Whether you own a business or simply work for one, email marketing is important to bring in customers, drive sales, and get the word out. Marketing can range from social media to billboards to affiliates, but today we are going to be focusing on one avenue that is particularly effective — email marketing.
Ready to dive into email marketing strategy but don’t know where to start? We’re here to teach you about the basics on email marketing strategy and email marketing campaigns. And while we’re at it, we may even throw in a few email marketing tips along the way.
Before jumping into the need-to-knows, we just want to give a friendly reminder that you can always hire someone for their email marketing services. Sometimes things are better (and easier) when you hand it off to the pros.
But if you are determined to learn how to do things on your own for you and your business or are simply here to learn for fun, we are here and ready to help.
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First things first: there’s EDM Marketing and E-Mail Marketing. Do they sound similar? Yes. But stay tuned – each has its own set of unique qualities. Between one or both, you are sure to reach people who you currently work with or want to bring in in the future.
Let’s talk through the difference between EDM Marketing and E-Mail Marketing.
EDM, or Electronic Direct Mail marketing, is more than just sending out emails. This type of marketing includes multiple types of avenues to get the word out. You’ll see channels like social media, text message marketing, print materials, and more. These will be combined with software that over time, brings it all together.
When you combine multiple avenues of marketing like this, you have the opportunity to reach more people than you would have if you would’ve just used one or two of the media separately. Just think of the different groups of people in your audience. Some love emails, some love seeing things in print. We all have some sort of relationship with social media nowadays.
And to make things even better, many of your potential customers will see your marketing campaign more than once. This reinforces the message. Imagine catching all of those people you didn’t catch the first time around the second or third time around with a message that stayed consistent? Imagine the leads!
Now, we know you may still be confused on what the difference between the two is. News flash: both use emails to grow an audience full of customers!
Although E-Mail Marketing is it’s own star of the show, we will jump into the details later. Keep reading! Down to the most basic detail, an email marketing campaign is pretty close to what you initially think it is. Sending emails to your audience to spread the news, bring in business, and form connections.
Now, when you bring in an EDM marketing campaign, your email blast starts to grow and spread roots. It uses multiple channels like we talked about above. Step 1 is the email blast and step 3-ideally step 7 is a retargeting ad. That takes the information you initially started with and turns it into so much more material.
Just think about how many times more your message is likely to reach your potential customers. Especially when you put it in front of them in multiple avenues. And for those who are already customers, think of how many times you are prompting them to come back and use your services again!
A few benefits to keep in mind while you decide whether EDM marketing is the best option for you are:
Think about all of the time you could spend building a new marketing campaign for each individual social platform. That sounds crazy! Once you have an idea in mind, let it form and bring it to fruition in at least 7 different ways.
When you bring the same message to the table and follow through every time, your business will start to build trust with your clients! People want to know they can rely on the businesses they invest their personal time and money into. Give them a reason to trust you by staying true to your values and sending messages that are engaging!
People like to feel seen – this is a fact. And when you start to segment your marketing to send specific emails to specific groups of people that are relatable and authentic, people will start to respond because the information you are sending to them is something they were either looking for or didn’t know they needed until you offered it. Trust us, keeping things personal will bring more consistent leads.
Now that we’ve covered all of this, it’s time to get to know E-Mail marketing on a more personal level. One that we can all use in one way or another!
Let’s move into exactly what E-Mail marketing is. From this point forward we’re going to cover the “nitty gritty” per say. We will discuss everything you need to know about E-Mail Marketing. Get ready, get set, start sending those emails!
Have you ever wondered where E-Mails and Email-Marketing started? This avenue of marketing seems so common to us now, but it was once brand new. And while it is natural for us to wake up every day and scroll through our emails in bed, or with a cup of morning coffee in hand leaning over the counter in the kitchen, or in the car in the parking lot at the grocery store, this wasn’t the case 50 years ago.
More specifically, the very first email marketing blast was sent in 1978. Doesn’t that blow your mind? Just think how many things on the marketing spectrum have changed since then.
According to AtData, the email address experts, the first ever sender of an email marketing blast was Gary Thuerk regarding a promotion for Digital Equipment Corp.’s computers. And guess what…it worked. Not only did he have people opening the emails, he implemented a marketing strategy through this email that resulted in $13 million in sales. And though that sounds like a lot of money, just think — that is close to $78.8 million in today’s US dollars.
He really hit the mark with that one email. And now, years later, we are able to take all of the data we have seen from email marketing strategy and campaigns and turn it into email marketing tips for you to implement into your flow.
With everything in business, both pros and cons hold weight. While one thing may work amazing for your business, it may not work very well for someone else’s. Email marketing, however, ebbs and flows with the strategy and message you implement with it.
Did you know email marketing can contribute to a solid content marketing strategy? By playing these two marketing tactics together, you can add a layer of “Push” into your “Pull” strategy. Using email marketing to bypass the algorithm can not only boost social engagement, but will get your content in front of your existing subscribers.
In this section, we are going to talk through trending pros of email marketing. This information stems from what we’ve seen across a multitude of data and companies.
Have you ever received an email with your name at the top? It may look something like “Hi Jon!” or “Hey, again Karla!” – anything that ties your name into the content. More often than not, this catches the attention of the subscriber. Personalization is just that – tying in a subscriber in a way that makes them feel as though the message is just right for them. And many times, it is! We would much rather purchase goods or services from a company we feel is taking the time to direct their attention towards our needs. Insert automation.
Technology has given us the extremely convenient feature called “automation”. Many of the platforms used for email marketing like Flodesk, MailChimp or Klaviyo build lists when someone subscribes to receive emails from a business. We are then able to take these lists and use the automation feature that replaces the word “Name” with the name of the person on the receiving end.
How amazing is that? What was once an email that felt generalized, and blasted, is now turned into an email that feels like your business is meeting their subscribers on a personal level. We can guarantee this makes all the difference in building personal relationships with your subscribers. Try it out for yourself the next time you send out a blast.
We’re excited to talk about the next “pro” in email marketing because this process in particular makes our lives so much easier. Lead generation in marketing is where you use an “opt-in” form to collect personal information and data from your clients and potential customers. This form can be integrated into a welcome (or any other) email and simply gives those who want to opt in for your emails the chance to tell you a little bit more about themselves like their full name and email address.
Now when you take this data and use it for future campaigns, imagine how many more of the people on the receiving end of your emails are already interested potential customers? All in all, more potential customers or leads means more potential sales. Pair this with the personalization feature and you are on the right track for repeat or returning customers.
Now let’s discuss segmentation. In email marketing, segmentation is where your email list is divided into smaller groups or segments based on data or a certain criteria. The criteria can include location, customer or purchase history, age, hobbies, and more. You can also use segmentation to target your customers interests based on demographic, psychographic, behavioral or geographic data.
Another nice thing about segmentation is the ability to reach your customers on yet another personal level. You can take all of this data and send specific email offers to a certain group of people. Here’s an example:
80% of your audience are dog owners and 20% of your audience are people who are thinking about becoming dog owners but haven’t made the leap to adopt from your agency yet. If you were going to send an email to only those 20% of people who aren’t dog owners yet, what would it say?
Maybe something like: “Have you been thinking about welcoming a furry friend to the family? Bring them home tomorrow with this offer!”
When we use lines like this that are targeted towards a particular set of people, we catch their attention and are much more likely to receive a response from them. And maybe, just maybe they will decide to welcome a furry friend to the family from your adoption agency.
There are many, many benefits to email marketing but we’re going to wrap up this section with another subscriber behavior based benefit. When someone subscribes to your email list, they start their “journey” with your company’s messages and growth. You invite them, they accept your invitation, and follow along as your company grows over the years. And hopefully, they become a bigger part of your journey with engagement, too.
Now – this is something that we as business owners can use for our email marketing strategy, no matter what stage of the journey they are in with us. Whether they just became subscribers, or they’ve simply been a reader with your company since the first email blast, their journey started with the initial email.
Something about the message or offer they received caught their attention. And from this point forward, we are able to gradually nurture them with emails that are personalized, targeted, and triggering (in the good “decide to make a purchase” kind of way).
Over time, you can take your segmented lists (mentioned above) and monitor your customers journey and behavior to make decisions regarding what marketing strategy you implement week to week, quarter to quarter, and year to year.
People often refer to email marketing as “spammy”. But we want you to remember – there’s a lot of bad marketing happening in the world. It’s the marketing that makes you cringe – giving car salesmen energy. Good marketing often goes unrecognized because it feels so natural. When you do email marketing right, your subscriber opens your emails, reads your messaging, and engages with your content or promotion without ever feeling uneasy. This is because you’ve built up know, like, and trust.
Although there are many amazing things about email marketing, there may be a few disadvantages depending on the way you utilize the tools. For example: people may not open your emails, you simply may not have the time to put in the creative work and hey – the unsubscribe button is easy to find. Email marketing is not a one-send and done effort. You need consistency & intention. If you put in the work to create click worthy content, focus on keeping your audience engaged, and strategically choose when to send your email blasts, you will build the trust and leads we keep talking about in this blog post. After all, you came here to learn! And one of the most important lessons we can teach you is…consistency is key!
Now that we’ve covered the basics on what email marketing is and what the advantages and disadvantages are, it’s time to move into action. This is around the time where email marketing strategy steps in and takes a bow. Whether you are going the free email marketing route and doing things yourself or hiring someone for their email marketing services – in order for things to be successful, you must start with a plan!
But guess what — email marketing is alive and thriving! You’re already at an advantage no matter what strategy you put into place. Your current and future customers are looking forward to hearing from you and the time to start implementing your next email marketing campaign is now!
When deciding what direction to take in your email marketing strategy, you – on your own or with a team – will have the opportunity to choose what type of email marketing will work the best for you or your company, and your audience! Don’t worry, all of these options are effective and we’re going to help you choose by laying out all of the details in this section of the blog post.
When you think of an email that really brings everything you wanted to know about a business like their mission and values, and a topic that speaks to you, all together in one place — you are probably thinking of an email newsletter! This type of email marketing is a great place to connect with your clients and show them you are consistent.
On that note, email newsletters are actually known for their consistency. If you are planning to implement this type of email into your marketing strategy, make sure to map out a specific day and time each week that you know your emails will be sent out to keep things flowing on a regular basis. Remember when we said consistency is key? This type of email marketing is a great example.
An example of this is an email that includes a weekly content round up and/or events! You can use this opportunity to “update” your subscribers on what you or your business has going on, and include them in your planning process. Imagine receiving an email that feels like you are talking to your best friend about what amazing things have happened the last few weeks and the things that are to come. This is what we’re trying to achieve with a newsletter!
Another thing email newsletters are known for are their top of mind efforts. This is where building a personal connection comes in. You have so much opportunity to make connections in your email newsletters when you are mindfully adding depth to them and implementing a personal detail that shows them that you truly care. This is an opportunity to do just that – to let your subscribers know they are top of mind.
Next, we are going to be talking about transactional emails. These emails are actually pretty common and lucky for you…simple! Transactional emails are just that – transactional. When someone fills out a form, sends you an inquiry, or makes a purchase from your company that involves them adding in their email address, the email system you use will automatically send an email to your subscriber.
The reason these emails are so easy is because once you set them up for the first time, unless you want or need to make changes to the verbage or design, the emails are completely hands off. These emails are more centered towards notifying the subscriber with information on the action they have already taken than drawing them in for more sales.
However, you can always include a line in these emails that contains a CTA – or call to action. An example of this is: “make your next purchase” or “come back and see us tomorrow!” This is also a great place to ask for reviews or testimonials! You can set up an automated email that asks for feedback on someone’s experience a few days after they purchase a product or come in for a service. These emails are an opportunity to prompt your subscribers to re-engage with your company by reflecting on their experience and looking forward to the next one.
Promotional emails are (your) sales generators in action. Are you running a special offer like a flash sale or have an exciting event coming up that you want your subscribers to attend? This type of email marketing is going to be your best friend for the weeks before and during the promotion you are running for your company.
It’s all in the details. When writing these emails, be sure to include the full list of details on your promotion. You’re going to want your customers to fully understand what you are informing them of, asking them to do, and how to do it (purchase, sign up, etc.). Once you have the basics written down and put into place, you can take all of that juicy information and turn it into more emails, or use it for other forms of marketing your business is planning to implement. So convenient, right?
You can also use these emails to keep your subscribers in the loop by sending out the need-to-knows. This is a good place to bring in the email newsletter component we talked about in the section above. Will promotional emails do well on their own? Yes, absolutely! But when you place your promotions in a newsletter, you are activating many different parts of your strategy all in the same place.
Finally, retention emails feel like something that truly bring it all together. And get this…they are the most common email used in email marketing. So…pay close attention! Let’s take a moment for a quick review of the overall goal of our relationship with our customers. We want them to get to know us, purchase our goods or services and come along for the ride. Right?
Retention emails are the perfect place for you to nurture your subscribers and bring them along on a journey. To keep things simple – retention emails are a form of email marketing used for the purpose of keeping your customers engaged in your business and interested in continuing to follow along. An example of this could be an email asking a subscriber about what they need and how we can help. More specifically, maybe they made a purchase 30 days ago and are about to be out of a certain product. In the absolute best case scenario, we also need to offer a solution here. So your email could include a line that says something like: “Hey Name! Need a refill? Click here to restock your Orange & Clove Cleanser!” Retention emails don’t have to be complicated. In fact, they are actually pretty simple.
When we use our time wisely and provide thoughtful solutions for our subscribers, they are more likely to stick around for what we have planned next. Things are always changing with our businesses, but hey – consistency builds relationships with our subscribers and builds trust to keep those relationships afloat. You got this!
Now that you have started to think about your email marketing strategy and the types of emails you are able to tie in, it’s time to start building your email marketing list. The goal, and the dream really, is to build an email marketing list full of your VIP subscribers – the ones who have been OG’s since the beginning and are committed to following along on this journey of business with you.
This may seem like basic knowledge, but there is a lot of power in the connections that you already have. A really easy way to start building your list is to make a post on your social channels to let people know you are starting something or how the products or services you currently offer are something they absolutely need! Trust us, there are people in your corner who want to support what you are building.
In the meantime, we’re going to cover a few tips on how to build your list in a few other ways that will help bring in people that you don’t already know aka your future new connections.
E-Commerce is buying or selling products, goods, and services over the internet. With the advances in technology that we have today, it is easier than ever to offer services right from the computer in your office. This is an amazing resource for anyone who owns a business! And to make things even sweeter, you can use e-commerce to an advantage when building your email list.
We’ll let you in on a little tip…people love a free trial. All of those people who are interested or are simply on the fence about when they are going to make the plunge and purchase? Those are the people you want to target here. When you offer a free trial to your future subscribers, you give them the opportunity to experience just a little taste of what they could have if they decide to sign up for your one-year program or hire you for your copywriting services. This will give them enough time to think: “hey I actually really need to implement this into my everyday life” and ta-da! Influx of new subscribers incoming.
Similar to this, we recommend offering your audience a discounted service or product. Within that same group of people whose attention you want to capture is an opportunity to still make a sale with a one-time discount. It’s exclusive, it’s action inducing, and it will make people want to come back for more once they get to experience your goods and services for the first time. And get this – the money or time that you will be investing when giving people a free trial or discount will come back around tenfold. This is because you are utilizing the tools you have read in this blog post to catch the attention of your audience, bring in new subscribers and keep them around for the long haul all while gathering their information for marketing purposes.
Another way you can build your email marketing list is through your services! Whether this is another instance where you offer something at a low-cost or you are simply gathering information, over-time you’ll start to build a solid list of people who are actually interested in what your business has to offer. These are the people we’ve been talking about through this post – the people who stick around and can’t wait to invest further into your business.
Let’s talk through a few of examples of services you can offer or may already offer. Let’s see how you can also use to build your email list:
Think about what it feels like when you get a free sample of something. The sample is unexpected, you get to take it for a spin and see how it feels. If you like it you can always head back for more and make a purchase of the whole thing. This is what a demo is like. A demo is when an individual or business owner gives their audience or customer an opportunity to “test” their goods or services.
This may be a consultation call or free samples of your newest product in their first order. No matter what it is, you have the opportunity to grab your customers’ information. This allows you to follow up with them a few days later to ask for feedback on their experience. You start a conversation and hopefully, the dialogue turns into a full purchase.
Although we have youtube and google for just about anything nowadays, there is still nothing quite like someones uniquely curated personal experience. No one is better at running your business than you – which makes you the expert! And oftentimes, people want to take an inside look at what process works for you so they can reflect it towards their own business. Guides and e-books are catalogs of information and resources that an individual or business owner puts together for others to read and learn from. This is another instance where the like-minded people that you want to become your subscribers are right in front of you. Take this opportunity to grab their email address and enter them into one of your email list segments!
While a book of resources gives people something to learn from, calculators and templates are more on the technical side of things! They give your subscribers something tangible to put into practice on their own. This may be something like a process, formula, or even a design that aligns with the services they use or offer, too! Think of the processes and documents that you use every single day that make your work and personal life so much easier. Wouldn’t you love the opportunity to both share your experience and add people to your email list? Let’s start sharing!
Overall, the set of things we covered in this section gives your subscribers an inside look into your business and invites them along on the journey with you. When you implement different versions of things that can coexist, an effect called the “drip marketing” effect starts to happen. Essentially, all of your avenues of marketing work together and the success of each campaign or platform “drips” into overall success in your strategy. Keep it up and see your email marketing efforts overflow into other areas of success in your business!
So you’ve implemented a strategy, you’ve started to build your email list, and now you’re wondering what to do next and how to get started on your first email blast. Newsflash: start to use email marketing tools! Email Marketing Platforms like ActiveCampaign, Convertkit, MailChimp, FloDesk, Hubspot, and Klayvio are all great options. These platforms actually do a lot of the work for you. There are tools right at your fingertips that you can use to upload email and contact lists, build your emails within their design system, and even draft and schedule emails all in the same place! Again, we like to keep things simple around here. If you are a business owner or individual sending a lot of email blasts, this is the route to take, trust us!
Does the idea of using an email marketing tool intimidate you? Hire someone to do the work for you! An Email Marketer supports a business by building email lists, segmentation, setting up automation workflows, and developing a plan that brings email marketing into the overall digital marketing strategy. This gives you the opportunity as the business owner to take a step back and focus on the strategy you already have in place in other areas and let someone support you in the background.
As you know, we love a sweet twist – research shows that the return of investment of email marketing has consistently held around $38-back-for-every-$1-spent. While typical expenses of email marketing depend on the platform you choose, how many subscribers you have in that platform, and if you self-manage or hire out your email marketing efforts, you can confidently say that your money is going to the right place.
Now that you’ve been taking in all of this information, remember that you are the expert of you and your business! With that being said, you can confidently run your own email marketing campaigns and we truly believe they will be successful with the right amount of practice, information, and tracking of data over time. Overall, the biggest impact you can make with your email marketing is staying consistent. Set up a time each week to draft your emails, and make sure they are scheduled and ready to go. Mark it off in your calendar, set reminders, or add it to your list – whatever you need to stay on top of it! It may feel overwhelming at first but over time, this will feel much easier and you can start to implement those segments we talked about.
While you’re in the midst of collecting data, you may start to wonder how many emails you need for your email marketing. We’ll leave you with this…there is not an exact science. But for the most part, the volume of email marketing you implement into your email marketing strategy depends on you, your business and your audience. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again – something that works for one business really well, may not work for your business!
We like to keep a rule of thumb that includes at least 3 emails a week when you are first starting out. Take it back to the basics and start with a weekly roundup, send out an offer and then check in or follow up with your clients about next steps towards the end of the week. This gives your clients a little bit of breathing room, keeps things consistent, and helps build a lasting connection with your subscribers. With that being said, let’s get to writing, scheduling and sending out those marketing emails!
Overall, we hope you enjoyed this blog post full of tips on email marketing, email marketing strategy, and email marketing services. Until next time, everyone!
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