As an Internet marketing professional, you’ve probably seen the reports that show that email marketing has the highest return on investment (with an average ROI of approximately 3,800% – that’s a return of $38 for each $1 spent) of any available marketing channel and you’re probably eager to start using it to drive sales and revenue for your business.
But how exactly do you get started? What are the steps you should take to get going with email marketing and make sure your campaigns are a success?
In this guide, we will explain the process to begin email marketing effectively to help you ensure that your first campaign is a success. Before we proceed, we need to discuss some of the most common terms you’ll come across in this guide, as we help you set up your marketing campaign.
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the practice of sending commercial contents, typically to a list of subscribers via email. This content can be used to generate traffic on the website, leads, or even product signups for the business. Email marketing is one of the most powerful online tools to market and grow your business.
2. Email Marketing Campaign.
Email marketing campaigns are organized sets of emails used by businesses to communicate with current and potential customers. They are used to persuade customers to engage with the company, either to download a white paper, to register for a webinar, or to purchase a product with a coupon, etc.
3. Conversion Rate.
The percentage of people who complete your desired task through email is called the conversion rate. For example, when you email your subscribers for getting them to sign up for your app, download, or to purchase a product and they do, it is a conversion.
4. Email list.
This is a compilation of information of individuals usually containing their names, email addresses, workplace, and location. In marketing, an email list is usually developed or collated for use in widespread distribution of emails or newsletters.
5. Welcome Email.
A welcome email is the first impression a company makes with a new customer, a blog subscriber or a newsletter subscriber by email. Welcome emails can deliver videos, special offers, and a signup form or just a friendly greeting to establish a relationship with a new contact.
When a person mistakenly subscribe to your email newsletter and they receive an update, they decide to leave this list as it is not relevant to them. This option of not being on the email list is called opt-out. It is important you give an opt-out / unsubscribe button at the end of your email.
Newsletters are informational and product-focused content sent by companies and businesses via an emailed letter to a subscriber list that comprises potential and existing customers.
8. Landing Page.
A landing page, sometimes known as a lead capture page, or a destination page is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a particular link that you have attached with the email sent to your subscribers. A landing page has one purpose, which is to make a sale or capture a lead.
9. Email Filter.
Email filters are these smart filters that make inferences on whether your emails are important, promotional, social updates or spam and classify it accordingly. These filters save a lot of your time.
10. Email Deliverability.
The ability of an email to land in the inbox of the recipient is called Email Deliverability. Higher the deliverability, the better are your odds of getting the work done.
11. Call to Action (CTA).
A Call to Action, or CTA, is a marketing term referring to a piece of content or such as an image intended to prompt users to perform a specific task, usually, at the end of an email to encourage the subscriber to do something. E.g. “Click Here to Download”.
12. Bounce Rate.
The percentage of email addresses in your subscriber list that didn’t receive your message because it was returned by a recipient mail server.
When your emails bounce, it means that some of your prospects and customers will never be able to receive emails that you have carefully designed for them and want to see.
In addition, high bounce rates can affect the deliverability of your email. That’s why you need to closely monitor and proactively manage email bounces.
13. Hard Bounce.
When the email cannot be delivered due to reasons like an invalid email address, an invalid domain name or if a recipient’s email server has completely blocked delivery.
14. Soft Bounce.
When the email cannot be delivered due to a full mailbox, the recipient’s server being down/offline or email message is too large for their inbox.
Autoresponders are often used as e-mail marketing tools to immediately provide automated messages to prospective customers and then follow up with them at preset time intervals.
16. Auto Follow-up.
When an email is sent in continuation of the previous email in order to remind the recipient about the subject, that email is called a follow-up email.
17. Email Service Provider (ESP).
As the name suggests any company that provides you with the service of emails is an Email Service Provider. This is distinct from an email client (like Gmail or Outlook) because it enables marketers to send out much larger quantities of email.
18. Email Templates.
An email template is a preformatted, or prewritten email that you can use to replace with your own content so that you can quickly and easily write and create emails. There are email templates specifically designed for particular actions.
19. Click-Through Rate (CTR).
Click-through rate, or CTR is a metric that measures the number of people who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.
20. Personalized Email.
When you send an email with characters that can only be attached with one recipient like their name is called personalized email. It creates a sense of belongingness among you and your client.
21. Responsive Design
Responsive email designs provide contents that are customized for the user’s chosen device. With responsive design, you can send email templates which can change depending on what screen size they are viewed.
1. How to Do Email Marketing: Establishing Your Goals.
It can be persuasive to simply sign up for an email marketing tool like GetResponse and start sending your first campaign. But before jumping into your head, it’s worth taking a minute to think about your goals and what you really want to achieve with email, as that will determine the type of campaigns you send, to whom you are targeting, the content you include and how you measure success.
The key to setting the right goals for your email marketing initiative is to align them with your company’s marketing objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Is the goal to generate new listings for your product? New leads for your sales team? More participants for your event? More donations for your cause?
Email should be an important component of every digital marketing plan because of its effectiveness in driving conversions and building brand loyalty. Email marketing is the most powerful channel to reach your audience. It can be used to achieve different goals. It is therefore useful to think about what you want to achieve before you start.
To help you identify what your goals should be, here is how small business owners just like you have used email marketing to transform their marketing campaigns and grow their businesses.
1. BuzzFeed: The popular news and entertainment website earns revenue by selling ads on their site, so the key objective of their marketing team is to generate more traffic.
With that in mind, BuzzFeed sends regular newsletters via email with links to stories on its website in order to increase the number of visits they receive each month and increase the amount of revenue they generate.
2. Rip Curl: The global brand generates revenue by selling suits, shirts, shorts, and other surfing goods. The goal of their marketing team is to increase sales, so they use email to promote new products they’re launching to try to drive people to their online or physical stores to purchase those products.
3. UNICEF: The World Humanitarian Organization provides humanitarian aid and assistance to mothers and children in developing countries around the world.
The success of their digital marketing team is a donation, so they use email marketing to reach their donor base, educating them on UNICEF support projects, and seek donations.
4. SXSW, Inc.: This skinny organization organizes some of the most famous events in the world, including SXSW movies, music and interactive festivals held every year in Austin, Texas.
The goal of their marketing team is to increase ticket sales and participants in these events so they use email marketing to update subscribers as new artists and speakers join posters.
5. Soho House: This prestigious member only club is a regular gathering of celebrities and media tycoons around the world. The goal of their marketing team is to keep their club members engaged and regularly using the facilities, so the use email marketing to keep members updated on the events and functions they can attend.
As you can see from these examples, planning what you want to do with email before you start sending makes it easy to identify what to send and who to send it to, and helps you create targeted and successful email campaigns that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
2. How to Do Email Marketing: Building Your Email List.
Now that you have set your goals and what you want to achieve with email marketing, it’s time to build your email list so you can start sending campaigns that meet those goals.
There are a couple of different ways in which you can build your email list, but the correct method for each campaign really depends on the goals you set in step 1.
Email list building is the core of email marketing. It’s the process of accumulating a database of contacts, prospects, clients, fans, and influencers, who have solely agreed to receive your emails.
When you convince prospects and customers to give you their email address, you open the door to ongoing communication, which can improve relationships, sales, and brand loyalty.
With GetResponse you can create or import an email address database of any size. It can store additional information about each contact, such as their name, so you can identify individual customers. You may also decide to collect phone numbers and physical addresses.
How to Build an Email List.
Building an email list is essential regardless of the size and type of business you’re in. Whether you’re launching your first product or have been on the market for some time, it’s equally important to keep in touch with your audience, and the most effective way to do this is through emails.
To get started, imagine all the times and places where prospects may come across your brand. Those are your best opportunities to convince them to become not just random visitors, but loyal and engaged email subscribers.
There are many places to build an email list online, including your website and social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and discussion boards. The most popular method is to create a signup form (web form) and place it on your own website. It’s where most of your audience will interact with your brand, so it’s the first place you should start with.
There are different types of signup forms. These include:
- Inline (embedded form)
- Popup or lightbox
- Exit popup
- Fixed bar
- Scroll form
The last three types are more advanced, so here, we’ll focus only on the first two. However, the idea behind all of them is the same: to provide an input field where the subscriber can enter an email address and, optionally, additional data.
How to Create a Signup Form
GetResponse includes an advanced signup form builder that allows you to create all the form types for your website, social media profile, or blog. Even without coding experience, you can create yours in minutes.
Just log in to your GetResponse account, choose Forms »Create Form. If you’re new to building the list, you’ll probably want to use one of their ready-to-use sign up form templates or create one from scratch by going directly to the List Builder Wizard.
Just click and choose the models that suit you best. You’ll quickly discover how easy it is to create a form similar to the ones below.
What to include in A Signup Form
A typical signup form consists of 2-3 fields, where the new subscriber enters their email address and additional information, such as name or hometown.
The number of fields depends on you. But numerous studies have shown that the more fields people have to complete, the less likely they are to complete the form.
Therefore, check if all the fields are necessary for you to run your email campaigns. You may be able to request the information in a survey after they have registered.
The form should include a title that indicates the benefits of joining the email list and a strong call to action (CTA) on the action button. To improve your chances of capturing new contacts, offer a signup bonus, a lead magnet, such as a free e-book, a report or a discount.
You can also include a checkbox to confirm your willingness to join the list, information about the terms and conditions and the security of data protection, as in the example below.
How to Add a Web Form to Your Site
Once you’ve created a signup form within the GetResponse service and customized the settings (such as linking the list and redirect to the thank you page), you can now choose the publishing method.
There are three options:
- GetResponse will be hosting the web form – your web form will be located on the GetResponse domain.
If you’ve created a website using WordPress, you can use the GetResponse WordPress plugin to quickly add the form to your site.
If your site is not based on WordPress, see the GetResponse integration page to find the one that suits your needs. If the service is not yet supported, copy the source code of the sign-up form and place it in the (body) of your site wherever you want. It may take several tries, so be sure to review the results before it starts.
Adding a web form to your Facebook page
After designing your web form, you can now place it on your Facebook page. Thanks to this, you’ll be able to turn your fans into loyal email subscribers.
To get started, just log in to Facebook and go to the GetResponse web forms application page. You’ll then be taken through a few steps such as authorizing the app, syncing it with your GetResponse account, and adding the form to your tabs. And that’s it!
Building an email list is by far the most important and fundamental part of any email marketing program. Email marketing works well with other promotional techniques and generates strong returns. If you want to extend your reach and expand your business, consider email marketing campaigns.
There are many methods to create a mailing list to keep in touch with your audience. We have covered the most popular and effective ones to help you launch your marketing program.
3. How to Do Email Marketing: Selecting your Email Campaigns.
There are a number of different types of email campaigns marketers like you, can send to subscribers, and the type you choose really depends on the goals you established
Let’s take a look at the different types of campaigns and how they can help you achieve your email marketing goals.
An email newsletter is a regularly distributed email campaign that is generally about one main topic of interest.
A good example of a newsletter is this email from AirBnB who regularly sends great newsletters to their network of freelance photographers.
As you can see, the campaign is sent monthly and contains content around a particular theme: photography tips & stories.
If your goal is to keep in touch with a list of people you already know (i.e. existing customers), then a newsletter is the perfect type of campaign to send. It will keep your business and your products top of mind and drive people back to your website.
A marketing offer email is essentially any campaign you send with the goal of driving a direct response. This can take a number of different forms, including:
- A campaign showcasing some of the latest stock and encouraging people to purchase
- A campaign offering a discount or special promotion on your products or services.
A great example of a marketing offer campaign is this email from Pizza Hut:
The campaign presents one of their products at a special, promotional price and includes a direct call to action to purchase the green “Order Now” button.
The marketing offer email is effective if your goal with email is to directly drive sales. It presents a product or discount offer and includes a direct call to action for people to click-through to your website and make a purchase.
An announcement campaign is an email sent to your subscribers announcing a new product, feature, or service.
A perfect example of an announcement campaign is this email from Showtime announcing the launch of their new show Penny Dreadful.
The announcement email is perfect if you want to keep an engaged audience (i.e. existing customers) updated on your latest products or features.
While the sharing of information is the primary goal, the email may have the added benefit of driving people back to your store or website where they can make a purchase.
An event invitation email is a campaign designed to increase awareness of your event and encourage people to attend.
Here is a great example from Lincoln Motors.
As you can see, the campaign invites subscribers to the launch of the 2016 MKX and contains details on the date, time, and location of the event, as well as information on how to RSVP.
As mentioned before, the type of email campaign you send depends entirely on your goals with email. If you’re looking to drive direct sales then sending marketing offer and announcement campaigns are going to return the best results, however if you are simply looking to keep your existing customers updated on the latest projects, products or developments at your company, then sending a regular newsletter is going to be the best way to achieve that.
4. How to Do Email Marketing: Creating Your First Campaign
Now that you’ve opted for your goals, build a few audiences, and choose the type of campaign you’re sending, it’s time to start building your email.
Email tools like GetResponse make it incredibly easy to create wonderful email campaigns, but there are some basics you should know to make sure you get the best results from each campaign.
Set Smart Campaign Goals.
I bet you’ve heard that goals are SMART when they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For best results, set smart goals in your email marketing strategy, e.g.:
- Get an average open rate of 23% by the end of the year
- Increase click-through rates by 15% in 3 months
- Improve conversion by 10% in 6 months
- Retrieve 20% of abandoned carts
- Sell $200 worth of products through this campaign
Determine the Call-To-Actions (CTAS)
Start with answering the most important question: what do you want your subscribers to do as a result of this campaign? The answer to this question will clarify the business objective and set directions for the campaign. It will certainly help you create the best calls-to-action for your emails, e.g.:
– View offer
– Read more
– Find a store
– Shop now
– Shop (product)
Make your call to action copy as clear as possible and use contrasting colors to make sure it stands out against the email.
Prepare your email templates
You already know your calls-to-action. Now, you need to choose the right email template, customize it to reflect your brand identity, and craft the copy to convey the message.
Come up with a compelling subject line and a pre-header that will encourage your contacts to open the email. Your subscribers see the sender, subject line, and pre-header before they open the email. Plan them out carefully, because they can massively impact your open rates.
Structure your Campaign for Easy Reading.
Research shows that an adult’s attention span is, on average, eight seconds. With such a short attention span, you can assume people aren’t closely reading your campaigns word for word and are instead scanning through them looking for something of interest.
Therefore, writing long, text-heavy email campaigns isn’t the best approach. You need to structure your emails to help draw people into reading your content while guiding them toward the email’s call to action.
Use Images and Visuals to Boost Engagement
Ideally, you want to avoid walls or blocks of text. This is because visuals, both video and images are more eye-catching. They’re also more memorable and help content stand out.
In fact, studies have shown that people can recall as much as 65% of visual content up to three days later compared to just 10% of text-based content.
People also follow visual instructions 32% better than written instructions, so it’s a good idea to use visuals when directing your readers to take the desired action.
Personalize Your Email Campaigns
Marketing automation, segmented lists, and third-party integrations make email personalization easier and more effective.
Your readers are most likely to respond to content that is most relevant to their interests. Start by adding their name in the subject line, then customize campaign content based on list segments to maximize engagement (more on that next).
Make it easy to convert
To drive your subscribers to click through from your email campaigns, you must make it as easy as possible for them to do so
Research shows that 41% of email opens are happening on mobile devices, so if your campaigns aren’t optimized across all devices, then there’s a good chance you’re making it unnecessarily difficult for your subscribers to convert.
Send More Valuable Email Campaigns.
If you’re coming up short on topics and what to include in your emails beyond general promotions, fear not. Every business, in every industry, has plenty of information to share.
Whether or not that information is relevant or interesting in the eyes of your subscribers is what you need to determine. Look for every opportunity to share valuable content over promotional content to keep interest and engagement high.
By applying these fundamentals of high-converting campaigns to your first email, you’ll be able to create and send a campaign that captures the subscriber’s attention, presents the relevant information and makes it easy for them to convert.
Test and optimize
With your first email out the door and starting to get opened and clicked by your subscribers, you’ll be able to start tracking the success of your campaign.
You can track the success of your email marketing campaigns in two places: your email marketing tool (such as GetResponse) and your website analytics tool (such as Google Analytics).
The reporting section of your email marketing tool is the perfect place to understand how people have interacted with your campaigns by email.
Track critical data to see if you reach your goals. Track conversion and revenue to measure your email marketing ROI. Each successful campaign or a money-making workflow is a business case for more budget.
Your list size and click-through rates are the right metrics to start with. The bigger your contact list and the higher the click-through rate, the higher the revenue. As you can see, email marketing is based on very simple principles. Good luck with planning your first email marketing campaign!
Your metrics can tell you a lot about campaign performance and how to improve your email campaigns. However, there are always three things to do after each campaign, regardless of their performance.
1. Resend the campaign
Regardless of the effectiveness of the subject line, you will still have subscribers who will not open it for various reasons. Resend your email by specifically targeting a list segment of those who did not open the first time.
This is not only a second chance in case they just miss the first message, but it’s another opportunity to further split test the subject lines as well as send times.
2. Clean your list
If split testing, segmentation, and cross-referencing always result in low engagement scores for some of your subscribers, do not be afraid to clean up your list. Review subscriber data regularly to monitor activity and engagement ratings. Remove or further segment those who do not sign up to improve the overall open rates of your major subscriber segments.
3. Build awareness for your brand
Once your campaign and final steps are complete, make your brand aware of all available marketing channels. This includes more common methods (such as social media marketing and events), as well as more unusual brand awareness campaigns (such as giveaways and contests).
By building brand awareness, you can earn more followers and subscribers. This will play in your future campaigns by giving you a wider, and more engaged audience.
By having a larger and more diverse subscriber group, you’re more likely to attract more leads and get more conversions. In the end, it means more interest and income for your business.
Email marketing is a great option for any business looking to generate sales and revenue. It has a higher reach and ROI than any other channel available today for marketers.
Email marketing helps build brand awareness, increase brand awareness, drive interest in your offerings, generate actions and conversions, foster relationships, and convert existing customers into loyal advocates of the brand. So, it’s worth the time and effort.
With this guide, I am sure you’ll find it simple to create and send an email campaign, and it’ll drive unparalleled results for your business.
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