A Complete Guide to Email Marketing  

email marketing
January 30, 2023

A smart email marketing campaign is essential in any business’ marketing strategy. It is an effective method that can drive sales, provide crucial customer data, ensure customer loyalty, and nurture leads.

It is known as one of the most cost-effective and successful marketing channels. A successful email marketing campaign can also have significant benefits. Including everything from identifying new groups of potential consumers to maintaining connections with existing customers.

However, like every marketing strategy, there are a several details that go into crafting an effective email marketing campaign. From your email subject line to your email service provider, there are multiple steps to take to ensure that your email marketing campaign reaches your target audience and doesn’t end up in a spam folder.

Let’s review the following general guidelines to achieve the best practices of email marketing. This will start your business with an email marketing initiative. Also, we will explore email marketing tips to ensure that your marketing emails create new subscribers and fans, boost conversions from browsers to shoppers. The most important tip is generating sales for your business.

email marketing campaign

What is Email Marketing?

While email marketing feels like a relatively new concept, marketing emails are more than 40 years old. The very first mass email campaign was sent to roughly 400 recipients by the company Digital Equipment Corporation in 1978. This original email marketing campaign proved that email marketing could be a very effective tool in any marketing strategy. As a result, it was a return on investment (ROI) of approximately $13 million.

Now that more than 5 billion people use the internet, which is roughly 63% of the earth’s population, email marketing has naturally evolved. 

Today, email marketing can be loosely defined as a direct marketing tool that utilizes targeted emails to generate sales, create brand awareness, engage subscribers, and perform any number of beneficial actions for a business. Unlike other marketing channels, like digital advertisements or enlisting a sales team to reach out to new customers, email marketing campaigns are cost-effective and can produce a high ROI. Also, email marketing can increase the amount of engaged subscribers that are loyal to your business, provided that your email campaigns are effective.

Why is Email Marketing an Important Factor in Marketing?

Email campaigns are an essential pillar of any marketing strategy, because email marketing works with the other marketing channels your business utilizes to generate brand recognition and brand loyalty.

A strong email marketing strategy provides businesses with essential data by providing key metrics on your existing customers through click-through rates to a specific landing page or traffic at your online store. This includes information about new subscribers, clients, and a continued connection with email subscribers that ensures your company stays on their radar.

Different Types of Emails in Email Marketing

There’s a lot more to a successful email marketing campaign than simply coming up with a subject line, a little text, and hoping that your message doesn’t wind up in the recipient’s spam folder. Before you begin any email marketing strategy, it’s essential to understand the direct types of marketing emails available. Understanding the different types of emails can help you determine the best one(s) to use that will align with your call-to-action message.

Welcome Email

Welcome emails are generally the first emails to land in new subscribers’ inboxes and are often triggered by an action on one of your company’s landing pages. For instance, a “contact us for more information” page or an initial purchase at your online store. A welcome email creates the first link between you and new email marketing recipients. Therefore, it is the initial step in an ensuing email marketing campaign.

Welcome emails are typically sent once, and are your first point of contact when it comes to email marketing. Also, it’s essential that your welcome email creates a stellar first impression. Your welcome email should include an attention-grabbing subject line, short but comprehensive content, and your company’s brand identifiers. This includes website links, your logo, and other hallmarks of your business that distinguish you from your competitors.

email marketing Newsletters

Newsletters are informative marketing emails that provide news and events related to your business. Despite not necessarily having a clear call to action, a well-written newsletter can be an effective email marketing tool. A newsletter can generate a relationship between your business and your target audience. Essentially, it can provide further engagement via links to landing pages or a related blog post that keeps your company in the spotlight.

Drip Emails

A drip email campaign consists of a series of automated emails that help to nurture leads and maintain connections. Drip email marketing campaigns are triggered by a specific action that your customer initiates. For example, placing an order or engaging with your customer service department, or by taking action from your business, such as launching a new promotion or hosting an event. By utilizing email marketing automation, drip emails are arguably some of the easiest emails in an effective email marketing campaign. They are generally sent, automatically, based on the outlined circumstances or actions.

email marketing Cold Emails

Cold emails are unsolicited emails that are sent to recipients with no prior contact. They can be tricky to create, because they can raise red flags for spam filters. Also, there are a number of rules and regulations that may apply, as governed by the Federal Trade Commission. The CAN-SPAM Act spells out the rules regarding commercial email marketing. However, enlisting a partner marketing company that specializes in email marketing services may be your best bet in generating new subscribers without going against these well-enforced guidelines.

Announcement Emails

An announcement email is a marketing email that tells your recipients about something new happening at your business.  This announcement email can be about a new product release, a special event, an upcoming sale, a new store location or endeavor, or any news that requires a stand-alone email marketing message.

Announcement emails can be classified as promotional emails, as they generally encourage some sort of action – such as taking advantage of a limited-time offer.

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails send a notification to the recipient confirming a recent action. For example, like making a purchase on your website or signing up for future email marketing campaigns. Using email automation, transactional emails can be a less-noticeable part of your email marketing efforts, but they are nevertheless essential to keep a persistent connection with your customers.

How to Set Up an Email Campaign

Before you type your first email marketing message or subject line, several decisions must be made regarding the overall schematics of your email marketing campaigns. These decisions are the backbone of an email campaign and will dictate all your email marketing efforts.

From identifying the best email marketing software for your business to choosing an email service provider, be sure that the following tasks are completed to establish a successful email marketing strategy.

email marketing

Choose the Right Email Service Provider

There are several email service providers to choose from, including familiar and widely used companies such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Drip, Moosend, GetResponse, and many others. Selecting the best fit for your business among countless email service providers can be challenging, and an email marketing service partner may be your best bet for the road ahead.

Your choice of email marketing software sets the tone for all email campaigns. Therefore,  its arguably the most important aspect of any email marketing strategy.

Keep in mind that your email marketing platform often offers a lot of benefits that help make your job easier, as well. For example, email marketing platforms often have user-friendly features such as ready-made email marketing templates, a drag and drop editor for email campaigns, and email automation that sends emails automatically based on specified triggers.

Above all else, don’t attempt to create email campaigns on your own, by using just your current email platform. This can be challenging and create headaches when it comes to bounce rates, triggering spam filters, and a wave of other potential hurdles.

Integrate with your CRM

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a software system that allows you to track all your relationships with your clients, from phone calls and past purchases, to emailed requests or signing up for email campaigns.

This data is one of the most important email marketing tools, as it helps shape your initial recipient list. Therefore, it provides key email metrics on your past and current relationships with your clients and customers.

Improve Your Email Marketing Lists

It’s essential to ensure that your email list is up to snuff before launching all email campaigns. Updating your email marketing list entails reviewing your list and ensuring that it only includes valid email addresses, and does not have duplicates. 

Also, any other situation that could raise bounce rates and set off your recipients’ spam filters. A smart email marketing software can help with this part of the project by using marketing automation tools to remove unwanted email addresses.

email marketing strategy

Ensure All Details of Your Email Campaigns are Included

These small but essential details of an email marketing campaign include setting up unsubscribe links and setting up UTM tags for tracking. Additionally, it is ideal to set up an email sending schedule for those automated transactional or welcome emails that do not require regular editing or changes to the message.

Effective Email Strategies and Tips

An effective email marketing strategy considers every part of an email, from the subject line to the call to action. Additionally, there are a few aspects in particular that businesses need to pay attention to when launching an email marketing campaign.

Optimize Your Subject Lines

Your email subject line is arguably the most important part of your email. It determines immediately if your recipient will read further or send your email to the trash folder. The most effective email marketing subject lines engage interest or curiosity. This includes promotional offers and email personalization to align with a recipient’s interests.

In addition, it’s important to keep your subject lines short and concise in your email marketing efforts. Your subject line may show up in its entirety on a desktop monitor but may be cut off on a mobile device. Also, recent research shows that a significant amount of email views (41%) come from mobile devices alone. As such, it’s important to ensure that all aspects of your emails – from your subject line to your images – look good on a mobile device.

Given their importance, crafting exceptional email subject lines is more complex than it may seem. There are email marketing tools available that can help you enhance email personalization (by plugging in a first name into your subject line). In addition, there are data-driven email marketing strategies when it comes to subject lines that have a high click-through rate backed by years of research.

An expert consultant can help create and/or edit your subject lines to ensure they grab attention and create a connection with your recipients.

Personalize Emails

As stated, personalizing your email from your initial subject line to your content can do a world of good when it comes to effective email marketing.

In fact, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, per a Campaign Monitor study. Additionally, personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, per a 2014 Experian study.

Link Emails to Social Media Accounts

Email marketing is just one tool in your broader marketing strategy. Additionally, it also provides an opportunity for customers to stay connected with your company in many ways. Always include links to your social media channels and important landing pages. Also, link any other key components of your company to ensure a continuous connection.

Keep Track of Key Metrics

There are a few ways to examine your opening rates, click-through rates, and other metrics that will show if your email marketing campaign was successful.  An email marketing service provider will help you keep track of these numbers. Therefore, it will help you  continuously find new strategies for increasing these numbers future campaigns.

email marketing strategy

The Benefits of Email Marketing

Email marketing is efficient, multi-faceted, and is a cost-effective way to ensure a high rate of return for your efforts.

It’s also a marketing strategy that is not just appreciated by your customers, but it is expected. Most consumers say they prefer their communications with a business via email or other online channels (as opposed to a phone call or in-person visit). Also, according to a recent survey, 59% of respondents claimed that marketing emails influenced their purchase decisions.

Email marketing has also come a long way since the first email was sent in 1978.  Today, there are more email marketing tools, platforms, and companies than there are internet service providers. That is why smart email marketing can be challenging in an era where the average individual receives approximately 200 emails a day.

In order for your email marketing to be effective, you have to break down every facet of your email marketing strategy. Including everything from your font and image choices to how you track response.  You need to ensure that every aspect of your email marketing strategy is optimized for a high ROI. Considering that there are so many details to include in your email marketing strategies. Therefore, this can be a tough project to start without professional assistance.

email marketing

Develop an Effective Email Marketing Strategy with ContentFirst Marketing

Luckily, professional guidance is available to ensure the most effective email marketing strategies possible. Your email marketing campaigns should start with a consultation with our marketing experts at ContentFirst Marketing.

We’ll provide a detailed digital marketing strategy and develop a data-driven and well-crafted email marketing plan.  We will also analyze your results to provide you with the best data and feedback to achieve success.

Conversations about how we can help your email marketing efforts and your marketing initiatives are always free and readily available.

Schedule your consultation today.

Let’s work together to launch the best email marketing campaign possible that highlights the very best of your business.

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