What are the Basics of Email Marketing?

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basics of email marketing

Did you know that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42? Yes, you read that right – $42 dollars in exchange for $1. In this post, we’re going to discuss why email marketing is so important, the 6 main concepts, and how you can design your email.

After reading this article, I suggest you head over to an additional post about email marketing tips & tricks. This post will help you make your emails more enticing and will teach you the proper ‘mechanics’ of writing them.

Also, I’m running under the assumption that you’ve already picked out the email marketing software you’ll be using.

Why is it important?

If you’re reading this post you likely already know the benefits of email marketing for your business. If not, here are a few great reasons why you should use email in your marketing strategy.

Build loyalty

As we know, improving brand loyalty is important for your overall business strategy. By building brand loyalty you create lifelong customers who are much more willing to engage, converse, and provide feedback when you ask for it. Building loyalty is important for increasing sales, increasing company growth, and building a positive reputation.

Promote sales and offers

“Consumers spend 138% more as a result of email marketing, when compared to consumers who don’t receive email offers.”

Campaign Monitor

If you’ve subscribed to any newsletters – you probably have a good idea of how they use them to promote their sales and offers.

You’ll typically find that in each email they’re purposely presenting you with only one main CTA, or call to action. Usually, it’s for you to purchase a product, helping you to understand their product, or offering coupons for a sale they have going on.

When done correctly, a well-written email won’t come off as spammy and will not feel like a marketing email. In fact, you may not even notice they’re trying to sell you something, it seems as if they’re just providing information.

Gather feedback and reviews

A great way to gather feedback and reviews for your products and services is to simply ask. Instead of uploading a poll to Twitter, you can send personalized emails with the intent of gathering feedback. This way you can reach the customers who matter and improve your business while doing so.

Promote your latest content

More than likely your customers care about your business – especially if they’ve purchased something from you. They would appreciate getting sent valuable content that will make their life easier, better, or overall more exciting.

A great thing about promoting your content is that they get to know the brand and are more likely to make a future purchase.

Email Marketing for Small Businesses

Whether you’re just starting your eCommerce site or you’re a seasoned veteran of small businesses, your email marketing strategy will play a key role in the success of your business.

Before you begin creating your strategy, it’s important to keep in mind your target & market audience.

For example, my current opt-in form is catered more toward men, but my audience is comprised of more women. What does this tell us? I should update my opt-in to look more ‘female friendly’. Essentially, use lighter colors and more attractive fonts. Appeal to what the majority of women like (a balanced life) instead of what the majority of men want (more money & more recognition).

Ultimately the specifics of your marketing will be heavily based on your audience.

The 6 Main Concepts

When you first start email marketing there are 6 main concepts to kickstart your marketing into gear.

How’s your traffic looking

When first starting your business, it’s important to remember that first having an audience and some traffic is more important than your email. If no one is coming to your website, how will anyone be able to subscribe to your newsletter?

I’m not saying you should completely neglect your email marketing, but you don’t need to create any complex automations or spend a lot of time making your lead magnet look perfect.

Some people are surprised to find that it takes them a few months to even a year to start having consistent traffic.

Lead magnets

Have you ever been on a blog page and noticed they were offering something that seemed valuable and worthwhile to you? Maybe a free financial spreadsheet or a free trial to try their app.

The product that they give you is called a ‘lead magnet’. This is a piece of content that’s considered worthwhile and valuable to your customer. Before you can begin collecting emails, you should create one using Canva, or a similar graphic design tool.

Opt-in forms

Opt-in forms are the actual forms that show up on your website to try and entice your customers to give you their email for the lead magnet you’ve created.

This is an example:

Segment your subscribers

When first starting an email list it’s important to decide if you need to segment your subscribers. Segmenting your subscribers is useful if you have more than one type of audience. Like a blog that offers services.

You may find that your blog audience is interested in your programming tutorials but your other audience is interested in actually buying a website from you.

If you aren’t offering any services or having multiple types of audiences on your blog you can skip this step altogether.

Email automation

Email automation is useful so you don’t have to send emails to your subscribers as soon as they subscribe – especially if you’ve promised them a lead magnet. It’s the 21st century – no one likes to wait!

Email automation is used to send out your first lead magnet and a particular number of consecutive emails – usually spread throughout the week. The series of consecutive emails to encourage your customer to buy is known as an email campaign. This helps you to stay on track and never forget to send an email to someone who has subscribed to your service.

More than likely your email subscription service will allow you to create an automation for free, but some softwares do require that you pay before they’ll allow you to use their automation services.

Don’t be a perfectionist

One of the most important tips I could give you is to not be a perfectionist. You’ll likely find that you’ll end up changing your email strategy as time goes on and you’ve built a bigger audience. It’s still important that your opt-ins and lead magnets are good – but don’t worry too much about the rest when starting out.

How to design an email

Believe it or not, there is an art to designing your emails. It’s actually mostly a series of rules to follow rather than actual designing (thank goodness for that).

But to make the most out of your email I suggest you check out my post about email marketing tips & tricks. This post will help you make your emails more enticing and will teach you the proper ‘mechanics’ of writing them.

Essentially, you want to personalize your emails, use 50 to 150 words, make it easy to unsubscribe, use emotions for higher engagement, and use cliffhangers.

If you made it to the end of the post – congrats! You’ve learned the basics of email marketing. Now it’s time to apply the information you’ve learned.