What Is Email Marketing & Why Does My Business Need It?

Email marketing portends sending emails to promote your business, services and offers. Like any other form of marketing, its aim is to establish and gradually deepen relationships with customers, as well as to keep them informed about the novelties and updates on a regular basis.

Basically, that means that email marketing strategies develop alongside the relationships, with loyal customers getting special offers, coupons and promotions, while new ones get special deals and discounts, for example.

On top of being faster and more efficient than traditional mail marketing, it is also cost-effective and by far more reaching. The fact that nearly all adults use email services on a daily basis is sufficient to make it sustainable in the long run.

Next to social media ads and Google ads, email marketing is the most popular form of advertising. Unlike the first two, it is cheap and has greater visibility by far. I.e., the average Facebook ad is seen by ca. 2% of followers, whereas a good email marketing campaign will hit every customer’s inbox.

Another benefit of email marketing is that it is actually wanted. Customers who opt for subscription do so because they are interested in the offer and want to be informed about special deals. Need we say this is rarely the case with Facebook and Google ads?

Finally, tracking the ROI of email marketing campaigns is seamless, given that there are numerous tools and apps that keep track of conversions.

Automated Email Marketing Campaigns

Most marketers use templates for their email campaigns. Depending on the scope of your strategy, you may wish to automate the entire process. There are numerous automation tools out there, which perform a couple of operations, including sending emails automatically and keeping track of the interaction, open rates, CRTs, bounce rates and conversions.

Planning Email Marketing Campaigns

Composing successful emails is an art in itself, but first things first. You’ll need to know who to send your messages to, which means it’s time to build an email list. This is done by gathering the emails of your subscribers who will optimally have provided the information you need for segmentation (via your sign-up form).

In order to attract more subscribers, make certain to explain what they can expect from the subscription. Many people avoid subscriptions because they are afraid of spamming and skeptic of the benefits. Because of that, it is always a good idea to make the benefits clear.

Another way to build (or enhance) your email list is by running a contest. Unsurprisingly, interested parties tend to peak when giveaways present themselves. The offer doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. Many businesses send free ebooks and similar in exchange for the recipient’s email address.

Finally, you can also use social media to gather followers’ email addresses. Still, be careful with this strategy, as there are many window shoppers.

Composing Stellar Emails

This topic has reached such widespread proportions that you’ve probably at least heard of the basics. The key is in knowing your word count, style and providing quality and clear content.

The main technicality that absolutely must be taken into account is optimizing emails for mobile devices. This doesn’t only mean adjusting the word count, but also taking into account recipients on limited bandwidth (travelers, for example). Avoid videos or large images, use a bit larger fonts and no excessive emojis.

Emojis are a separate topic in their own right, as there are pros and cons for their usage in email marketing campaigns, so we’ll just go with the general recommendation: use universal emojis that depict the sentiment. No more, no less!

Another thing to keep in mind is that emails should be personalized. The relationship with a customer begins from the moment they subscribe. You’ll want them to feel welcome and special, so you should send a “Thank you” message first.

As for the subject lines, they are the sole factor the recipients use to determine whether to bother to open the message at all. That means that subject lines must be perfect and get the message across. Consequently, the email body should expand on the topic directly, delivering on your business’ promise.

Always include a call to action to all your emails, as well as contact info and an unsubscribe button. The last will help your emails avoid being triggered as spam, as the customers no longer interested in your offers will be able to unsubscribe with just one click.

Combining Email Marketing With Other Marketing Strategies

First of all, social media channels are where all the action takes place nowadays. It is, therefore, always recommended to extend the offer on your social media page.

Generally speaking, cross-promotions are always a good idea, as they increase the chances of more people seeing your offer (not to mention that social media shares can increase the visibility of and traffic to your webpage dramatically).

That’s why adding social media buttons to your business page is highly recommended, as well as providing social media links in the body of your emails. The connection works both ways. If you add a call to action to your posts (e.g., “Subscribe here”), it will double your chances of success.

Another notable way to use your email marketing campaigns is for remarketing. Note that albeit the practice has been proven to be highly successful, numerous businesses are missing on it. Simply put, if you combine these two strategies, chances are, you’ll be ahead of the competition.

The most obvious way to use email marketing campaigns for remarketing is to send shopping cart reminders and shopping cart abandonment emails. These types of email can be easily personalized further to include similar, related or updated products (which means they can be reused).

Things to Perfect

Once you engage yourself in email marketing, there is always room for improvement. The most important thing to remember is that targeting can make or break a campaign.

Segmentation is the single most important tool when developing email marketing campaigns, so make good use of it. Use it cleverly! Demographics, location, gender, income levels will tell you all you need to know about your clientele. Don’t shy away from promoting different offers based on target groups’ interests.

Finally, mind the etiquette. Never send spam messages or irrelevant offers (which are often perceived as one and the same) and mind the timing. Newsletters are normally sent monthly or bi-monthly. Sending emails every day is rarely a good idea, as it will increase the chance of your address being added to the spam list.

Last but not least, listen to customers’ feedback. After all, the offer is all about the customer.

Editor's Opinion

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