The beginner’s guide to email marketing

The beginner’s guide to email marketing

Marketers have a bad reputation. Even though there are some good guys out there, companies like River City Media give a vital profession a bad name. How did River City Media discredit marketers?

Simply put, they were running the world’s largest spam operation. They had a database of 1.37 billion email addresses and were sending up to one billion spam messages a day. Not only were they seriously annoying a lot of people, but they were giving a bad name to one of the best forms of marketing: email marketing.

Thankfully, email marketing is still a valuable tool, even if it has a bad name. But many people are unfamiliar with how email marketing works. What is email marketing, and how can you use it to help your business?

Email marketing keeps you connected with potential customers

Email marketing is communicating through email with current and potential prospects to promote your business and build relationships. Its primary purpose is to provide people with wanted content, whether that’s a newsletter, product update, or special offer.

Unlike spam, true email marketing delivers content that recipients want and expect right to their inbox. It delivers valuable content by including helpful tips and thought-provoking insights. Even though email marketing has marketing right in the name, it actually includes very little advertising. Sending only the occasional marketing offer or product update keeps clients from being annoyed by constant, in their face marketing.

While email marketing sounds good, does it actually help your business’ marketing?

Using email marketing helps you expand your customer base

Yes, email marketing can help your business grow and create loyal customers. Having an email list ensures that your product or service is being seen by people who are already interested in your company. Unlike paid ads that your target audience doesn’t always see, emails stay in people’s inboxes until they spot them.

Email marketing’s low cost makes it particularly helpful for small businesses that have a limited budget. A report by Emarsys and WBR discovered that small to medium businesses found 81% of their customers through email marketing. It’s clear that email marketing can help your company grow. How can you create an email marketing strategy for your business?

A startup founder checks how an email looks on mobile before sending it.

Set up your email campaigns before you send

An email marketing strategy requires that you know who your target audience is and what your business goals are. After that, the following steps can help you create an effective plan.

  • Create a plan. You should start by choosing a goal for your email campaign and developing a strategy for helping you reach it. When you’re developing your strategy, keep in mind who your target audience is.
  • Decide what tools you will use to manage your emails. A useful email tool will save you time. A few features you should look for include automation, analytic options, and segmentation options.
  • Build an email list. This list should only have people who are interested in your product and have opted to receive emails from you. You can create an email list through a signup form on your homepage, offering a discount or special offer, or using an attractive CTA.
  • Create engaging content. Creating engaging content takes careful planning. You have to deliver what you promised in the CTA, guide people through the sales funnel, and personalize the content to the person. You also need to keep your content on-brand.
  • Optimize your content for mobile. Many people use their smartphones to access their email. Make sure your emails are still readable on a smaller screen.
  • Segment your email list. Another way to ensure your emails are relevant is by dividing people on your list into categories and sending them content accordingly. Try dividing your list by repeat customers, product updates, subscriptions to your newsletter, or their activity on your website. Figure out what category people are in by the information they gave on the email CTA and your website analytics.
  • Analyze your emails. Analyzing your emails ensures that your marketing is the best it can be by showing what’s working and what’s not. Some analytics to pay attention to are your email’s open rate, how many times your links are clicked on, and how much revenue is generated. If your analytics show problems, test out some changes to your email’s content and format until it improves.

Hold on, I’ve got to check my email

As we’ve seen, spam may be the bane of the internet, but email marketing can be an amazing resource. It can help you grow your business and help you deliver relevant, engaging content to your email list. But what if you don’t have the skills or experience to create the email content you need?

At The Content Reactor, we help B2B companies create engaging content that interests their audience. Our team helps create content plans that guide visitors through the sales funnel and turns them into loyal customers. Contact us today to learn more.