Is e-mail as dead as they say? Then why is your Gmail account so active?
Email is one of the oldest forms of digital communication – but also one of the most effective digital marketing strategies out there.
In 1978, Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation sent out the first ever mass email to approximately 400 clients. He claimed to have generated $13 million worth of sales as a result, revealing the high potential of email as an effective marketing tool.
Of course, there are new ways of communicating with your audience: social media being the most successful one and live chat. However, we must highlight the fact that over 4.5 billion people have email accounts, with that being said we can safely state the email message as king of the marketing channels.
Nonetheless, there is a dire question at hand with not a lot of room for interpretation:
“ How do you prefer to be contacted by business? For the sake of efficiency and functionality, let’s say the incoming SMS points out serious business opportunities and products you’re interested in, and not spam”
65% of respondents say they would rather be contacted by email rather than phone calls and text messages at 18%, and Ads.
So it’s quite alive, wouldn’t you say? Email is more than 50 years old, hard to believe, right? It came to life when there were no PCs, Iphones, MACS, Linkedin, Twitter, Snapchat, or Tick Tock; not even Facebook or Yahoo. While other channels seem to ebb and flow in popularity, email gains users every year.
Email is comparable to the turtle in the traditional story the hare and the turtle, as a matter of fact, growing at a steady 3% and with over 4 billion users and way more accounts as many of us have more than one.
If you take a moment to think about it, it’s bigger than Facebook, and that social network despite the fame of Instagram as the new leader, is still used by billions around the globe.
Today, email marketing remains one of the most efficient methods for promoting brands and engaging with prospects and customers. Since Thuerk’s first email, campaigns have evolved over the years from mass email blasts to strategic, highly targeted messages. In this article, we’ll dive into what email marketing is, as well as how your brand can use it to build engagement and growth.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is an effective marketing tool that involves sending emails to prospects and customers. This valuable tactic can be used for a variety of purposes, including driving conversations, promoting products, or generating interest and loyalty to your brand.
Additionally, email marketing has an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, meaning it deserves a place in every marketer’s toolbox. While far from being a story made up, email is a key strategic channel for nearly every industry and is one of the most effective ways to convert people into customers.
Email marketing is ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing. You may wonder why with all the hype over new channels of communication, why is this decade-old technology still one of the most effective marketing strategies. We’ll answer that in a bit.
Modern email marketing has moved away from one size fits all mass mailings and instead focuses on consent, segmentation, and personalization. This may sound time-consuming, but marketing automation handles most of the heavy lifting for you. In the long run, a well-designed email marketing strategy not only drives sales but helps build a community around your brand.
Types of Marketing emails
Marketing emails can be promotional, informational, or serve a specific purpose in the buyer’s journey.
email marketing campaigns are used to promote special offers, new product releases, gated content like ebooks and webinars, and your brand at large. A campaign could consist of 3 to 10 emails sent over several days or weeks.
Promotional emails have a clear call to action – CTA for short. The CTA represents the specific action you want the reader to take, whether it’s visiting a page on your website or using a coupon to make a purchase.
Your business’s sales and marketing rhythm typically determine how often you send this type of marketing email. During crucial periods such as black Friday, you may be sending multiple promotional emails in the same 24-hour period. During slower periods in the marketing calendar, there may be a few weeks between your promotional campaigns.
It basically is a newsletter and as the name suggests it shares news related to your business. Think about new milestones reached, new product capability, or featuring valuable content such as case studies. Sent at regular intervals – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly – newsletter help maintain consistent touch points with your email subscribers.
But did you know newsletters don’t just have to be about the news? Focus on the letter aspect. Imagine you’re writing a one-on-one letter to your subscribers about something that interests them.
Simply put then, a newsletter is an opportunity to share insights, thoughts, tips – whatever brings the most value to your audience.
Email is the perfect way to inform customers of company announcements, new product releases, and changes to the service.
More often than not, email is the go-to channel for important messages. If there’s a glitch on your website, shipping delays, or an outage in your system/software, updating your contacts via email is the best way to maintain communication. It’s secure, instant, and can match the formal tone of even the most important announcements.
Another type of marketing email is the re-engagement email. As the name suggests, re-engagement emails help to connect with customers or subscribers who haven’t been active lately with a new email.
Why is Email Marketing so Important
As we’ve said before, email isn’t a new technology. In fact, it was one of the very first means of digital communication to arrive back in 1971. But at 50 years old, email marketing is used today way more than before.
You may be asking “ do people even care about email now?” Isn’t social media the medium to address marketing today?” You may be surprised. While it’s true that social media is an important channel for any digital marketing strategy, email has several advantages.
First of all, email marketing campaigns can be personalized to a greater extent than those on social media. Next, costs are considerably lower than for other channels, especially considering the reach and conversion rate associated with email marketing. This is part of what makes email marketing so ideal for small businesses.
Finally, what makes email marketing so powerful and lucrative as well, is that it gives you direct, individual access to your audience’s inboxes.
Take a look at these numbers and see them for yourself:
- In 2020, there were over 4 billion global email users.
- 80% of people look at their email at least once per day, with nearly a quarter of them checking their personal email several times a day.
- 62% of consumers ranked email as their top preferred communication channel with small businesses.
Given the figures, not having an email marketing strategy within your area means missing out on sales opportunities and the chance to build lasting customer relationships.
Benefits of Email Marketing
From order confirmations to newsletters, emails are an essential part of the growth and management of your business.
Email marketing helps you achieve three key objectives:
Conversions ( selling your products and services)
Launching a sale or promotion? You can send your subscribers an email marketing campaign to drive sales. In addition, try using these email marketing techniques to further boost conventions:
- Personalized coupons or special offers for subscribers’ birthday/anniversaries, in welcome emails, and as a way to re-engage your audience.
- Abandoned cart emails are triggered whenever a visitor adds an item to their cart but doesn’t check it out.
What’s great about email is that it lets you reach someone directly. It’s one-to-one communication at its best. And people don’t just let anyone into their inbox these days. It’s a curated space for favorite brands and publications.
Showing up in someone’s email inbox will help your brand stay current in the minds of subscribers. A personalized marketing email is more impactful than a social media post where you can’t be sure if someone has actually seen your message.
One of the major benefits of email marketing is its scalability. This means emails can be sent to a large number of recipients while remaining cost-effective ( compared to other marketing channels.)
Email drives customer loyalty at every stage of the buyer journey: lead- nurturing, conversion, onboarding, and retention. As well, email marketing is a necessary tool to use alongside sales CRM systems to streamline communication, It’s truly a powerful way to build a community.
Email is permission-based
When a customer trusts you with their email address, it’s the virtual equivalent of being given the keys to their house. Gaining permission to enter rather than showing up uninvited increases the chances of engagement and conversion.
Provides direct access to your audience
You can communicate directly with subscribers on their schedules. Plus, because most people check email multiple times a day, your message is more likely to be seen.
Email provides more control
With most other marketing platforms, you don’t own the platform. If the platform ceases to exist, all your hard work sinks with it. If google or Facebook updates their algorithm, your reach could be drastically reduced. However, with email, you own the relationships you forge with your subscribers.
More personalization Capabilities
You can use demographic or psychographic data to create personalized and hyper-targeted campaigns. Research shows segmented and personalized campaigns increase revenue by as much as 760 percent, an important number to keep in mind.
Easy to measure success
Measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is crucial, and automated email marketing makes measuring your campaign a breeze.
Email marketing campaigns can easily scale as your audience grows without straining your resources or compromising quality.
Disadvantages of Email marketing
Email marketing is not all just roses and butterflies. There are a few downfalls to be aware of. The good news is a great strategy can reduce the impact of disadvantages such as:
Standing out in a cluttered inbox can be challenging. You’ll need to get creative to ensure your emails get opened.
You need an email list
With email marketing, you must already have an email list for your campaigns to be effective. Building an email list can be tricky and takes time.
Many rules and regulations to navigate
There are several laws governing the use of email for commercial purposes. Common examples include GDPR, CAN- SPAM, and CCPA. All of these ban businesses from sending unsolicited emails and outline data storage requirements.
Unfortunately, some subscribers might report your emails as spam even if they subscribe. As a result, your sender’s reputation takes a hit.
Delivery and Deliverability issues
Deliverability is not guaranteed. Many email providers use spam filters. To run effective email marketing campaigns, you must contend with delivery and deliverability issues.
The fundamentals of email Marketing
Before going in-depth, let’s cover the basics and fundamentals. These tips will help you maximize your email marketing campaign
1) Use engaging titles and subject lines, but don’t bait and switch
Using interesting subject titles is crucial to increasing email open rates, but keep them on topic and non-spammy. If users feel duped, they’re likely to unsubscribe or mark your message as spam, which impacts directly on deliverability.
2) Keep messages short
Most emails are read on a mobile device, so keep your copy concise and to the point. Direct users to a blog post or a landing page, if you need to share a ton of information.
3) Stay Human
Email marketing is popular – which also means it is competitive. Use email to speak directly to your users, use their names, and let them see the human side of your brand. Of course, typos are not allowed.
4) Include CTAs at the Top and Bottom
On landing pages, CTAs are always included above the fold – use the same strategy with email by including strong CTAs after the first paragraph and again at the end.
5) Ask permission and deliver on your promises
Never buy email lists – that is illegal in most cases and won´t deliver ROI. If you offer a dale or great content, make sure to deliver high-quality content or offers.
How to do Email Marketing
Businesses use what’s known as email service providers to send marketing emails.
An email service provider is software that sends and manages email marketing campaigns.
It’s also referred to as an email marketing platform, email marketing tool, email marketing service, or email marketing software.
Now you might be wondering, can’t I just send marketing emails with my regular inbox provider? Do I really need to pay for a product on top of that?
Technically, it’s possible. Beware, though, you’re likely to run into trouble with limited email bandwidth, design, and more importantly, email deliverability. Here’s why:
Internet service providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc are designed for personal use – not for email blasts. Although they’re free to use, they’re not free bulk email senders. So when a mass email is sent from an ISP, it’s easily flagged by spam filters and your accountant is disabled for suspicious activity.
ESPs, on the other hand, have the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure good email deliverability rates – the ability to land emails in your subscriber’s inboxes. If you want to set yourself up for email marketing success from day one, get yourself a dedicated email marketing service.
How much does email marketing cost?
Email marketing costs can vary widely depending on the size of your email list, the number of emails you send, the level of support you need, and the technical specifications you’re looking for.
For some, free email marketing plans offer more than enough functionality. For others, email marketing can cost hundreds of dollars per month.
As you’re exploring different options, you’ll notice most providers base their pricing on the number of contacts on your email list. The pricing model can be attractive to those just starting, but costs rise considerably once your list grows.
But growing your subscriber base is the whole point of email marketing!!!
Other email pricing, on the other hand, is structured by email volume rather than the number of subscribers. That way, you can grow your email list infinitely and it won’t impact the pricing.
Best Email Marketing Strategies
To succeed with email, you need to design strategic campaigns. Here are some of the best strategies you can employ.
Use the Right Email List-Building Strategies
The success of your email marketing campaigns depends on the quality of your email list. To build a list, you must use list-building strategies designed to attract your target audience.
For example, a case study promoted on LinkedIn may help a B2B brand build a list of engaged subscribers, but would flop when used by a B2C brand.
Examples of good list-building strategies include:
- offering a coupon
- creating a downloadable asset
- hosting a webinar
Practice Good Email List Hygiene
Another essential email marketing strategy is practicing good email list hygiene. Removing inactive subscribers and incorrect email addresses will improve your sender reputation.
Consider sending an email to subscribers who haven’t opened your messages and ask if they’re still interested. If they aren’t, remove them from your list.
Keep Your List Warm
Regularly send emails to your list to keep your subscribers engaged (warm). Sporadic emailing could result in subscribers forgetting who you are and lead to low conversion rates.
If some of your subscribers go cold, you can run a re-engagement campaign through paid ads.
Focus on One Objective
Design each campaign and email to focus on one objective. Trying to kill two (or more) birds with one stone doesn’t work with email marketing. It only confuses your audience and reduces your conversion rates.
Define and Track the Right KPIs
Success requires more than sending subscribers an email every few weeks. To understand which strategies are effective, you must track the performance of your campaigns. That means defining and tracking the right key performance indicators (KPIs).
Depending on your goals, your KPIs might include:
- open rates
- blog traffic
- unsubscribe rate
Hopefully, this article has given you more detailed ideas of the world of email marketing. There’s certainly a lot of information here, take your time to slowly digest the information, and know that everyone can use email marketing to grow their business.
Email marketing delivers a huge return on marketers willing to learn how to do it right – and it doesn’t have to be complicated. remember you’re a guest in the inboxes of your subscribers. You’re only a click away from losing their interest so be mindful, polite, respectful, and deliver value.
Keep your promises afloat. Provide the people what they’ve asked for and email regularly to line up with their expectations.
Once you master the basics you can finally move on to email segmentation. Start sending separate emails to different groups so you can deliver more useful emails.