A comprehensive guide to email marketing | Everything you must know!

 

Email Marketing is regarded as one of the cost-effective digital marketing strategies to connect with targeted customers. It is one of the most successful marketing channels out there. This strategy is no new, marketers have been using this one for ages now. A successful email marketing strategy can turn strangers into customers, also it can help you with customer retention. One of the best benefits of email marketing is one can easily automate it.

Ready for an astonishing fact? There are 3.9 billion daily email users. And this is expected to reach 4.3 billion by 2023 (Source: Statista)

Woah! That’s a considerable number.

Now, the time for one of the frequently heard questions…

Is email marketing dead? You are tired of hearing this, aren’t you? So, am I.

But… Email marketing was expected to die this year? No, wait… the previous year… Or the year before that? But it was expected to be on its deathbed. Everyone expected it even the marketing gurus out there.

With numerous strategies out there like video marketing, chatbots, artificial intelligence, voice search optimization, etc. It seems like email marketing is no longer effective.

Well, if you think email marketing is dead. It’s time to think again.

The reality is… This is one of the most popular strategies. Marketers believe it to provide the highest ROI. In case, you are not investing in it. You are missing out on some really amazing opportunities to connect with your targeted audiences.

Unwanted emails are so irritating. But think about emails from companies that you love. Now, receiving emails from our favorite companies is interesting. Even I look forward to getting emails from my favorite brands. These emails never go unnoticed. We love engaging with such emails.

Email marketing is popular… Let’s accept it. Who wouldn’t love to receive an email saying ”get 15% off on your favorite t-shirts”

There are numerous marketers out there. Who wants to succeed with email marketing campaigns but it is confusing to them. So, today we will learn how to successfully do email marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind – You are a visitor in their Inbox

We all receive tons of emails every day, isn’t it? Annoying emails that have nothing to do with us. Receiving these emails is frustrating to everyone – including your customers.

You might think your email is extraordinary and the receiver will love it – But in most cases for a receiver, it is just like the other emails. Nothing special about it!

As you are a guest in their inbox – It is important to follow the manners your audience wants you to follow!

When you visit somebody’s house. You always do your best to follow the etiquettes they follow for themselves. This is applicable in email marketing as well.

This was a reminder for you! – Be the best version of yourself. Put on the best behavior you can. Now, that you have got this. Let’s proceed and understand the steps to create an effective and successful email marketing campaign:

10 Steps to give life to an effective email marketing campaign:

Step #1. Understand your email marketing goals

Some people are like me… When they have something in their mind. They rush to collect the resources to make it happen. Well, what the point in rushing? Take a step back and take it slowly.

First thing first – do you realize what you are trying to achieve through email marketing? Well, nobody experiments with email marketing just for fun – they want something out of it – in this case, what you want to achieve? It is important to have a clear picture in your mind.

Do you want to drive traffic to your landing page? Want to sell something? Want to get traffic to your homepage, spread awareness? What exactly you want to achieve?

Understanding your goals will help you later in the process.

Know what you want to achieve? Great… Don’t know? Get started with it. Now let’s proceed to step two of the process.

Step #2. Get Consent

Now, that you know what you want to achieve. It’s time to get consent.

Step two to get started with email marketing campaigns. Getting permission is the stepping stone. There are many ways to do it… Some prefer to give away something for free while others prefer to provide newsletters, product updates, some useful tips, etc.

You see… There are numerous ways to do it but no-one can clearly tell the ideal way to do it. But you need to have a clear picture in mind while you are asking your readers to provide email addresses.

This is a prime reason why you need to have a powerful call-to-action. Copywriting is also an important part.

Simply writing ”Enter your email to get daily updates” will never work. This is monotonous. Nothing exciting in this one.

”Subscribe for weekly emails and learn bizarre marketing tactics that can make you rich. Subscribe Now”

Which one is more exciting. The second one, isn’t it? The first one was is exciting. But the second one is exciting as well as specific. And that’s the reason it will work.

Some common ways to get people to sign up are… free resources, ebooks, etc.

Whatever stimulus you use. Make sure that it is exciting and useful for your readers.

Step #3. Fill the email body will appropriate content

Emails are incomplete without great content – no shortcuts to this. If you want to build a successful email marketing campaign – you cannot compromise with this

The competition is tough. Getting the reader to click your email and then click on one of the links provided on the mail is really a tough task – you need to stand out from the crowd. You need to balance text with appropriate visuals. These some of the effective tips to get you going –

Write a captivating subject line: Always! If you want people to click on your emails. Writing a mediocre email subject line will never work. Your headings must always encourage people to click. This is the first impression you can make on your readers – so make it worth it. This is what can make you stand out from the crowd.

Always talk about the interest of your readers: Remember, your readers receive tons of emails every day – that try to sell something to them. So, don’t always pitch them. Instead, build healthy relationships with them. Talk about the issues they face and the solutions you can provide, discuss the advantages they would enjoy. Show them your authenticity. Discuss everything important to your readers – educate them, never focus on selling.

Never write lengthy paragraphs: People only spend a few minutes with emails. Avoid writing long paragraphs – that will do no good to you. You are not writing a documentary. Keep everything short, to-the-point, and engaging.

Use relevant graphics: Content and content will make your email boring. Using relevant visuals is the key – add HD images that are suitable to your overall content. Depending on the topic of your email – you can add some graphs, charts, etc. Keep in mind your goals then choose accordingly.

Structure your email for better readability: Structuring emails is very important – for readers to better understand your emails. Writing long paragraphs with little or no gaps will never work – poor structuring will always result in poor results. Keep the paragraphs short, use some visuals to make it engaging. Keep the important points bold. Avoid writing lengthy paragraphs – trim it down and discuss only the important aspects.

Step #4. Always provide what is expected from you

Want to keep your readers stay hooked with your business. This is the thumb rule. Your customers have certain expectations from you. It’s up to you how you fulfill them.

The key to a successful email campaign is to deliver what is expected from you. For instance, suppose you promised that you will send emails weekly but you end up spamming your readers with emails every day – this way you are heading towards failure.

On the opposite, if your readers are expecting emails, product updates daily. But you don’t deliver that to them – then also you are bound to fail.

A follow-up email is always important – it is a way of introducing yourself to the reader – don’t be monotonous. But it is a perfect time to get your readers excited. The first follow-up email needs to be sent immediately – make it long and detailed don’t wrap it up too quickly.

Bottom line? Always aim to fulfill the expectations of your readers. Provide them with what they expect. Each time live by their expectations.

Step #5. Understand the right time to pitch

Nobody sends email for fun – they want to engage with their readers and generate business revenue. You need to understand the right time to pitch a product.

Switching from one email that provides value to an email that pitches a product for sales – can be a tricky move. Don’t petrify your readers with a sudden pitch.

Understand the right time to pitch but before that set the intention right.

Don’t always aim to sell – try to see through your reader’s eyes and you will understand things better. Ask yourself if you successfully provided your readers with what they expected or not. – And aim to always live by the expectations you have set.

Understand what your readers have shown interest in earlier – then you can provide them with similar offers again in near future.

Step #6. Build in the header section and fill it

Your header will contain the content that you want your readers to see once they receive your email. This is the vital part – as seeing this section your readers will decide whether they should open the email or not. There are two important parts to this:

Sender Name: That is why personalization works. Read this blog to know detailed insights regarding personalized marketing. People always connect better when an email is personalized. Thus, rather than using your business name use the actual sender’s name.

Subject line: Discussed this in the previous section as well. It needs to be catchy and action-oriented. Dull and monotonous ones will never work. Undoubtedly your email subject line depends on the nature and goal of your business. What you are offering will determine how your subject line should be. Here, are some of the brilliant examples:

”[Name], Last call… Offer ends tonight!

”[Name], Sale is live, Sale is live, Sale is live. DROP EVERYTHING, START SHOPPING NOW!

You can even use Emoji like Zomato does for example – Open this mail if your ❤️ is set on 🍕

”Delicious offers topped with Cashbacks inside, [Name]”

Subject lines like these are tempting. They will inspire you to open emails immediately. As per your nature of business and goal. Always! create tempting subjects line. Don’t forget to use the name of the receiver!

Step #7. Write an attention-grabbing newsletter

Okay, let us now understand the difference between a good and a bad newsletter. Previously we understood that we must understand the right time to pitch. Also, we need to meet the expectations of our readers.

How to know if you have received a bad newsletter? Simply, when you don’t remember signing up for the newsletter.

Well, this mainly happens when a business shows up once in a blue moon. They don’t keep up with the promise they made.

Thus, your readers must remember you – if you show up once in a blue moon then they will forget you sooner or later. It is important to show up as promised. The ideal would be – weekly.

Don’t always pitch your readers – save your pitches for later i.e., for some special announcement, updates, or offers. Till then utilize your newsletter to build healthy relationships with your readers.

Step #8. Wrap up the footer section

After you are done with the email. Wrapping it up the right way is important – never leave your customers hanging. The footer is an important part of the email. It must have some relevant links such as:

  • Here, you need to add your physical business location
  • Add social media sites link… So, interested readers can visit your social sites. Add the link to the sites where you are actively present.
  • Unsubscribe button: Don’t take this negatively. This is valuable feedback for you to understand how well your content is performing. Then, make changes wherever needed.

Step #9. Stop behaving like a robot!

Your emails need to be engaging. Keep in mind, people are smart and they can judge quickly. Never sound like a robot – otherwise, you will end up losing your customers.

Make them feel like they are reading the email written by a human who can relate to them. Be creative with your presentation, writing style, and tone – and keep it the same way in every email.

If you are making everything seem robotic – sooner or later people will unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Be fun and engaging – and connect with your readers in a personalized manner. That’s how you can succeed with email campaigns.

Step #10. Allow Autoresponders

When you are a new kid on the block… It is normal to imagine all the good things. That you will manually respond to the emails you receive.

When your mailing list will start to grow – you will find that responding to each individual manually is nearly impossible.

But everyone does this excellently. Why can’t I?

Well, their secret is… Autoresponders.

Yes! you heard it right.

That’s the job of autoresponders. Well, in simple words, an autoresponder is a program that effectively automatizes the sending of emails – it will without fail to send out the emails that you schedule prior. Autoresponders are used in various ways. It’s up to the company how they want to use autoresponders.

Several companies plan out some emails that they want the program to automatically deliver – it can be a thank-you for joining email, confirmation email, transactional emails, activation emails, etc. It is up to the company.

Autoresponders make email marketing easy – think of it, a company with thousand plus email readers. Is it possible to respond to each of them manually?

When you purchase something online or download an e-book. You are more likely to receive an email via autoresponders.

It saves your time and energy – that you can invest in the more necessary tasks.

Now, that we have understood the steps to create an effective email marketing campaign. Now, let’s discuss how we can rise to the next level.

Well, that involves understanding segmentation and analytics and getting better results. So, let’s proceed:

Method to email segmentation

In case the term ”email segmentation” is little known to you. Then, allow me to explain this to you. Segmentation is the process of dividing your email list into highly targeted groups based on their preferences, demographics, etc.

Email segmentation allows you to send highly targeted messages to your audiences as per their interest. For instance, there can be people who are interested in offers and discounts. While others only want to be notified about product updates.

You see, it is vital to provide people with what they want. With what is relevant to them. Then, only they will open it. Thus, they are more likely to convert. There are several criteria through which you can segment your email list, i.e., based on their physical location, their job, gender, language, as per their past purchase, the amount spent, etc.

These were some of the ways you can segment your email list. Thus, provide your audiences with highly-targeted content as per their interest.

Those who are not aware think segmentation of email lists is a tedious task. But that’s not the fact. Segmentation is important and it will allow you to separate yourself from the crowd. As when you provide your audiences with what they desire then only they will stay by your side.

Understand and enable Email Analytics

Hurray! Now, we are nearly done. Now, we will see what we need to do to get better results. This is Analytics. Every service provider provides it. It is very important to analyze Analytics for better results.

Though every metric is important. Still, the most important ones for me are open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rate.

First thing first, open rate as the name suggests means the number of people who opened your email. Analyzing your open rate can almost instantly tell you how well people received your email. How successful were you?

In case, your open rate is low. It means your readers didn’t enjoy your email. They didn’t get what they expected. This means you need to work and improve yourself and focus on providing value i.e. relevant content.

Next, comes click-through-rate or CTR that means the number of people who clicked one or more links you provided on the email. Well, generally the more click you get, the better.

In case, your CTR is low that means you need to work on your email copy. It means there’s a lack in your communication.

Then, comes a bounce rate that means the rate at which your emails were abandoned by the email servers. Well, there are two kinds of bounce rate – hard and soft. A hard bounce rate occurs when you send emails to invalid email addresses. While a soft bounce rate occurs when the receiver’s inbox space is full or when your email size is too large. Also when there is a high bounce rate then you must ensure that you no longer send emails to unproductive emails. It’s high time for you to confirm that subscribers actually desires to stay subscribed.

Then, finally comes the unsubscribe rate. This metric will show how many people unsubscribed from your email. Those people who no longer wish to receive your emails.

If your unsubscribe rate exceeds 1% – it’s high time you need to improve your marketing campaign and do some serious improvement. That people who signed up – now wish to unsubscribe. Thoroughly examine and take actions where you lack.

Never take email analytics lightly – examine them thoroughly and you will understand what is working for you and where you lack. This way you can make improvements for better results.

You can track these metrics and more like these with the help of your email service provider and Google Analytics.

Significant reasons why email marketing is crucial for businesses

Previously we discussed all the important factors that you need to follow to create an effective email marketing campaign. We also understood what segmentation is, and the reason why we must analyze analytics carefully.

Now, let’s proceed and understand the answer to an important question ”why email marketing is crucial for businesses”

So, here are some powerful reasons for you to consider:

Globally everyone uses Email: As per Statista, in the year 2019, the worldwide email users were around 3.9 billion. And this is expected to grow by 4.48 billion users in 2024. Every individual globally uses email making it an excellent channel for marketing. In this digital era, it is safe to say that your audiences use email as well. It is always safe to use a marketing channel that is used by every individual globally.

You can easily track email: Discussed in the previous sections as well. Emails are easy to analyze. You can almost instantly know what is working for you and where you need to make changes. Thus, analyzing analytics carefully is important for generating better results through email marketing.

It is inexpensive: Yes! you heard that right. Email marketing is one of the affordable marketing channels. Yet marketers fail to utilize it. Email marketing service provider MailChimp allows you to send up to 12,000 emails a month for free. Isn’t it amazing? There are several other email service provider that allows you to send free emails. Apart from this marketers believe email marketing provides the best ROI than any other marketing channel.

Enhanced brand awareness: Apart from social media. Email marketing is another excellent marketing channel that helps you to boost your brand awareness. When you have access to an individual’s email addresses – it means a simple thing. That the individual is interested in your products and services. Email marketing allows you to stay on their mind and to provide them with what they want as per their interest. Thus, it helps you to make a stranger your customer.

Apart from these discussed here. There are other advantages to email marketing as well. If you haven’t considered email marketing. It’s the perfect time to get going!

WRAPPING IT UP – EMAIL MARKETING

Now, that you have created an effective email marketing campaign. Even you have understood the segmentation and analytics part. Moreover, you have also seen some of the powerful reasons why a business must invest in email marketing.

Well now, what are you waiting for? Don’t think much. Hit the send button.

Don’t lose hope if your first email marketing campaign doesn’t bring the expected results – keep going, you will learn from your mistakes.

In case, you are still not serious about email marketing. It’s high time you must think again!

Email marketing is an excellent marketing channel and it’s not as complicated as it seems. It gives the highest ROI to marketers.

Before you get started, never forget to seek permission. Don’t be irksome! Seeking permission is always the right thing to do. Now, that you have got permission. It’s time to meet the expectation of your readers. You are a guest in the inbox you must obey their rules.

Keep in mind always provide relevant content to readers as per their preferences – Otherwise, they will run sooner than you think!

Then, once you have enough understanding of the basics you can move ahead with segmentation and analytics – keep in mind always analyze your analytics carefully and make changes where you lack for better results.

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