From the beginning of the internet, it was email. Remember Yahoo Mail in the early 2000’s? What times! More than 20 years have passed, and email marketing has remained one of the most valuable tools for any business.
One way or another, we are all familiar with emails and newsletters. However, how many of us know how to run email marketing campaigns and strategies to increase our sales?
That’s how this almost 4.000 word guides came about. Relax, take your cup of tea or cat with you, and let’s move on to your success in promoting email marketing.
What is email marketing promotion?
Email marketing is the way to use email as a sales tool. But it’s not just about that. It’s an effective way to build a community of loyal subscribers, build relationships with them, send them personalized messages and offers.
In eCommerce, it is definitely the sales channel with the highest conversion rate. If you’re wondering why, the answer is simple: we all see when we receive an email, and almost everyone checks our inbox every day.
I’m not saying that, according to statistics: in 2018, according to Statista, there were 3.8 billion email accounts created. In 2022, the figure is expected to rise to 4.3 billion. Also, in 2022, more than 333 billion emails are expected to be sent every day. Wow.
It is said that email marketing has the best rate of return on investment and is the most profitable online marketing method out there.
When we use email marketing promotion?
Let’s talk a little about the benefits of email marketing. Given that it is the most effective direct communication channel, you can use it to achieve many goals.
The most common goal of email marketing promotion is to increase the number of leads. These are the subscribers of your site or blog, those who have not yet bought from you but are interested in what you have to say.
We will discuss later how to increase the number of leads with the help of email marketing.
As I said above, email marketing is the method with the highest conversion rate. If you send the email promoting your products or services, at the right time, to the subscribers directly interested in them, you will only gain.
If you have an online store, it’s easier to measure your email marketing conversion rate. If you have a website with services or courses, you most likely measure your conversion rate in terms of bids or sign-ups.
However, a reader will always have more patience to go through the essential information you want to send him in an email than in a post on Facebook or a landing page on the site.
#3 Customer loyalty
It is said that it is much cheaper to sell again to someone who has already bought than to someone who has not bought from you. Therefore, use the power of email marketing to keep your customers up to date with news: new articles, offers, events, promotions, new products or services, etc.
#4 Building Relationships
You’ve probably noticed that nowadays any online application, platform or tool you have access to is based on email.
Once you have created an account on a site, you must always choose whether you want to subscribe to the newsletter. Either way, you may receive email notifications. Many of these messages are automatic, but they always remind you of the platform or application you are using.
Whether it’s an online store, blog, or presentation site, this email information is intended to build a long-term, communication-based relationship with your community.
As you can see, email marketing gives you all of the above superpowers. You need to use it effectively and respect, as in SEO, the limit of common sense when sending emails.
I hope I have managed to convey everything clearly to you so far. However, our email marketing guide is just beginning. Now comes the practical part.
How to use email marketing for your website or blog?
Step 1: Choose the right tool
If you’re wondering how to actually send emails, we have a number of recommendations for you. There are many email marketing tools on the market, and we even have a detailed article for you:
How to choose the right email marketing tool?
If you want to go straight to the conclusion, here’s what I recommend: if your budget is limited, and you have a relatively small number of subscribers, use a cheap email marketing tool from your own country. This way, you have technical support at hand, fast response and better control of emails.
If your subscribers are in other countries or on another continent, I recommend a tool like Aweber or GetResponse.
Step 2: Site integration
In order to increase your email list, you must first place the subscription form as visible as possible on the site. This means: in footer, through various contextual pop-ups, on the blog, in articles, through gates. There are many methods, and we have written about 10 of them:
10 ways to capture an email address on your site
I’ll let you read more in that article. But one thing is certain: integrating the subscription form into the site will bring you email addresses constantly, slowly, over the long term.
If you need to grow your email list NOW, you need to offer something for free. To do this, you can create a lead magnet and offer it through a landing page.
But in my opinion, before you think about anything like that, you need to make a plan.
Step 3: Make a plan
The purpose of the email marketing plan is to give you a clear direction on the actions you will take. You need to know where you’re going.
Start with the question: What do I want to achieve from my email marketing campaigns?
The answer is above. Let’s recap, though.
In email marketing promotion, you can follow:
- First time customers;
- Customers buying a second time;
- Creating relationships with subscribers or customers.
It is clear that we are talking about a funnel, a series of stages that a subscriber goes through. From the simple subscriber who opens your email to the customer. From simple customer to customer who still opens your email or buys again.
The relationship creation stage is valid for both subscribers and customers.
That’s why your email marketing plan needs to consider how you split your lists and how often to send them to each one.
If you have an online store with many products, the flow of new information that you will pass on to your subscribers is more likely. That means more emails, more subscriber lists.
If you have a presentation website with a few services, most likely the flow of new information is lower. Therefore, here you can rely on your own blog but also on news in your field. This information can be easily passed on to subscribers via newsletters, but probably no more than one email per week. Maybe even less.
So, get your subscribers accustomed to a certain referral frequency in order to get a better opening rate.
So what’s in your email marketing plan?
- The purpose of the campaigns sent;
- Sending frequency;
- The number of subscriber lists you will have and how they are different (example: simple subscribers, customers, etc.);
- The editorial plan of emails with the topics addressed (example: commercial emails, blog articles, news from the field on external sites, media or guest posts, internal news about company employees, holiday wishes, etc.)
Once you have this clear information, it’s time to move on.
Step 4: Create a lead magnet
There are many ways to do this. But all that matters is that the magnet is attractive enough to capture the attention and interest of those who follow you.
I can say with all my heart that it is one of the most effective methods that can bring you customers later. But let’s look at some types of magnets you can create:
- Advanced content: Let’s say you approach a broader topic on the blog and the article you’re writing would be too long. You want to go into details and have ideas for at least 10 pages. Post on the blog the introduction or the first chapter of your content and include in that article subscription buttons, for those who want to receive by email the rest of the content in PDF format or have access to private content on the site.
- Create an email mini-course: Share your content in an email sequence and promote the information as a course. You can make a squeeze page for this, which you can promote through Facebook Ads.
- Organize contests: also on a landing page promoted through Facebook Ads, tell people to enter a contest and, following certain criteria set by you or even a draw, to choose a winner. All subscribers should check a condition that they agree to subscribe to the newsletter.
- Offer a discount: discount codes are among the most attractive lead magnets, especially for online stores or event organizers. Promise to provide a unique email discount code to subscribers. Promote the offer through Facebook Ads, for a limited time. You will get very good results.
- Offer something for free: whether it’s an ebook, a video, an advanced tutorial, an audit, an hour of consulting, a free webinar, a tool, a white paper, a stock photo gallery, or anything else you can offer, do -a. Use the power of a landing page to attract as many subscribers as possible who want to receive what you have to offer. It always works if the offer is of interest.
If you take inspiration from online marketers internationally, such as Neil Patel or Pat Flynn, you will see that they place a lot of emphasis on newsletter subscribers and have a lot to offer.
All you have to do is take the time to do this. Think about it in vain: growing your email database gives you the right direction to promote yourself. Which, of course, is likely to get your customers.
I have written two articles on this topic:
How to grow your email database?
Effectively and securely, you can have multiple email addresses if you follow our tips in this article. I’ve included some tips on how to use offline email addresses.
The lead magnet: how to write and promote an ebook?
If you choose your lead magnet to be a free ebook, here are some tips on how to do it. From picking the subject to organizing the content and design, you can find them all here.
Step 5: Create a landing page
You’ve noticed that most tips for growing your email list refer to a landing page. You should know that, in order to request a newsletter subscription, you do not need a long sales page, on the contrary: you need a squeeze page.
This is a short page that outlines the main benefits of your offer.
That being said, I recommend two landing page articles:
How to create a WordPress sales page?
This article focuses on the sales page of a commercial offer, product or squeeze page. We’ve featured a number of WordPress themes and plugins that can make your job easier.
How to write an irresistible sales page?
When referring to landing pages, whatever they may be, the copy or text used is important. Each headline, paragraph, testimonial, button, form, must have a convincing text. Our tips are in this article.
Step 6: Create email template
Depending on the purpose of your email, you need to consider choosing the right template.
Each type of email has a specific structure, and users are already familiar with some standard templates.
Examples of customizable email marketing templates offered by Sendmachine platform.
Most email marketing email editors use Drag & Drop, so you don’t really need to know programming languages to create your email:
What I recommend is to keep the following in mind:
- No more than 250 words – in the inbox, people can’t wait to read long texts, especially if they open the email on their mobile.
- HTML as simple as possible – if you want it to look good on any browser and device, don’t use too much HTML.
- One purpose of email – don’t put products in an email with blog posts. Don’t put blog posts in an email announcing an event or contest. Summarize one purpose and one type of call to action in your email.
Step 7: Submit campaigns and targeting
If you have prepared everything mentioned above, all you have to do is go straight to work!
Create content and tailor it to your chosen template. If you need special graphics – such as banners or product pictures – you need to know exactly what size you need.
Usually, the top banners in a newsletter measure 700 x 250 px, and product pictures should always be square, usually 160 x 160 px.
However, it depends on the structure and template of each email.
Your goal is to get the highest possible opening rate for your emails. To do this, here are some tricks to keep in mind:
- Short headlines: In general, a 6-8 word limit on the subject of the email is recommended to be displayed on all devices. On mobile, for example, your email will be displayed with ellipsis at the end if the subject is too long.
- Personalization: If you have certain information about subscribers (for example, first name), use it with confidence. Each email marketing tool allows you to add to your text variable fields (example: * NAME *) that take over the data entered by subscribers at registration. Think about the impact of an email with the name of each subscriber on the subject.
- Preview text: each email has a text that follows the subject, visible to subscribers before they open the email. Use that text as a call to action. It can be an imperative verb or a benefit, or information that completes the topic so as to make the subscriber curious.
- Send it at the right time: I can’t tell you the exact time to send the email, but I can tell you some milestones. For example, in e-commerce, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, in the first part of the day, it is said that these would be the best times to send newsletters. At the entertainment sites, with informative content, you can choose on Thursday evening or even on Sunday evening. My advice is to test, to see when you have the highest opening rate.
- Segment: Every email marketing tool, even the free version, gives you the ability to segment. This means quickly creating an email list based on certain criteria you choose based on the information you have about your subscribers.
Examples of segmentation:
- Subscribers who did not open the last email / last 10, 20 or 50 emails;
- Subscribers who did not click on any link in the last emails;
- Subscribers who have been added to the list after a certain date;
- Subscribers who did not sign up through a form on the site;
- Subscribers who have a Gmail or Yahoo address;
- Subscribers whose first name is “John” or “Andrea”;
- And so on
Why do we use segmentation? Well, many times, we do this when we want to send a specific message to a certain category of subscribers.
For example, if you want to reactivate subscribers who haven’t opened the last 50 sent campaigns. Or, if you want to send the same email to subscribers who haven’t opened it. There can be many situations, it is important to know how to use the power of segmentation to your advantage.
Step 8: Email automation
When it comes to online stores, apps, online tools, or platforms that people create an account for, you need to know one thing: There are always standard ads that you need to send to your subscribers or that will help you if you send them.
That’s why there are so many notification emails that you can set up once to be sent.
Here are some examples of automated emails:
- Welcome to the email list;
- Anniversary of 100 campaigns submitted;
- Request feedback after a purchase;
- Notification of inactivity, if not logged in for a long time;
- Cart abandonment notification for unfinished orders;
- Price reduction notification for products selected as favorites;
- Confirmation of registration, order or any other action involving a transaction;
- March 8th anniversary email for women (if you can segment the list like this), anniversary email for the name day (St. Andrew, St. Mary, St. Michael and Gabriel, etc.).
Automation saves you a lot of emails that you probably wouldn’t be able to send manually. Fortunately, email marketing tools are easy to use, but you need a programmer who can integrate certain codes into your site to link to the emails you want to send automatically.
Step 9: Data analysis
Any marketing activity must also include the analysis and interpretation of data. In email marketing, fortunately, you have many indicators that you can follow, even from the administration panel of the tool used.
Here are the most important indicators to monitor for each campaign:
- Delivery rate: It should always be over 99%, meaning you should always make sure your emails are sent and reach subscribers’ inboxes.
- Opening rate: as a rule, at the first emails, it can be about 60%. However, over time, it will decrease, even reaching 10%. If you have a rate of less than 10%, it means that most of your list is inactive. So you need to segment, try to activate subscribers as much as possible, or test different topics to get their attention.
- Clickthrough rate: The number of unique clicks within an email. It is calculated only by the number of openings and depends on how you enter the links in your email. My advice? Make them as visible as possible!
- Unsubscribe rate: if you have a large list of subscribers (over 10,000), surely every email will bring with it unsubscribes. This is perfectly normal: the list is cleared and you stay with the relevant people. However, if this rate is too high, you should try to identify the causes. Otherwise, your email may be treated as spam by services such as Yahoo or Gmail.
- Conversion Rate: I know an email marketing tool can’t tell you this, but you can see it in Google Analytics. Depending on the landing page your subscriber reaches, he or she must make a decision: take the action you want or leave the page. Therefore, make sure that every link in your email is monitored (with URL Builder) to see the results in Analytics.
In this regard, I recommend that you also read:
How to use Google Analytics and what the basics are?
I hope it helps you! However, the advice doesn’t stop there…
Best practices in email marketing promotion
If you’re already sending emails, you may be familiar with the steps above. That’s why I believe that only after a few months of experience in email marketing can you really start optimizing your campaigns.
Here are some good practices you can apply to send more effective campaigns:
- A / B Testing: Almost all email marketing tools give you this feature. You just have to choose the option and follow the steps. Basically, if you’re not sure about a title, a topic, a button, or other specific elements of an email, you can do A / B Testing with your subscriber list and you’ll get statistics on what went well and what didn’t.
- Be consistent in sending: too long breaks are detrimental to email marketing. If you set a certain frequency from the beginning, stick to it. Think of a list of subscribers who haven’t received emails in a month or more is like a new list that you buy from the internet. Some people simply forget that they have subscribed and there is a risk that they will even report you as Spam!
- Clean the list periodically: if you have a large list of emails but only 10% are active, then the remaining 90% practically takes up space on the server in vain. That means you pay for that space without it. So don’t be shy about segmenting, noticing which subscribers you have on the list, and automatically deleting the ones you can’t reactivate.
- Optimize emails: This means making sure they open quickly on any device and load correctly. No too much HTML, no special CSS styling, no high resolution pictures, no too much content.Keep everything as simple as possible, clean and test on your laptop and phone before you send it. In my experience, the most effective emails are Plain Text.
- Periodically update the list: always bring new subscribers. Don’t rely on, if you’ve gathered a significant number of email addresses, that are sufficient. However, your lists are cleared with each campaign by unsubscribing and inactive subscribers. So always try to attract new email addresses and think that any address, after the first 30 days, risks becoming inactive. So, on the one hand, it cleans the list, on the other hand, it refreshes it.
That’s it! As you can see, I like to talk about email marketing, especially since it is one of the easiest to control online promotion channels. I highly recommend it because it has the best rate of return, and you have more benefits than social media. Plus, the budget needed to run campaigns is much smaller.
I know that much more can be said about email marketing. However, I hope I have included the essentials for you here, and I want to give you another piece of advice before you leave: once you have chosen the email marketing tool that you will use next, read the tutorials on their website. Make sure you use it correctly, and always seek the advice of a specialist if you have any doubts.
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