Marketing for Beginners: Email Marketing

September 5, 2018 - Matt Morelli

In our next installment of Marketing for Beginners, we’re going to discuss email marketing. Email marketing is an easy and affordable way to reach out to your customers and prospects. It provides you with a reasonably effective way to foster a relationship and help make them return customers. Several reports have shown that email marketing has the highest ROI compared to any other marketing channel; it’s a formidable tool that’s widely used and can be leveraged by any internet marketer.

In this article, I will walk you through the basics of email marketing and how you can get started building your list and generating leads with it.

What is email marketing?

Wikipedia defines email marketing as the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. Simple enough. Effective email marketing is geared towards converting prospects to customers and one time buyers to loyal fans.

Who needs email marketing?

Most businesses can benefit from effective email marketing, because it’s a simple way to nurture a client base and turn them into new or return buyers. Even with the rise in the popularity of social media platforms for marketing purposes, email marketing remains one of the best and most cost-effective ways to reach out to your base.

Here are some of the reasons email marketing stands out amongst other marketing channels.

  • Emails are checked often. Over 90% of consumers check their email daily. This is not as easily attainable with other channels.
  • Email marketing done correctly can have an ROI as high as 3800%. It’s low cost and high impact are rivaled by few.
  • Individuals who receive emails with products marketed to them spend 138% more than people who do not receive those same emails.
  • You own your email list, and you can easily access your customers, unlike another medium such as social media where your account can be deleted or suspended at the whim of the platform.

How do you get started?

The first step to email marketing is to begin building an email list. This means getting the email addresses from your prospective clients.

However, you can’t just get the emails anywhere. Following shortcuts like scraping emails from the web or buying unverified email lists aren’t recommended, because such processes are not ethical, nor are they legal in many cases. Also, the recipients may not respond positively to your efforts, which may lead to a waste of time and resources, and ultimately get your account marked as a spammer. If that happens, your email sending days are over.

For you to be successful in email marketing, you need to reach out to your core target audience and ask for their permission to send them emails. This implies that your email list should only consist of those who willingly gave you their email addresses in order to receive your marketing communications. We’re looking for quality here, not quantity. 1,000 quality email contacts will net you far more value than 100,000 random email addresses who have no desire to ever hear from you.

To begin your email marketing campaign, you will need an opt-in form and an email service. With these in place, you are set to start building your email list.

Building your list

For a simple start, you can place an opt-in form on your website, so anyone who visits has the option to sign up. However, you may find it difficult to grow your list with this strategy alone, because people aren’t always excited about signing up for a newsletter without any call to action to get them engaged.

For this, you want a lead magnet, something to compel people to submit their emails to you.

How to use a lead magnet

The term “lead magnet” isn’t some technological jargon. It merely means offering your prospects something of value for free, in exchange for their email addresses. The operating term is something of value, for free. It could be an e-book, video, coupon or just about anything that will excite your clients. Other items you can use include audio files, free webinars, free consultations, free trials, a white paper, a chance to partake in quiz, games, etc.

Below are some pointers for creating more effective lead magnets.

  • Useful. Lead magnets should contain information or tools that will be useful to your audience.
  • Easy to use. Choose a lead magnet that your prospects can efficiently use. Dumb down absolutely everything. The longer it takes to get to the goal line, the less people will make it there.
  • Instant. Lead magnets should be given out instantly. No one wants to get it tomorrow.
  • Relevant. Lead magnets should be related to your product or services.

Opt-in form

Once you narrow down some good options to use for a lead magnet, the next step will be to create your opt-in form.

Remember, the opt-in, or opt-in form is the term used to describe the form where your visitors input their emails. The opt-in form bears the message that persuades your visitor to subscribe to your list.

To maximize conversions…

  • Seductively describe the benefits of your lead magnet.
  • Include attractive images, graphics or videos.
  • Do not request too much information, unless you plan to segment your list(s). Each new bit of information you ask for, will result in a percentage of people who started the form to drop off.
  • Write your descriptions vividly. Use terms and fonts that will catch your visitor’s attention.
  • Action driven subscription button. Your subscription button should push people to click right away. An example is “I need the e-book”.

Note that the opt-in can come in various forms. It can be a pop-up, around your footer, on your about page, as a floating bar, etc. You can choose any type that best suits your website. You can and should also run A/B tests to see which form(s) bring in the most sign-ups.

Upon implementing these practical steps, you should be ready to start harvesting emails from your target audience.

Tips to enhance your email marketing campaign

  • Segment your emails. Break up your email subscribers into smaller groups using relevant criteria, such as age, interests, location, level of activity, shopping behavior, preference, length of subscription, etc. This will enable you to send more personalized and relevant emails that will result in higher conversions.
  • Run A/B tests in your emails. Change imagery and wording, and then break up your audience segments into sub-segments to send different version to, in order to see what style your audience responds to best.
  • Create great, timely, and relevant content.
  • Use catchy email headlines. This increases the possibility of your email being opened.
  • Write with a one-person view. Don’t think of the thousands of people on your list when writing, instead make it personal as though you are writing just to a person.
  • Write creatively. You should write as though you are writing to a friend, be expressive and humorous. Don’t be a robot.
  • Include funny and relevant images and videos if necessary.
  • Remove inactive subscribers from time to time.
  • Avoid the spam folder! People rarely check their spam box, so you should do all you can to ensure your emails aren’t sent to spam. The first step towards this is getting the recipients permission, which you did when they opted in. Secondly, you need to use a reputable email service provider. Click here to find the best one for you!
  • Work on determining the best time of the day to send the emails. This is why it’s beneficial to segment your list according to location.

Email marketing provides an affordable and effective way to reach your target prospects. If you have not yet begun, it may be worth looking into! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments! We’ll be back soon with more marketing tips for beginners!