Email marketing is still a highly effective strategy and one of the oldest forms of digital communication. Despite newer communication channels such as social media, email remains the most popular with a user base of over 4.5 billion.
With a very high ROI, email marketing is an essential tool for marketers. It consistently outperforms other marketing channels such as social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.
The beginning of email as a communication tool began in 1971 when computer engineer Ray Tomlinson sent the first email, a string of numbers and letters. He also popularised using the “@” symbol in email addresses.
In 1978, Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp, utilised this new form of direct communication to send out the first commercial email promoting a product.
By the 1990s, with the widespread availability of the internet, the way people communicated changed dramatically, and marketers realised the potential of email for advertising. This led to regulatory updates, such as adjusting the U.K.’s Data Protection Act to include an “opt-out” option for marketing emails.
As the popularity of email marketing grew, so did technology development to support it.
In the early days, marketers had to manually send individual emails to each recipient. However, the process became much more efficient and scalable with the advent of bulk email software and marketing automation. This allowed companies to reach a large audience with personalised messages, track their results, and optimise their campaigns for better results.
The rise of mobile devices also changed the game for email marketing. With more and more people accessing their emails on the go, marketers had to adapt their emails to be mobile-friendly and eye-catching. In addition, interactive elements, such as images, videos, and clickable links, became more prevalent as marketers sought to engage their audience and increase conversions.
Email marketing continues to be a crucial component of a successful marketing strategy. It offers a low-cost, highly-targeted way for businesses to connect with their audience and drive conversions. From small startups to large corporations, email marketing has proven to be a versatile and effective tool for reaching and engaging with customers.
Email usage continues to outstrip other platforms, as it remains the preferred method of communication for most people. In addition, the number of email users continues to grow each year, making it a reliable platform for reaching your target audience.
One of the most significant advantages of email marketing is that you have control over your connections, eliminating the risk of reduced reach due to algorithm changes.
For these reasons, developing a successful email marketing campaign is more important than ever. But unfortunately, many people need help with creating effective campaigns. This is where tips and strategies come in handy.
In this guide, you’ll learn about building an email list, creating engaging emails, designing automated campaigns, and tracking your efforts for optimal results.
Email marketing is a strategy that involves sending promotional messages in bulk to target audiences to
This can include promotional offers, lead nurturing, or supporting content marketing. If you check your email inbox, you’ll likely see many examples of email marketing messages.
It’s important to note that these goals are interconnected, and the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns often depends on a combination of these objectives being met. To maximize the potential of email marketing, it is essential to have a well-thought-out strategy that aligns with the overall goals of the business.
Let’s start with the basics of email marketing before diving into strategies to make it effective.
To maximise your email marketing campaign, consider these tips:
Email inboxes are often overwhelmed with countless messages and advertisements.
To stand out, adopting a polite and respectful approach in your email marketing is crucial.
Think of it like being invited to someone’s home for dinner. Just as you would take off your shoes at their request, you should treat their inbox with the same consideration. Your goal is to be a welcomed guest, not an unwanted intrusion.
In this light, building a successful email marketing strategy starts with maintaining good etiquette and manners.
Finally, and most importantly, make sure your content is of value. People are inundated with emails on a daily basis, so it’s crucial to give them a compelling reason to open yours. Typically, this reason stems from their curiosity or your potential to provide a solution to a problem they are experiencing.
Email marketing is a highly effective marketing strategy that is often automated and easy to use.
It can support various marketing initiatives, such as lead generation, sales, and content marketing.
To ensure success, an email marketing campaign must have three key components:
Email marketing can bring numerous benefits to your business and directly impact your financial performance. Here are six of the top benefits:
Email marketing, like any other marketing channel, has its pros and cons. Here are some of the most significant ones:
There are many advantages of email marketing, and here are a few key ones to consider:
While there are many advantages to email marketing, there are also a few disadvantages to be aware of, such as:
Email marketing requires a well-planned strategy because various types of emails can be sent to your audience. Each type serves a different purpose and engages your audience in different ways. In this article, we will discuss some of the common types of email marketing so that you can create the best campaign for your company.
These emails greet new customers and encourage them to learn more about your products or services. They often offer a trial or bonus and serve as an introduction to the business. Welcome emails have an average open rate of 50% and are an effective way to introduce your brand, products and services to new contacts. The best welcome emails are brief and action-oriented, with the main focus being to guide subscribers to the next step.
These are popular email campaigns, typically highlighting new products and services and including articles, blogs, and customer reviews. They include a call-to-action, encouraging the reader to take a specific action, such as reading a blog post or checking out a product. Newsletters are usually non-promotional and can be used to share industry updates, tips, blog roundups, and more. They are often sent regularly, building trust and long-term relationships with customers.
These emails target a specific audience through a series of emails to eventually convert them. They focus on a group interested in a product or service and build interest through additional emails with information or relevant promotions. The aim is to move users from the consideration stage to the purchasing stage.
These emails are sent to those who have recently signed up for emails or newsletters or made a purchase online for the first time. They confirm receipt of information and let the recipient know they are on the list to receive additional information. Confirmation emails may also include further actions for the recipient to take.
These emails are sent to a specific portion of your email list based on criteria such as recent purchases, inactive clients, new members, and others.
These emails announce upcoming events, new product launches, and seminars. Companies use these emails to generate attention and increase awareness about special events.
These marketing emails are very common and are typically generic and sent to a large audience. They are used to maintain awareness and may tease new products and services. Promotional emails can take various forms and are designed to promote a specific product, service or ongoing sale.
Feedback from customers is valuable for a business. Sending survey emails lets your customers know you value their opinions and want to create a product or experience they will enjoy. In addition, the feedback from these surveys can be used to improve your offerings.
Many companies take advantage of holidays and special occasions to reach out to customers with information on sales and promotions. These emails are tied to holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day and are sent around specific times of the year, promoting products and services relevant to the season.For example, here’s a great marketing email from Lush promoting their Halloween-related products:
By understanding the different types of email marketing, you can create the best marketing campaign for your company and engage with your audience effectively.
Campaigns for abandoned carts are emails sent to customers who have added items to their cart while shopping at your store but still need to finalise the transaction.
Cart abandonment emails are an effective tool in bringing back customers who have shown interest in your store by placing items in their cart but still need to complete their purchase. Research has shown that these emails can generate an average of $5.81 in revenue per recipient. To encourage these customers to return and complete their purchases, you can send reminders, create a sense of urgency, and provide incentives like discounts or free shipping.
Here’s an example of a cart abandonment email from Public Rec:
Other forms of email marketing that can benefit your brand include:
These are just a few examples of your many email marketing options. By understanding the various types and their objectives, you can create a comprehensive email marketing plan that helps you connect with your customers and achieve your marketing goals.
You should follow several important steps when automating your email marketing process to ensure its success. The exact process may vary depending on the email service provider (ESP) you use, but there are several universal steps you should take.
The first step in automating your email process is to segment your email list. Segmentation is grouping your subscribers based on their data and behaviour. This information can include:
You can create more personalised and targeted campaigns by segmenting your email list, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates.
After segmenting your email list, it’s time to design an email series. An email series is a series of automated emails that work together to achieve a specific goal. The goal can be anything from nurturing leads, promoting a product or service, or driving traffic to your website. When designing your email series, think about what messages you want to convey, what actions you want your subscribers to take, and how each email will work together to achieve your ultimate goal.
Once you’ve designed your email series, it’s time to determine what actions will trigger the following email. These triggers are the events that cause the following email to be sent. Some common triggers include:
The triggers you choose will depend on your specific goals and the type of email series you are creating. For example, if you create an email series to nurture leads, you may use a trigger that sends an email after a lead visits your website and views specific pages. On the other hand, if you are creating an email series to promote a new product, you may use a trigger that sends an email after a subscriber signs up for your email list.
Following these steps, you can automate your email marketing process and create targeted, personalised campaigns to help you achieve your marketing goals.
To be successful with email marketing, you need to implement strategic campaigns. These strategies will help you reach your goals:
To succeed with email campaigns, you need the right tools to streamline and optimise your process. Here are seven essential email marketing tools you should consider:
Email Service Providers (ESP) – A crucial tool for your email marketing efforts is an ESP. Some of the top ESPs include:
Email Deliverability Tools – Email deliverability refers to the ability of your ESP to deliver emails to your recipient’s inboxes. A valuable tool to have is an email deliverability tester:
Email Testing and Tracking Tool – Testing and tracking the performance of your campaigns can help you create optimised iterations. Here are some tools for testing and tracking:
Email Personalization Tools – Personalize your email campaigns beyond just adding the recipient’s name by using an email personalisation tool:
The foundation of a successful email marketing campaign is understanding your target audience. This information enables you to segment your email list and craft highly targeted copy.
The subject line is a crucial element of email copy, as it determines whether or not your email is opened. To create a subject line that demands attention, consider these tips:
• Incorporate keywords
• Focus on benefits
• Use active voice
• Personalize as much as possible
Additionally, depending on your audience, including emojis may increase open rates.
Avoid terms that may trigger spam filters, such as “clearance,” “free,” “bargain,” and “cash bonus.”
Preview text is displayed immediately beneath or next to the subject line, offering a brief glimpse of what the email contains. As it is limited to 140 characters (varies by email client), it serves as a mini pitch to convince recipients to open the email. To make the most of preview text, ensure it aligns with the subject line and provides a clear value proposition to the reader.
With limited time and attention, your readers will only spend a little effort trying to decipher your message. Make your email copy easy to read:
• Short sentences and paragraphs
• Plain language
• Bullet points.
Stories are a compelling way to grab attention and convey a message, making storytelling a valuable tool for an email copy. Consider using the Attention-Interest-Desire-Action (AIDA) concept to build interest and guide recipients towards your desired outcome.
Human behaviour is influenced by psychological triggers, and incorporating them into your email copy can drive desired actions from your audience. Examples of these triggers include
• Fear of missing out (FOMO)
• Color psychology
• Social proof.
By leveraging these psychological triggers, you can create highly effective email copy.
To create a successful email marketing campaign, you must follow a clear plan broken down into several key steps. The following steps provide a framework for your email strategy:
A relevant email is key to a successful email campaign. Start by understanding your buyer persona and what they want. Then, tailor your email campaign to the needs of your audience.
Before establishing your campaign goals, gather some context. This includes understanding the average email stats for your industry to set realistic goals.
You need a list of people to send emails to. An email list is a group of users who have permitted you to send them relevant content. To build this list, you need to provide several opt-in opportunities for prospects.
There are several email campaigns, such as weekly newsletters, product announcements, and blog post shares. Choose the type that is best for your audience, and set up different lists for different types of emails.
Decide how often you plan to contact your list and inform your audience in advance. This helps build trust and ensures your emails are expected rather than becoming spam.
As marketers, it is important to measure everything. Monitoring key metrics will help you make small email changes that yield significant results.
With these steps in mind, you can create an effective email marketing strategy and send emails people to want to read.
You can get your email marketing template from here.
Here are the definitions for the metrics commonly used in email marketing:
a. Open Rate: Open rate is the percentage of email recipients who open an email out of the total number of emails delivered. It provides insights into the effectiveness of your subject line and email preview in capturing the attention of your subscribers.
b. Click-Through Rate (CTR): Click-through rate is the percentage of email recipients who click on at least one link within an email. It indicates how successful your email content and call-to-action are in engaging your audience and driving them to take further action.
c. Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR): Click-to-open rate is the percentage of email recipients who click on at least one link within an email out of the total number of recipients who opened the email. CTOR measures the effectiveness of your email content and design in generating clicks among those who opened your email.
d. Unsubscribe Rate: Unsubscribe rate is the percentage of email recipients who choose to opt out or unsubscribe from your email list after receiving an email. It reflects the number of subscribers who no longer wish to receive your emails or find them irrelevant or uninteresting.
These metrics are commonly used to measure the performance and engagement levels of email marketing campaigns. They provide insights into the effectiveness of your emails, help identify areas for improvement, and allow you to gauge the overall success of your email marketing efforts.
The below are industries benchmarks for email marketing
To build your email list, add a banner or form to your website and ask people to subscribe. Here are some tips to follow:
Consider email addresses a valuable resource and entice people to provide them by offering an incentive. This could be a newsletter, product updates, a downloadable asset, a coupon, or anything that gives value to the subscriber. A strong call to action and effective copywriting can attract more subscribers.
For example, the business newsletter Morning Brew offers readers a simple benefit: fun, exciting updates every morning.
Search Engine Journal uses a small form in their right sidebar offering daily news—they also ask which topics the user is interested in, which helps them send more valuable content.
Follow Email Marketing Regulations: Ensure your emails abide by local laws and regulations, including CAN-SPAM and GDPR. You can never buy email lists, and it’s advisable to use double opt-in options and provide an easy way for people to unsubscribe.
Start building an email list of engaged, opt-in subscribers. Ensure they have given express permission to receive emails from you by having them enter their email address on a signup form on your website, blog, social media, or other channels. This is known as an “opt-in” and is necessary for compliant email marketing and protecting the credibility of your brand. In addition, most email service providers offer tools to create signup forms for organic list growth.
Here are some tried-and-tested ways to organically grow your email list:
Add signup forms to your website and other places
Create an obvious email subscription form that converts visitors into subscribers. The key to an effective setup is a clear and concise presentation of the lead magnet’s benefits, along with these components:
Once your form is ready, install it in high-converting locations, such as: • Splash page • Welcome gate • Floating bar • Header • Blog archive page • Within blog posts • Sidebar • Timed lightbox popup • Scroll box • Footer • About page • Resource pages • Dedicated sign-up page • Exit-intent popup.
The exit-intent popup is a must-have for maximising subscribers, as it appears just as the user is about to leave the site, ensuring they have read and appreciated your content. This method has proven successful for many customers, with results like a 125% increase in conversions. To learn more about exit-intent popups.
Use lead magnets
Free premium content is the key to rapid list growth.
A lead magnet is a valuable item offered for free in exchange for an email address. This item does not need to be expensive to produce, often digital materials like PDFs, audio files, or videos that can be easily created at low or no cost.
Anything that provides free value to your visitors can serve as a lead magnet, with popular options including • e-books • cheat sheets or resource lists • white papers or case studies • webinars • free trials or samples • complimentary quotes or consultations • quizzes or self-assessments • coupons The options are limitless!
For a lead magnet to be truly effective, it needs to offer value to your audience for free. However, to ensure its success, there are five key elements to keep in mind:
Email marketing success depends on setting proper expectations. A strong call to action and consistent follow-up will result in a successful campaign. However, over-promising and delivering too frequently, or under-delivering on expectations, can lead to failure and frustrated subscribers. Therefore, the initial follow-up email plays a crucial role in determining the success of your email marketing efforts.
An introductory email, like the one Airbnb sends to new customers, is a great example. This welcome email outlines the steps involved, such as completing the profile, verifying information, and booking the first stay.
A similar email confirming the subscription and letting them know what they can expect.
Utilise the feature offered by most email service providers to set up an automated welcome sequence. The first follow-up email should be sent promptly to introduce yourself and clarify the expectations for new subscribers. This email should aim for thoroughness rather than brevity, but if you can be concise and informative, that’s even better. After this, it’s essential to fulfil those expectations consistently.
Your email list isn’t just a fun hobby; it’s a tool to engage with customers and drive sales. However, transitioning from a list that offers free value to one that pitches products can be challenging. Plan ahead on when and how you’ll make your pitch to achieve success. Avoid surprising your subscribers with unexpected sales pitches, as it’s more effective when they expect them occasionally. Consider your reader’s perspective when sending sales messages and ensure they align with your expectations. Relevant offers are more likely to be accepted than blind pitches. There isn’t a set rule for how often you can pitch or provide content, but remember that your email list is an asset, and it’s better to err on caution.
A good newsletter stands out from a bad one, starting with whether the recipient remembers signing up for it. Regular updates help people remember your business and avoid ending up on an email list by mistake. Try to send an email at least once a month or once a week. The most engaging newsletters mix messaging with updates, balancing product updates and images with personal messages and friendly memos. Use your newsletter to strengthen your relationship with the reader and save the pitches for unique updates and announcements.
Manually responding to every new subscriber can be feasible when you have just a few, but as your list grows, it becomes increasingly challenging. Email automation is the secret to top marketers’ success. It allows you to schedule emails in advance and trigger them based on specific events. Planning a series of emails that automatically deliver over a few days to months can keep your subscribers engaged even when you’re busy. By the time you need to announce a new product or sale, you’ve already built a relationship and are less likely to annoy your readers.
Once you’ve started growing your email list, the next step is to develop a strong email marketing strategy and create relevant content.
Defining Your Email Marketing Strategy
Consider what you hope to accomplish with your first campaign to establish your email marketing approach. Here are some common goals for beginner email marketers:
Your goals can be specific or broad, as long as they align with your business and target audience. A well-defined, measurable goal will make it easier to craft your email content.
Designing Your Marketing Emails
Designing your marketing emails can be straightforward. You can easily create eye-catching and professional campaigns using a drag-and-drop editor.
The focus should be on creating an email that represents your brand, even if it means keeping it simple. Of course, you can always add more elements as your skills improve.
Streamline with Pre-made Email Templates
Both new and experienced email marketers can save time and effort with pre-made email templates.
Choose a template you like, customise it to match your brand’s colours and font, and reuse it for future newsletters. Then, all you need to do is update the content. It’s quick and easy!
Sendinblue offers over 40 newsletter templates on all plans, including the free one. Many other sources offer free email templates.
Sendinblue offers 100% responsive email templates, meaning they automatically adjust their formatting to fit the device they’re viewed on — mobile, tablet, or desktop.
For compelling email copy, aim to provide value, feature topics that interest your audience, and reflect your brand’s tone of voice.
When crafting your email, consider these tips to make it persuasive and engaging: • Consider what your audience needs from you and how you can help.
To maximise the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, it’s essential to be strategic about the day and time you send your emails.
Consider what you know about your audience and choose a time that suits them best.
Research by Sendinblue found that emails tend to perform well when sent on Tuesday or Thursday mornings around 10 AM or in the afternoons around 3 PM. However, there may be better times for your specific audience.
Experimenting with different times is crucial to determine the best schedule for your unique situation.
Now that you understand the basics of email campaigns, it’s time to take them to the next level. Using segmentation and analytics can refine your broadcasts and lead to better results.
Analytics is essential to email marketing, and every email service provider offers complimentary analytics.
The three most crucial metrics to track are open rate, click-through rate (CTR), and unsubscribe rate.
This metric reflects how many people open your emails and indicates the strength of your relationship with subscribers. High open rates mean that subscribers are interested in your emails. Low open rates suggest that you have unengaged subscribers and need to focus on providing value and managing their expectations.
CTR shows the number of clicks on a link in your email. If the CTR is low, your message may need to be targeted more or be resonating with subscribers. In this case, work on improving your email copy.
The unsubscribe rate reflects the number of people who clicked the “unsubscribe” button in your email. If the unsubscribe rate is high, you’ve got a severe issue.
You need to re-examine why people are leaving and take action to fix it. For example, if people are leaving after a certain automated email, re-work it.
If they’re leaving after marketing messages, revise your offer presentation.
If they’re leaving early in your email funnel, fix your initial call to action to align with your other messages.
Analytics are crucial in email marketing as they give you specific insights into what’s going wrong. You need to pay attention to these metrics to get the most out of them.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, email segmentation is the practice of splitting up your email list into more targeted groups. Here are a few ways to segment your list:
Just like targeting in paid ads, dividing your list gives you the ability to send more targeted communications.
For example, some customers want both product and sales updates, while others might only want to hear about new product updates. Sales team leads might want to hear about a new sales feature but not a new marketing tool.
By segmenting your list, you can send targeted messages to specific groups, such as reaching out to those who didn’t open your last email or making a second pitch to those who showed interest.
Additionally, you can also use segmentation to A/B test different aspects of your email, such as the title, content, or best practices. While it takes effort to effectively implement email segmentation, the results are worth it.
You will stand out from the crowd and deliver more meaningful communications to your subscribers.
Your email list can be a valuable asset, providing you take proper care of it. With time, you can monitor the average spending of individuals on your list to determine its worth.
For example, if during a campaign, 10,000 people on your list spend an average of $50,000, and you run two such campaigns each year, then each subscriber could be worth $10 per year. This calculation highlights the significance of losing a few hundred subscribers, as it can have a negative impact on your financial results.
Choosing the right Email Service Provider (ESP) for your business can be challenging with so many options available. Some of the popular ESPs include Sendinblue, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Convertkit, Klaviyo, Mailjet, Mailerlite, GetResponse, and HubSpot. To narrow down your options, consider the following questions:
Additionally, think about your future needs and evaluate the ESP’s cost, features, and integrations to support your growth. Stay focused on your essentials while keeping an eye on future possibilities.
The cost of email marketing varies greatly based on factors such as the size of your email list, the number of emails you send, the level of support you require, and the technical features you need.
Some free email marketing plans may meet the needs of some businesses, while others may require hundreds or thousands of dollars in monthly expenses.
Most email marketing providers use the number of contacts in your email list to determine their pricing, which can be cost-effective for smaller lists but become more expensive as your list grows.
Building an email list can be slow, but buying a list is not the solution. Not only is sending unsolicited emails illegal per GDPR and CAN-SPAM, but people are likely to mark them as spam, damaging your email sender reputation, and potentially putting you on an email blocklist. Additionally, most email marketing services won’t work with you because purchased lists can hurt the deliverability of other users on shared IP addresses. Instead, build your list organically, even if it takes time, and you’ll reap the benefits in the end.
Double opt-in is when a confirmation email with a link is sent to each new subscriber, and they must click the link to complete their subscription. This added step is crucial for email deliverability and eliminates any misspelled email addresses, spam traps, and acts as proof of subscriber consent (a requirement of GDPR).
As your email list grows, it’s likely to contain various buyer profiles. Segmentation is the process of dividing your list into smaller sub-lists with common traits, allowing you to send targeted and relevant emails. Segment your list by demographic and customer information, such as age, location, lead score, and purchase history. You can get a head start by asking subscribers about their email preferences during signup.
Personalizing emails helps build relationships with prospects and customers, making them feel valued and understood. Use subscribers’ first names, consider time zones, segment contacts, and use behavior-triggered emails based on customer interactions with your product/service.
Email Subject Line: The subject line is crucial for determining whether your email will be opened or not. Keep it short (50 characters or less), highlight the most interesting offer, and appeal to subscribers’ emotions and goals. Check out resources for writing fantastic subject lines and inspiring examples.
Sender Name: The sender name is often the first thing people look at in an email, determining if it’s genuine or spam. To reinforce trust and brand recognition, use your brand name, a combination of your name and brand, or a distinct name for specific types of email content. Use the same sender name and address for all campaigns and avoid “no-reply” addresses.
Preview Text/Preheader: The preview text is a snippet that appears after the subject line on some email clients, especially on mobile. It adds context to the subject line and can increase open rates. Make sure the subject line and preview text work together to spark reader curiosity and encourage them to open the email. If you don’t set a preview text, the email client will use the first line of text, which may not be appealing.
Confused between two subject lines? Want to know which content resonates best with your audience? A/B testing can help you determine the most effective approach and optimize your email marketing campaign’s open and click-through rates. Experiment with different subject line formulas, content styles, and calls-to-action. Track the results and adjust your strategy accordingly for optimal engagement.
Email deliverability, or the ability of your email to reach its recipient’s inbox, is crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts.
A compromised deliverability rate can lead to emails landing in the spam folder or, even worse, being blocklisted by the internet service provider (ISP). To improve your email deliverability, follow these best practices:
• Avoid using spammy or overly promotional subject lines.
• Maintain an updated subscriber list by removing unengaged contacts and inactive addresses.
• Only send emails to those who have opted in to receive them.
• Include an unsubscribe link as required by GDPR regulations and to give recipients control over their data.
Regularly clean your email list to ensure accurate data and better email deliverability. If a subscriber hasn’t engaged with your emails in 6 months, send a reactivation campaign or request a second opt-in. If still no engagement, remove them from your list. To prevent marking as spam, include a clear unsubscribe button and aim for an unsubscribe rate of 0.5 or lower.
Keep track of key email marketing metrics to gain insights into how to improve future campaigns. Your ESP’s analytics dashboard will typically show real-time metrics such as
Soft bounces are caused by temporary issues while hard bounces indicate permanent problems, such as inactive email addresses. A high unsubscribe rate suggests the need to review email frequency and segmentation.
Take your email marketing strategy to the next level by automating it. Start with autoresponders, which send personalized emails (or email series) automatically at different stages of the customer journey, freeing you from having to send each email manually. The most common autoresponder is the welcome email, which is widely supported by email marketing services. With advanced email automation software, you can create complex email sequences using if/then/else logic for efficient lead nurturing and scoring.
Get Familiar with Key Terms. Understanding the terminology used in email marketing can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry! I’ve put together a simple glossary to help you plan your email marketing strategy with ease.
Before sending emails to anyone, it’s crucial to have two things in place:
Here are the best email marketing services that I recommend:
Email list segmentation is the process of dividing your email subscribers into smaller groups based on specific criteria, such as preferences, interests, location, open rate, and more. This allows you to send more personalized and relevant emails to each group, increasing the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
The benefits of email list segmentation include:
To get started with email list segmentation, consider the following criteria:
Additionally, using contact forms can help collect information from leads that can be used for more targeted messaging.
By implementing email list segmentation, you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and drive higher conversions.
The success of your email list depends on if your emails are opened. This section explains why. Several reasons affect if emails are opened or not, and we will discuss them.
Your emails may end up in the spam folder, but you can prevent it by following these steps: • Make sure subscribers agreed to receive your emails
• Use a good IP address that hasn’t been used for spamming
• Send emails through verified domains • Keep your email template clean
• Personalize the recipient’s name in the “To” field
• Ask subscribers to add you to their address book and whitelist your emails
• Avoid using words that trigger spam filters such as “buy,” “discount,” etc.
• Don’t mislead with deceptive subject lines
• Include your location
• Provide an easy way for subscribers to unsubscribe.
It is important to consistently email your subscribers to maintain their engagement. However, over time, even active subscribers can become inactive due to changes in email addresses or disinterest. To keep your list fresh with engaged subscribers, you should periodically remove those who have not engaged with your emails in the past 6 months or more. Before removing them, try sending a final email to re-engage them. You can also check in with subscribers periodically and ask them to update their information and preferences, reminding them they have control over their engagement with your brand.
The timing of your email can significantly affect its success. To find the optimal time to send emails to your audience, conduct A/B tests and consider the results of previous studies such as high open and click-through rates on Tuesdays and high conversion rates on Saturdays. However, the best time to send your emails depends on the habits and routines of your specific audience. Take into account their daily activities, work schedule, and sleep patterns to determine the best time to send emails.
Your subject line is key to the success of your email marketing campaign, as it determines whether or not your emails are opened and read. Here are some tips to create effective subject lines:
Crafting effective emails requires a personalized approach. Instead of thinking of your email as going to thousands of people, write as if you’re speaking to a single individual. To achieve this, it’s essential to know your target audience and their needs, desires, and preferences. Consider conducting a brief survey or having a one-on-one conversation to gather this information. The time you spend understanding your subscribers will pay off in your messaging and can also inform the development or improvement of your products and services.
To effectively engage your subscribers, it’s crucial to write emails with a personal touch. Instead of taking a formal, corporate approach, write as if you were communicating with a friend. For instance, using a phrase like “We’re offering savings to our customers” comes across as cold and stiff. On the other hand, using a more friendly expression such as “check out this amazing deal” makes the email feel more personal and less likely to be ignored. In the era of information overload, people are looking for any excuse to delete your emails. To stand out, appeal to your subscribers on a personal level and grab their attention.
Having an email opened is just the first step in engaging your subscribers. The content of the email also plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of your email marketing. A great email content will make your subscribers happy and encourage them to look forward to your future emails. On the other hand, if the email content fails to meet their expectations, they may unsubscribe or stop opening your emails. To ensure that your subscribers are satisfied with the email content, aim to provide valuable resources such as free eBooks, informative blog posts, or webinars. It’s important to remember that sending emails for the sake of sending them is not enough. Every email should offer something of significance to your subscribers. The higher the value you provide in each email, the more loyal your subscribers will become and the higher your open rates will be.
To create a strong, immediate connection with your subscribers, incorporate humor into your emails. Humor is personal, engaging, and memorable. However, it can be challenging to come up with a funny email, especially when limited by the constraints of a subject line. To make it easier, get to know your subscribers and their sense of humor. If you understand their likes and dislikes, adding humor to your emails becomes a breeze. For instance, send a playful email to inactive subscribers like this: Hi [first name], I wanted to reach out regarding [value proposition] and haven’t heard back from you. Could you let me know if:
You’re all set and I should stop bothering you.
You’re interested but just haven’t responded yet.
I should follow up in three months.
Use animated GIFs or videos. You don’t have to be a comedian to add humor and personality to your emails, just think creatively.
Almost two-thirds of all email opens occur on mobile devices, so optimizing your emails for mobile is essential. To appeal to your mobile audience, follow these best practices:
Keep in mind that email marketing is both an art and a science, and it may take some time to find what works best for your business and subscribers. For more tips on improving your email open rates, check out our guide to writing better emails.
If you’ve been following along, you know how to grow your email list, segment it to make emails more relevant, and send effective emails with high open rates.
It’s time to take the next step and automate your campaigns to make them even more effective. An autoresponder series is a crucial tool for marketers to drive sales.
It allows you to engage with your email list, build relationships, and turn prospects into customers. The great thing about autoresponders is that you can focus on other aspects of your business once you set them up.
An autoresponder is a sequence of emails that are automatically sent to specific segments of your email list in response to a trigger event, such as joining your list, specific website behaviour, or purchasing a product.
The content for an autoresponder series is created in advance and sent out at the right time using email marketing software.
Every business can benefit from an autoresponder series for two main reasons:
When creating an autoresponder, it’s essential to have a clear goal in mind. Here are four common goals to choose from:
To create an effective email sequence, it’s important to determine the length of your sequence and the frequency at which emails will be sent. The number of emails in a sequence depends on your goals and the preferences of your subscribers. It’s important to find a balance between value-providing emails and promotional (sales) emails to prevent your subscribers from feeling overwhelmed. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 80/20 principle, where 80% of your emails should aim to provide value and only 20% should focus on promoting your products or services.
Once you have determined the length and frequency of your sequence, you can create an outline that covers the topics each email will address and the call-to-action (CTA) for each email. The CTA could be anything from clicking a link, sharing your content on social media, replying to the email, or making a purchase.
As an example, let’s consider an email sequence for launching an information product.
Email 1: Welcome and thank you for subscribing
Email 2: Explanation of the importance of the topic and how it relates to your product
Email 3: Overview of steps to solve the problem and build credibility
Email 4: Detailed instructions for solving the problem and transition to promoting your product launch
Email 5: Product launch announcement
Email 6: Follow-up on the product launch and update on sales and feedback
Email 7: First reminder before closing the cart, highlighting the benefits of your product
Email 8: Second reminder before closing, focusing on the scarcity of the opportunity
Email 9: Final scarcity push, emphasizing the potential change the product can bring
Email 10: Cart closure, sharing the results of the launch and thanking subscribers for their support.
Crafting the content of your email autoresponder sequence can be challenging, and it may be wise to consider hiring a professional copywriter. However, if you choose to do it yourself, keep these points in mind:
While an email autoresponder series is mostly hands-off, it’s important to regularly monitor its performance and make adjustments as needed.
Here’s what you should focus on:
Open rates: If your open rates are low, ask yourself if the autoresponder is relevant, if your subject lines are engaging, and if you’re sending emails at the optimal times.
Click-through rates: After subscribers open your emails, you want them to take a specific action. If the click-through rates are low, consider if the body copy is relevant, if you’ve offered real value, if the call-to-action is clear and easy to find, etc.
Unsubscribe rate: Unsubscribes are normal, but a high rate may indicate that you’re losing potential customers. Ask yourself if you’re delivering on the promise of why they subscribed, if the content is relevant, and if you’re striking the right balance between sales and value-based emails.
Regularly analyzing these metrics and making improvements will ensure that your email autoresponder series is effective.
Email regulations align with consumers’ desire for transparency in how and why their information is used. Complying with these regulations is important for building trust with our customers and potential customers.
CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. It aims to protect subscribers’ rights to only receive emails that they have requested. The law applies to all commercial emails used for business purposes and was enacted in 2003.
To be CAN-SPAM compliant, you must:
• Include your company name and address in each email.
• Have visible unsubscribe links in your emails.
• Use real email addresses in the “From” and “Reply to” fields.
• Write subject lines that accurately describe the contents of the email. Note: This is not a substitute for legal advice. For more specific information, refer to the FTC’s website.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enables us to build lasting relationships with our customers by giving them the right to choose. It only applies to businesses operating in the EU or marketing to EU citizens. Non-compliance can result in costly fines, so it is important to fully understand the GDPR guidelines.
To comply with GDPR:
• Use clear language when requesting consent to store personal information.
• Only collect necessary and relevant contact information.
• Securely store contact information and use it only for agreed purposes.
• Retain information only for justified business purposes.
• Delete contact information upon request.
• Make it easy for contacts to unsubscribe or update their preferences.
• Promptly respond to a contact’s request for access to their data.
• Maintain records to prove GDPR compliance. Creating a GDPR strategy before sending emails is recommended as these regulations will be enforced.
To prevent your emails from ending up in spam folders, consider:
• Getting whitelisted by having new subscribers add your email to their address book.
• Mindful copy, avoiding all caps, multiple exclamation points, and spam trigger words.
• Using a reliable email service provider.
• Implementing a double opt-in by confirming a new subscriber’s interest in your emails.
• Measuring the success of your email marketing efforts through analytics.
By following these steps, you can avoid spam filters and improve deliverability rates, ensuring that your contacts receive your emails and that you can accurately measure the effectiveness of your email marketing.
Maximize your email marketing results by analyzing your campaigns. Here are the best ways to do so:
Target the Right Audience
To ensure the best results from your email campaigns, it’s important to send them to the right people. For example, if your brand is offering a regional deal or event, only target the relevant regional audience. Another way to achieve a highly relevant audience is through demographic segmentation such as age group or gender. Avoid unethical methods of collecting emails, such as purchasing email lists, as they not only hurt your engagement and conversion rates, but can also result in your emails being marked as spam or blocked by email service providers.
Design Your Email
A well-designed email can significantly enhance the impact of your content. Here are some tips to help you create an eye-catching email design: • Incorporate Branding: Incorporate your logo, use brand colors, and maintain design consistency with your visual brand identity. • Use White Space: Incorporate white space in your design to make it look clean, professional, and easier to read. • Add Images: Adding images and GIFs to your email can make it more visually appealing than just text. Use a header image to grab attention. • Make it Responsive: Ensure your email looks great on both desktop and mobile devices by avoiding large images that don’t load properly on smaller screens or slow internet. • Implement Visual Hierarchy: Use alignment, font size variations, and other visual hierarchy elements to organize your email design.
Customize your email subject line and content
To connect with your subscribers on a personal level, use email personalization techniques. This means using subscriber information to tailor your subject line, content, and design to each individual recipient, making your emails more relevant and personal. Here are a few ways to personalize your emails:
Adopt a Casual Tone
Consumers are inundated with marketing emails daily, and they’re tired of being bombarded with overly aggressive sales pitches from brands and automated systems. To truly connect with your subscribers and establish a relationship with them, you need to communicate in a more personal and human way. Make your emails warm, approachable, and conversational. By speaking to your subscribers as if they were friends, your emails will come across as more personal and relatable. This will ultimately lead to increased engagement and conversions for you.
A single email may not always be enough to achieve your desired results. Consider using follow-up emails to nurture your subscribers and increase conversions. This strategy can be applied to a variety of email campaigns, from abandoned cart reminders to retargeting campaigns to welcome email series.
Take the following abandoned cart series as an example:
By utilizing email marketing automation, you can easily set up these workflows and let the technology do the hard work. However, be mindful not to overdo it and avoid sending too many follow-up emails, as this may lead to unsubscribes or a spam flag. Space out your follow-ups and keep the number of emails limited.
Send emails from a real person
Imagine receiving an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The wrong type of email alias can sound like a business that just sent out a generic, automated email to their entire list.
Don’t be that business.
Use a recognizable sender name to a) actually land in your subscribers’ inboxes and b) sound less like a brand and more like a human.
A good idea is to use the name of someone from your business, such as the founder or marketing manager, e.g. Justyn from Sprout.
A/B test your emails
There’s no such thing as the “perfect” email. But you can get pretty close to creating one if you test your emails before sending them out.
A/B testing lets you test two different versions of your email by sending each one to a small percentage of your audience. By analyzing the results, you can see which version performed better and send it out to the rest of your email list.
Testing your emails not only allows you to improve your campaigns, but also helps you learn more about your audience — what they like or dislike, and how they interact with your email. This eventually helps you improve your business in the long run.
Follow email or spam regulations
Ignoring spam regulations is a great way to get your emails banned or even land a massive fine. The CAN-SPAM Act is a guide to email compliance that businesses ignoring can get into big trouble for. The GDPR is another more recent protection act that’s essential to follow for brands operating in the EU.
Track the success of your email campaigns
One of the best things about email marketing is that you can continuously track and improve the performance of your email campaigns.
Most email marketing tools offer in-depth analytics and dashboards to help you understand whether your emails are having the desired effect or not.
Below are some key metrics you should be tracking for all your email campaigns:
Other email metrics include conversion rates, most visited pages, best-performing links, mobile open rates, revenue per email, and more. There are dozens of metrics you can track depending on the email marketing software you’re using.
Align your metrics with your email marketing goals to hone in on the most important ones that illustrate what’s working and what’s not, and avoid analysis paralysis.
Email marketing is a powerful digital marketing strategy that involves sending targeted messages and promotional content to a group of individuals via email. It serves as a direct and personalized communication channel between businesses and their audience, allowing them to reach customers, prospects, or subscribers directly in their inbox.
One of the main advantages of email marketing is its ability to deliver highly targeted and personalized messages. By segmenting the email list based on various factors like demographics, interests, or purchase history, businesses can tailor their messages to specific groups, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.
Email marketing offers several benefits to businesses. It is a cost-effective method compared to traditional marketing channels, as there are no printing or postage costs involved. It also provides measurable results through various metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate, allowing businesses to track and analyze the performance of their campaigns.
Moreover, email marketing enables businesses to build and nurture relationships with their audience over time. By providing valuable and relevant content, businesses can establish trust, credibility, and brand loyalty among their subscribers. It can also be used to deliver targeted offers, discounts, or exclusive content to encourage customer retention and repeat purchases.
However, successful email marketing requires careful planning and execution. It is important to obtain permission from recipients to comply with anti-spam regulations and maintain a good sender reputation. Crafting compelling subject lines, creating engaging content, optimizing email design for different devices, and testing different elements of the campaign are crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of email marketing.
In conclusion, email marketing remains an essential and effective tool for businesses to engage with their audience, drive conversions, and build long-term relationships. When executed strategically and with a focus on delivering value, email marketing can be a highly successful component of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.