Email Marketing Guide

As email marketing is recorded to be the strongest form of marketing campaign in the history, we think it is essential to provide the latest and authentic information to educate about the email marketing.

Hence, we bring forth a community-driven guide to email marketing where you can get first hand information on the subject matter, from experienced email marketers, elucidating everything you need to know about ‘email marketing’. This guide will be updated from time-to- time, by the industry experts, with latest additions and revisions in the email marketing arena.

If you are keen to be a part of the expert team, and share your knowledge and experience with regards to email marketing domain, please feel free to reach out to us on admin {@} wittysparks.com

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Introduction to Email Marketing

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that is used for sending commercial message, usually to a specific audience, using email. Broadly, it can mean, every email that is sent to a potential or existing customer with the purpose of bringing brand awareness, attracting new customers or the current customers to make a purchase, retaining relationship with existing customers to maintain customer loyalty, sharing third-party advertisements, and other marketing purposes.

The whole concept behind email marketing is to make an effort to engage your targeted customers, existing, as well as potential customers, by directing them to the company’s website over and over, it would most often result in purchasing or re-purchasing the products / services. Besides engaging customers, these emails can be used to obtain sales, acquire new customers, lead the youth, gain customer loyalty, and also, for brand awareness, using a single email campaign list.

The most important part of email marketing is to get the email addresses of buyers / customers. Many established companies, be it a clothing brand, electronic store, or a restaurant, maintain a diary in which the visitors are requested to provide their feedback, along with entering their valuable information, like email address, postal address, and mobile number. The data collected from the customers is the key to a successful email campaign. Using this information, companies can directly approach their existing, as well as potential customers, with targeted content, including deal and discount offers, via sending emails directly to their inbox.

The major advantage of email marketing is that the emails can be sent selectively to the users based on their purchase, view, or wish-list history, for example, if a customer is obsessed with viewing boots online, using this data, a marketer can send emails displaying latest collections, or offers, it will grab customer’s attention immediately. This trend has been growing vastly in the email marketing campaigns, to send personalised emails containing customer’s things-of-interest, and has proven to be highly successful.

Why Email Marketing?

The present time marketers are under the pressure to achieve an objective with limited means or a budget. As the gap between business-and-customer is reducing more and more, the marketers are challenged to build and maintain a personalised relationship with customers, to connect with their audience in a highly targeted setting.

“No marketing category has the longevity of email marketing. While some marketing trends come and go, email remains the most powerful channel available to the modern marketer,” as pet the VentureBeat report.

Email Marketing is the most powerful source, due to the following reasons:

Deliver the Message

The basic motive behind email marketing, or any form marketing for that matter, is to deliver the message across to your targeted audience. In the case of email marketing, a massive volume of emails, up to 90%, are delivered straight to the recipient’s inbox. This is due to the fact that the customers or potential customers have actively signed up for the email newsletter. Unlike the social media platforms where the advertisements are flashed without the user’s consent, email marketing is decidedly chosen and subscribed. Hence, it’s an easy and effective way of delivering the message related to your product/service.

Reach Larger Audience

Introduction Channel Benchmarks 2017
Ratings by marketers on the effectiveness of digital media channels

Image source: smartinsights.com

It has been recorded, year after year, that email marketing has the largest audience reach. It would be surprising to believe, taking the social media boasting into consideration, especially in the recent past years, but statistics clearly state that email marketing is the most effective source of reaching customers or potential customers. This is due to the blatant fact that all the active users of internet possess an active email, or multiple active email addresses thus, making email the widest reaching platform.

Longevity of Email

As email is a highly personal platform for an individual’s use for communication, be it for work, family or friends, it has a long history of being stable and everlasting. Unlike social platforms, the people you communicate with, using email, contain vital information and hold a great deal of importance to email users. Ever since the first promotional email was sent in 1978, to about 400 customers, the email marketing has grown and evolved tremendously.

High Conversion Rate

Any form of marketing is focused on driving conversions.

“Regardless of whether this is in the form of leads, sales, memberships, or a metric unique to your business strategy, the ultimate goal for marketers is to turn potential customers into paying customers.”

Therefore, email Marketing, being the most powerful platform for conversions, is preferred over various other marketing channels, including Facebook or Twitter. According to a Monetate survey, 4.24% of customers visiting from email marketing actually make a purchase, as compared to customers visiting via other sources.

Highest Return on Investment

Email Marketing ROI
Email Marketing Return on Investment

Statistics Source: lyfemarketing.com

Email marketing generates the highest return on investment (ROI). On every $1 spent on email marketing, the company can expect to generate up to 38% of revenue, as per the marketer, Neil Patel. According to Statista, the number of e-mail users worldwide is forecasted to rise to 2.9 billion users by 2019. The increase in the email users will allow the marketers to reach out to more potential customers that will lead to an increase in ROI.

Advantages or Benefits of Email Marketing for Business & Growth

Businesses can gain plenty of benefits from email marketing, specifically due to the fact that most people now access their emails on smartphones on day-to-day basis. Thus, email remains the most preferred form of marketing for any organisation that is used to communicate with customers for business, as well as growth.

Some of the email marketing benefits for business and growth are as follows.

Global Audience Reach

The key feature of email marketing is its ability to target customers globally. No other platform allows businesses to reach out to the audience in masses, on a global level. Even though social media provides a similar platform, it is not as effective as email marketing, as it is non-measurable. Whereas, in email marketing, the emails are sent directly to the existing or potential customers, unlike social media, allowing the maximum amount of visibility. This can help businesses in promoting their products and services across the world, as well as in their future growth.

Measurability

As mentioned above, email is the only form of marketing that is measurable. It provides accurate statistics regarding the rate of delivery, number of emails opened, click-to-deliver rates, and subscriber retention rates, unlike other marketing channels that provide metrics representing only ambiguous analytical estimations that are unreliable. Email marketing, with the help of marketing tools, presents businesses with an opportunity to monitor and attain a detailed insight into customers’ behaviour patterns and interests.

Credibility

Building trust and credibility with the customers is the most essential part of a successful marketing channel. Email marketing provides a business with the ability to achieve credibility. With the help of relevant and personalised email newsletters with engaging content, businesses can attract large audiences while gaining their trust and loyalty, as well as maintain rapport with them. This can help the businesses to turn their audience into buyers or potential customers.

Affordability

The low-cost investment involved in sending email newsletters is the most advantageous factors of email marketing. As discussed earlier, return on investment (ROI) on every $1 invested is 38%, making email marketing the most affordable channel for business promotions and growth. Additionally, businesses can save huge monies using email marketing, as emails neither require printing and postage, nor does it require advertisements in newspapers, magazines, holdings, and television, which can cost a fortune with lower return on investments (ROI) compared to email marketing.

Sales Boosting

Email marketing can really boost sales of a business if done correctly. As email marketing is a mature channel compared to other marketing channels, including social platforms, it can generate more sales than others. For decades, it has proven to convert leads into buyers, and buyers into loyal customers. In fact, email continues to be the topmost platforms to heavily influence customers to buy and repeat purchase, according to surveys conducted by Forrester in 2012, as well as Campaigner in 2015.

Time Saving

Email marketing is time saving, as it requires a single page of promotional email draft that is short and simple and conveys a direct message. Businesses today, also have the luxury to use ready templates available online that allows businesses to design their newsletters or promotional emails quickly and easily, and have a professional appeal at the same time.

Quick Results

Nevertheless to say, email marketing is the fastest marketing platform. The amount of waiting time in an email marketing campaign is very less as the response is pretty quick. Email marketing can be a terrific channel to speed up the sales cycle and provides the results almost immediately, with the help of right content, sent to the customer, at the right time, and tracking the campaign efficiently.

Best Practices of Email Marketing

When it comes to email marketing, the best practices begin with learning and understanding the basic etiquette’s of email, before even drafting, designing or sending out an email campaign. Below are some of the basic tips known to be practised by the best email marketing campaigns, on regular basis.

Fixing Delivery issues

In an email marketing campaign, it is absolutely essential to deliver the promotional emails to the user’s inbox. What’s the point of sending an email if the user doesn’t see it in his inbox to open and view it, otherwise? Hence, its important to solve the delivery issues, including emails reaching spam folders, users complaining about unwanted emails, emails sent to spam traps, etc.

Testing Email Content

Testing the email content before sending out promotional emails to the clients is equally essential. Running the content for a spell check, incorrect or incomplete information, broken links, image resolution, etc., can help you avoid errors. Practising sending out test emails to check how the email appears to the customers can help you ensure that all the information and links given are correct and working.

Avoiding Spammer Content

The idea behind reaching out to customers using email marketing platform is to create brand awareness, build trust, provide business, product or service information, gain loyal customers, etc. Hence, its best to practice sending genuine emails containing relevant information, free from spammer content. Some of the known words that contribute to spam include free, deal, urgent, win/won, etc. Therefore, avoid the spammer words or phases at all cost.

Avoiding Phishing Links

Emails with Phishing links, like spam emails, are unwanted and trick people into believing false information. Such links are used by cheaters to get traffic to their website with every click or to get access to user’s personal information, including passwords deceivingly. Hence, it’s best to avoid such links.

Sending Multipart Messages

As emails use HTML for content structure and rejects other languages, like JavaScript and CSS, when an email is drafted to be sent, it is necessary that both text version and HTML version are prepared and sent simultaneously. It is important for the spam filters to receive the multi-part messages containing both HTML & text email drafts. Certain email marketing software automatically generates text content for you, hence; find the one that best suit your needs and practice using it.

Proof Reading

Proofreading seems to be a dead art on the internet and even established online publications and email marketing campaigns are littered with typos and grammatical errors.

Want to turn off your potential customers? write poorly and don’t proofread.

On the other hand, if you want to command the respect of your audience you need to have a good grasp of the English language.

Just because your email isn’t going to be publicly available on the internet for all to see, you should still make sure to proofread your content thoroughly.

Us humans have a habit of jumping over words and missing mistakes when reading back our own content, consider getting a fresh set of eyes to take a look for you.

Power tip – Use the Grammarly Chrome extension to automatically scan for contextual mistakes and incorrect grammar. The free version will suffice and you might, but typos do you a massive disservice.

By David Alexander from Mazepress

Direct Mail: The Present & Future of Marketing

Is direct mail marketing a thing of the past? Barely. In fact, with the modern digital movement in advertising the direct mail has seen massive growth and success in the present generation. Talking about the generation, direct mail, being the oldest form of marketing, has been around for decades. From the generation of Baby Boomers (born between 1940 to early1960s) and Generation Xers (born between 1960 to early 1980s) to Millennials (born between 1980 to early 1990s), direct mail has been used by all as a successful source of marketing. Today, as the marketers target the current youth “Generation Z” (born between 1990-2010s), direct mail proves to be even more powerful and sought after tool of marketing than before, even though there are many more options available.

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail is a type of marketing where a printed document is directly mailed to potential customers in the form of brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters, etc. It is broadly classified into two types.

  1. Involving actual paper with marketing content mailed to the mailbox of potential customers.
  2. Soft copy of the marketing content emailed (also known as email marketing) to the email addresses of the potential customers.

Why is Direct Mail Marketing Successful?

Direct mail marketing has distinct advantages over other forms of marketing. In general, mailing lists can be purchased by businesses from reputable sources that have already demonstrated an interest in their type of business or product. Direct mail marketing, unlike others, pinpoints a specific demographic and targets marketing content for this demographic, which makes it, perhaps, the most effective way of grabbing the target audience’s attention.

In fact, the ‘Four Ps’ of marketing communications strategy:

  • Price,
  • Place,
  • Promotion, and
  • Product

are best managed via direct mail marketing.

Direct Mail Marketing for Small Businesses

“Small businesses often lack the capital for large digital marketing strategies. Even if they build a website to receive and direct Internet traffic, there’s little to guarantee that they will pull in the kind of digital traffic required to sustain a successful marketing strategy.” Therefore, direct mail marketing serves as a powerful tool for small businesses, and its simple and straightforward process to approach the potential customers makes it ideal for small businesses, especially those with restricted budgets.

For small businesses, it is not only simple and easy to generate a mailing list from current customer base and use it to market directly through mail, but also to combine direct mail marketing with email marketing while conveying the same message to the email list generated, which increases the chances of getting the customer attention and, in turn, increasing sales.

Role of Generation Z in Direct Marketing

Generation Z is an emerging generation, which is anticipated to comprise about 40% of the consumer market in the years to come. Generation Z, even though still teenagers, has been estimated to wield as much as $44 billion in discretionary spending, which is a humongous amount of money spent on products and services. Hence, the market of Generation Z simply cannot be ignored.

This generation has grown up using Internet hence; they understand screens, apps, and mobile phones. In fact, their thought process comprises of digital information. Many businesses are using this approach to their advantage and using direct mail / email marketing strategies while targeting the Generation Z consumer market.

Direct Mail: A Successful Marketing Tool

As direct mail marketing is turning into even more powerful tool than before, with its unique ability to grab and retain the attention of customers, it is clear that direct mail can be the ideal marketing strategy of the future. It sure isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

By Jenny Cruz from IPrintNMail

Boost open rates with multichannel approach

When you are planning your email marketing campaign, sometimes you can forget that multichannel is still an option. However, reports show that by using SMS messaging, push, and other channels, you can boost open rates for email across the board.

This simply comes back to the idea of using all the tools at your disposal. Why spend so much time on your email campaigns, only to have a small fraction of your audience actually read and engage with your messaging? Instead of simply hoping for the best, try sending an accompanying text message with something basic like “Did you see our last email?” Not only does this casual reminder boost open rates, but it can prove the value of your SMS campaign as well.

As customers continue to be pulled in many different directions by constant targeted advertising, marketers will need to find new ways of providing value with their messaging. A multichannel approach ensures that your customers always know where to reach you and engage with your business. The more engaged they are, the better experience they will have, and the higher your retention rates will be.

By Nathan Ellwood from Gleantap.

Types of Email Marketing

Transactional Email Marketing

The emails that are sent based on a customer’s action with a company is termed as transactional email marketing. The primitive motive of transactional email communication is “to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender”.

These emails include:

  • Email address confirmations
  • Password resets
  • Purchase receipts
  • Thank you for [some action]
  • Account balance updates
  • Weekly manifests
  • Auto-responders
  • Support requests
  • Cart abandonment
  • Monthly invoices
  • App error alerts (developer tested!)
  • Automated re-engagement (marketer approved!)

Direct Email Marketing

Direct emails are sent with the sole purpose of delivering a promotional message, such as discount offers, season collections, and product catalogues. A list of customer email addresses data is generated by the companies, or rented from service companies, to send direct promotional emails.

Mobile Email Marketing

There is a constant research on how to grab the potential customers and engage them in advertisements as much as possible, and smartphones and tablets are some of the massive sources to draw traffic using email marketing, hence, cannot be ignored. A relatively big part of communication and revenue is represented by mobile email marketing. It has been recorded that 81% of people, on an average, check their emails on smartphones. Therefore, mobile email marketing is perceived as a pull strategy. The Apple iPhone’s email client market share was estimated to be 33%, followed by Gmail at 19%, in December 2016. This was calculated for 1.44 billion opens.

Statistics Source: emailmonday.com

How to choose an Email Marketing Software or Tool

Email marketing should be a necessary tool/software for every business, regardless of running the email campaigns. However, selecting the right software/tool that meets your business requirements and works for you at the same time is not an easy thing to decide. Here are some of the important features you need to look for, in an ideal Email Marketing platform or Email Marketing software or Email Marketing tool, which can help you take the right decision.

Features to consider while choosing an Email Marketing Software

Email Designing

As every email sent, adds values to the subscribers and serves as a deciding factor in attracting them into taking an action, it is important that each email is designed to perfection and reflects professionalism, be it text-based emails, custom coded emails or others. An ideal software/tool is the one that offers variety of sample templates to select from, based on your requirement, and give you the flexibility to create and publish landing pages that work best for your business.

Responsive Email Templates

  • HTML Templates which are optimized for various resolutions and devices
  • Easy to use Drag and Drop Editors

Marketing Automation

The ideal email marketing software/tool offers you the key feature to turn your emails on autopilot. The one that allows you to automatically email your subscribers, like sending out welcome emails when new subscribers sign up, or sending out thank you (for the association) emails when someone chooses to unsubscribe. When choosing a email marketing software/tool make sure that it is user-friendly and fits best with your needs.

  • Create and send email automatically from your newest blog posts using RSS/JASON/XML feeds.
  • Easy to create automated email sequences, autoresponder follow-up mails, welcome emails, birthday emails, event based emails, lead campaigns etc.
  • Scheduled and location based best time email delivery

Understanding what works

What works for your email marketing campaign and your business doesn’t necessarily work for other campaigns or businesses. You need to understand what works best for your campaign. The ideal email marketing software/tool provides you with a valuable insight into your performance, including reports on visitors, clicks, conversions, as well as revenue. This can helps you in to learn and better understand what works for your business.

Connecting with other Marketing Channels

Email is undoubtedly the best channel of marketing, and social media follows right after. Connecting your email marketing campaign with other marketing channels will be an added advantage, as it helps in reaching and attracting wider audiences.

Social Media Integration

  • Easy to integrate social media with emails to deliver integrated campaigns which helps to connect with users who are not subscribed and helps your campaign to go viral.
  • The ideal software/tool will allow you to integrate campaigns across different marketing channels, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. This will help in growing your business and improving your bottom line.

List Management

  • Sign Up Forms to collect, track and manage your subscribers list
    • Easy to integrate newsletter sign up / subscriber forms in various CMS platforms, Social networks etc.
    • Responsive subscription forms
    • WordPress plugins or HTML code snippet to integrate sign-up forms
    • Popup, appear on scroll, exit intent and embeddable signup forms
  • Easy to import contact lists from various other platforms
  • Segmentation of contacts based on Geolocation or interest etc. so that you can send the right message to the right customer.

Integrating with other Tools and Software

Apart from the feature to connect with other marketing channels, some of the best email marketing tools/software offer other e-commerce integrations, like connecting your account with innumerable apps and websites, to sync customer data where you can learn about the things your customers are investing their money in, and create targeted campaigns. This will be useful in generating more revenues and in the growth of your business.

Landing Pages

  • Easy to create landing pages
  • Seamless integration with other landing page creation platforms like LeadPages, OptimizePress, InstaPage, UnBounce etc.

Reports & Analytics

  • Helps to monitor and track how your email campaigns are performing in real-time
  • Should contain detailed statistics of Email open rates, click-throughs on links or call-to-action buttons, behavioral data, engagement reports etc.
  • Email delivery statistics
  • Unsubscribers stats

A/B testing

  • A/B testing helps to maximize user engagement with advanced split testing which considers variables like Sender Information, Subject, body content etc.

Compliance with anti-spam laws

  • Software should ensure that there should be 100% deliverability rates and should help you land the email in the Inbox instead of SPAM folders.
  • Your email should automatically include Unsubscribe links to ensure user can remove their subscription with just one cluck.

API

  • Robust and extensible API’s to integrate with your favorite apps or custom apps.
  • Detailed API developers guide

Customer Support

Another important factor to consider while choosing an ideal software/tool for your email marketing campaign, or for your business, is the customer support feature. You must know if they provide a team that offers their dedicated support, like live chat and 24 hours call availability in emergencies, and email support otherwise. It is crucial to find out about the customer support you will be provided, before you choose to sign up.

Tips for Improvement

As we all know, there is always a room for improvement, no matter how good you are at what you do. An ideal software/tool will update you on your performance from time-to-time and provide you with tips for improvement, taking your previous records into consideration. So, make sure you choose a software/tool that helps you improve with time.

Price

Lastly, choose a software/tool wisely as it will cost you money. Most of the software allows you to sign up for free giving a trial period to test and decide if you like it and if it serves your needs. There are many software’s that offer a free plan depending up on the email subscriptions. You can use different software to compare and learn what works for your business, in terms of features, user-friendliness, affordability, etc. At the end of your trial period or a free plan, you can decide if the software is worth your money.

Great Email Marketing Tools to Consider

Here are some great tools you can consider to bring forth the most professional looking and start your first email newsletter campaign to take your business to next level.

Below are some best Email Marketing Tools to consider

Tools / SoftwareFreeSubscription
(per month)
Contacts
(From-To)
Emails
(per month)
Exclusive
Coupon Code
ActiveCampaignNo$9500Unlimited 
ActiveTrailTrial$70 – 500Unlimited 
AweberTrial$19500Unlimited 
Benchmark EmailYes$13.99600Unlimited 
Campaign MonitorNo$95002500 
ConstantContactTrial$20500Unlimited 
ConvertKitTrial$290 – 1,000Unlimited 
DripYes$49101Unlimited 
EasySendyNo$1910,000Unlimited 
EmailOctopusTrial$193,000 – 10,000Unlimited 
GetResponseNo£101,000Unlimited 
UpleadTrial$49N/AUnlimitedwitty
HubSpot Marketing HubNo$2000 – 100Unlimited 
Mad MimiNo$10500Unlimited 
MailChimpForever$201,000 – 1,500Unlimited 
MailerLiteYes$101,000Unlimited 
MailifyTrial$9Unlimited2,000 
MailiGenNo$10500Unlimited 
MailJetYes$9.65Unlimited6000 
MailshakeNo$19   
MooSendYes$105,000Unlimited 
SenderForever€92,500 – 5,00060000 
SendGridTrial$203,00010000 
SendInBlueYes$25Unlimited40000 
SendPulseYes$9.852,500 – 3,00010000 
SendXNo$19.991,500Unlimited 
VerticalResponseYes$11500Unlimited 
Exclusive Community Driven Email Marketing Guide
Email Marketing Tips from Subject Matter Experts

Published by Sravan Kumar

A Creative Web Designer, Developer, User Interface and User Experience Expert.

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