What is Email Marketing & Why Does My Business Need It?

 Email marketing — a powerful content marketing technique that many e-commerce businesses use today.

You may or may not receive those automated emails businesses send when you become a new subscriber to their email list.

To some, they may seem pesky, but truthfully, if you utilize effective email marketing techniques, you can actually increase your customer loyalty tremendously.

The key to successful email marketing is personalization. This among other things, which we’ll cover in this blog!

Email marketing is a term you may have heard before, but you may not know exactly what email marketing is.

What Is Email Marketing And How Does it Work?

No email marketing isn’t just sending emails to subscribers. There’s actually more to it.

Email marketing is the process of sending optimized commercial messages through email to targeted consumers.

It includes the process of developing promotional emails, testing, and maintaining them as well.

Email marketing can be used to increase sales, improve brand loyalty, and deliver important information.

It is a kind of direct marketing and in the past, it was used to mass-target people.

Current regulations now in place are stricter on how email marketing can be used as a communication channel.

It is a direct form of marketing, similar to marketing through snail mail, but email marketing is much more efficient for your wallet and for the environment since it’s totally paperless!

Email marketing is closely linked to email advertising.

What Is An Email Advertising?

Email advertising is a form of email marketing in which recipients consent to see advertisements or promotional material from certain brands.

This form of advertising functions by providing consumers the opportunity to opt-in to receiving this content.

How Do I Advertise Via Email?

Here are a few effective tips for advertising on emails:

  1. Always ask for email addresses, as you should not send unsolicited messages
  2. Keep records of the registrations
  3. Always give people an option to opt-out
  4. Show your privacy policy
  5. Keep your email list secure

Some people think email marketing is outdated, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

Email marketing has been utilized shortly after the birth of the Internet.

It has evolved considerably since then and is still an incredibly useful marketing tool.

In fact, many entrepreneurs argue that email marketing is more important now than ever before.

There’s a good reason 85% of U.S. retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics!

And now is the time to include email marketing into your digital marketing strategy.

what is email marketing

What Is The Benefit Of Email Marketing?

Email marketing is beneficial because it is fast, efficient, and cost-effective.

Using this method of marketing provides you the means of reaching out to potential customers and retaining existing ones by encouraging repeat visits to a site.

In addition, emailing is the top method email marketers use to nurture leads to convert.

What Else Is Email Marketing Used For?

Email marketing can also be used to build trust with customers over time, in order to turn them into repeat customers.

Any successful business knows repeat customers are how your business will achieve sustainable growth over time.

After all, repeat customers are happy customers. And happy customers recommend your business to others.

It is also an effective way to keep your customers informed about new products, sales, or special offers you are running.

People want to stay informed about your brand in real-time, and email marketing is one of the best ways to stay engaged with that audience.

In fact, 28% of US online shoppers report subscribing to store or product emails in order to stay informed on brands they care about.

If you need a way to keep in contact with your customers to help them stay up-to-date with your business, start with email marketing.

Now, let’s talk about email automation.

Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing automation will make your life easier. There are several tactics you can use to automate your emails to make them efficient.

You can use email templates to make your emails more cohesive or spice up a plain email design.

For small businesses, it’s always best to start with developing a simple welcome email to send as a first email to new customers.

This is a great place to start but there is a lot more you can do with email marketing.

Especially, if you are using an email marketing platform or email marketing software.

What is email marketing software?

Email marketing software and automation tools make sending and monitoring email campaigns easier.

For example, MailChimp and Constant Contact can be used to send out emails and monitor how your subscribers interact with your emails.

This is a great resource for any business owner that may have less time on their hands to keep track of every little detail of their email campaigns.

You can also use email marketing software to track analytics like click-through rates, deliverability, open rates, bounce rates, and conversion rates.

When it comes to email marketing, you don’t want to neglect your campaigns because essentially you want to ensure they are generating a return on investment for you.

Therefore, it’s great to have tools in place that help you track these important metrics.

what is email marketing

So now that we’ve answered your question about what this marketing strategy really is, you might be asking “So does my business need email marketing?” Of course!

All businesses can benefit from email marketing, especially small businesses.

Email marketing tends to be an inexpensive and easy-to-track marketing channel, especially in comparison to other forms of traditional marketing.

What is the benefit of email marketing over other methods of marketing?

94% of Internet users use email.

Therefore, marketing through email allows you to reach a great deal of Internet users even if they are not on social media.

Furthermore, a survey found that an astounding 75% of adult online users say email marketing is actually their preferred marketing method!

If you’re not already utilizing email marketing, it is definitely something you should consider in order to reach a wider audience and strengthen your brand’s relationship with current customers.

Another benefit of email marketing is that it’s incredibly easy to track your ROI.

Everything is trackable with the use of email marketing software so you can determine who is opening your emails, who is clicking onto your site through your emails, and more.

Plus, the ROI is usually very high because you don’t have to put ad money behind emails to get them to the correct audience as you do with most other forms of advertising.

They are already targeted towards the ideal consumer because you are only sending emails to people who have given you permission via providing you with their email address.

This makes email marketing one of the cheapest possible marketing tactics.

One little-known fact is that 66% of all emails in the U.S. are opened on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

If you’ve been considering using a text message or SMS campaign, email marketing might actually be a better choice for you.

Email marketing works pretty much the same way as SMS marketing, but you can reach desktop users as well, and most smartphone users find emails to be less bothersome than text messages from companies.

what is email marketing

While email marketing is often used in conjunction with other forms of marketing like social media advertising and even TV and radio ads, it has its own unique set of advantages.

For example, let’s say you have an e-commerce store and you’re running a sale.

When you post about the sale on social media, not all your followers will see it.

Only about 1% of your followers will typically see a Facebook post unless you’ve boosted it using ad dollars.

If you send an email about your sale, it is guaranteed to be put in front of every single member of your email list.

Another big difference between email marketing and other forms of marketing is that people actually want to see your email promotions!

Anyone on your email list purposefully provided you with their email address because they wanted more information on your brand.

This is quite different from ads on search engines, social media, TV, magazines, and radio.

Someone who comes across your ad on Facebook, Google, or while watching the morning news did not request to learn more about your brand, so they are more likely to ignore your message or even be bothered by it.

When this happens, you’re probably wasting precious ad spend because those ad viewers aren’t interested.

This is where email marketing is different.

If a consumer directly provides you with their email address, it is because they specifically want to opt in to your email marketing.

This means they WANT to see your ads and promotions.

They may have been tempted with a coupon or some other promotion, but it is still a much more consent-based marketing strategy.

This is part of what makes email marketing so unique and so successful!

How does email marketing work with other forms of marketing?

As we continue to further explain this form of marketing, we must also mention how it works best with other marketing efforts.

As mentioned previously, email marketing works extremely well alongside social media marketing.

That’s why we highly recommend it.

You are able to cross-promote your company’s social media profiles on emails with buttons requesting that your email subscribers follow you.

You can also use your social media profiles to gather an email list to use in your email marketing campaigns.

There are a few ways to do this, one of which is to run a giveaway on your social media accounts that requests people provide their email address in order to enter.

This is a very effective way to get subscribers without seeming pushy.

You can also simply make posts asking your social media followers to subscribe to your email list and provide a link to a form they can sign up on.

Odds are, if they were interested enough to follow your brand on social media, they will want to learn more about your brand through email, as well.

You can even set up a lead generation campaign on Facebook geared towards collecting emails which you can then use in an email marketing campaign.

Email marketing also works in conjunction with a remarketing campaign!

Oftentimes, when your website visitors are shopping online they add items to their cart and forget to finish their purchase.

To combat this, you can use email marketing.

You can use emails to send cart reminders to your remarketing audience to encourage conversion and finish their purchase.

These emails can even be personalized to fit your brand and with specific products from your online store! See the image below for an example.

what is email marketing

How Do You Do Email Marketing?

Here’s a simplified list of the steps for running email marketing:

  1. You need to set your goals first
  2. Start building a targeted email list
  3. Know your audience and understand their pain points
  4. Craft a convincing email content
  5. Pick the right email marketing service tool
  6. Plan your follow-ups

How do you start an email marketing campaign?

Before you even start developing an email marketing campaign, you’ll want to set your goals and identify your audience.

What is email marketing? — It’s incredibly versatile.

Therefore, once you set the goals you want for your campaigns and identify who your audience is, you can start to customize.

With email marketing software, you can customize emails with subscribers’ names and can send out personalized emails for people’s birthdays.

You can even maintain separate email lists and send out different offers or promotions to different audience sets.

Not every message you come up with will resonate with every one of your subscribers, so it may be beneficial to segment your email lists and create different emails that correspond to different portions of your overall audience.

This will help with your open rates and CTR in the long run.

The first step to starting an email marketing campaign is to gather an email list.

Before a potential subscriber provides you with their email address, there are a few questions they are likely to consider.

Will you spam them?

What do they have to gain from giving you their email address?

Will you send special discounts?

Will you make their email address public or sell it?

You’re going to want to make it clear to would-be subscribers that they will benefit from subscribing to your email list and you will not spam them or give anyone else their email address.

Establishing this trust will ultimately help encourage individuals to join your mailing list.

There are countless ways to build your email list, but a good place to start is to embed an email registration form on your website.

This way you can leverage your existing website visitors and offer them special information or discounts in exchange for their email address.

This tactic is commonly used today with many retailers because people love coupons and they will be quick to provide their email information for a great deal.

You can also use your social media accounts to gather emails, as mentioned previously.

What should be the email content?

Once you have a solid email list, it’s time to start planning your emails.

There is a vast range of content you can include in your emails and unique formatting options to choose from.

Email marketing is much more customizable than other forms of advertising, so the sky’s the limit!

Remember to stick to your brand guide when developing content for your emails.

By this we mean, don’t forget your brand voice, brand colors, any other elements that set your business apart.

Some examples of content you can include in your emails are links to articles on your website, loyalty rewards for subscribers.

And, customer testimonials, information about new promotions or sales, and announcements about new items or services.

Emails can also be used to simply remind people who have expressed interest in your company that you exist!

When they finally join your email list, don’t forget to send them a compelling welcome message.

Keep in mind that they are not just warm leads but potential paying customers as well.

You don’t have to send them constant messages, but sending messages when they join and every now and then are important to keeping your subscribers engaged.

And if you do your job right, they will also turn into your brand ambassadors – for free.

You just have to impress them and this welcome message is the first chance you’ll get. Make it count.

On the subject of loyalty rewards, 64% of U.S. Internet users have printed a coupon from an email!

Email coupons can be used to drive both in-store and online sales.

Making them incredibly valuable tools that can easily be incorporated into your email marketing strategy.

The promise of email coupons is also an excellent way to get people to subscribe to your email list!

what is email marketing

Like we mentioned before, people love coupons and deals, so take advantage of that.

From writing the perfect subject line to selecting the most eye-catching layout, crafting your emails can be overwhelming.

Don’t worry! We’re here to help!

The content you include in your emails is important but it really depends on the type of business you are running.

However, there are some techniques that work best for most businesses.

For example, a study by the Relevancy Group found that marketers who add a video to their email campaigns see a rise in revenue of approximately 40%.

Infographics, lists, and promotions/discounts also make for very appealing emails.

Just be careful not to make all your emails about selling products.

Even though you do want your subscribers to make a purchase from you, your emails should also include valuable information your subscribers may be interested in reading.

Valuable information is what will keep your subscribers coming back and checking out your other emails in the future.

Some examples of content that can add value to your emails are answers to popular FAQs, snippets from blog posts on your website, and surveys or polls.

What should be the email layout?

As far as layout goes, congruence is key.

Your emails should match the style of your website, ads, and social media accounts for consistent branding. 

Like we mentioned earlier, you want your emails to be cohesive.

Templates help with that, but you also want your emails to be consistent with your brand as a whole.

Also, since about half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, you’re going to want to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly.

Just like websites that are mobile-optimized get more conversions, emails that are mobile-friendly can too.

what is email marketing

What Is Email Optimization?

Email optimization is the process of improving your email campaigns so that they reach more of your recipients and lead to better brand-consumer relationships. 

Optimization is just as important to your emails as it is to any of your other marketing campaigns.

Why?

Because optimized emails will help you enforce the methods that work the best and can even help you get the most out of your investment.

So you need to make sure your emails are always optimized.

Another useful tip to keep in mind for your own email marketing campaigns is that there are optimal times you should be sending your emails out.

Subscribers are more likely to open an email if they aren’t busy at the time they receive it.

Otherwise, they may open it later, or they may also forget about it and let it sit in their inbox indefinitely. 

Luckily, most email marketing software platforms will help you figure out which times are ideal for you to send out emails.

Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to send emails during hours when people in your target audience are likely to be free.

Early mornings before people go to work, popular lunch break times, and evenings, when people get off work, are typically the most successful times to send out out emails.

You can always use data gleaned from previous emails to make improvements to future emails.

A/B split testing is the best way to determine which types of content resonate the best with your audience.

After all, the overarching goal of your emails should be to get the right message to the right person at the right time.

It can be tricky to get all those things to line up perfectly, especially on the first try. That’s why A/B split testing is so important!

What is email etiquette? What is not?

Now that we’ve discussed what email marketing is, why it’s beneficial, and how to properly utilize emails in your marketing strategy.

Here are some things you should avoid in your email marketing ventures.

For starters, don’t send spam.

Spamming your email subscribers is an ineffective email marketing strategy because it won’t lead to increased sales or favorable brand recognition and it can destroy your company’s reputation.

Not to mention, most email servers might separate your emails into the spam box if they sense that these are “spammy.”

In this case, the chances your subscribers see your email messages will be low.

Consider someone providing you with their email address similar to them inviting you into their home.

The last thing you want to do is inundate them with spam or misleading messages and disrespect them in their own home.

There is also a piece of legislation called the CAN-SPAM Act that includes a series of rules to curtail the transmission of spam.

These rules include having a non-deceptive subject line, a method subscribers can use to easily unsubscribe from your email list.

And, your name and address at the end of all emails.

As long as you adhere to the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act, your emails should be spam-free!

Another poor email marketing tactic you should never take advantage of is purchasing pre-made email lists.

You should build up your email list with people who have a genuine interest in your company.

Purchasing a pre-existing email list is a bad idea for many reasons.

But mostly because it can provide you with unqualified people who will be less likely to have a genuine interest in your brand.

And, more likely to unsubscribe from your emails or even report them as spam.

In turn, this will end up as more of a loss than a gain for your email efforts.

What Is An Email Marketing Strategy?

An email marketing strategy is a plan that covers all the aspects of your email marketing campaign.

It should cover who your audience is, the content of the email, and the frequency. The strategy should be based on your email marketing goals.

What are the types of email marketing?

Yes, there are multiple buckets your email marketing can fall into.

There are three important types of email marketing: email newsletters, transactional emails, and behavioral emails.

Email newsletters are used for important communications and promotions. Transactional emails are used to confirm transactions.

Behavioral emails are those which are triggered by customer actions.

What is the best email marketing service?

There are many email platforms you can use and the one you choose will depend on what type of functionality you prefer.

The following are some of the most commonly used email service providers:

  • Mailchimp
  • Drip 
  • ConvertKit
  • AWeber
  • GetResponse
  • Constant Contact
  • SendinBlue

These email marketing service providers are the most commonly used and are all great choices for building and managing your campaigns.

What are the 4 types of marketing emails?

There are different types of email marketing content in use today. Those include:

  • Quizzes
  • Puzzles
  • Interactive videos
  • Polls
  • GIFs

As you can see, contents with visuals and those that require interaction are the ones that work best.

What Are Email Marketing Services?

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Email marketing services are professional strategies meant to help businesses manage and improve their email campaigns.

These services can be part of an overall marketing strategy that may include elements of SEO, social media, and PPC marketing, or it can be handled as a separate entity.

What is the best free email marketing service?

The best free email marketing service tools that are available now are:

  • Mailchimp
  • Benchmark  
  • OmniSend 
  • Sendinblue  

Just remember that the free email marketing tools would have limited features compared to the paid ones.

Depending on what your business needs will help you determine if you want to invest in the full paid package.

In summary, email marketing services are meant to help businesses handle their email marketing needs.

It can be part of an overall internet marketing together with SEO, social media, or PPC marketing or it can be on its own.

One of the only potential downsides to email marketing is that it can be time-consuming.

That’s why you might want to consider hiring a digital marketing agency to take care of all your email marketing needs.

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