Are you running a new blog, a business, or a start-up that’s considering spending money on an email marketing strategy? If so, read ahead to find out what email marketing is all about.

Basics of Email Marketing

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is essentially a way to reach your customers with promotional emails. You may know this from personal experience. For example, if you are an Apple customer, occasionally you will get promotional emails regarding Apple’s products, new launches, special offers, and so on. The idea is to keep Apple products in your mind so the next time you want a gadget, you browse the company’s products to see what they have.

Remember that there’s a fine difference between email marketing and sending spam mails. First, the receiver will have to voluntarily give up their contact info so you or your company can reach them with promotional material. Second, email marketing targets returning customers. Spam emails are just misleading messages with dubious links sent out in bulk. Email marketers do not bombard customers’ inboxes with unnecessary emails.

The core of email marketing is to reach out to the consumers or readers who are most likely to buy from you or subscribe to your service again. The email marketing strategy essentially gives them a little nudge to return as a customer, a reader, a follower, or a subscriber. These “nudges” could include discounts, seasonal offerings, samples, and even simple greetings.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Here is a list of the most prominent benefits of having an email marketing strategy:

  • Email marketing is a form of advertising that you can use to directly reach your core audience. This form of marketing is considered to be highly effective because you are reaching out to people who are already interested in what you are offering. So, the audience is more likely to become paying customers, blog readers, or video subscribers.
  • This is proven to be an excellent strategy to create brand awareness. As mentioned above, emailing customers will keep your brand’s name in their mind most of the time.
  • Emails are easy to share among peers, which leads to word-of-mouth marketing. Recipients could forward your emails to other interested parties.
  • It’s easy to measure the impact of email marketing using accurate analytical tools. You can directly measure how many people are converting because of email marketing. Other conventional web analytical tools, like viewing the number of clicks, do not really offer clear ways to understand the impact of marketing.
  • Email marketing is affordable and highly cost-effective. There are no additional costs involved with paying for a third party or printing.

How to Develop an Email Marketing Plan

Developing and email marketing plan is not instantaneous. It will take some time to launch, and even more time to perfect. But, if you have never had an email marketing plan, this is how you can go about creating one from scratch:

Plan to Make a Plan

The first step in developing an email marketing strategy is making an organised plan. You need to have an idea regarding what your company or website hopes to get out of the email marketing strategy. Do you hope to increase sales for a particular product, generate brand awareness, or increase traffic to a website? The goals matter when implementing the strategy. So, start brainstorming and develop your goals for employing an email marketing plan.

Collect Customer Emails

The next step is collecting emails from customers and readers. You can ask your audience for their emails, or ease them into providing their contact info during customer calls or live chat. People will also give up their emails when signing up for offers, newsletters, etc. It’s important to collect as many emails as possible and continue to keep collecting.

Here are several tips for collecting emails:

  • Link Google Ads to pages on your website with easy email signup forms.
  • Make signing up for emails very, very easy. Don’t create long forms asking for names, age, location, etc. Just present a box with a field to enter an email address and a “sign up now” button. Pre-filling the box for markers like “@” will also help.
  • Offer special offers or gifts in return for giving up email contact info. For example, many companies offer email signups a chance to enter lottery-like events to win cool gadgets like iPads. You can also give people who sign up for email newsletters free or discounted coupons. Offer something exciting that would really make people want to sign up.
  • Gather emails when your audience offers the contact info for other things. For example, a potential visitor might sign up for email updates on a pre-release or something similar. You can automatically include these people in your regular emailing list.
  • Don’t give up any opportunity, no matter how small, to collect emails.

Learn to Use MailChimp

Finally, it’s time to create the emails for mass mailing. Obviously, you cannot individually type each email and send them to thousands of people. To design emails, save templates, and send in bulk, you need to learn how to use MailChimp. MailChimp is the most widely used email marketing software currently available. You will need to learn how to use it to manage the logistics of your email strategy. Don’t worry, it’s not too hard to learn.

When sending emails, be careful not to make them look too promotional or sales-y. It’s important to add a personal touch to the emails you send. Choose topics that would interest your customers and readers. Never bombard people with emails, and carefully pace the frequency of the campaigning.

Meaning, don’t email your contacts every day or even every week. Send monthly emails, and emails on special holidays like Christmas.

While you are conducting your email marketing campaign, vigorously collect subscriber data using relevant software. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will help you perfect your strategy and reap the lucrative benefits of email marketing.

Email Marketing Examples

BuzzFeed

This news site has created one of the most memorable email marketing campaigns ever. The success of their strategy is largely attributed to mysterious and attention grabbing subject lines. Here are two examples of such subjects: “Get Up! Get Up Now!” and “Sorry, Wrong Number.” These are quintessentially click bait headlines inserted into the email’s subject line.

Uber

The ridesharing app ran a highly successful email campaign thanks to using simple designs. The templates for Uber emails were minimalist. They used minimal text and inserted sleek graphics that were easy to understand. If a deal was offered, an easy step-by-step guide to the deal was also offered. Clearly, these are promotional emails that are intriguing as well as helpful.

Poncho

Poncho is an online, customised weather forecast service. Their email marketing campaign was highly successful largely thanks to using humorous emails that customers did not regret clicking on. The emails were very colourful with brief copies accompanied by a funny and relevant image. They created a campaign where people were eager to receive their emails each morning

As you can see, email marketing is a beneficial and rewarding tool that you can utilize to your advantage. The information present here should allow you a better understanding of the concept and how you can use it.