Email Marketing for Beginners

With Email Marketing, you can do wonders. But, if you’re
fairly new to this scene, it’s crucial to grasp the basics, like
why is email marketing important, what are the benefits, and how to
start. Take your first steps with the help of our beginner’s
guide!

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is using email to build relationships with your
audience. With a proper email marketing communication flow, you can
send relevant information and convert prospects into customers.

People who are interested in your product or service can join
your email list and – through email marketing communication –
learn everything they need to know to make an informed buying
decision.

If you build your email list with your target audience –
people who can benefit from your products or services – you can
be sure that email marketing will become a significant revenue
stream for your business.

Email has been in use long before the World Wide Web, which
makes email marketing the first online marketing channel. Email
marketing has been around for a long time, and it continues to lead
the pack as it comes to ROI.

What are the key benefits of email marketing?

There are a few benefits of email marketing that make it the
perfect choice for your digital marketing activities.

Low cost

To run professional email marketing campaigns, all you need is a
basic strategy and the right tool that allows you to try and test
various tactics.

Professional cloud-based email marketing platforms offer plans
based on the size of your email marketing list (number of
subscribers.) Basic plans start as low as USD 15 a month and
provide features like email marketing, autoresponders, marketing
automation, and landing pages – everything you need to start
growing your business.

Email marketing services are perfectly scalable. You can use a
basic plan to start building your contact list and upgrade to more
advanced plans as your online revenue grows.

Full control

You have full control over every aspect of the email marketing
communication.

You can:

  • design your assets (e.g. webforms, emails, and landing
    pages)
  • decide on the kind of email campaigns you run
  • segment your email list for precise targeting
  • tag your contacts for better personalization
  • create marketing automation workflows with your business goals
    in mind

Plan your communication carefully to reflect your brand identity
and stand out from other companies in your customers’ inbox.

Precision

When you build your list organically, ask people to confirm the
subscription. This way you know that your contacts want to receive
emails from your brand, which means that you’re sending emails to
people who are really interested in your offer. Such an email list
is considered high-quality and likely to bring better business
results.

You can track statistics and monitor the results of your
campaigns. Based on the collected information you can make small
changes (e.g. design, copy, structure, or workflow) and optimize
your email marketing program.

Ease of use

Creating email marketing campaigns is simple. You can design
your email templates, landing pages, and marketing automation
workflows with intuitive drag and drop editors.

You can track performance and edit all assets to increase the
overall impact.

The preferred marketing medium

According to
the DMA
most people prefer to be contacted by companies through
email rather than other channels.

The results of the survey make perfect sense since well-designed
email marketing campaigns are relevant and non-intrusive – emails
wait in the inbox and subscribers decide when’s the right moment
to open and read an email.

You can reach mobile device users

The percentage of email opens on mobile devices continues to
grow. According to GetResponse Email Marketing Benchmarks, webmail
opens make up 56.52% of all email opens, followed by mobile opens
at 26%, and desktop opens at 16.99%.

Which means that you can reach your customers and influence
their buying decisions wherever they are. You can also integrate
your online and offline marketing e.g. by collecting email
addresses at events or during shopping at a brick-and-mortar
location.

Email is an owned medium

Traditionally, digital marketing strategy is divided into paid,
earned, and owned media. Email falls into the owned media category.
It means that your business has full control over this online
marketing channel.

In fact, over time, your email list becomes your greatest online
marketing asset: a massive database of people who want to hear from
your brand.

If you use a professional email marketing tool, your emails will
reach everyone on your email list as opposed to e.g. social media,
where you cannot control your organic reach. That’s why investing
too much in social media following is often called building a house
on rented land.

Targeted and personalized communication

You can collect relevant information from your contacts along
the subscription process and use it to tailor the communication to
their needs and preferences. Based on the data you can create
segments of people sharing common traits.

Your subscribers will stay on your list as long as they see
value in your communication – that’s why over time you can
build a huge email list that brings impressive revenue.

Easy to measure results

You can gain full control over your email marketing efforts by
integrating your email marketing platform with online analytics
tools such as Google Analytics.

You can control the performance of individual emails in your
email marketing tool’s statistics panel and then track user
behavior on your website. You can set goals for individual
campaigns, track conversions, and measure the ROI.

Fully automated

With marketing automation, you can build custom workflows for
your email marketing campaigns. You can easily create any kind of
campaign by using a drag-and-drop editor to program the
communication flow with the available conditions, actions, and
filters.

Excellent return on investment

Email marketing keeps on bringing the highest return on
investment of all online marketing channels. This results from all
of the factors mentioned above. If you run and measure your email
marketing activities the right way, they’ll become a proven
source of revenue for your business.

What’s the average email marketing ROI?

According to a 2018 study by Litmus, email marketing’s return
on investment is 38:1 on average. Statistically, if you invest $1
in your email marketing activities, you’ll get $38 in return.

Of course, this is not a fixed number – it’s an average. The
return of investment in your company will depend on various
factors, e.g.:

  • size and quality of your email list
  • content relevance
  • design and copy
  • call to action (is it clear and persuasive?)

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that you can
track performance and present data to prove the ROI.

How to measure email marketing ROI?

It’s easy to calculate the return on investment in your email
marketing activities. All you need to do is track total revenue and
divide it by the total spend.

Here’s an example, let’s say you’ve generated $100 in
sales and invested $30 in the campaign. You’ll measure your
campaign ROI as follows:

Total revenue: $100 – $30 =
$70

Total spend: $30 

ROI: ($70 ÷ $30) * 100 =
233%

That’s a simple way to prove your success and get more budget
for future campaigns.

Why is email marketing important for my business?

As a business owner you can communicate with your audience on
their journey from a subscriber to a loyal customer.

You can use email marketing at all stages of the buyer’s
journey:

Awareness

Use web forms and landing pages to reach your target audience
and invite them to subscribe to your email list. Create a drip
campaign to present your brand and your solutions.

simple marketing automation workflow in getresponse

A simple marketing automation workflow designed to send emails
to new contacts and assign them a tag

Consideration

Become one of the brands shortlisted by your potential
customers. If you use email marketing right, you will eventually
become a top-of-mind brand in your industry.

an email from uncommon goods

An email from UncommonGoods presenting fun product
categories

Evaluation

Explain why your product or solution is perfect for their needs.
Your customers will research and compare your offer with the
competition. Use an impressive email marketing campaign to convince
them that they finally found what they’ve been looking for.

an american giant email

A fragment of an email from American Giant promoting their
product as the best choice for fall

Purchase

At this stage, your customers know their needs and your product
and have already compared it against the competition. Convince them
that now is the right moment to buy.

a barnes and noble email

A fragment of a Barnes & Noble email with an incentive to
buy

Post-purchase

Your job as an email marketer doesn’t end at the moment of
purchase. You need to stay in touch with your customers and see if
your product or service matches their expectations.

Remember that satisfied customers are likely to buy from you
again and recommend your brand to others.

an email from nokia

An email from Nokia with a post-purchase survey

What are the key email marketing success factors?

To be successful in email marketing, you need three things:
strategy, tactics, and tools. With these elements in place,
you’ll be able to run email marketing campaigns that bring
results.

StrategyWhat is an email marketing strategy?

Put simply, email marketing strategy is the big picture showing
the long-term vision and future direction of your email marketing
activities. Although many businesses operate without a strategy,
it’s crucial to have one if you want to be successful.

Why you need an email marketing strategy?

Dr. Dave Chaffey says:

“You need a strategy with your email marketing and your
marketing automation. Driving prospects down the funnel won’t
happen by accident. (…) You need a planned project to map out all
the different potential customer touch points and when you can
potentially send emails, and then to build them in.”

How to create a basic email marketing strategy?

Developing a basic email marketing strategy doesn’t have to be
complicated. (In fact, it shouldn’t.) You don’t need to cover
everything at once – you can include more areas and details as
you go.

Your email marketing strategy should cover areas like:

Key long-term objectives

Decide what you want to achieve with your email marketing in the
long run. Your objectives should be business-related and
measurable. Here are a few examples to consider:

  • increase the number of subscribers by 20% by the end of the
    year
  • increase email marketing relevance expressed by 5% higher open
    rate and CTR
  • collect meaningful information about subscribers to improve
    segmentation
  • increase ROI from promotional campaigns by 10% by the end of
    the year

Target audience

Who are the people most likely to become your customers? Make
sure that you know your target audience well. The more you know
about their needs and preferences the more effective your email
marketing campaigns will be.

Competitive advantage and key USPs

Do you know what your unique selling proposition (USP) is? Do
you know your competitive advantage? I hope so. If not, you’re
going to have a rough time trying to create email marketing
campaigns that will persuade your target audience to buy from
you.

Your USP should answer the question “why us?” Analyze your
product or service and identify the benefits for the customer. Keep
it short and precise. Clearly explain your solutions and match them
to your customers’ needs.

Also, reach out to your current customers and ask them for your
competitive advantage. Find out why they chose you from all the
other options.

Clearly defined competitive advantage and USPs will help you
tremendously with planning your overall marketing communication and
CTAs in individual emails.

Resources

Define the resources you need to make your email program happen.
Think of people (e.g. email marketing specialist, graphic designer,
content specialist) and tools (email marketing platform, project
management tool, etc.) that will help you plan and execute your
strategy.

Metrics and KPIs

There are a lot of metrics to follow. The trick is to tie them
to your business goals and define the KPIs that will help you make
better decisions. Here are just a few metrics to consider:

Email list size: the number of email addresses
on your list is one of the metrics you should pay attention to.
Given that you build your email list organically with your target
audience, you can be sure that it will translate into business
results. In this case, the bigger the list – the bigger the
results.

Open rate: the percentage of the total number
of subscribers who opened your email. Bear in mind that opens can
be calculated only in HTML messages since they need tracking
pixel.

Click-through rate: the percentage of the total
number of clicks on a given link in your email. It’s expressed by
the total number of clicks on a given link divided by the number of
emails sent.

Click-to-open rate: comparison of the number of
unique clicks and unique opens giving you a better idea of the
engagement in your email marketing campaigns. A high click-to-open
rate might indicate that subscribers find the content of your
emails interesting.

Conversion: a specific valuable action like
visiting a landing page after clicking a CTA button; visiting a
thank you page after buying a product, etc.

Customer journey

Put your customers and your business in a broader perspective
and map out the full customer journey. Analyze it and decide where
you expect to get the quickest returns.

Dr. Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights gives the following advice:
“You should be looking at the lifecycle of the prospect, as they
are interacting with your business and figure out how you can
provide reminders to encourage them to buy from you.”

Tactics

Tactics are specific email marketing activities. Here are some
basic email marketing tactics to consider:

List building

List building is one of the main ongoing tasks of an email
marketer. You need a bigger database of prospects for better
business results. That’s why increasing the total number of
contacts on your list will always be an important part of your
job.

To grow your email marketing list, you need to create web forms
and landing pages and put them in front of your target audience.
There are a lot of things to consider when designing for
conversion.

Segmentation

Segmentation is about using data to create email list segments
– groups of people who share the same qualities. They allow you
to send personalized and relevant content to your audience.

Marketing automation workflows with features like tagging and
scoring can help you collect meaningful information about your
contacts and apply tags and scoring points automatically.

Relevance

You want your subscribers to engage with your brand. You want
them to open your emails, click the links, and follow the CTAs. But
even the best design, copy, or communication flow won’t work
without relevance. Relevance is the key to
engagement
.

Stay close to your subscribers and customers. If you know your
audience – their goals, challenges, needs, and preferences –
you’ll be able to deliver the right message to the right people
at the right time.

User-friendly design

The design of your web forms, emails, and landing pages has a
significant impact on the overall email marketing performance.
Approach the design process with a clear call to action in
mind.

Your subscribers view your campaigns on different devices with
different screen sizes. Bear it in mind, and make sure that the
design is friendly for everyone.

Tracking results

Set up a clear result tracking program. Make sure you know what
to measure and that you have the necessary tools and the right
metrics.

Conversion

Conversion is the ultimate goal behind each and every email
marketing campaign. And it’s specific to every business and
campaign – it might be subscribing to an email list, clicking
through to a landing page from an email, or making a purchase from
an abandoned cart email.

Describe what conversion is, so that everyone on your team can
create and run email marketing campaigns with conversion in
mind.

Testing and optimization

Prepare a testing and optimization plan for your email marketing
efforts.

Make small changes to individual elements of your campaigns,
like web forms, emails, landing pages, etc. and use the metrics and
KPIs to see how they affect the performance against your
organization’s goals.

Tools

The right tools should also be a part of your strategy. Without
them, you won’t be able to execute your plans.

What is an email marketing campaign?

An email marketing campaign is a coordinated set of email
marketing messages delivered at intervals and designed to influence
subscriber action to buy, subscribe, download, etc.

When you’ve got your strategy, tactics, and tools in place,
you can plan and execute your email marketing campaigns.

This article will be expanded with more insights very soon, so
stay tuned for updates! Meanwhile, be sure to check out our ebook
– a handy guide on
How to Plan and Send Your First Email Marketing Campaign
.

With Email Marketing, you can do wonders. But, if you’re fairly new to this scene, it’s crucial to grasp the basics, like why is email marketing important, what are the benefits, and how to start. Take your first steps with the help of our beginner’s guide!

Source: FS – Email Marketing Blogs!
Email Marketing for Beginners