In reality, Email Marketing has become an essential tool for business ever since the introduction of the Internet to the world. However, some campaigns that make it through to your inboxes we don’t take any notice of. On average, an office worker will receive upwards of 151 emails every day. Obviously, email marketing has been around forever — and for good reason.
It’s the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers, consistently winning out over all other marketing channels. At all costs, email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy for sending emails to prospects and customers. An effective email strategy will convert prospects into customers.
As well as turn one-time buyers into loyal, raving fans. But, as you’ll learn later on, in today’s consumer-driven marketplace, creating an email that is overtly sales-oriented most likely won’t result in the conversion rate you want. Instead, you should focus your campaign on the value this product delivers to your subscribers and compel them to buy that way.
But, email marketing isn’t just for retailers and small businesses, publishers are turning to email – and frankly – they’re crushing it. For this and more reasons, that’s why we created this guide for all business email marketers like yourself. So, stay put, fasten your seat belts, and let’s go for a ride as we try to uncover some hidden gems for an effective email campaign.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email Marketing is the use of an emailing platform to promote products or services while developing relationships with potential customers or clients. It is essentially direct mail — only that it’s done electronically instead of through the postal service.
It’s the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using a digital mailbox. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. Considering this, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with your customers.
But, inasmuch as you are creating value with your emails though, make sure that you do not include too much information. Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and customers.
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Effective marketing emails convert prospects into customers and turn one-time buyers into loyal, raving fans. Many of the most unique email marketing strategies can be acquired from various publishers.
Such as BuzzFeed, WeTeHu, VICE, Reddit, Fashion Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Rolling Stone, and more. In reality, you should know that these publishers mentioned above have embraced the marketing style fully.
This helps them increase their brand awareness, reach more subscribers, promote, and even sell everything. It can also substantially increase your income if you do it correctly. It’s a great way to get people to visit (and revisit) your website or blog. More traffic usually equates to more income.
Why is Email Marketing important?
From books and magazines to online subscriptions and ad space. “More than 34% of the people worldwide use email. That’s about 2.5 billion people. It’s predicted to increase to 2.8 billion email users in the next 2 years. Yup, email’s popular.
The Radicati Group, who came up with that info, also reckon that the world sends about 196 billion emails daily. Out of these 196 billion emails the majority, 109 billion, is business email. So, let’s put it simply – it’s a vibrant and powerful way to connect with people.
Bringing it home, think about your own experiences. Do you even know anyone who doesn’t have an email address? You probably receive a number of HTML emails each week (I sure do). You read them, get inspired by them, and even look forward to the next one.
At its best, email marketing allows businesses to keep their customers informed and tailor their marketing messages to their audience. At its worst, this kind of marketing can drive customers away with persistently annoying spam emails.
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One huge advantage of email over social media is that customers are more likely to see an email than social media. Just posting something on social media doesn’t mean that everyone you want to see your message will see it. However, an email will sit in an inbox until it’s read (or deleted).
In addition, email marketing is also a very personal way of reaching your target customers. Messages from your friends and family are sitting next to email updates from your company. That’s why email marketing works at its best when it is personalized.
Meaning, email can be tailored to customer actions so that every communication is relevant to their interest. You can cover topics like changes in your company, victories, and request feedback from your customer – this list is virtually endless.
In short, email is a big part of our lives. A very big part of the marking matters. And with 2.5 billion users, it isn’t going anywhere. So, are you still thinking that it’s not something your company needs? Let me give you reasons why it’s a channel you should not be ignoring.
More reasons why it’s important include;
- First, it’s more effective than social media (for customer acquisition)
- Secondly, it’s more economical and cost-effective than other mediums
- It’s a more personalized and customizable digital marketing channel
- Uniquely, since it’s action-oriented, it’s user activities are measurable
- Lastly, with new digital platforms, users can check emails on their phones
With that in mind, what’s the secret of emailing success? There is absolutely no way users can open and read all of these emails. But they will see all of the subject lines. The subject line of your email is going to directly affect its open rate. Suffice it to say, it needs to hype the reader, so they open the email.
For instance, clickbait is headlines that are overhyped to woo and bait people into clicking. Then the content does not deliver on the promise. People are learning to easily spot this style. If you have not yet learned this, perhaps you are still on the journey to understanding the email marketing platform.
How Is Email Marketing Done?
Anytime a company sends out an email, aside from order confirmations and direct responses to customer questions, it could be considered a form of email marketing. Email marketing is one segment of internet marketing, which encompasses online marketing via websites, social media, blogs, and more.
Email marketing can include newsletters with updates on the company or promotions of sales and exclusive deals for subscribers. Marketing emails may also seek to share a general message on the company’s behalf, such as in the wake of a natural disaster or company scandal.
What you should know is that the stakeholders funding content marketing don’t understand how it works yet. But, they expect unreasonably fast or massive results without enough budget, resources, and time. Quiet still, business blogging doesn’t create a brand, at least not right away.
Some people have to take quite a while before either accessing their emails or even may have forgotten them all at the same. I’m sure you’ve seen the same statistics as I have – only 4% of consumers who click through to a website are going to make a purchase.
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Email marketing is the pinnacle of permission-based business blogging and marketing plan. And of course, this means that you have the privilege, not the right, to communicate with prospects, leads, and customers. It’s the #1 reason we see email marketers fail and the #1 reason we see them succeed.
While at the same time, content creation and content design’s main goals are to spread and share information. A good email design allows you to deliver a powerful message and prompt it to action. Not to mention, an email marketing program can be very successful with just a handful of subscribers.
So, don’t wait until you have 10,000 people on your list to start sending emails. If you are starting a blog, kick off your weekly email newsletter right away. And if you are launching a new product, start building interest months before it launches.
What An Email Marketing Cycle Entails (The Main Stages)
According to digitalhill, email marketing still reigns supreme. With an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent, it’s a must-have for any digital marketing campaign.
To succeed with your email campaign, however, you need to understand that you can’t just send whatever you want whenever you wish and to whomever you want. Such a scattergun approach is bound to fail.
Instead, you must choose your email messages carefully and time them perfectly to gain the highest engagement rates. As well, you must send the right message to the right business database list. One way to organize your campaign is by following what is known as the email marketing cycle.
Also popular as lifecycle marketing, the email marketing cycle involves sending relevant messages informed by the position of the contact in the customer lifecycle. You track every move your customers make and send emails that are likely to benefit them (and your business) the most at that specific moment.
Step #1 On-boarding
Well, onboarding is the very first step after a contact subscribes to your email list. At this stage, all you know is that the contact has an interest in your business or offers. The reason for their interest is still unknown, but they are giving you a chance to show them what you have and convince them to make the next move.
Emails at this stage are geared toward welcoming the contact and learning more about them. Who are they? Where do they come from? What are they interested in? And so on. Capturing this information early on allows marketers to send valuable, personalized messages going forward.
Step #2 Lead Nurturing
Once you’ve gathered sufficient data about your new contacts, it’s time to officially introduce them to your brand and products. Without sounding promotional, tell the contact the most important aspects of your brand; what you stand for, how you’re different, how they stand to benefit, and so on. Don’t forget to invite them to your social media communities.
Put simply, you want to make the contact feel that they’re in the right place; that you’re the person to solve their problems. Once they feel safe, you’ll have their attention.
Step #3: Promotion/Selling
Now, you can begin to promote. Your lead knows enough about the brand and even your products. They also understand the perks of buying from you. They might still need a little push to open their wallet, but you’re almost there.
Some of the best emails at this stage include messages promoting offers and discounts. Let them know about upcoming deals and coupons, send information about new products, and hype any seasonal sales. A majority of contacts will at least click through to your website to take a closer look at the offers.
Step #4: Transactional Emails
The contact just made their first purchase, completing the journey from a stranger, to prospect, to lead, and finally to a customer!
Take this opportunity to thank them for doing business with you and provide any useful information and messages that might encourage them to return in the future. For instance, send purchase confirmations indicating when the product is likely to arrive. Also, send follow-up emails suggesting related products that the customer might be interested in.
Step #5: Performance Analysis
Do you know how well your email marketing campaigns are performing? According to optinmonster, there are some important metrics that you should be measuring on a regular basis if you want to maintain email list health and improve the ROI of your campaigns. Focusing on the right metrics will help you to analyze and improve any of your marketing campaigns.
However, email is arguably one of the most important by far. And, as Marketo says, “It’s difficult to overstate the importance of maintaining a robust email marketing strategy or the value of the marketing metrics you use to maintain it.” In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 4300%! So are you using email effectively? What are the right metrics that you should be measuring?
Well, we’ll look into that shortly… In meantime, sometimes, a lead or customer can interact with your business in a way that demands a special response. For instance, a lead might send an email asking about product details. Or, a customer might abandon a purchase midway. When this happens, you need to send appropriate emails addressing that situation.
The Important Email Marketing Conversion Rate Metrics To Measure
Your email marketing conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who complete a goal action after reading your email. This is an important metric for most marketers, as it indicates how effective your email marketing is and determines your return on investment. Every email you design should have a specific purpose you’d like to accomplish, right?
Whether that’s selling a product or inspiring readers to visit your blog. You’ll want to make it as simple as possible for your audience to follow through. In particular, by including a compelling and great Call To Action (CTA) in your strategic plan so as to deliver readers to the right page on your website. In many instances, the conversion goal will be purchase-related.
So, it’s important to be able to directly correlate the success of email marketing efforts to a hard number (like the sales associated with the conversion rate.) Even though every email won’t lead to sales, you’ll still have goals and conversions to measure. You may have a goal for every email you send, but every email should deliver direct value to your subscribers.
Some key metrics plus their % calculations:
- Open Rate: (Total Opens / Emails Delivered) x 100
- Click-Through Rate: (Total Clicks / Emails Delivered) x 100
- Unsubscribe Rate: (Total Unsubscribes / Emails Delivered) x 100
- Spam Complaints Rate: (Total Complaints / Emails Delivered) x 100
- Conversion Rate: (Total Conversions / Emails Delivered) x 100
- Bounce Rate: (Total Bounces / Emails Sent) x 100
- Forward/Share Rate: (Total Forwards/Shares / Emails Delivered) x 100
- Campaign ROI: ($ Sales – $ Invested) / $ Invested) x 100
- List Growth Rate: (New Subscribes – (Unsubscribes + Complaints) / Total Subscribers (over a specific period of time, e.g. the last 30 days) x 100
In addition to the above list, you can also calculate the time spent. And, just as its name implies, this metric refers to the amount of time that a user spends checking out your campaign. Your email marketing platform adds those times to work out an average, which is the rate of time spent on your emails. Naturally, the longer users spend on your emails, the better.
It means they’re paying close attention to your content, and in all likelihood, may be more willing to convert. Google Analytics enables you to track this metric by going into the Audience > Overview section on your dashboard. Here, keep an eye out for the metric that says Avg. Session duration.
The Best Practice For Email Marketing
You are sending emails regularly, but you aren’t growing your database. A great piece of content can bring new readers to your site but a great email likely won’t add people to your list. For this reason, you need to invest time in both creating great emails and adding people to your list. This comes down to carefully placing calls to action in the right places.
For some, this could mean a pop-up or interstitial ad and for others, it means including them organically in your content. There are no right or wrong answers, it’s simply a matter of offering a value proposition to your site’s visitors. If the value of the content is high enough, people might simply want to be notified when there are new articles.
What most people do when they want to build an email list is to put an optin form on their website and hope that people sign up. Unfortunately, this strategy usually doesn’t work very well. So, how can you build a spectacular email marketing campaign that recipients will find engaging? Well, check out the 10 Best Practices for Email Marketing Campaigns for more.
On a similar note, a healthy email list should have as few inactive recipients, bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribes. Think about list health as a composite of several of the email marketing metrics we’ve covered. If you can manage to keep them at reasonable (or healthy) levels, we can say that your list is healthy.
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However, since this metric is made up of multiple smaller ones, there’s no straightforward way to measure it. As long as you keep an eye out for the four individual metrics we mentioned earlier, you should be set. Be that as it may, in order to grow your email list, you need to attract people with a compelling offer. And as such, that’s where you need a lead magnet.
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something awesome that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. It doesn’t have to cost you anything to create; most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. Often, eBooks and reports are good ways to grow an email list.
Experiment with forms, surveys, ads, landing pages, social media, and video to see what prompts visitors to act but whatever you do, please don’t cannibalize your content. Email subscribers are not members of a cult, so why would you send them all the same messages? Only cult members think and act the same so unless you’re leading a cult, you need to think big.
You should try to use your email subscribers list to send different messages based on how your target audience reacts. A 2015 report by DMA on emailing suggests that 77% of email marketing ROI comes from the segment, target, and trigger campaigns. Of the marketers who do use segmentation, 43% use up to six segments on average. Other affiliated associates are:
Email marketing allows you to target particular groups of customers or even specific individuals. Offering individual customers special birthday deals on merchandise or services is one way to do this. A lot of entrepreneurs go into email marketing with the mindset that users will subscribe to their lists, open their emails, and then click a link to buy something.
While this is a realistic endgame for email marketing, you should base your campaign around the idea of creating trust. By offering value to your subscribers. Additionally, it’s marketing campaigns are complex and consist of dozens of different elements. Like subject lines, text, call to action, products, scheduling, and target market.
No wonder so many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by its general marketing! The result is that these entrepreneurs end up sending the same routine type of email, at predictable times.
B. Smart Marketers
Smart marketers take email to the next level. This starts with automated drip campaigns that slowly expose new users or prospects to new content, products, and services. But that is just the beginning. Ideally, email marketing should go hand in hand with social media.
Adding social media “Like” or “Share” buttons to your marketing emails gives an additional way for customers to connect with your brand. Snippets of positive reviews from social media fans can be included in emails, and social media posts can drive customers to your email newsletters.
Transactional emails – like receipts, invoices, reminders, notifications, password changes, and confirmation emails – have significantly higher open rates. More importantly, they serve a specific purpose and contain data that readers are genuinely interested in. It’s time more marketers took advantage of this opportunity.
Read More About: What Is a Lead Magnet & 10 Examples You Can Use Now
Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam email (which is never a good marketing strategy, by the way), email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers. In addition, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with your customers.
In fact, according to Salesforce, for every $1 spent on its marketing campaign, the average return is $38. However, if you are going to build an email marketing campaign, it is more important than ever before to ensure your email campaigns are engaging and valuable to your recipients.
According to DMA Insights, 53% of consumers say they get too many irrelevant emails from brands. Be that as it may, there are many reasons you should make email marketing one of your top priorities, but here are the top 3:
Why Email Is The #1 Communication Channel
Did you know that at least 99% of consumers check their email on a daily basis? That can’t be said of any other communication channel. That’s why Email is simply the best way to make sales online. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers.
In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 4400%. That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
On any social media platform, your account (along with all your fans and posts) could be suspended or deleted at any time, for any reason, without notice. However, you own your email list. No one can take those leads away from you.
It’s easy to set up and track an email marketing campaign, which makes it accessible for small businesses. You can add a newsletter sign-up option to your website, for instance. As people sign up, you can send newsletters to a growing audience. You can also direct customers to the newsletter from your social media profiles.
Getting Started With Email Marketing
A regular newsletter is a simple and effective way to send updates about your company, upcoming events, and special offers. Email software also makes it easy to schedule automated promotional emails for customers who haven’t purchased recently.
Email marketing is made up of several moving pieces, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Exemplary, OptinMonster has made it super easy to start collecting leads right away. Even without an email marketing service, with their Monster Leads integration.
Learn More: How to create your first email newsletter
With Monster Leads, you can begin building your email list—and even begin reaching out to leads. While keeping your leads stored safely inside your OptinMonster dashboard. Then, when you’re ready… There are a ton of them out there.
But I’ll take the guesswork out and make it really easy to choose the right one for you and your goals. After those steps, it’s just a matter of refining your lists and your messaging so you’re reaching your audience and really connecting with them.
Plus, you’ll be able to set up some automation in your email service which will make things much easier for you. In short, a working email marketing strategy includes some key metrics to look out for.
Consider the following:
- Build your own list
- Adhere to the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act
- Mix up your messages
- Respect your subscribers
- Follow a schedule
- Optimize for mobile
With the help of some of the above tools, if you can successfully implement your email marketing strategy, you’re guaranteed plenty of email traffic and sales as a result.
Effective email marketing takes effort. And the two biggest advantages of email marketing are price and ease. Compared to other types of marketing, emailing is an inexpensive way to advertise your company and its products or services.
But, while you are supposed to create value with your emails, make sure that you do not include too much information. Subscribers do not want to be overwhelmed with information in their inboxes. Ask a question and answer it as quickly as possible. Therefore, marketing through email is so much more than just coupons and newsletters.
It’s important to realize, though it has it’s good odds, it has also gotten a bad rap from many companies. In particular, for those who have abused the privilege of inbox access. However, consumers are wise to those tactics and wary of companies who bombard them with emails.
Finally, it’s my hope that the above-revised guide on email marketing was useful to you and your team. Have questions or need help developing an email strategy and campaigns? Well, we can help you get there! Thus, if you’ll need more help, please feel free to Contact Us and let us know how to support you. Perse, our Digital Online Web Experts will be glad to sort you out.
But, all in all, you are also welcome to share your additional thoughts, opinions, suggestions, recommendations, or even contribution questions (for FAQ Answers) in our comments section.