Welcome to this email marketing guide.
The advent of internet marketing has changed the way a traditional business is now being done. Apart from the impact of e-commerce which is the most common of the internet marketing changes we see around, there is the complimentary yet less known aspect of email marketing. The huge potential of email marketing is underscored by this staggering statistics from statista: the number of global e-mail users is set to grow to 4.4 billion users in 2023 compared to a 2018 figure of 3.8 billion. In this guide you will learn a great deal about email marketing and for those interested in getting down to business, it is hoped that you would also be able to know what to do to get started.
Who Is This Guide For?
This guide is really for anyone considering starting any form of internet marketing. It does not matter whether you want to do this as a full-time endeavor or as a part-time side hustle. This guide is both for the technical and non-technical but has been produced in such a way that both benefit from its contents without the usual jargon that gets newcomers confused and over-complicate otherwise simple subjects. Where it is inevitable to enlist technical terms these have been properly explained to ensure everyone is carried along.
While the level of understanding you may get from this guide would be a function of your existing knowledge of the subject, we have made it in such a way that anyone reading the material can understand it enough to be able to know the necessary steps to take and achieve the desired outcome of starting email marketing.
So whether you are a stay at home mom who is interested in internet marketing to supplement the family income or you are currently gainfully employed but require some passive income, this guide is produced for you. This guide is also prepared for retirees who though have ceased from paid employment still have the energy and definitely want to put their time to use in developing internet marketing skills by starting with email marketing. College students who are not fully engaged with academic work or who are getting towards graduation and want to explore what career options there is can also find this guide useful both from an information and practical point of view. In all cases, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge you need to be able to take the next steps and be on your way to a fruitful internet marketing journey.
How The Guide Is Organized
The first part of the guide starts by explaining what Email Marketing is and goes further to describe many other associated terms used in relation to the general concept. Thereafter, the guide then lists the steps required to get started with email marketing, with the tools of the trade, processes, and procedures along with best practice advice that you will need along the way. At the end of these steps, there is an FAQ section where many of the common email marketing related questions are answered. Finally, a resource section is provided where readers who would like to learn more can engage with further material on the subject.
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WHAT IS EMAIL MARKETING?
One thing we have to do before starting email marketing is to understand what email marketing is.
Email-marketing can be defined in different ways depending on who you ask. If you ask someone that has had a bad experience from people trying to sell them a product, they will say it is “a scam”. If you ask an amateur email marketer, he or she would say it is a way to market products using email. When you ask a professional, we would say it is a method for using email to build and maintain great relationships with people who ultimately can become customers by us providing tremendous value upfront.
Marketing via email is just one aspect of running an online business and having a presence on the internet. The other aspects of an online business strategy include using blogs, social media, and a website to lead people down your sales pipeline. Compared to traditional marketing, email-marketing would be just like sending direct mail, except that the email is sent instantly and lands on a digital mailbox. Just like using traditional marketing, using email requires an understanding of the processes. The most important part is how a person who is used to working but is interested in starting a business can begin their journey using the email method.
Reasons Why Email Works
Before we move on to the methods and uses of email as a marketing tool, here are some statistics and studies that prove it works. More than 3.5 billion people in the world use email and have a reachable email address. Statistics show that spending one dollar in email advertising will generate an average of thirty-eight dollars which gives this method a 3,800% return on investment. Two out of three people will buy something resulting from an email advertisement. Email is more powerful than both Twitter and Facebook. Finally, once you create an email list, it is yours to keep and becomes more valuable as you nurture and grow it. It becomes your biggest asset and it makes it easier for you to upsell your current customers rather than spending more money to get new people on the list.
STEP 1: HOW TO GET STARTED
If you’ve been working a job as a professional, have kids, and are so close to retirement that you’re looking for a new venture, you need to get started with email advertising. Marketing online is not as hard as people make it seem. Just like any other endeavor, the most important thing to have is education and knowledge. By reading this guide you’ll be better prepared than 90% of the competition who would rather learn by trial and error. Many never even give it a try because they believe that the use of email for selling and marketing no longer applies, but it does. Some believe that direct mail doesn’t work either, but why do you think the largest corporations in the world use it? It’s because they KNOW how to use these methods and thus it works for them.
So how does someone get started with email advertisements? The very first thing you will need is to have a solid strategy or plan to execute. Without a plan, there is no goal. Without a goal, there’s no way to plan so make sure you are very clear on both. If your goal is to retire early or to have a running business for the day when you do retire then figure out how that translates into dollars. By having a real financial number you’ll be able to reverse-engineer the number of leads you will need which will then determine how many you will have to convert into paying customers. The strategy consist of the following:
- Defining your target audience/customer
- Research statistics and base goals around them
- Make it easy for people to give your their emails
- Select the type of campaign you will implement
- Create the “ideal” sending schedule
- Be able to track results
Defining your target customer is an essential piece of any business. The business owner who believes their product can be used by anyone has a product that is for no one. The more specific and “niche” you make your product or service the better you’ll be able to craft a message and the more people will connect with it. Once you’ve defined your target you need to find out what the statistics are in that industry. For example, let’s say you chose to use email to market a product, a course on investing for early retirement. The audience for this product CAN’T be everyone and so you narrow it down to a certain age, demographic, employment, salary, etc. The research will lead you into how many people in that niche have emails, how many open emails, how many will click through and more.
The next step to getting started in email advertising is to make it easy for people to give you their contact information via an opt in email marketing service. The best way to do this is to create a landing page with a trade-off. The trade-off can be something called a “lead magnet” which can be a free e-book, course, or some other item they can get value from that they deem more valuable than their contact information. This is how you build an email list, but we will talk more about that in the following section. Once you’ve done the aforementioned steps you’ll need to plan on using a certain campaign. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to send an email. Will it be a newsletter, announcements for new products, or will you simply share blogs worthy of sharing with your potential clients? How often?
Finally, before you get started and launch your campaigns you need to make sure that they are trackable. There are plenty of service providers that do this for you, but we will discuss those in the last section of this guide. The statistics you’re tracking will be successful deliveries, opens, click-through rates, and conversions. Now, let’s get into the methods and practices you will implement once you’ve figured out how to get started.
STEP 2: METHODS AND BEST PRACTICES
One of the best methods for email advertising is to organically build your own list. So how do you do this? By using lead magnets and having opt-in forms. A lead magnet is typically given out for “free”. We put the word in quotations because it’s not free since the person must give you their email for the lead magnet to be sent to their inbox. This is a great way to begin the marketing strategy since you’ve now gotten permission from the person to send the email AND have given them something of value. Consumer email lists are so hard to build and it often has to do with what a marketer gives as the lead magnet. It has to be high quality or else the people will unsubscribe from your list. Lead magnets can be any of the following:
- A useful online tool
- A course or webinar
- A template for something
- A useful checklist
- A study or report
- An infographic
- A whitepaper
- An e-book
There’s a major difference between giving something and giving something of value. Simply giving a low-quality product for the sake of it is an easy way to lose potential clients. Giving a relevant lead magnet solves a problem, and can be used will elevate your influence for future sales. We’ve said this before, but you need to make sure the lead magnet is easy to consume. This means you should have tested the deliverability of it and asked others to rate it on ease of access, the flow of information, and understandability.
Before a lead magnet is delivered, the person must opt-in. Creating an opt-in form that is enticing is challenging and can either make or break your email gathering strategy. We’ve all seen bad commercials and we’ve also seen ones we loved. The ones we loved made us want to go and purchase the product or service being advertised while the bad ones made us forget the company. It’s the same with an opt-in form since people will either feel good and give you their email or feel bad and leave your page immediately. Make sure it is attractive and gets people’s attention. Brand your opt-in form and keep the form simple. Do not lie in any way and make sure that the form works or else you’ll lose people.
In any business, there are good practices and best practices. Here is where we begin to define best practices as they pertain to e marketing, inbound marketing, and content marketing by using an opt in email marketing service. Every decision you make when setting up your marketing campaign will affect its success. The devices you choose to send the emails to, the time you select, and the format of the email will all affect who opens and follows through. The goal of the campaign is to create buyers, people who purchase, and thus you will need to spend much more time thinking about and crafting your message. These emails are not be seen as emails you would send to a friend or business colleague. They are often emails being sent to a stranger or someone that briefly knows who you or your company are. Here’s what the best practices look like:
- A clear and personalized subject line
- Personalized message
- Optimized for different devices
- Sending times
- Call to action (CTA)
- Photos and images
- The actual sales copy
The first thing people see before they even open the email in the subject line. The subject has to be clear, concise, and to the point. It must catch people’s attention so it would be a smart idea to put a yellow emoji dot at the beginning of the sentence. Yellow is the color that the iris sees first and so your email will stand out from the hundreds of emails in their inbox. Furthermore, the subject should be cut off just at the right word that will make them want to open it. An example subject line can be something like,” Do you know the seven investment strategies that…” People will want to know and because they can’t see the rest of it, they will want to open that email. From there, the email must be personalized with dear (first name and last name). This makes people feel like you’re talking specifically to them and that it’s not just a huge email blast.
The email must be optimized for different devices. Test it before you send it by sending it to yourself and viewing it on an iPhone, an android, a tablet, a laptop, a desktop, and even on a flip phone. If it looks good then now you have to figure out what time will be the best to send it. Based on a study done using more than twenty million emails, it was found that Tuesday mornings at eleven is the best time to schedule your emails. The sales copy must be extremely good so you may even want to hire someone to write it for you. The sales copy is what gets people excited and sells them without them knowing they’re being sold to. At the end of the email, you will have a call to action (CTA) and if your copy was powerful enough they will follow the call to action. This is where you get them to click on the “buy now” button or a link to your page where they will purchase the product, service, or membership you’re offering.
STEP 3: REGULATIONS YOU’LL NEED TO FOLLOW
Email advertising is a sensitive topic because you’re dealing with people’s personal information. There have been thousands of cases where people get their identities stolen, their credit cards maxed out, and have faced other fraudulent activity. These are more reasons why people never start their email advertising campaigns and we don’t blame them. No one wants to get in trouble, but there’s no reason to violate the laws if you know what they are. Regulations in the email industry are the same as in the calling industry. Most people want to know where the advertiser got his or her information and so when advertisers purchase an email list, they have to abide by certain laws. In a previous section, we discussed that you shouldn’t purchase an email because you want your subscribers to confirm that they accept the laws and regulations and that they are open to receiving whatever emails you are going to send them in the future.
This is not a reason to forget about the regulations at all. You should still follow the law because doing so will make your business last and will protect you and your customers. Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) compliance is the major compliance to be followed. This law was put in action in 2003 and it deals with any emails used for business and commercial purposes. It gives the subscriber the right to receive only the emails they subscribed for and nothing more. It prevents the sender from sending unsolicited emails. We want you to be compliant with the law and the CAN-SPAM asks that you do the following:
- Your subject lines must let people know what the email is about
- The “from” and “reply to” fields must be real addresses
- There should be an unsubscribe link available and visible
- Your email should have a company address, name, and/or logo
People should be able to know who the email is from, why it is being sent to them, and what it will contain in the body. This is a summary of this one compliance and because we are not lawyers or legal advisors you should visit the FTC website for more information.
Another compliance system that email advertisers must follow is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation is often seen as undesired by unprofessional advertisers because all they want to do is send their emails to any email addresses out there. As we mentioned earlier, we want people on our lists who chose to be there and were not forced. Television advertisements don’t force people to buy their products or call the number on the screen; the people choose to do that. They chose to follow the CTA because the message was powerful and it resonated with them. The GDPR is a way to ensure that the people on your list chose it to be that way. If your business is not in compliance with this regulation, then you might face some hefty fees that could have been prevented otherwise. The GDPR asks that you do the following:
- Keep all records of your company to prove your compliance to GDPR
- If a person requests their data you must give them access
- Do not hide the “unsubscribe” button
- If someone asks to be deleted from the list, DO IT
- If you store data be able to justify its business use
- DO NOT share people’s contact information unless agreed upon
- Do not collect more data than the business requires
- Use easy-to-understand language when people give consent to the use of their data
People are tired of spam emails and so they set up spam filters. Sometimes an email will be flagged as spam and so your business will suffer. Your rate of deliverability will drop, your contacts won’t be able to see the emails you send, your tracking software will show you incorrect information, and if you spend money then you’ll be losing cash. Don’t let your emails go to spam. You’ve already gotten people onto the list and complied with both CAN-SPAM and GDPR so do these things to make sure your emails get delivered to the inbox and not the spam box.
- Use a double opt-in strategy
- Have an email sending software that’s credible and reliable
- Avoid using certain spam words, money, or caps and exclamation marks
- Get on your contacts’ white list
A double opt-in happens when a person gives you their email on a form and then has to confirm it by clicking a link immediately sent to their email after filling out the form. It has been proven that this strategy is the most effective for lead retention. One of the many reasons why emails get sent to the spam folder has to do with the algorithm not recognizing who the sender is. Credible email service providers abide by the regulations we discussed and their emails tend to be delivered to the inbox more often than to the spam folder. Certain words, phrases, and symbols will get you into spam. These include “click here to make money”, “easy money”, “$1,000,000”, or the use of words in all caps as well as exclamation marks and too many symbols. It looks unprofessional and the email algorithms are a lot smarter than a human and can tell when something is not genuine. Finally, you can let the receiver know that for them to receive future emails they have to put you on their white list. The white list is the opposite of a blacklist, meaning that they must add you to their contacts list so that the algorithm recognizes you as someone the person wants to have contact with.
STEP 4: SETUP, TESTING, AND ANALYSIS
There’s not enough space in this article to go over the different setup techniques, tests, and analysis, but we will do our best in this section to provide an overview. When you sign up for an email service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact, the setup will be self-explanatory. There is step by step guides in all of the available email service providers that will guide you through their platforms. If you’re not tech-savvy they often offer an in-house service where they will create, setup, and manage your campaigns for you for a fee. Though this may be the best option for you it is always good to understand the process.
The setup is easy. You will create a list and name it whatever you want. I like to name my lists by the website or landing page where my form is located. For example, I’ll have “Fitness List” or “Real Estate List” that way I know what campaigns to run. Once you’ve connected the email service drip campaign with the form you’ll select the number of emails you will send, the type of email, and when they will be sent. Your first email should be sent immediately upon signup. Depending on your business model and pipeline you will have to set up emails for the future. It may take a buyer six or seven emails before they buy something from you. We advise you to send two or three emails with great content and information for every one email where you try to sell.
Not everyone on your lists will be the same. For that reason, you will have to implement an A/B testing strategy to find out what the majority of the people like. Maybe the button color you’re using is not attractive enough, or the subject line sucks. You’ll need to test these and other email characteristics by sending one test to a group and a different test to another group. A few tips on A/B testing are:
- Select only one variable to test
- Make a version of the email with the variable and one without
- Let the emails be sent at the same time
- Keep the email that outperformed the other
- Test something new and repeat
Now that you’ve set up your campaigns and have been testing different variables you’ll need to understand the analytics that will sprout from the data. These analytics are the only way to measure what is happening with your campaigns and how you can optimize them in the future based on what has happened in the past. You will be tracking the unsubscribe rate, the clickthrough rate (CTR), the open rate, and the deliverability. These are self-explanatory terms that track how many people unsubscribe from your emails in any given campaign, how many people click on the link, how many people even open the email, and how many emails received the email in the first place. From this information, you can start to remove emails that are not in service or bounce. You will also need to remove people that are inactive or don’t engage with your emails.
Optimizing the open rate is something that will increase your sales and marketing success. You want the receiver to be excited to open your email and there are different ways of doing this. Test different language as well as times of delivery to find what works best. How you present an offer and a call to action will determine your click-through rate. If you segmented your list, you’ll be able to create different CTAs to find what works with a specific audience. Test different copy to make it as clear as possible to the reader so that they know exactly what it is you want them to do. Lots of email marketers think that people unsubscribing from their lists is a bad thing. It depends on how you look at it because we see it as a very positive thing. You’re getting rid of people who weren’t your customers in the first place and their helping you curate your list! To prevent future unsubscribes do the following:
- Make the emails valuable and useful
- Do not promise something and then deliver something completely different
- Make sure your emails are branded to ensure professionalism
Email Marketing Solutions And Services
There are many email marketing solutions and service providers out there. However here are some considerations when choosing an email solution or an email marketing software:
- What is the nature of your business?
- What is the size of your business?
- What stage of development is your business in?
The Nature of your business
E-commerce businesses generally require email marketing solutions as part of their shopping cart conversion efforts such as reducing cart abandonment. Have you ever tried to purchase something from an e-commerce store and after filling your cart you decided not to purchase? Well, the most likely thing that you would notice is that by the next day you get a mail reminding you your shopping cart is still waiting for you are perhaps offering you a discount if you would complete the purchase. That is an example of email marketing at work in an e-commerce setting. Besides this use, e-commerce shops also use email marketing to inform their customers of new products and special promotions especially around holiday seasons and special occasions.
Card Loyalty programs of many of these shops are also now almost exclusively powered by email marketing. You go into a shop and make a purchase and that the checkout counter you are offered a chance to get their loyalty card in exchange for some discount on your current or future purchase. You agree and are then taken through an online registration process. As you would remark, the most important thing they collect from you is your email address and before you know it, you are getting all sorts of promotional and discount sales in your inbox.
The Size Of Your Business
The decision around choosing an email solution is not that of whether or not you need one but rather around which one is more suitable for your needs. Every business that has customers (which really means all) could benefit from email marketing as a way to engage their customers. So for example, a business that has just a handful of customers may consider a basic email marketing solution rather than an elaborate one. In this same vein, a small business that is just starting would only require an email marketing solution only when it starts acquiring customers. Some businesses may first need to develop products and services before opening its doors to customers and hence may not require an email service prior to then.
The Stage of Development of Your Business
There may also be traditional businesses that are only just adopting digital marketing and so may require a professional evaluation of an email solution that is tailored to meet their specific needs rather than perhaps an off the shelf solution. In fact, many times large businesses may elect to buy a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution such as Salesforce that incorporates an email auto-responder along with other customer relationship management tools based on their specific business needs.
While not explicitly listed above, the final consideration of determining an email marketing solution to adopt is cost. Email marketing solutions don’t all cost the same. While many of these solutions meet most of the business needs, for some businesses the budget requirement may eventually be the decider between which solution is adopted.
STEP 5: SMALL BUSINESS EMAIL MARKETING
Marketing with email is something that any business can employ. It is a great tool for small businesses that are looking to grow because as the business gains traction, it will collect information. This information comes in the form of emails and contacts. As customers purchase from the business they are creating a relationship to purchase more in the future. Even though text is an easy way to communicate, it isn’t very businesslike. Professionals and business owners prefer to communicate via email so much so that eighty-six percent make it their favorite way to communicate. This is because you can send files and keep a communication record. Business-to-business (B2B) email click-through rates are around forty-six percent more effective than business-to-consumer (B2C) emails.
Business To Business (B2B) Vs Business To Consumer (B2C) Email
The majority of emails that constitute email marketing are generally sent as business to Consumer emails as these are usually the most in number. It is rare that business to Business contacts get to the hundreds of thousands whereas business to consumer contacts can sometimes run into millions. Most of the strategies discussed in this guide are focused on business to Consumer (B2C) email marketing. So whereas Business To Consumer email uses autoresponders and some of the more advanced Customer relationship Management Tools, Business To Business email marketing, on the other hand, involves the use of direct system integrations between the parties. In this case, a lot more data is shared beyond just email communication. Many times, data such as catalogues, inventory information, manufacturing. production data amongst many others are shared between their systems.
Sending too many emails is like someone sending too many texts to someone who doesn’t want to talk to them. Keep a balance and don’t overload your leads with three or four emails per day! Though ninety percent of people check their emails daily, they don’t want to be inundated. If you add a video to your emails the click-through rate will increase above fifty per cent. If your business sells directly online, email is the best way to go. More than sixty-five per cent of people will buy something after reading an email. Eighty-six per cent of people are open to receiving a sales email, but only once per month. Your business will receive two times as much traffic if you implement a blogging strategy.
STEP 6: BEST EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE PROVIDERS
Now that we’ve discussed everything you need to know about starting and growing an email marketing business, you will have to find an email-marketing autoresponder service provider to enable you to create your campaigns.
So is there a “Best Email Autoresponder” out there?
From the foregoing discussion, it is therefore likely that any particular email marketing software can be labelled as “best email autoresponder” as that would depend on whose perspective the evaluation is done from. The best email marketing services are offered by providers who best meet the needs of their customers and design products that enhance their efficiency and create value for them.
I’ve used plenty of software providers for this, but have found the ones listed below to be amongst the best on the market. Most will start with a free plan, but you can always upgrade to the paid and corporate levels as your list grows.
Constant Contact Email Marketing
Constant Contact is one of the most popular is perhaps one of the more advanced email autoresponders in this list. It is simple to use and has lots of simple templates and features that enable both beginners and experienced people alike to conduct email marketing like a pro. While many of the autoresponder providers offer free trial Constant Contact offers a 60 –Day FREE trial for starters. Furthermore, it also provides a website builder to get you started owning your website as part of its offerings. Click here to start your free trial and learn more about the service.
Get Response Email
If you speak to other email marketers you will hear Get Response is a great tool to use as well. They’re well-known for their modern look and stylish emails. Get Response is not only an email provider, but it also gives you tools to grow your business such as landing pages and webinars. You get a free trial but there are no free plans. Plans start at fifteen dollars per month.
MailChimp for Beginners
MailChimp is probably the most popular autoresponder for beginners as it offers a basic free subscription for up to 2,000 or fewer contacts. It comes with all the tools and features you need as a beginner. Besides, it also offers you the flexibility of being able to buy credit and pay just when you need to send mails to your contacts especially if your business does not require frequent customer engagements. For these reasons, it is very common for beginners to start with MailChimp and migrate to more sophisticated tools later on as their business demands.
Other Email Autoresponders
There are plenty of other email service providers we can list, but that would only overwhelm you. For example, Keap is an all-in-one service that provides you with email-sending tools as well as customer relations management (CRM) for sales. MailerLite is another service that lets you build first and pay later. You can use it for free as long as you have less than a thousand emails in the software.
Choosing Email Autoresponders
The best advice we can give you is to start with one of the paid plans and begin testing things. Try out all the features and create campaigns to test on yourself. Share them with friends to see what they think. Ask young people for their opinion. They probably use the internet more often and are used to seeing email marketing campaigns. They can tell you that there’s too much writing, not enough photos, the Call To Action (CTA) isn’t clear, and that they’d like to see a video or something different.
At the same time, you should have implemented a strategy to get people on your mailing list so that when you do decide to launch you’ve already prepared, tested, and understand the analytics. It will take some time to figure out all of the platform’s tools and features, but as we mentioned earlier, there’s always a team ready to help you.
You can even go on websites like Fiverr to find experts whom you can pay to handle your email marketing for you. If you don’t have the cash available to do this you will have to do it yourself, but don’t worry, the more you practice the easier it will get. The way I learned was by watching tons of videos on the internet and by reading as many articles, blogs, and books as I could.
Email Marketing Report –Importance of Email Metrics
If you didn’t already know by now you would realize that email marketing is a serious digital marketing endeavour. As one of the most effective channels of user engagement, a business must implement an email strategy that enables it to generate email metrics as part of an overall email marketing report. Email autoresponders (see next section) are equipped to generate such reports and provides the business owner with the information needed to assess the effectiveness or otherwise of any email marketing campaign.
Metrics such as deliverability and open rates should be tracked and measured as often as possible if email marketing efforts are to yield the desired results. As you would expect, the success or otherwise of any email marketing depends on the quality of the email lists on which the campaign is based.
Any email marketing campaign that will achieve its objectives must be based on creative email. Creative emails have subjects that are not intended to deceive their recipients and that have copies that are well thought through. With email deliverability of about 73% in the US and a Click To Open Rate (CTOR) of between 20 to 30% email marketing campaigns must spend time creating the various elements of their emails if their marketing messages are to arrive at their destinations. In many cases, getting it right may require testing and experimenting. Sometimes the use of A/B testing of email subjects can help determine the best subjects that can lead to the most engagements by your target audience. As a best practice, it is generally believed that emails that do not carry graphics and other heavy visual content (just plain text) have higher chances of being delivered to the users’ inbox.
Bought vs Internally Generated (Opt-In) Email Lists
A few years ago it was quite normal to get spam emails regularly in one’s inbox. However, with the maturity of digital marketing and policies around it, there are now regulations that demand digital marketers respect people’s privacy and so should not send unsolicited emails. This means anyone receiving marketing mails must have consented to receive such email from you. This is done via a subscription and an email opt-in process. This new regulation virtually makes the practice of the purchasing email lists for email marketing campaigns outdated.
Although some businesses may consider purchasing an email list as a quick solution, it is not advisable as it does not pay off in the long run. For one, the quality of such list cannot be guaranteed since they did not opt to join your mailing list in the first instance. Instead, such lists are fraught with high opt-outs and come with the risk of your domain being labelled as spam and seriously affecting your future email deliverability. Email deliverability is a measure of how many of your emails appear in the junk or promotions folders of your customers instead of in their inbox.
The Stone Age Era of Email blast Is Over
Yes, there was a time when it was always just one type of mail sent to all customers, potential customers and perhaps people who are no longer your customers. I those days in the “email dark ages” email marketing and automation systems hadn’t evolved to the point where customers could be segmented so that different (and of course more appropriate messages) could be sent to the right people.
An email blast was the process where businesses sent the same messages to all your subscribers howbeit blindly. But as you would now know things have changed a lot since then.
Email marketing best practices now are such that businesses can obtain their email lists, segment it such that the proper mails are sent to the right people in a timely manner. What is more? This process can be completely automated and could be likened to it being on autopilot. It is not uncommon now for some organizations to have email sequences scheduled for sometimes up to 12 months in advance. These messages begin when customers are acquired and continue to nurture these informing them of new products, promotions, company-customer interactions and even sometimes sharing this relationship with business partners who then continue to nurture this relationship as well.
Email Marketing Comparisons
Email Marketing vs SMS Marketing
Since the successful use of mass email for the promotion of products by the Digital Equipment Corporation in 1978, the popularity of email both as a form of business communication and for marketing, in particular, has continued to grow, As we have seen from the stats already quoted, the use of email for business transactions is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. On the other hand, the advent of the smartphone has introduced the use of SMS marketing into the mix. Though this service has become quite common it is not expected to replace email marketing in the future. In fact, in the most common applications, SMS services are used to compliment and share summary data that most times has already been aggregated via email.
Although current internet trends such as voice search are expected to increase the use of smartphones for digital marketing, such developments are also expected to increase email use through email voice integration.
Constraints and limitations: Sms marketing services offer speed and improved deliverability compared to email. However, the quantity of data that is typically sent is limited (hence the name short messaging service (Sms). SMS finds its particular application in emergency communication and personal data verification as a quick alternative to email. However, as already mentioned, both of these services will continue to find their varied applications and will always be complementary rather than competing with one another both now and in the future.
Email Marketing And Automation
From the early days of offline advertising using billboards the introduction of digital marketing also came with some automation. Complete sales funnels can now be set up and customers can be directed through a merchant’s automated sales process with email being the method of communication used between the interfaces. It is therefore not surprising then that email marketing also finds its part in many of the marketing automation implementations around. From cart management in e-commerce shops to user setup for membership sites. All of these automation systems rely on successful email marketing implementation in order to function properly.
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In conclusion, this article served as a guide for starting an email advertising career. Whether you’re looking to retire early or have something to fall back on when you retire, selling and growing a business with email advertising is a great way to do so.
We reviewed what email advertising is, how it is used, and the ways to get started. You will need to find a reputable and professional email service provider to build and manage your lists and to create your campaigns. These campaigns should be automated so that all you have to do is focus on optimization and analyzing the analytics.
The biggest mistake people make is not starting at all. If you get started and test different strategies you will learn what works and what doesn’t. What’s awesome about the internet is that you don’t have to be tech-savvy; you can hire someone to do everything for you.
We hope this guide will allow you to begin building your business. Check out the index below this paragraph to find related links, recommended reading on the subject, and a link to an infographic summarizing this article into visual format since some people prefer to learn visually.
Now get out there and make some sales.
Email Marketing FAQ
Why Is Email Marketing Important?
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels there is today. Its versatility and low cost make it the goto tool most serious businesses employ to reach not just their customers but also any potential customers. As you may know, the conversion rates from most of the advertising efforts (Google, Facebook etc) are usually well under 10%. In fact typical figures are between 2-5%. Email marketing enables you reach the larger majority who may have visited your site and exchanged their email addresses by accepting a lead magnet and to nurture them to become paying customers. Email Marketing provides the captive audience that you can reach at any time and promote your products and services to at no additional acquisition cost. This is why this channel is very important.
Is Email Marketing Dead?
Anyone who thinks email marketing is dead is definitely mistaken. Email marketing is here to stay. If there is one reason to believe this then here are some staggering statistics: According to Statista, While roughly 281 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2018, the figure is expected to increase to over 347 billion daily mails in 2022 In fact, based on these figures, it is a widely believed (a belief which is also shared by Oberlo) that email marketing statistic of 2019 will likely prove… that email marketing isn’t going anywhere soon but rather growing. Email Marketing has become one of the best and cheapest channels to promote products and services not only to customers but also to potential customers.
How is Email Used For Marketing?
The standard way email is used for marketing is by employing an autoresponder. Some examples of these autoresponders are Aweber, Constant Contact, Get Response and Mailchimp. Email addresses are collected from both your customers and potential customers (leads) through a subscription process and configured into the autoresponders. The objective is to automatically send well-crafted and targeted marketing messages which are designed to cultivate existing relationships with the customers while nurturing the leads until then become customers. The marketing messages inform, educate the leads about all aspects of your products and services until they are ready to buy by which time the products are then promoted to them as part of the marketing process.
Does Email Marketing Work?
Email marketing still works contrary to what anybody may think. If anything the figures shows it: Consider this: In terms of value for money email marketing continues to challenge the best of channels in the key value metrics of return on investment (ROI) with an estimated average return of $32 for every $1 invested, still based on recent Statista figures. Email marketing is so vital to any organization’s digital marketing effort that most seasoned digital marketers’ most important advice is to start collecting email addresses from your leads from day one.
How is Email Used For Marketing Strategy?
Most digital marketing experts believe that Email marketing should always be part of the bedrock of any digital marketing strategy. Furthermore, the general advice is that email marketing should be initiated as soon as practically possible by offering something of value as a lead magnet to potential customers who visit your site. Lead magnets can come as digital products (ebooks, reports, templates etc) or as discount vouchers or special deals for e-commerce sites.