Email Marketing: Ultimate Guide

email marketing

1. What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the way to convert subscribers to the customer by sending messages to his inbox. It does not have to be difficult. This guide contains everything you need to successfully launch email campaigns.

What does it look like in real life? For example, when you sign up for a newsletter of a famous blog or the news of your favorite online store, you give permission and brand now can send you emails.

The duty of the sender is to deliver you what he promised. If he told you to get a coupon then the coupon code must be in his email. Your email address becomes part of his email list and he can later use it for marketing purposes.

Benefit Email Campaigns are numerous. It builds and nurtures the relationship with customer, raising brand awareness and sell. All this leads to the growth of business.

Once the email list is built, it becomes brand assets. Now we can send a message to subscribers at any time for free. While paid advertising, this is not the case.

The built list gives independence and security to frequent online changes and trends. For example, a facebook business pages gets a weak reach, in past that was not the case. People who drive traffic from fb business pages in past, are now in trouble. If they don’t have list, they have to pay for advertisements.

1.1 What email marketing is not

It is not sending a huge number of spam messages in a short period of time.

It is not just about selling, its about sending useful content that helps people and makes their life easier.

It is not the sending bunch of automatic messages to unknown people. 

Each message must be personalized and customized to a specific subscriber and segment.

1.2 They: Email marketing is dead, Statistics: Very wrong

It is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. People send and receive 269 billion e-mails a day. Email communication are using 3.7 billion inhabitants of the planet (informations from the source).

Most mobile phone users get notification when email arrives in the mailbox. Almost every third buyer prefers to communicate with the brand through email. 66% of customers made online shopping as a result of an email marketing message. 138% more is spent by the buyer who receives an email offer than the one who does not receive it.

1.3 Email campaign goals

Everything starts with the question of what we want to achieve with email campaign.

Do you want to increase the number of subscribers on the list?
Do you want to increase sales?
Do you want to create a relationship with subscribers?
Do you want brand awareness to raise to a higher level?

We shape the campaign according to the goals and the target group it is intended for. It is most important to know the ideal customer. At start point, the focus is mainly on the growth of the email list.

2. How To Build Your Email List

Good email list is made up of people who love your brand and who are interested in the content you share.

It is necessary to get the permission that subscribers want your email in his inbox. Only then email marketing works.

In order to collect e-mails we use sign up form. In the form, site visitors can leave their personal information name, last name and email address. There are several types of sign up form static, pop up, slide and i notification bar.

2.1 Types of sign up forms

Static sign up forms are placed on the home page, in the side bar, in the middle of the content of the blog post.

Pop up sign up forms pop up after a certain amount of time spent on the page or when you scroll to a specific section of the page. In order for a user to continue to read, he have to turn off pop up or leave personal informations.

Slide and forms are less offensive than pop ups, at one point they just slide in the lower part of the screen and the user can continue to read the text without exit it. However, it will probably turn it off, but it draws his attention and interrupt his reading.

The notification bar is generally above the main menu of the website or blog. The form is inserted into the notification bar and attracts non-stop attention during the time spent on the site.

2.2 Tips for sign up form

The text next to the form should accurately say what the subscriber will get after entering the data, how often you will send e-mails, what content he will receive inbox …

Properly initial conditions will make it easier to build a quality mail list, increase open rate and lower unsubscriber rate.

Writing creativity is required in order to increase the number of entries on the list.

Each sign up form needs to have a quality call to action.

The form is placed on pages with high traffic in order to gather enough quality subscribers.

The design must be same as entire brand (characteristic colors used throughout the site and images that represent the brand in the best way).

pdf-toolkit-opt-in

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3. Email Marketing Terminology

Email Campaign – a series of emails designed to accomplish a specific marketing goal.

Subsriber – the person who decided to sign up to your email list.

Opt in – permissions from subscriber to send messages in his inbox.

HTML Email – email that uses HTML code like a website. You can create an email to look whatever you want, choose a font, insert images, hyperlinks, move content, etc.

Plain Email – email without html code, only text, without any possibility of designing.

Open rate – how many people on an email list open a message.

Segmentation – sending and customizing messages to a specific email list segment.

Personalization – sending and customizing messages to an individual subscriber based on the information we previously collected about him.

Opt in (squeeze) page – is a landing page for collecting emails.

Sequences – a series of emails that are sent based on time intervals or automatic triggers.

plain-vs-html-email

4. Plain vs HTML E-mail

If the html email is well coded, there is no error in the code and contains its plain version, delivery should be the same. However, in practice, a plain version often has better delivery.

We also need to consider filters. Gmail, for example, takes care of user experience and seeks to separate promotional e-mails from non- promotional. Using many images in email is a signal to Google that it is a promotional email.

Marketers often make mistakes because they sacrifice the basic rules of email marketing to the design. When we open plain text mail, we can see the black text on a white background with a basic font. Plain email is without any aesthetics. Its advantages are easy readability and no elements that can distract you from the text.

However, when you open the html version, you can see a beautifully designed email with many images, a beautiful font, a link to landing page, links to social networks, etc. But it has lower delivery. The advantages of html is that it has a piece of code that follows the open rate and it is more beautiful to eye.

5. Email Sequences and Marketing Automation

As we said above, sequences are a series of emails that are sent based on time intervals or automatic triggers.

Sending sequences based on time intervals looks like this, after someone sign up to the email list, an automatic welcome email is sent, after two days he gets email about company, after seven days a email about the product, after seven days the most read blogs of the site. ..

While other type of  automation emails are sent after a specific triger action on the website or in email. For example, when subcriber click on a link in the mail or when opening a specific email.

Automation of email marketing sequences bring marketing to the next level. Sign up forms on the web site collect email, email messages are automatically sent, and we can use our time on other marketing activities.

There are several types of sequences. We’ll mention some of the most important ones.

Nurture Sequence
In this email sequence, we introduce subscriber to our brand, values and products…

Engagement Sequence 
In this sequence, we send content that will have a usable value on the subscriber in order to build trust and a positive image of the brand.

Sell Sequence
After a long series of emails that build relationships and trust, selling is next step The goal of these e-mails is to encourage shopping.

After They Buy Sequence
This is a series of e-mails that are sent after the customer makes the purchase. For example, instructions how to use product.

Abandoned Cart Sequence
If the buyer has inserted the product into the shopping cart, and yet has not made a purchase, this type of email sequence may encourage him to return and make that purchase.

6. How to keep emails from going into Promotions folder?

The biggest problem of email marketing are filters that move email from the main mailbox in the promotion folder.

Gmail has about 500 parameters which  determines whether your email goes to the main mailbox, promotion or spam.

Here are the advices how to avoid main filter triggers.

Do not insert many images into email

Do not use too much html code

Make sure the email comes from a person, not a brand. Brands send promotions to people

Do not use more than one link in the email

Do not insert links for social media

The content of the e-mail should not be promotional.

7. How to keep emails from going into Spam folder?

Spam is unwanted email sent to a large number of people who overwhelms their inboxes with worthless or inappropriate content. Email providers protect their users from these messages with their filters. Spamming is regulated by law.

However, sometimes a good quality message ends up in a spam folder. Here are advices how to avoid spam filters. 

Permission to send e-mail
First you need to get permission then you can send email messages. At the beginning it is clearly stated that their information will be imported to email list, which is later used for marketing purposes.

For email campaign use providers with reputation
Providers as MailChimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, Drip i ConvertKit.

Low open rate
Email providers look at how many emails are sent, how many are deleted, how many are opened and decide what is spam. It is necessary to clean, segment the list and write good headers in order to increase the open rate.

Don’t buy email list
Purchasing an email list violates the law. Also we can not be sure how good is quality of the list. Other people use the same list and will be poor open rates.

Clearing the email list
Over time, people change their addresses, switch to another company where they receive new email address or often make new one. If the email is sent to the abandoned address, it will not be opened and the sender’s reputation is dropped. It is therefore necessary to clean the list.

Do not use deceptive headlines
Deceptive headlines mislead and harm user experience.

Put your physical address in email
It is necessary to put  physical address of your company.

Don’t hide unsubscribe button 
It is imperative to offer subscriber the possibility to unsubscribe whenever he want. We do not want a bad open rate. Perhaps they have made a mistake or maybe just want a free pdf book, but not a brand email messages.

Don’t use spam words
For example amazing, money, free, for only x amount of $, guarantee, order now, risk free…

8. Segmentation and Personalization of Email List

8.1 Segmentation

It is necessary to understand that the email list consists of different groups of people, with different behavior and habits. The list consists of different Subscribers and the same series of emails will not work for everyone. We have to separate e-mail list to different groups, small segments. This way, we can send a custom message to each segment.

Segments can be divided according to age, gender, location, interest, purchasing behavior, etc. The more email is tailored for the segment, the better the user experience, the impression of the brand and the higher the open rate will be. Segmentation also increases sales.

We can not treat the active subscribers as inactive, the buyer and the potential buyer, ones who is interested in the product and ones who is not.

Mailchimp’s latest data show that segmented campaigns had 14.31% more opening, 100.95% more clicks, and 7.19% less unsubsribers from the list of non-segmented campaigns (Data from source).

segmented-vs-non-segmented-email-marketing-campaigns-source-mailchimp

8.2 Personalization

Did you happen in your favorite store that the saleslady call you by name? It’s also the case with a personalized email. Personalization allows us to address the more personal message to the individual subscriber. It is very important for creating relationship and trust.

We use the information that the subscriber has previously given us Name, Last Name, Birthday, etc. to customize the message personally to him. Personalization increases seles and open rate.

Do you use Email marketing?

What is your favorite email automation software?

What tactics do you use?

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