What is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing

Email Marketing

1. What is email marketing? 

Email marketing is one of the digital marketing tactics that can help you promote and sell your brand. 


Essentially it involves sending emails that effectively convert leads into customers, and turns existing customers into recurring buyers. 

2. Why is email marketing so successful?

If you’re like me, you might’ve thought email marketing to be a dead horse in this social media driven age. 


But that’s actually far from the truth.  


Radicati predicts, 2022 will see 4.25 billion email users maintaining more than one email address - this means you’re more likely to get your emails read. 


Statistics also prove that email marketing has higher conversion rates than other marketing channels. 


Infact, It’s almost 40x more effective than social media sites in generating new customers. 


3. Your guide on how to start a successful email marketing campaign

Whether you’re a start up looking to promote your product or a company wanting to generate more sales, successful email campaigns will be your best investment


This step-by-step guide will take you through a detailed process of how to get your campaign up and running. 

email marketing campaign

3.1. Step 1 - Growing your mailing list

The first step is always the most important. 


In order to send lots of emails, you need a substantial mailing list.  


These days, simply asking your site visitors to opt-in to receiving emails won’t cut it. 

It’s important to offer something in exchange for someone’s email address


This is called a lead magnet


Lead magnets are extremely effective in increasing your subscriber list. 


Things you could offer include: 

  • Free giveaways 
  • Ebooks
  • Webinars
  • coupons
  • Useful tips
  • Newsletters

The key is to provide users with tools that they will remember and promote (for the right reasons of course). 


For example, if you’re giving them tips, be sure that they are effective - you want it to make an impact in their life.  

3.1.1. Where to place your opt-in forms?  

So now that you’ve decided on what to offer, you can install a form or pop-up onto your site.


High converting places to put your opt-in prompt include:

  • Your about page 
  • Your site’s header or footer
  • Within your blog posts
  • Your sidebar
  • In a timed pop-up - Pop-ups that a site visitor will see after they’ve been on the site for a specific period of time. 
  • In an exit-intent pop-up  - Pop-ups that appear just as the visitor is about to exit the site. 

3.1.2. Sending emails

Once you’ve picked the perfect spot for your opt-in prompt you can focus on actually sending emails.


Sending emails might sound relatively simple, but there are a few things to consider


Firstly, make sure you deliver great content.  


This one might sound obvious but great content may mean different things to different people. 


Knowing your audience and delivering exactly what they’re looking for will make them more likely to open future emails from you.  


Secondly, Keep the tone friendly


Remember to treat the reader with respect, while also adding your personal touch of humor. It’s easy to do this if you think of them as a friend or relative (one that you actually like).  

 

And lastly, keep a regular flow of emails


Sending emails every day will likely annoy your audience.  


But it is important to keep in touch. 


If they remember your name they will probably open your emails.  


Luckily for us there are email marketing tools available to help with creating quality opt-in forms and sending emails.

3.2. Step 2 - Choosing an Email Marketing Service

An email marketing service will not only help you with great opt-in forms and email templates but also: 

  • Make it easy to manage your contact list
  • Automate responses, while still adding a personalized feel 
  • Segment users into groups
  • Track the performance of your email marketing campaigns
  • Ensure your emails don’t end up in the spam folder (we certainly don't want to end up there)

3.2.1. Why segmentation and automation is useful?

Email list segmentation breaks your subscribers into smaller groups based on certain criteria. These can be things such as how new they are to your list or what service they seem interested in.


Segmentation allows you to send more personalized, and relevant emails


After you’ve sorted your subscribers into different segments, you can send them effective autoresponders. 


Autoresponders are a series of emails that are automatically sent out based on your users’ interactions. 


By using segmentation and automation tools you can boost your opening rates and generate more engagement. 


Some popular email marketing services that provide you with the above-mentioned features include: 

3.2.2. Systeme.io 

Systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

Systeme.io is an excellent software for beginners and advanced users. The cool thing about systeme.io is it's not just an autoresponder - it's an all-round marketing tool


With systeme.io you can:

  • Build sales funnels
  • Create a blog
  • Automate everything
  • Create membership sites

Systeme.io has different price plans depending on your needs. 


The startup plan allows you 5,000 contacts with unlimited emails and all the features listed above for only $27 per month


The Webinar ($47 per month) and Enterprise ($97 per month) plans allow you to increase the number of contacts to 10,000 and 15,000 respectively. 

3.2.3. Mailchimp 

 Mailchimp logo

 Mailchimp logo

Mailchimp is another great tool for people who are starting out. 


They provide a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts, with 10,000 sends per month. 


The more advanced features (such as automation) are available on the paid plans. 


Their paid plans range from $10 per month to $30 per month and offer a subscriber limit of up to 2,500 contacts. 

3.2.4. Mailjet 

Mailjet logo

Mailjet logo

Mailjet is an email service provider used by more than 150,000 companies


They also offer a free version as well as paid options.


Mailjet’s free version allows you to send 6,000 emails per month with a daily limit of 200 emails.


The basic plans start at $9.65 per month - for up to 30,000 emails, then increase as you want or need to send more emails. 


While Mailjet is a capable email marketing software, some options such as segmentation and A/B testing aren’t available on the basic plan.


The premium and enterprise plans do provide these features and start at $20.95 per month

3.3. Step 3 - Increase your opening rate

Getting your emails opened is the ultimate goal.  

Increased open rate

The 2020 email benchmark report by Campaign Monitor found an average open rate of 17.8% for all industries with Tuesdays having the highest (18.3%) email open rate. 


Getting your emails opened doesn't have to depend on luck. These are some of the ways in which you can give yourself a better opening rate

3.3.1. Get your timing right

Sending emails to your subscribers at the right time has a huge impact on whether it gets opened.


If you’ve chosen a good email marketing service then you can perform A/B tests to determine which time frames work best for your audience. 

3.3.2. Captivating subject lines

Subject lines often determine whether your email gets opened since it's the first thing a subscriber sees. In little over a few seconds you have to make a good impression.    


The key to an amazing subject line is making the subscriber curious enough to want to know what the email is about. 


High opening rates also come from emails that maintain a conversational tone - You want them to see you as a friend. 

3.3.3. Mobile-friendly emails

Most people check their emails on mobile devices or tablets. Optimizing their viewing experience is a sure way of increasing your opening rates. 


Some alterations such as using a larger font and shorter subject lines will make your content easier to read on smaller screens.

Mobile-friendly emails

3.4. Step 4 - Deliver Amazing Content

Now that you’ve spiked your subscriber’s curiosity, you need to deliver with great content. 


If subscribers like your content, they will look forward to future emails from you. 


The foundation of a great email is having a clear purpose. 


Subscribers need to feel that you’ve earned their time


Providing information that is valuable and necessary will keep them reading. 


Some ways you can deliver better content include: 

3.4.1 Write to a single person

Although your emails will reach many inboxes, it's vital to write as if it were just one person.


To do this effectively, you need to understand your subscribers’. The best way to get to know someone is to ask questions.


Quick surveys and the use of A/B testing can be your greatest tool in this regard. 

3.4.2. Include some humor and wit

When you make someone laugh, you put them in a good mood (which is exactly what you want - unless you’re selling punching bags). 


Witty one-liners stick with people even after they’re done reading your mail.


Adding humor to your mail doesn’t have to include you browsing through joke books, just inserting funny GIFs to your content also adds a touch of personality. 

3.4.3. Speak like a friend

People will relate to your emails if you can empathize with them - and no one understands you like a friend. 


Using phrases like “I know you’ll love this” is going to come across much better than “Customers will love our new savings option”.  

3.5. Step 5 - Avoid Bounces and the Spam folder

Now that you’ve done the hard work and got your email campaign running, there are some things you need to keep in mind. 

3.5.1. What are bounces?

Bounces refer to emails that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient.


Permanent issues such as an email address not existing are called hard bounces.


Temporary issues like the recipient’s mailbox being too full or their server being offline are known as soft bounces

3.5.2. Why are bounces important?

When an email address continues to bounce the address will be suspended.  


It’s good to keep your eye on bounce rates so you can ensure your emails are reaching your subscribers. 

3.5.3. Staying out of Spam folders

Staying out of the Spam folder might seem like a no-brainer (No-one wants to lay among the unwanted), but there are also some requirements you need to fulfill on your end. 


Depending on where you live, and what email service you use, you might need to follow the CAN-SPAM rules.


Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) is a law which set out the rules for commercial emails. 


These include:

  • Don’t use false information in your subject or header
  • Identify the message as an ad
  • Provide correct contact information
  • Include an unsubscribe link in every email 
  • Allow users to unsubscribe immediately

3.6. Step 6 - Monitor your campaigns

Now that you’ve sent a successful email campaign, you will want to maintain that success. 


Constant monitoring of your open rates, as well as further research of your subscribers’ attitudes, is important. 


You should also track other behaviours such as:

  • Click-rate - This is the percentage of people that clicked a link in your email.
  • Conversion rate - The percentage of people that bought your product or service. 
  • Deliverability rate - Number of emails that successfully reached the recipient’s inbox. 

Email marketing is a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. 


Starting an email campaign is just like starting a relationship. You want your users to be in it for the long haul. 


Hopefully this guide helped you with setting up your email campaign and you can now begin increasing your conversion rates. 


If you’re still unsure of which email marketing service is best for you to use -  I recommend checking out some alternatives to the big names out there. 


All the best on your email marketing journey!

These articles may also be of interest to you:  


-    Top 15 Email Marketing Services in 2020

-    Online Business vs Real Estate: Which is the Better Investment?

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