Each year, marketers question the effectiveness of email marketing. So, is this marketing channel worthy of attention in 2022? We’ll give you a hint; email marketing is stronger than ever!
89% of marketers use it as the primary channel for generating leads, 29% of marketers rate email marketing as the most effective marketing channel, and 93% of B2B marketers use email channels for distributing content. On the other side of the spectrum, 52% of responders said that email is their main communication tool and 72% of customers prefer email for business communication, says Snovio Labs.
Today, it is vital to create a relationship and a connection with the audience and the people that your business benefits from in every industry. No matter what your business model is or what you are working on, you need to have a loyal audience that helps your brand rise and become better known.
Building that connection can happen in many ways, but email marketing is one of the best. Email marketing can create an engaging and growing relationship that provides excellent brand awareness and is profit-increasing.
The key to a great email marketing model is to learn how to use it effectively and make it as personalized as possible.
Sure, there are many benefits to email marketing. Here are just a few of the many we’ve identified as the most important – increase in sales, customer loyalty, and lower marketing costs.
To help you get started in email marketing, we’ve prepared a detailed guide that covers the basics of email marketing, how to get started, and some tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.
First things first, let’s get more details about email marketing. You may think that this marketing method is all about sending a bunch of emails with promotion codes or advertisements that spam your mail, but it is so much more.
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy, or to be more specific, a form of communication between you and your customers. This type of advertising doesn’t only include sending promotional emails. It also builds and maintains a relationship with your most loyal customers and boosts your profits.
It first appeared in 1978, making it a newer form of business promotion. Gary Thuerk was the first to deliver this campaign. He was a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp., and his email marketing campaign reached hundreds of people and resulted in $13 million in sales. That’s how he created the most successful and highly used email marketing channel that has remained ever since! See, Thuerk grasped the benefits of email marketing. But how can you turn it to your advantage? How can email marketing help your brand? Let’s dig in.
Before starting the email marketing process, you should outline your goals. You need to know what you want to achieve with the email.
We recommend you start with your company’s marketing goals and then decide how much of the pie email marketing will need to contribute. We’ve found that to be an excellent benchmark for our email campaigns.
Once you establish your goals, it will be easier to target your audience and choose the type of campaign you’ll deliver. You will also know which content to include and how to measure your success. At this point, it’s essential to decide what KPIs you will measure to decide whether you’ve been successful.
To really set smart, measurable goals, we recommend looking into the following metrics:
For instance, you could set goals on open rates, click-through rates, and shares if you are just beginning with email campaigns. Or, if you are already in the email marketing world, you can aim to reduce unopened emails, unsubscribes, and spam rates.
But the question is, how can you measure these open and click-through rates? More importantly, what are good open rates and CTR for email marketing?
You can calculate your email clickthrough rate (CTR) using a relatively simple formula. Essentially, it’s the number of users who have clicked on the link within the email divided by the number of emails delivered multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.
So, CTR = # of clicks / # of delivered emails.
Say you have sent 100 emails, out of which only five users have clicked the link or the CTA button. Your CTA, in this case, would be 5%. Sure, this is an overly simplistic example, but you get the point.
Keep in mind; you should be using the number of emails delivered, not emails sent because of bounce rates. The bounce rates are the email marketers’ number one enemy, and due to this fact, emails have 100% deliverability only in the perfect world.
At this point, you can narrow your calculation even more by using CTOR instead of CTR. CTOR, or click-to-open rate, measures how many people who opened your email clicked on the link. So, in this case, you would be dividing by the number of emails opened, not the ones delivered (all subscribers).
So, CTOR = # of clicks / # of opened emails.
Therefore, CTOR measures the performance of your email content. It focuses on the degree of effectiveness of your content – does it convince people to click on a link? Furthermore, it eliminates the effect of unopened emails in your calculation, thus separating the strength of your email content from the impact of your email list “hygiene,” subject line, and other factors.
If, however, you want to measure the effectiveness of your subject line, you should calculate your email open rate. Referring to the previous example, if you send out 100 emails and 10 of them bounce, you would have 90 delivered emails. If out of these, 45 are opened, your open rate is 45/90 = 0.5. Multiplying that by 100 gives you an email open rate of 50%.
So, open rate = # of opened emails / # of delivered emails.
CTR falls somewhere in between. It works as a general metric, allowing for a high-level view of how your emails perform. Still, if you strive toward a more detailed and actionable analysis, you should focus on open rate and CTOR.
Logically, a high CTR means that users find your content appealing and relevant. A high CTR can also contribute to your keyword’s expected CTR, which is a component of Ad Rank. Furthermore, the click-through rate can demonstrate which content works for you and which one you need to improve.
However, both CTR and CTOR vary based on your company size, industry, country, type of email, list hygiene, and so many more factors. Lots of information point out different numbers on what is considered a good or even average CTR. Still, a generally accepted average email CTR falls anywhere between 1% and 5%, while a good CTR is anything above 3%.
Naturally, the CTOR is much higher than the CTR. According to experts, you should aim for a CTOR of 20-30% for promotional campaigns.
As mentioned, your industry significantly affects these rates. If your business falls within the gambling, games, daily deals/e-coupons, media, and publishing, you can expect much higher CTR and CTOR. On the other hand, construction, real estate, restaurant, public relations, and politics perform much more poorly in this regard.
Next, a good CTR is highly dependent on what you’re advertising and on which networks. More importantly, email types significantly affect click-through rates.
Triggered and autoresponder emails have the best open rates, CTR and CTOR. They are immediately relevant to the subscriber; thus, they have higher click-through and open rates. Newsletter emails and promotional blasts have the lowest open, CTR, and CTOR rates. You can spot big differences in email performance between these three types of emails.
The key to success in this regard is to set your own email marketing benchmarks. You don’t have to stress or focus on finding the average rate or achieving a good CTR. What’s good for one company or the overall industry might not work for you.
First, you need to outline where you are now and what you aim to achieve. Once you measure your current email campaign performance, you should start from there and try to improve.
You will need to track your average CTOR for each type of email separately, including autoresponders, triggered emails, promotional campaigns, newsletters, and abandoned cart emails.
Then, based on CTOR, CTR, deliverability, unsubscribe rate, and open rate, you would be able to identify the best and worst-performing email marketing campaigns. In turn, you will determine what are “good” rates for your business and improve these metrics.
It’s fairly easy to turn these goals into ROI (return on investment) goals. Once you’re gathering subscribers and getting good click-through rates, you can start seeing how many of them are making purchases and what their average purchase value is. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas for the types of goals you can set for your email campaigns.
As an email marketer, you will face two types of bounces, soft and hard.
Soft bounces indicate a temporary problem with the email address or the recipient’s email server. For instance, if the recipient’s mailbox is full, your message could bounce, even if the email address is valid.
The more “serious” issue is the hard bounce. Hard bounces mean that the recipient’s mail server rejects your email, meaning that either the email address is invalid or the domain name doesn’t exist.
Many reasons can cause this issue for your email marketing campaign, but the two most common are that would-be subscribers gave you fake email addresses or have many unengaged contacts. The second primarily occurs if you haven’t cleaned your email list regularly.
Fortunately, you can use one of a few solutions to lower your bounce rate.
You can add captcha to your forms to ensure that only real people give you their emails. Next, you can use a double opt-in, requiring new subscribers to verify their email address, thus preventing them from giving you a fake one. And finally, you can practice what’s known as good email hygiene, regularly deleting inactive email subscribers. With the third solution, you would keep your remaining list engaged with consistent, high-quality campaigns.
The second step is to identify your ideal audience. Your target audience includes the individuals to whom the campaign is aimed; it is the target demographic for each marketing effort. Based on each targeted email campaign you send, these people are most likely to convert.
Nowadays, you can find all age groups and audiences on the internet. Because of this, you need to decide what kind of audience will be interested in what you’re providing. This step is essential because when you establish your goals and target your audience, you will know who is relevant for your campaign. It’s imperative to ensure each of your campaigns is directed towards the correct target audience.
If your brand is focused on maternity fashion, let’s say, your platform will probably be followed primarily by women between the ages of 21 and 40, so advertising to women in their 60s or young men may not be a good use of your email budget and time.
The thing is, your whole contact list will not be interested in all of the emails you want to send at all times. So, you must ensure targeted emails to the right audience, serving each subscriber’s needs and interests.
But the question is, how can you find the appropriate audience, or this segment of your list, including individuals who are pleased with the emails they’re receiving?
The success formula for defining your target audience is proper segmentation. And you can achieve this in more than one way.
First, you can begin with the list segments at signup, meaning you can sort new subscribers from the sole beginning using the data fields on your signup form.
For instance, you can segment your list by demographic, including gender, age, and location. Still, make sure you don’t turn off potential email subscribers from completing your form with lengthy forms or sensitive information. Next, you can build your segmented target audience using the subscribers’ type of industry, company size, or any other wide range of data.
The following two suggestions refer to businesses with existing email marketing campaigns.
Second, you can use engagement to segment your sending email list. You need to find the subscribers who interact most often with your effective emails. Essentially, these people boost your open rates, as explained earlier, and even tend to click on links, improving CTR and CTOR. Your active subscribers are incredibly handy when you aim to get customer feedback with a poll or survey or if you want to create a loyalty program.
However, you can also create and target the inactive subscribers’ segment. For instance, you can use a re-engagement campaign to bring these people back into the fold. Then, you would be able to clean the list, keeping only the active subscribers, which once again affects your email marketing campaign success.
Third, you can create a target audience segment using your customers’ purchase history, including their previously purchased goods or services. Then, you would be able to target that audience with an automated email campaign directed towards their interests.
Other methods you can use for segmenting your email list to maximize ROI include survey results, sending frequency, geolocation, weather patterns, purchase cycles, and so on.
Keep in mind; it isn’t only necessary to cover everyone’s interests when starting email marketing. Your company should also pay attention to the subscribed audience and try to keep them engaged. By targeting the right audience, you will easily attract more audiences, which will improve your sales, and at the same time, your whole email marketing process.
After establishing and targeting the right audience, you can move on to the 3rd step, which is building your email marketing list. This is how you get all of those glorious customers and potential customer emails to start off your campaign!
There are a few methods for building your email marketing list, and the established goals determine each of these methods.
The first method of building your list is by importing a list of known contacts. This method can be used if you want to keep in touch with your already subscribed customers. When importing your list of known contacts, the most important thing is to ensure you have permission to email those subscribers.
This audience is best for sending referral codes, future purchase coupons, and new product lines.
The list of emails is the first thing you need as a marketer to start with your email marketing campaign. And as the name implies, this method focuses on collecting email addresses from an audience you’ve never communicated with before.
Usually, the list of emails consists of people who have permitted you to send them emails. However, these are usually the people who have subscribed. Therefore, many people refer to the email list as the subscribers’ list.
Nowadays, you can obtain an email list relevant to your brand in several authentic ways:
Keep in mind; you can use many more strategies in this regard. The worst thing you can do is buy the emails list. You will invest a lot of money into something that would not benefit you, especially in the long term. Thus, acquiring this list authentically is always the better alternative.
Nowadays, many businesses use their websites and social media profiles to generate subscribers. You already read several such suggestions in the previous section, and here’s a more detailed overview of the types of subscriptions you can add to your site.
The first type of subscription you’ll use can be a header bar. The header bar appears on the top of your website. It comes with a CTA that encourages people to join and a place where to put your email address. Those email addresses are directly added to your email marketing list.
Next, you can use a slider. The slider is a small box that literally slides in the bottom corner of your website. It comes with a CTA and a gap where the audience can put their email address. This type of subscription is also a simple way to create a new audience and send them your email campaigns.
The top of the sidebar can also be used for gaining an audience. If your website has a sidebar, then you have the perfect place to locate your CTA. The opt-in for your subscriber list should be above the fold of the sidebar, as it can have maximum visibility. The right-aligned sidebar showed as the most effective for the users who scan the content in the ‘F’ pattern, as it puts your CTA in the center of your site.
Another way to capture customers is to put your CTA at the end of some posts. The opt-ins at the end of the post are a great place to gain an audience as that means they’ve read the whole article and they enjoyed it. Brands rarely put CTA at the end of the article, so you’ll definitely see an improvement in gaining a new audience for your email marketing campaigns.
Going on, you can use popup notifications. Nowadays, email marketers use many different types of popup notifications, including lightbox popup, modal/dialogue box, slide-in popup, fullscreen welcome mat, floating bar, social proof notifications, and push notifications.
Lightboxes are pretty widespread. These are the pop-ups on the screens on some websites. As you might think they’re annoying, studies have shown effectiveness.
For the lightboxes to be effective, you need to have a strong CTA, the right value offer, and the right timing. The timing might be one of the most important things to take care of when it comes to lightboxes. The pop-up opt-ins that show after 3/5 of the article have been read or when the customer finishes with reading are more effective than those who show up in the middle of reading. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the timing and the message of the lightboxes because you never know what will attract most subscriptions.
Push notifications are also pretty unique. Unlike other popups that require users to be actively visiting your website, the push notifications might appear on your user’s desktop or mobile screen even if your users aren’t on your site. All you need is the user’s permission to send them push notifications. Then, you can send them these popup messages for all types of content, including promotional and transactional.
These clickable pop-up messages will appear on your users’ browsers regardless of their device or browser. So, the subscribers can be anywhere on the browser and still receive these messages as long as they’re online or have their browsers running on their devices.
Besides all the types of subscriptions, your email marketing should also provide incentives that draw people to join your email list. Depending on the goals your brand has, there are three different incentives.
By keeping in mind all these tips and methods of subscription, you should be able to create a simple and accessible offer that will result in gaining a new audience to your email marketing!
There are many different types of email campaigns, and now that you have your goals and your audience, you can set the type of campaigns very easily! Let’s get into all of the different types and break them down.
The newsletter is a frequent email campaign that can take a printed or electronic form. It’s a report that contains your activities, and you can send it to your members, customers, employees, or other subscribers to keep in touch or remind them of your business/brand. Newsletters usually address a single main topic of interest to their recipients.
The newsletter promotes a product or service and creates an individual touchpoint with your email subscribers. You can use this email campaign to achieve different objectives, such as improving your open and click-through rates, gaining new subscribers, or creating your best email yet in terms of conversions.
Big brands like AirBnB send these newsletters regularly. This type of campaign is sent monthly, and it usually consists of stories and photographs. As we mentioned, the newsletters maintain your relationship with your customers and constantly remind them of what your business offers.
A marketing’s offer’s goal is a particular response. It generally offers different promotions or discounts.
Promotion campaigns are usually focused on one product that the customers can buy at a special price, and it has a direct call to make a purchase.
The marketing offer is much more general. Think Black Friday sales or special promos for email subscribers. It’s a great way to generate sales site-wide.
Announcements are a type of email campaign that keeps the customers up to date with their latest services, features, or products.
If you want to have a successful email marketing campaign, it is crucial to have a well-organized schedule. To achieve this, you have to find the perfect time of the day to send your emails to your customers. The best time is the transition period of the day, such as before you go to bed, after you come home, when you go to work, etc. However, we’ll get more in-depth into this step.
Many studies show that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to send marketing emails. You might wonder why exactly these days? People on Monday are too focused on their tasks and rarely pay attention to their emails. On Friday, everyone is looking forward to the weekend, and when the weekend comes, they live their own lives and don’t pay that much attention to their work-based emails.
GetResponse’s study has also shown that the open rate from Tuesdays to Thursdays is higher for 10-20% in comparison with Monday and Friday, and even about 250% higher than on the weekends. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t send your email marketing emails during the other days of the week.
Now, most email marketers agree that the weekends are the worst time of the week to send out emails. However, if you look at things from another perspective, the opposite might be true. You will face less competition in the inbox during weekends because fewer emails are sent on Friday and weekends. So, you will have better chances of your email being opened and seen. Another thing is if you send emails on Friday, you can pick them up at home use at the weekend too. Still, this would be at least a bit offset by lower open rates suggesting that people are perhaps less engaged at the weekend.
Keep in mind that the best day of the week to send out emails highly depends on the audience you are serving. For instance, if you are within the beauty, fashion, or social-focused brands industries, weekends might be the better alternative for you, after all.
The available research on the best day to send emails seems to be centered around three primary audiences, determining your “best day” for email campaigns:
Still, as with other statistics, these are generalizations derived from the data. There are segments within each segment, causing individual behavior to vary.
Furthermore, if you decide to send an email on Monday, Friday, or during the weekend, you should pay attention to the time of the day. We’re trying to say that, as we mentioned earlier, you should send your email during the transition period of the day.
In our guide, we’ll stick to the overall best day to send an email, which is Tuesday. Due to many types of research and statistics, Tuesday seems like the perfect day to get the audience’s attention. But, it doesn’t mean that you’ll notice a significant audience gain if you send your marketing email at any time of the day. Although Tuesday is the optimum day, there is also a time range that shows as the most compatible. Keep in mind that you should do that between 8 AM and 9 AM if you send your emails on Tuesday.
Having the perfect schedule is pretty important as you start off your email campaign. You may find that you want to test out other times or days, and we recommend it! Just be sure to keep track of performance and see if one day or time works best for you and your brand. Even the most minor changes in the open rates can significantly impact your email marketing process.
The email marketing process is definitely a process of learning. After establishing your goals, selecting the type of campaign you want to send, gaining some audience, and setting up your schedule, the next step is to actually build your campaign.
First of all, your campaign should be easy to read. It is proven that adults have an attention span of eight seconds. In these eight seconds, it’s impossible to read the whole article thoroughly, so that’s why you should structure your emails to guide people to your CTA.
So, if you believe that people will read your campaigns word for word, you are probably wrong. They are more likely to quickly scan over them, so you must deliberately structure your campaigns to draw in these scanning readers and focus their attention on the key elements of your campaign.
One such frequently used method is the inverted pyramid model. It can help you achieve this objective. The inverted pyramid is a framework for structuring the elements of your email campaigns, including headers, imagery, buttons, etc. In turn, these elements will work together to draw people in, deliver the key messages of your campaign, and get them to click through.
If you were to implement the inverted pyramid model, you need to start your email with a succinct headline that highlights the key message of the campaign, known as the value proposition. Then, you can present supporting information and imagery to help convince readers of the benefits of clicking-through. You can wrap up the email with a prominent call-to-action button that makes it crystal clear what they should do next.
Of course, we recommend using images to engage your customers. 65% of the content you’ll visually see will remain in your head, while you’ll only recall 10% of what you’ve read.
Tailwind actually makes this part easy! You can build out hundreds of images for your social campaigns that can be reused in emails with just a few clicks. Try it out for free!
Remember that marketing emails don’t need to be formal. You can freely write some phrases as you’re writing to your friend. This technique captures the reader’s attention. It’s also a great opportunity to really show your brand voice in the tone and formality of your writing. Test out creating a branding document so that all of your emails sound like the same person wrote them. Start off with an attention-grabbing subject line and go from there.
Finally, don’t forget to personalize your emails! Use the customer’s first name, but not so often that it’s creepy or robotic. We have more tips on creating the perfect email campaign. You can read about it here.
We’ve come to the final step in this long journey about how to start email marketing. Once you send your email and it has been opened, you can track the campaign’s success. We recommend tracking with an email marketing tool or website analytics tool.
By measuring the campaign results, you can see what goes wrong (or right) and improve and iterate. Measuring provides more key metrics. If you recall the key metrics we shared above (see establishing goals). Now you can take that info and turn it into the next steps.
If you have a high open rate but a low CTR, consider improving the content and making the CTA more exciting. Vice versa; if you have a high CTR and a low open rate, you might need to spice up the subject line. These are the types of metrics to consider as you reiterate your strategy.
Once you’ve measured your campaigns, you can make more informed decisions moving forward on how to optimize them for the best ROI.
The email marketing process can definitely become draining, especially if you are new to it. This process takes a lot of time and great organization so that you can provide powerful campaigns to your customers. To help you out, here are five simple but very essential tips that will help you improve your campaign performance.
Your customers are busy, and they get hundreds of emails every day. That’s why your emails need to be structured in a simple way to be read and processed quickly. We recommend reading your emails and sharing them with colleagues. Ask yourself, “would this make me stop and click”? “Is there something here that I’d find valuable”?
We talked about this earlier, but when creating your email marketing campaign, it is important to put more images and visual effects into it, as they capture the readers’ attention and stay in their minds much longer than text.
This is especially relevant if you are a business that sells goods like clothing or jewelry, or if you are a recipe blogger. We all love to see images from a new product line or delicious images of your newest recipe!
No one wants to be addressed as a ‘loyal customer.’ Due to this, it would help if you wrote your customer’s name a few times through the mail. You can also feature products that you know they’ve clicked on or put in their carts to show them some personalization.
You likely already have established social media campaigns with excellent content. That is great! You can easily repurpose your social media content in email campaigns. That is a great way to kickstart your first email campaign. We recommend you start with repurposing social content that’s performed well in the past, as that will likely be the best content to start with.
We started off our guide by explaining what email marketing is and why it is essential. We also explained the benefits of email marketing, such as improving sales, generating traffic, increasing leads, and saving money. Hopefully, this helps you see the value of email marketing to your business marketing strategy.
The second part of our guide is about starting email marketing, its seven steps, and the four crucial tips to success. The first thing you need to do to start your email marketing is to establish your goals. Next, define your audience, build your email list, and decide what type of email campaign you’ll use. The fifth step is to make a schedule; followed by creating your own campaign and measuring your results.
These seven steps will help you start with email marketing, and by following that process and our tips, you are on track to build out a great email marketing strategy. If you doubt whether to start email marketing, we recommend it. Our guide will help you through your journey!
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