Email marketing is a mixture of marketing and customer communication through email.
The first step to creating an email marketing plan is deciding what you’re trying to achieve. You can start by answering a few simple questions about your business. What is your target audience? What do they need? Where are they located?
Once you have a clear picture in mind of who you’re trying to reach, you can move on to the next step: determining your objectives and creating key performance indicators (KPIs).
The most basic objective is to generate interest in your product or service. To measure your success at doing this you can use the following:
- How many people did you send the email to?
- How many people clicked on a link or attachment in your email?
- What was the CTR (click-through rate) of your email—that is, the number of people who clicked on an email link divided by the number of people who opened the email?
- What were the conversion rates (i.e., how many people did what you intended them to do after they opened the email)?
- What is the average order value (AOV) of your customers?
- How much have you spent on email marketing and what is the ROI (return on investment)
- What does the customer say about your product or service?
The goal of email marketing is to generate interest in your product or service, gain clarity about what your audience wants, and build credibility.
Types of Email Marketing
There are three basic types of email marketing:
- Unified Campaign Management (inbound marketing): This type of email marketing is focused on leading customers to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
- Single-Issue Email Marketing (transactional marketing): This type of email marketing is used to communicate the benefits of a product or service to existing or potential customers. In this type of email marketing, you typically use a template or leave-behind to communicate one main idea, such as the benefits of a product or service. Sometimes, you’ll need to segment your audience based on an interest or behavior triggered by your message. For example, you can send a newsletter to fans of a sports team to encourage them to buy tickets to a game. Or, you can send an email to college students to encourage them to buy a meal plan for a dorm room.
- Automated Email Marketing (transactional marketing): Automated email marketing is used to communicate the benefits of a product or service to existing or potential customers via email. You’ll typically use online marketing software to create and send emails that contain hyperlinks or attachments that the customer can follow to make a purchase. You can also use social media integration to gain more passive engagement from customers (i.e., someone interested in your product or service opens your email and clicks a social media share button).
In addition to the above, there are three more complex types of email marketing:
- Multichannel Marketing: With multichannel marketing, you try to reach customers through various platforms, such as social media and mobile.]]>
Why Email Marketing?
Email marketing provides you with a number of advantages, including reach, flexibility, and low cost.
These advantages make email marketing a top choice for many marketers.
Reach: Email marketing provides you with a way to target a large audience if you have the resources to do so. You can easily use marketing automation (e.g., a marketing software platform) to target the right person at the right time with the right message. Flexibility: With email marketing, you have the freedom to create and send messages to your audience at your own pace. You can use different tactics (e.g., SEO, paid ads, etc.) to attract and engage your audience. Cost-effectiveness: Email marketing is relatively inexpensive to do. You can set up automated email campaigns in no time with a few clicks of the mouse. And, you can scale up your efforts without worrying about breaking the bank.
When it comes to email marketing, size matters.
If you’re new to email marketing, start with a small scale test. You can use tools such as Mailchimp or HubSpot to send out unsolicited emails to a hundred or so people. These types of tools make it easy to set up automated email campaigns that can be adjusted based on your initial test results. This minimal investment will give you valuable experience with the basics of email marketing and allow you to build confidence in your strategy and efforts.
As you gain experience, you can move up to a medium-sized list. After you’ve established traction with your small list, you can consider investing in a bulk emailer such as Nitroblast or Drip. With these types of tools, you can send out emails to lists of several thousand, or even tens of thousands, of people with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Attracting and Engaging Your Audience
Before you start doing any marketing, you need to have a clear picture in mind of who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to achieve.
To attract and engage your audience, you need to focus on doing the following:
- Create a solid foundation of knowledge: Ensure that you have the necessary knowledge to back up your claims and that your expertise is respected. Before you start trying to market any product or service, you should already have years of experience in the field.
- Develop a clear picture of your audience: Know your audience well—not just in terms of how they might buy your product or service, but also in terms of their personal details (i.e., who they are, what they want, and what makes them interested in your product or service).
- Establish credibility: Do your best to create an aura of trustworthiness around your product or service. To make your product or service trustworthy, you can do the following:
- Use quality content: Instead of using low-quality copy or photos from a stock photo agency, hire a freelance photographer to take photos of your products for you. If you sell beauty products, get a makeup artist to apply false eyelashes to a modeling session. For videos, use an editor to cut out all the extra fluff and organize the material in an engaging way.
- Include calls to action: Rather than sending your audience off into the distance with a boring piece of content, use the power of persuasion to get them to take some action. You can use words such as ‘sign up,’ ‘join,’ or ‘buy now’ frequently in your copy to persuade your audience to take the desired action, e.g., subscribe to your newsletter, make a purchase, or apply for a loan.
- Measure the results of your efforts: As you gain experience, you’ll learn how to measure the results of your marketing efforts. To start, you can use a tool such as Google Analytics to track the traffic coming to your website from email campaigns. From here, you can determine what’s working and what needs to be changed.
Building and Maintaining Relationships
You’ve invested a lot of time and effort into attracting and engaging your audience, so it’s time to keep the momentum going. To do this, you need to focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with your audience. To start, you can use the following:
- Newsletters: Create a habit of regular communication with your audience. A newsletter is an excellent way to keep in touch with members of your audience who have subscribed to your newsletter. You can use a tool like email marketing software to create and send out newsletters that contain helpful information related to your product or service. As you grow your audience, you can consider creating a separate newsletter for each of your services or products. You can also use a tool like Mailchimp to create and send out branded newsletters to specific groups of people based on their interests.]]>
The Bottom Line
Email marketing provides you with a way to target a large audience if you have the resources to do so. You can easily use marketing automation (e.g., a marketing software platform) to target the right person at the right time with the right message. You can use different tactics (e.g., SEO, paid ads, etc.) to attract and engage your audience. Email marketing also provides you with the flexibility to create and send messages to your audience at your own pace. Finally, email marketing is relatively inexpensive to do. You can set up automated email campaigns in no time with a few clicks of the mouse.