Have you heard that email marketing has an insanely high ROI and can bring your business more engagement while increasing your bottom line?
Well, the rumors are true.
However, you may fail to see the results with your campaign or may not know where to start.
Not to worry, we have a wealth of information to share with you.
You now have free access to our ultimate guide to email marketing backed not only by statistics from authorities across the industry but also research and professional experience. We will cover both the basics and the nitty-gritty details you need to know to be successful in your email marketing endeavors.
Here's a quick rundown of what you will learn from this guide:
- What email marketing is
- Why email marketing is important
- How to launch an email marketing campaign
- How to grow your email subscriber list
- Email marketing best practices
- What NOT to do when email marketing
- How to track and analyze email marketing performance
- Top email marketing service providers
- Email marketing success stories
By the end of this guide, you will have the knowledge you need to strategize, implement, and continuously improve your business's email marketing campaign.
Without further ado, let's get started.
What is Email Marketing?
First things first, email marketing is when one party sends emails to a list of recipients with the goal of gaining customers.
It was in 1999 when Seth Godin coined a phrase that revolutionized the way we do marketing. In his book “Permission Marketing,” he tells us about the importance of “turning strangers into friends and friends into customers” and that “by talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message.”
There are mainly two types of email marketing.
• The first one involves buying email lists and sending unsolicited email, more commonly known as spam.
• The second one is permission-based email marketing, which is what most people use and is the most effective between the two.
As the name suggests, permission-based email marketing is an online marketing technique that gets permission from people first before sending emails. It means that you are sending emails to people who have consented to receive these kinds of marketing messages through an opt-in form on your website or by ticking a box when purchasing a product.
Permission-based email marketing—using those very powerful words from Mr. Godin—is all about turning strangers into customers, and everything in between. It involves turning random site visitors into quality leads, nurturing these leads into customers, and maintaining strong relationships with your current customers until they become product evangelists.
But you may be thinking "Some people say email marketing is dead" or “Email marketing has never really worked for me."
Let's take a look at just how alive email marketing is.
Why is Email Marketing More Important Than Ever?
Email has a long history of utilization by brands and has shown impressive stats that beat many other methods in the business. As a result, it continues to play a significant role in online marketing. Here we will take a closer look at the different areas where it shines.
Although email marketing has been around for many years now, it remains an effective marketing method for most marketers, and it shows no signs of abating. In a marketing industry census performed by Adestra, 85% of companies state that they expect email to be fully integrated with other marketing channels by 2019. Furthermore, 89% of marketers said email is the primary source for generating leads, 76% of customers claim to have made a purchase in response to emails, and 97% of businesses use email marketing to convert email recipients into buyers. Let that 97% soak in! That is nearly all business owners. I'd say email marketing is far from dead.
Next, the ROI is untouchable. For every dollar spent on email marketing, companies generate $38 in revenue. According to a report from the DMA, 18% of businesses reported an ROI of over $76 per dollar invested in 2014! What other marketing tactic has shown that kind of return?
Customers Prefer It
As marketers, we want to meet customers where they feel comfortable and research shows that is in their email inbox. As illustrated below, reports from Marketing Sherpa indicate that 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email rather than other marketing channels such as social media. Furthermore, almost 1/3 of consumers prefer to receive updates from brands via email more than any other type of marketing communication.
Lastly, results in this study by Mckinsey and Company that found email 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter at acquiring new customers!
So it’s fair to say that customer do prefer email for updates and promotional offers.
Facebook currently has over 1.79 billion monthly active users, while Twitter has 317 million. Given these enormous numbers, a marketer might think that social media is the most effective way to reach everyone. While these are indeed impressive numbers, email usage trumps them all. According to The Radicati group, the total number of email users forecasted for 2016 is 2.6 billion. Email is the old timer, and there is no better way to connect to a wider audience than through this medium.
Using email marketing will improve the chances that your content also gets sent directly to your target audience’s mailbox. Forrester reported a 90% delivery rate on average. Compare that to, say, the 2% probability that your followers will see a Facebook post.
The click-through rate on an email is much greater than that of social media. In a study conducted by Monetate, 4.24% of email marketing audiences will buy something. Compare this number to the 2.49% percent of website visitors from search engines and .59% of visitors from social media!
The proof is in the figures. Email marketing is simply a key player in online marketing success. You can reach the most consumers in the way they prefer you to contact them, and the method offers high ROI, click-through rates, and conversions.
Now that we know the important role email marketing plays, the next question is: How do you launch an email marketing campaign?
We have you covered, keep reading.
How Can I Launch an Email Marketing Campaign?
So you know how important it is to start an email marketing campaign but how exactly do you go about it?
Before you begin writing your first email, it’s important to sit down and brainstorm the big picture of your email marketing campaign.
Sending emails haphazardly—without a strategy in mind— won’t get you to your desired end goal.
Here are the steps you should take to make the most of your efforts.
Set Goals for What You Want to Achieve
An email campaign without a goal is like a ship without the rudder. Creating a goal is important so that you can easily track and measure your email marketing activities.
For example, do you want to increase traffic to your website, increase sales, or improve customer loyalty? Maybe your goals are two or three-fold, that is okay. You just need to know what you ultimately want to achieve.
With your goal in mind, you can put a clear plan in place, track progress, and make changes as needed. So write down your primary goal or goals and then move to next step.
Plan Your Emails
Once you have your goals set, you can begin to plan out your emails. Here you can reverse engineer from your end goals to ensure your emails lead your business where you want to go.
For example, if your goal is to gain more traffic to your website, you will need to craft email sequences which keep your target audience engaged, entertained, and informed while prompting them to visit.
If you want to improve customer loyalty, you will want to have emails which keep your existing customers engaged with your brand and which offer them special rewards for continuing to do business with you.
Sending just one email whenever you have the time won't work. A large part of this tactic is staying present in the customer’s awareness. Decide how often you will send your emails and then ensure you have content planned to deliver on a consistent basis.
Think about it for a second. If you receive an email every week from a brand you are interested in, you will come to expect it. You will also think of them when it comes time to buy something that they offer. On the other hand, if you receive an email every now and again randomly, the impact is far less effective.
The DMA's National Email Client Report 2016 MA recently released this info on email frequency which can you give a ballpark idea of how many emails to send per month and how it has changed over time. By the looks of it, the majority of companies are sending 2-3 emails per month. They reported there is more of a focus on quality emails that are relevant and strategic, rather than a larger quantity of emails which are timed and programmatic.
You also don't want to stop sending emails once you start, email marketing should be an ongoing effort for the foreseeable future. So you will want to put the infrastructure in place to support email creation continuously which may include but is not limited to content strategists, writers, editors, publishers, managers, etc.
Next, plan out the topics you will write about and the calls to action you will include. If you are planning an email sequence for new customers, decide how many you will send and how they will fit together. If you want to have emails which you send when customer perform certain behaviors, identify the triggers and plan the content accordingly. Remember that each email should have a purpose and should be tailored to the place your recipient is in the buying sales funnel.
When your planning is complete, it is time for the writing.
**Tip: Have your content written out well in advance to ensure you can send out emails according to your desired schedule.
Choose an Email Marketing Service Provider
Once you know what your goals are and have an idea about the content you want to create, you should shop around and find an email marketing service provider who you can use to launch your campaign (we will list some of our favorites later on in this guide).
What is an Email Marketing Service Provider (ESP) exactly?
It is an email marketing platform that provides you with the means to create and send emails, create, manage, and segment email lists, as well as create sign ups or opt-in forms.
The main advantage of using an ESP is that it makes things easier and more convenient for you. It also allows for efficiency and automation which improves the experience for your audience.
Additionally, you can send out beautifully designed emails even if you don’t have the coding or HTML skills because most providers have built-in and ready-made templates that you can use.
Another valuable feature of an ESP is the analytics you can use to analyze the results of an email campaign and create reports.
Should you invest in one? Well, 49% of companies and 55% of B2B companies now use a marketing automation software to help with their email marketing efforts and we highly recommend it.
Write the emails
Once you have your content plan in place and your ESP set up, it is time to write your emails or have them written for you. Emails should be short and sweet, focused on the central message you want to send your audience.
Remember, people are busy and often on their mobile devices, they don't want to read a whole back story on your company or an essay about a new product.
They want concise, scannable content, and big easy buttons to click if they want to take action.
Knowing who you are writing to is also paramount. Know your audience, and make sure that the tone, voice, and point of view you use matches the recipient of the email.
You want to maintain your brand voice across all of your communications from social media to email marketing to your website.
The subject line is important as well, so make it catchy and compelling enough that the recipient will open your email from the get-go.
Personalization is also an important aspect of email marketing. Nothing turns people off more than a generic-sounding email so take the time to personalize your content to make it even more useful. (More on that later.)
Lastly, remember that your audience signed up for helpful, informative and entertaining messages. Make sure your writing delivers on those expectations and isn’t just a pushy sales letter.
If you would like more information on how to write email marketing copy, you may find this and this helpful.
Design Your Emails
Once you have written the copy for the emails, you need to spruce it up by adding photos, images, or artwork. Use the graphics to break up chunks of text in your copy.
The photos that you choose should be relevant to the body of the email, and their size must fit in with the rest of the template.
Make the copy scannable by using bullet points, headers, a brief overview at the top, and a short conclusion at the bottom. Pick a color palette that matches your website for brand consistency. Also, remember to put plenty of white space in to allow the reader to breathe in and pause while reading.
Here's a great blog with 50 excellent email marketing designs you can look to as a reference.
Check, Test, Proofread, and Re-Check
The worst thing that can happen to an email marketer is to send out an email with an error in it. Prevent this from happening by double- and triple-checking the content of your email.
• Are you sending it to the right email list?
• Are the links within the email working?
• Did you include a CTA?
• Are there any grammar errors in the copy? Grammarly can be you best friend.
To make sure do not forget anything, create a checklist of the things you need to look at before sending the email to your subscribers and always run through the list before clicking send.
**Tip: It is good to have a system in place where more than one person is looking over emails before they go out.
Once everything is ready to go, you can schedule your emails to be published according to your content plan.If you have triggered emails, you can set them up according to the triggers.
**Tip: To find out the best times to send an email, conduct an A/B split test on your emails and review their open and conversion rates.
Your emails will automatically send according to schedule. Easiest part yet, eh?
Track Results, Analyze, and Adjust
A few days after sending out the email, review the data from the analytics page of your ESP. How was your email open rate? If it is low, maybe you could try to make changes to your subject line.
How about the click-through rate? If the numbers aren’t too high, maybe you could change the copy and the design of your call-to-action button.
Tracking and analyzing the results of your email campaign allows you to learn from your mistakes, and to make the necessary changes to improve results next time. (We will take a more in-depth look at the reports you should be tracking later on in the guide.)
Now you may be wondering, “To whom am I going to send these beautifully crafted emails?”
Great question, and that brings us to our next section.
How to Grow Your Email List
Building your email list is a huge part of email marketing success. A large list of email subscribers is like gold to a business. Unfortunately, a quality list can't be bought, stolen, or borrowed.
You must earn it, each and every subscriber on your list.
How do you do that?
There are lots of tactics you can use. Here are a few ideas.
Forms on Your Website
Your website is one of the first places you should be asking for subscribers as visitors are already interested in your brand.
The copy for your opt-in form should tell potential subscribers what they can expect to receive after signing up to your list.
Is there a freebie such as an ebook, a checklist, or a coupon?
Will you be sending them tips on how to resolve a problem?
Will you inform them about industry news and updates?
State what you will be sending them, and how often. Setting clear expectations ahead of time will ensure that the opt-in form will attract quality leads that want to hear and learn from you.
Make sure that your call to action is clearly stated (don’t make your site visitors guess!) and that the CTA button displays prominently.
Here is an example from Old Navy.
As soon as you arrive on their page, their newsletter subscription offer pops up. Notice how they use enticing language like “30% off your purchase" and “up-to-the-minute info” to tempt the visitor into joining. I mean, who wouldn't want 30% off their purchase and more deals in their inbox?
Here is another example of a sign up offer integrated with the actual home page copy from the Macy’s website. Look in the upper right-hand corner and notice the 15% off incentive for signing up for emails. While not the main messaging on the site, it is still taking up prime real estate on the home page.
Next up is social media. As mentioned earlier in this guide, email marketing can be made more effective by combining it with other forms of online marketing.
Social media brings the benefit of granting access to a large audience, so naturally, you will want to take advantage of that. There are many different platforms but, of course, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are some of the main players.
To reach an audience via these platforms, you will have to have an active profile on the platform of your choice. Then, you can integrate email subscription offers into your posts and advertising.
Here are a few examples:
On Facebook, you can use paid ads to target a specific audience with your offer. They will include a call to action button which reads "sign up" which can lead them to your sign-up form.
You can also place a sign-up button on your profile page or include calls to action in your regular posts. Remember you want to focus on the benefits that your audience is going to get from the sign up (a discount on their next purchase is a good idea.)
On YouTube, you can include calls to action before, during (see the small black ad below), or after your videos which can direct viewers to sign up.
Additionally, you can run ads on Instagram or include offers in your post images or descriptions. On Twitter, you can create a campaign or chat to promote free content that will require an email address and subscription to download
As you can see, each platform provides an opportunity to reach your audience in its own way.
This is what we call an incentivein exchange for an email address.
Offering an incentive is a quick way to overcome your readers’ hesitations in handing over their email address. You may see this tactic in use with an ebook or a white paper on offer, but you can provide anything that your audience will want. The trick is finding the right incentive that will be of interest to your target audience.
Content-wise, offering a cheat sheet is extremely popular because it helps customers do something more efficiently, while being easier to write than an ebook. A free email course that helps resolve a customer’s problem is also popular. As you can see on the left, Neil Patel of Quicksprout offers a free course in exchange for an email. Product-wise, incentives can also come in the form of discounts, rewards points, free trials, and exclusive access to members of your email list.
You can also run contests on your Facebook page or website featuring a prize attractive enough that will make your followers willingly submit their email addresses to enter. Along with their sign up, you share that they can receive your weekly newsletter.
You don’t have to limit your list to online activities; what you do offline can help too. You can collect email addresses at trade shows, meetups, conferences, and other networking events. You can also encourage leads that are in your traditional marketing funnel to register to your email newsletter
Growing an email list does take an investment and a good strategy but as we talked about in the beginning, the returns can be well worth the investment, 38:1 in fact, so use these tactics to your advantage.
If you want even more ideas, the people over at sumome.com provided this sumo sized guide to email list building. It’s worth a look!
Now that we have gone over the basics of creating an email marketing campaign and growing a list of subscribers, in the next section we’ll dig deeper into email marketing best practices.
Email Marketing Best Practices
Having a well-researched and planned out email marketing strategy is important. It will serve as your guide and reference throughout your campaign, and it will help you market your products and services.
Here are several important best practices you should integrate into your strategy.
A Note on Whitelisting
You need to make sure that your emails are whitelisted; otherwise, all of your emails will automatically move to the spam folder, and your efforts will go to waste. Whitelisting is the process of being marked as a friend in your recipient’s inbox so that your emails aren’t classified as spam.
While all ESPs will ensure that your subscribers’ ISPs aren’t blocking your emails, your best option will still be to remind your readers from time to time to add your email address to their contacts list, or safe senders list. Getting whitelisted is important because it ensures that your emails are delivered straight to your customers’ inbox.
As promised earlier, here is a deeper look at personalization. You may receive emails from businesses with your name on them, but personalization in email marketing goes beyond just the name of the recipient in the greeting.
A personalized email is one that doesn’t make the recipient feel like he or she is receiving marketing messages because the information is so relevant to them.
As a result, people are more likely to open your emails and take action. It all starts with the subject line. Emails that have personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those that have generic ones, so make sure yours are personal and relevant to what your target audience is going through. Then, the personalization should follow through the entirety of the email.
Just take a look at what other email marketing experts have to say about personalization. 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement, while 91% plan to use real time personalization in the next year. Email marketers also see a 6x higher transaction rates when using personalization tactics!
Interestingly, despite its many advantages, only 39% of online retailers are making use of this tactic, which means those who do use it will be leaps and bounds ahead of their competition.
An excellent way to personalize your emails is through the use of segmentation.
“I feel like this email has been written just for me.”
We all want this response from our emails, right?
Segmentation is the way to get it. Kissmetrics defines it as “the process of splitting up an email list into targeted groups” and a recent email marketing study showed that 77% of ROI comes from having a segmented, targeted, and triggered email campaign strategy, and companies saw a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns!
Most email marketing experts will tell you that the secret sauce to their success is segmentation.
According to Mail Chimp, campaigns that make use of it have a 14.4% better open rates than emails that are non-segmented!
The process allows you to write personalized content that your subscribers will want to open, read, and most importantly, inspires more to take action.
You can segment emails in many ways.
• For one, you can group your list according to the geographical location of users which is important if you have a multi-location business. You can then email subscribers about exclusive deals, local news, and upcoming events.
• You can also segment your list according to click-through rates. Once you see a group of people clicking on one of the links in your email, that means they are interested in finding out more about the link. Then you can group them according to their interests such as a line of your products or services.
• Another way to segment is through your open rates. If you have determined that there is a significant number of people that are not opening your emails, you can send them another email using a different subject line to encourage more participation out of them.
By taking note of what kinds of messaging will best appeal to specific customers, you can group those customers together and send them content to which they will likely respond.
Triggered Email Messages
A triggered email is a message sent based on an important event in a customer’s life, or a change in a customer’s profile or purchasing behavior. It can be a welcome email, a reminder to replenish stock of a product purchased in the past, or a message to encourage more shopping. It can even be something as personal as a birthday greeting.
When taking this approach, you should always includes a re-sell if the customer has not yet converted, or an upsell if the client already bought something. It can be an exclusive deal sent to a customer on their birthday like the one above, or a sweetened offer for customers who abandoned their shopping carts.
Trigger emails have a higher chance of a conversion; in fact, they have a 71% higher open rate and a 102% higher click-through rate than non-triggered emails!
As you can see they are very targeted and specific, which helps in closing deals.
Timing is another important consideration.
There is no one right answer to the best time to send an email; however, there are some interesting—not to mention, surprising—email marketing statistics from Hubspot that can help you determine your optimal times:
• 6 AM has the highest click-through rate of any hour
• Saturday has the highest click-through rate at over 9% for email campaigns
There’s only one way for you to find out the optimum times for your campaign and that is to test. Conduct A/B testing to run one timing slot against another.
You also need to make sure that your emails are mobile-friendly because people check their emails using mobile devices 74% of the time. Furthermore, 75% of emails viewed from a mobile device get deleted right away if they are difficult to navigate!
Recipients aren't only opening emails with cell phones, as many as 69% of shoppers are also influenced by company emails to make a purchase on their smartphone. To take advantage of those shoppers, we all need to be creating mobile friendly emails.
Here are some of the things you can do to optimize your emails for mobile viewing.
• Keep content as simple as possible regarding email design. Less is always more, and cluttering things up could potentially slow down the loading of your email.
• Make sure that the font size you use is large enough that your readers will not have to squint or zoom in to read your email.
• Keep the content, images, and buttons in order so that your email will be easy enough to understand.
• Make the call to action button size sufficiently large for easy clicking.
• Avoid including complicated menus in the body of the email which can distract the reader from the message you are trying to impart.
• Use an ESP that supports mobile responsive designs.
Here you can find more tips on mobile-friendly designs for emails.
Social Sharing Buttons
Last but not least, don’t forget to include social sharing buttons in the body of your emails. Studies have shown that click-through rates improve by 158% if these are present! This could potentially bring in more new customers because of the higher probability of content shares.
An effective email marketing strategy makes sure that the email content being sent out is personalized, segmented, and responds to triggered events. It should also be mobile-friendly, share-friendly, and be sent out at an optimized time.
Now that we know what to do let's look at a few things you should NOT do.
Email Marketing: What Not To Do
Yes, there are mistakes that others have made who have gone before you.
Thankfully, we can learn from them.
Make sure you don't do these things.
Don’t email too often
Avoid sending emails too often as this will be perceived as being intrusive and spammy. If your open rates and click-through rates do not sound promising, then perhaps you should lessen the frequency of which you send emails. Find the sweet spot that works best for your audience.
Also don’t send emails too often to subscribers that aren’t as responsive, because their ISP might start putting your emails in the spam folder due to your low open rates.
Don’t use spammy words
I understand that the primary objective of your email marketing campaign is to drive more sales to your business. However, this does not mean you should load your email with promotional, over-hyped words as these could be misconstrued as spam.
Not sure what to avoid? Check the lists here and here.
Don’t send irrelevant content
I can never emphasize this enough: your content should offer value to your audience. Make sure that the content is relevant, and is something that helps you build the relationship over time.
That’s the only way you can make a sale and convert these leads into paying customers. If your content remains irrelevant, you may even find yourself having to deal with a smaller list of subscribers as people won’t want to receive your content anymore and will unsubscribe.
Don’t send emails to individuals who didn’t subscribe
Remember what I said earlier about buying email lists? It is a big no-no. Sending emails to people who didn’t accept is the exact opposite of permission-based marketing. Trust me when I say that people don’t even bother with unsolicited emails these days; yours will only be left unopened and moved to the spam folder.
Don’t send impersonal email
Don’t underestimate how smart your audience is. They will be able to detect a mass, generic email right away. Sending an impersonal email might take less effort, but it won’t be as useful as a personalized email.
Phew! Glad we got those out of the way.
Now let's move on to how you can see if your email marketing is working.
Reports to Track and Analyze Email Marketing Performance
The work continues after you have sent an email. The next step is to track and analyze its performance for you to determine how effective your campaign is.
Not sure where to start?
Here are the nine things you can track and analyze to gauge the success of your campaign.
What is it?
This metric establishes how many recipients open your email. You can find it by dividing the number who open your email by the number who receive your email.
How to improve it:
Having a low open rate means that you need to improve the way you write your email subject line.
Another factor that can influence open rates is the sender name. People may regard you as spam based on the name that you used when sending your email. Therefore, you need to use the common name of your business.
What is it?
The click-through rate determines how many people clicked on a link on your email. If 10 out of 100 people you sent an email clicked the link you have placed, then you have a 10% click-through rate.
How to improve it:
You need to test different approaches using A/B testing until you find out what drives more clicks.
A few things to check first, make sure to include a link above the fold!
What do I mean by this? Many CTA buttons appear at the bottom of an email, however, since online consumers have a very short attention span, they may move to another email or another browser before finishing your email. To resolve this, you need to place a link within the first inch and a half of your email as you can see with the “shop now’ button above (this is what’s called “above the fold”) and is seen in the example above.
Also, improve the way you write your email copy by making it more persuasive, and be clear on your call to action statement. As was already mentioned, making the CTA button larger will make it easy for readers to click on your link, especially if they are viewing the email from a mobile device.
Often, it is a process of trial and error with educated guesses until you find what works best.
What is it?
Sales show the number of conversions your business has made from an email.
How to improve it:
If the figures are not good for this metric, you may have to rethink your email marketing strategy. Compare the emails that converted to those that are total duds.
What are the differences? It could be that you were not able to address the needs of your customers, you did not pique their interest enough, or you weren’t persuasive with your copy.
You can also segment the people who did not make a purchase into a separate list, and send a carefully targeted email to them. You might want to change the angle of your sales copy, or present your product or service in a different light to overcome hesitations and convince them that what you are offering is something that they do need.
What is it?
Deliverability is making sure that your emails reach the inbox of your intended recipients. This report will show the number of people who received your emails versus how many you send.
How to improve it:
To improve your deliverability, avoid sending emails too frequently otherwise, the ISPs may think your emails are spam.
Once you have determined the right frequency of sending emails, stick to this schedule. Erratic patterns are easily detected by ISPs, which consider them as an indication of spam.
Use clear, specific subject lines and avoid including spammy words (as we learned above). Make it easy to unsubscribe from your list; not doing so will only get you blacklisted.
What is it?
This metric is the percentage of your emails where delivery to your recipients’ inbox fails. There are two types of bounce emails: hard and soft. A soft bounce email happens due to a full mailbox or a temporary problem with a subscriber’s server. A hard bounce is when an email goes to a non-existent email address.
How to improve it?
There’s nothing you can do about soft bounce emails; however, to improve your bounce rates, you need to prune down your list from time to time to check for emails that are obviously non-existent. Do this because ISPs have been known to track bounce rates and use it to determine the legitimacy of an email sender.
What is it?
Shares/Forwards show the number of people who shared your email to a social media site or sent your email to another recipient.
This metric is important to analyze because it allows you to generate new leads.
How to improve it:
You can improve your shares/forward numbers by encouraging your subscribers to share your content to other people. Keep an eye out on the type of content that gets the most shares, and use this knowledge when planning your email content for the future.
What is it?
The length of time spent reading your email is also a determining factor in the success of your campaign. You may have great open rates, but what if your subscribers are opening emails but are just glancing cursorily at your content before hitting the delete button? That means they only got to grasp a fraction of the content you have prepared for them.
This metric allows you to determine how engaged your customers are with your emails.
How to improve it:
One tactic you can use is to tell the audience outright how long the email will take them to read. Knowing that an email will only take 5 minutes to read will improve its chances of being read.
Keep the copy concise and put the salient points above the fold (or near the top). As always, make it scan-friendly by using short paragraphs and bullet points.
What is it?
ROI is perhaps the most important email marketing metric of them all. The overall ROI is the total return on investment in your email marketing campaign. Quantifying the performance of an email marketing campaign is important to determine its effectiveness. Figuring out the numbers allows you to determine how well your strategy is performing.
Take note that there are many ways to calculate overall ROI, depending on the kind of business you have. But for starters, you can use this basic formula to determine it:
Earned – Spent / Spent = ROI
You can find earnings in your sales report, and you will have to calculate all of the costs associated with your email marketing efforts based on your own accounting.
With these performance indicators, you can better understand how your email marketing campaign is performing. Now let's look at the providers that make it easy and convenient to get the analytics you need.
As promised earlier, here are the top email marketing service providers you can choose from to run your entire campaigns.
Top Email Marketing Service Providers
Using an email marketing server provider will provide you with benefits.
• It makes it easy and convenient to send an email using a pre-designed template that you can customize according to your needs.
• You can manage and segment your list with an ESP.
• It also prevents you from being treated as spam by ISPs.
The question really is not whether or not you should use an ESP, but rather, which ESP to choose.
Here are five of the most popular ESPs out there:
iContact has been providing automation and email marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses since 2003. Its Premier Services provide a personal email expert to help you with your needs. It also offers design, deliverability, and social media services to help with your email marketing campaign.
You’ll find an intuitive and easy-to-use interface that can be used by anyone, regardless of technical know-how. Furthermore, one of iContact’s features is a spam checker, which helps improve the deliverability of your email by indicating which words you need to eliminate from your email so that it can bypass the spam filters of email clients.
Constant Contact provides various email marketing solutions to small businesses. It has a lot of ready-made templates and its drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to write and design your email. It is also mobile-responsive so you are assured that you can view your emails from both mobile and desktop devices. You’ll additionally find a social integration feature, which makes it easy for your subscribers to share your content to social media.
Mail Chimp was founded in 2001 and is now one of the world’s leading email platforms. They make it easy for e-commerce sites to integrate their email marketing activities with their online stores. Whether you are using Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, you can easily connect your online store with your MailChimp account to create highly targeted emails. Additionally, they are helpful for small businesses and freelancers.
GetResponse provides a suite of email marketing solutions. It has a drag-and-drop email editor which includes 1,000+ free images and 500+ newsletter templates. They also allows you to schedule your emails according to the time zones of your recipients and provide personalization features and automation options to help you send triggered emails.
AWeber makes email marketing a cinch with its various features. It can be seamlessly integrated with WordPress, Facebook, PayPal, and Salesforce and has a drop-and-drop email editor. It also allows you to import your email list easily into the system and you’ll find 6,000 free images to help you create a more visually appealing email. If you need support, they provide chat, email, and phone support.
These are just 5 of the many on the market. You can click on the links to provider names to learn more about each.
Email Marketing Success Stories
Do you want to see some real-life examples of email marketing campaigns that totally knocked it out of the park?
Check out these resources:
• Hubspot has listed 15 examples of companies that have great email marketing campaigns. The trigger email that Dropbox sends to follow up with its customers is a winner!
• Convince&Convert showcases 5 case studies that show email marketing’s best practices. Check out how Birchbox sends a cunningly crafted follow-up email containing a promo code for its subscribers.
• Neil Patel shows how 4 companies managed to increase their open rates in a blog post. Find out how Digital Marketer managed to convince its audience to open their emails by using benefit-driven and scarcity-based subject lines.
• Campaign Monitor lists down 100 of its most successful email marketing campaigns this year. You will see how Unicef, TopShop, and Sephora sends out their emails.
Thats All, Folks!
Using email marketing to boost and reinforce your marketing efforts can greatly improve the bottom line for your business. It's much easier with the help of an ESP, it is cost-effective when compared to other traditional marketing methods, and it allows you to build relationships by turning leads into customers, and customers into product evangelists.
Now you have a resource for launching your own campaign.
Let's go over a quick recap of what you learned in this guide.
- Email marketing is all about creating connections and building relationships with your customers through emails you gained permission to send.
- Email marketing is important for several key reasons: it's growing in popularity and usage, it offers high ROI, customers prefer it, it provides good reach, it results in high conversions, and offers efficient deliverability.
- The basics of creating an email marketing campaign include setting goals, choosing an ESP, and planning, writing, designing, editing, scheduling, sending, and tracking your emails.
- Grow your email list through website forms, social media, content, incentives, and traditional advertising.
- Personalization, segmentation, triggered emails, timing, mobile friendliness, and social sharing are best practices that should be used in your email marketing strategy.
- What NOT to do in your email marketing campaigns.
- How to track and analyze your email marketing performance
- Top email marketing service providers and what they offer.
- Resources to see how other businesses have launched successful email marketing campaigns.
Now it's your turn. Put this knowledge into action to see what email marketing can do for your business! We'd love to hear back from you in the comments section below. Do you have any tips or tricks in email marketing to add to our ultimate guide? Please share with our community.