating your first email. To make sure your email is effective, you need to focus on both email copywriting and email design.
Here are some best practices to follow:
- Personalize your email subject and content to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
- Use white space to give your email a modern, clean, and easy-to-read look.
- Enrich your textual content with images or GIFs to make it more engaging and appealing.
- Add branding elements to your email to establish brand recognition and trust.
- Optimize your email campaigns for responsiveness on different devices to ensure that they look great on any screen size.
- Send your emails from a real account instead of a "no-reply" address to create a personal connection with your recipients.
- Conduct A/B testing by creating two email versions to see which one delivers better results and then use that to optimize your future campaigns.
4. Measure the Campaign's Performance
Once you start sending emails to your subscribers, it's time to monitor your campaign performance. You can acquire campaign performance reports through your website analytics tool and/or email marketing service.
Monitor important metrics, such as unique opens, bouncing rates, open rates, unsent emails, unsubscribe rates, click-through rates, shares, and spam complaints, depending on the type of service you use for measuring campaign performance.
You can use these metrics to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your email marketing efforts and adjust them to be as effective as possible.
Benefits Of Email Marketing
From automated campaigns to personalized messages, email marketing offers a range of benefits for businesses looking to connect with customers and drive sales.
Here's a closer look at the benefits of email marketing.
1. Reach a Wider Audience
Email marketing allows businesses to reach a wider audience than other marketing channels. Email allows you to segment your audience and send targeted messages to specific groups of people.
Email marketing is a cost-effective marketing tool. It allows businesses to reach a global audience without paying exorbitant amounts for print or television advertising.
3. Measurable Results
Email marketing is also one of the most measurable marketing tools available. Track things like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates. This data can be used to enhance any future campaigns.
4. Increased ROI
Using email marketing increases a return on investment (ROI). Because email is so cost-effective, targeted, and measurable, it typically results in a higher ROI than other marketing channels.
5. Builds Relationships
Email marketing easily transfers up-to-date information about their products, services, or even campaigns and competitions they may be running.
6. Boosts Sales
Email marketing helps boost sales by promoting new products or services directly to a client's inbox. It's an easy way to hook in new and existing customers and make their next online shopping experience effortless.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing
As you can see, email marketing can bring many benefits to your business, but you should also be aware of its downsides.
Let’s look at the disadvantages of email marketing:
- Spam. If your email marketing isn’t well-targeted, it could easily irritate recipients and end up in the spam folder. The key to avoiding spam or junk folders is moderation — don’t exaggerate the number of emails you send. Optimally you should send between 10 and 19 emails per month, according to Omnisend. Also, personalizing email subject increases the chances of email opening.
- Unsubscribing. Users need just two clicks to unsubscribe from receiving your emails, and if you’re pushy and persistent, they will do so. Send emails only when you can offer value to your customers or all of the efforts invested in email marketing will fail.
- Competition. Email marketing is the channel that brings the highest ROI and almost all businesses include it in their marketing strategies, which makes this field highly competitive. Finding a way to stand out from the competition and be the one whose emails have a high opening rate can be challenging. To achieve it, work on your brand awareness and ensure that your emails are recognized as valuable — whether you send great promotions or helpful information.
- Size. You should know that large emails with many images take time to load. While waiting, prospects can get frustrated, give up and delete your email. Constant Contact recommends keeping it concise and using up to three images for the best engagement rate.
- Content. You’ll need an appropriate and captivating copy for an effective email marketing campaign. If you’re not skilled in email marketing, outsource this task to some of the top email marketing agencies.
10 Stats That Prove the Importance of Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around for decades and continues to be one of the most effective ways businesses reach and engage with their audience. However, with the rise of social media and paid advertising, some may assume that the importance of email marketing has decreased and that it has lost effectiveness; statistics tell a different story.
Email marketing remains an essential component of many successful marketing campaigns. Whether through newsletters, promotional emails, or automated drip campaigns, businesses can leverage email to nurture relationships with their customers and drive conversions.
To help you understand why email marketing is important, here are some key email marketing statistics that demonstrate its power and potential:
- The number of email users is expected to reach 4.6 billion by 2025 — more than half of the world population — your target audience is among them. (Source: Statista)
- 99% of people who use email check it once a day; however, some do it up to 20 times. (Source: OptinMonster)
- For each $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a return of $40, which makes it one of the marketing channels with the best ROI. (Source: DMA.org)
- 81% of small and mid-sized businesses rely on email marketing as the main customer acquisition channel. (Source: emarsys)
- Wonder what emails people open the most? Welcoming emails have an opening rate of 68.6% — they are your golden opportunity to introduce customers to your brand. (Source: GetResponse)
- The email subject line decides whether your email will be read or deleted for 47% of recipients. (Source: OptinMonster)
- 63% of 750 US millennials said preferred the method of communicating with retailers. (Source: Sendinblue)
- Abandoned cart emails are more effective than you think! Three abandoned cart emails result in 69% more orders than a single email. (Source: omnisend)
- Videos make email marketing even more effective — including videos in your emails can boost click rates by 300%. (Source: spiceworks)
- 50% of all emails are read on mobile devices; if the email isn’t optimized for mobile devices, 42.3% of people will delete it. (Sources: EmailMonday & Brafton)
Types Of Email Marketing
Email marketing can open up new opportunities for engagement with possible customers and increase conversions.
The six types of email marketing include prospecting emails, engagement emails, announcement emails, contest emails, timing emails, and customer retention emails. Let's take a closer look at each:
- Prospecting Email
- Engagement Email
- Announcement Email
- Contest Email
- Timing Email
- Customer Retention Email
1. Prospecting Email
Prospecting emails are sent to potential customers with the goal of converting them into paying customers. Prospecting emails are typically sent by businesses that offer products or services that the recipient may be interested in.
2. Engagement Email
Engagement emails are typically sent by businesses that offer products or services that the recipient has already purchased, which encourages them to interact with more products on a business' site.
3. Announcement Email
Announcement emails are typically sent by businesses to their customers and prospects to inform them of a new product, service, or event.
4. Contest Email
Contest emails are sent to promote a contest or giveaway. Contest emails are typically sent by businesses to their customers and prospects.
5. Timing Email
Timing emails are sent at a specific time in order to maximize their effectiveness. Timing emails are typically sent by businesses to their customers and prospects.
6. Customer Retention Email
Because businesses are able to keep track of their customers, it's easy to spot which customers haven't engaged with a site, service, or product in a while.
In this case, customer retention emails can be sent out to encourage a customer to continue doing business with a company.
Outsourcing Email Marketing
Outsourcing email marketing is a great option for businesses looking to increase lead production and improve customer engagement.
Not only can it free valuable resources within an organization, but done properly it can unlock access to a wealth of expertise in technology, data analysis, and messaging strategy.
Working with an outsource partner also allows your team to focus energy and resources on other aspects of marketing as well as maintain control over the process.
Given the competitive nature of email marketing, outsourcing provides opportunities to refine your efforts and maximize returns. Let's take a look at some of the things to consider when shopping for an email marketing agency:
When outsourcing an email marketing agency, it is important to consider your budget.
Does the agency's prices match the services it provides? Is the agency doing its utmost to fit into your allocated budget? Does your business have a little monetary flexibility to shop around for the best email marketing agency?
These are all questions to consider when hiring an affordable email marketing agency.
2. Services Offered
Another thing to consider when outsourcing an email marketing agency is the services they offer. You're going to want to get as much bang for your buck when outsourcing an email marketing agency.
Ensure that the agency covers all the basic services that go into email marketing, and then some. Things like audience targeting, campaign creation, list management, and reporting are all part of the services any email marketing agency worth its salt will provide.
It is also important to consider the experience of the email marketing agency you are considering outsourcing to.
How many years have they been in business? Have they got a great proven track record? What sort of industries have they worked in?
The answers to these types of questions will really help you narrow down which email marketing agencies will best fit your unique business.
Another thing to consider when outsourcing an email marketing agency is its reputation. Do a bit of an online search into different email marketing agencies and previous customer experiences to get a feel of who you may be working with.
Finally, when outsourcing an email marketing agency, it is important to ask for references. And tying into the previous point, check out their online portfolio and see how they have helped various clients (particularly if they have experience in your industry).
Email Marketing Costs
When it comes to in-house email marketing, the associated costs of email marketing can include personnel for content creation and email optimization in addition to any tools or technology needed for operations.
Outsourcing your email campaigns may cost more in terms of fees, but there are advantages like speed and improved results that might make it worth the extra expenditure.
Whichever option you choose, researching different providers and clearly defining your goals can help ensure the best outcome and ROI for your budget.
Email Marketing Takeaways
Email marketing is an essential tool in a modern digital strategy. It's low-cost, versatile, and effective and there are endless creative ways to engage people with email; the trick is finding ones that work for your brand.
You're sure to build strong relationships with customers through strategically crafted emails.
Email Marketing FAQs
Can I combine email marketing with other types of marketing?
Absolutely. While email marketing alone can produce excellent results, it can create a robust overall marketing plan combined with content or social media marketing.
What are some email marketing examples?
Here are some of the most successful email marketing examples:
- Uber - “Thanks for joining; it’s time for a ride!” Uber keeps it simple. Their email campaigns aren’t wordy or too long, but straight to the point with a clear CTA.
- Tinder - “So many people are waiting to meet you!” Attractive intro, clear design, easily readable email - Tinder’s recipe for success.
- Starbucks - “Happy hour” Famous coffee giant uses compelling images paired with noticeable discounts to attract their audience’s attention - and it does it well!