What Is Email Marketing?
What is email marketing? Basically the use of email to promote products and/or services. But a better email marketing definition is the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers and/or clients. Email marketing is one segment of internet marketing, which encompasses online marketing via websites, social media, blogs, etc. It is essentially the same as direct mail except that instead of sending mail through the postal service, messages are sent electronically via email.
Much of the spam email we all get proclaiming ‘deals’ on this, and that is a good example of email marketing at its worst; the mindless email barrage.
Someone somewhere buys an email list (or several!) and sends an email along the lines of “Get ___________ (the product name) for only $_____! (the amount) to everyone on the list – sometimes repeatedly. All this does is annoy everyone and give email marketing a bad name.
At its best, email marketing allows businesses to keep their customers informed and tailor their marketing messages to their customers.
Email Marketing Can Be Personalized
Particular groups of customers can be targeted or even individuals. Offering individual customers special deals on merchandise and/or services on the customer’s birthday, for instance, is one example of email marketing personalization. (A restaurant might send an email to customers on their birthday offering 50% off an entree,) Email marketing helps a business develop and maintain a relationship with a customer over time that hopefully results in increased sales and increased customer loyalty.
Email marketing best practices include developing your own email list rather than buying an email list(s) and making participation in your email list opt-in rather than opt-out (using permission-based email marketing). Email should also be optimized for mobile usage as according to statistics over half of emails are opened on mobile devices.
The Advantages of Email Marketing-1
The two big advantages of email marketing are price and ease. Emailing is an inexpensive way to advertise your company and its products and/or services compared to many other types of marketing. It’s also extremely easy to set up and track an email marketing campaign, making it a very accessible type of marketing for small businesses.
Newsletters can be sent to the email list you’ve built from the people who provided the necessary information on your website, for instance, providing these potential customers with news updates about your company, upcoming events and/or special offers – and, of course, reminding them that your business exists and that maybe it’s time for another visit.
Email Marketing Is Still Relevant
In an age of increasing usage of social media for advertising, email marketing still rules the roost, according to a study conducted by HostPapa:
- 94% of Internet users use email, while only 61% use social media
- 75% of adult online users say that email marketing is their preferred marketing method
- the “opt-in” feature of email allows marketing by consent
- email marketing allows targeting by demographics (age, income, etc.)
- email messages have a much wider range of formatting possibilities than social media messages
- email offers more reporting and analytics capability, such as click-through rates, open rates, bounce rates, and conversions
The huge advantage of email over social media is that prospects and customers are more likely to see an email than social media. Just posting something doesn’t mean that everyone you want to see your message will see it. Your post might not even show up in your targets’ social media streams. However, an email will sit in the inbox until it’s read (or deleted).
Ideally, email marketing should go hand-in-hand with social media. Adding social media “Like” or “Share” buttons to your marketing emails gives an additional way for customers to connect with your brand. Snippets of positive reviews from social media fans can be included in emails, and conversely, social media postings can be used to encourage fans to subscribe to your email newsletters.
Email marketing can substantially increase your income if you do it correctly. (See the tips below.) It’s a great way to get people to visit and/or revisit your website or blog, and more traffic usually equates to more income.
Email Marketing Tips
- Build your own list. This has already been mentioned but buying email lists is a waste of time. All you’re going to do by sending unsolicited email is turn off most of the people you’re hoping to turn into customers and run the risk of being labeled a spammer.
- Adhere to the rules of the CAM-SPAM Act. These rules include having a non-deceptive subject line, a method of unsubscribing, and your name and address at the end of the emails.
- Don’t just send out ads to buy all the time. Use your emails to build rapport with customers by sharing your expertise and/or that of others, giving them tips and insights they can value. Share information that lets them know more about you and/or your company if it’s interesting.
5.Stick to a schedule if you’re doing a newsletter. Sending email on a regular day or days can help your subscribers know what to expect from you and when.
The Advantages of Email Marketing-2
- Good ROI
As we have already discussed, email marketing has great ROI if done right. When you take the time to track the results of your email campaigns you can find out exactly what the ROI is on them and decide whether you need to improve this number or celebrate your big wins.
Ability to Track
Using free tools like Google Analytics you can track the people who click through to your website from your email campaigns. This can be done by creating tracked URLs, through the likes of Google URL Builder, or by using a third party email tool which will input special URLs so you don’t need to worry about creating your own.
When you send an email out, all the traffic to your website that comes from this email will register in Google Analytics as the source ‘Email’. From there you can track how many visitors convert or complete a goal if you have these set up in your Google Analytics account.
Ability to Automate
Email marketing software like Constant Contact or GetResponse give you the option to automate email campaigns so that you don’t need to push a button to have a campaign sent out. Instead, you can schedule an email to be sent at a certain time and it will be sent out regardless of if you are in front of your computer or not. The beauty of email service providers like these is that you can create campaign paths that new subscribers can go through that can be automated so that when a new subscriber is added to an email list they will receive emails without you needing to push send.
5 Tips for Better Email Marketing
1. Build Your Subscriber List
It is so important that you build a list of subscribers that will engage with your content. When you are not recruiting new subscribers your recipients will start to unsubscribe or stop engaging with your content and quickly your campaigns go from being successful to stale. Instead, add a subscriber box across your website, add a subscribe button during the order process, and ask your social media followers to sign up to your email marketing list. This way you will have a constant influx of subscribers to engage with.
2. Personalize Your Content
When sending an email campaign to any group, research has shown that personalizing the content to the customer increases conversions and helps to build trust with your audience. According to Epsilon 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from you when you provide a personalized experience to them. Personalization includes a wide range of options like add a subscriber’s name in the opening of the email, or tailoring the content in an email depending on your customer’s previous purchases.
3. Segment Your Audience
Segmenting your audience means that you place subscribers into carefully curated lists. These lists can be based on parameters like on demographics, psychographics, subscriber status, or products bought. When you do this with your email lists you can be sure that you are providing tailored content to your subscribers that will lead to better conversion rates. Campaign Monitor states that marketers who used segmented campaigns noted as much as a 760% increase in revenue. This is a huge tip to act on when your email list starts to build out.
4. Test and Optimize
With the ability to track campaign success it is so important to use this information to enhance future campaigns. For instance, if you find that your CTR is below the industry average, you could try A/B testing different subject lines to find the right format to increase CTR among your audience. Or you might find that subscribers are clicking through to your website but never buying from you so the content of your email might not be enticing enough for subscribers to want to purchase from you. For this, you could try including a discount code or limited time offer or testing out different CTAs to see if this will affect your conversion rate.
5. Create an Email Calendar
When your email subscriber list grows to the size where you cannot remember the whole list it is time to create an email calendar where you can plan the email campaigns to go out, highlighting who they should be sent to, and the content inside them. You can then create content ahead of time and schedule the emails so that you have more time to spend on optimizing your website and focus on increasing sales. What is more, you can set up trigger emails for people when they first sign up to your email list, or make a sale, so that they get emails from you even if you decide to take a few days off dropshipping. Neil Patel mentions that “trigger emails have a 152% higher open rate compared with traditional emails. They are a valuable communication tool and convert window shoppers into lifelong customers”. With this being the case, who would not want to set up trigger emails as part of their email marketing strategy.
Email Marketing in a Nutshell
So there you have it. Email marketing is a complex digital marketing channel with many areas to think about, from personalization to CTR, to trigger emails. But one thing is for sure, this content format has outperformed it’s digital marketing counterparts time and time again in terms of being a profit-generating channel. If you are looking to grow online sales and have a bit of time to invest in email marketing it will be time well spent according to our research.
7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business
Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2019? Are you looking for the best email marketing software?
Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. In this article, we will review the 7 best email marketing services for small businesses.
Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service
There are dozens of email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is our expert pick:
If you’re a small business, non-profit, or a new blogger, then we recommend using Constant Contact. Their pricing is great, and the support team is absolutely top-notch. Their onboarding team will help you find success with email marketing right away.
If you run an online store / ecommerce website, then we recommend using Drip because its the best eCommerce email marketing software. Their personalization and automation features are extremely powerful. A lot of our own businesses use Drip, and we will be switching the WPBeginner website to use Drip as well in 2019.
If you’re a professional blogger or content creator, then we recommend using ConvertKit. They offer an easy to use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels that will help you take your blogging business to the next level.
If you’re a business owner who wants a powerful marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, then we recommend using SendinBlue. Their platform is easy to use, and they allow you to manage both email and SMS from a single interface.
If you’re a business owner who wants an email marketing service that has excellent team collaboration features, a smart email builder, and extremely high deliverability, then we recommend using Mailjet. Their email builder is one of the best in the industry, and their generous pricing along with the forever free plan makes them the best free email marketing software.