Email is no longer just a way for your grandmother to send you awkward chain letters (you remember the kind—forward this email to ten people and you will have the best day of your life tomorrow). According to Statista, the number of email users in the United States is expected to reach 255 million by the end of 2020. For marketing purposes, this means your audience is already there and growing by the day.
If you don’t already use email marketing for your company, or you don’t use it consistently, you may want to rethink your strategy for the rest of 2019. This year, the advertising spend for email is expected to increase to 350 million dollars in the United States, which is eighty thousand dollars more than email ad spend just four years prior.
Getting started can be intimidating— after all, there is a method to the madness that is email marketing—but don’t let that stop you from building a successful strategy and reaching your business goals. This guide is a breakdown of the basics of email marketing so you can create a solid foundation for your digital marketing efforts, one subject line at a time.
Let’s Start with the Crucial Question: What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a simple concept: using email as a tool to reach a target audience directly through emails and newsletters. This tactic is cost-effective, easy to manage, and sees a high return on investment (ROI). In the United States, on average, businesses see a 4,400 percent ROI (or $44 for every $1 spent) with email marketing. The reality is that by not doing email marketing, in some capacity, you are hurting your business.
Choosing an Email Marketing Software
Once you’ve decided to incorporate email/newsletters into your overall marketing strategy, it’s time to choose an email marketing software. If you’re still not convinced, please see the first few sections of this post. 😉
Email marketing isn’t something you want to do manually—having software that hits all of the boxes on your checklist will ease and speed up the process. Ideally, you’ll decide on a user-friendly platform that allows you to manage and segment your subscribers, create templates to save and reuse for consistency, build and schedule campaigns, and track and report on metrics. A few popular options include Constant Contact, MailChimp, HubSpot, and Remarkety.
Building an Email List
An email list is just that—a list of email addresses where you can send your monthly newsletters, company updates, sales, and more. Email addresses don’t magically appear, though, and it’ll take some strategizing to convince your customers or clients to give them.
If you are a brick and mortar retail business, for example, you can create customer accounts in your point of sale system and ask for email addresses upon checkout. For an ecommerce site, it’s even easier to obtain an email address once people create a login to order products.
If your company is more service-based, consider creating multiple calls to action (CTAs) on your website that prompt people to enter their email addresses for more information. You could set up a form that appears as soon as someone visits your homepage, add links throughout blog posts, or even create a separate page or link that houses an email opt-in form.
Many times, businesses take on a give-and-take approach to obtain emails, offering some kind of incentive—a discount or coupon code, an e-book, a video series, or even early access to a service or product.
Whatever you decide to do to help build up your email list, you have to be conscious of people’s private information. In all emails or conversations, remind your customers or clients that they are able to opt-in and opt-out of the list whenever they’d like.