Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to engage your audience and when executed correctly, can lead to an increase in brand awareness, traffic, leads and sales.
Email marketing itself is relatively simple to execute, but there are several factors that make a successful campaign.
Creating, maintaining and building your email list is an essential part of email marketing. Your list should consist of addresses that will have a genuine interest in the content you are going to send them.
We are commonly asked is email marketing simply a numbers game?
The answer we believe is yes but within reason. We can tell you that building a list of say 50,000 emails, with 10,000 of them having any interest in your product, will be extremely damaging to your email marketing campaign.
The reason for this is email servers assess your emails response rates and ultimately decide whether your marketing should go into the inbox or spam.
As an example, we will consider a landscape gardening business who operates in Hertfordshire, Essex and London.
In order for the campaigns to be successful, the business needs to consider the demographics of individuals that are part of their mailing list. The business operates in limited counties and is only relevant to the decision-makers when it comes to landscaping a garden.
So, what would be a typical customer profile?
Located in Hertfordshire, Essex or London.
Aged 18 and over.
A homeowner, lead tenant or business owner.
Need help building an email list? check out this blog via Hubspot which includes 10 effective strategies.
Remember to familiarise yourself with GDPR when building your list to avoid any legal trouble.
Email Marketing Platforms
There is a wide variety of email marketing platforms that can help you automate your email marketing strategy and generate you leads and sales while you focus on other aspects of your business.
Picking a platform can be tricky when you are just starting out, so I have selected two recommendations for you.
Both these platforms have been used by myself, so I provide this advice from experience and believe either of these will bring you success for your email marketing campaigns.
A powerful platform that is used by global organisations such as Spotify, Uber and Airbnb, Sendgrid offers a variety of services including automation, dedicated IP addresses and insightful analytics.
The platform is not the simplest in terms of layout and can be daunting for those just starting out, so I would recommend visiting their Youtube page to familiarise yourself with the platform and its features.
The key feature for most businesses that are looking to generate leads and sales is the insightful analytics. This feature allows you to track who has opened and clicked your campaigns, how many times they have done this and the exact time they executed each action.
Their paid plans start from £12 per month and all paid plans include the key features your business would need, including insightful analytics. To see all their plans and pricing, click here.
If you take up one of their paid plans, ensure you have someone familiar with DNS settings to link your domain to the platform.
This dramatically improves your deliverability rates, which should create more traffic, leads and sales.
The best part about Sendgrid is there is a free plan for those wanting to test the platform out. It offers you 40,000 emails in the first month with 100 emails per day after that, still all free of charge.
I would highly recommend utilising the free plan if you are just starting out and have a small email list.
A chrome extension software that revolutionises your standard Gmail account into a marketing powerhouse. The platform integrates itself into Gmail, allowing you to action marketing while managing your inbox simultaneously.
The simplicity of the software makes it perfect for those just starting out and it has features that are quite unique in comparison to email marketing platforms. Like the majority of other platforms, GMass uploads tutorials to their Youtube page.
While GMass does not have a design editor to create eye-catching email campaigns, the software allows your emails to look like a personal outreach to each email address.
This means that when executed correctly, response rates can be significantly higher than other platforms because the receiver believes the email was only sent to them.
The extension tracks opens, clicks, replies, spam reports and more, so as a lead generation tool it does everything you need and more.
A troubleshooter and Spamsolver is also included so that you can test your campaigns before you send them off to thousands of people at once.
The pricing of GMass is pretty simple with two paid options for an individual, which are Standard or Premium. Both paid plans include the removal of the GMass footer, all standard features and unlimited use.
The difference between the plans is that Premium includes auto follow-ups, which in my opinion is worth acquiring as you can generate plenty more leads from a simple follow up saying 'Hi, just checking you received this?'.
For individual plans, Standard is priced at £12.95 per month, while Premium is £19.95.
If you are looking to purchase for your team, pricing starts at £89 per month.
There is a free plan but I would avoid using it due to limitations and GMass branding being inserted into your emails.
Find out more about their pricing by clicking here.
Thinking of using a different platform?
We have most likely used it, drop me an email at email@example.com and I can let you know my thoughts on it.
You have now built your list and chosen your platform, now it is time to send your first campaign.
What is the best piece of marketing via email to engage your audience?
The answer is that it entirely depends on what your business is trying to achieve. Some businesses will use email marketing to engage their audience, others use it to sell their products and services.
Your email marketing strategy should consist of regular touchpoints that keep your audience engaged and willing to receive your emails. The rule of thumb for the number of emails to send to an email marketing list is once per week.
A key thing to remember with every email is to have a short and snappy subject line. This can be the difference between someone opening or deleting it.
Keep it below 40 characters and try to include their name to address them directly.
Now, what content plan will help you create a successful email marketing campaign?
Below is a standard plan, listing the piece of content and what should be included.
Week 1 - Informative Content
Relating this to your business, provide a solution or engaging knowledge that the recipient can take value from. To give you an idea of informative content, we have provided a couple related to different industries.
Recruitment: offer tips to candidates on how to prepare for an interview.
Clothing: recommend techniques to keep clothes safe in the wash.
Restaurants: provide a 'do it yourself' recipe of one of your meals.
Remember, this needs to be informative content, so keep it concise.
Week 2 - Product or Service Offering
On the back of your informative content, some recipients will have engaged and are now aware of your business. These individuals will have a good feeling about your business, so it is a great time to promote your products and services.
It is imperative that you insert a call to action within this email to increase engagement.
An example of this would be offering a discount but in order to receive it, they must reply to the email saying 'I am interested in this offer'.
Week 3 - Customer Testimonials
Some recipients will have purchased from you after week two, others may have been unsure.
To reassure these individuals, providing customer testimonials should be a good way of building greater trust towards your brand.
According to a recent article by Craig Bloem, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Whether you are partnered with Trustpilot, providing your google reviews or you have obtained direct testimonials, make sure they are presentable and look as authentic as possible.
Week 4 - Monthly Newsletter
Summarise industry-related news into a presentable document that recipients can download.
Once again, the content is meant to provide value and knowledge to the recipient, without selling to them.
For a vast majority of businesses, purchases will not happen on a regular basis, which is why we want to create touchpoints rather than bombard our email list with sales-related emails that they will quickly become tired of.
If you need help in creating an eye-catching newsletter, use Canva, it is free to use and will provide great templates.
If you have any further questions about creating successful email marketing campaigns, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I am more than happy to answer any questions.