Despite the rise of social networks, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience. Email marketing is not an optional process but a necessity for any online business.
When done correctly, email marketing can help a business increase sales, traffic and maximize profits.
In this post, you will learn what email marketing is, how it works and why it is important for your business success.
- What is email marketing?
- How does email marketing work?
- Why is email marketing important?
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is communicating with an audience through electronic mail messages (e-mail) in the digital marketing process. Email messages often have a commercial purpose. It is also used to provide information on issues that concern the buyer.
In simple terms, email marketing is the process of using email as a sales channel.
To do this, you must have an email list of people who volunteered to receive your messages.
Email marketing benefits
The most important benefits of email marketing for any online business are:
- It’s a great way to build a community around your brand.
- It can help you reach more potential customers and generate more sales.
- It is one of the best ways to get more recurring traffic.
- It is a way to minimize some of the risks associated with SEO algorithmic changes. Once you have a large list of active email subscribers, you may be less concerned about SEO changes that could negatively impact your traffic.
How does email marketing work?
Email marketing is not a complex process, but a process that requires lots of A/B tests to learn how to best communicate with your subscribers in a way that is beneficial for them and your business goals.
Here’s an overview of how email marketing works:
- Sign up for an email marketing tool.
- Build an email marketing strategy.
- Build and grow your mailing list.
- Setting up automation tasks.
- Monitor and improve campaign performance with A/B testing.
- Clean your email lists regularly.
Sign up for an email marketing tool
Email marketing is a process that can be fully automated with the help of a good email marketing tool. If you try to use your personal account to email hundreds of people and follow them manually to get results, you probably won’t be successful. So your first step is to choose which platform to use.
An email marketing platform will help you:
- Build an email list.
- Add users to your list using various methods.
- Email your audience.
- Receive reports on how many people have opened and interacted with your emails.
- Create different options to segment your audience.
- Build retargeting audiences based on your email list.
- Automate various email marketing tasks, such as sending your subscribers’ welcome email or different emails based on their actions.
- Sell directly from an email message.
- Create email types to direct users to the pages/products/processes you want them to do.
The most popular email marketing tools are:
Build an email marketing strategy
As with any digital marketing campaign, the first thing to do is to create a strategy. Before running any campaign, it will help you have an email marketing strategy:
- Decide how to use email marketing in conjunction with other online marketing campaigns that you will be running.
- Decide which email marketing platform to use and find out your monthly costs.
- Decide on strategies to use to grow your mailing list.
- Decide when to use automation and what types of messages to send and when.
- Have the right reporting mechanisms to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
Build and grow your mailing list
To make your email marketing work, the most important task in your strategy should be how to grow your email list.
As stated above, it should not only add random people to your list, but also consist of people who have manually registered to receive your emails.
Growing and maintaining an email list is difficult, but with the right approach and tools, it can be a valuable asset for your business.
The best ways to increase your email subscribers are:
Publish quality content on your site – If your content is not what users want, whatever technique you use will not help you get more subscribers. On the other hand, if your content benefits users, your email list will grow faster.
Encourage them – Free ebooks, trial offers, and other (gifts, etc.) are great incentives to offer users in exchange for their email address.
Make it easy to subscribe – Having your registration buttons where users can easily find them (both desktop and mobile) will make a difference in the number of people who can sign up for your emails.
Setting up automation tasks
One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that it is a fully automated process.
When we refer to email marketing automation, we mean sending targeted emails to your users based on the actions they take when they receive your emails or the actions they take on your site.
The most common email automation tasks are:
Welcome emails – Send a welcome email to users as soon as they subscribe to your list
Email campaigns – Send users a series of emails (sales conversion)
Abandon shopping cart emails – Email visitors to website who added a product to their cart but didn’t pay
Cross selling / Selling – Suggesting products to customers based on their purchase history
Review / Feedback forms – Requesting feedback / review from customers X days after purchase
Monitor and improve campaign performance with A/B testing
To run the right email marketing campaigns, you’ll need to do lots of A/B tests, as well as subscribe to the right type of people to your list. A/B testing helps you find out what types of email messages could potentially generate higher user engagement and more conversions.
What will be tested with the A/B test includes:
- Email subject headers length
- Format of emails (HTML, text, with or without images)
- Email body length
- Email sending frequency
- Level of promotional messages in email
- Placing your registration forms
- The message used in your registration forms
- “Offers” used as incentives for email registration
- Authentication method used to verify the validity of emails (no authentication, double verification, etc.)
To do all kinds of A/B tests (not just emails), you need to follow the right metrics and eliminate factors that could negatively affect the results of your test.
For email marketing, you need to follow the following metrics:
- New email subscribers per day
- The method used to subscribe to your list (if you have multiple placements such as sidebar, pop-ups, etc., you need to know which subscribers have registered.
- Email open and click-through rates (how many people opened a particular email campaign and how many people clicked on a link in the email)
- How many people visited your website from a link in an email
- How many conversions from email (and from which campaign)
Clean your email lists regularly
As a newbie to email marketing, you need to understand three things:
Most of your email subscribers will not be active – It is normal to have a large number of inactive subscribers on your list. The average email open rate for an email campaign is around 20%, meaning that the vast majority of people on your list will not read your messages.
Having a large list is not always the best approach – Sending emails opened by a small number of recipients will mark your emails as spam. That means your reach will decrease gradually. On the other hand, emails opened by the majority of the recipients help the overall performance of the campaign.
Maintaining large lists will cost you dearly – The larger your email list, the more monthly expense it will be. Once you reach 10,000 subscribers, you might have to pay more than $150 a month to subscribe through a good email marketing tool.
One of the ways to minimize your costs and improve the health of your list is to occasionally do a list cleanup and remove inactive subscribers from your list. Users who signed up for your list but did not open your campaigns are not useful for your business goals and it is better to remove those users.
Remember that having a smaller list but active subscribers is better than a large list of inactive subscribers.
Why is email marketing important?
I’ve mentioned many times above that email marketing is important for your business. Let’s see the reasons for this below.
- Email is used by 50% of the world’s population.
- You have your own target audience.
- You can contact your subscribers directly.
- Users voluntarily register to receive e-mail messages.
- Email marketing has a high ROI.
- Email is still one of the effective sales tools.
- Email marketing can be automated.
- Performance can be measured easily and accurately.
- It is a great survey tool.
- Increases the value of your online business.
1. Email is used by 50% of the world’s population
The first reason that makes e-mail marketing so important is that email is the most widely used communication tool in the world.
According to statistics:
- It has more than 4 billion active e-mail accounts (Total world population is around 8 billion).
- 99% of email users check their email at least once a day and often multiple times.
- While the engagement rate in major social media networks is 0.6%, email interaction is 20% and the clickthrough rate (CTR) is 3.71%.
- 60% of users subscribe to a newsletter to receive messages and deals compared to 20% following the same brand on social media.
- There is a 4400% return on investment in email marketing. It means that the return of $1 can go up to $44.
That’s why email has a higher return on investment and engagement than any other channel. This makes it a perfect environment for digital marketing campaigns.
2. You have your own target audience
Your mailing list is an asset to your company and you don’t have to share it with anyone.
Having a large list of users signing up manually and voluntarily can add a lot to the resale value of your online business.
3. You can contact your subscribers directly
Email marketing offers a direct channel of communication between your company and your audience. Once you have a healthy email list, you can use Facebook in any way you want to communicate directly with your audience, without having to pay advertising fees or rely on its algorithms.
Emails are highly personalized and can be used to initiate one-on-one conversations with your potential customers.
4. Users voluntarily register to receive e-mail messages
When a user signs up on your email list, it means they trust your business and want to receive emails from you. So it’s different from Facebook users who show ads they don’t care about.
From a business perspective, you can feed them to take action that creates value for your business.
5. Email marketing has a high ROI
The return on investment from email marketing can be as high as 4400%. It’s twice as much as SEO, which is the next best channel.
Email marketing can help an online business do the following:
- Increasing income
- Improving sales conversions
- Increasing website traffic
- Increasing brand awareness
While they are general statistics, investment profits are related to some factors such as the types of the products that you are selling, the cost of customer gainings, and how your email marketing campaigns’ optimized.
6. Email is still one of the effective sales tools
As a result, all companies want to increase sales, and running email marketing campaigns to increase sales is one of the most important elements.
Email has proven to be a great sales tool because, unlike other channels, it’s a customizable system.
No other digital marketing channel offers this kind of flexibility. Therefore, email marketing is more effective than advertising and has a higher investment guarantee.
7. Email marketing can be automated
One of the good things about email marketing is that it can work fully automatically. The whole process can be fully automated, from the moment a user subscribes to your list to the time they shop from your store.
Automated processes are easier to optimize and allow you to spend less time managing.
8. Performance can be measured easily and accurately
Another feature of email marketing is that everything can be measured with high accuracy. If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it. Knowing exactly how much it costs to run a campaign and the revenue you earn can help you maximize your profits.
This is not the case with other digital channels. When you run an email campaign, you know exactly how many people open your emails, how many people clicked a link, and how many people made a purchase due to an email you sent. You can even find out what actions a particular user has taken and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
9. It is a great survey tool
To successfully grow your online business, you need to continuously improve your products and online presence, and to do this, you need feedback from users. Your community and subscriber list are the best candidates to provide you with valuable information. These people signed up to follow your brand and their ideas are more important than anyone else.
Email marketing can also be used to study your community and get responses that can help you create better content, products, and services. You can use your list to test a new product idea and save time and money if you have to commission this event with a third party company.
10. It Increases the value of your online business
If you want to increase the value of your online business for resale purposes (or for other reasons), having a targeted email list and optimized email campaigns can make a big difference.
The valuation of an online business is generally based on three factors: monthly organic traffic, monthly traffic, and monthly income. Other than that, potential buyers are looking for other factors, email marketing is one of them.
A company with an ever-growing email list and good conversion rates is significantly more valuable than a company that can only prove traffic performance.
Email marketing is essential for any business. If you have a website and don’t have an email list yet, this list should be number one on your to-do list.
Email marketing doesn’t help you increase your traffic as it does with SEO or PPC advertising, but it can help you sell more and increase your revenue.
The whole process can seem complicated if you are just starting out. Start by signing up for an email marketing platform and build your list. You don’t have to worry about costs initially as all platforms offer free packages for the first 2000 users (offers depend on provider).
Then add email signup forms to your website to grow your email list. If your traffic is low, you won’t get too many email subscriptions. Remember this is a start. As your traffic increases, so does your email list.
Set up a welcome message to thank your new subscribers to be sent to their email addresses and explain what they can expect from your emails.
Once you’ve gained experience and learned more about email marketing, set up a few campaigns and track the results. Don’t be afraid to test your ideas, but don’t try to send too many messages to your users.
If you are thinking of doing email marketing for your business, it would be useful to check out our article titled 16 Email Marketing Tips for Businesses.