What is Email Marketing? How to use it in your business
Email marketing is still the best way to advertise to new and existing customers and leads. It often seems to be overwhelming, but here we’ll break it down and simplify the process to make it easy for you to start your own email marketing campaigns easy:
Here is a simple example: if you’ve ever signed up for a newsletter or subscribed to a series of emails, you have been part of email marketing.
There is a lot more to email marketing. Types of email marketing range from:
- Welcome Emails
- Order status
- Re-engagement emails
- Birthday or Anniversary emails
- Sales updates
- Lead Nurturing
- Trigger emails
This article explores email marketing in detail. In particular, newsletter based email marketing.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways for companies to stay in touch with existing customers and attract new ones. Research shows that retailers, for example, have seen a return of $44 for every dollar spent on email marketing. An email campaign can be part of a sales funnel strategy to build confidence and loyalty.
Okay, enough fun facts. Let’s go over the topics covered in this article.
- What is email marketing?
- Which are the Top Email Marketing companies?
- Advantages of email marketing
- How can email marketing benefit your business?
- What content should you have in your emails?
- Why use an email marketing service provider?
- Customizing your email marketing campaign
- Finding and adding subscribers
- Additional tips for your email marketing strategy
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is simply the process of using email to send information to customers or prospective customers. Usually this is sent on a regular schedule, but can be used arbitrarily for news, sales, or updates.
Email marketing has been around since 1978, when Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp., had to figure out an efficient way to communicate with their 400 customers, who were scattered across the country.
His solution proved to be effective and since that time, the use of email has grown. According to a study by The Radicati Group, Inc., the number of worldwide email users is projected to be over 2.9 billion by the end of 2019. By that time, over a third of the population worldwide will be using email.
Email was a good way to connect with and retain customers then and it’s still one of the most effective ways today.
Which are the Top Email Marketing companies?
- Marketo – the oldest in the space. Used mostly by large companies who need cross team systems, multi-channel tracking, sales tools and more. Prices start ar $500+, not disclosed on their website.
- MailChimp – well known. Mostly used by small business. Dependency on list makes it hard to scale.
- Infusionsoft – made for larger clients. Similar functions to Marketo. Requires $2500 on boarding lesson.
Advantages of email marketing
Social media is popular, but the advantage email marketing has over social media marketing is that you control it. You manage the message and send it directly to your audience. It’s estimated that only a fraction of social media postings reaches your followers, due to algorithms or timing.
When you use email marketing to send newsletters, you are targeting people who have already shown an interest in your product or service and have agreed to hear from you. People like that are much more likely to open and read your email campaign or drip email.
When you use an email marketing service provider, as discussed below, you will also have the ability to see who opens and reads your email, who clicks on links, and which addresses are bouncing or not getting delivered.
How can email marketing benefit your business?
A robust mailing list is an asset to any company, because, if you do it right, you have a list of people who have already shown an interest in your business, and they’ll be more receptive to your continued correspondence.
If they like your service or product, they’ll look forward to hearing from you, and might share your emails with their friends and on social media. Email drip campaigns, or scheduled follow-ups, can keep you in touch with your subscribers and even move them along your sales funnel.
What content should you have in your emails?
Think about the newsletters and email updates you’ve signed up for, and consider which ones you look forward to receiving. It’s going to be the ones that offer useful information, events or sales, or news relevant to you.
With that in mind, plan your email content to provide the same high level of value to your recipients.
Why use an email marketing service provider?
How you send your emails can be as important as what you send.
That’s why it crucial to use an email marketing service provider. This is a company that is experienced and knowledgeable about the rules surrounding email marketing, and they’ll keep you in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act.
In addition to keeping you out of trouble, there are many features your email marketing service provider can offer. Here are a few you should look for and why.
- Design options. Unless you are a designer, you want a simple drag-and-drop design program that’s easy to use. Templates make this a snap, but be sure they are mobile friendly.Studies show that people look at their mobile devices 80 times a day, and they are constantly checking their emails. You’ll want a design that looks as attractive on a computer as it does on a mobile device.
- The ability to personalize emails lets you address the recipient and include any relevant information about them that will catch their attention and encourage them to read your content.
- As your list grows, what will you do with all those names? You can manage contacts and stay current with their needs using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and if that’s included by your email marketing service provider, it can enhance your marketing efforts.
- If you have the option to choose when your campaign goes out, you can make sure it arrives at the best time to reach your subscribers.
- Knowledge is power, and you’ll want to be able to track how many of your emails were opened, how many people clicked on links, how many and which addresses bounced, and who unsubscribed. With this information, you can continue to improve your campaigns.
- You don’t want your emails to be blocked and a spam checker tool can help you create an email that will be less likely to get caught up in filters, and more likely to reach the person you sent it to.
- Offering an easy unsubscribe process inspires confidence and will keep you from being reported as SPAM.
- You will have questions, and it’s crucial to be able to contact the company for answers and support.
- If you’ve never done this before, how do you know it will be right for you? A trial time lets you try it out before you buy so you can see how the system works for you and your goals.
A company like Big Engage can provide all this and help you put together a powerful email marketing campaign to build your business.
Customizing your email marketing campaign
Take the time to customize your emails with your logo, tagline, and colors that reflect your company. If there are standardized welcome emails, opt-in emails, or unsubscribe emails, in many cases you can replace the text with your own words. Each of these is an opportunity to reinforce your business brand, attitude, and expertise.
Finding and adding subscribers
The primary way people sign up for newsletters and email campaigns is on your website, so you want to have an attractive sign-up form so you can make it easy and inviting to sign up.
Offering an incentive or bonus to encourage them to share their email address works well and gives you yet another chance to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
Additional tips for your email marketing strategy
Don’t forget the importance of your subject line. The right subject line can increase the number of people who open and read your email. Often you can test the effectiveness by sending two emails that are the same except for the subject line, called an A/B test, to determine what works best for your subscribers.
While emails are good for many things, they lack the ability to convey nuances or tone. That means that well-intentioned joke or poorly explained example could be misinterpreted or even come across as offensive, so strive to be clear and unambiguous.
The other issue is viral sharing. If you’re sending out emails promoting your service or product, always keep it positive. Don’t use the platform to say anything that could be seen as unfavorable to your competition, for example. With one click of the keyboard, your content can be shared instantly.
As mentioned earlier, this can be a terrific benefit if you have good, compelling content, but can hurt your business if something is published that’s inappropriate.
Email marketing is an essential tool for business, and every business can benefit from having a solid email marketing program.
From initial contact to email nurturing through drip campaigns, email marketing gives you a front of mind presence and when your subscriber is ready to buy, it’s likely to be your company they choose.