1. Email Marketing

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing remains a highly effective online marketing strategy in today’s digital world. It targets your intended audience more effectively, has an instant impact, can deliver a high ROI, all the while keeping your company’s costs down. 

But what does email marketing actually consist of? An effective use of email campaigns doesn’t just bank on customers opening emails sent their way. Developing an email marketing strategy is crucial. With this, you can better utilise your campaigns in order to see the results you want from your email marketing. 

This article is an introductory guide to email marketing and will:

  1. Help you learn the most important features of email marketing.
  2. Assist you in deciding whether email marketing is right for you and your business.

What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a business activity wherein a company sends carefully crafted emails to its customers (or potential customers) with the intent of offering a product or service. In its broadest sense, any email you send to someone with the intent of offering a product or service or increasing brand loyalty is email marketing.

Gaining the interest and intrigue of your (potential) customers is crucial when it comes to email marketing, and is the first step to any strategy. We particularly like this email campaign sent by Birchbox, a monthly beauty subscription service, which sends boxes of sample products to its subscribers. The subject line read: “We Forgot Something In Your February Box!”. Clicking into this email simply revealed a discount code for a new promotion. However, the inviting subject line catches subscribers off-guard and prompts them to click and open the email to find out more. The links to their social channels, as well as the outbound links to their website pair well with the email’s content to raise brand awareness. Such examples demonstrate how simple yet creative email marketing can be. 

What is a mailing list?
A mailing list is a database of your customers’ email addresses. The size and demographic (gender, occupation, etc.) of a mailing list is one of the most important factors to consider in email marketing. When composing an email campaign, you must always have the list size and demographic in mind, to ensure you are reaching your target audience. As a new business, growing a mailing list is essential and recommended as one of the first steps to take.

Types of Email Marketing
There are two main types of email marketing, which are used in different ways. Using them together will see higher response rates and improve the overall marketing strategy of your business.

Direct Email
Also called interruption-based marketing, direct email involves sending an email that contains an offer linked to your product or service. This is the most commonly used form of email marketing. Some of the most common examples of direct email are:


Promotional Email Campaigns, including seasonal campaigns, for instance advertising a summer sale or offering a Valentine’s Day discount.

A Welcome Email Series, an email sent to welcome a new subscriber and thank them for signing up.

Newsletters, although not strictly campaigns, these are regular communicatory emails that continue indefinitely with your subscribers. Newsletters inform them on anything from product news, updates and recommendations to tips, blog posts, and reviews. Their main purpose is to inform and educate subscribers.


Transactional Email
The primary function of transactional emails is to convey information about an action that triggered the email. This type of email may mostly be informative but its 51% open rate (as compared to newsletters’ 36%) makes it an attractive tool too. Common transactional mails are order confirmation emails, password reset emails, or email receipts.

Should You Opt-In To Email Marketing?
Some businesses don’t see email marketing as necessary. Some believe email marketing is dead, overtaken by social media. However, a quick look at the statistics of email usage suggest that actually the opposite is true – email marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing:

– Email generates $38 for every $1 spent, averaging a 3800% return on investment.
– Email has a higher conversion rate than social media and SEO combined.
– It is predicted that, there will be 4.1 billion email users worldwide by 2022, which is over half of the global population.
80% of professionals said that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention.
– People are twice as likely to sign up for your mailing list than they are to interact with you on Facebook.

Advantages
Cost-effectiveness: Email marketing is cheaper than traditional mail and other forms of online advertising, particularly when you choose EmailOctopus. With 2500 contacts, you pay nothing per month, compared to the high costs of sending mail to customers! That is also compared to the high expenses that ad placements can cost you.

Half of Internet users check their emails at least once a day: There is no better way to make your product or service visible than to be in their inbox. Your job is to ensure that you craft successful email campaigns so as to see the results you want for your business.

Clear Return On Investment: An exact ROI can be calculated and has repeatedly been proven to be high if done correctly.

Ease and flexibility of use: Emails are easy to create, when working with the right platform. Our easy-to-use drag and drop editor and pre-made templates help you create beautiful emails which your subscribers will enjoy reading. Or you can send plain text if you prefer a minimalist approach. Whatever suits your business best, email is an easy way to effectively reach your subscribers.

Personalisation: With emails, you have the option to personalise your content. Personalisation is a proven way to increase customer engagement, and response rates. Build up a great relationship with your subscribers using relevant and dynamic personalised email campaigns.


Disadvantages
Deliverability – Sometimes emails are not sent properly, and may produce soft/hard bounces, meaning the email has not been delivered. Luckily, EmailOctopus uses a reliable service Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), to ensure you get the best deliverability you can.

GDPR / Anti-Spam Laws: Certain regulations to follow in the EU, Australia, Canada and the USA can make it tricky to create email marketing campaigns, including Anti-Spam Laws and the GDPR. However, such regulations are not a barrier to email marketing, when correctly followed.

EmailOctopus is also GDPR compliant and closely complies with all current EU data protection laws.

Learning Curve: Email marketing is quite different from traditional forms such as radio and TV, or ad placement so it may be necessary to learn the ways of email marketing, including metrics and using them to inform your business process. At EmailOctopus, we have a useful help section, and a great customer support team to ensure that using our service is as easy as possible.

A Great Way To Reach Customers
From bloggers to entrepreneurs, large corporations to non-profit organisations, independent shops to chain stores, all are using email marketing in some way, as part of their overall marketing strategy.

Why is this? There is no denying that email is still a reliable and popular form of communication, and businesses capitalise on that fact. Using email is an effective and powerful way to increase awareness of your product or service, and drive customer acquisition and engagement.

It may take some getting used to, but here at EmailOctopus we ensure our support team is on hand to ensure any queries or issues are resolved smoothly. Now that we live a more digital life than ever, it would be wise to consider email marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy.

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