Have you ever asked, “Is email marketing a good option for me?”. If so, this article will help you sift through the pros and cons to make your decision, so stay tuned.
The scenario goes…
You have a business and you’re looking for the best way to market your business. You’ve heard email marketing is a good option and you see other businesses using it, but, you wonder: Could email marketing work for your business?
Is your business too small for email marketing?
Would you even be able to afford it, or get email marketing up and running?
The one thing you are most likely sure about (at least we hope you are) is how you don’t want to sound. You don’t want to be like the companies that flood your inbox with hundreds of emails. You know, the ones you ignore or just quickly mark as read so they stop filling up your inbox.
So what’s this email marketing thing about? And how exactly does it work?
What is Email Marketing?
When you use email as a channel to create awareness about your business, or inform people about new products, this is referred to as email marketing.
You can use email marketing to build a relationship with potential customers, or to help keep your business in people’s minds after purchasing from you.
Your audience can then easily remember you when they need another product or service that you provide.
And if they remember you, then they may also refer you to their friends and family.
What is Email Marketing Used for?
Email marketing is a direct form of marketing. You are sending out communication to people who have accepted to receive email communication from you.
And you can use it to:
- Promote a product, new or not
- Build relationships with the audience
- Inform them of company news, changes and announcements
- Communicate the status of a purchase. Is the purchase completed? is the item in transit?
- Reach out to potential customers
With all these uses, let’s find out if email marketing would really accomplish them in today’s world.
Is Email Marketing still effective in 2021?
Now email has been with us since before social media sites like Facebook. It could be considered old.
So does it still work in this period of Social Media?
According to InternetLiveStats, 3,025,381 emails are sent each second! And, people wouldn’t send so many emails if they knew they would get no one to open, read, or reply to them, right? This means, yes, email absolutely does still work today!
Let’s take a step back and picture who in the world uses email. Busy CEOs that would not have time for social media use email right?
The elderly or those who don’t want to or can’t keep up with new social media sites probably have email.
Email is a must-have for anyone trying to have a professional life of some sort. And, it doesn’t matter what country you live in, it’s common for residents there to use email. It’s needed everywhere these days!
Email Marketing in Statistics
What does the data say?
According to Statista, the number of email users worldwide in 2020 was at around 4 billion! The number of emails sent per year is even higher.
And compared to social media, email marketing brings a higher Return on Investment (ROI). Research showed that email marketing brought in about $55 for every $1 spent.
Email was rated 91% important while social media was rated 83% important by other marketers.
So what are these businesses doing to make email marketing work for them?
Keep reading to find the best strategy to get email marketing to work for you.
Email Marketing Strategy that Works
We’ll look at this from the very start, and go step by step to show you how to make email marketing work for you.
Before you start your email marketing campaign, you would need to have objectives. Set your objectives: whether that’s brand recognition, relationship building or sales increase.
That will help you tailor the strategy to your business. Now that you have your objectives, we can look at our first step:
1. Build an Email List
Create a way to collect emails of people that you will communicate to..
How do you do this?
Offer Incentives to Build Your Email List
To get people to sign up voluntarily for email communication from you, you need to provide an incentive.
It could be access to an exclusive event that they would not want to miss out on, or an ebook with valuable content. Free downloads, access to new products, discounts and sales also offer great incentives.
Think of an incentive that will really work for your target audience. Here is our list of 80+ lead magnet/incentive ideas you can pull from. As you’re reading thru that, imagine, what can you provide that would help them make their lives easier?
Tell people what they can Expect
What will be in those emails you send out?
For people to consent to something, they need to know what they are consenting to.
So be honest about what you will send to them. Is it occasional emails to alert them of sales? A monthly newsletter with industry trends? Be upfront on what they can expect.
Pro Tip: Follow Regulations in your Local Area
Did you know there are regulations on what you can and can’t do with email marketing?
Things like CAN-SPAM and GDPR (especially if you have clientele in EU countries) need to be followed.
Some rules you need to follow are:
- Having an unsubscribe button in all your emails. Make it easy for your audience to opt-out if they wish to do so.
- Including contact information in all your emails, including the business address.
- Avoid misleading information. Your subject line and body should be linked.
Once you have your list and are aware of the rules you need to follow, we move to email content.
2. Provide Valuable Content to your Email List
Email content plays a critical role in how successful email marketing is for you.
You need to put in some work with the content.
Provide value to your audience. They trusted you with their emails, and with their time.
Do not waste this trust.
Create a sequence of emails to keep your audience interested. Whether you are informing, educating or entertaining, make sure it engages your audience.
Think about the message you want to give out before sending out the emails.
Play out the email sequence so that it flows well from one email to another and doesn’t leave people feeling lost or shocked. If you are gearing up for a sale, warm them up with email sequences to get them ready for the sale.
Once you have the content, you need to measure how the emails are performing, and who to send different emails to.
3. Use Analytics to Improve Email Marketing Experience
Email marketing can be improved by using analytics provided by your email service provider. What kind of data can you get?
- You can get data on open rates to show you how many people are opening your emails.
If fewer people are opening your emails, it may mean that you need to improve your subject line or find out if there are technical issues with delivering your emails.
- Clickthrough rates show you how many people clicked on links you added to the website.
It could show you which calls to action are working and which you need to work on.
- And finally, there are the subscribers and those who unsubscribed from your mailing list.
Many unsubscribers could mean you are targeting the wrong people, or the frequency of sending emails needs changing.
And speaking of frequency…
4. Don’t Send Too Many or Too Few Emails
Your Email Frequency affects how successful your email marketing is.
If you are sending daily emails, people may get overwhelmed and unsubscribe from your mailing list.
If you send emails that are too few and very spaced with months in between, your audience may also fail to interact with you.
You will need to be consistent without being overbearing.
A great way to do this is to create a sequence of emails and pre-schedule them using scheduling tools. That way, you won’t have to think of content every month or week, for instance. And you can work on other parts of the business while the emails are already set.
5. Personalize The Emails
An introduction that starts with the person’s name sounds so much more personal than a generic ‘Dear User’ type of start.
Go the extra mile and add the person’s name to make your emails more personalized.
6. Make The Emails Responsive (mobile-friendly)
Make sure that your emails are optimized for smartphones. They should look just as good on smaller screens as they do on large laptop or desktop screens.
Most people read their emails on their phones, so make it easy for them to read your emails on the go as well.
This may all sound like it needs so many technical skills.
But it doesn’t.
There are tools that you can use.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing can be made much easier with different software.
And the best thing is, there are options for different budgets. So even if you are just starting out, there’s an option for you.
Here are a few that even come with FREE! Plans.
This software lets you use it for FREE for up to 1000 emails in your email list.
With the free version, you get an email manager for your email list, landing pages and forms, and access to email templates that you can customize.
To get extra features like automated scheduling of several emails, you can subscribe for a starting price of $29 per month.
GetResponse lets you create landing pages, send out emails and automate many parts of your email marketing. Its basic plan costs $15 per month for your first 1000 email list subscribers.
You can consider their most popular plan which allows you to hold webinars in addition to its basic features. GetResponse offers a 1-month free trial that you could use to see how it works.
The last email automation software also provides its services for $20 a month, depending on the number of contacts on your list.
The subscription lets you manage your contacts, where you can upload them from an excel sheet or outlook, and group them into different segments.
You also get landing page templates and the ability to automate welcome emails to new subscribers.
Using Email Marketing Tools
These tools (like ConvertKit) help you make your work easier. Instead of sending emails to your subscriber list one by one, you can get the tools to do it for you at once.
You pick a template, upload your list of emails, and get to send out email marketing communication with just a few clicks!
No need for a whole team of people sending out emails for hours.
You now have a better idea of email marketing and how it would work for you. But is it for you?
Final Thoughts: Is Email Marketing for You?
Email marketing doesn’t need a big budget, especially when you are just starting out.
It is great for small and large businesses.
As long as your target audience uses email, then email marketing may work for you.
Now email marketing does require you and your team to learn a few things for it to work. For instance, you will need to analyze data and use it to make decisions.
You will also need great copywriting skills, as that could determine whether people interact with your emails or not.
Some technical skills may come in handy. They may be used to make sure the emails you send out go to the right people, or that they are mobile-friendly.
But if you choose a reliable email marketing software, then all you need to do is set things up and let the software do the rest.
Now if you have got the skills, or can get help from a skilled person, and you take the time to work on email marketing, then it is definitely something you should try out.