What is email marketing? Your 101 guide to email campaigns

Email marketing is one of the best ways to communicate with your customers. It can help you nurture leads, increase brand awareness, and sell your products.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of email marketing and give you tips, email templates and strategies to optimize your email campaigns for better conversions.

Tables

  • What is email marketing?
  • Top 6 Benefits of Email Marketing
  • Types of Email Marketing Campaigns and Examples
  • How to Build an Email Marketing List
  • Tips for Creating a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a strategy marketing that involves sending emails to current and potential customers with the goal of increasing customer brand awareness, drive engagement, nurture leads, or make a sale.

As a business, you simply can’t ignore or neglect email. If you look at the data, there are over 4 billion email users worldwide, that’s over half of the world’s population! In 2022, the average ROI for email marketing was $36 for every $1 spent.

five b2b marketing insights that show email as the top ROI

There are so many different types of emails you can send too. While we’ll expand on this topic shortly, email can help businesses, small and large, connect and educate their target audience.

Top 6 Benefits of Email Marketing

Email marketing can be an extremely powerful marketing tool to have at your business’ disposal. While there are countless benefits, we share the top six that can directly affect your bottom line.

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Email can help you get the word out about your brand, products, and services by sharing valuable resources, educational content, news, updates, and more with subscribers.

You should also align your email content and design with your brand identity to build brand awareness.

2. Drive Website Traffic

Email is a great way to drive more traffic to your website. You can share snippets of recent articles and lead interested subscribers to read the full versions on your blog. Or add calls to action to your promotional emails that drive subscribers to your landing pages and sales pages to learn more about your products.

3. Drive Sales and Revenue

Email can help you showcase your products and services to customers and experiment with different promotional techniques to generate more revenue. For example, you can offer discounts and free shipping to trigger purchases. Another idea is to share roundups and collections that draw attention to specific products. You can also use up-sell and cross-sell techniques to increase average order value.

4. Boost Other Marketing Channels

Email lets you integrate your marketing channels and drive traffic to other customer touchpoints, such as social media, landing pages, blogs, and in-person events. For example, you can ask new customers to share a review on your Facebook page or start an Instagram challenge and invite subscribers to participate.

5. Keep Customers Engaged

With email, you have room to experiment with your messages. There are so many different types of email campaigns you can send, and there’s a lot of room for creativity. Switching up your email campaigns keeps customers interested and excited about your brand. Plus, it helps you stay on top of their minds.

6. Gain valuable business data

Email allows you to collect customer data and learn more about their behavior. You can do this by tracking analytics or sending email surveys and feedback forms. Leverage this information to improve your emails, business, products, and services.

You can also use email marketing tools to set up automated workflows to trigger emails based on specific customer actions. For example, automatically send a welcome email as soon as a contact signs up for your newsletter.

Automation not only saves you time and effort, it also helps you send the right email to the right person at the right time. , minimizing human error and delays.

Types of email marketing campaigns (+ examples)

Email marketing requires a comprehensive strategy. This is because there is no one type of email that you want to send to your audience. Email can be used in a number of ways to help you get the most out of your strategy.

Welcome Emails

A series of welcome emails, or even just one email of welcoming. is the first email a subscriber receives when they sign up for your email list or make a purchase.

With an average open rate of 50%, welcome emails are a great way to introduce new contacts to your brand. products and/or services.

The best welcome emails are short and actionable.Its main focus is to get subscribers to the “next step”.

Here is an example of a welcome email from Duolingo after a new user starts learning a new language:

duolingo welcome email

This email focuses on what the client is most interested in right now (continuing their language study) and allows them to choose the next step, such as downloading their mobile app or practicing on desktop.

If you sell physical products, you can use welcome emails to ask new customers to share a review on your website.

Newsletter Emails

Newsletters Newsletter emails are one of the most popular types of email campaigns.

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They are generally not promotional in nature and brands can use them to share industry news and updates, tips, tricks, features, blog roundups and more with their subscribers.

Here’s an example of a Visme email newsletter that f focuses on highlighting the content of your blog related to the visual design of the brand:

Visme Newsletter

Newsletters are often sent out on a regular basis, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. They are great tools for building trust and long-term relationships with your customers.

Promotional Email Campaigns

A promotional email can take many different forms, but its primary goal is to promote a specific product, service, or ongoing sale to your audience.

Here’s an excellent example of a promotional email from Modernica:

An example of a promotional email

Image source

They’re showing some of their best Black Friday sales so interested customers are aware and can take advantage of the sale. Modernica is likely to promote this sale on its other marketing channels as well, such as its website and social media. Adding email to the mix helps create a complete omnichannel strategy.

Also, with the ROI and conversion rates we’ve talked about bragging about email marketing, of course you want to use it to promote your company’s offers.

Cart abandonment emails

Cart abandonment campaigns are emails sent to shoppers who visited your store and put some items in their cart, but they left without completing their purchase.

Here’s an example of a cart abandonment email from Public Rec:

public rec cart abandonment email

Source of the image

These emails are a great way to persuade cart abandoners to come back and finish their shopping. buy. In fact, studies show that abandoned cart emails can earn your business $5.81 per recipient.

Since cart abandoners are people who have already shown interest in your store and products, you can entice them with reminders, creating urgency, and offering incentives like discounts or free shipping.

Seasonal Marketing Campaigns

Seasonal emails are sent at specific times, such as seasons, holidays, etc They are perfect for promoting products. or services that cater to certain times of the year.

For example, here’s a great marketing email from Lush promoting their Halloween-related products:

A seasonal email example

Source of the image

By displaying products that are relevant to the current season, Lush is likely to increase sales of those particular items. Another example of this would be a clothing store promoting its beachwear collection during the summer, displaying jackets and coats during the winter, or sharing gift ideas for moms on Mother’s Day.

Other Types of Email Marketing Campaigns

Other types of emails you might consider sending for your brand include:

  • Reactivation emails: emails that try to get unengaged email subscribers to re-engage with your content by opening the email, clicking a link, or even making a purchase. Subject lines are usually “We miss you” or “Are you still there?”
  • Announcement emails: These email campaigns announce new products, sales, events, days holidays and anniversaries to subscribers.
  • Triggered Email Series: These emails are triggered based on specific actions from your customers. For example, a welcome string can be triggered as soon as a contact joins your list, or an abandoned cart string can be triggered three hours after a shopper abandons their cart.
  • Post-purchase drip: These emails are sent after a customer purchases from your store to maximize their experience and increase your revenue.For example, you can update subscribers about your shipments, request a review, and offer a discount on their next order.
  • Connect through social campaigns: These emails allow subscribers connect with your brand on social networks. You can incentivize this by offering subscribers free credit or loyalty points for following you on their social media handles.
  • Testimonial request emails: These email campaigns are sent to collect feedback and reviews from existing customers. You can ask subscribers to leave a review on your website or on social media, or give you a star rating on a review platform.

Building a Marketing List By Email

The first step in putting together an email marketing strategy is to build your list. After all, you can’t send marketing emails if you don’t have someone to send them to.

Start by choosing your preferred email marketing software, then take advantage of these three tactics to build your list.

Place subscription forms on your website

One of the easiest strategies is to place subscription forms in various places on your website. You can create opt-in or signup buttons or signup forms complete with your email marketing tool of choice and then embed them on your site.

A few key places to include forms:

  • Your homepage
  • Your website footer
  • Your blog or sidebar
  • A popup on your website
  • Landing Pages

Let your audience know what to expect from your newsletter or provide some type of incentive for them to sign up. Here’s a great example from The Sill of what this would look like:

Sample Email Subscription Popup

Create Controlled Content and Lead Magnets

Another Way A great way to build your email list is by creating content that requires an email to access. One example of this is Sprout’s annual Sprout Social Index, where we compile original research to help marketers create better-informed strategies.

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And while this content is completely free, it is restricted. This means that people need to fill out our subscription form to access the content.

An example of a closed content form

Original research and reports are a great type of content to filter. Other lead magnet ideas include eBooks, checklists, whitepapers, templates, etc.

Create a form like the one above asking for name, email, and any other pertinent information your team needs to nurture these leads.

Use Event Registration Forms

Whether you’re hosting an in-person event or an online webinar, event registration forms are another great way to build your list. You can request a form registration to sign up for the event, which will help you grow your email list even more.

Here’s a great example of what this would look like from Uscreen:

Sample form Event Registration

Tips for Creating a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

So, you’re all set to create your first email campaign.

But before you get started, here are some tips and best practices to help you take your email marketing campaigns from good to great.

1. Choose a relevant email list

To make sure your emails have maximum impact, you need to send them to the right people.

For example, a regional deal or event of a branding with presence should be targeted only at the relevant regional audience. Other ways to target a highly relevant audience include demographic data such as age group or gender.

Watch out for unethical ways to collect emails, such as buying email lists. Not only is this bad for your engagement and conversion rates, but it can also lead to your being blocked or marked as spam by email service providers (ESPs).

2. Design Your Email

Your email may be full of valuable and insightful content, but if it doesn’t look good, it may not have much of an impact.

Here are some tips for Create an attractive email design:

  • Apply your brand: Add your logo, use your brand colors and fonts, and keep the design aligned with the identity vision of your brand.
  • Add White Space: Let your email content breathe by adding white space, or blank areas, around text and visuals. This helps your email design look clean and professional, and makes the information easier to read.
  • Use images: Plain text can make make your email look like a boring letter, so add images and GIFs to make your emails more engaging. For example, you can grab attention with a colorful header image.
  • Make your emails responsive: Your emails should look great on both desktop and mobile devices. Avoid using large images that may not load correctly on small screens or slow internet.
  • Establish a visual hierarchy: Use alignment, different font sizes, and other visual hierarchy principles to organize your email design elements.

3. Personalize your email subject line and content

Your subscribers want to be treated as human beings with individual identities and needs. And that’s exactly what email personalization lets you do.

Personalization is when you use subscriber data to tailor your email subject line, content, or layout to each individual contact to make your email feel more personal and relevant.

Here are some ways you can personalize your emails:

  • Mention the subscriber’s name in the subject line to get noticed
  • Use subscriber’s location to promote nearby events or sales
  • Send personalized product recommendations based on past purchases

So It’s how Uncommon Goods sends subscribers personalized shopping suggestions based on their past shopping or browsing activity:

recommendations email Ended to buy rare products

Image source

By personalizing your emails, you can get more people to open and interact with your messages. Need more convincing? Studies show that email personalization can increase open rates by 22.28% and click rates by 3.32%.

4. Be conversational

Consumers are bombarded with marketing emails every day and are tired of receiving overly commercial messages from brands and machines.

To genuinely engage your subscribers and To build relationships with them, you need to talk to them as people, not companies.

Keep your emails friendly, approachable, and conversational. Talking to your subscribers like you’re talking to someone you know will automatically make your email feel more personal and relatable. This will eventually translate into more engagement and conversions for you.

5. Create Follow-Ups

Sometimes, just one email isn’t enough. You need to follow up with a second or even a third email to nurture your subscribers and successfully convert them.

You can apply this to various types of email campaigns, from abandoned cart funnels to email funnels. retargeting and welcome email series. . Here’s an example of an abandoned cart series that helps you win back sales:

  1. Remind subscribers that they left some items in their cart.
  2. Send a coupon discount that they can apply at checkout.
  3. Create urgency by letting subscribers know their cart will expire soon.

You can easily set up email workflows with marketing automation. All you need to do is create your emails, set triggers and timeouts, and then sit back and let the automation software do the heavy lifting.

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Remember, there’s a fine line between following up and be annoying. . Separate your follow-up emails and limit the number of emails you send. If you don’t, there is a high chance that you will be unsubscribed or marked as spam.

6. Send email from a real person

Imagine getting an email from “no-reply@yourbusiness.com”.

The wrong kind of email alias can sound like a business You just sent a generic, automated email to your entire list.

Don’t be so serious.

Use a recognizable sender name to a) land in email inboxes your subscribers and b) sound less like a brand and more like a human being.

A good idea is to use the name of someone in your company, such as the founder or marketing director, e.g. Justyn from Sprout.

7. A/B test your emails

There is no such thing as a “perfect” email. But you can get pretty close to creating one if you test your emails before sending them.

A/B testing allows you to test two different versions of your email by sending each one to a small percentage of your audience. . . By analyzing the results, you can see which version worked best and send it to the rest of your email list.

Testing your emails not only allows you to improve your campaigns, but also helps you learn more about your audience: what they like or don’t like and how they interact with your email. This eventually helps you improve your business in the long run.

8. Follow the Email or Spam Rules

Ignoring spam rules is a great way to get your emails banned or even get a massive fine. The CAN-SPAM Act is a guide to email compliance that businesses that ignore can be in big trouble. The GDPR is another newer protection law that is essential to follow for brands operating in the EU.

Essentially:

  • Don’t buy email lists
  • Don’t add people to your email list who haven’t explicitly opted in
  • Provide privacy policy information up front
  • Make sure unsubscribe buttons are easy to find in your emails and respect opt-outs
  • Do not use misleading language in your emails
  • Provide mailing address information in your emails

9. Track the success of your email campaigns

One of the great things about email marketing is that you can continuously track and improve the performance of your email campaigns.

Most email marketing tools offer in-depth analytics and dashboards to help you understand whether or not your emails are having the desired effect.

Here are a few Key metrics to track for all your email campaigns:

  • Open Rate: Shows the average number of opens for your emails. Open rates can help you analyze the effectiveness of your email subject lines, sender name, and preheader text (the snippet you see right after the subject line in many email clients).
  • Destination Click Rate: This shows you the average number of times subscribers clicked on links or CTAs within your emails. Click-through rate is an important metric for understanding email engagement.
  • Bounce Rate: This shows you the percentage of your contacts who didn’t receive your email. A high bounce rate may indicate that your email list is full of inactive, fake, or outdated contacts, or that you need to change your email service provider.
  • Unsubscribe: This shows you the number of people who unsubscribed from your email list. A high number of unsubscribes could indicate that your email content is not relevant to your subscribers or that your emails are not being sent to the right audience.
  • Spam complaints: This shows you the number of times your emails have been marked as spam. This could be due to spam subject lines, irrelevant email content, unsolicited emails, or problems with your email marketing software.

Other email metrics include click rates conversion, most visited pages, best performing links, mobile open rates, email revenue and more. In fact, there are dozens of metrics you can track depending on which email marketing software you’re using.

Align your metrics with your email marketing goals to zero in on the most important ones that illustrate what you’re doing. is working and what isn’t, and avoid analysis paralysis.

Get Started With Email Marketing Today

Start Building Your Email List And Master Your Strategy email marketing today. To make the process even easier, learn how you can create reusable email marketing templates that keep your strategy consistent and your brand recognizable.

Email Marketing FAQs

The Email marketing is a marketing and strategy channel that helps businesses engage with their customers, nurture leads, and ultimately drive conversions through carefully crafted emails.

The software Email marketing is one of the most important tools marketers need when executing their email marketing campaigns. There are tons of different tools to choose from, but here are our three favorite tools.

  1. HubSpot Email Marketing
  2. Sender
  3. Sendinblue

Email marketing tools can help you save time and money, so it’s important to choose one that works for you and your business. Learn more about the best email tools that are pioneering the email marketing landscape.

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