The Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing




The 1970s were a significant decade in the history of communication, with the emergence of email as the status quo for all professional communication. Today, half a century later, this might seem strange because of how long email managed to stick around. Perhaps its applications were far too diverse for it to become obsolete.


Naturally, it wasn’t that long before businesses saw potential in it as a marketing tool. As the internet grew up to become an indispensable part of our lives, email grew up to be a popular way to reach potential customers.


Over the years, it has integrated itself with every industry and remains to be a successful marketing tool, one that can strengthen the relationship between businesses and customers.

To understand the sheer volume of email usage in the world, here are a few vital statistics:

  • As of 2018, there were 3.8 billion email users. The number is predicted to be 4.4 billion by the year 2024.

  • In 2020, an average of 306.4 billion emails was sent every day. It is expected to become 361 billion by 2024.

  • In 2014, it was projected that there would be 200 million mobile email users in India by 2019.

In spite of all the technological breakthroughs since the 1970s, an email today would look very similar to one that was sent 50 years ago. Emails have managed to stand the test of time without having to change much, and it looks like that email users will only increase in the future.


What is Email Marketing?


Email marketing is the practice of sending customers and potential customers emails in order to entice them into using the products or services offered by businesses. Good email marketing proves to be beneficial to both the company as well as the consumer. In 1978, the first-ever marketing email successfully generated a revenue of 13 million dollars.


Number of email users from 2017-24


Source: Statista


Email marketing is a handy tool because of the following reasons:

  • Customer base: As mentioned earlier, about 3.8 billion people used emails in 2018. It is a great platform to connect to customers because of the sheer enormity of its usage.

  • Relative effectiveness: According to a 2014 McKinsey & Company report, email marketing was nearly 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined. Obviously, this is attributed to the more extensive user base for emails. And though social media has become more prominent in the last few years, the number of email users are still increasing.

  • Success: According to a 2019 Mailchimp survey of 1000 different companies ranging from one-person start-ups to small fortune 500 companies spanning across various other industries, the average open rate was 21.33 per cent, and the average click rate was 2.66 per cent. Approximately one in five customers open a marketing email, and more than one in fifty clicks the sent links.

  • Low Regulation: Aside from compliance with a few set basic standards (such as the CAN-SPAM in the US), there is deficient regulation on email marketing allowing the application of many innovative techniques to engage customers.

  • Cost: Email marketing is relatively a lot cheaper than other marketing channels. This is because of the lack of printing, renting or leasing external equipment or tools. It can be quickly sent to lots of people for cheap.

  • Engaged Audience: Email marketing is primarily for customers who have already voluntarily submitted their email addresses. This enables businesses to reach a higher success rate, as the audience is expecting marketing emails in their inbox.

  • Analysis: The success of email marketing can easily be measured and analyzed. Thus, it makes it easier for businesses to improve their marketing over time based on careful analyses of campaign weaknesses, potential customers and feedback. This allows marketing campaigns to enhance their reach in less time.

  • ROI: The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) published a report in 2019, which stated that on an average, the ROI for email marketing was 32.28x in 2017. About 29 billion dollars were generated in 2019, just through email marketing. In spite of the fact that social media is taking over, the numbers suggest that email marketing remains a very successful method.

How to Send Marketing Emails?

  1. Strategize

  2. Build an email list

  3. Use an email marketing service

  4. Optimize

  5. List Segmentation

  6. Automate

  7. Analyze

  8. Remember! Don’t Spam

  • Strategize: It is essential to understand that customers receive hundreds of emails daily. A business should come up with an effective strategy to ensure that the email is opened. Understanding the specific demographic that is being targeted is very important, and accordingly choosing the type of marketing campaign, and the right template is vital. The more targeted the advertisements are, the greater the chance for success.


  • Build an Email List: The goal of any email marketing campaign is to maximize the number of customers. It is thus imperative to keep growing your email list. Using different types of lead magnets to engage the attention of more people can prove to be very useful. Infographics, Reports, Whitepapers etc. are examples of this. The point is to offer some value to the prospective customer in order to keep him/her engaged. Many satisfied customers would voluntarily provide their own email addresses if the lead magnet proves to be useful. Thus, it is also essential to have an attractive opt-in form.


  • Use an email marketing service: Email marketing services are a great way to reach out to more customers. These services already consist of various email lists that prove quite useful and provide analysis of the marketing campaign as well. Another critical factor is that they provide assistance with technical aspects of marketing, such as email segmentation or automation.


  • Optimize: About 55 per cent of all emails are opened in mobile phones. The campaigns sent through email should be optimized for these devices. Most customers do not pay second visits to websites that are not optimized for their devices.

  • There are specific hours during which the chances of an email being opened increases based on the geography of the customers. Marketing emails should be sent when the customers are most active on the internet.

  • Coherency: The advertisements sent via mail should convey its point very clearly. There should be no additional information that might confuse the customer. Images in the ad are in sync with the message that the business wants to convey.

  • Personalize: Email language should be friendly to make the customers feel more comfortable. Adding personal touches makes it much likelier that the email is clicked on. Examples of this could be mentioning the name of the customer, sending location-relevant information, sending emails on relevant occasions such as birthdays etc.

  • List Segmentation: Dividing an email list into categories and subcategories would allow businesses to analyze specific demographics and understand their strengths and weaknesses.


  • Automate: Automating your emailing process is of utmost importance. It increases the efficiency of the process of mailing. Automation also goes hand in hand with email list segmentation as it enables businesses to send highly targeted emails to their customers.


  • Analyze: Analysis enables businesses to evaluate their existing marketing strategy. Most Email Marketing Services help with inbuilt analysis and perform tests like A/B testing. Effectiveness of the campaign can also be assessed by checking the following variables: Deliverability, Open Rate, Clickthrough Rate and Unsubscribes.


  • Remember! Don’t Spam: There is nothing that people on the internet hate more than spam mail. The aim of Email Marketing should be engaging more people and not put them off. The most significant difference between spam and marketing mail is that the marketing mail is usually solicited. The customer opts to receive marketing emails and promotions. Thus, the marketing mail sent should provide some kind of value to the customer. This helps create a bond between the business and the customer that goes beyond business. Any important information, offers, discounts, infographics can be counted as value as the consumer experiences something new. The last thing you want is to annoy your customers with boring spam mails and permanently losing them.

Email marketing is a very successful, long-lasting method used by businesses for many years. To stay successful, one must keep on innovating to capture the audience’s attention. To quote Mathew Weiner’s wildly successful show on advertising:


“I keep thinking about the basic principle of advertising. There’s entertainment, and you stick the ad in the middle of the entertainment like a little respite. It’s a bargain. They’re getting entertainment for free. All they have to do is listen”
- Don Draper, Mad Men

Thank You For Reading!


SOURCES

https://www.statista.com/statistics/339765/india-mobile-email-users/

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/why-marketers-should-keep-sending-you-emails