MwanaBiashara- Email Marketing for Business

Email Marketing for Businesses: The Beginners’ Guide

In its most basic sense, email marketing is the use of email to promote products, services, experiences, events, causes, brands or organisation. What we are saying, with that entire lingo: is that email marketing is the use email to perform marketing functions.

email marketing is a component of digital marketing. Great marketers and business owners combine the components of digital marketing to achieve far much greater results. You can read our article on digital marketing for businesses to see how email blends with the components such as content marketing, social media marketing, search marketing among others.

Email marketing can be used for branding, engagement, acquisition, retention, direct sales, reactivation, generating traffic, and getting referrals, making it one of the most versatile tools any business can use to grow their business.

5 key purposes of email marketing

To put it in an easy to understand way, each email we send will have one of five key purposes:

  1. Indoctrinate – Teach prospects and customers who you are as a business. Why do you exist?
  2. Engage – Get them to buy. What is your value proposition? What bundle of benefits do you offer? Or what are the pain points your offering alleviates for the prospect?
  3. Ascend – Get them to buy more. Can you upsell them on a higher offering? Do you understand your prospects problems fully to offer fully integrative and immersive solutions?
  4. Segment – Learn what they want to buy next. So you sold them an entry/commitment product, do you know when to take the cue to upgrade offerings to them?
  5. Reengage/Win Back – Bring them back. Prospects are no longer opening your emails? Reenergize and reengage them or chuck them from your system. We’ll see why while looking at a metric: disengagement rate.

Each purpose is dependent upon the last. You can’t just say you will pick one and ride it along. If you are building a business for the long haul- you will need to properly factor the information needs of each stage.

Mwendwa Kilundo

Your prospect can’t be ENGAGED until they are INDOCTRINATED. And they can’t ASCEND until they are engaged.

And so on… make sense?

This is how you maximize profit through email marketing — you send email with purpose — moving customers and prospects from one stage to the next.

4 areas to be consistent in, in email marketing

Yes! Far from all those ill-informed predictions that email is dying, it stands as one of the highest return on investments strategies. This ROI is as high as by a factor of 110% percent. Such ROI is as a result of ensuring you perform some little things consistently:

  1. Ensuring your email is actually delivered
  2. If it’s delivered, is it opened?
  3. If it’s opened, does it create engagement that would lead to the prospects or clients to take the required action: CTA (call to action)
  4. Automate the entire process!

The 4 Key Metrics to watch while email marketing:

These 4 key metrics will help us do the first three things quite well and measure our progress and success along the way. They show you how well your email marketing activities are performing. Being able to measure ROI is as a result of keeping a close look at numbers (metrics). It is these metrics that tell you what you are doing right, what to change and what to test. They are:

1. Deliverability (Delivery rate)…

…whether your email landed into the inboxes of your subscribers and at what rate? E.g. 98% delivery rate

In general, deliverability gives you a sense of how well your emails pass the “spam test” for Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Yahoo. If your emails don’t use flagged words and are well received by your audience, your deliverability should be quite high.

A healthy deliverability percentage should be in the upper 90th percentile.

Be sure to pay attention to emails with low deliverability. This is a great way to identify language and practices that ESPs don’t like. They might include ill-practices like:

  • Fishy email addresses.
  • Use of different sending and reply to email address.
  • Language that might seem deceptive or;
  • Use of an email address that is flagged for blasting emails that people report as unsolicited and therefore spam.
  • Not cleaning your list frequently to remove unresponsive subscribers. This has the effect of ESPs assuming the email was marked or perceived as spam and thus they weren’t opened.

2. Open rate…

…we get this by taking the total number of the subscribers you sent an email to and then divide that by the actual number that opened the email: and multiply that by 100. E.g. 26% open rate. This assumes you have a list of 1000 subscribers and 260 of them opened your email.

Open rate describes how well your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email. The open rate is a measure that tells you how well engaged your audience is.

3. Click-through rate (CTR)…

…this is the percentage of the people that opened your email and clicked on a link you had in the email. E.g. 8% CTR i.e. using the figures from above, this would represent 80 clicks out of the 1000 subscribers that received your email.

Click-through rate is a vital metric because it measures whether or not people are actually taking the desired actions within your emails. Clicks in an email are what drive:

  • Visits to your website, sales page or app download
  • Engagement… reading isn’t just enough. It’s the action like clicking to read an article that means the prospect isn’t just active but engaged
  • And ultimately… sales

A low click-through rate (CTR) usually indicates that your email copy is falling flat and is a sign of a weak or unclear call-to-action (CTA). An easy way to improve click-through rate is to avoid over-selling your products or services through email and instead focus on getting people to click your link.

The body of the email only has one job: sell the click.

Trying to sell your product in there as well means you’ll come up with subpar performance every time. Don’t split a prospects focus by confusing them with what you need them to do after reading.

4. Disengagement rate…

…this is the percentage as a result of dividing spam complaints and unsubscribes divided by unique opens. E.g. 0.15% disengagement rate.

Your emails will always drive some people away. You can’t please everyone and trying to will leave your business stuck in stagnation. However, you do need to ensure that the vast majority of readers on your list like what you have to say.

With disengagement rate, you can pinpoint messaging that doesn’t work, and cut that out of your toolbox. You absolutely must keep your average disengagement rate below 0.15% for your emails, or you’ll start to see your deliverability drop.

Getting started with Email Marketing: Automating the process!

Now that you have become aware about the purpose of email marketing and what metrics to be aware of: how do you start automating the process?

You can either create internal systems (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook) or employ commercial solutions. These commercial email marketing platforms include MailChimp, Aweber and GetResponse among others.

The Types of Emails You’ll Use in Email Marketing

As we wind up this guide on email marketing, there are three types of emails that you’ll rely on as an email marketer:

  1. Transactional – to provide customer service.
  2. Relational – to engage subscribers and nurture a relationship with them.
  3. Promotional – for generating sales.

These three groups of emails will be of two forms either:

1.      Broadcast/newsletter emails or;

Broadcast/newsletter emails are manually set up, scheduled, and sent out of your email marketing software to many people at once. These type of emails are mass communication tools. It’s much like an advertisement to a segment or your entire list.

2.      Automated emails

Automated emails, on the other hand, act more like a personal letter. They are customized to the individual recipient, usually containing more details about a customer and their interests.

Automated emails are sent out based on actions customers have taken – they can be triggered to send when customers do things like…

  • Fill out a form on social media or website
  • Purchase a product or show intent of purchasing like adding to cart and not completing the order process
  • Visit a certain webpage that has identified value for the business

Now go thee forth and maximise email marketing use in your business to drive results!

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