Everything You Need to Know About Email Marketing

Everything You Need to Know About Email Marketing
Jay Gross

email marketing, content marketing, digital marketing, email marketing strategy, email marketing tools

Admit it.

At some point, you, too, thought email marketing was dead.

Or at least dying.

But here’s the truth — it’s neither.

The fact is, not only is email marketing alive and well, its return on investment (ROI) is incredible. 

Get this — for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is $42. And 18% of companies achieve ROI greater than $70 per $1 invested.

How’s that for a “dying” form of marketing?

But I bet hearing those stats you at least want to try a piece of the email marketing pie, don’t you?

I know I do.

But just what is email marketing, and where do you even start? And further, what do you do once you get started, and how do you run it effectively?

And what is this delicious pie we’re referring to?

Well, fear not, my marketing friends. We at Digital Marketing Tools are here for you, and we’re going to show you what you need to do to get started with email marketing, and how to continue to do it successfully.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and customers. It’s effective marketing for turning prospects into customers and turning one-time buyers into loyal repeat customers and even raving fans.

Why is Email Marketing Important

“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.”
~David Newman

You’ve already seen the ROI that email marketing can attain.

But, of course, there are more reasons to zero in on your email marketing strategy and knock it out of the ballpark.

  • There is no other marketing channel that drives engagement or builds customer relationships like email marketing.
  • Email is the #1 Communication Channel — 99% of consumers check their email daily.
  • You own your email Marketing List — Nobody can take your list away from you. With social media, your account (along with your fans and your posts) could be deleted at any time. So while it can be great for marketing, there is some risk involved. But with email, you own your list, and nobody can take that away from you. 
  • It converts like nothing else — We already discussed the ROI, but did you know that the average order value of an email is three times higher than that of social media?

Should You Be Using Email Marketing?

It’s funny because the way people talk, you’d think email marketing went the way of the dinosaurs.

Even funnier? That people have talked this way since I entered the digital marketing world over fifteen years ago.

Everyone kept searching for and jumping at the next big thing, leaving their email marketing campaigns in the rear-view, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter.

And all the while, their email marketing lists just collected dust. Largely unnoticed.

And yet, things would give them pause, and people would slowly begin going back to email.

Why? Because some companies went back to their email well, and when they did, people realized that email marketing statistics proved that email STILL drove the highest ROI of any marketing services. Email marketing lists and campaigns were still incredibly cheap. And they still engage people like almost no other form of marketing. 

There are many businesses out there and brilliant strategic leaders, who to this day, say email marketing is their numero uno, their most significant asset, and their largest driver of traffic.

Maybe email marketing isn’t for you or your business. But with stats like that, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t at least take a long and hard look at it.

It may just be the thing that skyrockets your business into the stratosphere. 

Email Marketing Strategy

Do we have you curious? Perfect.

Let’s go over the high-level email marketing strategy you need if you are just getting started.

Define your audience

“A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.”
~Ramsay Leimenstoll

The first step for almost any marketing is to define your audience clearly.

You have to know who you’re marketing to do it successfully.

Choose Your Email Marketing Tools

There are many email marketing tools to use, do your research, and choose what best suits you and your business. We know price is a factor, and they all have different levels of pricing. 

Rest easy knowing that if you’re just starting, there’s likely a cheap option for you until you get to where your list is pretty extensive. And by then, a little extra money for the right email marketing tools that will take you farther will be no sweat.

  • Mailchimp
  • GetResponse
  • MailerLite
  • CovertKit
  • ActiveCampaign
  • And many, many more 

Decide to Say and What Your Audience Wants to Hear

you have to decide what your audience wants to hear

Photo by RetroSupply on Unsplash

And then you decide what you’re going to write – do you have a content marketing strategy? How does your email marketing strategy fit?

Make sure what you write is engaging and has a call-to-action. 


What are your goals with your email marketing campaign, and how do they align with your other digital marketing goals?

Make sure you fully know your goals. Where are you trying to drive your audience? To your website? To a blog page? To a product page?

Set a schedule and stick to it

Consistency is key, just like with your social media strategy. Your audience comes to expect and enjoy your daily, weekly, or monthly emails.

Set your schedule and stick to it.

Measure Your Performance with Email Marketing Analytics

One thing you’ll learn with any marketing is that you’re never done strategizing. It’s almost as important to continually measure your performance and alter your strategy based on what you see – what’s working? What’s not? – as your initial plan is. 

Luckily, most services you use will have email marketing analytics for you to see how everything is performing, and adjust on the fly.

Here are some things to look at:

    • Opens and clicks are the most obvious. It’s important to know who opened your email and who clicked within. Even more when testing (below).
    • E-commerce data (if you have it).
    • Website traffic from emails – emails are great for driving traffic to your website, blog, or online store.
    • There’s plenty more to track based on what you’re going for.

How to Create Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

Now you know about email marketing strategy, but how do you create effective email marketing campaigns?

Because ultimately, that’s what you’re going to have to do to relish in that fantastic ROI.

Use the email marketing strategy we just went over and our list of email marketing tips, below, to create a successful email marketing campaign.

Next step – conquer the world!

Use a Comprehensive Email Builder

A quality builder and manager is an essential email marketing tool for your tool belt. They will help you design, send, and track everything you need from an email marketing standpoint.

There are plenty to choose from, so make sure you pick the one that does everything you need, at the right price for you.

Who Likes Spam?

If you spam people while email marketing they won't be on your list for long

Photo by Hannes Johnson on Unsplash

Spam is the worst, amirite? 

I have yet to meet anyone that likes it.

I’m not talking about the food; they’d probably kick me out of Hawaii for talking like that.

No, I’m talking about the email variety.

Whether or not you enjoy eating SPAM, you should never partake in the email kind.

So the beginning of a good email strategy is to build an email list by getting people to sign up, either by giving something away for free, offering a newsletter, or giving product updates.

What you do will depend on your product or service and your overall email marketing strategy.

But by getting permission, you get yourself off of that potential SPAM email list and directly to the inbox of someone hungry for what you have to offer.

And then…

Follow Through with Great Content

Write short and concise emails, while keeping people interested.

If you’ve read our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing, you already know how we feel about creating useful content.

And believe me, the folks in your email list feel the same way.

Give them remarkable content to encourage them to open up every email from you and eventually purchase from you.

But don’t forget to make it concise and to the point.

Include personalization elements in the copy and excellent imagery

Just like any content you create, make it concise and full of valuable information.

But beyond that, make sure you add an excellent visual element to any email blast.

And, nobody likes to read an email addressed to ‘dear sir’ or ‘dear madam’ or ‘to whom it may concern’ – so make sure to make it personal. Use their name where possible and talk directly to them.

Add an appropriate call-to-action

Every email should have a point, which should ultimately lead to your call-to-action (CTA) that tells a reader what to do. With so many emails and marketing flooding to users with email, social media, and any other possible avenue, you need to catch their eye, keep their attention, then tell them what to do.

Be it driving them to your blog, to your website, or to a product page.

Make sure it’s designed for all devices

Be sure your emails are designed for all devices when email marketing

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Sitting on the bus on the morning commute, eating lunch at a restaurant, and sitting in the Doctors Office’s waiting room – everyone is on their cell phone.

In fact, mobile devices account for half of all read emails, and according to Google, 75% of Gmail users use their mobile devices to access their accounts.

Say it with me, friends, from your website to your blog to your product page, and now to your email marketing campaigns:

Always optimize for mobile.

Email Marketing Analytics and segmentation

Now that you have built an email marketing strategy and created email marketing campaigns, it’s time to level up with email marketing analytics.

Use email marketing analytics to segment and refine your emails to generate even better results.

To do this, use your email marketing tools or service to understand everything about your email blasts.

Learn, adjust your strategy, fire off more email marketing campaigns, and watch your ROI increase.

The more you know…

Email Marketing Tips

Alright, so you’re rolling with your email marketing campaigns, but how do you make sure they’re successful?

How do you make sure people not only open them but scroll through and click on whatever you’re telling them to?

Below we’ve got some great email marketing tips to gain more traction, have your audience loving it, and looking forward to every email.

Save time with email templates

Nearly every email marketing solution provides email templates. If you don’t have any, look at some of the emails coming into your inbox.

Save more time with automation

Use email marketing automation for targeted emails or series’ of emails, so you can set it and forget it and think about other things.

    • Welcome emails
    • Follow-up emails after purchases
    • Daily or weekly series
    • etc

Focus on Your Subject Lines

If you are familiar with blogging, you’ll know the focus that goes toward headings – the same thing is true with email marketing subject lines. Make sure you’re putting together a subject line that is engaging, personal, and makes the audience curious enough to click.

If you don’t, that email goes into the trash bin faster than I can say ‘SPAM’!

Test Your Email Marketing

A few ways we suggest testing your email marketing campaigns:

    • Test with friends, get their honest feedback
    • Do a/b split testing campaigns and see what performs better using email marketing analytics

People Love Free

Give away free content; people love it. In a study, the highest rates for opens and clicks were those that were giving away free templates and tools.

Don’t forget about the weekends

While weeknights have often been the winner as the best time to send emails, weekends closely follow them and perform better than weekdays.

The Future of Email Marketing

what will the future of email marketing bring us?

Photo by Robynne Hu on Unsplash

Let me ask you this — if there’s one takeaway from this article, what would you say it is?

Ok, ok, there are many, but the thing I have always come back to is this:

Despite being written off by nearly everyone at one point or another – and still being written off by some – email marketing is still one of the, if not THE, best form of marketing you can do.

Many businesses swear by it and wouldn’t be anything near what they are without email.

What do you think the future of email marketing looks like?

While you can never be too sure about the future, one thing that I’d put big money on is this:

Email marketing is going nowhere.

In fact, it may finally be over the stigma that’s plagued it lately and be on the upswing.

Even if you think it is – you will do well to stick with it. It’s shown extraordinary resilience.

But where does that leave us for the future of email marketing?

Think Email Marketing Automation

Companies are focusing more on email marketing, and with it, inevitably, comes email marketing automation – because, what’s not automated these days?

Email marketing automation is not only getting smarter with personalization and A/B testing, but it’s also getting more intelligent with implementing email into your full marketing automation suite. So email could soon, if it’s not already, be a part of your complete solution marketing strategy.

Artificial Intelligence Will Run Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Speaking of automation, with the continued advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), watch out! No, I’m only kidding. The continued progress of AI means a lot of the decisions and campaign planning that you do will continue to become more and more automated. 

And smarter.

Smartphone Enhanced Email Marketing

Most emails get read on mobile devices now, and that number will only increase. 

Emails are often just skimmed; I’m sure you do it as often as I do. And on mobile, they are scanned to an even greater extent.

So put yourself in the shoes of those reading from their smartphones.

Keep it concise, put a call-to-action early, keep an eye on your image sizes.

Make it punchy and engaging.

Speaking of smartphones…

Your Email Marketing Lists will Want Responsive Interactivity

People love interactivity, and interactive emails drive engagement.

And it just so happens that interactive emails do well on mobile.

Interactivity is occurring right there, within the email, without your audience even having to leave the email.

We’re talking clicks and other actions right inside the email.

Think shopping, browsing, and purchasing online – all within your single email.

Cool, eh? 

Voice-Based Interaction in Email

As we continually move farther and farther away from using our actual screens, email copy, just like many websites now, have to work just as well for someone reading it as having it read to them, by Alexa or Siri.

With roughly 250 million smart speakers worldwide by the end of 2020, many email marketers are already designing their emails with this in mind – to make them accessible for a smart speaker to read to their audience.

It’s Time to Eat Some of that Email Marketing Pie

get into the email marketing game

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

It’s freshly baked and just sitting on your kitchen counter. 

Everything about it looks and smells so good.

Instead of sitting there, wondering if you should, wondering if it’s worth it, isn’t it time to just take a piece of the email marketing pie already?

Instead of missing out on that growing audience and that massive ROI, read through the steps above and get your first campaign set up and out the door.

You’ll be happy you did.


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