Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.
Email isn’t dead. It’s one of the few marketing channels we can use to build an authentic connection with the humans that keep our businesses alive.
Email marketing isn’t spam. It’s not a personal note from an old colleague either. It’s something in between. Your customers don’t give their information lightly, and — if used right — email marketing can be both a relationship-building and profit-building tool.
You should use email to build upon an existing relationship with your subscribers and leads by providing relevant, valuable information that will help them take action on their goals.
That’s right, email marketing isn’t just about you, or your company. It’s about your customer.
If you keep this golden rule in mind, your subscribers will not only read your emails, but they will look forward to hearing from you every time.
Why email marketing is still one of the most important elements of marketing strategy and how you can use it responsibly and effectively.
Here are some stats that prove how effective email marketing can be:
- Email is useful for business. 66% of clients have made a buy as an immediate consequence of an email advertising message.
- Only 20% of leads that are sent specifically to deals are qualified, which means they should be sustained by means of email and great content.
- When it comes to customer acquisition, email is 40X more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.
- Perhaps the best reason to use email marketing is that you own the channel. Outside of compliance regulations, there is no external entity that can impact how, when, or why you reach out to your subscribers.
Unless if you have the (wo)manpower, extra time, and money to separately construct an individual association with every last one of your prospects and clients, email ought to be your best advertising companion.
Use Cases for Email Marketing
Here are the many ways you can (and should) use email:
- Build Relationships: Build connections through personalized engagement.
- Brand Awareness: Keep your company and your services top-of-mind for the moment when your prospects are ready to engage.
- Content Promotion: Use email to share relevant blog content or useful assets with your prospects.
- Lead Generation: Entice your subscribers to provide their personal information in exchange for an asset that they’d find valuable.
- Product Marketing: Promote your products and services.
- Lead Nurturing: Delight your customers with content that can help them succeed in their goals.
Getting Started with Email Marketing
Before you get overwhelmed with the vast possibilities of email marketing, let’s break down a few key things to get you started building an strong email campaign that will delight your customers.
Create an Email Marketing Strategy
Each of your customers receive 121 mail every day. That means, if you don’t take the time to develop a strategy, your emails will get lost in crowded inboxes, or worse, be sent to the spam folder.
Think of the following five categories as an outline for your email strategy. We’ll dive deeper into some of these in a moment.
- Define Your Audience
An effective email is a relevant email. Like everything else in marketing, start with your buyer persona, understand what they want, and tailor your email campaign to your audience’s needs.
- Establish Your Goals
Before you come up with your campaign goals, gather some context. Research the average email stats for your industry and use them as benchmarks for your goals.
- Create a Way for People to Sign Up
You need people to email, right? An email list is a group of users who have given you permission to send them relevant content. To build that list, you need several ways for prospects to opt in to receive your emails.
Don’t be discouraged if you only have a few people on your list to start. It can take some time to build. In the meantime, treat every single subscriber and lead like gold, and you’ll start to see your email list grow organically.
- Choose an Email Campaign Type
Email campaigns vary and trying to decide between them can be overwhelming. Do you send a weekly newsletter? Should you send out new product announcements? Which blog posts are worth sharing?
These questions plague every marketer. The answer is subjective. You can start by learning about the different types of email campaigns that exist, then decide which is best for your audience. You should also set up different lists for different types of emails, so customers and prospects can sign up for only the emails that are relevant to them.
- Make a Schedule
Decide how often you plan to contact your list, inform your audience upfront so they know what to expect, and stick to a consistent schedule or make a schedule to build trust, and so they don’t forget about you.
- Measure Your Results
This should come as no surprise. As marketers, we measure everything. Being careful about every key metric will help you make small changes to your emails that will yield large results.
Build Your Email List
Now to the fun part: filling your email list with eager prospects that are excited to hear from you.
Your lead magnet is exactly as it sounds: something that attracts prospects to your email list, usually in the form of a free offer. The offer can take a number of formats, should be valuable to your prospects, and is given away for free in exchange for an email address.
There’s just one problem: People have become hyper protective of their personal information. You can’t expect to receive an email address without exchanging it for something valuable.
Think about a lead magnet that is relevant, useful, and makes your prospects’ lives easier.
Here are a few types of lead magnets you could create:
- Report or Study
- Webinar or Course