A Beginner’s Guide To Successful Email Marketing

The introduction of the Internet has made email marketing an important tool for any business. However, most of the campaigns that people get in their inboxes are so poorly written nobody takes note of them. Learn what email marketing is, why and how companies should use it.

Email marketing is a type of direct marketing and it uses email to communicate to the audience. In general, any email sent to a customer, potential or current, is considered email marketing.

Nevertheless, when being specific the term means: A merchant sending emails to previous or current customers to cultivate loyalty and encourage repeat business. Sending emails to try and win new customers or convince the existing ones to buy something. Including advertisements to emails that other companies send to their customers. What are the key advantages of email marketing over traditional marketing? You can track the return on investment and when done properly, it is high. After search marketing, email marketing is the most effective method of online marketing.

Advertisers have access to multiple email subscribers. Almost all Internet users send and check their email daily. Through email marketing, marketers can send dynamic, relevant, and personalized messages. Transaction emails help businesses to automatically attend to consumer events. The cons of email marketing include spam/rejection rate of the sent emails by the customers’ email program, which does not have a positive effect on the delivery rate of emails.

Email marketing is cost effective. It does not matter whether you use an email marketing agency or do it yourself; sending emails to thousands of consumers will cost way less than other advertising channels will. Emails usually target the ideal customer. Coupled with the cost effectiveness of this method, the ROIs of other direct marketing strategies have nothing on email marketing.

Measurability and flexibility; analytics allow you to see the responses to your emails making it easy to know what is working and what is not. You can, therefore, modify the campaign as necessary. Dave Chaffey of Marketing Insights has a mnemonic, “CRITICAL”, for the success of email marketing. Creative pertains to the general design (color/layout/images) of your email. It helps to ask every customer if they prefer the emails in HTML or text.

Most people greatly prefer one to the other. Targeting is of great importance here. Make sure that your emails are relevant and personalized for each recipient to increase the chances of a positive response. Recipients want to know what’s in it for them. Offer them something and the chances of them responding will be higher. Consider the time that the consumer will receive the email. The same goes for certain days or even months.

Trial and error will help you know the perfect timing. Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is better than numerous methods of differentiated marketing or a single method of marketing. IMC involves having all aspects of a company’s promotion work together. When it comes to copywriting, have every aspect planned out, from the subject line to the email signature.

Sometimes, you do not have to put all links at the bottom of the copy. Experimenting with different attributes lets you know what works best for your business. For the emails to become sales conversions, direct your customers to the exact location you want them.

Even with the rise of social media, email is still an important part of most people’s lives. So if you are an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do for your business is build a lucrative email marketing campaign. Many people, however, have no idea how to. Everywhere people look they are met with advertisements, pitches, and all kinds of interruption.

Although you might think yours is unique, the reader, most likely, cannot tell the difference. Never forget the space that you are in and always have your best manners. Being in another person’s inbox is similar to being invited over to their house for dinner. If your host requires you to take off your shoes, you do not argue. The same case applies to email marketing, it is their personal space and you have to be respectful. Acquiring permission is the first step to having a successful email marketing campaign. You need to have a sizable email list. You might do this by giving freebies, offering product updates, or a newsletter.

There is no right or wrong way between the two, provided you express a clear purpose when requesting someone’s address. Make people excited to give their addresses instead of just writing, “enter your email for updates”. Great email service providers strive to ensure that major ISPs do not block your emails. They have no control of where your emails end up; spam box or inbox.

Getting whitelisted ensures proper delivery of your emails. You get whitelisted by having your recipient add you to their address book. Always give instructions on how to do this in every email. Set your expectations. A strong call-to-action and consistent follow-up is the ingredients of a positive campaign. Do not promise to send out one email in a week and then send emails every day—deliver on your promise, whatever it is.

Step in your reader’s shoes if you plan to pitch often. Your messaging should be consistent with the expectations you set. Always ask yourself what value you are adding. The best newsletters, for most readers, are those that mix updates and messaging properly. When you are sending out a newsletter with images and product updates, try to include a friendly update or personal message. Instead of talking to your list only when you have something to sell, utilize autoresponder and schedule content for consistent delivery. It helps to be in touch and have a relationship with your list.

The three most crucial analytics are un-subscriber’s, click through rate (CTR), and open rate. Open rate tells you whether people read or delete your email upon receipt. A low CTR means your message is not getting through. A high un-subscription rate means you have a lot of work to do. Segmentation is splitting your list into targeted groups. Segmenting your list helps you send targeted emails. Your email list is a very valuable resource and if you run your email marketing campaign right, the ROI will be high.

Do you ever wonder if you are sending spam emails unintentionally? Are your email marketing tactics legally compliant?  Before you send that email to unsuspecting recipients, there is a lot of information you need to have. The following are laws in the USA concerning sent email and tips to make sure your email does not hit the spam folder. The CAN SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) Act 2003 is the main law about commercial email.

The law was passed in 2003 and it governs commercial email including bulk and individual emails. For your email to fall under this Act, it should have “the primary purpose of commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.” The email should aim at marketing something.

If your email contains relationship content or is transactional (it is not commercial) it should only comply with the Act part “…it may not contain false or misleading routing information…” You can get up to $40,654 in penalties. This Act has seven rules, each of which you have to follow so your email is not considered spam. Your header should not contain false information: identify yourself (the sender) accurately.

Your subject line should not contain lies/deception: it should truthfully show the contents of the email. Identify your message as an ad; your recipient should know straight away that you are advertising. Indicate your actual location: the included physical postal address should be valid. Let them know how to opt out; recipients should know how to opt out of your list.

Process their opt-out requests automatically; the recipient should be removed from your list within 10 days after opting out. You are liable, provided your name is there; even if you hire a contractor to send the emails, you still remain liable. For sending bulk emails, use an email-marketing provider and your emails will be likely to remain legal. The header information should be correct.

You need the recipient’s permission to send out the email. Avoid clickbait style subjects and remain truthful. Let your recipient know it is an Ad; according to the law, the email should be “clear and conspicuous”. Only you would know how best to ensure this. Physical address and an opt-out mechanism; email marketing makes this easier. Both of them can be added to your default footer so they appear in all emails. It is harder to be compliant with the CAN SPAM Act when using Gmail, Outlook, etc. Email Header information; this one should be easy unless you are using a fake account (which is very risky, so stop it if you are).

Physical address; you can always add this using an email signature. Opt out mechanism; the most common method for doing this is including a text prompting the employee (recipient) to reply with “unsubscribe” if they do not wish to continue receiving emails. The CAN SPAM Act does not require you to add a legal disclaimer but they ensure legality and protect your confidentiality.

Email is not dead. It is a crucial component of any marketing plan and allows you to reach the audience conveniently when you need to. However, people receive countless emails in their inboxes daily, how do you make sure yours are unique? And where should an email marketing newbie begin? Even if readers have subscribed to your email-marketing program, you still need to outshine the hundreds of emails that flow into their inboxes and make sure yours gets opened.

Captivating subject lines are essential to increasing open rates. Do not be in a hurry and skim through this vital process. It is also the first thing that your readers see. For your email goals to be successful, you need to allow fans to subscribe to your emails. Include a subscription form in your website and on your business Facebook page, allowing customers to opt in your email list. Whenever you attend events, collect as many email addresses as you can.

Your readers should know what they are signing up for. An ESP (Email Service Provider) will do a great job deploying your email blasts. Email Service Providers help you create designed emails, view performance records, manage unsubscribe requests, and your address list. An ESP also offers you a collection of prebuilt templates making it possible for you to design emails without having coding skills. Almost half of your subscribers open their email on a mobile device.

Consider your email audience while designing or selecting an email template. Most ESPs indicate whether a template is mobile friendly or not. Do not make an email 100% about selling your product. It is a great opportunity to create a relationship with your audience and promote your brand. Balance promotional and informative content for you to have a trusting and loyal subscriber base. Have test accounts with the most popular email clients (Outlook, AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo) to see how your email appears to different readers. Send a copy to each of your “testing addresses” before you send it to your audience. Email ending up in spam instead of inbox is a common problem. Subscribe to your newsletter using several email platforms with a testing email or your personal email.

After sending an email, check your inbox, and if they land in the spam folder almost every time, you have a problem and you should contact your ESP.  What time should you send your email? Should your name be in the subject line? You can only know the answers by experimenting because every subscriber base is different. Know what the law requires of you and adhere to it. For US citizens, there is the CAN-SPAM Act that governs sending out emails. Be consistent to keep the readers engaged and maintain a healthy relationship with them. 

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