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How Email Marketing Works
I’m pretty sure email is the holy grail of business success.
My husband Sean and I started an automotive museum in 2017 with one car. Just one.
We had no other exhibits, no stacks of cash, no supporters or backers. We just had a small opportunity for a space and decided to run with it.
And we were lucky. We were marketers, and this wasn’t our first business. BUT it was our first brick-and-mortar, local business, and that meant we had new challenges.
But we knew the fundamentals that worked.
And one of the first things Sean did, was set up his email list. Why?
Because after working with thousands of business owners over the years, we know that email marketing works.
Here are just some of the benefits of email marketing:
- Email marketing works to keep you top-of-mind
- Email marketing works to bring people in.
- Email marketing works to get people to buy again.
- Email marketing works to get reviews and testimonials.
And the data on email is insane. For every dollar spent, email marketing gets you $42 back. That is a 4200% ROI, and that is not easy for any marketing channels to come close to.
Sending emails to the Miles Through Time email list has resulted in sales, donations, supporters, volunteers, events, magazine articles, podcast interviews, radio interviews, invitations, trips, and more opportunities than we could have imagined. All from email marketing.
But what really is email marketing? Is it a broadcast you send out? Is it a newsletter?
What is email marketing? How does it work?
In this article, I’ll show you:
- what is email marketing?
- how does email marketing work?
- what is email marketing strategy?
- how do email marketing campaigns work
- how to create an effective email marketing campaign
- how to do measure email marketing effectiveness
- and talk about the results you can get from email marketing strategies
What is email marketing?
Email marketing involves creating and sending out digital messages, typically to a group of recipients, known as your email list.
The purpose of email marketing is usually either to build relationships with potential customers or to drive sales through special offers and coupons.
The benefits of email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. Unlike social media or paid advertising, email allows you to directly contact your audience and build a relationship with them.
And, unlike other forms of marketing, email is cheap and easy to set up.
Plus, it can be highly personalized, so you can segment your list and send relevant content to each group. As a result, email marketing can be an extremely effective way to boost your sales and grow your business.
How does email marketing work?
The process of email marketing generally includes creating a list of potential customers or subscribers, crafting a message to be sent, and then sending out the message using an email marketing service to your email subscribers.
Email marketing can be a great way to reach out to potential customers and promote your product or service. However, not all emails are created equal. Some types of email are more effective than others at getting attention and sparking interest.
Here are a few of the most common types of email used in email marketing:
These typically promote a specific product or service and include a call to action encouraging the recipient to purchase.
Often sent on a regular basis, newsletters keep subscribers up-to-date on what’s new with your company and can include special offers or coupons.
Announcements are a great way to let email subscribers know about important news, such as a new product launch or an upcoming event.
Lead nurturing emails
These emails provide valuable content that helps to build relationships with potential customers and move them further down the sales funnel. A great one to start with is a welcome email for your new subscribers.
By understanding the different types of email used in email marketing, you can ensure that your messages are effective and get the results you’re looking for.
Email marketing is effective!
Email marketing can be an effective way to reach a large audience with a relatively low investment of time and money.
When done correctly, email marketing can be a powerful tool for building relationships and driving sales. The first thing you need is software to properly send your emails.
Email Essential: An Email Service Provider
For email marketing to work properly (and legally), you need to use what’s known as an email service provider to send marketing emails. An email service provider is software that sends and manages your email list and your email marketing campaigns. It’s also referred to as an email marketing platform, email marketing service, email marketing tool, or email marketing software.
Now you might be wondering, can’t I just send marketing emails with my regular inbox provider? Do I really need to pay for a product on top of that?
Technically, it’s possible, but for the hassle, time spent, and the lack of functionality to send campaigns or measure effectiveness, you should go with an email service platform.
These email marketing platforms even come with prebuilt email marketing templates, prebuilt email campaigns, newsletter templates, email marketing automation, and more that make creating professional-looking, highly-effective email marketing campaigns easy even for beginners.
You can even use a FREE email marketing service to get you started. Check out Best Email Marketing Tools for some options.
Using email marketing software will allow you to create an email marketing strategy that works for your business goals. Gmail and Outlook will not do it for you. (trust me).
What is email marketing strategy?
Email marketing strategy is the process of planning, creating, and executing email campaigns with the goal of achieving specific business objectives.
The most common objectives of email marketing strategy are to build brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales. However, it can also be used to achieve other goals, such as fostering customer loyalty or increasing website traffic.
Email marketing strategy typically includes elements such as segmentation, target audience, messaging, and call to action. It is important to test different elements of the strategy to see what works best for your business.
How do email marketing campaigns work?
Email marketing campaigns are a system of emails that work together to send your recipients through the customer journey. They are not a single email broadcast or an email newsletter to inform, but multiple emails that work together to guide readers to a specific action.
How do you create an email marketing campaign?
Email marketing campaigns are an effective way to reach out to potential and current customers. By sending targeted emails with valuable content, you can stay top of mind and build relationships that lead to conversions.
With your email service provider, you will be able to set up an email sequence that you can send out automatically. This email automation makes your email marketing efforts even easier since you do not have to physically send every single email one by one.
When creating an email marketing campaign, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Define your goals.
What do you want to achieve with your campaign? More website visitors? More leads? More customers?
It’s best to focus a single campaign on a single goal. If you send an email and try to get your subscribers to do too many things, chances are they will do none of them.
2. Segment your list.
Who are you targeting with your campaign? Make sure you send relevant, targeted messages to each segment. A segment could include customers that purchased a specific product or service or subscribers that have shown interest in a service.
My kids’ karate school would send everyone every single email, and it was so confusing and inconvenient. I got notices for the tiny munchkin classes and the black belts – my kids were neither, and I would have to pick through the email to see if it was for our classes or not.
And segmenting in your email marketing software is actually pretty easy to do and can make your email marketing campaigns more effective and your customers much happier (and less confused).
3. Create great content.
Your email’s content should be valuable to your recipients. Think about what they would want to read or see and create accordingly.
4. Get the timing right.
Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. Make sure you send your messages at a time when your recipients are likely to be engaged and have time to read them.
I recently signed up for a Brand Archetype test while doing some research for an article. And the results were interesting but brief. I went to my email to see what else was sent, and there was nothing. I was bummed.
So I went and searched my Brand Archetype online and found several websites rich in just the information I wanted about my Archetype.
Then several days later, I received an email from the original person I took the test with, but by that time, it was too little too late. I unsubscribed.
I was highly interested when I got my results, and that was the time they should have sent me more information and began to walk me through the customer journey for their business. But even that email days later didn’t engage me or want to get more from them. I didn’t even know if they were selling anything.
As you can see, timing can make or break your email’s effectiveness, so think about what your audience wants when they sign up for your email list.
5. Test, test, test.
Always test your emails before you send them out to your entire list. This will help you catch any errors and make sure your emails look great.
Email marketing campaigns can be a great way to boost your business. By following these tips, you can create campaigns that are successful and achieve your goals.
Now let’s cover how to get started.
The 5 steps of email marketing
So now that you see how email marketing can be a powerful tool let’s go over the five steps of email marketing to get you started.
Here are the five steps of email marketing:
1. Find your audience.
This is the first and most important step. You need to know who you’re trying to reach before you can start crafting your message.
2. Write a great subject line.
The subject line is what will make or break your email. It needs to be interesting and attention-grabbing enough to get people to actually open your email.
3. Make your content awesome.
Once people have opened your email, they need to be impressed by what they see. Your content needs to be well-written, relevant, and interesting.
4. Include a call to action.
Every email should have a call to action, whether it’s “click here to learn more” or “forward this email to a friend.” Without a call to action, people will simply delete your email after reading it. Don’t miss out on this easy opportunity.
5. Monitor your results.
Keep track of how many people open your emails and click on your links. This will help you gauge the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign and make necessary adjustments.
Let’s talk more about how how to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
What are KPIs for email marketing?
Now that you see that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your audience let’s talk about measuring its effectiveness.
With so many metrics to track, it can be difficult to know which email marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) are most important to focus on.
As a small business owner, you should be tracking a few key metrics in order to gauge the success of your email marketing campaigns. These metrics will help you understand what’s working and what needs to be improved.
Here are a few email marketing KPIs that every small business owner should track:
1. Open rate
Your open rate is the percentage of people who open your email. This is a good metric to track because it shows you how many people are actually interested in your email content.
To improve your open rate, try segmenting your list so that you’re only sending emails to people who are interested in that topic. You can also experiment with different subject lines and email types (such as plain text or HTML) to see what gets more people to open your emails.
2. Click-through rate
Your click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on a link in your email. This metric is important because it shows you how effective your email content is at driving people to your website or landing pages.
To improve your CTR, make sure that your email content is relevant and targeted to your audience. You should also include a strong call-to-action (CTA) that motivates people to click.
3. Conversion rate
Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who take a desired action after clicking on a link in your email. This metric is important because it shows you how effective your email marketing is at driving conversions.
To improve your conversion rate, make sure that you’re sending targeted emails to people who are likely to be interested in your offer. You should also include a strong CTA and make it easy for people to convert (by providing a short form or landing page).
4. Unsubscribe rate
Your unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who unsubscribe from your email list after receiving one of your emails. This metric is important because it shows you how many people are no longer interested in your email content.
To improve your unsubscribe rate, make sure that you’re only sending emails to people who have opted-in to receive them. You should also make it easy for people to unsubscribe if they no longer want to receive your emails.
5. Bounce rate
Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who do not receive your email because it bounced back (was undeliverable). This metric is important because it shows you how many people are not receiving your emails.
To improve your bounce rate, make sure that you’re using a valid email list and that your email addresses are up-to-date. You should also segment your list so that you’re only sending emails to people who are likely to be interested in your content.
Want to know what a good CTR or open rate is for your industry? Check out these email stats.
Email marketing is a powerful tool for driving engagement and conversions. But to be successful, you need to focus on the right KPIs. These five email marketing KPIs are a good place to start.
Does email marketing get results?
Email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to reach your target audience. In fact, studies show that email marketing has a higher ROI than any other form of digital marketing, including marketing channels like social media and paid advertising.
And it’s not just because email is free to send – it’s also incredibly effective. Email marketing allows you to build a relationship with your subscribers and keep them updated on your latest products and offers.
It also allows you to segment your lists so you can send relevant, targeted emails to the people who are most likely to convert.
So if you’re looking for a way to get more out of your digital marketing budget, grow your business, sell more, and build better relationships with your customers, email marketing is a great place to start.
It worked for our museum.
It’s worked for our clients.
It’s worth learning email marketing for your business and giving it a shot.
Looking for the best email marketing tools for small business?
I’ve put together a list of the best email marketing software tools so you can get started with email marketing.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
What do you think? Let's talk! Leave a comment.
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Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
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