Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

With marketing campaigns mainly focused on newspapers, popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and others, marketers are increasingly unaware of the hidden wonders of email marketing. According to Statista, the number of projected email users will be 4.1 billion by 2021, and, surprisingly enough, email accounts exceed the number of Twitter and Facebook accounts combined by a factor of three times. It’s a gold mine waiting to be fully excavated and explored. As Hans Smellinckx claims, “If you are not seeing the email as a money making machine, you have the wrong strategy.” Without feeling overwhelmed, let’s learn what the deal is all about.

What is email marketing?

To put it simply, email marketing is employing the tools of email to advertise your business. Marketers draw on the services of an Email Service Provider (ESP), which provides the companies with user-friendly software tools that allow them to regulate their email lists, keep track of users who avail their services, and also allows them to design their advertisements. If wielded intelligently, email marketing campaigns can persuade potential customers to make purchases and opt for more deals or plans directly from that email. This operation is also known as conversion; it is also a scale for measuring the progress of your email program.

Now you might be wondering, does email marketing still work?

As reported by Campaign Monitor, there is a high return on investment (ROI) of $44 on every $1 dollar spent. And 59% of marketers claim that a considerable portion of their ROI is generated through emails. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to fully harness the potential of email marketing for maximum revenue generation.

How to effectively use email marketing?

A poorly planned email marketing strategy can ruin your potential customer database and lead to plummeting sales. Therefore, it’s critical to astutely plan your email marketing strategy to win the hearts and space of your recipients’ inbox. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cash in on every email sent to your potential customers!

1. Be on your best behavior
Just as you would be respectful to your hosts who invite you over to their place, you must value the wishes and concerns of the users. Demonstrating and keeping your best manners in play helps you establish incredible credibility, making users prefer your brand over others, who are just like pests flooding their junk and spam.

2. Collect and create a comprehensive list of users
Employ the most suitable Email Service Provider (ESP) that most closely matches your needs. You need to be very careful when emailing, because unsolicited emails may be subject to fines in many countries, including Canada and Australia. Therefore, it’s important to send emails only to customers who have opted for them by signing-up for your newsletters or signing any sort of permission letter. However, to engage more customers, you need to streamline the process of signing up for email updates. Additionally, to boost subscription rates it’s highly advisable to provide incentives such as a discount or free tutorials on how to use the product. Look to the French multinational beauty store chain Sephora for an excellent example of this approach. Even sending short, interesting articles occasionally describing your path to success, and how your customer interactions were an integral part of it, will engage your potential customers. Finally, share your successes and special moments with your valued users to earn their loyalty.

3. Analyze and plan.
One of the best possible ways for companies to plan their email campaigns is to analyze the emails of a competing company carefully. Simply sign-up for their newsletters, or enroll in their email lists. This way you will be able to carefully judge and understand what sort of language or content they are using to entice their customers. After a careful assessment of their strategy, you would be able to craft your own to match or rival that of your competitors.

4. Get your creative juices flowing!
After meticulously planning your content, you want to make sure your email is eye-catching. The world of marketing is submerged with perfect bodies with their razor-sharp cheekbones, a svelte frame, and shimmering locks posing for perfectly glossy advertisements finished with thematic perfection. Everyone is striving for this perfection. Advertisements are designed to show people the path away from their inadequacies and flawed life, so get ready to flaunt your perfectly polished ad to excite customers. It needs to be engaging to capture the reader’s interest quickly. To accomplish this, you need to design the email purposefully to be relevant for the targeted demographic and to show concern about their preferences.

5. Timing is crucial.
You don’t want to be an intruder popping up on the recipients’ inbox overnight, only to be ignored or, even worse, deleted. Send your emails during the times when it’s most likely to be opened and examined by the subscriber. A great time to send emails is most likely early on working days, during the day over lunch hours, or immediately after the working day ends, but you can always survey to determine which time would best suit your interest and those of your customers.

6. Integration
Companies never rely on just one method to run their advertising campaigns, nor do they adopt multiple methods of differentiated marketing. Rather, to construct a consolidated marketing campaign, they utilize the tenets of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) to harmonize their promotional activities. Your email marketing should be in sync with other promotional activities; it should contain the same image and message, and the same color theme to reflect a strong and clearly stated vision. In fact, running l your entire marketing mix at the same time will strengthen your campaign drive.

7. Make it an easy landing.
Just advertising is not enough. Not only do you need to hyperlink the consumers to your home page, but you also need to lead them exactly where you want them to be on your webpage and make it convenient for them to fill out any forms or surveys.

8. Track your progress.
After all the vigorous campaigning, you want to have progress and profits in returns. By using pre-established metrics, you can evaluate the performance of your campaign. If a campaign is not accomplishing its goals, it’s time to reset your advertising by tweaking your design, the products being highlighted, or the deals being presented.

You would be wondering by now why you should use email marketing when you have ready-made formulas and platforms to quickly market and capitalize on your products.

The advantages of email marketing:

Cost-effective: email marketing is cheap. Compared to other forms of marketing like paid advertising, email marketing helps you market to hundreds of consumers through email with little or no out-of-pocket cost. Whether you approach an agency to do your email marketing or do it yourself, it is going to cost you peanuts when compared to other forms of marketing.

Successful: emailing with targeted favorites with the ideal customer in mind proves to be a cost-effective stratagem that can also be quickly and easily altered with changing needs and preferences of the customers. The trick is to hit the right mark!

Flexibility and measurability: with the help of readily available data, you can quickly assess the progress of your campaign to determine which parts of your campaign are lagging behind and which ones are thriving. You can also efficiently and instantly make modifications to your campaign strategy when needed.

Environmentally friendly: organizations are increasingly moving towards more digitalized systems, i.e., automated document workflows. This is not only cost-effective but also improves customer and employee experiences. Digitalized systems are not only beneficial for our environment but also the companies, as this generates greater revenues. For instance, Bank of America managed to get 30,000 tons of paper recycled and reused. Moreover, like most other banks, they also offer their clients e-statements and paper-free transactions, thereby cutting down on paper usage.

Generates website traffic: because you are just a click away, you can garner extra views for your website, thereby improving your local SEO performance.

Email marketing requires a lot of exhaustive planning and design in the initial marketing stages, but in the end, it gives companies a big ROI on little investment.

Three major companies doing right by email marketing:

Many marketers, even though they know that email marketing is highly profitable, do it poorly. An astounding number, about 70% of all emails are considered to be spam. You need to confer a captivating persona to your emails to make them more attractive and inspiring for your customers. Here we present the strategies of three large, inspirational companies highly proficient in email marketing:

1. ZURB
ZURB is a product design company based in Silicon Valley. They cater to a large number of ambitious and accomplished designers, including many CEOs. They educate subscribers by using emails and focusing on delivering quality educational content on design.

When ZURB’s Marketer, Daniel Codella, first heard of email automation, he thought it was going to difficult and confusing, but later he leaped onto the idea, claiming, “Eventually I jumped in, and I found it really easy to use. When I was done creating our automated welcome email, I thought ‘Is that it?’ It was so easy.” These welcome emails now see increased open rates of 70-75% and click-through rates of 40-45%. On top of it, subscribers are thrilled and more invested in the brand when given a timely welcome.

2. Marriott
Marriott International is a leading hotel group that is functional under the umbrella of a variety of brands. Their primary clients are people from the business community. Marriott designed their email marketing in a way to secure customer favor, but also to remain their all-time favorite travel company.

Most hotel chains offer incentives and promotional deals and discounts by emailing their newsletters to their loyal customers. But Marriott went a step further by presenting condensed data of their users in a fascinating way through a “Year in Review” email. Their email contains personalized content that reveals the travel history of the user throughout the Marriott system. It includes:

  • All cities visited
  • Total number of earned points
  • Total number of redeemed reward points
  • Total number of days and nights spent in Marriott properties

Next, Marriott projects data of the overall member community:

  • Points redeemed by all members and customers
  • Milestones reached
  • New hotel inaugurations
  • Amount of points donated to charity

These data points show the customers that they are valued, and, therefore, they are an important part of Marriott’s historic journey as they realize that they are part of a greater community. These powerful factors not only keep the customers hooked and loyal to Marriott but also serve as free advertisement for the hotel as users post their data on social media.

Marriott did not innovate the content in their “Year in Review” annual email, nor did they use any sophisticated marketing mechanisms to amass loyal customers, but instead just harnessed the potential of targeted content. This initiative led to a massive increase in sales by 86%. Such is the power of targeted content.

3. Uber
Uber is an American ridesharing company providing services that include ride service hailing, food delivery, and peer-to-peer ridesharing. The company also has an app through which users can make bookings in advance or when on the go worldwide. Promotional emails from Uber endorse their uberPool feature. The description in the email about the feature is placed on the top, which is convenient to read but is also briefly written, making it an easy read for the customer. The concise and crisp message has a clear ring as a call to action. The website also sports beautiful designs with stunning patterns, visuals, and fonts to make it a fun read. The user-friendly preface of the email allows users to better interact with the company, proving to be profitable for both parties.

These giant companies are exploiting email marketing with style and might. Their genius strategies are a valuable lesson and outstanding examples for capitalizing on email marketing to its fullest for greater growth of sales and for building estimable reputations. This article is a wakeup call for those who think that emails have become obsolete in this age of virtual reality and ubiquitous chat boxes reigning high on every mobile device.