While it’s easy to send a quick message to your friends and family, many emails require a delicate balance of art and science, commonly referred to as email marketing.
Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that uses email marketing campaigns as the main communication channel to reach an audience. In its broadest sense, any email you send to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, the most common definition refers to using email to reach a group of people to achieve a specific goal, whether that be increasing leads, sales, retention, or engagement.
While email marketing always consists of sending emails to a group of people, that group is usually carefully crafted and segmented based on geography, purchasing behavior, engagement, interest, or other factors.
Mass email marketing, on the other hand, is the practice of creating a single message for a large group of subscribers, regardless of customization and personalization. For example, sending an email about a new sales promotion to your entire email database, even people who have never made a purchase or who have never expressed interest in that particular item.
Mass email marketing is not considered to be a best practice. Most marketers prefer to send more personalized emails to certain segments to increase email KPIs and create a better customer experience.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising. From social media to billboards to online ads, we digest hundreds of marketing messages each day. How does a marketer cut through the clutter and get customers’ attention?
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate directly with potential and current customers, in real time. Sure, you have to compete with other emails in the inbox, but at least you can personalize your message and talk directly to your audience.On top of that, email marketing is affordable and scalable. Your only cost is investing in email marketing software — after that upfront cost, you can send as many emails as you want (within reason, of course).
Email marketing is a highly effective channel with the power to convert prospects to customers and build loyalty among your existing base. Depending on your industry, email database size, and goals, it can be as easy as setting up a welcome email and a few automated messages. Or, it may involve creating complex email branches and nurture campaigns.
While it will change for every business, here’s a high-level look of how to do email marketing:
Whether you’re new to email marketing or refining your existing strategy, there are a lot of factors that can impact the success of your campaigns. How do you start email marketing?
Here are some quick tips that can improve the efficacy of your strategy:
Lead magnets are a great way to grow your email list organically over time and once they're set up, they can just run in the background. Lead magnet examples include whitepapers, templates, or other free offers that are gained in exchange for someone's email and the permission to add them to your email marketing lists. For example, a fitness center could have a lead magnet that offered the Top Ten Leg Workouts for free once someone filled out a form.
The most successful email marketers have learned to prioritize a few lines of copy and a single design element, like crafting creative email subject lines and buttons, to give their emails the best chance of being opened and, once opened, foster engagement.
For more email marketing best practices, read our blog post, “Email Marketing Tips and Tricks.”
When looking for an email tool for your business, some key features to look for include:
Fear not, email marketing is alive and well! Put simply, email campaigns work. They are a low-cost, effective way to reach thousands of customers in a single moment, with the option of personalizing each message to build even stronger relationships. Email optimization is fairly easy once you start sending on a regular basis, and with a little bit of effort, you can grow your email list and watch your revenue grow along with it.
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