Email marketing is a way to communicate with customers through email. This can be done by sending a commercial message or by asking for donations. Email marketing can be used to reach a lot of people at once and is a very common way to do digital marketing.

  • Email marketing enhances a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers and can help maintain brand loyalty.
  • Sending emails to acquire new customers or offering new products to customers you already have.
  • Sending emails to encourage customers to participate in a referral program. 
  • Sending emails with the purpose of collecting customer feedback.

Why is Email Marketing Important?

You may be asking yourself why email marketing is important; after all, you probably hate all the spam mail you receive in your inbox daily. Email marketing has to be valuable to the customer, and if done correctly, it can be one of the most important things you do for your business. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Build relationships with customers and potential customers
  • Communicate quickly and efficiently with large groups of people
  • Generate leads and sales conversions
  • Create brand awareness and loyalty

Common Email Marketing Terms to Understand

When venturing into new territory, often one of the most confusing aspects is the vocabulary surrounding the new venture. Here are a few terms to understand to make your email marketing progress much smoother.

Opt-in: This is when a customer or potential customer proactively provides their email address to receive communications from a company.

List segmentation: Dividing your email list into smaller groups based on common characteristics so you can send more targeted content.

Double opt-in: A process in which someone submits their email address to receive communications and then must confirm that request via a second action, such as clicking a link in an email.

A/B testing: A method of comparing two versions of an email to see which performs better before sending the winning version to the rest of your list. Also known as split testing.

Email deliverability: The ability of an email message to reach the inbox of its intended recipient. This can be impacted by things like the quality of your email list, the content of your message, and your sending reputation.

Subscriber: A person who has opted-in to receive communications from your company.

List Building: The process of acquiring new subscribers via an offer or subscription button on your website or blog.

Welcome Email: An email sent to a new subscriber soon after they opt-in to your list. This should be a simple but effective way to welcome your new follower. A highly discounted offer or quick win example of how you can help them is a great way to start.

Email Service Provider (ESP): A service that provides email marketing tools and capabilities to send mass emails. Some popular examples are MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber.

Types of Email Marketing 

Email marketing can be done to sell lists of people or a current customer database. There are typically two main types of email marketing that businesses use for email marketing: transactional and direct. 

Transactional Email Marketing

Transactional emails are usually one-to-one communications triggered by actions such as signing up for an account, making a purchase, abandoning a cart, etc. They focus on providing value and are generally free from any promotional content. Transactional emails include password resets, shipping notifications, event registrations, etc. 

Direct Email Marketing

Direct email marketing is when businesses send promotional messages to groups of people at once. These promotional messages can be sent to either sold lists or their existing customer database. When sending to a sold list (i.e., people who have opted-in to receive your emails but are not currently customers), businesses will typically rent access to this list from a list broker who manages opt-ins on behalf of several businesses. The benefits of direct email marketing include targeting specific demographics, geographics, interests, etc., and tracking open rates and click-through rates data, which can be useful for optimizing future campaigns. The downside, however, is that it can be difficult to stand out in someone’s inbox if they’re not already familiar with your brand and may mark your message as spam if they perceive it as such. 

How to Start Email Marketing

The first and easiest step in email marketing is to build an email list. You can add a subscription form to your website or blog or rent a list from a list broker. Once you have a list of subscribers, you can start sending them promotional messages. It’s important to create message content that is relevant and interesting to your subscribers and to track open and click-through rates so that you can gauge the effectiveness of your campaign.

Sites like Mailchimp offer lots of tools to help you grow your email list quickly
Sites like Mailchimp offer lots of tools to help you grow your email list quickly

Many email marketing service providers offer free or low-cost plans and will do a lot of the hard work for you. If you’re unsure where to start with email marketing, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber are popular options. As you grow your list and income over time, these companies offer scaled solutions to fit your needs. I use MailChimp and my Kaep CRM for most of my email marketing.

How to Grow an Email List

Other posts will examine this topic more thoroughly, but here are some easy ways to begin growing your email list.

Create Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is an opt-in offer that provides value to subscribers in exchange for their email addresses. This can be in the form of an ebook, guide, course, or template.

Add a Subscription Form to Your Website or Blog

You can use a plugin or service like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or AWeber to create a subscription form and add it to your website or blog.

Run Contests and Giveaways

Hosting a contest or giveaway is a great way to grow your email list quickly. You can require entrants to subscribe to your list to enter the contest or giveaway. (Just comply with legal regulations around contests and giveaways in your country or region.)

Email Marketing Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting your email marketing campaign:

1. Make sure your list is opt-in only. This means that people have explicitly signed up to receive communications from you. It’s important to only send emails to people who have asked to receive them because otherwise, you risk being marked as spam.

2. Keep your message relevant and interesting. Think about what would be valuable or entertaining to your target audience.

3. Track your open and click-through rates. This data will help you gauge the effectiveness of your campaign and make necessary adjustments.

4. Comply with legal regulations around your country or region email marketing. For example, in the United States, there are laws around CAN-SPAM that you need to be aware of.

Email marketing can be a great way to connect with your customers and promote your business. By following these tips, you can build a successful campaign.

Stand Out! Design Beautiful Newsletters

Nothing will make your emails stand out to your readers more than an email that looks amazing and is easy to understand. While simple formatted text emails can work, for most promotional emails, you will want to create something that engages the reader and looks professional.

Programs like Canva Can Make Designing Beautiful Newsletters a Breeze
Programs like Canva Can Make Designing Beautiful Newsletters a Breeze

Programs like Canva have custom integrations with email providers like Mailchimp to provide a seamless way to send beautiful templates. Canva does make it fairly easy to create custom designs or to use one of their templates and make it your own. You can easily bring the design to your email provider with one or two clicks once fully integrated.

In Summary

Email marketing can be useful for large and small businesses as it allows them to reach current and potential customers without breaking the bank. It’s important to understand the basics of email marketing before getting started, as several different types of email campaigns can be deployed, and each has its own set of pros and cons. By understanding the basics, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not the email marketing is right for your business.

If you’re not using email marketing, you should at least give it a try! Email marketing is an easy and effective way to reach your target audience. Email marketing can build trust, credibility, and relationships with potential and current customers. Look no further if you have been looking for a low-cost, medium-effort solution to begin marketing!

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