E-MAIL MARKETING – THE COMPLETE GUIDE
When it comes to digital marketing, it’s impossible not to talk about email marketing . Contrary to what many “internet prophets” say, email marketing is far from dead and continues to be one of the most effective marketing strategies when it comes to retention of readers and conversion into sales. No matter how hard you try to buy traffic , make incredible Facebook campaigns or work or optimize the SEO of your content correctly, nothing will come close to the conversion rates with email marketing .
Unlike other forms of digital marketing, email marketing has the great advantage of being a one-to-one type of communication, that is, you will send a personalized email directly to a person who has consented to you to contact this goal. It’s the same as you imagine having a store and you know the people who happen on the street and are interested in hearing you or buying from you. The power of email marketing lies precisely in this connection between the speaker and the listener, with the advantage that you have that person’s permission to communicate with him, which makes you sure that person really wants to know about what you’re talking about, unlike other forms of digital marketing in which you fire your message to every kind of person in the eagerness to find your target audience,
If we take into account that more than 90% of people who use the internet access their email box frequently, then the game goes up to an absolutely incredible level. Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate user or an expert, you’ll find content, tips, and strategies to improve your conversions and sales using email marketing in a totally effective way without annoying your readers with inconvenient communications.
What is email marketing?
If you are not familiar with email marketing strategies then know beforehand that you are leaving lots of money on the table. Email marketing consists of communicating with your readers through communications made by email. These communications are made through email marketing platforms or marketing automation platforms, which are available on the internet to send emails to large or small amounts of contacts, without you being considered a spammer or in breach of any law.
The vast majority of large companies use email marketing to communicate with their customers, whether it’s to offer discounts, communicate new product launches, or just report something great that happened and that person might want to be told that. You can use email marketing to communicate what you want, but usually this communication strategy is used for the following purposes:
- Communicate discounts on products or balances;
- Confirm a purchase you made at an online store;
- Confirm the passages areas you bought online;
- Communicate new product launches;
- Report changes to the site or the online store;
- Inform you that you wrote a new article on your blog;
- Sell a physical or digital product;
- Among others.
Email marketing can and should be used for more than one of these actions. This will involve rules and some strategy, things that we will talk about throughout this article. When email marketing began to gain visibility in the digital marketing world, it was often confused with the “direct marketing” or “direct mail” communication strategies that were used in the past and which consisted of sending unsolicited communications directly to the mailboxes of people’s houses.
Email marketing, however, has evolved and e-mail marketing platforms too, offering far more advanced technology solutions that avoid sending unsolicited e-mail communications to the utmost, ensuring that marketers and businesses respect the their consumers, and, above all, that they respect the laws of communication.
Why should I use email marketing?
There are several reasons for you want to use an email marketing strategy in your digital business. I have talked about some of the advantages of this strategy before, and the main one is that you have the opportunity to communicate directly with a person who is interested in hearing you. The power of this type of communication is really immeasurable, since it is the same as going outside and knowing in advance which people to approach to buy our product. Ever wondered what that would be like?
Among the many advantages that exist for you to use email marketing as a valid communication strategy, I highlight those that are the big reasons for you to immediately adopt this strategy in your digital or non-digital business. Regardless of whether your business is digital or not, you need to adopt these strategies and start communicating directly with your audience in an effective way. Here are some of the reasons why you should use email marketing in your business :
1. Engagement with your audience
If you have a newsletter subscription box on your website or blog, whenever someone leaves your email to receive your newsletter, that person is giving you consent so that you can contact them whenever you have something relevant to tell . Unfortunately, the vast majority of businesses and marketers tend to mismanage their communication strategies, and one of the ones that are usually left out is email marketing. This communication strategy with your audience allows you to create an incredible engagement with your audience and at the same time create incredible authority with these people.
If you are recording lives on Facebook or YouTube videos to create authority but do not communicate with your email base, you are doing everything the wrong way. Your emails are one of the most powerful weapons you have to communicate with people, even more so after they give their consent so that you can contact them whenever you find it relevant that they are contacted.
2. Educate your audience
Contrary to what the vast majority of people think, email marketing is not just used for the purpose of selling something, rather on the contrary. In a properly planned and planned digital communication strategy, you also need to include the education of your target audience. If you try to send 100% commercial communications on a regular basis or send educational content to your email base, you will understand that there is a stark difference between both strategies.
Educating your leads is critical for them to realize the importance of your content, the relevance of what you have to say and also what solutions you have for their problems. Basically, what everybody wants is to solve their problems in some way and you can be an important part in this process, as I said in my article on inbound marketing . If you imagine that a good part of your mailing list is leads and you need to turn them into customers, you need to educate these leads and make them understand that you are really the solution to their problem.
3. Incredible organic reach
Unlike other media, such as your Facebook page, when you send an email to your contacts, they actually receive your email. In the case of Facebook, for example, where the organic reach has dropped considerably, companies and professionals will increasingly have difficulties in getting their messages to their target audience. In the case of email marketing this does not happen, since when sending an email to a base of 1500 contacts, they will all receive their email in their inbox. This does not mean that they will open the email, but at least you are sure that they have received it.
The organic reach of an email base is far more powerful than any other media you use. If to this we add the fact that these people want to receive your emails and read what you have to write, then the result of this will be considerably better than any other strategy that you choose to carry out in your digital business.
4. Promote content
If you write regularly on your blog, keeping a newsletter is critical to communicate with your audience and also with ways to promote your content . If you follow my newsletter, you know what I’m talking about. In a content marketing strategy, you can also include email marketing as a way to promote that content to an audience that wants to read it. What’s more, when someone subscribes to a newsletter for a blog, it’s because they want to be the first person to read the new articles you publish.
5. Sell your products
Of course, in an email marketing strategy selling is also important. It should not be your priority when sending an email to your readers, but should be part of your communication strategy with them. Email generates an incredible conversion in sales if you respect the four points I mentioned earlier, that is, if you work well with your relevant content, creating a higher engagement with them and nurturing your knowledge in a totally devoid of ulterior motives.
Obviously you also want to sell something to your audience, be it by sending a newsletter with new products that arrived in your store, or promoting an e-book that you created specifically for this audience. Regardless of the reasons that lead you to want to sell something to your readers, you need to understand how often you should do business approaches, at the risk of a good part of your subscribers, to unsubscribe from your newsletter. Stay tuned!
6. Automation of communications
With the evolution of the internet and e-mail marketing software, one of the processes that most made this communication experience simple was the introduction of automation into marketing. Nowadays, through e-mail sending software, you can schedule your emails to be triggered automatically under certain circumstances to be met. For example, if the person subscribes to your list, you will automatically receive a welcome email. If the person does not click on one of the links in your email, send another email the next day. If the person did not buy your product or did not open the email, send a new email with a new title, two days later, etc.
These days there are multiple automation options, which means that a lot of your work can stay on autopilot while you focus on doing what you do well. This is wonderful!
What mistakes to avoid in email marketing?
When we talk about email marketing, we often forget the importance of having a well-defined strategy and planning. What is not lacking on the internet are spammers wanting to convince you that you need to buy a product. Obviously, by working with it in a professional way, you need to understand which errors to avoid and what you should not even do when working with email marketing, otherwise you can throw away your entire business, your credibility, and your authority below.
- Do not buy mailing lists. If you think that buying a targeted email list will be the salvation for the sale of your product, you are mistaken. In addition to being illegal to send communications to people who have not given you permission to do so, you will be trying to communicate to people who have never heard of you, let alone your company. Your email opening rates will be poor, your conversions too, and you still run the risk of your message being considered a spammer and entering a black list of junk-only emails.
- Do not try to sell desperately. As I said earlier, if every 10 emails you send to your list are 8 to try to sell something, plus you are desperate to sell, you will pass the wrong message to your readers and destroy your reputation in no time . Your readers want to be nurtured with quality content and really want to learn from it.
- Do not target your campaigns. Let’s imagine that you have an e-commerce store in three languages. Whenever you send a newsletter to your entire email base regardless of the person’s country of origin, you are making a monstrous mistake. It’s the same as you imagine advertising on TV in Mandarin, with the purpose of selling something to you that is in Brazil. Campaign targeting, whether by language, interest, product, etc., makes perfect sense and drastically improves your conversion results.
- Do not stop sending emails. The two main reasons for a person to unsubscribe from your list of emails are: number of emails you send and constant attempts to sell something, without delivering absolutely none. The frequency with which you send an email to your list also determines the success of your initiatives. Do not be too pushy; give your readers time to consume the content you recommend.
- Do not send text emails. It is incredible how many companies that in the XXI century still send emails that are a single image. Keep in mind that text emails perform much better than picture emails. What’s more, text emails are lighter, making them fall less in junk mail (spam) than messages with many images.
- Do not have defined goals. Just as you need to do content planning before writing articles for your blog, you also need to plan your email marketing actions. Whenever you send an email, it will need a goal. Whether it’s getting your readers to read your articles on the blog, whether they buy something from you, or simply read the content you’ve uploaded. If you do not set the goal of your campaign, your campaign will probably never accomplish that goal.
- Do not perform A / B tests. A / B testing can be performed on any email marketing platform. These tests essentially serve you to test two different variations of the same campaign by changing only the title of the email or part of the content, and then comparing the results of both to see how your audience responds best. Testing e-mail titles can have a significant impact on the open rate.
- Do not track metrics. The metrics do not just mean that you can brag on Facebook about your achievements. They essentially serve you to understand what you are doing right and wrong and what strategies you need to improve in order to achieve your goals. What’s more, metrics often deceive. If your emails have a 60% opening rate but a clickthrough rate of only 1%, you’re far from meeting your goal.
There are lots of mistakes to avoid when it comes to email communication. Above all, you need to understand the medium and the way your readers consume your content. If you imagine that every email you send is a unique opportunity to talk directly to a person, you would probably be more careful in how you write your emails. Never forget the importance of writing a message that really adds value to anyone reading it. Anything that does not add value is a waste of time.
Metrics often deceive. If you have a 50% opening rate on your emails and only 1% click rate, your campaigns need to be improved.
The best e-mail marketing software
In the market there are dozens or hundreds of email marketing software available. Some are extremely simple to use, others are extremely complex. There are also softwares that are quite affordable and others not so much. You will have to choose the option that fits most in your goals and also in your portfolio.
Of all the software that exists, my favorite is still MailChimp . In addition to offering a free account of up to 2000 subscribers, it is probably the simplest software to use in the market and also the most widely used software in the world. Its price is medium when compared to other existing offers, but the quality of the submissions is fantastic, ensuring that your emails actually arrive in your readers’ inboxes. In addition, MailChimp includes email automation, ensuring you can build a truly effective autoresponder for your campaigns.
Another of the e-mail marketing software that I have tested a lot and that also offers a very simple interface, at a fair price is the Campaign Monitor . It also offers automation of emails and creation of multiple lists as well as several other interesting features for you to get the most out of every email sent.
There are several other email marketing software that you can try out and try out. Nothing like you test your campaigns on each of them and compare the results. Of other software that I have tested, I also highlight E-Goi , Infusionsoft and Aweber . There are many other softwares on the market, but as I have never tested them, I do not recommend or have no opinion about them.
The most important thing in a good email marketing tool is the delivery rate of your campaigns. Obviously, the delivery rate is also conditioned by some factors that only you control, such as e-mail titles, content, among other technical aspects. However, all the tools I’ve listed above guarantee excellent delivery rates for your emails for a fair price.
There are a number of strategies to prevent your emails from falling frequently in your readers’ junk mail (spam) boxes. Obviously, a good part of these things you control, others, not so much. If a good part of your readers brand your email as spam frequently, it is only natural that in a short time your emails will start to be considered spam by various providers in the market, such as Gmail or Hotmail.
To prevent your emails from being considered by potential spam providers, follow some of the simpler rules:
- Avoid exclamation points or question marks (!!! ????) too much in the titles of your emails;
- Avoid sending emails with too many images. The heavier an email, the more likely it to fall into the spam box;
- Beware of the language you use. The content of your email also determines whether it is spam or not;
- Deliver value to your readers. If your email is worthless, it will be marked as spam;
- Do not send emails to people who have not subscribed to your list. They will mark your emails as spam automatically;
- Some web servers running Apache have a SpamScore to detect that certain IP’s are considered spammers or not. Stay tuned!
- Keep the metrics of your campaigns under your care to see if your readers are receiving and opening your emails. If that does not happen, your emails are probably falling into their spam boxes.
The most important thing is always to deliver added value to your readers. The more content and more relevant this content is, the greater the chances that your readers will continue to receive your emails and you will never be marked as spam.
Tips for Succeeding with Email Marketing
Now that you’ve understood all of this, what tools to use, what mistakes to avoid, and how to protect yourself in your email marketing actions, it’s time for you to understand what you can do to succeed with your campaigns and increase your your chances of getting better results, whether that’s more people reading your articles, more sales in your online store, or whatever other goal you set.
1. A good title makes all the difference
Caprichar in the titles of your emails can make an incredible difference in your opening rates, but mainly in the results of your campaigns. However, avoid typing headlines just to attract more readings from your emails because if the content does not match the title of the email, your readers are likely to mark it as spam. Good titles are those that, quite objectively, create the desire to click on the email, offering relevant content.
- Titles with the highest opening rates are between 6 and 10 words maximum;
- Titles of emails with the person’s name generate at least 40% more openness;
- Focus your headings on what the reader will gain by opening your email;
- BOX titles often generate less opening and are marked more often as spam;
- Awaken the reader’s curiosity to click. More suggestive titles generate higher open rates.
Want to understand what a good title would be for your emails, let’s see an example:
Of course you will understand the difference between these two titles. Both could forward the reader to the same content, however, which one would get the reader’s attention the most? Obviously you need to caprichar in the titles of your emails, since they are the first thing the reader reads before opening the email. A good title can result in a considerable performance increase in your email marketing strategy.
2. A good call-to-action makes all the difference.
If you want your readers to click on a certain link in your email to fulfill a goal then you need to make that call-to-action very clear. Emails almost always contain links, except when there is no purpose other than to inform the reader of something. In all other cases, you will want your readers to visit your blog to read a certain story you wrote, buy a ticket for an event, or a product you are marketing. In all these situations, a good call-to-action makes all the difference.
In this example, you can see that in addition to using strong call-to-action at the end of the email, it is still highlighted as a button, generating an even more positive visual impact on the reader. The “click here” action also determines where the reader should click and what action he should take. If you do not decide what action you want the reader to take, it is likely that he simply will not do it. So if you want the person to download an e-book, use a call-to-action of type “Click here to download the XPTO ebook now”. If you want it to buy a product that you have a promotion, use a call-to-action of type “Click here to buy now. The promotion ends today! ”
3. Your emails have to be responsive
More than 70% of emails sent over the internet are read on smartphones or tablets. That means the larger slice of readers who will open their e-mails will likely do so on a smartphone or tablet, which means that if your emails are not responsive, they will simply be a bad experience for your readers.
When you design your email campaigns, pay special attention to the mobile version. It will likely have a greater impact on your campaign results than any other aspect related to content. If you think of mobile first, you’ll understand that there are several things to keep in mind when you open an email on a smartphone, such as text size, call-to-action placement, first link, and so on. To get the most out of the mobile version of your emails, pay attention to the following:
- Text Size – Considering that the vast majority of users read emails on smartphones or tablets, their emails need to be small and fairly objective. Long texts do not match mobile. You will need to be much more objective in your copies to prevent your readers from giving up reading.
- Call-to-action position – In mobile, it is important that the first link in your text appear above the fold, before the user scrolls through the email. Do not forget also to adapt the dimension of the text so that in the mobile you can read the email clearly and logically, your readers can click on the links.
- Dimension of images – If you use images in emails, make sure that your images appear correctly in mobile and do not pop the user screen. It is very important that the images that you use to desktop adapt to the mobile version of your emails, otherwise the reading experience will be very close to bad.
Just like on websites, e-mails need to be worked on and thought out first for mobile and then desktop, even more so when 70% of Internet e-mail is read on smartphones and tablets. So capriche well on mobile and certainly the results of your actions will be much better.
4. Personalization of emails
Everyone likes to receive an email that starts with something like “Hello, Paul …”. This level of customization makes the message more personal and this is something that produces an incredible result. For you to do this, you’ll need to collect at least the person’s first name and their email. The vast majority of e-mail marketing platforms allow you to use tags to automatically pull the person’s name, making the messages more appealing and with a much more personal tone.
You can go even further by calling the person by the name inside the copy of your email. If you create more personal messages, the reality is that when that person is reading your emails, they’ll feel that the message was written exclusively for them, generating more empathy and, of course, a higher click-through rate on their emails.
5. Think about the first user
Just as when writing an article for your blog, this content has to be relevant to your reader, when writing an email the principle is exactly the same. If the content of your emails is not useful to your readers, you’re doing it the wrong way. Whenever you send an email, first think about the usefulness of the message you are providing to send. The more useful the email is to the user, the more likely it is that he will continue to receive emails from you.
6. Use a PS to get attention
In some of your emails, I recommend you use the strategy of using PS at the end of the email. This feature works extremely well to get the user’s attention and remind him of something important that he has to do, such as signing up for his course or buying the ticket for an event. Whatever you promote in the final PS of your emails, if that really is relevant to the user, but especially if the message is clear about what you intend.
7. Perform A / B tests for everything
One of the best ways to understand your readers’ behavior is by testing different variations of your emails. The vast majority of e-mail marketing platforms allow you to perform A / B tests with different e-mail titles, different copies, etc. Everything you can test will help you make future decisions and improve your communication with your mailing lists. In an A / B test, you normally distribute your campaign with two different versions, one for 50% of the list and one for the remaining 50% of the list. Then just compare the results to understand the behavior of your readers.
8. Use a valid reply address
If there is one thing that leaves any “p in life” is to receive an email sent from an address of type “email@example.com”.. If you’re going to do it right, always use a valid reply-to address for your emails and encourage your readers to respond to your messages. This will do a monstrous job, but it will create stronger relationships with your readers. In a long-term vision, you will gain from it.
9. Keep your list clean
Numbers often deceive. It’s no use if you have a list of 20,000 emails, if on average only 10% of that list opens the emails you send. Email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, for example, allow you to create segmentations in your lists to help filter out which users simply do not open anything you send. You’ll be amazed at how many people are on your mailing list and have not opened a campaign for several months. Basically, you are paying to have these people on your list.
My advice is that every three months you clean your e-mail lists. There will always be people who subscribe to your email list and do not open anything that you send, so you can simply clean your lists and remove those people. In addition to you paying less at the end of the month, your opening rates have increased considerably from the moment you do so.
10. Test emojis and videos
Did you know that it is possible to send emails with emojis in the titles? Or that Gmail automatically opens the Youtube videos that are indicated in emails? All of these are ways for you to increase the level of engagement with your email base and create a stronger connection with your audience. Try sending some emails with one or two emojis in the title, and compare it with other titles that you send without emojis. I even recommend you take an A / B test with and without emoji. Same thing with videos. Showing a Youtube video in an email can make all the difference to who is consuming this content in mobile.
Ready to start your email marketing?
Now that you already have the tools and knowledge about what you should and should not do, it’s time to start working out your email marketing and relationship strategies with your audience. Never forget that we humans are highly predictable, so your audience is also predictable. If you can fit your message into the desire of this audience, you will have incredibly positive results with your emails.