Email Marketing: Definition, Strategies, and How to Succeed
Every business has its bag of tricks when it comes to digital marketing. Right now, the buzzwords that are hot on everybody’s lips are SEO, PPC, and content marketing. Whilst they’re all worth their weight in gold, one form of marketing works quietly in the background, away from the limelight, taking businesses to new heights.
Yup, email marketing was and still provides the best ROI of any other digital marketing tactic. Around the world, 30% of marketers support this belief and all the heavyweight brands are using it.
The truth is that email marketing plays a fundamental role in any marketing strategy because of its ability to nurture relationships and convert leads into paying customers. But what also makes email marketing so special is that unlike other forms of digital marketing, it’s accessible to anyone.
You don’t have to have deep pockets to enjoy its lucrative returns. In this post we’re going to explore what email marketing is, how it can benefit your business, and just as importantly, how you can create an email marketing strategy
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending commercial messages or promotional content to a group of people via email. It is used to communicate with customers, build relationships, promote products or services, and drive sales.
Businesses around the world are using it to showcase their expertise, boost brand awareness, nurture leads, and facilitate lead generation. If you open up your inbox now, there’s a good chance that half of it is filled with email marketing from some of your favorite brands.
Some of the content will be purely promotional in nature, while the rest will be focused on providing solutions to problems.
Either way, they both serve one overarching purpose - to drive sales.
Email Marketing: The Facts
Email marketing has an impressive ROI: The average ROI for email marketing is $42 for every $1 spent.
It's an effective tool for customer retention: 80% of retail professionals said email marketing is their most effective tool for customer retention.
Email marketing helps build loyalty: Businesses that send regular newsletters to their subscribers have a 33% higher rate of customer retention.
Personalized emails are more effective: Personalized emails have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate than generic emails.
Promotions sent via email are well received: 72% of consumers prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.
Mobile optimization is crucial: 54% of all email opens occur on mobile devices. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that your emails are optimized for mobile viewing.
Email marketing can increase sales: Abandoned cart emails have an average open rate of 46%, and a click-through rate of 13%. This means that email reminders about abandoned carts can help recover potentially lost sales.
It's a cost-effective marketing tool: Compared to traditional marketing methods, email marketing is relatively inexpensive. There are no postage or printing costs, and you can reach a large audience with just one click.
Segmented emails can improve engagement: Segmented email campaigns have a 14.31% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.
It's a measurable marketing tool: With email marketing, you can track and measure the success of your campaigns. You can see how many people opened your email, clicked on links, and made a purchase, allowing you to refine and improve your strategy over time.
Why is Email Marketing Important?
There were four billion email users in 2020 and this is expected to grow to 4.6 billion in 2025. On top of this, there are 347.3 billion emails sent every day.
The shift to the digital realm is no secret - customers are more likely to interact with their favorite businesses online. And as a result, email marketing has become even more fundamental to nurturing leads with powerful content that helps you achieve the holy grail of marketing - brand loyalty.
Here are the benefits of email marketing and how it can impact your business.
Contact With Customers
When customers come into contact with you, online or in person, you’ll want to have some form of communication that keeps them on your radar and vice versa. Few methods are as effective as email marketing to achieve this.
Stats show that 99% of email users check their inboxes every day - some as much as 20x a day. What’s more is that 58% of users will check their inbox before dipping into the news or social media.
Get your email in front of your customer base and you won’t be ignored. By building and maintaining a list of subscribers, you can leverage email campaigns to stay top of mind with your audience, share information, and promote products or services.
Improved Customer Retention and Lifetime Value
By using targeted email communications, businesses can create personalized messages that resonate with their customers, keeping them engaged and loyal to the brand. Email campaigns can also provide valuable data insights, allowing businesses to track customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history.
With this information, businesses can segment their audience and deliver more relevant and timely messages, further increasing the likelihood of customer retention and repeat purchases - all of which play a significant role in improving customer lifetime value.
Increased Brand Awareness
Maintaining a constant presence in the minds of your target market is essential, especially given the amount of marketing consumers are bombarded with on a daily basis. Failing to do so will make your competitors take center stage - a situation you want to avoid.
Having customers provide you with their email address of their own accord demonstrates an interest in your business.
Email marketing campaigns, when used in conjunction with other tactics like social media, SEO, or behavioral targeting tools, can enhance brand awareness by keeping your brand top of mind. This approach can help you create content that aligns with user behavior, ultimately building your brand and boosting its recognition.
Email marketing can generate a whopping 400% ROI - a remarkable return on investment that can significantly impact your business. Studies show that email marketing can provide you with $40 for every $1 you spend, making it head and shoulders above any other form of marketing as regards costs.
Stronger Customer Relations
Emails are the primary channel to deliver your content directly to your target market's inbox. While some emails will be purely sales based, a successful content marketing campaign will also provide insights on how to solve a customer’s problems.
Email newsletters have become a powerful communication tool that pulls prospects closer to a brand through powerful content. It all boils down to value and consistently providing this in your email marketing builds trust, which in turn creates brand loyalty.
And what does this lead to?
More sales. More revenue. And more growth.
How to Develop an Email Marketing Strategy
Build a Quality Email List
It’s essential to build a quality email list with engaged subscribers who have opted in to receive your emails. Focus on quality over quantity, and avoid purchasing email lists from external parties.
Use a Clear and Compelling Subject Line
Your subject line is your first impression. It’s the first thing your email subscribers see, so make it snappy and compelling enough to increase your open rate.
Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your overall email list will allow you to send targeted and personalized emails to different groups of subscribers based on their interests, preferences, or behaviors.
Know Your Audience
Considering you've segmented your subscribers into lists, you should know the basics about them. The important thing about this is that you can tweak your email copy, call-to-action, and even your landing page to best suit your target audience. Taking this into account will boost conversion rates significantly.
Personalize Your Emails
Personalizing your emails with recipient names or other relevant information will increase open and click-through rates. For efficiency purposes, email templates are fantastic, but don't go sending emails with 'insert name here' as the intro - put some effort into the personaliztion.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
With more and more people using mobile devices to access email, optimizing your emails for mobile is essential. Your email design should be responsive.
Provide Value in Your Emails
As with your email lists, go for quality and value over quantity with your emails. Whether it’s informative content, entertaining content, offers, or other benefits. This will keep your customers engaged and improve your customer and brand loyalty.
Use Clear & Prominent CTAs
Your emails should include clear and obvious CTAs that encourage your customers to take action, such as making a purchase or scheduling a demo.
Email automation, or marketing automation in general, can cause the rise or fall of your email marketing. Automation allows you to be where you weren't before, perfect your timing, and always get your message across. It's also great for customer experience. However, make sure the emails you choose are performing well before you involve them in automation flows.
Test & Optimize Emails
Email marketing is one of the easiest forms of marketing in which you can complete A/B tests. Try experimenting with subject lines, CTAs, and copy. You can even A/B test with promotions within emails. This will help you to optimize your emails and improve your results over time.
Monitor & Analyze Email Metrics
You should measure your email marketing success using metrics or KPIs. Look at click-through rates, open rates, conversion rates & more to monitor your progress and success.
Sourcing Contacts for Your Email Marketing Lists
Create a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a valuable incentive that you offer to your website visitors in exchange for their email address. It could be a free eBook, whitepaper, or webinar.
Use Social Media
Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote your email newsletter and encourage people to sign up.
Use Gated Content
Gated content is content that can only be accessed by providing contact information, such as an email address. This can be a powerful way to capture new email contacts.
Attend networking events
Attending networking events and conferences can be a great way to meet new people and promote your email newsletter.
Run a referral program
Encourage your current subscribers to refer friends and family to your email newsletter by offering incentives like discounts or exclusive content.
Use pop-up forms
Pop-up forms on your website can be a powerful way to capture new email contacts. Make sure they are well-designed and provide clear value to visitors.
Use paid advertising
Consider using paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn to promote your email newsletter and attract new subscribers.
Craft Tailored Content
Valuable content creates a magnetic pull to your business - even more so when it’s tailored to your target market. At this stage, your goal is to ensure that your content is personalized and solves your target market’s biggest problems.
Take your business to new heights with email marketing
The widespread digital adoption amongst consumers has made email marketing even more crucial for businesses to accelerate growth. Companies of all sizes are adopting email marketing strategies. It helps to build relationships, grow brands, and drive sales. Plus, it's all cost-effective!
But for this to happen, you need to develop an email marketing strategy that aligns with the needs of your target market. Achieve this and you’ll foster enough brand loyalty to maximize growth with minimal ad spend.