Email marketing is one of the most profitable marketing channels, but aside from copywriting and visual design, it also requires a strategic mix of testing, measurement, and automation for success. In this article, we'll go over all the basics of email marketing to help you get started.
Why is Email Marketing So Profitable?
As rare as it is to receive a physical, hand-written letter from a friend, it’s 100 times rarer to get a promotional email that you actually enjoy. And it’s not because email is dead, it’s oversaturated and more often than not — not executed well. Over 144 billion emails are sent out each day, and marketers cite that email marketing is by far one of the most profitable marketing channels today. In fact, marketers who are sending out personalized, well-written, and targeted emails cite an average ROI of $36 for every $1 spent on email.
So what makes email marketing so profitable? We’ll dive into all the ins and outs you need to not only understand what email marketing is all about but to come out as an email expert to start generating more revenue for your business.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a direct marketing strategy that uses email to promote a business’ products and services. Email marketing allows you to send information directly to your target customers without an advertising middleman.
In a world where organic social media marketing is increasingly becoming more difficult and digital advertising costs are rising, there’s nothing more valuable than owning your own distribution channel to speak directly to your customers. In fact, the cost per click on Facebook is up 13% in 2022 compared to 2020, and the average organic reach of a Facebook page post is only 5.2%! That means if you have 1,000 followers on your Facebook page, you’re likely to only reach 52 people on average!
The History of Email Marketing
In 1971, engineer Ray Tomlinson sent out the very first test email. A year later, Larry Roberts invented the first email management system, which allowed users to select, forward, or respond to emails. The first email blast recorded was in 1978 by Gary Thuerk, which according to reports generated $13 million in sales. In 1989, AOL launched with the iconic “you’ve got mail” sound bite.
Email became ubiquitous in the 90s and is largely email as we know it today. In 1998, Microsoft developed Internet Mail which later became Outlook. Hotmail was also launched in the same year, which became the most popular and most accessible form of digital communication.
One of the greatest milestones for email marketing was the introduction of HTML in 1998 to improve the visuals and experience of emails. It enabled marketers to add fonts, colors, graphics, and images as internet access and speeds began to improve. In 2009, responsive emails emerged that optimized emails for desktop, mobile, and tablets. We’ll dig into why this is important later in this article.
Does Email Marketing Still Work?
Contrary to the occasional sensationalist headline like “email is dead,” email is becoming more important for businesses today. It’s one of the most cost-effective tools that also drives incredible ROI. Email marketing is an excellent channel to:
stay in touch with your customers and encourage repeat business
stay in touch with your prospective customers and encourage sales
build direct relationships with your audience
drive traffic to your website
promote your latest promotions
provide valuable information that drives a sale
and much more
Spam email that is annoying. We are NOT encouraging you to spam people whom you've never had contact with or who don't know your business. You’ll see the highest ROI when you build and maintain an engaged subscriber list, made up of your customers, people who've shown interest in your products and services, and/or people who have opted in to receive your emails via a subscriber form on your website. Building an email list in this way can take more work at the outset, but it is by far the most effective way.
There are lots of ways to find people who’ll look forward to getting your emails, but we’ve rounded up a few that work best:
Create a signup form on your website. When people come to your website for the first time and like what they see, they’ll want a way to stay in-the-know about your brand. Create a form for newsletter signups and install a pop-up to collect customer data from your visitors.
Use a good old-fashioned signup sheet. Whether it’s at your brick and mortar store, or an event that you’re hosting or attending, when you’re surrounded by people who are into what you do, provide a place for them to sign up and learn more.
Drive signups through social media. If you don’t have a substantial email list (or you’d just like to see it grow), but you’ve got an engaged social media following, tap into that resource. Share your signup form on your social channels.
Ask permission to add them to your email list. When communicating with customers or prospects, ask if it's okay to email them occasional information that may interest them. Promise not to spam them, and keep your promise.
4 Types of Email Marketing
Emails are not only sent in one-offs to promote something. Oftentimes, marketers create automated email flows that are triggered by actions, timing, and behavior. These flows utilize a mix of different email formats, that can be largely split into these four categories.
1. Email Newsletters
These provide news, updates, and educational content on a regular basis to consistently engage with your email audience. This is a scalable way to increase your email list and stay top-of-mind without pushing a sales message.
2. Acquisition Emails
Acquisition emails are sales-focused emails that provide informative content about the value you bring to convince a prospect to purchase from you. The ultimate goal is to push leads down your conversion funnel faster in a very personalized and targeted way.
3. Retention Emails
Retention emails are designed to re-engage with cold leads or people who haven’t heard from you in a long time. Retention emails can help kickstart interest or even nudge a prospect into purchasing if the time is right. These may come in several forms including:
Revival emails that re-engage churned users.
Upsells, renewal, and cross-sell emails to sell more to your existing customers and increase purchase frequency.
Product retention emails that help increase product usage and satisfaction.
4. Promotional Emails
Promotional emails help deliver an enticing offer or new product offerings to encourage prospects to purchase or subscribe to your product or service. It’s a strategy that can help both upsell and cross-sell products to your customers.
Learn More: Learn more about how to build your email list, define your audience, decide what to write, design of your email campaigns, how often to send them, and how to measure performance. Read our article: Email Marketing: Tips for Successful Campaigns that Generate Sales »
With over 144 billion emails sent out each day, marketers are taking advantage of one of the most profitable channels today. As you’ve read, email marketing is a lot more complex than some fancy graphics and copywriting, but involves a strategic mix of measurement, testing, and automation to be successful.
There are a lot of technical aspects if you look under the hood of email marketing like deliverability, inbox placements, and sender IP management. There are also strategies to avoid being marked as spam by sending highly relevant emails to the right recipients. Consider consulting an agency, consultant, or freelancer specializing in email to help cover all your bases when getting started!
So that you’re now familiar with how to build a successful email strategy, it’s time for you to go out and build one for yourself. Whether you’re producing newsletters, acquisition emails, retention emails, or promotional emails (or all the above), keep in mind to always be testing!
We can help with your email marketing!
A beautiful design will help your business' emails STAND OUT from the junk mail. Creative Instinct can help you with design and setup of your email marketing template and list! To inquire, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.creativeinstinct.biz/services.
Original article by Liron Biton, Elementor.com; link: https://elementor.com/blog/email-marketing-strategy/
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