Email marketing has been around for a long time and has proven to be effective and is still used as one of the primary areas of digital marketing in 2021.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is when you send an email message to your ‘email subscribers” who have signed up to your email list and given permission to receive email communications from you.
Email marketing is used to inform, drive sales, and build a community around your brand.
Today email marketing has moved away from one-size-fits-all mass mailings and instead focuses on consent, segmentation, and personalization.
Is email marketing still effective in 2021?
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach their potential and current customers. It allows businesses to communicate with people directly and remain in contact with them over long periods of time. Email marketing is also very cost-effective, which makes it a viable option for businesses to use.
We often get questions about email marketing and if it is still a type of marketing that you should focus on for your business. While email isn’t as effective as it was when email was a brand new thing, it still is very effective when done correctly. Simply put, 89% of marketers consider their email marketing strategy successful and to have a positive ROI.
What are the benefits of email marketing for businesses?
The importance of email marketing really can’t be overstated. When done right, email marketing lets businesses reach the right person, with the right offer, at the right time.
Let’s dive into some of the biggest benefits of email marketing for businesses!
Strengthen relationships with your customers
If you want to build strong customer relationships, it’s important to have an effective tool to communicate with the people who matter most to your business. Maybe it is something small like an outage in service and you send out an email right away letting clients know that’s happening or it could be a simple “thank you” email. Either way, those types of emails can make relationships much stronger.
Build your brand
With email marketing, you can strengthen brand recognition with new and potential clients, and extend your reach when people forward or share your message with a friend.
Boost your sales and revenue
When you have an audience of people who opt in to receiving updates from your business, you’ll be able to think differently about how you boost sales throughout the year. If you have a slower day and know that you want to reach your customers, you can create a quick email and potentially have an impact during downtime.
Get started quickly and get professional assistance
With email marketing software like MailChimp, you’ll have the tools and training you need to get started quickly regardless of your level of marketing experience or expertise.
Reach people on any device
With 60 percent of all emails being opened on a mobile device, email marketing is one of the best tools you can use to take advantage of the continuously growing popularity of mobile technology. Email marketing is great because it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to have a big effect.
Increase website traffic
Whether you’re an eCommerce business that sells products online or a retail store that wants to increase traffic to your website so that you can bring more people into your store, email marketing campaigns can help. You can direct traffic straight to your website with a simple CTA in the email!
Market with a personal touch
Unlike other marketing channels that often limit your ability to customize your message for the different audiences you communicate with, email marketing gives you the ability to organize and segment your audience into lists and communicate with people based on interest, purchase behavior, location, and more. Email segmentation helps you save time by reaching out to your wider audience, while still delivering a message that’s personal and relevant to them.
Attract new clients and customers
In addition to connecting with the people on your email list, you can also share your newsletters and announcements on your own social media networks and website to bring new people to your business. The timing of each newsletter is going to be right for somebody, and having the opportunity to show people what you’re doing is a great way to grow your business and reach.
How do I get started with my own email marketing strategy?
We get it. You’re excited about the thought of email marketing after reading all of the benefits that email marketing has to offer and you’re ready to start your own strategy. But where do you start?
Step 1: Signup for an email marketing tool
First of all, you’ll want to find an email marketing tool that you like. This is where you’re going to store your email contacts, send emails, review analytics, and everything else that goes into a marketing strategy.
We’re only quickly going over this step because we’re diving deeper into our favorite marketing tools below. But if you can’t wait, here’s a link to check out those email tools.
Step 2: Build an email list
Next, you need to make sure to build a list to send emails to. After all, you don’t want to be emailing only yourself. There are a lot of potential strategies to build an email list, and you’ll probably want to be doing more than one of them and do them often.
Here are some of the most common ways we see businesses/individuals build email lists:
- Let people signup on your website. ie – in the footer of your website
- Trade people for their emails. ie – 15% off your first purchase for your email address
- Run a digital campaign with the goal of getting emails. ie – a Facebook ads campaign
- Ask for emails at a tradeshow or some event you sponsor or have a booth at.
- Ask people to opt into your email list when they fill out a contact form on your website.
Again, there are so many different ways to build an email list, and we see businesses getting creative all of the time.
Tip: Do not buy email lists. There is no benefit to this, and this will end up hurting you in the long run and is technically illegal. Many email platforms will suspend your account if they think you have bought the list or if they don’t think your subscribers and opted in.
Step 3: Find a way to give value to your subscribers
After you start getting subscribers, start thinking of ways to give value to them! It’s not as simple as just building that email list. You need to give them value in order to keep them.
What could this value be?
- Information about events
These are just a few quick examples, but there are so many things you give your subscribers to keep them around!
The general rule of thumb is to give more than you ask for when it comes to marketing in general.
Step 4: Create segments in your email list
An important step that is often overlooked in email marketing is creating segments. And this can be done in more than one way. The two ways we’ll mention are by creating subsets of the list itself and the other is to use the information you ask for to customize your emails.
The goal of both of these is to give a more user-friendly experience for the ones opening the emails.
By creating divided lists within your subscribers, you can sort by things such as the types of products they are interested in, the likelihood that they’re ready to make a purchase, or the location they reside.
By knowing which types of products they’re interested in, you can send very customized emails to them.
Another piece of information you can use is something as simple as a name. If you know the first name of your subscribers you can call them by name, and who doesn’t love being called by their name?
Another easy example of this is sending birthday emails with a special discount on their special day!
What are some tips for email marketing?
There are some other important things to keep in mind when it comes to improving email marketing. One of these is simply a reminder that once you send out an email, you can’t take it back. Unlike a Facebook post which can be deleted, you can’t go into a subscriber’s inbox and delete an email. With this being said, it’s very important to triple-check any email you’re sending out before it is sent.
Here are some of our other tips for email marketing:
- Check your grammar and spelling.
- Send a test email and look at it on desktop and mobile.
- Make sure your image file sizes aren’t too big. Otherwise, they can take forever to load.
- Have a common theme across all emails that match your brand.
- Test days and times of when you send out emails. Figure out what works best for you!
- Do some reading on subject lines and how to make a good subject line.
There are a lot of resources out there for email marketing and its best practices. Do some searching and stay up to date! Marketing is a very fast-moving industry and things change often.
What about email marketing tools?
We told you we wouldn’t leave you hanging! You basically need a marketing tool in order to do email marketing. An email marketing tool is going to help you create great-looking emails with drag-to-drop builders, schedule your emails, store your lists and their information (even purchase history if eCommerce), and provide analytics for all of your marketing efforts.
What are the best email marketing tools?
There are a lot of different tools out there, which should help you realize that there is definitely the demand! We have some recommendations!
Mailchimp is one of the most established and well-known email marketing platforms. They suit their platform to email marketing beginners which makes it an awesome tool to use for a lot of people. That being said, It still has plenty of tools like email templates, email automation, lead capture forms, A/B testing, and data segmentation.
Mailchimp also has plenty of non-email solutions such as creating landing pages, paid ads, social media management, domain hosting, and even a website builder.
What we really like about Mailchimp are its simple-to-use email automation and great interface.
Omnisend is one of our favorite email marketing tools out there for eCommerce brands. It’s easy to use, has even more features, and most of the features are directed toward boosting sales. Its email automation is more advanced, they have SMS options, and they have email ideas geared directly to re-engaging buyers with the data that is connected from your eCommerce store.
What we like about Omnisend are its eCommerce integration and options to help boost sales.
HubSpot is one of the most well-known software in the email marketing and CRM space. Their email marketing platform has a drag-and-drop builder and templates that are customizable. HubSpot can be really powerful when used together with its CRM. You can personalize the emails for subscribers based on things like device type, country, and plenty of other things. HubSpot is also one of the most popular choices for B2B email marketing because it has so many of these features tied into it.
What we like about HubSpot is their all-in-one marketing platform that includes email marketing, CRM, automation, sales tools, a website builder, live chat, operations hub, analytics, and more!
There are plenty of other options out there and you’ll have to figure out what the most important features are to help you accomplish your email marketing goals! Most email platforms offer free trials to get the feel of the platform. Google searches and YouTube videos are a couple of other great ways to figure out which platform is best for you!
If you couldn’t tell, we’re a big fan of email marketing here. It is so versatile, and it’s an important piece of the digital marketing puzzle! We hope this blog helped you understand why email marketing is still important here in 2021!