Email Marketing: A Beginners Guide to Email Marketing

Whoosh! That’s the sound of another email getting sent off into the world.

Most business owners know that email marketing is valuable – but do you know how valuable it actually is? 

In e-commerce circles, most experts agree that your email list is worth roughly $1 per contact per month. In other words, a list of 10,000 engaged email subscribers should generate about $10,000 per month in revenue.

That’s at least 10,000 fantastic reasons to embrace email marketing in your business. You just have to make sure you approach email the right way. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to start email marketing right.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a digital marketing channel involving the use of email to market to prospects and customers. 

With email, you can successfully warm up prospects and convert them into customers. Moreover, with customers, you can move them from one-time customers to “raving fans” who buy from you repeatedly; as well as spread the word about your brand.

You should think of email as both a communication channel and a distribution channel. In other words, it allows you to engage your audience to stay top-of-mind and reach them with the information they need to know.

However, email marketing is also a way to sell to your audience. This is even more of the case for digital products; email marketing is a delivery mechanism!

3 Reasons Why Email Marketing is Important

Email is just as powerful as it’s ever been. Think about it: Few marketing channels offer the affordability and control that email does!

To be more precise, where paid ads only work while you’re spending money – and where most social media platforms actively limit access to your own followers and subscribers – email marketing allows you to grow an audience that you can manage and own without restriction.

Here are a few of the reasons why email marketing is so important.

1. Has larger reach

In social media terms, organic reach refers to the number of unique users who see a piece of content that you’ve published. And according to Buffer, the average organic reach on social media is under 6% – in other words, every time you publish a new post, you’re lucky if 5 in 100 of your followers will see it.

That means even with millions of followers, only a tiny fraction of them will ever see your content organically. This is where email marketing shines. Yes, deliverability is a factor, but when you choose to send an email to your list, you know virtually everyone on that list can be reached.

So, if your company’s email list is 50,000 people, most of that 50,000 person list will receive your email in their inbox. What’s more, people who do choose to open the email are taking a specific action, which shows greater engagement than the person you “reached” on Facebook who just happened to scroll past your post in their feed.

All told, your reach with email is much stronger.

2. Drives conversions

When you send a new email, a percentage of the people on your list will open the email simply because it comes from you. Email is the closest thing to a relationship you can have with your audience online – better than social media, paid ads, SEO, podcasts, and more.

This two-way relationship is key to driving conversions. People come to know, like, and trust you, and they actually look forward to receiving your messages. If only 1% of people convert in an email blast, you’re looking at 100 conversions on a 10,000 person email list. 

That means every email you send could represent a huge profit – even if all it does is remind people about your brand so you’re top of mind when they’re ready to buy!

3. Leads to higher ROI

The ROI of email is off the charts compared to almost any other marketing channel. When it comes to paid media buying on Facebook, Google, or native ads, you’re doing very well with a ROAS of 6-10X.

By comparison, email has an ROI somewhere in the 38-42X range – meaning that every time you spend $1, you make around $40.

These numbers apply to everything from customer acquisition to product launches. The bottom line is, email is good for your bottom line.

Types of Email Marketing Campaigns

Email is an incredibly valuable marketing channel, but you have to understand how it works and meet your customers where they are. 

These 3 types of marketing campaigns for email will help you do just that.

1. Transactional

A transactional email is sent as part of an e-commerce transaction, typically at checkout or after a purchase. It can include items like confirmations, receipts, and order-shipped emails.

For example, with an affiliate marketplace like ClickBank, you can use affiliate email marketing to help you handle fulfillment for both physical and digital products, including transactional emails.

At Print Bind Ship, we help to streamline fulfillment for ClickBank orders or your own products as a vendor – and if you can pull the right data, email is the perfect way to keep customers informed along the way.

2. Promotional

A promotional email is sent as part of a promotion for your business. This might be tied to a new product launch; a Black Friday promotion email; or a limited-time discount on a product you sell.

Typically, promotional emails are not automated but are broadcast emails that you send out as a blast to your list.

3. Lifecycle emails

A lifecycle email is an automated email sent based on actions a customer took or tags that describe where a customer is in the buying lifecycle. 

For example, a customer who added an item to their cart and then left without making a purchase might receive a cart abandonment email – this is only triggered for customers who meet these specific criteria.

Other important lifecycle emails might include a welcome series for new customers or a reactivation campaign for customers who haven’t bought in 90 days.

How to Get Started

So, how do you actually get started with email marketing if you’re still new to it?

The good news is, it’s not too complicated. These days, it’s almost as easy as using your own personal email! 

Choose an email service provider (ESP)

First, you’ll pick an email service provider. If you’re in the affiliate marketing and e-commerce space, Sendlane is a good choice that was created by someone who has been part of the industry and understands it firsthand.

Other good email marketing software options include Mailchimp, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Drip, and ConvertKit. But it’s not so much about one specific recommendation – simply do your research on capabilities, pricing, templates, and other features, then just pick one. You can always change later, but don’t let indecision keep you from taking full advantage of email marketing.

Build your emailing list

If you have a website with a blog, you have a perfect way to build your email list. All you have to do is include an opt-in form at the top or the side of each post, which is easy to set up on a WordPress site – or you create a single opt-in page and link to it. This is often helped along by offering some sort of lead magnet (an attractive resource you give away in exchange for signup). 

Another way to build your list is to opt-in new customers who have bought from you. Simply include a checkbox asking customers if they’re willing to receive regular announcements and updates from you as they order – if they say yes, you’ve got a new email subscriber!

Ensure your campaign is relevant

The biggest challenge with email is making sure each campaign you send out is relevant. Imagine signing up to an email list with expectations about what it would offer you, only to find out that three out of every four emails are about some completely different topic.

Or what if you were receiving offers for new customers that you’re not eligible for as an existing customer?

These types of faux pas can hurt your customer experience and reputation. So, it’s best to be sure to use email list segmentation and tags to improve how you personalize and target your emails.

Optimize emails for easy conversion

Another key to better email marketing is optimizing your emails for higher conversions. The practice of conversion rate optimization (CRO) applies to email too; your goal is to make it as easy as possible to drive click-throughs from your email campaigns.

Use segmentation and personalization, pick just one call to action, and apply best practices for copywriting on subject lines, preview text, and the first few lines of any email to improve your total open rates and clicks.

Strategize and time your campaign

When it comes to email marketing strategy, there’s an art and science regarding when your campaigns should go out. Too infrequent, and customers forget who you are – too often, and they can’t wait to unsubscribe to avoid email fatigue.

The best cadence is probably once or twice weekly. But the other consideration is mixing in non-promotional emails so that readers find enough value to stay subscribed. If readers come to associate your emails with value, then they’ll keep opening them and put up with – or even appreciate – the occasional promo email.

Measure your results

Whether it’s a broadcast email or autoresponder, after the campaign goes out, you’ll want to measure the results.

Thankfully, most email service providers have some solid analytics to help you evaluate your; open rate, clickthrough rate, unsubscribe rate, number of delivered emails, and more.

Personally, I use these numbers to help me figure out which topics people care about. Every single email you send out is a scientific experiment. The hypothesis is that your subscribers will be interested in what you’re sending them; ultimately the end result will dictate whether you pivot to a new topic next time or double down on what worked.

To be even more data-driven, you can actually set up split tests for subject lines on the same email; as well as encourage your ESP to send the majority of the emails to whichever subject line wins the test. This will improve open rates and give you even more data to work with for optimal email campaigns!

2021 Email Marketing Trends and Expectations 

Email is a classic marketing channel.

It’s been around longer than the internet, and certainly a lot longer than any modern social media site or search engine. But you can still teach this old dog some new tricks!

For example: 

  1. Personalization tokens can be used to make every email more personal to your audience.
  2. Allow your audience to answer questions and pick which list segment they want to be on.
  3. You can use triggers to email the exact right message to the exact right person at the exact right time.
  4. You can add interactive content.
  5. Optimize the mobile experience for an increasing proportion of mobile users.

Most importantly, you can write your emails with the knowledge that your audience is full of people (yes, even if you’re in B2B). More than ever, email subscribers appreciate authenticity – this means talking to them like you might talk to a friend. 

The more human you are, the better your email campaigns will perform.

Email Marketing Summary

Email marketing continues to be the gold standard for marketers in virtually every industry.

With a high degree of control, reach, and profitability, email is a must for any business. Of course, if you have a product you’re looking to sell via email, there’s another service that you should consider; the third-party logistics (3PL) fulfillment partner. 

At Print Bind Ship, we offer everything from printing, packaging, and global fulfillment – so you can get all of your physical product needs covered with one trusted partner.
Contact us for a free consultation today!