With the rise of social media marketing and companies’ focus on creating TikToks, Instagram accounts, and even YouTube videos, it may seem like email marketing is long gone.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even though it’s not talked about as much, email marketing remains one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website, get conversions, and inspire brand loyalty, which is why it’s a must-do for every good marketer.
If you don’t know where to start and you want to learn everything possible about email marketing, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will go over everything: email marketing, why you need it, and how to create a campaign from scratch.
Without keeping you waiting, let’s get started.
What is Email Marketing?
To put it simply, it’s a process where a company targets its audience and customers by regularly sending them emails. The idea is to help businesses boost their conversion rates and revenues by giving loyal clients everything from valuable information to discount codes and early access to sales.
All the Reasons Why Email Marketing is Needed
Statistics show that there are over four billion email users all over the world. This means that if you’re looking for a way to reach a broad audience, there isn’t any tool better than this one. Along with that, statistics from two years ago show that every marketing email generates around $36 for every dollar spent, making it one of the most efficient marketing strategies. To top it all off, the customers who visit your website via emails are the ones most likely to convert and perform the action they requested.
Along with that, with email marketing, you’re the person who chooses when to send emails, how often, to which customer group, and at what hour. Besides some regulations, with email marketing, there’s no external entity that can influence the way you interact with your audience.
If you’re still not convinced about the benefits of email marketing, let’s take a look at some stats for different industries. For the B2B industry, email marketing is
- considered the best way to nurture leads, as stated by 31% of experts
- the third most widely used platform for distributing content
For ecommerce businesses, email marketing is
- a crucial part of their campaigns for building brand awareness, as stated by 85% of marketers
- around 60% of companies also say that they are able to reach between 1,000 to 10,000 people through their email contact lists
As you can see, even though it’s considered to be more “old school,” email marketing continues to be effective even for the most modern type of businesses, such as ecommerce. Now that we’ve managed to convince you about the effectiveness of this marketing strategy, let’s start learning how to implement it.
The Key Steps of Any Email Marketing Campaign
Like with any other type of marketing, getting carried away with all the ways to do email marketing isn’t the best plan. Before you get creative, you must first learn the basic but key steps to ensure your campaign gets a good start and is professionally done.
You can consider these steps as the “must-do” ones that every campaign should go through, regardless of what its objective is.
Have a Strategy
Having a plan means essentially outlining the steps that your campaign has to go through. It’s crucial to have one, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience or if you’re working with a group of people, as the plan is what will help you stay on track from start to finish.
Consider Your Audience
For an email to be effective, it has to be interesting and relevant to the audience it gets sent to. As with everything else marketing-related, the first step here is to define your target audience and its interests, needs, and preferences.
Define Your Business Goals
Why are you starting this campaign? What are you hoping to get from it: brand exposure, improved customer loyalty, or more sales? Depending on the answer, you have to align your business goals with each email marketing campaign’s key metrics, such as click-through rate, open rate, click-to-open rate, etc.
Get an Email List Ready
It will be pretty hard to send emails if you actually don’t have people to send them to, right? So, having an email list is a must before starting your campaign. With that said, building one actually takes time, and you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you don’t have too many people on yours in the beginning. As long as you provide value with your emails, the number on the list will steadily start growing.
Choose a Campaign Type
Not all email marketing campaigns are made equal. If you’re a beginner, choosing a type from the start may feel overwhelming. Do you need a monthly newsletter? Should you send out an announcement every time an item goes on sale? Which blog posts should you promote?
These questions never go away, even when you’re experienced, and their answers vary depending on the company you’re doing the campaign for. Typically, the best advice is to always go for the type of campaign you feel will interest your target audience the most. If you’re not certain, you can test out different ones in order to find the right formula.
Stick to a Schedule
Don’t send out emails at random times and at random hours every week. It’s a good idea to stay consistent and have a set schedule. That way, your target audience will know when to expect emails from you and how often. Along with that, it’s vital that you send out emails regularly, as it will help build trust and ensure your audience gets frequently reminded of your business.
This one should be expected. Marketing is all about doing analysis and then improving based on the findings. When it comes to email marketing, you will notice that making even small changes can dramatically change results and so monitoring your results carefully is a must.
Okay, now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to take the leap and dive into the more complex part of email marketing.
Starting an Email Marketing Campaign
Okay, now that we have a plan, we’ve set goals, we have an email list, and we’ve decided what kind of schedule we want to stick to, it’s time to move on to the actual steps you need to take to get your campaign underway.
Choosing an Email Marketing Service
This is a vital step, and it can determine whether your campaign is a failure or a success. Choosing a good email marketing service will ensure that your processes flow smoothly and that you’re able to create the kind of emails that you feel will attract your audience without the need for you to hire IT, professionals, or graphic designers.
When picking an ESP (email service provider), consider whether it has these features or not:
- Positive reputation amongst users
- CRM platform
- Forms, landing pages, and CTAs that are well-designed and easy to build
- Automation opportunities
- Ability to help you comply with regulations
- An analytics panel
- Multiple kinds of reports
Use Your Marketing Knowledge
Doing email marketing is not like writing an email to a colleague. Here, you need to consider everything from the subject line to the signature. The goal of every email you send is to help generate leads, which means that writing an email from start to finish is more complex, and you have to consider several factors:
- The tone of voice you use should be consistent with the one of your brand
- The images you insert have to be high-quality and optimized for all devices
- The call-to-action should be easy to understand and relevant
- Your subject line has to be personalized, aligned with the body of the email, and enticing
All in all, writing a good email is almost like writing an SEO article: it has to capture the audience, and it should be relevant to your brand, which is why it’s a good idea to put all your previous marketing knowledge into this process.
Take Advantage of Email Segmentation
Email segmentation is taking your entire email list and breaking it down into several sub-categories based on unique characteristics that relate to your target audience such as age, location, interests, or shopping patterns. After all, your email list consists of human beings that are unique in their own ways, which is why sending out emails that are more fine-tuned for each demographic is always a better idea.
On a similar note, once you know whom you’re emailing and what’s valuable to them, you need to start doing some personalization. As per a report provided by Litmus, 80% of customers state that they’re more likely to buy things from a brand that provides a more personal experience. Additionally, these types of emails have a higher open rate compared to standard ones.
Now that you know this, here are a few ways to go about creating personalized, unique emails:
- Add names to the greeting
- If you can, include region-specific information
- Send content that’s relevant to that lead’s lifecycle stage
- Send an email about relevant personal events such as birthdays or region-specific holidays
- Have a person sign off your emails, not the company
All of these seemingly small things can make a huge impact in the end, and they will only take you a few minutes to do.
Incorporate Automated Workflows
There are a few different ways to use automation in your email marketing campaigns, and all of them will put your segmentation lists to good use. Once you have your specific groups of customers, you can use automation to create effective workflows that send highly targeted emails. The good thing is that there are several ways to do this.
Drip campaign or an autoresponder is a term that refers to a series of automatically sent emails that are triggered by a particular action, for example, once someone creates an account on your website and they get a “Welcome” email from the company. The best thing about these types of emails is that you can create them and then forget about them. They don’t require much care and ensure that all of your users (part of your autoresponder) will get each email you add to the series.
Workflows are the next step. You can picture them like a flow tree with yes/no branches that execute actions depending on the answer and the criteria you set.
Workflows consist of two components:
- Enrollment criteria – the action that a user has to perform to get into the workflow
- Goal – the action that will take them out of the workflow
These tools are smart enough and can figure out when a user has opened an email or downloaded your ebook, and that action will offset a series of others based on the user’s behavior. Based on your needs, it can start sending a series of emails, or it can provide a special offer to the user.
The main difference between autoresponders and workflows is their adaptability. Workflows are way smarter and can adjust the actions they take based on what the user is doing.
Have Some Email Marketing Templates Ready
Email marketing templates are a great way to save time and effort when doing a campaign. Unless you have a designer and a developer on your team, templates will likely be a lifesaver for you as they make your job much more efficient and easier. It’s vital that you find email marketing templates that have proven themselves to be effective. Get them from reputable sources that have tested them against thousands of alternatives.
After that, it’s always vital to add your personal touch and your branding to the template.
Email Marketing Campaign Analysis
So far, we have learned what email marketing is, what its benefits are and how to get started with it. Now, it’s time to take a quick look into the most important factor when it comes to improving your future campaigns, and that’s analysis.
Analyzing your email marketing campaigns is the best way to continue learning and get better in the future. Here are some tips on performing better analysis.
Doing A/B testing is one of the best ways to check whether your content is working for your target audience. It’s vital to remember that while some people prefer personalization, others find it spammy. Some audiences will like a funny subject line, and others will find it inappropriate. By doing A/B testing, you can perfect your emails to fit your customers’ needs and preferences.
Set KPIs from the Start
Setting critical metrics to pay attention to is the best way to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. Below are four common critical metrics:
- Deliverability: the rate at which emails reach users’ inboxes
- Open rate: the percentage of people that open the emails
- CTR (click-through-rate): the percentage of people that click on the call-to-action button
- Unsubscribes: how many people opt out of your email list
Have an Email Marketing Report Template
Getting a lot of data is excellent; however, it can be difficult to analyze if it’s not organized appropriately. Having an email marketing report that is standardized and that you use for all of your campaigns will help you quickly analyze how a particular one is performing and which KPIs need some attention. There are many ways to organize an email marketing report; however, the one rule you should stick to is making it useful for you and your team. If you need some inspiration, then here’s a quick example of what you can include in it.
- Number of emails sent
- Number of emails delivered
- Deliverability Rate
- Open Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Click Through Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
- Subject line
- Length of the email body
- List segment
In this article, we managed to cover everything from the basis of what email marketing is and the benefits it brings to the more complex parts of the process, including how to start your own campaign and then analyze it.
Hopefully, you’ve found our guide helpful and insightful, and you will implement bits of it when starting your next email marketing campaign. In the meantime, if you’re looking for more marketing, business, and entrepreneurship-related tips, check out our other blogs on the Camberlion website, as well as our social media profiles.