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Email marketing is a Digital Marketing strategy that is based on triggering emails to a specific audience, whether it comes from a base of customer contacts or leads generated through other strategies.
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Email marketing has long been synonymous with spam and intrusive communications.
However, thanks to the advancement of marketing automation, this channel has become the best way to deliver right messages, to the right people, at the right time.
In addition to being an excellent tool for Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing professionals, email is an extremely democratic channel. According to a research conducted by Pew Research, 92% of adults online use email.
So, contrary to what many believe, email marketing is not dead, and it can be a great way to grow your business!
This guide was made both for those who are beginners and want to know more about how to start doing email marketing, and for those who already have an established strategy and are looking for ways to optimize it.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a Digital Marketing strategy based on the communication between a company and its consumers or leads, via email. This contact through the triggering of emails can be made from a segmentation of contacts together with the use of automation tools, capable of scaling the process of personalizing messages.
Some common examples of email marketing that you may have already received in your inbox are:
- airfare offer;
- confirmation of an online purchase;
At the beginning of the use of email as a marketing tool, it was seen as a digital version of advertisements sent via correspondence (also known as “direct mail”). Thus, email was seen as a mass communication channel and the messages sent were far from being relevant to the recipient.
For this reason, email marketing was seen for many years as an invasive communication. But it has evolved, and today the best marketers see that email is one of the most personal ways of communicating with consumers, through a direct exchange of messages.
Why use email marketing?
In recent times, social media has gained the spotlight in digital marketing. However, email marketing can also be a great option for those who collect email addresses and want to increase the relevance of your brand among those contacts. Here are a few reasons.
According to Radicati, in 2015 there were 2.5 billion email users, and the trend is that this number will reach 2.9 billion in 2019. That number represents more than a third of the world population!
Our email address concentrates all the actions we do on other channels. Every time we create a login on any website, for example, we use the email address. Thus, it is an essential part of a user’s activities on the Internet.
When a company posts on a social network, such as Facebook, not everyone who follows your page will see your message. This is due to algorithms which determine which messages are most relevant to each user.
For this reason, the reach of social media posts is not predictable. That is, you have no control over how many people will actually view your post.
In email marketing, the same does not happen. One of the great advantages of this channel is its predictable reach. This means that if you select 100 email addresses to send your message, all 100 will receive your email in the inbox (unless there’s a technical problem, but we’ll cover that later).
Email is the blank canvas that every digital marketer is looking for. Messages sent by email have no character limits, can contain images and even GIFs.
An email can be made with templates and include graphic elements, or it can contain only text, as if you were writing personal messages to all your contacts.
Through it, you can communicate short messages, include several links to web pages, or tell a long story. Therefore, the email can be in the format you want!
Obviously, there are good practices to be followed when writing and layout an email. But we will address this subject a little later!
High financial return
To start an email marketing strategy, you need only 3 ingredients: a domain (for example, “rockcontent.com”), a email marketing tool and a person to execute the strategy.
Choosing a good email marketing tool is essential. There are several options on the market that meet all levels of need, including free tools like Mailchimp.
Regardless of the tool you choose, the investment will not be very high. That is why, email is the digital marketing channel that presents the best financial return – you don’t have to invest a lot initially, and you have the possibility to generate a large volume of revenue.
What is the role of email marketing in your marketing strategy?
Although email marketing is often linked to a promotional and commercial approach, it goes far beyond that strategy.
When someone gives a company permission to send emails directly to their inbox, they are giving access to a part of their personal life, as well as opening the conversation. After all, our email is what we use not only to receive messages from companies we like, but also to connect with friends, family and co-workers.
Therefore, in a marketing strategy, email is the channel that allows you to communicate in a more personal way with your potential customers. And that can bring incredible results! Check below how email marketing fits into your digital marketing strategy.
When someone chooses to receive emails from your company, they expect you to keep in touch with them from time to time. This may seem obvious, but many companies forget to maintain a constant relationship with your contact base via email!
Therefore, email marketing can be used in your marketing strategy to engage your leads. This can make your leads always remember you, increasing the chances that they will become customers.
Promote your content
If you have a blog, you know that promoting the content you produce is essential to the success of your strategy.
There are several channels that you can use to promote your content, and email is one of them! Sending a newsletter, for example, can help your blog posts gain more access, and thus increase your visibility on the Internet.
Nurture and educate your leads
THE lead nutrition is one of the most important strategies of Inbound Marketing. Only with it is it possible to turn your subscribers into leads, and your leads into customers. For that to happen, it is necessary to educate your contacts about your business and strengthen your relationship with them.
Email is the best channel to nurture your leads, as it alone allows you to send personalized messages to the right people at the right time. So, if you use a marketing automation tool, you can use email marketing to nurture and educate your leads.
Have you ever received emails with offers or promotions in your inbox? Many companies, especially those that sell products directly to consumers – such as clothing and airline tickets – use this channel to increase their sales.
Nowadays, it is possible to encourage your contacts to carry out transactions with just one click from the email. And soon, payment directly via email will also become a reality. So, take advantage of email marketing to promote your products!
Engage with consumers and customers
Once you close a purchase, you can’t walk away from your customers! The enchantment part is one of the most important part of the inbound methodology and you need to pay attention to it.
Satisfied buyers bring many benefits to your business, and you can maintain that relationship by email. Take advantage of this channel to send relevant content to your customers, in addition to discounts and promotions.
What types of emails does your strategy need?
To begin to understand how to set up a successful campaign and how to insert email marketing into your company’s digital marketing day-to-day, it is important to know the different types of email that your company can send.
This is the type of email you should be used to seeing. It is the one that announces when new content is posted on your blog.
They are excellent for starting to interact more with your readers. When someone subscribes to your list for the first time, it is very likely that these are the first emails they will receive.
It is a way to keep your list active and in touch with the new content you post, in addition to increasing the chances of you generating leads with CTAs within your texts.
The newsletter is an old acquaintance of e-commerce and blogs. Many companies send monthly or weekly updates to their contacts with the main blog posts and company or market news.
If you really want your newsletter to be read, invest time in creating a newsletter that has its own identity and that contains relevant content for your readers. Do not forget to include links to take the reader to external pages where he can read more about that topic.
Emails are great for promoting events that you are hosting. The big challenge here is to present clearly why this event is worth the attendance of your contacts.
When writing emails that promote events, be sure to include all the necessary information, such as location, date, time, limit of participants, among others. And remember to highlight the link to the registration or ticket purchase page!
Lead nutrition emails
Depending on the action that your persona decides to take within your blog or website, you may want to insert it into a nutrition flow. Nutrition consists of a series of emails with relevant and targeted content. As the name suggests, these are emails that help a lead walk through the sales funnel to a clear buying position.
By identifying a group of contacts that you know are interested in a specific subject, you can continue the conversation with more relevant and targeted content that increases the likelihood of these leads staying in touch with your company.
Getting started: tools and templates
If you’re going to start your email marketing strategy now, you need a key ingredient: a tool, or software, that can deliver mass email shots.
The most suitable tool for beginners is the Mailchimp, because in addition to having a free version, its use is easy and intuitive. In addition to it, other popular software on the market are GetResponse, the Mailee and Mailify.
Email marketing can also be done using complete marketing automation software, such as RD Station and Hubspot. These are tools that perform several functions in addition to email marketing, such as social media management, lead tracking, blog management, among others.
How to choose the ideal template for your emails
With a tool in hand, the next challenge will be to write your first email. And for that, you will need to choose which template to use!
You can create a template from scratch, in HTML, or use ready-made templates that are provided by tools like Mailchimp. The last option is the simplest, as it reduces your work.
When choosing your template, look for one that is responsive, that is, one that adapts to mobile devices. Nowadays, most people read emails on smartphones or tablets. Therefore, if your template is not responsive to these devices, reading your emails will be very difficult (or even impossible).
In addition to being responsive, your template must have space for images and text. Many companies send emails that contain only images. However, some providers consider this type of email to be spam. The ideal is to merge blocks of image and text, which makes your email lighter and more pleasant to read.
Finally, when looking for the ideal template, remember that less is more. As cliché as this expression may be, simplicity is the key to focusing your reader’s attention on what you want – be it the content of the email, the call-to-action, the share or any other action you want him to take.
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Building an email list
As sad as it may be, a list of email contacts falls by 22.5% each year. E-mail addresses change, people abandon old accounts and contacts choose to leave your list.
For this reason, one of the most challenging aspects of an email marketing strategy is to build and grow your contact list. But where to start?
The first solution that comes to mind is often to buy an email list. However, the golden rule of email marketing is to never buy contact lists! We will explain why.
Why is buying an email list one of the biggest mistakes you can make?
A person’s inbox is an extremely personal space. This is where she handles work messages as well as personal matters.
Therefore, if someone has provided your email address to you, it means that that person is willing to interact with you.
By purchasing a list, you are acquiring email addresses that did not choose to receive messages from you. Therefore, none of these people gave you permission to send messages directly to their inboxes.
In addition, ready-made lists also often contain fake, non-existent or misspelled email addresses – which indicates to providers that you are sending emails to a purchased list, leading to a possible penalty by the providers.
That is, buying an email list is a big deal to damage your company’s image.
Building an email list takes time and effort, but keep reading to check out the tips that will make this process easier.
How to build a quality email list?
The first step to start collecting emails is to add a space on your blog where your visitors can register your emails to receive communications from you, such as newsletters, promotions and news.
Some tools facilitate this collection of emails. Our favorite at Websites Are Us is the Hellobar, which adds an email collection window or pop-up to your site.
Want to try the tool? Use our affiliate link and receive 1 month free access Hello Bar. Just register here.
An alternative to this tool is OptinSkin, a WordPress plugin that allows you to place email collection boxes anywhere on the blog.
Remember that the simpler the process for your users to register their emails, the more addresses you will collect. Therefore, facilitate the user experience on your blog.
You may want to ask for information other than email at the time of registration. This is normal, but be careful not to ask too many questions. This can scare your visitors and cause them to give up providing you with their email address.
An important practice, which guarantees the success of your email marketing strategy, is the segmentation of the email base. Segmentation allows you to send more personalized messages, directly impacting the engagement of readers.
This division can be made more generally or more specifically. You can take into account factors such as: location, age, occupation, position in the company, previous purchases, stage in the sales funnel.
Finally, remember that building a good email list involves two components: get new contacts and keep the ones you already have. To keep your contacts close, always send content that is relevant. Otherwise, you can lose everything you worked for.
Tips for writing amazing emails
When you already have a tool for sending emails, a template and a contact list, you are looking forward to sending your first email.
There are some good practices that should be followed if you want to write amazing emails for your subscribers. Check out!
Keep text short
Did you know that the average attention span of humans today is 8 seconds? With that in mind, it’s clear that you need to be clear and objective when writing your emails.
Review and edit your emails to get rid of everything that is not needed to communicate your message. Get to the point of what you want to talk about, and avoid distractions.
Use the right language
When writing your emails, consider who will be on the other side reading. That is, what is the persona of your emails?
From there, you can determine which tone of voice to use, and what kind of expressions, jargon or slang you should avoid.
Set a conversational tone
The email serves to nurture relationships with your contact list. Therefore, create proximity in your texts, treat your reader by name and speak in a way that will resonate with your contacts. In this way, you create a bilateral dialogue with them.
Want to learn more about writing good content? Take our free course on Web Content Production!
How to take your email marketing strategy to the next level?
So far, we’ve covered the basic knowledge you need to start an email marketing strategy that will contribute to your relationship with your subscribers.
After all this has been implemented, you can ask yourself what are the next steps to take your strategy to another level, where you can generate business opportunities, deliver personalized messages and optimize your campaigns to achieve the best results.
The most important step for this to happen is to establish a action plan. It will help you to define a periodicity for sending emails, as well as determining what types of emails to send and to whom. Good email marketing planning consists of 5 basic steps:
- define your persona;
- determine what content will be sent;
- establish the frequency of shipments;
- define the objectives of each campaign, as well as which metrics to monitor;
- organize a shipping schedule.
With all these steps in place, you will have a structured strategy and be ahead of many other companies!
If you’ve read this far and want to learn more advanced email marketing strategies, how to segment your list, use email marketing to nurture your leads and what metrics to follow to establish your strategy’s success, hurry up to read our free ebook “Email marketing: the guide to creating successful campaigns”.