Among all the challenges a business has to face, finding a cost-efficient way to market their brand to a wider audience is one of the toughest to overcome. That’s where email marketing plays a big role!
Whether you’re a startup business or your company is already well-established, an effective email marketing plan is key to promoting and growing your business and increasing revenue.
In fact, according to research by Email Marketing Industry Census 2016, email is the fastest-growing channel for marketing ROI. 73% of company respondents rated email marketing as “excellent” or “good” in terms of ROI. Research also revealed that companies that invest at least one-fifth of their marketing budgets on email are eight times more likely to see 50 percent more sales attributable to it.
Want to know more about how Email could be your first step in growing your business? Here we present to you a beginner’s guide to Email Marketing.
In this article, we cover the following topics (click on the topic to skip to that section of the article):
So if you’re ready to discover more about the power of email marketing for your business, but you’re not quite sure where to start, you’re in the right place!
What Is Email Marketing?
Think about how far the internet has come since the advent of email. It’s easy to forget it was once the prime communication method. Although we are now in an era of instant messaging, email hasn’t left the picture. In fact, email is one of the most crucial communication methods for marketing.
Email is an “owned” digital marketing channel—that is, the sender fully controls the content and distribution—and typically works best when used to send personal, relevant messages to segmented lists of recipients.
Email marketing, on the other hand, is the practice of sending marketing messages to prospective and current customers via email in order to sell, educate, or build loyalty. Email marketing campaigns can help in generating a genuinely-interested audience, promoting your brand’s message, educating your subscriber base, and closing more sales deals.
Clearly, it has become an inescapable thing in this day and age. When you sign up for a website’s newsletter, that’s email marketing! Or when you click “send me details of future offers” after making a purchase or signing up to a service, that’s email marketing as well!
While we’re at it, you should signup for our Newsletter and get email marketing hacks, tips, and outlines to use for your next email marketing campaign!
Why Does Your Business Need Email Marketing?
Email is an especially important tool in relation to your content marketing campaigns–where it’s used for sending transactional, promotional, and lifecycle messages.
When done right, email marketing is the most targeted channel for engagement with your subscribers. Whether you are a booming startup, a medium-sized company, or a large enterprise, email works for everyone.
Email marketing can be instantly set up and executed, and the positive effect shows up in your sales process. That’s why at the end of the day, your business truly deserves email marketing that boosts conversions, drives site visits, and keeps your brand top of mind with customers and leads.
An effective email marketing strategy should be an essential part of your business. It’s a surefire way to help nurture and retain existing customers and generate new ones. Best of all, you don’t need a massive marketing budget to build an effective email marketing strategy.
In fact, email marketing can be an excellent catalyst for early growth in your Go-To-Market Strategy for new products, services, or startups.
To learn more about the key benefits of email marketing, keep on reading…
Benefits Of Email Marketing
With the overwhelming breakthrough of social media, search engine optimization, and mobile marketing, it’s safe to say that email marketing is on the verge of death, right?
Email marketing is alive and well, and it’s arguably the most profitable means of marketing. The following are the major benefits of embracing email marketing for your business.
1. Build and Increase Brand Recognition
Building your brand can be a daunting task. It takes a lot of touchpoints to stay relevant in the consumer’s mind.
Email marketing provides the ability to carry your branding directly from your website into your email campaigns. By consistently providing valuable content to your audience, this will help consumers to recognize, anticipate and most importantly, engage with your emails.
Brand recognition helps to breed trust, purchases, and a healthy relationship with your customers. Leveraging email marketing with daily, weekly and monthly emails, your business will stay relevant in your customers’ minds.
2. Targeted and Personalized Content
This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of email marketing for small businesses. It allows you to hit your target audience wherever they are. With email marketing, you have the ability to segment your customers into different lists based on their behaviors, preferences, and demographics.
This, in turn, provides you with the ability to send highly personalized content which is proven to increase conversions. From crafting the perfect subject line to the images that resonate with your customer, and highly relevant content that helps to solve the needs of your audience, email is a great channel to drive engagement.
This is important because potential customers are at different stages of the buying cycle. Some may be in the consideration stage, while the other may be at the research and compare stage. Segmenting these customers into different lists and messaging them differently depending on where they are in their buying cycle can help you move these prospects down your sales funnel as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
3. Generate Better Leads
As effective as social media is at distributing information on a global scale, you can’t tell who is reading your content. With email marketing campaigns you can generate better leads. You can instantly send a message to many people across the world.
Here you should encourage your visitors to your business website to sign up for their emails. In this way, you can also create your email marketing list that helps you promote your products and services to your targeted audience.
Each email sent to consumers assists in increasing brand and company exposure, which in the long term will build value for your business. Being consistent, as well as sending targeted content is key to being top of your consumer’s minds. In doing so, consumers will more than likely come to you when they are in need of your products or services, rather than going to your competitors.
4. Increase Conversion Rates
Email marketing can be a great way to nurture prospective buyers and generate sales, but the competition for attention is steep! So what makes your emails stand out from the rest?
There is an art to creating a compelling, eye-catching email. Consider what encourages you to make the leap from skimming to clicking. Maybe the title grabs your attention or maybe it’s a sleek, clean layout. Whatever it is, try to think about whether or not your email campaigns include these aspects.
When done right, these things are bound to increase your email conversion rates, which will, in turn, raise your sales and ROI. So if you aren’t seeing these things in your business’ emails it’s time for a change!
5. Boost Sales
One of the key and potentially obvious benefits of email marketing is that it helps you sell your products. It’s important to use all the customer data and information you have for targeted messaging to drive high email conversion.
When you embrace email marketing campaigns, if done well, you’ll grow your business.
However, generating revenue from email marketing can be incredibly difficult. This is why it is crucial for you to create email marketing campaigns and send them to the right people, at the right time.
6. Easy To Measure
With some means of marketing, you can never be certain whether the money you have invested is paying off. However, with email marketing, you can easily measure the effect of a campaign.
Most email marketing tools offer the ability to track what happens after you have sent out your email campaign. You can track delivery rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, click-through rates, open rates, and sales attributable to emails.
This way, you can easily decide whether email marketing is paying off or not. This gives you a better understanding of how your email campaigns are working, which ones to tweak or which ones to get rid of altogether.
7. Cost-effective Method
One of the most appealing benefits of email marketing for small businesses is affordability. The return on investment in email marketing has been shown to increase year-over-year.
Your emails can reach hundreds or thousands of people at a minimal cost to you. Printing and mailing flyers, attending conferences, and hiring help are all expensive ways to market your business. They certainly have their value, but they aren’t something most small businesses can do on a regular basis. Email, however, can be done on a regular basis.
In addition to its low cost, email marketing also provides a high return on investment (ROI). According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 in ROI is generated. This statistic indicates just how cost-effective email marketing can be for businesses, especially smaller businesses that are working with smaller budgets.
Does Email Marketing Still Work?
OLD IS GOLD. Yes, it is. Even though artificial intelligence, chatbots, and virtual reality are in their prime, but come what may, email has never lost its ground when it comes to digital marketing services.
It’s very easy to look at email as an old-fashioned thing of the past. BIG MISTAKE! The reality is that email is widely considered by marketers to be the most crucial communication method. The above-mentioned benefits can truly sound like a silver bullet. However, the real question is: does it really work?
Take note that email marketing campaigns are only effective when messages reach inboxes—and even if your email makes it to the inbox, will it be opened and read? By knowing your audience and observing the best practices laid out in this guide, your business can achieve and maximize all the benefits that will help drive revenue.
So to answer that. YES, but it depends on you… Emails still work when built carefully. They are a direct entry for any marketer into the minds of their audience. No need for any heavy algorithms or investment of money; just proper content and the right choice of emailing software could build you a lead or a potential customer.
Getting Started With Email Marketing
Not sure what your email marketing plan is? Don’t sweat it—we’re here to help.
Running a business isn’t easy, and we know you’ve got a lot on your plate.
To make the planning part easier, we’ve highlighted some best practices you’ll want to consider when devising a strategy for your email marketing. We promise the payoff for the time you set aside to create your email marketing plan will be worth it.
1. Define Your Goals
Before you begin planning your email marketing strategy, it’s important to define your goals. Determine what you want to achieve at the end of your email marketing campaign. Some of the most common email marketing goals include:
- Increase brand visibility
- Increase sales through email marketing
- Acquire new customers
- Build relationships with existing customers
- Increase brand loyalty
- Increase website traffic
Outlining the objectives for your email marketing strategy is crucial. It will help you stay focused on the different stages of your campaign.
2. Build An Organic Email List
Organic list building is an important part of running an effective email marketing campaign. Borrowed or purchased lists do not work as they may be fake and have chances of ending up in the spam folder or getting ignored or deleted. Organic lists give better open rates and click-through rates.
To craft a successful email marketing strategy, it’s important to send emails to your target audience. You need to send emails to people who show an interest in your industry, niche, or products.
An easy way to build a great organic list is to include a “Subscribe” button on your website. To register email IDs, you will need to link this button to an opt-in form. The subscribers in the organic list are more likely to open and view your emails and give you leads that actually reach the target.
You might try putting a form like this in your website content:
3. Segment Your Email List
No matter your industry, you need to know who your audience is—or who you want your audience to be—before you can effectively communicate with them. When the target audience is defined properly, you will be able to create and send content that is relevant and induce better engagement.
So before sending your emails, you need to segment your email list. Here are some parameters you can consider while segmenting your email lists:
- Lifecycle stages of users
- Demographics – gender, location, age, job title
- User behavior and engagement
- Buying frequency
If you already have traffic and online sales and are looking for technical breakdown showing how to use Python to create customer segments, check out our technical guide to customer segmentation.
By creating segments in your email list, you can tailor your email communication to match the needs of a particular segment. Instead of sending generic emails, segmentation allows you to add a touch of personalization to your emails.
Segmentation is at the core of any successful email marketing strategy. It helps you understand who your subscribers are and how you can target them.
4. Decide Which Types Of Email To Send
Now that you know who your audience is, it’s time to decide what kind of message you want to deliver. It may seem daunting, but in the long run, it’ll help you improve engagement, keep your customers happy, and drive revenue.
There are several types of email content to launch or refresh your email strategy. These include:
- Newsletter Emails
- Educational Emails
- Promotional Emails
- Informational Emails
- Lead Nurturing Emails
Remember that what works well for one business or one type of customer might not be effective for another, so it’s important to take the time to develop your plan—and to be ready to pivot if necessary.
Think about how to apply some of these types of emails to your own strategy.
See what resonates with your audience, and try to maximize your impact based on what your audience likes to see. But more than anything, your emails should be a consistent touchpoint with your audience.
5. Craft Content And Design
The content and design of your email are probably two of the most important aspects of your email campaign. To start it off, craft a compelling subject line. When a subscriber receives your email, the first thing that they are likely to notice is your subject line. Your subject line can be the deciding factor whether a user opens your email or not.
In addition to crafting engaging subject lines, you also need to write quality content so that it resonates with your audience. While writing content for your emails, stay true to your brand’s voice. Using personalization in emails make your emails targeted, personal and more engaging than ever.
Creating relevant and to-the-point content is also a must. The more you know your subscribers’ likes and dislikes, their interests and past behavior, the easier it will be for you to send tailored and highly targeted content to them. Personalized copy reflects your brand image and loyalty and results in a deeper, more meaningful relationship with the subscribers and hence can lead to big wins in email marketing.
Lastly, design a clean layout. Your email design and layout need to be engaging and effective. Include prominent and strong calls-to-action using both text and simple graphics to induce engagement.
In a nutshell, the most effective layouts contain a catchy headline, followed immediately by the main body of the email. Structure your email in a logical way and test it on different devices.
6. Create Email Send Schedule
Email marketing is a well-known and very effective way to promote products or campaigns. However, email inboxes are packed with different promotions, spam, and personal communications. So how do you make yours stand out?
For effective communication of your brand’s offerings and promotions, you need to set up an automated campaign that sends a series of emails and nurtures your subscribers to know your brand better and become customers.
While it is crucial to create email marketing campaigns and send them to the right people, the message should also go to the right people at the right time!
7. Track and Measure Performance Metrics
Once you’ve scheduled or sent your email marketing campaign, you’re likely feeling a wave of relief and a lot of your work is over (or at least until your next send). But don’t forget that you should be spending as much time measuring your email campaigns as building them. Some important metrics to note include:
- Unique opens
- Click-through rates
- Unsubscribe rates
- Spam complaints
You don’t have to measure every last metric available to you, but make sure you’re continuously monitoring the same 5 or 6 metrics for each campaign so you can capture a complete picture of how your email marketing campaigns are performing.
If you’re working for or running a small business, email marketing can be a pain in the butt. Email marketing tools can ease the load and make your life easier, but only if you find the right tool for the job.
In this part of the guide, we’ll walk you through the 15 email marketing tools we like most for small businesses.
Getting started with email can be intimidating, so in this part of the guide, we’ll give show you the 15 types of marketing emails you can use to grow your business. As an added bonus, we provide you with a real-world example of each type of marketing email covered in this section.
Email marketing is tough if you do EVERYTHING right. If you make any of these 10 mistakes you’re going to face an uphill battle with your email marketing.
Email automation may seem outdated and ineffective, but it isn’t! As you’ve seen through this guide, email marketing is still one of the best marketing channels… and automation is your key to growth!
In this part of the guide you’ll find the following topics:
- What is email marketing automation?
- How does email marketing automation work?
- How can email automation help your business?
- 3 Key metrics in email automation
- 9 Email marketing automation best practices
There You Have It!
Around the world, both professional and personal Internet users rely heavily on email. While it may be one of the oldest tools known to the Internet, it’s not showing any signs of becoming outdated any time soon.
In fact, it is still the reigning champ as far as marketing ROI is concerned. Email marketing has been known to generate up to $40 for every dollar spent, so it should come as no surprise that marketers and business owners alike are big fans.
Clearly, email marketing is a goldmine of opportunities for digital marketers. Email marketing can boost your profit and help you build better relationships with your subscribers. To get the most out of your email marketing strategy, it is important to understand the benefits and steps outlined above.
Now It’s time for you to plan your email campaign. Let us know how you get on and if you need help, leave a comment below or contact us!