Online businesses continually evolving and new channels are coming up. In this high-paced environment, email marketing remains an effective and the go-to channel for enterprises, agencies, and small businesses to connect with the right people. The main reasons for this are low cost, higher conversions, and the ability to track the results. If you’re searching for a comprehensive guide that answers all your questions about email marketing, you’ve come to the right place.
Table of contents
- 1. Budget-friendly marketing channel
- 2. Increased brand awareness
- 3. Targeted communication
- 4. Direct communication
- 5. Automation and scalability
- 6. Higher customer engagement
- 7. Collect feedback
- 8. Measurability
- 9. Your email audience can be retained
- 1. Build your email list
- 2. Choose an email service provider (ESP)
- 3. Craft a compelling email copy
- 4. Design your email
- 5. Schedule and send your email marketing campaign
- 6. Monitor performance with analytics
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a direct marketing channel that uses marketing emails to promote your business and its products and services. It also informs customers about new and upcoming products, offers, or other updates. It is critical in increasing brand awareness, driving engagement, nurturing leads, or making a sale.
Is email marketing still relevant?
Short answer: yes.
Email marketing is one of the very first means of digital communication, and we’ve had many communication channels come up and gain popularity considerably fast. However, email marketing remains the most widely used marketing channel. Statista estimates that the number of global email users might grow to 4.73 billion by 2026.
Benefits of email marketing
There are various reasons why marketers choose email marketing over other channels. The major benefits that make email every marketer’s favorite tool are as follows:
1. Budget-friendly marketing channel
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels. You might be sending free marketing emails The availability of low-cost and free tools for various aspects of email marketing contributes to maintaining the low cost of running email marketing campaigns.
2. Increased brand awareness
Sending emails to your customers and prospects regularly helps reinforce your brand identity amongst your audience. It also builds a strong relationship between your brand and the audience. The low cost of running email marketing campaigns helps run more campaigns to build better brand awareness.
3. Targeted communication
Email marketing is a marketing channel that allows you to target the right section of the audience. You can also segment your email marketing list based on various criteria such as demographics, behavior, interests, and purchase history. Audience segmentation allows you to send email marketing campaigns to a segment to which the content is most relevant, leading to a better customer experience.
4. Direct communication
Other marketing channels technically rely on creating campaigns and putting them in a network so potential customers would find them. However, email marketing is a direct marketing channel, meaning that the marketing efforts are directed toward individual prospects. Emails land directly in your email subscribers' inboxes, providing a direct line of communication with your audience.
5. Automation and scalability
Email marketing tools allow you to automate various aspects of your email marketing campaigns, like list segmentation subscribers and setting up trigger emails and drip campaigns. Email automation makes it easier to scale your marketing efforts and reach a larger audience with significantly less manual work.
6. Higher customer engagement
Email marketing is highly effective in engaging and retaining your customers and improving customer loyalty. Brands use emails to send regular product updates, newsletters, informative blog posts, and exclusive offers to keep them informed and engaged. AMP-powered interactive emails even allow the recipients to interact with the different elements of the emails, further increasing engagement.
7. Collect feedback
Unlike other marketing channels, which are one-way communication, email marketing allows businesses to gather responses from their audience. This is handy when brands want to collect customer feedback to improve their campaigns and marketing efforts.
Email marketing allows for detailed email analytics, allowing you to track the success of your marketing efforts in the form of metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, open rates, and more. This data helps measure the effectiveness of individual email marketing campaigns and improve future ones, making more data-driven decisions.
9. Your email audience can be retained
When you make an email account, it becomes your property. Unlike many other social handles whose real control is with the provider, emails have the security where no one can cease or delete your content unless it’s spam or illegal. Also, the email list you build can easily be downloaded and used with any other customer relationship management system (CRM) to continue your marketing efforts.
If you’re new to email marketing and want to learn more about it, a great way to expand your knowledge is to take an online course on email marketing. For instance, you can check out the 90-minute email marketing course called Email Masterclass by Mailmodo.
Become an email marketing expert in 90 mins
On-demand certification to master email marketing
How to do email marketing?
If email marketing sounds like the right option for you and you don’t know where to start, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you send your first email campaign.
1. Build your email list
An email list is a list of email addresses to whom you will send the emails. This is a prerequisite to sending an email campaign. An email list is essential for any brand or business.
You might think you can start sending emails to random email addresses, but that’s a bad practice. Your emails would normally return undelivered or reach people who don’t even want to hear from you.
How do you build an email list?
Building an email list takes time and effort, but it is worth it. Here’s how you can build your own email list.
- Include a prominent sign-up button or an opt-in form on your website: These sign-up forms or opt-in forms should give a clear understanding of what they should expect to receive in the emails. It can be email newsletters, educational content, offers, discounts, and so on.
Use lead magnets and blogs: You can have blogs covering various topics that might answer the queries that people are searching for. This helps build better authority and relationships with your readers. Your blogs can then ask the readers for their email addresses to stay updated with more relevant updates. You can also make use of lead magnets where readers give in their email addresses in exchange for rewards like ebooks, PDFs, audiobooks, etc.
Host events and webinars: Socialising is another effective way to get known by more people and collect email addresses. You can host events where people can socialize and hold webinars where people have to register using their email addresses. When they register for such events, you automatically know that they’re interested in what you’re offering.
Leverage social media: Social media is a great place to advertise what you have to offer and find people interested in your services. Building an online community or page helps your content reach more like-minded people, thereby allowing you to connect with them.
2. Choose an email service provider (ESP)
Choosing an ESP or email marketing software is the best way to help you start sending email campaigns with less work and in a more organized way. An email service provider can help you manage your email lists, create and send marketing emails, test them before sending, measure the performance of the campaigns, and so on.
What are the features that you would need in email marketing software?
There are several options to choose from, and choosing the right ESP or marketing software for your business can be quite challenging. Here’s a list of features you should look for and some things to consider when choosing one.
Drag-and-drop email builder: A drag-and-drop email builder simplifies the email creation process by allowing you to design visually appealing emails without any coding skills. This feature is ideal for businesses that want to create professional emails easily.
Email templates: Email templates provide pre-designed layouts and styles, saving time and ensuring consistency in your email campaigns. Look for an ESP that offers templates to match your branding and different content needs.
Email marketing automation: Email marketing automation streamlines your marketing efforts by enabling you to schedule emails to be sent at specific times or in response to triggers, like welcoming new subscribers or nurturing leads through automated drip campaigns.
Integrations: Integrations allow you to connect with other tools and platforms, such as CRM systems or e-commerce platforms, to create seamless workflows. Make sure your chosen ESP supports the integrations you need for your business.
A/B testing: A/B testing allows you to experiment with different email elements (subject lines, email content, images) to determine what resonates best with your audience. It's a valuable feature for optimizing your email marketing strategy.
Analytics: Analytics features provide insights into how your email marketing campaigns are performing. Look for an ESP that offers detailed statistics on open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and more to help refine your email marketing strategy.
Audience segmentation: Audience segmentation helps you target specific groups of subscribers with tailored content. This feature is vital for delivering personalized and relevant marketing emails, ultimately improving engagement.
Cost-effectiveness: Your budget is important when choosing an ESP. ESPs offer different plans based on the features offered, the number of subscribers, or sent emails. Balance cost with the features you require. Email marketing pricing calculator gives you an overview of the pricing of the leading email marketing platforms to help you choose the best for your business.
Ease of use: An ESP should have an intuitive interface and provide good customer support to help you get the most out of the email platform without a steep learning curve.
Additional features: Beyond the essential features, some ESPs offer unique functionalities like social media integration, SMS marketing, the ability to design interactive emails, or even AI-powered subject lines and email copy generators. It’s good to have the most features you can get for your price.
If you’re still confused about choosing the right ESP, you can consider Mailmodo. It is an all-in-one email marketing platform that offers all the features you would need if you’re starting out as an email marketer. It’s an affordable choice compared to other players in the market and offers a long 21-day free trial to test out all of its features.
3. Craft a compelling email copy
Crafting an email copy that captures the reader’s attention is of utmost importance and requires both creativity and strategy. Your email copy must be engaging and relevant to your readers and fulfill your email marketing goals too.
How do you write a compelling email copy?
Here are some points you should keep in mind when you’re crafting your emails.
Keep it concise: Your email copy should be concise and to the point. Get to the core of your message quickly. Avoid lengthy paragraphs to maintain the reader's attention. Ensures that your key message is understood at a glance.
Make it scannable: Break your content into scannable sections with clear headings, bullet points, and numbered lists. This formatting makes it easier for readers to grasp the main points easily.
Offer value: Each email you send should provide value to the recipient. This value can come in the form of information, entertainment, special offers, solutions to problems, or exclusive insights.
Use interactive elements or visuals: Incorporate interactive elements such as buttons, polls, quizzes, or interactive images that engage the reader. Visuals like mages and graphics support your content and create an aesthetically pleasing email layout.
Use personalization: Email personalization goes beyond addressing the recipient by their first name. Leverage the data you have about your subscribers to send them content that is relevant to their interests and past interactions.
Use a clear CTA: Every email should include a clear and compelling Call to Action (CTA) that guides the reader on what action to take next. The CTA should be prominently placed, use action-oriented language, and convey a sense of urgency or benefit.
Optimize the subject line: The subject line is your email's first impression. It should be concise, relevant to the email's content, and pique the recipient's curiosity. Experiment with different versions of it to find what resonates with your audience and gives the highest open rate. If you still find it difficult to create subject lines, you can try out AI subject line generators.
4. Design your email
The visual appeal of your email is as crucial as its content. A well-designed email can significantly impact engagement and conversion rates.
What are some things to keep in mind when designing an email?
Here are some things you should note to design your emails better.
Stay consistent with your design: Ensure that your email design aligns with your brand's visual identity. Consistency in color schemes, fonts, and imagery enforces brand recognition and trust among your audience.
Use email templates: Email marketing templates provide a framework for your emails, making it easier to create professional-looking emails. Templates save time, maintain a consistent layout, and offer a range of customization options to match your brand's style.
Test the design: Test how your email appears in various email clients and on different devices. Different email clients may render emails differently. By testing, you can identify and address any formatting issues to ensure a consistent and visually appealing experience for all recipients.
Optimize load time: Large images or excessive use of media can significantly impact load times. To optimize load time, compress and resize images. Faster load times improve the user experience and reduce the risk of recipients abandoning your email due to slow loading.
Don’t clutter the layout: Cluttered email layouts can overwhelm recipients and diminish the effectiveness of your message. Maintain a clean and organized layout with ample white space around elements. This enhances readability, guides the reader's eye, and reduces cognitive load.
💡 Related guide: 14 Email Design Best Practices to Ramp up Your Email Game in 2023
5. Schedule and send your email marketing campaign
Once your email is ready, all that’s left is to schedule the email to be sent out to your audience. However, scheduling email campaigns to be sent at the right moment is critical to successful email marketing campaigns.
Use the send time optimization feature that analyzes and sends the emails to the individual recipients at the optimal time. You should also ensure that your emails are scheduled well in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.
Another thing to do before you send out your emails to your recipients is to test them and see if there are any issues with the way the emails are getting rendered, as we discussed before.
6. Monitor performance with analytics
It is important to keep track of the performance of your email campaigns to identify any issues and fix them on time. The analytics dashboard of an ESP can give you valuable insights into how your email campaigns are performing using various email metrics.
What are some important metrics to track?
Some of the metrics that you should focus on are:
Open rate: This metric indicates how many recipients opened your email.
Click-through rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links within your email.
Bounce rate: Bounce rates reflect the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient's inbox.
Unsubscribe rate: This metric shows the percentage of recipients who opted out of your email list after receiving a campaign. It's crucial to understand subscriber dissatisfaction or to know not to send unsolicited emails.
Deliverability rates: Email deliverability rates inform you how many emails have been delivered to your subscriber’s inbox and not marked as spam to avoid spam filters.
Different types of emails to send
When you’re sending an email campaign, it is essential that you choose the right type of email or campaign to send that aligns with your goals as well as your audience. Here are some common email campaigns that brands send to their customers.
1. Welcome email
A welcome email is the first impression your subscribers receive. Use it with email personalization to greet new subscribers, express gratitude, and provide information about your brand and the services you offer.
2. Promotional emails
The purpose of promotional emails is to highlight new products, services, landing pages, or special offers to the target audience. It is effective for increasing conversions and brand awareness as well as to drive sales.
3. Lead nurturing emails
Lead nurturing emails help to build long-term relationships and guide potential customers through the sales funnel by providing valuable content, answering questions, and addressing concerns.
4. Abandoned cart emails
Abandoned cart emails remind customers to take specific action on the items they left in their shopping cart. They often include incentives to encourage them to complete their purchase like a discount or free shipping.
5. Feedback or survey emails
Feedback or survey emails are used to gather feedback and insights from customers. This shows the customers that you value their opinions and also helps you identify any areas of improvement to work on.
6. Transactional emails
Transactional emails contain information that needs to be delivered to a customer due to an action on a website. It communicates essential information like order confirmations, receipts, and so on.
7. Newsletter emails
Newsletter emails are used to maintain regular communication between you and your subscribers. It keeps your customers updated on the latest products and services too.
8. Re-engagement emails
Re-engagement emails are sent to customers who were once active but aren’t anymore. They are designed to win back disengaged customers through special offers and other incentives.
9. Birthday or anniversary emails
Birthday emails are personalized emails that celebrate subscriber milestones with exclusive promotions and discounts. They are often sent to the subscribers on birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Trends in email marketing
We’ve discussed how email marketing has grown over the years. In present times, two major trends have taken the email marketing world by storm - artificial intelligence (AI) and interactive emails.
AI is being extensively used in various aspects of email marketing. Here are some you can use AI in your email marketing efforts:
Generate attractive email subject lines
Generate email copies
Send time optimization
Predict the performance of email campaigns
Predict customer behavior
Improve personalization by analyzing extensive customer data
Interactive emails have allowed marketers to provide more value and a much better use experience than emails ever could. Interactive emails allow for the inclusion of elements with which the recipients can truly interact.
Moreover, AMP-powered interactive emails provide an app-like user interface within those emails. This allows you to embed truly interactive elements like multi-step forms, abandoned carts, quizzes, feedback forms, games, and more in emails. We even have case studies that talk about how AMP emails have helped brands like Razorpay to increase their survey responses by 257% and Pixl to increase their conversions by 137%.
Email marketing remains a cornerstone of modern digital marketing strategies. The fact that it has remained relevant for so long speaks for its adaptability and efficiency in engaging audiences. It continues to be an indispensable tool for businesses and organizations because it can deliver personalized, targeted messages, foster customer relationships, and deliver impressive returns on investment. In today's digital landscape, marketers must stay on top of evolving trends and best practices to make their email campaigns work.
If email marketing sounds like something you need, starting with it is as easy as booking a call with the Mailmodo team to set you up in no time.