Step By Step Guide To Email Marketing
The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. Seven years later, Gary Thuerk, a Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp, birthed email marketing by sending an email to 400 users promoting their products. Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that looks to develop mutual relationships between a brand and its customers and prospects through email. He became known as the Father of Spam even though he made his company millions in sales. Since then, email marketing has never looked back.
But for something that was invented over 40 years ago, hasn’t it been overtaken by events? After all, we have new technology such as chatbots, search engine marketing, video marketing, augmented reality, and social media marketing. Far from it. Email marketing is still the most effective digital marketing strategy. People use emails more than any other platform. According to Statista, there are over 5.6 billion active email accounts globally. This is more than twice the number of active users on the largest social media platform, Facebook (2.7 billion). It has also been shown to have a higher return on investment compared to other digital marketing strategies.
Let’s look at other reasons why email marketing should be part of your digital marketing strategy.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Marketing trends come and go. But email marketing has been able to stand the test of time and remain trusted by most marketers. This is because of the massive benefits they get from the platform. Some of the benefits of email marketing are:
1. Wide reach
When you look at daily active users on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the numbers are impressive. Until you consider that email has 3.9 billion daily active users worldwide. Even websites and social media platforms rely on emails to enable users to sign up. Recent concerns about privacy data breaches have only served to scare more people away from social media too. It looks like other every other thing on the internet depends on email. So if you want to connect with your prospects and customers online, email offers you the widest reach.
2. Message delivery
Besides having a wide reach, the email also ensures that your message is delivered to the right recipients. Social media platforms such as Facebook try to drive brands towards paid advertising by limiting the number of times their posts appear on the News Feed. According to HootSuite, Facebook posts has a reach of 2.2% and the chances of your followers seeing your posts are about 5.5%. On the other hand, email campaigns have a delivery rate of up to 90%. This is because your subscribers willingly signed up for your emails and would love to hear from you. Email marketing is done in accordance with the Irish anti-spam laws to ensure you don’t send unsolicited emails.
3. Conversion rates
The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to drive conversions and turn prospects into paying customers. Email is a powerful channel for nurturing leads to conversion as it has a higher click-through rate compared to other channels. There are also tools for measuring your email campaigns and tracking opens, clicks, bounces, social shares, forwards, and other metrics.
The high rate of conversion also means that email marketing has a higher return on investment compared to other strategies. This is because of its ability to deliver highly personalized marketing campaigns that are relevant to the prospect’s stage in the sales funnel.
4. Preferred channel of communication
For your marketing campaigns to be successful, you need to engage your prospects on their preferred communication channel. For most people, social media platforms are for personal communication and keeping in touch with their loved ones. Email, on the other hand, is considered a professional platform and most people would prefer to receive promotional campaigns through it. 72% of consumers prefer to receive promotional content through email.
The email will probably be around forever. In fact, it has only become better with time. But social media platforms will always give way to newer ones. At one point, MySpace was the world’s largest social networking platform. TikTok (689 million), launched in 2016, has already overtaken Twitter (275 million) in terms of the number of active users. Unlike building a social media following, investing in an email list comes with longevity and stability.
Email Marketing Strategies
Image/ Wikimedia Commons
Effective email marketing requires you to put in time and effort. If you’re looking to get started on email marketing, here are the steps to get you going:
1. Establish your email marketing goals
It’s always tempting to jump on email marketing and send out emails. But you should first note down the goals you’re looking to achieve with your campaign. This will help you to determine the type of campaigns to use, your target audience, your content strategy, and the metrics for measuring the success of your campaign.
One of the ways of determining your goals is to align them with your business’s wider purpose. For example, increase sales, new signups, or donations to a cause. Identifying the goal helps you to create campaigns that are focused and high-performing.
2. Build your email list
After establishing your goals, it’s time to build your email list of the target audience. You can build a list of existing customers to cross-sell, upsell, or notify them of product offers. You can also build a list from scratch targeting prospects. To encourage prospects to sign up for your email list, you should offer them incentives such as authoritative content, first-order discounts, and free or express shipping upgrade among others. You should also make the opt-in process easy and quick.
When building your email list from scratch, you can place the opt-in form in different places on your website. These include:
- The header bar- at the top of your website
- The slider- a small box that slides in to the bottom corner of your website
- Top of the sidebar
- End of a blog post
- Lightboxes- pop-ups asking web visitors to sign up
Some brands are often duped into buying email lists. Purchased lists are ineffective because they’ve probably been sold to your competitors too. You also have higher chances of your emails ending up in the spam folder as the contacts haven’t expressed interest in your emails.
3. Decide on the type of campaigns
Email can be used for sending out different types of campaigns. This largely depends on the goal you’re looking to achieve. Some of the different types of campaigns include:
- Newsletters: These are regularly distributed email campaigns that target existing customers. They usually cover a topic of interest and are intended to keep the brand in minds of the customers and have them visit your website.
- Marketing offers: Marketing offers are aimed at driving sales and usually offer buyers a discount or special promotions on a purchase. They have a direct call to action.
- Announcements: These are intended to announce new features or products from a brand. They help to keep your customers engaged in the latest developments from your brand. Announcements can also drive customers back to your store to make a purchase.
- Event invitations: This type of email campaigns help to create awareness about upcoming events and drive attendance. The events can be online (webinars, product unveiling etc) or offline.
4. Create your campaign
At this stage, you get down to the real work- creating your email campaigns. Email marketing tools such as MailChimp can help to create beautiful and effective email marketing campaigns. When creating your emails, some of the things you should put into consideration include:
- Easy-to-read email structure
- Images and infographics help to boost engagement
- Email personalization depending on factors such as the stage of the sales funnel and demographics
- The relevance of the email to the subscriber
- Brand trustworthiness
- Optimization for conversion
- Timing of the emails
- Informative content
Paying attention to these will help you to create highly effective and converting email campaigns.
5. Measure your results
It’s important to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns. This helps you to tweak them as necessary for better results. You get to know what’s working and what needs improvement. You can use tools such as Google Analytics to track the performance. Some of the metrics you should pay attention to are:
- Open rates
- Number of unopened emails
- Click-through rates
- Unsubscribe rate
- Social shares
- Spam reports
These metrics give you in-depth insights on how your subscribers interact with your campaign and how you can keep improving. You can also do split tests to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns before sending them out.
Now you know how important email marketing is to your digital marketing strategy. It’s something you don’t want to miss out on. These tips can help you to get started. When doing email campaigns, remember to be polite, respectful, and deliver value. If you’re looking to create engaging and effective email marketing campaigns, then you should consider hiring an agency that’s experienced in email marketing. At Salt Marketing, we create permission-based email marketing campaigns that take your customer engagement to the next level. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultancy.