Email Marketing 101: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started
Email marketing is one of the most lucrative investments companies can make. Check out a beginner’s guide to starting an email marketing campaign.
Email marketing is a form of digital marketing that tends to yield a high return on investing. It is an easy way to connect more with customers, develop brand loyalty, upsell, cross-sell, and turn a one-time customer into a loyal repeat one.
Here is an email marketing 101 guide with everything you need to know to get started on your campaign.
Building Your List
When preparing to start sending out promotional emails for a business, the first step is to build a list. Acquiring the proper permissions for sending out promotional emails is a necessary step, so you may need to make it easy to do and incentivize your potential subscribers.
Many companies find success in placing a pre-checked box (customers can unclick the box), giving the company permission to send emails at the checkout process. During check out, most people provide their emails for tracking and order confirmation purposes. Adding on promotional email permission is easy and does not require the customer to retype their emails.
Building an email list can be simple. Consider installing a popup that offers a percentage off or exclusive offers if the user provides their email address and permission to receive promotional emails. Incentives help lists grow faster.
Purchasing email lists is an option companies should intentionally avoid. The customers did not consent to your business’s emails, even if the way you acquired the list is legal and the permissions overlap. Users are suspicious of receiving emails they did not personally consent to—it is a bad way to start a relationship with potential customers.
Types of Emails
There are multiple types of emails companies can send to their email lists. All businesses should send more than one type of email to maximize their earning potential and build a cohesive relationship with their customers.
Logical Position is a digital marketing agency that handles email marketing for well over 100 clients. Jeremy Vale, the email marketing manager for Logical Position, said, “You’ve got to start sending email. If you’re eCommerce, the opportunity for automation is tremendous.”
He notes how vital email marketing is for all companies but notes that it is a requirement for eCommerce sites striving to meet goals and unleash their full potential.
It is never too late to start sending out email communications to customers. The crucial part is to begin.
Newsletter emails provide an opportunity for brands to communicate more in-depth information about products, the company, any updates, and more. Newsletters need a core message and help customers connect with the brand and get to know it better.
Discounts, Sales, and Promotional
Sending emails to users about promotions or with exclusive releases, offers, or coupon codes is a great way to incentivize customers to make a purchase or to return to your site to browse more. These emails tend to have solid open rates—but the trick is to deliver on the promises in the subject line. For example, if the subject line mentions a 40 percent off coupon, the email body must include the 40 percent off coupon, or the brand can lose customer trust.
Review request emails are automatically sent out once a customer receives an item they purchased from the brand. These emails ask the customer to leave a review about the business, which benefits the brand because reviews help incentivize other consumers to buy.
Companies can offer a reward for customers who leave a review, such as a small percentage off a future purchase or reward program points.
Announcing new products is an exciting time for a business, and loyal customers also get excited about launches. Sending out an email to the subscriber’s list can help inform customers about the drop while building that trusted relationship between brand and user.
Abandoned cart emails provide an opportunity to remind customers to make a purchase. These trigger automatically when a customer puts an item in their cart and does not complete the checkout process. It acts as a friendly reminder if the customer forgot to come back to the purchase on their own.
Sometimes companies provide a discount code offer or a free shipping code to give the user an extra push to purchase. Shipping costs are one of the most popular reasons customers abandon their carts.
News, Promotions, Sales, and Discounts
These email types keep the customer informed and improve the relationship through consistent communications. Customers appreciate brands keeping them in the loop about sales events or promotions.
Keeping customers informed fosters trust in the relationship and encourages the user to think about the brand more often.
These are the first things a customer should receive from your brand when they sign up to receive emails. It should include multiple emails in a row—spread out across an appropriate amount of time. These are the essential emails to send out because they provide excellent results for revenue increases.
Personalization and Segmenting
In email marketing—and email in general—the subject and sender lines play a significant role in what emails get opened. Personalization is something worth testing out to see if your audience or segments of that audience respond well to it.
Personalization can be as simple as putting the customer’s name in the subject line of the email. Here is an example:
“Jake! Here is a 20 percent off coupon for you.”
Putting the customer’s name first acts as an attention grabber to pique the customer’s interest and connect to the brand.
Segmenting a list of users is beneficial so brands can send curated content and emails with the best copy for that group out. Segmenting increases click rate and the chances of a conversion stemming from an email.
Strategy and Testing
Sending any promotional emails is a great start, but outlining goals and a strategy to achieve those is how you take an email marketing campaign to the next level. The best starting point for a strategic email marketing campaign is outlining goals. Decide what success in email marketing means for your company.
Defining goals shapes a campaign. Here are a few metrics to watch so you know if your campaign is on the right track—for any goal.
- Open rates: you want people to open your emails.
- Click-through rate: this shows who engages with your content.
- Conversion rates: this measures your goal for the campaign; how many people are doing what you want them to do (make a purchase, visit the site, etc.).
- Revenue percentage: how much overall revenue comes from emails.
The above metrics are the most vital to watch throughout your email marketing campaign. There are always improvements companies can make to their emails to increase their conversion rates and overall success.
Testing is a crucial part of running an email campaign. Testing involves segmenting an audience to try different things with emails to measure the response before sending it to the general audience. It shows how users respond to what works, what does not work, what needs improvement, and what does not make much of a difference.
Here are a few things to test with emails that could impact success:
- Personalization: put your customer’s name in the email or subject line.
- Emojis: put in an emoji to see how your audience responds.
- Copy: trying out different tones and wordings helps you get to know your audience’s preferences.
- Images: test out which image types illicit the best response.
Finding the Right Help
Finding the right company to act as an email service provider is instrumental in the email marketing process.
Logical Position’s Jeremy Vale said, “Find the email service provider that best meets your needs and works well with your website. Then, follow the data.”
The right email service provider (ESP) makes all the difference in the success of a campaign. There is an ESP out there that is right for your business. Look for the following things:
- Flexibility and scalability: it’s crucial to find an ESP that can grow with your business and adapt as your company’s needs shift.
- Transparency: when working with an ESP, transparency and open communication is crucial to understand what you’re getting.
- Advanced reporting: understanding the metrics that make up a campaign and gaining access to monitor them helps you stay in control.
Another source of aid in email marketing is an email marketing agency to manage your campaign. While this is not a requirement, it can help small brands grow faster, and large brands manage an extensive campaign in the most effective way possible. An email marketing company brings expertise and time to dedicate to your campaign to focus on managing the growth the campaign gets.
Everything you need to know to get started with email marketing can change along the way. The most important part is to start sending emails. It’s never too late to begin; just begin.