Introduced around five decades ago, email or electronic mail is simply a message you send to anyone in the world on the internet. It was a popular way of communication and marketing when the internet was commercialized in the 90s. Surprisingly, this oldest form of digital communication is still the most effective marketing channel.
It means email marketing supersedes social media, search engine optimization, and affiliate marketing with an ROI of $42 for every dollar spent.
Before discussing email marketing, its advantages, and its importance in 2022, let’s first explain a brief history of email.
History of Email
History regards a computer engineer named Ray Tomlinson as the person who sent the first email in 1971. While that email did not have the functionalities we can use today, it was the first step toward digital communication. We also attribute the use of the “@” sign in the email id to Tomlinson.
However, it took seven more years for the first marketing email to arrive. An advertising executive at Digital Equipment Corp named Gary Thuerk sent the first marketing email to promote a product. He had an email list of 400 persons to whom he sent that email. Surprisingly, this first commercial email garnered around $13 million in sales.
When the internet was presented to the public in the 90s, businesses soon found that they could use electronic emails to promote their products and services. The evolution of email marketing demanded regulatory rules. It was then the UK’s Data Protection Act asked marketers to mention an “opt-out” option in all marketing emails.
What is Email Marketing?
In simple words, email advertising is a way to advertise your products, services, or special discounts to a list of contacts who have opted in. It means they have given you their explicit consent to get electronic messages from you.
An email marketing campaign can also be a part of your softer sell strategy, where you instruct your audience about your brand’s value. It is an excellent way to keep them involved between purchase and anything in between.
In today’s world, where people get tens of promotional, informational, and re-engagement emails, you need to know how to stand out in millions. Your email must use good manners and offer value to the audience.
Is Email Marketing Vital in 2022?
After 50 years of its introduction, emails are still a preferred way of communication for businesses. Yes, social media has its vitality in this digital age, but it does not offer the advantages we get from electronic messages.
For instance, you can personalize an email marketing campaign more than you can do on social platforms. Furthermore, the expenses are significantly less than other media, particularly bearing in mind the reach and conversion rate linked with electronic mail advertising. Last but not least, this form of advertising makes you a guest in your audience’s inboxes. It is just as if they have invited you to their house for dinner.
If it still does not clear your mind regarding the importance of email marketing, here are some facts:
- Email users grew by more than 4 billion globally two years ago.
- 80% of USA residents open their email accounts at least once per day, with almost a quarter of them reading their personal electronic mails many times a day.
- 62% of consumers place electronic mail as their favored form of communication.
Considering these facts, not including email marketing in your online marketing strategy means you will miss many chances of sales.
Advantages of Email Marketing
From order approvals to newsletters, electronic mails are crucial to connect with customers, solve their issues, and improve your sales. Although email advertising has tons of benefits, we will discuss its three main goals.
If you are going to launch a new product or service, your first step should be to announce it to your subscribers. They are more likely to buy from you, so start with personalized coupons or special offers. Try such emails on your subscriber’s birthdays or anniversaries to re-engage them.
When you find a user at your online store with some items in the cart and leave, send them an abandoned cart email.
2. Brand Awareness
An email can land in anyone’s inbox directly, giving you the best opportunity for communication. When someone trusts you with their email ID, it means they are ready to listen to your brand and its management. You get a chance to stay fresh in the mind of your subscribers.
Furthermore, a personalized email has a higher chance of getting attention than a social media post. Since most people check their emails daily, they will likely open your message.
Scalability is another advantage you get through emails where you can send a message to a huge number of people cost-effectively. Social media marketing has become very expensive and is definitely not the best option for small businesses in the beginning.
3. Customer Loyalty
Whatever the purpose of your mass emailing to the subscribers, it has the tendency to build customer loyalty. It is up to you how you can retain them. Obviously, the best way is to inform and incentivize them.
How Does Email Marketing Work?
Now that we have understood the vitality and benefits of email marketing, it is time to use email marketing techniques. There are three vital parts of effective email marketing campaigns.
1. An Email List
You cannot make your email marketing campaign successful without having an active email list. An email list is basically a database of people’s email addresses who have shown interest in knowing about your brand/business.
You can employ different ways to build an email list, such as guarded content (ebooks, reports, checklists, or infographics) and lead magnets where you offer a coupon or discount when a visitor shares their email id.
2. An Email Service Provider
The perfect way to send mass emails is not through Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Gmail, Bing, etc. They are excellent for personal use but not for email blasts. Furthermore, mass emails from an ISP or a free web-based email service also have higher chances of getting flagged by spam filters.
An ESP software not only aids you in managing your emailing list but also in creating and performing automated email marketing campaigns. You may also automate activities caused by your target audience’s actions. You can then customize your communication with them, making them more interested in your offerings.
3. Clearly Expressed Goals
Email marketing best practices demand clear objectives. Decide what you want to achieve; do you want to improve sales, brand awareness, leads, or customer loyalty. For an email strategy to be fruitful, your email list, ESP, and objects must support each other.
First off, you should divide your email list based on your subscriber’s demographics or activities. Then you should design an email or a series of messages focused on achieving your objective. Lastly, start sending and monitoring the emails through your selected ESP.
Best Email Marketing Strategies – 4 Steps to Get Started with Email Marketing
If you have made up your mind to start promoting your business through emails, you might feel excited and overpowered at the same time with all the opportunities. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as you have defined the objectives of your advertising campaign and follow a proven email marketing strategy.
Here are four crucial steps to creating your first email marketing campaign.
Step 1: Know the Objectives of Your Email Campaign
The first step before crafting your email campaign is to define its objectives. Ask yourself; what actions you desire your subscribers to take after they read your email. An email could be a way to generate website traffic, lead nurturing, profit, brand awareness, feedback, etc.
With a clear direction, it is easy for you to achieve concrete results that, in turn, help you accomplish bigger business goals.
Step 2: Classify Your Target Audience
Every business has different customers with their own tastes and requirements. To make subscribers your customers, it is wise to classify them according to their age, gender, liking, commitment levels, etc. For example, if your product or service is about women under 25, there is no point in sending emails to men or women more than 25 years old.
Step 3: Type of Email You Want to Send
Welcome: Depending on your objective and target audience, you need to select your email type. A welcome email is perhaps the first electronic message your subscribers get when they opt into your email list or shop something on your site. Studies tell that around 50% of people open welcome emails, so it is wise to highlight your business’s primary products/services in that.
Abandonment: Another prevalent email type is the cart abandonment message. As the name implies, businesses send this electronic mail when someone puts one or more items in their cart and leave without a purchase. Your email will remind them to finish their purchase while offering incentives such as rebates and free delivery.
Newsletter: A newsletter contains company news, updates, tips, etc., and is something every business wants to share with its subscribers. The newsletter emails are not promotional but a way to build relationships and brand loyalty. Depending on your business activity, you can send newsletter emails weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Re-engagement: As the name implies, these types of email campaigns target people on your list who are not active. You can re-engage them by offering them money off on a product or service. You can also ask them the things they want to see and create a more focused email strategy for them.
Besides these email campaigns, other types of electronic messages could be about an announcement, holidays, invitations to an event, a connection on social media, seasonal campaigns, and more.
Step 4: The Right Time to Send Your Email
Timing is a very crucial aspect of an effective email marketing strategy. You should not send emails whenever you like; instead, pick an ideal time for your audience.
Your email has a higher chance of being opened if it is on the top of your subscriber’s inboxes. Studies show that most people open their emails first time in the morning as well as in the afternoon after lunch.
However, the right time would depend on your audience, so ensure to test different times and find the best open rate.
There could be many other aspects you need to consider for a successful email marketing campaign/strategy. However, this brief guide should be enough to kick off your first email advertising drive.