The What, Why and How of Email Marketing – A Quick Guide

THE WHAT:

While some define email marketing as using emails to reach consumers so the business can promote its products and services, I like to define email marketing as:

“The use of email as a medium to build a long-lasting bond and a strong relationship between the business/brand and its target audience (potential or existing consumers).”

When it comes to marketing, social media receives more hype than email marketing and some might think that being “social” is the answer to driving more sales but let’s take a look at these stats from Optinmonster:

66% of consumers state that they have made a purchase as the result of a marketing message they received by email. On the flip side, only 20% of them have ever made a purchase resulting from a Facebook promotion, and a mere 6% ever purchased something resulting from a Twitter promotion.

This does not mean that you should not have a social media strategy, but it definitely shows the need to build an effective email marketing strategy as part of your overall content marketing strategy, if you are looking to build a long-term relationship with your customers.

THE WHY:

Here are top 5 reasons to consider email marketing:

1.      Owned Media: It is owned by you, just like your business website, unlike social media channels or search engines (SEM).

2.      Direct Connection: Email being your “owned” media provides a direct connection between your customer base and your brand, and gives you the perfect opportunity to nurture this connection on a deeper level by emailing them on a regular basis.

3.      Lead Generation & Customer Retention: Not only it is the best tool for achieving greater ROI and lead generation (think about new sign-ups), but it is the perfect tool to “retain” existing subscribers and customers (think “nurture sequences”) and offers a great opportunity to not sell them once but again and again.

4.      Brand Loyalty: It opens a line of constant communication and if done correctly, can help build a strong emotional bond between the consumers (email subscribers) and your brand which can translate into lifetime loyalty.

5.      Brand Affinity: You might be thinking: why create an “emotional bond”? It’s not like I am dating them! Let’s not forget that people buy from people, not from brands! That’s why creating empathy for the brand among its consumers sits high as one of the goals in email marketing strategy.

PRO-TIP: Content strategy especially using email campaigns can help gather that emotional response from your target audience. After all, most purchases are guided by an emotional appeal, not by logic! 

THE HOW:

What are the important metrics to measure?

Open-rate, click-through rate, conversion rate and bounce rate are the top metrics to measure.

·        Open rate means that the subscriber opened your email but may or may not have clicked the link that you wanted him/her to click.

·        Click-through rate means that they clicked that link. In other words, it is your CTA in the form of hyperlink or button, for example, Download Free Checklist.

·        Conversion rate means the link that they clicked leading them to a landing page, did they perform the desired action asked in the email. For example, once they clicked on the button: Download Free Checklist, and it took them to a landing page, did they actually download the checklist from that landing page?

·        Bounce rate means the subscriber did not receive your email. One reason could be a minor glitch in your or subscriber’s email server. Other reasons could be invalid, closed or non-existent email address.

Before you go crazy measuring these, look at the crucial factor that will govern whether your emails will be opened and clicked or not.

That crucial factor or single most important thing that can make or break your email campaign is, undoubtedly, your content!

In this case, your email copywriting!

If you nail that right, you will have a successful campaign which means you can skyrocket your open and click-through rates and decrease the unsubscribe rate and bounce rate.

It also means your email will not be regarded as spam as it will deliver valuable content to your subscribers.

Top 10 Email Copywriting Hacks You Must Use:

Persuasive email copywriting is a skill that needs practice and time to master but here, I will mention the top 10 secret hacks I use that you can apply straightaway when writing emails for marketing campaigns:

1: Keep the END GOAL in mind, before you write that headline (Subject line).

2: Use ONE SINGLE call-to-action! Don’t ask your readers to take multiple actions & get them confused.

3: Use KISS formula. KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE! Don’t waste reader’s time. Get to the point, quick!

4: Personalise your emails and use them to create meaningful conversations between your brand and the subscribers! Use reader’s name. Use “you” & “your” to create a relationship with your audience.

5: Use story-telling approach. The email should have a beginning, middle & end to engage your readers. Include cliff-hangers to tease your subscribers.

6: Keep the conversational tone. Avoid the stuffy professor tone! Be authentic. Be human while maintaining your brand’s tonality.

7: Craft an attention-grabbing headline! It will decide whether they will actually open your email or not. Ignite curiosity!

8: When writing body-text, keep the reader’s persona in mind. Their pain points. Their challenges. Remember: It’s all about “them” – the customer!

9: Don’t just sell, sell, sell! Provide tonnes of value. Give them helpful and informational resources, provide tips for FREE to lessen their pain.

10: Don’t sound amateurish! Check those typos, before you hit ‘send’. Check the links are working and pointing to the correct landing page or sales page.

 

Your email strategy should answer these pertinent questions:

When building email marketing strategy, keep the big picture in mind, which is your content and how your email campaigns should ultimately align with your overall content strategy.

Start with these steps:

  • ·        What campaign you want to run and the goal you want it to achieve?
  • ·        Do you have the content ready to be placed in the emails?
  • ·        Which email marketing automation software will you use and why?
  • ·        What metrics will you measure?
  • ·        Before you create “workflow” or set “automation”, do you have the landing page/sales page ready?
  • ·        If your call-to-action is a link to download some free or paid digital product, is it downloaded at a third-party URL and can be accessed by following the link?
  • ·        Will you run ads such as on FB or Google to ask people to sign up for your email list or will you only target existing subscribers for a specific campaign?
  • ·        Will the workflow be segmented into groups based on your preference and goals of your campaign? E.g. Segmenting subscribers into existing and new sign-ups, or based on those who clicked the link, etc.

PRO-TIP: Don’t get stuck in choosing your platform, first build your email strategy to understand what you want to achieve from your email campaigns and then move on to choosing the right platform that suits your strategy and goals. 

 

Which Email Marketing Platforms Should You Choose?

Some of the popular email marketing platforms are MailChimp, Mailerlite, Aweber, ConvertKit and Marketo. If you are a solopreneur, you can start with Mailerlite as it is free till you reach 1000 subscribers. For B2B and B2C, Marketo is a great platform that provides advanced features and automation. You can give these platforms a test drive until you find the one that suits your strategy in the best possible way.

Whatever platform you choose, or campaign goals you want to accomplish, don’t forget that most readers check their emails on their mobile devices. According to Hubspot, 89% of marketer lose leads generated via emails because their emails are not mobile optimised.

PRO-TIP: Remember to make your emails mobile-friendly when designing and writing your emails for your next campaign! 

Key Takeaways:

To conclude, if you as a brand and a business want to focus on all touchpoints and “micro-moments” of a buyer journey, then strategizing rock-solid email campaigns should be part of your content strategy.

Email marketing can play an important role in engaging your target audience by providing them all the answers they need whether they are at “I-want-to-know” stage or “I-want-to-buy” stage.

Use it to inform your subscribers, don’t abuse them by barraging them with promotional emails all the time.

A good balance of both is essential so as not to annoy your subscribers.

 

Want to know what other steps are essential in building your content strategy, besides planning your email marketing campaigns?

Then, download my FREE Content Strategy Cheatsheet here:

https://komalmansoor.com/contentstrategycheatsheet/

Over to you:

Tell me in the comment section below:

·        Do you use email marketing?

·        If yes, how do you go about planning your email campaigns?

·        If not, was this article helpful in getting you started?

 If you found this article useful,  share it with like-minded folks. 😊

 

 

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