Email marketing is the practice of delivering commercial messages using email to target potential customers for elevating sales. Out of the many reasons to adopt email marketing, the foremost is that it is a fairly simple, low-cost, and highly efficient means to exchange important information with your users. This article will be your go-to guide for email marketing, where we exhaustively discuss every aspect of it.
Table of contents
What is email marketing?
Email marketing means using electronic mails sent to prospects, leads, clients, stakeholders, beneficiaries, detractors, promoters, enablers, and influencers to form a relationship. It is a form of marketing that uses emails to build brand awareness and grow a business.
The importance of email marketing
With the emergence of social media to market a brand or product, many people assure that email marketing will collapse. That leads us to the next big question.
Do we still need email marketing in 2022?
To understand the importance of email marketing, try to imagine your life without it. Does it make your business any simpler? In fact, despite what the detractors may say, email marketing is far from shutting down. Here are the top 3 reasons why email marketing still rules the marketing communication channels:
1. Highest conversion rate
Quality content has the power to engage customers and convert their curiosity into sales; this yields high results and conversions. Email marketing also has the highest conversion rate(66%) of purchases made in response to promotional emails.
2. Budget-friendly marketing technique
For each dollar spent on email marketing, you can get an ROI of 51.52 USD, as per the DMA 2021 report. Since there are no advertisement fees, printing costs, or media space costs, email marketing can be much less expensive and more rewarding than other types of marketing.
3. Increase brand awareness
According to Statista, while roughly 306.4 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2020, this number is expected to rise to over 376.4 billion emails by 2025. Hence emails have played a huge role in building communication channels for brands and spreading awareness about their beliefs, mission, products, services, etc., and will continue to do so in the coming days.
What are the benefits of email marketing?
Emails are not just alive; they thrive on the many benefits they deliver. The major benefits that make email every marketers’ favorite tool are as follows:
● Emails are (almost) universal
According to a survey, 93.6% of customers (age 25-44 US internet users) use email, which in itself is a huge number to engage with for different purposes.
● Easy to blend with other marketing
Emails can easily contain information about your other social media campaigns. For example, you can include email icons or clickable icons of your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter handles in your emails to expand their reach.
● Better customer relationship
Email marketing is an excellent way to establish personal relationships with existing and future customers. Consumer knowledge of your business, goods, and services is reinforced each time they receive your mail.
● Easy monitoring of campaigns
Performance measurements and statistics are available for each email sent. This data is crucial for determining the effectiveness and what needs to be changed.
● Your email audience is more permanent
When you make an email account, it becomes your property. But, 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.
Related guide: 13 Benefits of Email Marketing For Businesses in 2022
What are the use cases of email marketing?
Email marketing is not only one of the most budget-friendly revenue-boosting methods, but it’s practically present in every industry. So you can use it for promoting any sector you want.
Below we discuss a few areas where email marketing works its charm.
1. Marketing and branding
Emails are used to convey important messages like product updates, market trends, onboarding, roadmaps, feature changes, offers, and more. Brands need to demonstrate their individuality and clarify their beliefs to stand out from the competition, and email is the best channel to do so.
Emails are considered the most professional form of sending newsletters. Therefore, a perfect way to demonstrate your experience and enrich your email correspondence is to send curated newsletters.
Thousands of businesses use newsletters as a low-cost, high-reward way to generate leads. Customized newsletters help you develop influence, become a trusted advisor, and entertain your subscribers and prospects by providing information.
3. Transactional notifications
Transactional emails are necessary emails that contain information either demanded by the user or generated in response to an action taken by the user on your website.
For example, transactional emails help notify the user about delivery updates, shipping notifications, password reset emails, etc.
4. Sales with emails
Email marketing is used by businesses to nurture relationships with subscribers, product users, and leads to promote their offerings and provide deals and coupons to their loyal customers. As a byproduct of well-crafted email marketing, customers spend 138% more when they receive email offers.
5. Business model use cases
Emails are one of the most used and reliable sources of communication between industries. Let’s discuss them:
- Business to business (B2B)
In the Business to Business interaction, email is a hugely significant mode of communication as it accounts for 73% of professional conversations. In addition, emails are used to interact with interested clients, book business meetings, and send official documents.
- Business to consumer (B2C)
The business-to-consumer industry sends transactional, promotional emails, newsletters, milestone or birthday emails, and lead nurturing emails.
In addition, 59% of customers say that business emails influence their purchasing choices.
Email is a very useful mode of information transfer and can be used for communicating private and mass messages. Follow along to see the most functional email campaigns.
Types of email campaigns
When you collectively look at all your emails, they can be vastly categorized into many different email campaigns depending on your motive behind them.
Let’s look at the 8 types of email marketing campaigns that can elevate the growth of your business.
1. Newsletter campaign
Newsletter campaigns are used to maintain regular communication between you and your subscribers. It keeps them updated on the latest product and services and even helps educate and entertain them.
2. Promotional campaign
Promotional campaigns are used to relay specific communication or sales objectives to entice a purchase, attract customers, and increase brand awareness.
Related guide: [How to Write High-Converting Promotional Emails}(https://www.mailmodo.com/guides/promotional-emails/)
3. Onboarding campaign
Onboarding email campaigns help build familiarity with new subscribers and educate them about your brand.
4. Lead nurturing campaign
These emails help to build long-term relationships with your subscribers by providing them with relevant and worthwhile content and warming them up until they are ready for purchase.
Read in detail: How to Nurture Leads with Email Marketing
5. Seasonal campaign
This email sequence is exclusively sent during the ongoing holiday or festival season like New years, Christmas, etc., to keep your subscribers informed about any sales and offers.
6. Abandoned cart campaign
These are follow-up emails that are triggered by a user’s activity. The purpose of these emails is to remind and encourage a subscriber to complete a purchase.
7. Survey campaign
These emails are sent to your subscribers to collect data, feedback, and suggestions to help enhance and manage your business.
8. Invitational campaign
The purpose of an invitational campaign is to make an experience available to a user like events, conferences, webinars, etc., and encourage them to engage, interact and participate in it.
Some other types of emails
Here are some other types of emails you should know about:
- Promotional emails
A promotional email is a business advertisement to notify potential and existing clients about invitations, offers, announcements, new campaigns, and lucrative deals.
- Transactional emails
Transactional emails contain information that needs to be delivered to a candidate due to their action on a website.
- Drip campaigns/email sequence
An email drip campaign is a triggered series of automatic emails sent to specified email subscribers to achieve a particular objective on a predefined schedule.
- Bulk emails
Sending an email message simultaneously to a diverse category is a bulk email campaign.
- Cold emails
Cold email is a one-to-one, customized email aimed at a particular user. Instead of promoting a product or a service to the masses, its purpose is to get into a business conversation with that person. This is done to enlarge your email list and get new customers.
So now that you don’t doubt the impact of email marketing and its necessity let’s move to the technicalities involved.
How does email work?
An email is a fairly simple document containing senders and recipients, a subject line, a message body, and attachments. But it’s not so easy to get it from point A to point B. There’s an elaborate process involved which works behind the scenes to make it look as seamless as possible. Various protocols like SMTP, DNS (which stands for Domain Name System, and it is an Internet protocol for transferring data), POP, IMAP, etc.
Below is a simplified path of an email as it journeys from the crafting process to being read by the receiver at the end.
The journey of an email from sender to receiver
Here is a breakdown of the journey that emails go through until they receive the recipient:
1. Compiling the email
The email is crafted or created by using interfaces and tools provided by ESPs, and email clients. Mostly it can be created like a rich text file; however, HTML emails require specific tools or might have to be coded.
2. Hitting send
Once the sender hits the send button, the mail client contacts the outgoing mail server (SMTP) and sends the message in MIME format, which further contacts the DNS server to convert the email address to a location address.
3. Locating IP address
To find the IP address, the SMTP sends a request to the DNS server to convert the recipient’s email address into an IP address and get the recipient’s domain registry details (MX records/A Records if no MX records are found). For example, firstname.lastname@example.org is converted to an IP address such as “74.825.93.10.”
4. Asking permission from the receiver
The SMTP server now has all of the information it needs about the receiver to transmit the email from its server to the Mail Transfer Agent server of the email recipient.
5. Finally sent
The Mail Transfer Agent specifies where the mail should be sent. The email message lands in the recipient’s mailbox, and the mail will be kept as such until the receiver retrieves it for reading.
During this journey, we encountered an important detail, the IP address. An IP address is a specific sequence of numbers separated by periods that identifies each device that communicates over a network using the Internet Protocol.
Dedicated IP vs. Shared IP address
There are two types of IP - Dedicated IP and Shared IP, which you can use for email marketing.
|Dedicated IP||Shared IP|
|A unique sequence that is only assigned to your website is a dedicated IP address. In reality, if anybody typed your unique IP address (rather than your domain name) into the search bar of their internet browser, they would be able to look up your website.||A common sequence that can be allocated to multiple websites is a shared IP address. Shared IP addresses are found with shared hosting providers.|
Which one should you use?
If you need better domain control, use dedicated IP. However, shared IP is less costly compared to a dedicated one.
IMAP vs. POP3
You must also decide which Message Accessing Agent protocol you want to use.
For example, both POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are MAA (Message Accessing Agent) protocols used to get messages to the receiver device from the mail server.
IMAP and POP3 have their pros and cons. See for yourself and choose the best for your advantage.
Which one should you use?
It depends upon your requirements on which protocol you should use. We recommend the user opt for IMAP. It is a widely used protocol. The ability to work upon multiple devices and synchronize email data is a major plus here.
Moving on, the next protocol which will transport your mail across the internet to the desired location is an SMTP.
What is SMTP?
A Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an email transmission communication protocol whose main goal is sending and receiving outgoing mail between email senders and receivers.
SMTP has two key components: User-Agent and Mail Transfer.
Types of SMTP
The two types of SMTP: end-to-end and the store-and-forward model. SMTP is in charge of email distribution and other protocols and methods used to retrieve and view emails. Besides, SMTP uses TCP for link establishment and segment distribution. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the primary connection for communication between the mail sender and the mail receiver.
Before starting, you should be familiar with two other terms you should be familiar with ISP and ESP. They have been briefly described below.
What is an ISP?
An internet service provider or ISP is an organization that offers internet connectivity to businesses or individuals. Internet access, domain name registration, web hosting, user network support, internet transit, placement, etc., are standard services offered by ISPs.
What is ESP?
An email service provider (ESP) allows people to send emails to a list of contacts. Email service providers are technology firms that create email lists and send emails convenient for people. Broadly known ESPs are Gmail, Yahoo, Zoho. etc.
ESPs are different from email clients, which are software architectures designed to send and receive emails. ESPs often use email clients’ services to enable their email marketing software to send emails.
Now, let’s discuss how to create your first email campaign. But first, you must have a list of subscribers. So, let’s learn how to build one.
What’s an email list and how to build one?
An email list is the list of email addresses to whom you will be sending the emails. There are various methods for building an email list.
Methods to build your email list from scratch
Some of the most popular and effective methods are as follows:
- Include a prominent sign-up button
Rarely do people come to a website only to sign-up. Therefore once your content has provided them value and they are ready to be subscribers, don’t make them search for the sign-up key.
- Exchange email addresses
When meeting people in real life, hand out your business card with your email id.
- Host events and webinars
Use this chance to get an email id while candidates register for your event.
- Lead magnets and giveaways
You can ask people to provide their mail ids in exchange for rewards. These rewards don’t have to be expensive as they can be something relevant and valuable like whitepapers, ebooks, PDFs, audiobooks, etc.
- Use blogs
Your blogs will cover various topics and help build personal relationships. Follow up a blog content by asking the reader for an email id to stay updated about updates.
- Build an online community
Community members will forward your content to like-minded people and help get new people involved in that community. As a result, your list will grow along with your community.
- Use social media to promote your newsletter
Social media promotion is a great way to catch the most loyal customers. Hence, capitalize on the social signals to build email lists.
Related guide: How to Increase Email List Subscribers
Understanding double opt-in and single opt-in
Once people subscribe to your emails, you need to ascertain their permission for sending emails and also verify the email ids they have provided. For this, you will have to use the most suitable opt-in method.
Opt-in methods are used to authenticate the email address and recheck the intention of the user using links, OTPs, and other tokens. The most popular opt-in forms are either single or double staged as follows.
|Single opt-in||Double opt-in|
|Your users will have to enter their email addresses only once into a website to become a member in a single opt-in.||In double opt-in, you have to go through two-tier verification, where you become an official member after subscribing to the website from your inbox.|
Both forms have pros and cons like single opt-in is easier while double opt-in shows more commitment. So, it is your call which one you’d prefer. But no matter what tricks and hacks you use to grow your email list, never buy it!
Legalities against using email addresses without user consent
If your organization is using legitimate email marketing software, you must already adhere to the mandatory rules to protect recipients from spam. These laws are specifically directed at spammers and are intended to discourage them from obtaining the email addresses of individuals without their permission and spamming them with unsolicited emails.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that lays guidelines for gathering and analyzing individuals’ personal information. The GDPR applies to all European Union member countries like Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, etc.
The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that defines commercial email laws, sets commercial message standards, grants receivers the right to reject certain emailers, and sets out harsh penalties for breaches. The CAN-SPAM Act takes all of the United States into its account.
HIPAA was passed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in 1996 to protect a patient’s healthcare information from public access.
PECR is a law in the United Kingdom that provides certain rights to individuals to protect their data from electronic marketing channels like phone calls, text messages, emails, cookies, etc.
Now that we understand the legalities let’s discuss different tools to create your campaign.
Related guide: Everything You Need To Know About Email Security
Email marketing software
An email marketing software will let you automate email communication to customers, prospects, and businesses. The software helps increase the efficiency of email marketing, monitor the effectiveness of email campaigns, and manage the complete mailing lists.
How to choose the right email software?
Look for the following things while deciding the best email software for your campaigns:
- Simple to use
Email marketing software shouldn’t consume a lot of your time. To design good quality emails, they must have simple elements like drag and drop, pre-made templates, etc. Look for a library of email templates that serve various email marketing purposes from announcements, promotions, newsletters, and more.
- Email list expansion
Your software must organically grow your platform by providing lead magnets, sign-up forms, a follow-up system, etc.
- Easy personalization
You should be able to thoroughly divide your section and customize as many details as possible. Look for a WYSIWYG editor that perfectly works, so you can just drag and drop pieces within the templates like hero images, text, CTA buttons, dividers, and spacers.
- Email testing
In a standard test flow, you’d either need to send an email from your test case or receive an email prompted by some action in your testing. For example, if your email appears to be activating a spam filter, it will send you further details.
- Email responsiveness
Your software should learn and advance itself with time. You need to ensure that your email marketing software automatically optimizes your email campaigns to different mobile devices and provides you with various mobile-friendly templates.
Related guide: How to Make Your Email Responsive For Mobile Devices
Email analytics has to be a core ground for selecting your email marketing software. The software must provide you with detailed numerical analysis and an uncomplicated view of data.
Some of the best email marketing software are Mailmodo, SendinBlue, HubSpot, Constant Contact, Drip, ConvertKit, and Mailchimp.
Now that you have email marketing software, you can create your email.
Step by step guide to sending your first email campaign
This section will discuss a step-by-step process of starting your email marketing journey.
What to write in your email content?
That is a very broad spectrum and depends on the objective of your email marketing. You must:
Provide valuable content and make it interactive for your subscribers.
Write subject lines that are relevant and catchy to get more open rates
Proofread your emails before sending them and take feedback every few months.
Send new campaigns regularly and add a call to action.
Analyze and stick to what works as this may be a trial and error method, but continue using it once you realize what works best for you.
How to use email templates
When you are using good email marketing software, you’ll have pre-made templates to craft emails. Many software mostly contains drag-and-drop editors, which can customize the template. Some providers let you merge different template elements to create one for your own.
Add your flavors, and you’re good to go.
Now that your email is ready, the next thing that you need is to send emails to your subscribers.
Schedule and send your campaign
The next step is to schedule sending. Choose the best time to hit your receiver’s inbox. Depending on time zones, holidays, and other marketing factors, try to send out your campaigns when your users want to read them.
Now that you have sent your first campaign, you might be wondering what to do next. Well, this is precisely the point where you improve your campaigns by evaluating the performance of your past campaign.
Monitor your performance with email marketing analytics
To be a good email marketer, you will have to improve and learn from the performance of your past campaigns. To do this, you will have to understand the email marketing metrics that can evaluate and measure the efficacy of an email marketing campaign.
Email marketing metrics
Below is a list of the most important metrics you need to track and monitor.
● Deliverability rates
Deliverability rates inform you how many emails have been delivered to your subscriber’s inbox and not marked as spam.
● Open rates
The email open rate is the percentage of subscribers who open a separate email from your total number of subscribers.
● Click-through rates
Email click rate calculates how many individuals clicked on a hyperlink, CTA, or image in an email campaign.
● Bounce rates
The email bounce rate is the number of emails that do not reach the destination address and thus are reverted to the sender.
● Conversion rate
Email conversions are the percentage of customers who execute a target action after reading your email. This is an important metric for most marketers as it demonstrates how successful your email marketing is and measures your ROI or return on investment.
● Unsubscribe rate
The number of recipients who have unsubscribed from your email lists is known as the unsubscribe rate. This involves all recipients who use the standard unsubscribe link in the email footer and those who use the list-unsubscribe feature in the inbox to unsubscribe.
● Spam complaints
When a person chooses to mark your email as spam, a complaint is registered with the ISP. Such reports will impact your reputation and your next campaigns’ deliverability rate. If you recognize a pattern, thoroughly check for mistakes through the spam filter policy.
● ROI or Return on Investment
It is your email campaigns’ average profit margin. To get this number, the total revenue from emails is divided by the total email marketing expenditure.
Related guide: How to Calculate and Improve Your Email Marketing ROI
As you might have recognized, one of the most important metrics on which the entire email campaign depends is the email deliverability rate.
So let’s discuss this metric in more detail and what you can do to maintain and then increase your email deliverability.
How to increase deliverability?
When the email reaches your subscriber’s inbox, it is called email deliverability, i.e., it ensures that the email is appearing in recipients’ inboxes. The major ways you can improve your email deliverability are as follows.
1. Maintain a good domain reputation
ISPs track how your domain is used in an email to assess the types of emails coming from the domain concerning spam and how recipients treat these emails. ISPs use complex algorithms based on these data points to eventually “rank” your domain by looking at your SPF setup, history of blacklisting, spam reports, email content, and many other factors. This rank is expressed by the term domain reputation.
2. Warm-up your domain
IP or domain warm-up is the process of sending smaller volumes of emails from a new email account to a trusted email list to establish a good domain or IP reputation before increasing the campaign volume. If you skip the domain warm-up process, you risk damaging your domain reputation.
3. Maintain email list hygiene
You must maintain email list hygiene like respecting people’s choice who unsubscribed, maintaining consistent timing of sending, and not giving robotic responses. This will get you in the good books of your ISP and increase deliverability.
The higher your email deliverability, the higher are the chances of the conversion rate and, consequently, higher chances of success of the organization. Therefore, after achieving a good deliverability rate, the next step is to track emails.
What is email tracking?
Email tracking is location, frequency, and time-based analysis for a detailed reporting of how often, for how long, and what actions are taken on an email sent out by your brand. You can precisely find the open rate, time stamp, and click-through actions on the links and attachments with email tracking.
Email tracking software places an invisible image pixel in your emails to find the exact time and date a recipient has opened an email.
Email marketing tools to send better campaigns
We have covered most of the ground for sending a good email campaign with email analytics. Now, let’s check out some useful tools to help you create and send better campaigns.
Email testing tool
These are like software that ensures your emails display properly on your receiver’s devices. In addition, these tools show email previews spam tests and help out with email validations. A few popular HTML validations and email testing tools are Litmus, Mailtrap, and Email on Acid.
Email deliverability tools
The email delivery tool shows you the IP of your email server, the information about your SPF & DKIM setup, the evaluation of the content of your message in the "eyes’’ of spam filters, your possible appearance on any blacklists, and the general likelihood of inbox access. A few examples are SendForensics, Glockapps, and MxToolbox.
Email verification tool
Tools for email verification confirm that emails are deliverable to minimize bounces and enhance the efficiency of email marketing and outreach campaigns. In combination, email verification tools can help clean bots and inactive accounts from your mailing list to ensure genuine; active recipients are hit by business emails and avoid spam boxes.
A few email verification tools to look at include Zero Bounce, Bouncer, The Checker, and Debounce.
Now you have learned the tricks of the trade. Let’s see how you can improve your email campaigns to take your game up.
How to send emails like a pro?
The following suggestions are built on the best practices across industries and use cases. Try to teach these pointers to send out more effective, targeted, and meaningful email campaigns.
Make a responsive email design.
Follow guidelines to improve deliverability.
Do not buy an email list.
Respect your customers.
Make your emails accessible for every user.
This should help you build better connections with your recipients. And as you keep sending out campaigns, do not forget to look at all the emerging trends and practices in email marketing.
Here’s a brief on how email marketing is trending in the future.
Future of email marketing
Let’s hand you a fortune cookie - “You can now send interactive and actionable emails.”
Naturally, there’s always been more space for email marketing to expand. And this became evident with the rise of AMP for email.
What is AMP for email?
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, an open-source service provided by Google to develop faster mobile pages. AMP for email helps senders incorporate AMP components like a carousel, dynamic update, inbuilt forms, etc., making modern app features accessible within the inbox.
How do AMP emails differ from regular emails?
When you want to go that one extra step and provide a website or app-like experience to your users, it’s time to switch to AMP emails. They differ from regular email in the following ways:
Content can be updated in real-time with AMP for email, ensuring that audiences have the most up-to-date details.
Interactive emails help engage and increase email conversions by enabling users to schedule meetings, add forms, purchase from abandoned carts, etc., inside the email.
AMP emails have an HTML fallback version showing if the receiver uses an email client with no AMP email support.
As per Google, no third-party ad features would be used in AMP emails. It is a positive move to ensure that email browsing is safe and has no privacy or security issues.
These major technological and functional differences between AMP and standard emails, but do AMP email conversion metrics also differ?
Do AMP emails provide better email conversion?
Short answer: Yes.
We’ve conducted numerous case studies where we discovered that AMP emails effectively bring more conversions.
Here’s a snippet of what these conversion numbers looked like during the case studies.
During a customer feedback survey conducted with Mailmodo, we recorded a 225% increase in submissions.
We also recorded a 370% increase in form submission during a job application campaign.
So, do you want to send such high converting email campaigns right now? Then, let’s see how you can do that.
How to start with AMP emails?
Sending an AMP email requires coding skills. But you can skip all that hassle and sign up with Mailmodo. Here we are driven to enable you to create and send high-quality AMP emails without any coding on your part.
Mailmodo also offers you a variety of delightful, interactive, and engaging templates for various purposes like surveys, quizzes, feedback forms, webinar registration, welcome email, transactional email, etc.
The drag-and-drop editor allows you to customize and craft the perfect AMP email. You can then send the emails directly from Mailmodo. We also simplify AMP approval whitelisting for you.
The future expects better performance as competition is cut-throat and resources are ample. With the onset of the digital era, email marketers’ creativity, dedication, and patience are tested on more challenging grounds. Use the right tools and be ahead of the crowd.
If you would like to set up your email marketing channel or learn more about it, feel free to contact the Mailmodo team.
What you should do next
Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:
Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.
Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Get started for free.
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