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Start Here: Email Marketing for Beginners

One of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing, is still just as effective as it was many years ago. In fact, it has become even more effective in recent years following the dreaded events of 2020. With people spending more time at home, ecommerce businesses have returned to email marketing – and have seen great success.

Email marketing is an excellent method for promotion, lead generation, brand awareness, and sales — all while staying cost-effective.

But how do businesses use email content to get conversions? Emails often include promotional material, coupons, content offers, etc. that can lead to a sale — and it often does! Email marketing campaigns have one of the highest average return on investment (ROI) of any digital marketing strategy.

Email Marketing Metrics

To understand how successful your email marketing campaign is, you first must understand key email marketing metrics. Being able to optimize these metrics is the best way to get a high return on investment for your business.

Open Rate

Let’s start off super simple: open rate is the percentage of people who open your email. This metric indicates if your email subject lines are eye-catching enough when it hits the inbox. Keep an eye on your open rates to make sure people are actually reading your emails, but it doesn’t tell you how effective the email campaign is beyond the subject line or preview text.

Pro Tip!

Boost your open rate by throwing “NEW” in your subject line. People love to be the first to know — just make sure it makes sense for the context of the email. If your subject line doesn’t make sense when they open it, you can bet they won’t do it a second time.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate refers to the total number of clicks compared to the number of emails delivered. This metric is very useful, as it directly tells you what percentage of your email list interacts with your content. If you notice a low click-through rate, it could be a sign that your content just isn’t cutting it for your target audience.

Conversion Rate

A conversion simply refers to any desired action that you want the reader to do. Most of the time, this action is a sale, “converting” someone into a customer. Conversion rate is one of the best metrics for knowing exactly how successful your email marketing campaign is. Looking at the ratio of conversions to total potential customers in your email list shows you exactly how successful your current campaign is — and if adjustments need to be made.

Bounce Rate

When an email “bounces,” the email was not successfully delivered. Therefore, the bounce rate is the ratio of bounced emails to the total emails sent. An email can also have either a soft bounce or a hard bounce. Soft bounces are due to a temporary issue with a valid recipient, whereas hard bounces are due to invalid or non-existent email addresses.

While bounce rate doesn’t directly monitor the success of your email marketing efforts, it shows you the health of your subscriber list. If you consistently have a high bounce rate, email service providers may think you’re a scammer.

Pro Tip!

To avoid being seen as a scammer, make sure you are compliant with CAN-SPAM (and GDPR if you operate in the UK), which are laws regarding email marketing.

Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of recipients who unsubscribe from your email list after opening it. We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but a high unsubscribe rate is bad. While every email sees a few unsubscribes, you should be concerned if this rate skyrockets after a particular send.

Get Started With Email Marketing Best Practices

Before you start sending out emails without any rhyme or reason, you need to take some important steps to ensure success. If you don’t have an airtight email marketing strategy in place, you say goodbye to your deliverability, click-through rate, conversion rate, and bounce rate metrics. Let’s go through it step-by-step.

Gather an Email List

You can’t send an email without an email list. To gauge interest in your email content, create a sign-up form with a clear CTA (call-to-action) on your website and landing pages so that users can opt in. Companies also see success with using pop-up forms for quick and easy sign-ups.

You can also promote your email list through other marketing channels to get sign-ups, such as promoting on social media or through a digital ad.

Why Opt In?

Not only is an opt in required before sending marketing emails, but they also need the ability to unsubscribe when they feel like it. You may think these rules hurt your email list, but it’s quite the opposite. You want people in your email list that want to be there. Yes, it’s that simple!

New subscribers who opt in – and stay away from the unsubscribe button – are more engaged with your email content and are more likely to convert when you want them to. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Pro Tip!

With the power of data and analytics (and email marketing automation), you can send personalized emails to certain members of your email list depending on their interests and preferences. Email list segmentation can boost your conversion rate since you’re sending emails specific to the target audience for that email.

Choose an Email Marketing Tool

Email marketing platforms can help you with your email-sending process. There are many tools available to try, such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, Marketo, or Getresponse (pricing varies, but they are typically free to start). Most tools also offer several email templates to help those just starting out.

Each email marketing service offers different features, so be sure to do in-depth research to know, which is the right one for you.

Pro Tip!

Email frequency and timing are key! Email service providers like Hubspot have features that allow you to set a maximum number of emails that can be sent in a given period of time to avoid overly frequent emails.

Write Your Email Copy

Copywriting is just as important as email design when it comes to open rates. You can have the most beautifully designed email in all the land, but it doesn’t matter if your subject line copy is boring — no one will read it.

For a successful email marketing campaign, focus on the goal of the email and what you want email subscribers to do.

Types of Emails:

    • Welcome Emails
    • Promotional Emails
    • Transactional Emails
    • Email Newsletters
    • Nurture Emails
    • Abandoned Cart Emails
    • New Product or Webinar Announcements

Start Sending

Finally, you can start sending out your emails. Put together your copy, subject lines, and visuals, and start turning those loyal subscribers into potential customers!

Pro Tip!

Use split testing to determine the best possible elements for your emails throughout the campaign. A/B testing puts two versions of the same element against each other to see which is more successful for your target audience.

Time to Begin Your Email Marketing Journey

If this guide to email marketing for beginners was still too much or you simply don’t have the time to put into your first email marketing campaign, give us a call and get started!