Email marketing is one of the earliest forms of digital marketing that has persisted for an important reason. It works because email is virtually unavoidable in the modern world, meaning email marketing provides incredible ROI.
People can forgo having numerous social media accounts and install ad-blockers, but virtually everyone who uses the internet at all has an email address.
Most of all, someone who gives you their email address is far likelier to give you their money than someone who simply gives you a like on social media or sees a compelling advert.
When it comes to engaging both new and potential customers, email marketing is incredibly effective.
This is because you can do things with email that you can’t do with other digital marketing methods. It is delivered straight to the recipient’s inbox instead of getting lost in the social media noise and probably not being seen.
Email marketing can be effective because the recipient isn’t distracted by potentially thousands of other social media posts to scroll past or want to click your ad shut to get back to the article they were reading.
Here’s what you need to know about devising an email marketing strategy that works for you.
Table of Contents
How to Build a Mailing List
Give people an incentive to sign up for your email list when they find you online. Whether it’s offering a free e-book or an exclusive discount code for their first order, having some kind of “sweetener” is a great way to get people to subscribe to your email list.
This is called a lead magnet.
What other value can you deliver exclusively through email that you can’t deliver on your blog, social media channels, and other ways for people to find you?
You need to provide a good incentive for people to subscribe and stay on your mailing list.
Being able to create folders for this kind of function is a really neat feature that can organise your efforts more effectively.
Get signups in person at events. Making that connection in person is so valuable on many levels, especially regarding potential customers and other people you do business with.
Someone who engages with you at an event is likely to be genuinely interested in doing business with you and take advantage of offers exclusive to that event. Conferences can be an opportunity to collect hundreds if not thousands of voluntary signups.
Never buy email addresses from services claiming to have lists of potential customers for you. Other companies sell this information to make some quick cash to their customers’ detriment, as well as your own.
The random people who get your emails will not be interested and will likely just report you as spam.
Remember to be mindful of email marketing regulations. You can find a comprehensive list on the Information Commission Office website as to the legality of collecting emails and sending unsolicited emails. You want to grow your business, not be fined or go to jail over emails!
Best Practices for Email Marketing Campaigns
Personalization can make an enormous difference in open and conversion rates. If you personalize the email’s subject line, the subscriber will be 26% more likely to open it. If the contents of the email have been personalized, this will also have a deeper impact.
Automation can make email marketing a powerhouse. Automating email campaign processes for new sign-ups, incentives, personalized content, and other email marketing tactics is very easy to implement and will save you a lot of time while generating profit.
Have some kind of regularity to keep engagement up. A smaller business with fewer resources may be able to get away with more infrequent mailouts, but if you want to keep engagement steady, you need to reconsider how regularly you send out emails.
Timeliness is a major factor for certain types of businesses, such as retail brands relying on holiday spending. For entertainment brands, weekly emails are a great fit to keep subscribers updated on local events.
A business consultant may be better with a monthly newsletter. Having some kind of regularity that best fits your product or service will make your email strategy more effective over time.
Segmentation by location, demographics, products purchased, and other criteria can also make your email campaigns more effective because they only reach the people who find the content relevant.
Use A/B (or split) testing every so often to test the efficacy of differences in your email layouts.
A/B testing can send two different versions of an email to random selections of your subscribers. The differences can be minor or significant, such as the colour, size, or font of the text used or trying animated GIFs instead of static images.
Measuring the Success of an Email Marketing Campaign
How many people opened your email? This is the first thing that needs to be examined. What was your open rate? How many people actually open the emails you send? What is the open rate relative to your total number of subscribers?
You need to measure these metrics over time to get an idea of how consistent your open rates are and examine the differences in campaigns for. A low open rate can indicate that your subject lines and subhead text aren’t that great.
What was your click-through rate? One of the most important metrics examining the open rate is how many people click links after they’ve opened the email. How many clicks did you get on links that you were promoting?
If the links got little or no clicks, it’s time to reconsider how effective your email copy is.
But you want to make that investment to have a clearer idea of how effective your email campaigns are. If you had high click-through rates, you need to know how many of those clicks resulted in sales.
How many subscribers did you lose? Losing subscribers over time is inevitable. But if you’re losing a significant number because of a recent campaign, something needs to be addressed.
It could be the content of the emails themselves, such as bright colours making the emails hard to read or causing eye strain, or you’re doing mailouts too frequently, and your subscribers feel like they’re being spammed.
Evaluating this churn rate is important so you know how many more new signups you must target to replace what you lost.
When putting together email campaigns, automation is key to improving your workflow by assembling and scheduling them in advance. Personalisation matters, as does the frequency at which you send emails.
Segmenting subscribers by interest, division of your business, demographics, or other criteria can also increase your efficiency and reduce the number of subscribers you lose over time.
It’s also prudent to do some A/B testing to determine what kind of language and imagery resounds the most with your audience.
7 Email Marketing Tips
In evaluating an email campaign, you must examine your open and click-through rates and what happened after those clicks. This needs to be done over time since email marketing has both immediate and long-term effects.
Everyone loses subscribers, so don’t despair if you do, but if you lose an abnormal amount, you may need to reconsider your strategy.
1. Join an Online Email Marketing Service
Email marketing and management companies like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Snap Retail and others are fabulous resources for many reasons.
These email services offer free membership, to begin with, for basic services. As your company grows and develops to need additional email space, special templates and other management areas, different fee structures will apply.
2. Segment Your Audience
Remember that not all of your members are the same. One of the advantages of email marketing is the ability to send your message to different groups or segments of your audience.
Email list segmentation allows you to personalize emails and marketing campaigns by dividing the total list into smaller groups.
3. Create A Members Only Club
When you make someone feel special or exclusive to a members-only club, the subscription rate and the opening rate will be higher than those of a general email.
For example, Apple is famous for offering subscribers to their email the opportunity to purchase their new devices online before they go on sale in their retail stores.
Follow this retail giant’s lead by creating a members-only club that will only email exclusive promotional information to those on the email list. The information wouldn’t have to be limited to sales and promotions. It could be news updates, tips or upcoming trends.
4. Get Inspired By Other Brands
Sometimes it’s hard to design a new email from scratch, so repurpose and reuse material you already have at your fingertips. Competitor analysis is key.
For example, reuse a white paper, newspaper article, interview or photos from a past event and create a new email. Another idea is to get inspiration from another company’s email and edit it to reach your audience.
5. Thank Your Audience
If your company is celebrating an anniversary, planning a grand opening or experiencing something exciting, thank your audience for participating in your success. A simple thank you goes much further in customer loyalty than offering a promotion.
6. Add Links
Email marketing content is the perfect opportunity to get your reader to go to your website or other platforms like social media. It’s called a conversion.
A simple call to action verbiage like “Upgrade Your Account Now”, “Follow me on Twitter” or See More Detail here” will encourage readers to stay engaged with your business.
7. Make It Mobile Friendly
Mobile optimization sounds like a hard-to-understand concept, but one thing is clear – It is a must in today’s business climate.
People are opening emails on mobile devices of all screen types and sizes. Make sure your email works and looks great for every reader because if it isn’t optimized, your message won’t get heard.
Email Marketing: statistics and facts
- According to HubSpot, the average email marketing ROI in 2021 was $42 for every $1 spent. This is 4200% ROI, making email one of the best-performing marketing channels.
- Email generates $36 for every $1 spent, compared to $2 for every $1 spent on social media ads (Campaign Monitor).
- Segmenting and targeting email lists can improve open rates by up to 40% and clickthrough rates by up to 50% (Mailchimp)
- Emails sent on Tuesday at 10 a.m. have some of the highest open rates, averaging around 30% for retail senders (Experian).
Tips for creating effective subject lines:
- Keep subject lines short – between 30-50 characters. Longer subjects may get cut off on mobile.
- Use the recipient’s first name to make it more personalised. Subject personalisation can improve open rates by 50%.
- Ask questions to create a sense of urgency or curiosity. Examples: “Have you seen our new arrivals?”, “Ready for adventure?”
- Leverage power words like “Instant”, “New”, or “Free”. But don’t overuse them.
- Test different subject line options and compare open rates to identify what resonates best with your audience.
Optimizing emails for mobile:
- Use a single-column layout. Stacking content in one column means less zooming and scrolling on a small screen.
- Ensure fonts are large enough – at least size 14px. Verdana and Arial are mobile-friendly fonts.
- Buttons and links should be finger-friendly – padding of 24px on all sides minimum.
- Images should be responsive using max-width:100% and height: auto. Compress images to optimize loading.
- Limit paragraph text to 2-3 short sentences – easier to read on mobile. Use bullet points wherever possible.
Email automation tips:
- Welcome new subscribers with an automated onboarding series over 7 days covering key info. This boosts engagement.
- Set up cart abandonment emails to remind customers to complete purchases. Can recover up to 70% of abandoned carts.
- Create weekly or monthly newsletters with product recommendations sent via automation. Saves time over manual sends.
- Use behaviour-based automation – e.g. send discount coupon if they haven’t purchased in 2 months.
- Automate the process of reaching out to subscribers who recently clicked on a link but didn’t convert.
Email Marketing FAQs
What is the best day and time to send emails?
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday tend to have higher open and click rates. Avoid Mondays and Fridays.
- For B2B, early morning sends between 6-8 a.m. have above-average open rates.
- For B2C/retail, early afternoon sends between 1-3 p.m. tend to perform well.
- Test different days and times with your audience to see what works best.
How frequently should I send emails?
- 1-2 times per week is ideal for most business types.
- For e-commerce sites with frequent product updates, 3-5 times per week could work.
- Avoid sending too infrequently (less than once a month), as subscribers may forget you.
- Monitor engagement over time and reduce frequency if open rates decline.
What is a good email open rate?
- For retail/e-commerce emails, an open rate of 15-25% is considered good.
- For B2B, open rates around 20-30% are reasonable.
- For emails with targeted segments, aim for a 25-50% open rate.
- If the open rate dips below 10%, re-evaluate your subject lines, content and segmentation.
How do I grow my email subscriber list?
- Offer an opt-in form or mailing list sign-up on your website. Offer an incentive like a discount or exclusive content.
- Promote your email sign-up options on social media and paid ads. Run giveaways and contests.
- Import customers from your CRM database if they have agreed to receive marketing emails.
- Let subscribers share or forward your emails to grow through referrals.
What tools do I need for email marketing?
- An email service provider (ESP) like Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor.
- Email design/editing tools – either built into your ESP or external tools like MailMunch.
- Analytics to track opens, clicks, and unsubscribes – Google Analytics, individual ESP analytics.
- List building and automation tools – signup forms, workflows, segmentation.
- Testing tools like Litmus to check inbox delivery across email clients.
If you want any more help or advice with your email marketing strategy, contact ProfileTree today.