Email Marketing for Beginners – A Practical Guide in 2020

Email Marketing for Beginners is a tutorial for people who wish to understand the subject in 2020.

Electronic mail or Email is at the core of our digital lives. We begin our digital journey by creating an email account. On a new laptop or smartphone, Microsoft or Google will first ask you to register using your email id. At the workplace, all kinds of communication takes place via professional emails. Emails will not be out of fashion anytime soon.

That brings us to Email Marketing (EM). In simple words, EM is the use of emails to develop business relationships with potential customers or clients. Most successful businesses or bloggers ask for your email id and then send out regular emails with attractive offers or the latest articles they have published. Email Marketing is critical to your Content Marketing strategy because you are promoting your business or content to people who have entered their email id on your website or app and provided their consent to receive your emails. 

Why is Email Marketing important?

The enormous reach that emails provide 

Over a period of time, you will serve your business well if you are maintaining a database of your customers’ email ids. Let’s say you are a startup with a database of 1,000 email ids. With one email, you can easily broadcast your new offers or product launches to all the 1000 customers.

Customer contact 

Establishing customer contact, wishing them on their birthdays and anniversaries, show you care as a business and the customer isn’t just a revenue generator on your balance sheet.

Email engagement is now a habit 

Millions globally check their emails first thing in the morning. In an increasingly digital world, we rely on emails to receive and send important information. So if your emails add value to customers, you will see a good open and engagement rate out of sheer habit.

Easy tracking and measurement 

The best part about EM, everything can be tracked and measured.  From how many people open your email, to  how many people click the link in the email. How many click the link and get converted into paying customers, everything can be measured. (Try AWeber’s free 14-day trial or Drip.com to see if it is effective for your business)

Multiple usage formats 

Is your email creating awareness about a new product or service? Are you urging customers to provide feedback on a recent purchase (user reviews)? Would you like your customers to recommend your website to potential customers (customer testimonials)? Emails can be used in multiple formats and moulded per your marketing goals and strategies.

Open Rate & Spamming

Ideally, customers should open your email. Ask yourself these questions. Out of hundreds of emails I send out, how many land up on the ‘Primary’ tab of my customer’s inbox. How many customers end up opening my email (this can be tracked via the ‘Open Rate’)? If all your emails are going to the ‘Spam’ folder then there is little impact your emails can create. Also, getting hold of a large email database and spamming mailboxes left, right and center isn’t a good idea.  Google has a simple philosophy, “focus on the end user and the rest will follow”. You too should focus on high-quality content and add value to your customers with your emails. The rest will follow!

Types of Marketing Emails 

Welcome Email

As soon as a customer has signed up on your emailing list, he/she should receive a warm, welcome email. It is important that as a business you thank the person for signing up, and help them take the next steps on your website. Like directing them to an educational guide or video that explains your products and services and how these can help them achieve their goals.

Offer Email

Haven’t all of us received offer emails at some point in our lives? Myntra’s ‘End Of Reason Sale’, SBI Card’s 10% instant discount on Amazon or Flipkart’s “Big Billion Days” sale. Offer emails are now everywhere on the internet. These are extremely important for your business, simply because they drive sales revenue. In a highly price-sensitive market like India, 20% discount emails are bound to get engagement. Just make sure the Offer emails are enticing and relevant to your customers.

Notify Me Email

You are looking for Mozzarella cheese on one of the online grocery stores. The product is not in stock and you are prompted to click on a “Notify Me” button whenever it is available. 2-3 days down the line, you forget about the purchase until you receive an email stating the product is back on the shelves and you may want to order it.

Newsletter

Newsletters generally contain the latest news and updates about your business. Mainly done to keep your customers engaged and informed, these generally state what’s new at your store and how somebody can order them online or at the store front.

Announcement Email

Your business has a new product release or a ‘limited edition’ launch. In order to publicize such events, the Marketing team uses ‘Announcement Emails’ for maximum hype and customer engagement.

Apart from the above categories, Email Marketing is also used to build a brand, conduct polls and surveys & establish domain authority in the market. 

What makes a good Marketing Email?

Catchy subject lines

Marketing emails should have attractive subject lines, so the user is compelled to click on them. Emails with generic subject lines will go unnoticed. 

Well-formatted emails

On-Page SEO states that a line should not have more than 20 words in it. A paragraph should not have more than 150 words in it. Besides, your post should be divided in clean Paragraphs with proper Headings and Subheadings so that a reader can quickly scan your article for clarity.

These rules also apply to your Marketing emails!

Avoid spam language like “FREE FREE FREE!!!!”

Excessive use of exclamation marks and words like Free, Discount, Hurry etc urge Google bots to mark your email as spam. So it is advised that you stay away from such language.

Use a relevant Call To Action (CTA)

Using a Call To Action like Sign Up Now, Make an Appointment or Order Online urge customers to take action on your email or web page. CTAs are effective for conversions and actually have a conversion impact on your readers.

Avoid excessive use of images or GIFs

An email is best viewed in text form. Research shows that excessive use of images or GIFs affects readability and can get parked in the ‘Promotions’ tab of your customer’s mailbox.

In conclusion, make sure you use the double option when customers are signing up for your emails. That is whenever a customer is entering his email ID, they also have to click on the confirm button. Consistency in sending out emails (at least 3 emails per week) is another factor where your business will regularly connect to your customers. Regular engagement is extremely important and maintains visibility for your business. Providing high-value content that makes a difference to their lives is important. That is how subscribers feel the value of being on your list. 

Make sure you monetize your email list, either by selling a product or a service or via affiliate products. Monetize it in a way that your business doesn’t look spammy or shady. 

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You may also want to check out our post on Instagram Marketing in 2020. (8 min read)

For additional reading on the topic, please visit the Wiki page for Email Marketing.