Email Marketing 101

How to get started with Email Marketing

Key Takeaways

  1. Discover when is the best time to use email marketing and how to use it to enhance your customers’ experience.
  2. Find the right email marketing platform for your business.
  3. Get the key elements of email right first time with our break down of the top four focus areas.

Welcome to one of the most robust and versatile ways of communicating with your audience. 

When it’s done properly, email marketing is a fantastic way both to bring in new clients and to strengthen your relationship with existing clients. It builds brand loyalty, pulls in big conversions, and gives the highest ROI of any marketing channel.

However, there’s a lot to consider when you’re getting started with email marketing. Here, we’ll run through the nuts and bolts of what to consider when setting up an email marketing operation, and how to use this channel to its full potential.

Why email?

We’ve mentioned above that email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. For every USD$ spent, marketers can expect an average return of USD$42. 

But there’s a lot more to it than that. 

Check out these recent stats from Oberlo:

  • Over half the world’s population will be regularly using email by 2023.
  • 9 out of 10 marketers use email as a method of content distribution.
  • 81% of SMBs use email as their primary tool for gaining customers.
  • 80% of SMBs rely upon email for retaining customers.
  • 49% of surveyed consumers said they like to receive emails from their favourite brands.

All in all, email is a powerful platform.

When should I use email?

Every marketing channel works differently. Email is no exception. There are times when email is appropriate, and times when other channels may be better suited for your goals. For example, as email requires a list of pre-established contacts, a generalised promotion seeking brand new leads may be better suited to social media than to email. 

In general, email performs at its peak when used for the following purposes:

  • Lead nurturing - Email is brilliant for fostering relationships with customers. Through email, you can curate a 1-1 experience for your audience, guiding them through the sales funnel with targeted and personalized email content.
  • Driving sales - Customers who have subscribed to your emails are already within the mouth of your sales funnel. They already know that they like your brand and your products, so they’re (probably) less inclined to search around the market for alternatives. When launching a new product that they might like, email is a great way to push existing customers into new sales.
  • Building brand loyalty - Through relevant, regular, and personalised emails, brands can foster a lasting and loyal relationship with their subscribers. As we’ve mentioned above, brand loyalty pays off enormously in repeat sales, as well as building your reputation overall.

What email marketing platform should I use?

Finding the right email marketing platform is essential for success. A good email marketing platform will give you granular control over multiple campaigns, enabling you to segment audiences, control send times, A/B test, get detailed insights into your performance, and more.

There are plenty of email marketing platforms to choose from, the market leaders are:

  • Mailchimp - Mailchimp have been leading the way in email marketing since 2001. The range of services they offer is huge, ranging from templates to testing, automations, and more. They’re a great option for online retailers who need to integrate with platforms like PayPal and Shopify. Their range of packages and pricing is competitive, with options to suit everyone from the small startup to larger operations.
  • Klaviyo - Klaviyo is a marketing automation platform with a focus on email. As automation technology becomes more and more sophisticated, it’s rapidly transforming the world of email marketing. It offers the range of email marketing tools you’d expect (segmentation, A/B testing, integrations etc), plus an intuitive process for creating and curating automations. It’s easy to build rules and workflows which will set up automations without any prior programming knowledge.

What are the key elements of email marketing?

The answer to this depends a lot on who you speak to! Your head of marketing will probably say ‘Your audience’. Your accountant is more likely to say ‘The ROI!’

In general, there are a range of key factors you’re likely to hear a lot about as you launch into email marketing. We’ll run through a few here:

  • Campaign - In marketing terms, it’s a sustained effort that is typically content-led to achieve a specific goal such as increased sales, for example. Email marketing campaigns are at their best when underpinned by a comprehensive campaign strategy, incorporating everything from goals to market analysis to tactics to evaluation.
  • Audience - All audiences are different. All people within each audience are different. Trying to tailor your campaign content to the needs, preferences, and desires of your audience is one of the biggest jobs in marketing. Email audiences require content that’s relevant and personal to them - so it’s very important to get to know your audience through deep and detailed analysis of their data. You can then use the insights gleaned from audience data to segment your audiences and target them with personalised content. This is possible through an email marketing platform where you can segment your audience into smaller groups to send personalized content.
  • Drip marketing - As a general rule, drip marketing runs from automations. Drip marketing can be incorporated into campaigns, but often the ‘drips’ run alongside - aiding and refreshing your campaign, but not specifically part of it. Think of them as like irrigation channels, feeding your campaign ‘crop’ but not driving the tractor. Drip marketing might include things like automated welcome emails, cart abandonment prompts etc. They respond to real-time customer behaviour and are great for sustaining engagement.
  • Email design templates - Email design templates are a huge help to the marketer in a hurry. Ideally, you’ll design templates for specific purposes (for example: welcome templates, thank you templates, invitation templates, promotional templates etc). These can then be customized per campaign or per segment, and sent out as and when needed. Templates are also vital fuel for drip marketing - without any ‘water’, there will be no ‘drips’!

One final tip…

Everybody likes it when you remember their name. So, when designing your newsletter form, be sure to have first and last name as separate fields. This lets you merge tags when addressing your subscribers. No more embarrassing “Hello [NAME]!” or “Hello, Firstnamelastname!” errors!