The first email was sent in the 1970s, and ever since, email has become one of the most prominent platforms for marketers to communicate with their customers. In this guide, we’ll walk through the basics of email marketing to help you start developing highly converting email campaigns.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing can be defined as the practice of promoting your business’s products or services through email. Many people believe this to be an outdated marketing technique but, when supported by strategy and intention, email marketing can have dramatic impacts on the success of your business.
According to a recent Hubspot study, there are 3.9 million daily email users. Each day, 3.9 million people log into their email and interact with messaging from their favorite brands. Why shouldn’t your brand be among them? If that doesn’t convince you, email marketing has been found to generate as much as $38 for every $1 spent, and 59% of marketers say email is their highest source of revenue.
Choosing Email Marketing Software
The first step to implementing an email marketing program for your business is to choose a software that will be used to send your campaigns. This software will also be used to collect submissions to your email list and segment them as needed, monitor your campaign’s performance, and more.
Some of the most common choices for email marketing software are:
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
- Active Campaign
When choosing an email marketing software, you’ll want to weigh factors such as price, ease of use, tracking and reporting capabilities, deliverability rates, integration with your website platform, and more.
Setting Campaign Goals
Email marketing is a broad term that encompasses many unique types of email communication, each with its own unique goal. Before you even think about sending your first marketing email, it’s critical you know what you want to accomplish.
Here are just a few examples of goals you might achieve through email marketing:
- Promote your products
- Recover abandoned carts
- Educate or inform your audience
- Upsell or cross sell
Once you’ve got your goal in mind, you’re ready to get started planning the written content and visuals that will make up the body of your email.
Determining Your Email Marketing Strategy
Now since you’ve set the goals you want to reach, it’s time to create a strategy that will help you get there. To do this well, you’ll want to make sure you know and understand your audience—who they are, where they’re at in the buying journey, and how you can provide value to them through your emails. You might even consider segmenting your audience into special interest groups to tailor a unique message to each group.
Your strategy should include considerations like how you’ll add new subscribers to your email list, how frequently you’ll send out emails, and the best time of day to send your emails for the highest engagement. As you send email campaigns and learn from their performance, you can amend this strategy to better serve your audience.
Delivering Quality Content
You only get one chance to make a first impression on your new subscribers, so you’d better make it a good one! From the subject line to the graphic design to the written content, your email should be designed with your brand and your audience in mind.
Your design aesthetic should be consistent with your brand and the content of the email should provide value to your reader, no matter what your goal is for the campaign. Promoting a sale? Make sure you provide clear details and a clear call to action, letting the viewer know what to do next. Curating blog posts for your subscriber? Be sure your email draws your reader in and gives them a reason to click through to your blog.
PRO TIP: Did you know 46% of all emails are viewed on mobile devices? When you’re designing your email, think carefully about how it will appear on mobile. Not just on desktop!
Ensuring Legal Compliance
Before you hit send on a beautifully crafted email, you need to ensure you’re following the law about who you can and can’t send it to. Especially in recent years, personal data protection and privacy have been in the spotlight and a variety of laws have been put in place to ensure companies are using consumer data appropriately.
Of course, you’ll want to do your own research on laws that might affect your business, but here are a few of the most well-known laws affecting email marketing:
- CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) Act of 2003 – Establishes standards for sending commercial emails
- California Consumer Privacy Act – Enhances consumers’ right to privacy and data protection in the State of California
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – Regulates data protection and privacy in the European Union
- CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Law) – Sets guidelines, regulations, and best practices for sending commercial emails in Canada
Monitoring Campaign Performance
Email marketing doesn’t end when your email is sent. To really learn and grow your email marketing program, you’ll want to be aware of how your email campaigns perform. Email performance includes metrics like open rate (how many times your email is opened), clickthrough rate (how many times a link in your email is clicked), and bounce rate (how many times your email was unable to be delivered), among other metrics.
Most email marketing software include some sort of built-in tracking capability for monitoring these performance metrics, however, to really dig deep into your performance, you’ll also want to track in Google Analytics. When you’re led by data, you can make informed decisions about how to improve your campaign performance.
Email marketing might seem like a thing of the past, but it’s a technique that is absolutely here to stay. This marketing technique can benefit your business in a variety of ways if you back up quality content with a solid strategy, defined goals, and best practices. If you’re interested in diving into email marketing but aren’t quite sure where to start, contact us, and we’ll create a plan for your business.