What is Email Marketing? How to do Email Marketing in 2020? Complete Guide!
Did you know the power of email marketing?
If not, then look at these statistics.
According to research, there were over 3.9 billion email users worldwide in 2019 that are expected to grow up to 4.3 billion by 2023.
For acquiring customers, 81% of small and medium-sized businesses are using email marketing. And 80% of SMBs use email marketing to retain those customers.
Email marketing is still the best way to communicate with your audience. Each day billions of email messages are sent and received in the world including B2B and B2C.
According to Statista.com in 2019 alone 293.6 billion emails were sent and received every day. And they are expected to grow up to 347.3 billion by 2023.
You can analyze from these facts, how much email marketing is important for any business.
If you want more customers, higher profit, and growth then you need to consider email marketing in your marketing strategy.
Stop for a second!
For pursuing successful email marketing, you need to follow a process and different techniques. In this guide, you are going to learn the steps that you need to do successful email marketing for your business.
So let’s dive into the details.
Email Marketing Definition
Email marketing is the process of sending marketing messages to customers through electronic mails. Email marketing can be used for B2B, B2C and any other type of business whether small or large.
Email marketing is not limited to only sending emails to customers for the purpose of selling any stuff. There is a complete purpose behind it.
If you dig deep into the name “email marketing”, then you can analyze the formula. The formula is simple Email + Marketing= Email Marketing. It doesn’t mean sending promotional messages only rather successful email marketing follows the rules of excellent marketing.
If you consider the marketing definition,
Then you can see that marketing is not related to only selling products and services but also with customer’s satisfaction. Therefore your email marketing strategy must focus on providing valuable information and education rather than selling stuff only.
Brief History of Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around for 42 years with the first mass email marketing campaign done in 1978 by Gary Thuerk. The campaign was done using ARPANET and the message was sent to 400 customers.
At that time, the campaign generated $13 million in sales revenue for DEC (Digital Equipment and Control) products. Since then email marketing evolved very fast. According to Hubspot, it was estimated that only the U.S. will invest more than $350 million in email marketing in 2019.
Nowadays, email marketing is necessary for all types of businesses.
But before jumping into other stuff, let’s take a look at the important benefits that your business can gain from email marketing:
What are The Benefits of Email Marketing?
In the context of benefits, email marketing is very lucrative. Here are some of the major benefits of email marketing:
1. Easy and Fast
First and the most favorable benefit of email marketing is its easy setup and fast execution process. You can set up your email marketing campaign very easily in a short time.
Unlike traditional mail-order marketing where you need to print your message and then putting it into envelopes. You didn’t need any physical work and effort in email marketing.
Along with the ease of setup, it’s very fast in terms of sending, delivering, and getting a response. You do not need to wait much unlike traditional mail-order marketing.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars sending emails like old direct mail marketing. This is because of no involvement in physical paper and shipping of that material.
What you need here? Good email marketing software. It will cost you a few dollars monthly fees starting from $9 a month and increases depending on the size of the email list. After that, you need an email list that will be your own.
Considering all these factors in mind if we compare email marketing cost with traditional direct mail cost then it’s almost zero.
3. Mass Communication
There are many marketing methods that exist today. You can market to as much as an audience you can and deliver your message to them.
You have the option of social media marketing, TV ads, content marketing and much more. But still, email marketing is the most effective mass marketing communication method today.
You can communicate your voice to thousands of people with just a click and in an effective way. The reason is your control over your audience.
For example, if you want to give a live webinar presentation to your email subscribers about any offer. Then you can simply message them and invite them to your webinar while staying at your home or office. Whether you have a 10k or 100k list you can invite them easily by sending a single message.
4. High Return on Investment
If you have ever heard of “money is in the list”. Then Yes you heard right!
Email marketing is the number one marketing method that gives you the highest return for every dollar you spend on your marketing.
According to Backlinko email marketing give a return of 4400% for every dollar you spend. It gives a 28.5% higher return in comparison to traditional direct mail marketing with a 7% return.
Among the marketers, 73% of them rated email marketing as good and excellent. And automated email marketing gives 3.2 times more return as compared to non-automated.
5. Trust and Relationship
Trust and strong relationships with your customers are very important in doing successful marketing. If you cannot build long term trustworthy relationships with customers then business can’t run successfully.
Email marketing in this context is one of the best ways to build that trust and relations. This can be done by sending valuable information and updates to your list. You can address them solutions to their problems and tell them stories about your business and brand.
When your audience trusts you then they love to spend money with you. Customers love to buy but hate to be sold. According to research, consumers who buy products through email marketing spend 138% more than consumers buy otherwise.
6. Your Ownership
Marketing methods like TV ads, social media marketing, billboards, and search engine marketing are excellent ways of marketing. But they all have one drawback in common which is no control of yourself on your targeted audience.
If you’re on social media then you having a risk of getting banned your account. Likewise, if you’re doing search engine marketing then you can lose ranking and indexing of your website due to any mistake. And if that kind of event happens to you then all your marketing efforts go into the garbage.
In email marketing, you control your list. No one can grab it from you. Communication can be initiated at any time and you can promote what you want. You didn’t need to comply with rules like social media and search engine and all other.
7. Targeted Audience
Usually, the audience on your email list is well-targeted. The reason for this is simple. Everyone who subscribes to your list is actually interested in your brand. They give you permission to send them information and offers. They want to build a relationship with your brand.
Resources to read: Top 25 Benefits of Email Marketing & Why Every Business Should Be Using Email Marketing
What are the Disadvantages of Email Marketing?
There are some disadvantages that you may consider in order to pursue effective email marketing.
1. Updated Email List
The number one drawback is you need to keep your email list updated, neat and clean. What I mean here is, delete those subscribers who don’t respond (at least for six months or more) because they are no longer interested in your brand. Along with that subscriber who unsubscribed you exclude them if they no longer respond.
This process is done for making your list fresh as well as easy tracking of your campaign results. And you only keep those addresses in your list that responding to your messages. You can also include any new prospects to your list.
2. Compliance with Rules
When email marketing started to evolve then spam and unsolicited emails also increased in numbers. For preventing prospects from spamming emails, from 2003 onwards different laws were established. These laws are related to user protection from unsolicited or non-permission based emails.
So in order to do effective email marketing, you’re required to follow the rules. In case of not complying with them, you can suffer an expensive penalty depending on the size and type of business.
You can read the USA, Canada, the European Union and Australian rules regarding email on Wikipedia.
3. Skills and Money
There are some basic marketing skills as well as some investment required to execute email marketing. You may need skills like email copywriting, formatting and designing an email that gets attention and reading.
You must know setting up the automation process for sending email messages. If you don’t have these skills then you need to hire any professional and pay him money.
When it comes to money then you need to invest in building an email list and then buying autoresponders and paying the monthly fees. These costs are not bigger like mail-order marketing but still, you need to consider them.
4. Design and Formatting
If your email design and formatting are not appropriate you may face a higher bounce rate for email messages or no attention from prospects.
For example, if you send an email with an image and recipient has blocked images in their email account settings then your email loses design or unable to deliver the complete message.
On average 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices, therefore you need to customize the design of your email. Normally it is better to send text messages because they can be easily read on any device.
Now we dive into how you can start doing email marketing.
So let’s start…
How to do Email Marketing?
For successful email marketing, you need to follow five basic steps. They include:
1. Build your email list
2. Get email marketing software
3. Create your email message
4. Schedule your email messages
5. Track and measure results
There are some other helping tips for making your email marketing more effective you can read them in mentioned resources.
Now let’s dive in…
1. Build Your Email List
When it comes to building an email list then there are two main ways.
(A). Using your blog or website
(B). With paid advertising
(A). Build an Email List Using Your Blog or Website
The website is the best option for getting traffic from search engine and social media. It helps you in creating and sharing valuable content. You can also build an email list of targeted people on your site if you have a website with good traffic volume.
If you are going to establish a website then it’s a good option. You can use different tools to capture emails addresses of targeted visitors.
Simply you need a lead capture page to grab emails of your visitors. A lead magnet page is a form that we put on the website and offer something free in exchange for the visitor email address. A free offer can be an ebook, tool, checklist, software or any other helpful material.
For example, look at the following lead capture page from “SEO journal” which is offering free eBooks and demanding email addresses.
Source: SEO Journal
There are many platforms that can help you in creating an eye-catching lead magnet page. These platforms charge a small fee and some are free. You can use Hello Bar, Optinmonster, Get Response, and Mailchimp, etc.
Now the next thing you need to consider is where to put these lead magnet pages on your website to capture lots of emails.
Here I am mentioning some methods and places to use these lead magnet pages.
(a). Hello Bar
Hello Bar is a small form that appears on the top of the website. It is an effective tool for collecting emails because it remains present on top of the page while visitors are reading your content. You can offer any information to your readers in exchange for their emails.
For example, look at the hello bar on Optinmonster where they are demanding emails for joining the community of 1,000,000 people already using it.
You can use lead magnet form as a sidebar widget on your website. It works similarly to hello bar but you have the option to include more information than hello bar form. For example, look at the sidebar form below from Moosend.
(c). Popup Form
When the lead magnet page is used as a popup form then it appears suddenly, after some time. Sometimes it appears when the visitor is leaving your website. It is also called conversion popup.
Popup is a good tool to collect emails, getting feedback or offering coupons to your visitors. You can give them a free ebook or offer them any product or service.
For example, look at the form below from Wordstream and see how they use it to collect targeted emails and customers.
(d). Subscribe Form
Subscribe form is also a good tool. You can put it on a certain place on your website (either on the side or below) for sending newsletters or joining the community related to visitor’s topics of interest.
For example, look at the subscribe widget below.
Source: Email Monday
(e). Registration Form
Registration form is good to use when you are offering any membership or selling products/services on your website that require visitors to make an account. This is the best way to collect emails because without emails account cannot be created. Look at the form below as an example of a registration form.
(B). Build and Emails List Using Paid Ads
Paid ads are used when you don’t have a website or you want to gain more leads and sales. For paid ads you can use social media advertisements, Google ads and another most popular type called solo ads.
Whenever you use these ads then first and the most important step is capturing emails of prospects.
The best way to capture their email addresses is by using a landing page or lead capture page. The landing page is a type of website that has only one page. Here what you can do is offer something free for getting their emails. You can offer them a video presentation or e-books or any free software.
For example, the following landing page has a video presentation.
Source: LYFE Marketing
Resources to read: 36 Best Lead Generation Tools to Get More Targeted Leads
2. Get Email Marketing Service
Now you have built up your email list but you need email marketing service that sends out your emails. If you search Google then you see lots of email marketing services but all of them are not good.
You need to choose it carefully for initiating the campaigns that help you achieve your goal.
There are some features that you need to consider before choosing email marketing software.
- How many numbers of emails it can send in a bulk?
- It must have email design and formatting features.
- How well it delivers your email message to the targeted audience?
- It must have segmentation and personalization features.
- It helps you to evaluate the performance of your email marketing based on different metrics. They can be CTR, bounce rate or open rate, etc.
- It enables you to take benefit of email automation.
- It enables you to send different types of emails like welcome, newsletters and drip campaigns.
- It helps you to prevent your emails from going into spam folders.
There are many best email sending services available. Here I am going to list down some of the excellent services.
- Constant Contact
- Active campaigns
- Convert kit
3. Create Your Email Message
Creating an email message is the most important part of email marketing. If you set up all the other things in an excellent way but your email copy is not persuasive then you get no benefit.
There are two main things to consider here:
First of all, you need to send different types of emails. Don’t just send out only sales emails to your audience for buying your stuff.
Your subscribers give you emails because they respect you so you must respect them.
Now what you do is send them valuable informational content and educate them about your brand. Address your audience’s problems, interests, and preferences. Segment your email list based on different types of audiences and send them personalized emails that they love to read.
Segmentation means dividing your email list into different parts based on different factors. The criteria can be new subscribers, current customers, customers who buy from you multiple times and many others.
Second, you’re required to write a great email copy. Because you cannot sell with ordinary emails like you send to your subordinates. You need to take the help of persuasive writing that means copywriting. If you can do copywriting then it’s the best option. If not then hire a copywriter to write your emails.
According to DMR each day at an average 121 emails are received by an office worker. Therefore it is important that you draft an email that stands out from other emails in that crowd of emails.
So what do you do?
Here are some tips that can help you to create good email messages.
Write a Powerful Subject Line (or Headline)
Your subject line must be eye-catching. It must be attention-grabbing and have curiosity in it. Subject line entices your prospect to open your email and read the rest of your content. The advertising and copywriting genius David Ogilvy once said,
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Here are some of the good examples;
Don’t start your email with a standard salutation like dear sir or dear ma’am. Start your salutation that gives personal touch like Hi john or Hey Philip etc. What I mean here is that you use their personal name in it. If you don’t have a personal name on your email list then use salutation like Hi, Hey that feel to the receiver like it’s an email from his friend. Or you can start with a sentence.
Here is a good example of personal email salutation I received.
Body of Email
The third factor is your email body text. So write it in a manner that creates a slippery slide. That is you write sentences in such a way that your reader stops reading only at the end.
So what you can do here?
If you are promoting a product, then you can use a famous formula called AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action). For example, here is a lead magnet page that uses the AIDA formula to capture emails.
You can state the problems of your audience and then present them with a solution. Use benefits instead of features and tell your audience what is in it for them. So, in short, this all means write in a manner that one sentence persuades your reader to read the next sentence until the end.
The fourth tip is to use the urgency factor in your email offer. For example, you can say that “price increases after a certain time” or “only limited inventory”. This is a psychological factor that pushes your prospect to buy due to the creation of feelings of losing something. Look at the email message below;
The fifth point is using a clear call to action. Tell your reader clearly what he will do next. Use call to action 2 to 3 times in your copy. For example, look at the following example below in which CTA is used 4-times.
Sixth, write P.S (Postscript) because sometimes the reader scroll down and reads P.S first and then reads the rest of your email.
Usually, P.S is any extra information or thought that is expressed after writing the whole email. You can write about bonuses or discounts on products.
For example, see P.S in the following images from certain good emails;
4. Schedule Your Email Messages
Email frequency is how often you send emails to your subscriber. Sending email messages while following a particular time table is necessary. You need to schedule your emails like one message every 3 days or a week. The reason for this is informing your audience with new updates as well as staying connected with your audience.
For example, if you post a blog every week then you can inform your subscribers with a newsletter every week.
Remember one thing that you must maintain a balance in your email frequency. Don’t send too many emails that result in your audience unsubscribing from your list.
In my opinion, sending emails once a week is a good frequency but send quality emails that benefit your readers.
Resources to read: Email Marketing Frequency Best Practices in 2020
5. Track and Measure Results
Every successful marketer measures and evaluates the results of their marketing campaigns. Like all other marketing campaigns evaluation, email marketing must also be evaluated based on important factors.
Normally email marketing software has built-in features to evaluate the email marketing campaign’s performance.
There are a number of metrics that help you to evaluate these results. I am mentioning some of the metrics here:
Open rate: The number of emails opened by subscribers. It measures the success of your subject line of the email.
Bounce rate: The number of emails that are not delivered to your subscribers.
Click-through-rate: It is the number of people who clicked the link in your email message after opening it.
Spam rate: How many people marked your email as spam?
Conversion rate: The number of subscribers who click the link and then converted into sale for your product. It is measured by the number of conversions divided by a number of emails clicked.
Unsubscribe rate: This is the rate that measures how many people unsubscribed from your email list after your email received.
There are many other metrics that you can utilize for measuring the performance of email marketing.
Resources to read: 17 Email Marketing Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Know
Email marketing is a great way to generate revenue for your business and marketing your products and services.
It’s an excellent way to build long-lasting relationships with your customers and making them profitable for you.
But all these things take time, patience and strategy that will help you to do successful email marketing.
In this article, we covered benefits, drawbacks, and how you can do email marketing. But there are lots of other things that are impossible to cover in one piece of article.
Here are some of the valuable resources that will help you to learn more about email marketing.
The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing
Email Marketing Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide [+ Examples]
Let us know about you.
What plan you’ve in mind for doing email marketing?
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