Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your brand, connect with customers, and generate leads. Despite its many benefits, many businesses—small and large—are either unfamiliar with email marketing or are afraid of it. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about email marketing, including best practices, tips, statistics, and more, in connection to CX.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a method of promoting a product or service through email messages that you send to your customers, subscribers, and other people who have signed up to receive this type of communication from you. The purpose of an email marketing campaign is to acquire new customers, increase revenue from existing customers, and build relationships with customers or prospects—overall driving a successful CX.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing works. It’s not the only thing that works of course, but it does work. And that makes it a worthwhile use of your time and energy as a small business owner. Here are just a few reasons that you should consider email marketing as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
– The return on investment of email marketing is much higher than that of other marketing channels because it allows you to talk to your customers directly. Since you’re talking to people who are already interested in what you have to say, you don’t need to spend as much money on advertising.
– It’s also a great way to introduce new products, services and promotions to your existing customers.
– Email campaigns are a great way to drive traffic to your website or landing page and introduce subscribers to your brand.
– Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your audience. It’s important to note that email marketing isn’t just about selling, it’s about building relationships and community.
– Having a list of your own means that you can send emails to your subscribers at any time. You can send out a newsletter whenever you want to update your subscribers on new products or services you’re offering. You can also use it to send them exclusive offers or discounts to entice them to make purchases.
– One of the biggest benefits of email marketing is that it has a high conversion rate — the average is around 40 percent. That means for every 100 people who see your email, about 40 of them will open it, and about half of them will take action by clicking through to your site for example.
Steps to a successful Email Marketing campaign
1. Create an email marketing plan
This is a crucial step in the process. It’s important to create an email marketing plan because it will help you to stay organised and know exactly what you want to achieve. You should also ask yourself what kind of content you’ll be sending out.
Here are some questions to help you on your way:
– What is my goal?
– Who is my target audience?
– How often will I send emails?
– What content do I want to include in the campaign?
– How long will the campaign last?
– How should I measure the result?
Having a strategy for your email marketing is really important. The plan does not have to be the most elaborate down to the tiniest detail. The most important thing is that you have a plan to serve as a guide and reference, which you can return to when needed.
2. Build your email marketing list
Building an email list is also an effective way to attract potential customers and receive word-of-mouth referrals. An email list is a group of people who have given you permission to communicate with them via email. With the right tools, you can segment your list, send out targeted emails, and build relationships with your subscribers.
How to build an email list
Are you still wondering how to build an email list? Do you even have an email list? If the answer to both of these questions is “no,” then it’s time to get cracking with it. Here are simple steps to help you in building your email list.
Create a lead magnet
Lead magnets are a great way to build your email list. Lead magnets are basically freebies that you give away in exchange for someone’s email address. A lead magnet can be a PDF guide, a whitepaper, or a checklist.
For example, you could give away a recipe book in exchange for someone’s email address.
What to consider when creating a lead magnet
The key is that it’s valuable to the audience you’re trying to reach. Don’t just throw anything at your audience – your lead magnet should be of value to your target audience.
Your lead magnet should:
– Be solution based – solve a problem
– Be easy for your lead to consume and understand. Keep it simple and straight to the point.
– Be relevant to your email marketing objective.
Create an opt-in form/Lead capture
Now that you’ve created your lead magnet, the next step is to have a means of collecting the emails of your audience. And that’s where an opt-in comes in.
An opt-in form is a form on your website, landing page, or social media page etc. that allows people to give you their email address in exchange for your lead magnet.
An opt-in form is the easiest way to capture email addresses and build your email list. You can place a simple form at the end of each blog post you publish on your blog or you can add a more elaborate form on your website to capture email addresses.
How to create an opt-in form
In order to create an opt-in form, you first need to find a place that can host the form for you. There are a number of services that offer this service, including MailChimp, and Google Docs. Remember, the primary role of your form is to convince the reader to jump on the benefits of your lead magnet – make the offer irresistible. Therefore your lead capture form should:
– Have a captivating headline
– Persuasive copy
– Attractive and simple layout
– Be relevant to your offer
– Have a catchy and bold call to action/subscribe button.
– Be seamless
You can place your opt-in form in several places and in a variety of formats on your website. This can be the Home page, About page, or Blogs etc. They could be static, floating, or an exit-intent popup.
The most important thing you can do when you’re starting to build your email list is to make sure that people are actually signing up and not just robots that are signing up to your email list. You need to make sure that you have a clean list.
This means removing any email addresses that are invalid or that are no longer valid. It’s important to do this because you don’t want to be sending content to people who aren’t going to open it or engage with it.
Email verification is a simple process that confirms a deemed correct email address is being used by the subscriber, rather than an incorrect email address. When you verify the email addresses on your list, your email marketing becomes more effective and your sender reputation is protected and increases positively.
Another albeit possibly less effective way to do this is by requiring your lead to “double opt-in” – meaning people have to confirm their email address by clicking a link in an email before they can subscribe to your email list.
3. Choose an Email Marketing Service
Email marketing service helps you to create a professional email marketing campaign that can help you attract customers and promote your brand and business through email marketing. Email marketing services allow you to collect subscribers’ email addresses and send them emails.
The best email marketing services are easy to use, affordable, and provide a wide selection of email templates. With the best email marketing services, you can design an email, add a clickable link, and schedule the email to be sent at the best time. Examples are Aweber, MailChimp, ConvertKit, OptinMonster, Drip and so on.
When choosing an email marketing service, there are a few things you should factor in, such as the number of subscribers you have, the number of emails you send per month, and your budget.
Plus, if you’re going to use an email service provider (ESP) to host your email list, you’ll want to make sure they have all the features and functionality you need for your business.
– Email list segmentation capabilities
– Excellent reputation as an ESP
– Positive rating with ISPs
– Automation tools
– In built, drag and drop, easy to create forms, call to actions, opt-in forms etc.
– Analytics and Reports
– A reliable means to meet email regulatory compliance.
4. Segment your email list
Your customers and potential customers certainly have many similarities, but at the same time they are all very different.
Segmentation allows you to personalize your emails and customize the content for each recipient. It is up to you to what extent you want to personalize your email campaigns, but you can personalize them by using:
– Purchase history
– Last login date
– Current activity
– Location etc.
A good email marketing service/software should allow you to segment your list easily.
5. Writing your email marketing copy
A common tactic when creating emails is to want to pass across as many messages about your business, service, or product. A piece of advice is to:
Do the opposite.
Make sure your messages are concrete, easy to read and relevant.
Use the “four P’s” help you create a structured email campaign that helps capture readers’ attention and generate feedback.
– Promise – Start by giving your target audience a promise – a solution to their problem for example.
– Paint a Picture – help the reader create a mental picture with copywriting.
– Proof – Then you give proof of what your offer can do
– Push – Finally, you need to be very clear about what the reader should do next. This could be you asking your reader link to an offer
Some effective email copywriting tips
– The subject line should be short and sweet and should give the reader a preview of what they’re about to read.
– Make it personal
– Provide value, tell a story, be conversational
– Keep it simple: avoid industry jargon and long-winded sentences.
– Keep it short: be specific and actionable
– Keep it human: use language that is easy to understand.
– Keep it on topic: don’t get off topic in the email.
– Use bullet points rather than paragraphs.
– Include a call to action.
6. Seek permission
Consent-based marketing has had an increasing impact in recent years and is now a practice. What then is consent-based marketing, you may be wondering?
It is a normal courtesy to ask customers for permission before sending emails to promote your product or service, but it is also a requirement in relation to the new European Data Protection Regulation, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which came into force on 25 May 2018.
Consent-based marketing requires that you ask customers to actively sign up for your mailing list, as opposed to buying a list of thousands of email addresses from someone who has never heard of you.
Even if it takes time to build an email list, you will get a much higher response rate because the recipients actually want you to get in touch.
7. Use email marketing automation tools
Automation marketing is a great way to keep in touch with your customers without having to do much work. By using email marketing automation, you can schedule emails to be sent out at predetermined times, so you can set up an automation campaign and then let it run on its own without having to check in with your subscribers.
So how does it work in reality?
Autoresponders are a way to automatically send people emails based on their actions. For example, if someone signs up for your email list, you can automatically send them a welcome email. If you’re running a promotion, you can use an autoresponder to send people who have signed up for your list a discount code.
An autoresponder sequence (drip campaign) is a series of emails that automatically go out to anyone who signs up to your email list.
8. Compliance with Email Regulations
If you’re emailing customers or sending marketing emails, you need to be compliant with email regulations.
The CAN-SPAM Act is a set of rules governing commercial email. The Act requires that all commercial emails contain accurate header information, a valid physical postal address, and a valid unsubscribe mechanism. It also requires that commercial emails meet certain content requirements, prohibiting deceptive subject lines and deceptive content.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of regulations that was put in place by the European Union and will go into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR requires that any business that processes the personal information of EU citizens be compliant with the new rules.
9. Test your email marketing campaigns
You can use different methods to test your email campaigns. It does not have to be expensive or time consuming, but every email should be reviewed by at least one colleague before sending it out.
It is also important to test the messages on different platforms. What does the mailing look like on tablets and mobile phones? Are the images displayed correctly in all email clients?
According to most professional email marketers, most emails are now opened on mobile devices, and the proportion is constantly increasing. This means that you need to ensure that your messages can be read on all types of devices.
Additionally, you want to discover the right time your target audience reads their emails so that your e-mail can reach the recipient’s inbox when the message is most likely to be read.
Try sending emails at different times of the day and on different days of the week to determine what gives the best results.
10. Measure the results
Like other marketing channels, you should measure the results of your campaigns. When measuring the outcome of your emails, you can take advantage of these key KPIs to succeed with email marketing:
– Deliverability – Delivery is calculated based on the number of emails sent out compared to the number of emails that reach their intended recipients. A message does not always appear because the e-mail address may have been deleted or invalidated.
– Opening frequency – defined as the number of messages that arrive compared to the number of messages that are opened.
– Clickthrough rate – Clickthrough rate is calculated based on the number of messages that are opened compared to the number of recipients who click on a link or image in the message.
By tracking these KPIs, you can identify what works best in your email campaigns. For example, if you notice that an email campaign with a short subject line has a higher opening frequency than a campaign with a longer subject line, you should try using shorter subject lines in the future.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of marketing your business. In fact, it’s one of the few types of marketing that’s proven to be effective in every category.