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The Essential Guide to Email Marketing
In The Essential Guide To Email Marketing you will learn how to put together email marketing campaigns, build email marketing lists, target your appropriate audience and how to measure your success.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.
Generally speaking, email marketing is about sending a message, usually to customers, or a group of people, using email.
The purpose of email marketing is to enhance your business brand or relationship with a customer or potential customer. You are creating awareness in your business and letting your customers know about new products, new content or offers.
The key is to provide something of value for your customer. Ultimately, there are three objectives with email marketing. Building up loyalty, trust and awareness.
Ideally, you want your company to be at the forefront of the mind of a consumer as they come to making a decision about a purchase. By engaging with consumers through targeted and timely emails, you are building up a good business relationship. They know that you exist and they include your business in their buying options. Hence, this hopefully leads to loyalty, repeat business or even many new customers.
The Essential Guide To Email Marketing: Index
- What is Email Marketing?
- Why Use Email Marketing?
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Different Types Of Emails
- Top 5 Benefits to Email Marketing
- How Effective is Email Marketing?
- How To Do Email Marketing
- Email Automation
- Email Marketing Regulations
- How to Avoid The Spam Folder
- Why Email Marketing Is Important
- How to Write The Perfect Marketing Email
- Email Marketing Facts
- Main Reasons For Using Email Marketing
- How Much Does an Email Marketing Campaign Cost?
- How To Get Email Lists for Marketing
- How do I Get Customers to Open My Emails?
- Measuring Your Success
Why Use Email Marketing?
Using email marketing is a lot cheaper than sending traditional letters or messages. Moreover, 90% of consumers open their emails on a daily basis.
Furthermore, by analysing your email data as part of a campaign strategy, you can gather important information. For example, who is opening your emails, and who is not. How can you improve on this? What information are people interested in the most? This is all useful for building your email list and writing emails that target the right people. Hence leading to customers who are more likely to buy your products or service.
However, most people receive a lot of emails every day. Sometimes it’s difficult to wade through to get to the important ones. Hence, people can give up and just delete it. Or, it falls into the junk folder and never gets opened.
Email Marketing Campaigns
This is where a strategic email marketing campaign comes in useful. You don’t want to clog up an email inbox annoying potential customers. Your email content should be of value. What are your offering your customer? Think carefully about the wording and avoid words that sound like a spam email.
Furthermore, to keep emails out of the junk folders and to comply with legal requirements, you need to be on top of GDPR. In 2018, GDPR came into force which imposes new requirements on companies that collect, store and process personal data.
You need to make sure that your email marketing strategy includes the correct GDPR and legal requirements. This includes the users’ right to access information held about them. And the right to have all information deleted at their request.
Different Types of Emails
With this in mind, there are different types of emails you can send.
- Trigger Emails
- Reset Emails
- Order Confirmation Emails
- Order Status Emails
- Email Receipts
- Happy Birthday Emails
- Promotional Emails
Essentially, a transactional email is triggered based on a customer’s action with your company. For example, making a purchase from your shop will trigger a transactional email. Other examples like password reset emails, order confirmation emails, order status emails and email receipts all serve to automate and streamline your mundane admin tasks, these are often known as ‘system’ emails.
The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered the email. So, for example, thank you for buying this product. Or, your order has been processed and will be delivered soon.
Alternatively, direct email is when you send an email purely to convey a single promotional message. For example, we have a new product catalogue launching today. Or, enter our competition to win a free family ticket to the zoo. Often, companies collect a list of customer or prospect email addresses to send direct promotional messages to.
Top 5 Benefits to Email Marketing
There are many benefits to using email marketing, here are our top 5.
1/ Firstly, it’s a good way of generating leads.
The more leads you gain, the more chance there is for a sale at the end. You can encourage potential customers to provide their personal information in exchange for something they will find valuable.
For example, you are an interior designer and write a blog full of design tips for the home. By asking people to sign up to receive your blog, you are building leads. The consumers who sign up are showing interest in your company already. Now it’s your job to interest them further.
2/ Secondly, email marketing boosts the awareness of your brand.
For example, maybe the consumer is interested in 3 different styles of sofa. If they are already receiving design tips from you, they will have you in mind as a choice of where to buy from. Ultimately, your business needs to be among their choices for a sale. If they don’t know who you are, how can they buy from you?
3/ Thirdly, it’s a great way to promote new products.
Consumers may not visit your website regularly to see if a new product range is launching. However, by sending out a timely email, you are raising awareness of your launch. This in turn, will hopefully send traffic directly to your website to have a look.
4/ Fourthly, and very importantly, you are building relationships with clients.
Email marketing is also useful for retaining consumers who have previously bought your products. Your aim is to give a personal customer service to each one. Therefore, by sending thank you emails or special offers, you are building up a relationship.
5/ Finally in our top 5, Emails helps to build trust when done right.
As long as you are providing useful and valuable content, email marketing is an important way to build trust.
Maybe you are a new business and you are building up customers. It’s far more likely that customers will choose you and buy from you if they know and trust your brand.
How Effective Is Email Marketing?
In summary, when you are using email marketing effectively, it is an excellent tool. The right strategy can build up relationships with your customers. Furthermore, it can also result in more sales, thus building up profits.
Moreover, by analysing the results of an email marketing campaign, you can gather important data about how your customers interact with your company. Also, whether the campaign has directly led to sales. Therefore, if it’s a positive campaign, it’s worth repeating in the future.
How To Do Email Marketing
As we know, email marketing is a great way of engaging with your customers or potential customers. You may wish to send them a thank you email for buying a product. Or a welcome email to introduce your business.
There are many types of email campaigns you can choose from depending on what goals you want to achieve.
Perhaps you want to send more traffic to your website to view your products. A timely email campaign launching your new product range will alert customers to your website.
As a matter of fact, email marketing can be incredibly effective. Two thirds of customers make a purchase as a result.
How to Get Started with Email Marketing
If you are completely new to email marketing, here are a few tips to get you started on creating a strategy.
Define Your Audience
In the first place, how well do you know your audience? Knowing who you are going to be targeting allows you to structure and word the email in the best way.
Ideally, the best way to generate your goals is to research email marketing in your industry. For example, look at the email open rates and the amount of subscribers each business has. Hence, this allows you to set comparable goals.
Create Ways for People to Sign Up
In addition, you need a way to build up your email list. Many websites put a subscribe tab at the bottom of the website. This is where people can enter their email address. Alternatively, you can give them the option to sign up when registering with your website.
Choose a campaign type
Equally important is choosing the right campaign type. You could send out a weekly newsletter which mentions upcoming projects or services. Or, you could send an email creating a buzz around new products. Alternatively, you could write a regular blog offering valuable content to your customers.
Make a schedule
On the other hand, you don’t want to send so many emails that you begin to annoy customers. Hence, it’s a good idea to make a schedule so you can see exactly how many emails you are sending out and when.
Measure your results
Of course, after all this work, it’s good to analyse your results. Therefore, you can consider what changes need to be made, if any.
Using email automation helps you to send the right emails at the right time. Examples of email automation software include sendinblue and Mailchimp.
Essentially, email automation triggers email messages based on certain actions. For example, when a customer signs up for a mailing list, they automatically receive a welcome email. Or, if a customer has placed something in their cart but never finished checking out, they will receive a reminder email.
With this in mind, you can also personalise your emails through the software. A customer is more likely to buy a product they are interested in. For example, after analysis of customer habits, you may realise that Adam looks at guitars, but not drum kits. You could send an email to Adam about the new guitars in your shop, or about a discount on guitars.
After all, by sending consumers engaging messages they are interested in, you will peak their interest further.
Email Marketing Regulations
Nevertheless, a good business email must comply with current regulations. By collecting email lists, you are now storing data.
This compliance relates to protecting your subscribers’ right to only receive emails that they’ve requested. So, to avoid spam, here are some tips for compliance.
- Include your company name and address in every email.
- Place visible unsubscribe links within your emails
- Use real email addresses in the ‘From’ and ‘Reply to’ fields
- Write subject lines that indicate the contents of the email
GDPR came into force in 2018. For the purpose of giving your customers the right to choose to hear from you. Or to choose not to receive your emails. In the event that you are not compliant with GDPR law, you could face a significant fine. Here are some easy tips on compliance.
- Use explicit and clear language when requesting consent to store personal information
- Only collect contact data that is necessary and relevant to your business
- Store contact data in a secure manner and only use it for the agreed purpose.
- Keep the data for justifiable business purposes only.
- Delete data on request
- Make it easy for contacts to unsubscribe
- Comply quickly to a contact’s request for access to their data
- Keep company records to prove GDPR compliance.
How to Avoid the Spam Folder
In the event that you want your email to be seen, you need to make sure it avoids being picked up as spam.
In order to achieve this, you can ask your subscriber to put your company name in their address book. This is called whitelisting. It means you are now an approved sender and the customer is happy to receive emails from you.
Another tip is to be careful with your writing. Avoid using all caps as well as spam trigger words such as ‘opt-in’, ‘click below’ or ‘order’.
Finally, after setting up your email marketing strategy, it’s prudent to check whether or not it’s achieving the goals you intended.
You can set up your own metrics, or use the ones built into the campaign software. Here are some examples below.
How many of the emails you sent reached an inbox? A ‘Hard Bounce’ indicates a permanent reason why an email can’t be delivered. A ‘Soft Bounce’ means that the recipients email inbox could be full, or that it is inactive. Furthermore, it could mean that your content is blocked for some reason, or that your emails are not compliant.
Good Open Rate
How many of the customers you send emails to actually open them? You are measuring the percentage of people who open the email after it lands in their inbox.
Click through Rate
This is the amount of people who, after reading your email, click on your call to action button. Maybe you have a CTA on your email sending people to your website. Or asking them to download a report.
How many people have unsubscribed? This must be an option on all your emails. And if they have clicked to unsubscribe, you can think about the reasons why.
By analysing these issues, you can then work on improving your email marketing strategy.
Why Email Marketing Is Important
For some companies, email marketing may be lower on their list of objectives, especially with the ease of using social media. However, it’s incredibly important. That’s because the right email marketing campaign can be very effective. Building up relationships with your customers, as well as building up profits.
Email Marketing Facts
There are several good reasons to use email marketing and here are few facts to support it.
- Two thirds of all customers have made a purchase due to email marketing.
- Email is 40 times more effective with customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
- Email Marketing is unregulated, other than GDPR and compliance. This means you can reach out to subscribers as and when you feel it is necessary.
- There are 3.9 billion daily email users.
- Mobile opens account for 46% of all email opens.
- 73% of millennial prefer communications from businesses to come via email.
- 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
Main Reasons For Using Email Marketing
Firstly, email marketing is a great way to build relationships with your existing and new customers. Did you know that it costs five times more to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one? Focusing on customer retention helps to increase revenue and growth. One way to do this is to update your customer with valuable information through your email marketing strategy. Perhaps you can offer existing customers a specific discount, or send them relevant information you know they will be interested in.
Secondly, it’s important to stay at the forefront of customers minds. When a customer has carried out their research and reaches the point of making a purchase decision, your business should be an option. Therefore, you are building your brand awareness each time to reach a customer with your emails. Hence, this keeps customers aware of you when it comes to making a choice. Many more consumers subscribe to a brand’s list to get promotional messages and deals than follow brands on social media. Furthermore, consumers prefer email for communicating with brands that they are already linked to.
Lead generation is potentially the biggest reason to use email marketing. Some of us check our emails as much as 20 times a day. Sending your emails out to customers provokes them to either visit your website or to click on another call to action within the email. These are all potential leads as they are responding to your email.
Ultimately, email marketing is an ideal way of promoting your products. Maybe you are launching a new product or service? You have put it on your website, but now you want to promote it. By using email marketing, you can go back to previous customers and tell them about your new items. This will hopefully entice them to come back and buy from you.
Is Email Marketing Effective?
No matter what age group you are in, email is still a great way to reach your audience. Therefore email marketing should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. With this in mind, it’s worth remembering that consumers now have the power to get rid of irrelevant emails.
If you want to avoid cluttering up a customer’s inbox, you need to send relevant and timely emails. Make sure you are offering valuable content. To avoid your email being picked up as spam, you need to be on top of compliance and GDPR law. Consumers have the choice of whether to open your email or not. That’s if it even reaches their inbox.
Ideally, your email has information that they are already interested in. Perhaps you are offering a blog with tips about marketing tools and techniques. Your email is alerting the customer that they have a new post to read. A customer reads the blog. This helps to put your brand in their mind, it provides them with useful information about marketing tips and hopefully they’ll even look forward to your next email.
So, you see how sending relevant emails builds customer loyalty, brand awareness and trust. In a similar way to if the customer could pop into your shop and meet you in person. Hence, email marketing can be incredibly effective.
How Much Does an Email Marketing Campaign Cost?
Email marketing can get you in front of your target audience easily and quickly, but how much does it cost?
There are different email software options out there, have a look and do some research, but make sure you choose a trustworthy brand. Most software packages start for free. For example, you can sign up to Mailchimp and send up to 2000 emails per month for free. The plans then range from £9 per month for 50,000 emails up to £300 for 200,000 emails and so on.
Alternatively, you can start for free with Sendinblue or pay up to £170 per month for 100,000 emails. This is based on sending 3 email campaigns per month, which is a good number to keep the interest of customers, but to avoid annoying them.
How Can It Fuel Your Inbound Strategy?
Effective email marketing can help to fuel your inbound strategy. For example, by using personalisation in your email campaigns, you can build up long term relationships with your customers. By using marketing automation software, you can gather information about the web pages people visit. As well as the content they download. This then enables you to send emails targeted at their interests and behaviour.
Another tip is to connect your email and social media together. So, whatever email you are sending, make sure your social media and website links are clear as well and easy to use. This helps to build up your brand and awareness and drives traffic to your sites.
Finally, nurtured leads make larger purchases than non nurtured leads. Which means that if you personalise your emails and look after each customer, they are more likely to engage with your business and buy from you.
How To Get Email Lists for Marketing
What Is An Email List?
When it comes to email marketing, the first thing you need is a list of email addresses that you can send emails to.
This list usually grows from people who have given you their permission to send them emails. They have subscribed to your email list. Therefore, an email list can also be known as a subscriber’s list.
What Are The Benefits Of An Email List?
There are many benefits to having an email list. Firstly, you can communicate directly with customers. They have already shown an interest in your business by liking or sharing a post, visiting your website or subscribing to your content.
Secondly, the cost can be minimal to start with. For example, you can send 1000 emails per week for free using specific marketing automation software. If you need to send more emails, there are various packages you can buy, from £10 a month up to £300 a month. But, if you’re starting out, it’s easy to start for free.
Thirdly, emails help you to reach a large audience base. Not everyone is on social media or has an active account working, but most people have an email address. Many of us look at our emails up to 20 times a day. Furthermore, 73% of millennials prefer communications from business to come via email. As well as this, 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
A healthy and authentic email list can help lead to healthy profits.
Is Buying an Email List a Bad Idea?
It’s not advisable to buy an email list. These are just three reasons why:
- You are going against GDPR rules which require you to send emails to people who have already given you permission. If you buy an email list, you are sending emails to a random selection of people who have not given you their express consent.
- If you do come across email addresses available for sale, it’s probably a sign that these are not ‘good enough’ for your business. Ideally, you want to target people who already show an interest in your business and encourage them to purchase. You don’t want to send emails to people who have no interest in what you are selling and will be annoyed to receive it.
- Buying an email list could be a complete waste of money. People who receive your emails are not expecting to hear from you. Hence, it may go straight into the junk or spam folder. Therefore no-one reads it anyway.
How Do I Build Up An Email List
So, how do you start an email list from scratch? The first thing you need to do is to design an opt-in form or use a template for one.
On the form, customers need to fill it in with the required information, including their email address. Each form must be legally compliant. Hence, you include the relevant information, ensuring that customers know they are giving you their data, and that you will store it legally.
From here, you can use a lead magnet to attract customers to giving you their email address. For example, you can add a subscribe button to your website or social media page. Add words such as ‘subscribe now’ or ‘sign up here’ and this is how you can engage them.
Alternatively, you can simply ask people directly to ‘sign up’ to hear more from you. This leads to the opt-in form. However, an even better way to attract consumers is to offer free gifts or discounts in return for them signing up. Or you could run a competition asking people to sign up to take part.
If you have creative and engaging content to share, such as a blog, a report, or a video, you can ask people to sign up or follow you to watch or read all the content.
Furthermore, if you’re using social media, you can add a button on your facebook page asking people to ‘sign up here’. Ideally, this will attract your facebook followers to subscribe to your mailing list.
Don’t forget to add a subscribe button on your blog as well if you have one. As soon as a consumer opens the blog post, they can subscribe to receive more content, and you will gain another email address.
Additionally, you can ask customers for reviews of your product or service. A good review will benefit your brand, and you can ask the reviewer their permission to add their email to your list.
You could also try designing a creative newsletter for your brand and place it on your social media accounts and website. The newsletter will also carry an option to sign up or subscribe. Not only does a newsletter keep your audience engaged with your business, it also adds more email subscribers to your list.
Can I Make Money With My Email List?
A high quality email list with an effective marketing strategy can help you to make more profit. You can reach a larger market at a relatively low cost. Email marketing can also help you to build up a direct and engaging relationship with your customers.
Ideally, you will grow an organic email list of customers who show interest in your brand and product. Therefore, your emails are authentic and relevant. The people who receive them are expecting them and may even look forward to the next one.
By offering interesting and valuable content in your emails, you are building up trust and interest in your brand. Ultimately, you are putting your business at the forefront of people’s minds which could then lead to a sale. The more people who are interested in your brand, the more sales you are likely to make.
To sum up, it’s important to target the right people in your email marketing strategy. Your list should be made up of people who are more likely to respond to your campaign.
How to Write The Perfect Marketing Email
What Is A Perfect Marketing Email?
These days we’re inundated with email marketing campaigns. Some of us might get hundreds of emails every day and open few of them. But, what if you get an email that really does interest you? That has information about a product or service that you may benefit from or appreciate?
That’s the key to writing a perfect marketing email. Ideally, it will have such an impact on your customers that they will take an action from it straight away. Perhaps they will visit your website. Or, click on your social media links to find out more. Your email may even remind them to buy that product they put into the basket earlier but haven’t yet checked out.
How do I Write a Perfect Email?
Ultimately, email marketing helps you to connect with your audience and to promote your brand and increase sales. But how do you go about writing that ideal email? Here are some tips.
Use Automated Email Marketing Software
Generally speaking, automated email software helps you to send the right emails at the right time. There is also a list of templates that you can start from, and then build up with your own brand, colours and logo.
For example, there are templates on welcoming new subscribers, notifying customers of a sale, or reminding them there’s a product in their cart.
You could choose templates for sending newsletters or acknowledgement emails to say thank you for a purchase.
Consider your words and provide relevant content
Don’t just write anything. Think about what you are writing carefully. For example, you may have a new product for sale, let’s say it’s a new range of cushions. If you write, “New cushions for sale, buy now before stocks run out”, it might be picked up as spam. Also, it’s not very interesting.
Alternatively, you could write, ‘These beautiful new cushions in our range come in velvet, linen and block print with embroidered botanical scenes from nature. They compliment our corner sofa range perfectly.’ You may also want to add some interior design tips here or a link to your blog which includes a range of images of the cushions on the sofa.
Therefore you are adding value to your email, as well as letting the customer know that a new product range is available.
Define your Audience
Knowing your audience will help you to write the perfect email. Who is interested in your product or service? If you have some analytics already on your website, you can have a look at who spends time looking at your products and which ones are the most viewed.
Hence, you can build up a picture of what your audience is looking for.
Personalisation and Segmentation
This will lead you to personalising your emails.
Each customer starts on a journey with your business as soon as they show an interest in it. So, if they have clicked on your website, or your blog or entered a competition on social media, they have shown an interest.
You want to build on this interest by looking after each customer as if they are coming into your shop for a personal visit.
Therefore, using their name in a personalised way on emails will make them feel more attached to your business.
By using segmentation, you can put your customers into groups considering what they are interested in. Perhaps one group is particularly interested in design colour palettes for rooms, while another group is interested in the style of sofa. By targeting groups, you are sending them emails that are relevant to them. Hence, this will increase your open rate.
Make a schedule
There’s no perfect theory on how many emails to send. But you don’t want to overload an inbox or your customer will get annoyed. Generally speaking, 3 email campaigns per month is a good rule of thumb. However, your email marketing campaign will depend on the industry you are in.
How do I Get Customers to Open My Emails?
Ideally, you want your customers to open your emails once they arrive in the inbox. You’ve worked hard creating valuable content, linking your social media and website and providing a call to action. What you don’t want is for all that work to go to waste.
So, to avoid spam,you can ask your customer to put your company name in their address book. This is called whitelisting. It means you are now an approved sender and the customer is happy to receive emails from you.
Also, avoid using caps in your writing. As well as spam trigger words such as ‘opt-in’, ‘click below’ or ‘order’.
Additionally, you can keep the emails out of the spam folder if you use compliance properly. Our tips include writing subject lines that clearly reveal the contents of the email. Also, include your company name and address in every email. And place visible unsubscribe links within your emails.
What is a Good Open Rate?
Ideally, you want as many customers to open your email as possible. This is your open rate. How many people you send emails to actually open them?
If you can analyse this through your marketing automation software, then it can give you valuable data.
Open rates are one of the best ways to tell whether your email strategy is working. If you have a higher open rate, it usually means your subject lines are working and resonate with your audience.
The average opening rate is about 21% in a single campaign. Some emails don’t even reach the inbox, this is a hard bounce. Others may reach the inbox but are sent to spam for reasons we have already mentioned.
Measuring Your Success
Finally, it’s a good idea to measure the outcome of your email marketing campaign. Has it been a success? How can you improve upon it? If you have tried several different types of campaign, which one worked the best? Which campaign led to new leads, subscribers or even sales? It’s worth repeating that one again in the future.