Updated: Apr 7, 2021
This article contains Ad/Affiliate Promotion
Email marketing is a digital marketing channel that promotes your business through email.
It's a method of contacting customers that have already demonstrated an interest in your products or services through subscribing to your mailing list.
What is Email Marketing
An email marketing strategy can be utilized to focus on business objectives such as: Increasing brand awareness;
Improving customer service; and,
Email marketing is an essential aspect of your digital marketing strategy. This area of marketing allows you to build on existing interest from your customer by requesting actions from them such as going to your website, following your social media, and keeping up-to-date on announcements of events or promotions. Email marketing also gives your business the opportunity reward your customers for their loyalty through offering benefits such as VIP access to promotions or products, providing discount codes, and also providing information that would be useful for them.
Etiquette for Email Marketing
When thinking about the many emails that drop into your inbox, consider what factors about these emails make you ignore or dismiss them.
Perhaps, they seem generic rather than personalised?
Does your privacy feels invaded by the constant interruptions by the same company?
Do they display a lack of etiquette?
When an email is sent to a customer or client it must communicate and contain value for the customer. This value can seem even more essential compared to your other content types since you are communicating with a specific customer directly in a personal space.
Strategy for Email Marketing
You'll probably be wondering as to the how:
How can we go about building an email marketing strategy and ensuring that it is successful?
Before collecting any data or sending any emails to potential customers or clients, you need to become familiar with regulations laws and policies within your country/state/local region. For example, in the UK it is illegal to buy an email list of customers, and it must be obvious to a customer that they are choosing to opt-in when subscribing to an email list.
To purchase personal data and to deceive customers or clients into receiving email marketing is not only illegal but also considered bad practice and a moral violation of data and privacy. Your emails should always have a clear and evident link for those that which to unsubscribe.
How then do you encourage users to sign up to your marketing emails?
To build up an email list from your website, you can create a pop up encouraging people to register with you, or have a banner across your website to encourage the same.
Social media is a really useful channel for promoting your email content.
It is good practice to offer an incentive, such as a discount code or a free item or download as a reward for signing up to your newsletter or email marketing list. Email marketing is both a give and take process. Your customer is giving their contact details in exchange for the content that you have promised to provide - take this into account when you are designing and creating your content. We recommend that when you create the online form in which the user will enter their email, you may also want to provide tick boxes that ask which communications they would prefer to receive. They may just be interested in promotions rather than general announcements for example.
Once the customer has signed up for your email marketing, it is good practice to then send out an introductory email to confirm their subscription. In this email you can reassure the subscriber that you won't spam their inbox and you should provide reassurance for them about the quality of content they will receive. You can do this through producing high quality content on all your existing channels,
When creating content for your email marketing, don’t be afraid to be detailed as a vague email may not project the value of your marketing to your customers, However, it is best that in the first email to your subscriber that you don’t try to sell to them in this email, it will show a lack of appreciation for their subscription, rather this first email should be is a "thank you" email that will confirm to your customer the promise of high quality relevant content.
Once you have sent the introductory email, your email marketing should be consistent. If you’ve stated they will receive a weekly update or a biweekly update then you need to deliver on this. You need to be consistent and follow up on what you’ve said you will do.
What should your emails contain?
1st TIP: Include Various Media.
Videos can’t be played on a marketing email, but you can use images as well as text. You can also include one image from a video that is hyperlinked so that when the customer clicks on the image it opens up the video in a different window. Depending on the level of personal vs professional tone of your content, you can also include gifs too.
2nd TIP: A friendly Approach
Depending on your content type and purpose of your email, it is good to have a friendlier approach and tone to your content. For example, if you have included a lot of pitching and product images, balance out this approach with a personal message to create a lighter tone and to reduce a generic-like feel of the email.
3rd TIP: Don't Pitch Too Often
Don’t constantly pitch products to customers and nothing else. Try and balance the purposes of your emails. For example, create a mixture of sales emails, promotional emails, updates, and personalised or meaningful messages.
Email Marketing Automation and Software
Using email automation is an efficient method for conducting your email marketing campaigns. There are a variety of different software available. We go into brief detail about our two favourites below:
Another great thing about using Wix as your website or email marketing host, is that the people who visit your site and then subscribe to your marketing campaigns are then saved onto your Wix dashboard and into your contact list. It's super helpful to have everything on one system.
Mailchimp: For creating and planning various different email campaigns, we also recommend Mailchimp. You can upload your existing contact list from your website to Mailchimp which can be updated whenever needed to add more contacts.
If you have a smaller mailing list, you can use mail chimp’s services for free by selecting the free package. There are basic templates that are part of the free package, but if you have something more detailed in mind, we recommend designing your email content using Canva or Picmonkey. This can then be uploaded into your newsletter as an image.
These two examples of email automation tools are just the ones that we personally recommend, there are many others that are great for email marketing. Ensure that the software that you select also provides insights and analytics as these are vital for directing and tracking your email marketing campaign's success.
Email Marketing: Legal
As we have already mentioned, in the UK it is illegal to send marketing emails to those who have not opted-in to receiving them, and it is a legal requirement for the email to contain an unsubscribe option.
You must be completely transparent with the receivers of your emails that if they are removed from the subscribed list, but put onto a “do not contact” type list, you must make them fully aware of this.
In your marketing emails, you must make it clear, who you are, what you're selling, and be clear about what promotional terms and conditions are.
You are also legally required to ensure that your email marketing is GDPR compliant. Its essential that you familiarise yourself with all of the legal requirements and regulations prior to sending your email marketing. For more information on this you can visit the .gov website and it has deeper details into all of it.
Why not listen to our Digital Marketing, The Fundamentals podcast!