In this digital age, vital communications can be achieved with a simple click in real-time. Many people can’t remember how long a snail mail takes or what fax even is anymore. Most people converse through email, with almost everyone on the planet having their email address.
With email being one of the top communication channels, email campaigns are now one of the most effective means of pushing a product. This is why email marketing should be a key pillar of your digital marketing strategy. Here’s everything you need to know about email marketing.
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What is Email Marketing?
Email Marketing is the effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and customers. These subscribers have signed up to your email list and have expressed permission to receive email communications from you. Email marketing is used to provide information, drive sales, and build a growing community around your brand.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing is consistently cited as the most effective way to nurture leads, increase sales and boost customer loyalty. In addition, effective email marketing campaigns raise awareness for your customers while being a softer sell on educating them on the value of your brand. The benefits of email marketing for your business are the following:
- Email is the top communication channel on the internet. There are roughly four billion daily email users with more than three-hundred six billion emails sent and received per day. Ninety-nine percent of those users check their email every day. This makes it easy to get started using marketing emails to your advantage.
- Organic audience. Email campaigns allow you to reach an already engaged audience, where consumers ask to receive updates on your business. They voluntarily join your email marketing list and subscribe to your email newsletter, organically providing a means for much higher conversion rates.
- Better conversion. Email marketing strategies help you build a relationship with your audience while driving traffic and boosting awareness. It also provides much better conversion than most. People influenced by email marketing campaigns spend 138 percent more than those who do not receive email offers. Email marketing effectively translates into positive returns on investment of up to 4400 percent. This makes the average order value of transactional emails more than three times the worth of social media conversions.
Tips to Create a Persuasive Email Newsletter
Despite most popular perceptions, newsletters are an effective email marketing tool that is incredibly powerful. While the average click-through rate on Google’s search network is two percent, the average email open rate for all industries is 21.33 percent, with an average click-through rate of four percent.
These statistics encourage marketers to invest heavily in email marketing. Newsletters are a powerful way to stay top of mind with readers, having the advantage of direct access to their attention.
However, aside from focusing on design and the marketing message itself, you’ll need to create email newsletters that your customers want to read. To make sure your content gets an almost automatic open, here are some tips on how to create a persuasive email newsletter:
Know your audience
A newsletter should be engaging and provide insight that can easily resonate with your target audience. This may include placing appealing product images with a copy that your customers can relate to. Also, don’t forget to utilize a CTA that can help customers make faster purchases.
Keep it simple and well-curated
Whether it’s a piece of company news or trying to tempt customers with a brand new offer, it’s best to choose one topic and focus on that. Don’t pack today’s email with so much content that subscribers end up struggling with how relevant it is to their interests. Instead, it’s best to identify specific topics you wish to expound on and drive your points with new ideas every day.
Don’t hesitate to highlight your personality
Newsletters provide an opportunity for you to connect with your customers in a more personal way. Your subscribers are already customers or potential customers and don’t need to be reminded outright that this is a sales email.
A great way to do this is by not getting compounded by corporate-speak and letting your personality shine. Don’t hesitate to put in some humor or some anecdotes that can be relatable to your customers. This can create a more personalized email that will be appreciated through avid support and better sales.
Provide useful information
Instead of sending emails that push offers down a person’s throat, providing helpful information when highlighting your products is better. There’s a time and place for pushing offers in emails, but doing it too often may cause “offer fatigue” instead. This may lead customers to ignore your emails or raise your unsubscribe rates.
Balance sales-focused emails with informative content that can help your subscribers while subtly pointing out the benefits your product provides. You can do this by offering valuable tips with facts that your customers may not know of. Allow them to see the value of your product for themselves instead of doing the conventional hard sell.
Steps to Email Marketing Using the MailChimp Platform
Email marketing solutions require plenty of strategies and better execution. Having control of each step that you take allows you to put your best foot forward and align with your email marketing goals.
We recommend going with an email service provider such as MailChimp to plot out your promotional emails to be more efficient. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to get started with email marketing on the MailChimp platform:
1. Set up your account and get to know the Dashboard
- Set up your account. The first step you’ll need to take is setting up your free MailChimp account. Go to the MailChimp website and click “Sign Up Free” to begin. You’ll need to enter an email address, user name, and password to create your account.
- Get to know the dashboard. The MailChimp Dashboard controls everything that goes on your MailChimp account. From here, you can create and send campaigns, create your email list, build up your audience, and invite colleagues to work on your account.
2. Create Your Email List
Before you can generate value from your contacts, you’ll need to create your email list within this email marketing tool. To do this, you’ll need to click “Create A-List” and enter all the necessary information for each entry. There are many helpful ways to be more personal in this category, such as “reminder how they got on your list.”
This is so you can let people know how they signed up for your service before they report you as spam. If you already have an existing subscriber list in another service, you can also import this into MailChimp to easily add existing contacts.
3. Generate a Signup Form
Signup forms are helpful CTAs that allow people to subscribe to your newsletter. To get there, you’ll need to go to “Lists,” then use the drop-down menu and select “Signup Forms.” Here you can choose either General Forms, Embedded Forms, Subscriber Popups, or Form Integrations. In addition, you can customize each element within the signup form through the tabs at the top of the options bar.
4. Set Up Your Email Template
Now that you’re ready to start collecting subscribers, you’ll need to create email templates for your email campaigns. A template is something to be used repeatedly, and while your content may change, the overall look based on your template will make your emails nice and polished.
MailChimp makes this easy with its drag-and-drop template editor that helps fill in your basic layout. You can add text, images, groups of images, as well as dividers, and other elements to your template by dragging them into position. You can also style different elements for your template, such as the entire page, pre-header, footer, and more.
All elements are customizable, like the background, text colors, fonts, line height, etc. Once you’re content with what you’ve put in, you can “Preview and Test” your template to see how your emails will look on desktop computers and mobile devices. You can then click “Save and Exit” to secure your email template.
5. Create Your Email Campaign
With your newly created template already set up, you’re now ready to make your first email campaign. Click on Create Campaign to get started. From here, a submenu will present you with different types of email campaigns you can choose from:
- Regular Campaign – send out a standard HTML email or emails designed like a website with the help of graphics, colors, columns, and links.
- Plain-Text Campaign – send out simple text-only emails without styling or images.
- A/B Split Campaign – this option allows you to send and test different subject lines, sender names, and even content with several versions of your Campaign. This manner of email automation is a great way to determine which style of approach is more effective.
- RSS-Driven Campaign – send out content from your own or other RSS feed, which summarizes updates from a website. This is often seen as a list of articles with links provided to stay up to date.
Once you’ve chosen which Campaign to use, you’ll need to indicate which list you wish to send your email to. You’ll then fill in the details for your email on the setup screen. Here you’ll identify the following:
- Campaign Name – This is what your Campaign will be saved under and won’t be visible to subscribers unless purposely indicated.
- Email Subject – This is what your subscribers will see in their inbox, so make it something that can catch their attention. This first impression needs to be non-spammy and relevant to make your subscribers more curious than annoyed.
- “From” Name and Email Address – While this is already configured in your template, this step allows you to modify this entry, especially if you’re running an A/B split campaign.
- Personalize the “To” Field – Putting in a subscriber’s first and last names to your recipients provides a better approach towards giving a more personalized email.
- Tracking – This option lets you set options towards tracking your Campaign. Aside from tracking opens and clicks, this email marketing service enables you to connect your Campaign to third-party analytics such as Google as well. This allows you to check on how your different email campaigns are performing.
6. Final Design and Content Adjustments
Before sending out your email, make sure that everything is set and in place. This step allows you to review what you’ve made so far and adjust accordingly. Preview your content and add or remove content blocks if it doesn’t make sense for your current Campaign. Once you’re done, you can confidently proceed to confirmation and hit Send.
Best Email Marketing Tools
One of the critical challenges in being effective through email marketing is the time it takes to create a great-looking email from scratch. It’s a good thing that email marketing software now provides a way to help you save time and money. Here are some of the best email marketing tools to simplify the process:
Trusted by more than seven million users, MailChimp is a leader in email marketing tools and a favorite for bloggers and small businesses. It’s completely free to use with basic email marketing features such as email creation and scheduling. In addition, it has a smart recommendations feature that provides valuable audience insights which help optimize your marketing efforts.
MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers on your email list and up to 12,000 monthly emails. This email marketing tool is easy to use, letting you automate your emails such as welcome emails, order confirmations, abandoned cart reminders, and more, with plenty of saved time and effort.
One of the best free email marketing tools in the market that ensures deliverability, Sender lets you create appealing newsletters even without HTML knowledge. You can choose from pre-set templates and customize its elements to your liking. Add images, videos, and text to align with your design and style, just the way you like it. You can even create a more significant impact by personalizing your newsletters for each recipient.
In addition, Sender has impressive analytics features that make it reliable and suitable for optimizing your Campaign. It helps you track who opened your emails and clicked on the links and lets you build accurate buyer profiles based on their actions so you can better improve your strategies.
Omnisend is a more sophisticated option among these email marketing platforms as it integrates all your communication platforms in one place. It allows you to automate your email delivery using behavioral triggers while timing your communications based on your customers’ convenience.
Omnisend has comprehensive audience insights that help you send out more relevant email marketing messages. You can design enticing newsletters through time-saving features such as its Product Picker, which enables you to select all the products you want to be included in your email. You can even add discount coupon cards, digital scratch cards, and gift boxes so you can further your email marketing performance.
One of the fastest-growing email marketing services globally, Constant Contact is highly regarded for being beginner-friendly and easy to use. It allows you to easily manage your email lists, contacts, templates, marketing calendar, and more.
In addition, every account has access to unlimited emails, easy tracking, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, and even Facebook ads and eCommerce integration for Shopify stores. Constant Contact’s Email Plus accounts provide powerful features as well, from email automation, surveys, and polls, subject line A/B Testing, which all help you send targeted emails to maximize your campaign optimization.
In addition, many small businesses and startups consider Constant Contact unmatched when it comes to customer support, complete with live chat, phone calls, email community support, and a library of helpful resources.
A familiar software in the CRM and email marketing space, HubSpot comes as a free email marketing service to start and offers plenty of great automation features designed to grow your business. It features an easy drag-and-drop email builder with a selection of templates you can choose from. Customize these templates to create an entirely appealing newsletter that matches your brand’s personality and identity.
As it is integrated with the HubSpot CRM, emails can be personalized for each subscriber based on device type, country, list membership, or any other custom information you may have for each subscriber. Hubspot is a powerful email marketing software you can depend on that offers send-time optimization, high email deliverability, A/B testing, detailed performance analytics, marketing automation, and many more.
If you’re expecting an unrivaled return on your investment, email marketing is undoubtedly the way to go. It continues to be the most effective channel for every business. And with impressive email marketing platforms that provide helpful tools, you don’t have to be the most tech-savvy businessman to get your communications across.
In addition, by connecting your brand to your customers through email marketing, you can create more compelling connections that will significantly reflect through much-desired sales in the end.