The email marketing landscape is regarded as one of the most promising marketing channels where you can get noticed, reach out to people, promote products or services and encourage people to take actions. We know you’re aware of it and presumably use this method to grow your sales, revenue and build a relationship with your customers.
But most people’s email boxes are simply overflowing and saturated with bulk spam emails. Bluntly speaking, your email may just get buried in the inbox or even irritate your potential prospects.
Marketing trends have changed, and so has the email marketing landscape – so you need to develop email campaigns that are interesting as well as informative.
Here, we will share an ultimate guide for email marketing to help you stay on top of the 2021 email marketing game.
Table Of Contents
- How Email Marketing Can Help Your Business Grow?
- Getting Started With Email Marketing
- How To Personalise Your Emails?
- 5 Email Marketing Tips That Will Improve Your Performance
- Best Email Tracking Tools
Chapter 1 : How Email Marketing Can Help Your Business Grow?
1. Easy To Get Started And Manage
The good news is getting started with Email marketing is fairly easy. It doesn’t require a huge team or high-end technical expertise to be successful. It’s certainly possible to set up an email campaign with excellent templates, videos, images and logos. Using automation tools, you can send bulk emails that are actually personalised and targeted without a lot of work.
2. Build Brand Awareness
Needless to say, brand awareness plays an important role in the success of every business. Luckily, email marketing is an opportunity to reinforce who you are as a brand, making clients trust you. The concept of promoting your product or service will significantly build your brand awareness. It is a great way to make people aware of what you have to offer. The more familiar people are with your brand, the more likely they will purchase your products when making a decision.
Creating email campaigns is inexpensive. Unlike paid advertising, where you have to pay per click, emails can present your product or service free of cost. Also, there are no advertising fees, printing or media space costs.
4. Drive Traffic To Your Site
If done right, email marketing campaigns can send users to your website. Relevant landing page links and compelling CTAs included in your email content can direct users to your website. It can lead users to your contact form, sign up page or download link where users engage and take actions.
5. Increase Sales And Revenue
Nothing matters more to a business than the return on investment it generates. Email marketing offers a substantial return on a small investment. By creating a well-written email that ends with a compelling CTA button, email marketers can encourage readers to take the next step in their buyer’s journey – thus increasing sales and ROI.
Chapter 2 : Getting Started With Email Marketing
Most marketers are not sure about how to plan and execute their email marketing campaign successfully. Let’s look at some of the steps you should follow to create a successful email marketing strategy.
1. Define Your Goals
The first step to any marketing plan is knowing the ultimate outcome you hope to achieve. Define what you want to achieve at the end of your email marketing campaign.
Some of the most common email marketing goals include:
- Increase brand awareness
- Acquire more leads
- Drive additional traffic to the website
- Increase engagement metrics
- Deliver high-quality content
- Effectively nurture prospects
Setting goals will help you stay focused on the different stages of your campaign.
Top Tip: Apply the widely used SMART marketing goal framework – let your goal be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
2. Know Your Audience
No matter what business you are in, it is essential to know who is going to be attracted to your products or services – this means that understanding your audience is crucial. When you know your audience well, you will understand exactly what to do in email marketing.
If you don’t really know your customer, your emails could get delivered to anyone. When your email lands in the hands of the right people, you’re increasing the chances for more leads and ultimately more sales.
You can categorise your prospects into different segments based on age, gender, race, income, occupation, location and more.
3. Craft Catchy Subject Lines
You want your email content to be opened, read and clicked. It all starts with a catchy subject line. Though it seems like a tiny part of your emails, subject lines are the very first impressions you have on your email recipients. Hence, it’s important to craft subject lines that are attractive enough to get people to click through.
Here are some subject line formulas to improve your open rate:
The social proof subject line: It’s no surprise that social proof shapes consumer perception and brand reputation. Users have a natural tendency to follow the crowd. Let your customers do the talking. Potentially the best way to leverage social proof is to highlight ratings and testimonials from existing customers.
The curiosity-gap subject line: Curiosity occurs when there is a gap between what we know and what we want to know. Generate a strong sense of curiosity in your audience by making a powerful approach in your email subject lines. But make sure not to deceive or cheat your subscribers.
The announcement subject line: Using words like “Introducing”, “Update” and “New” in your email subject line gives the subscribers a feeling that your email contains fresh, breaking information they haven’t heard yet.
The scarcity subject line: Scarcity is a powerful human driver, and people always want something that is rare or difficult to get. Be creative enough to evoke a sense of urgency in your customers. Add urgency words and phrases to engage and excite customers.
4. Keep Body Copy Short And Simple
If your emails flood with more text, it is likely to go into the junk or spam folder. Short emails respect your recipient’s time, and they create a more casual, conversational feel than essay like writing. Nobody wants to wade through all that lengthy content to figure out what you’re asking for. When composing your email, make your content easy to skim instead of showing the entire story into the email message.
Write an abstract on what the reader will get in an attractive way and let them click through to a page on your website for more information. Try to include short sentences, paragraphs, ample white space, and formatting cues like bullet points and bolded text.
Having said that, your messages should convey to the prospects why they should reply and how your products or services are worth purchasing. Are you just updating someone, do you need them to do something, are you looking for a quick answer? – you have to pinpoint why you’re contacting someone in the first place. Everything in your email should foster that central intention, and it should be clear to everyone reading it.
5. Focus On Personalisation
Personalisation is super important! The more personalised your email text, the better your open rates. But we could say the most common mistake that marketers make: they neglect tailoring one-to-one messages.
You already know this is an era of personalisation, and email personalisation is more powerful than you might think. Only a few marketers are using personalisation strategies, and most don’t even know about email personalisation. This is all about targeting a specific prospect by leveraging the information you have about them – it could be their name, last product they purchased, where they live and likewise data.
Customise the content of your emails so that you speak directly to your customer. Before creating your emails, segment your customers based on gender, age, name, location and preference.
Instead of the cliche “Hi”, “Hey there”, or “hello”, address your customers by their name. Understand what kind of data they need at a particular stage of their customer lifecycle with you. And try to show your appreciation once in a while. Let your subscribers know how much you value them being on your email list.
6. Make Your CTA Button Compelling
Call To Action (CTA) is a ‘not-to-miss term in an email marketer dictionary as it indicates the clear purpose of your emails. You may want readers to visit your website or subscribe to your newsletter or make a purchase in your online store – an effective CTA can help you with achieving this goal.
More than just a simple button, it can indeed change the face of your email marketing campaign. Compelling CTAs encourage subscribers to click on your messages and take specific actions.
Let’s see some example of CTAs;
- Watch now
- Register today
- Get the app
- Sign up and save
7. Include A Branded Email Address And Credible Email Signature
Avoid the practice of sending emails from your personal Gmail or Hotmail account. Also, never send from a spam account that looks like; [email protected] That’s unprofessional.
An email signature acts like a digital business card that presents all your business information, including name, contact number and email address, to the recipients. It is a way to connect with customers and convey your openness to communication.
An email signature with a good design uses a consistent font, colours, and responsiveness to smartphones.
Including a picture to your email signature is the cherry on top. Let this signature show your brand’s personality!
8. Maintaining Your Email List
There is no benefit of having a long email list if recipients don’t open your emails. Rather than an email marketing tip, it’s a fact. So don’t spend all your energy trying to get more people on your list.
Monitor your email list to find people who unsubscribe to your list, report you as spam or even who just don’t open your emails. This will help you refresh and maintain your email list in a healthy way. Remember, quality matters over quantity – so it’s better to add 100 engaged subscribers to your email address list than to add 1000 unengaged subscribers.
Tips for building your email list in 2021:
- Integrate social media with your email marketing
- Add a signup option on the checkout page
- Stay true to your subscribers
- Promote your email campaigns on YouTube
- Come up with powerful incentive plans
- Include email opt-in forms in the right place
9. Track And Measure Email Marketing Performance
Continuous monitoring of your email marketing performance will help you fine-tune your marketing campaigns. The success of your email marketing depends on various elements such as:
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Unsubscribe rate
- Spam reports
- Campaign ROI
This will help you see how well your email marketing campaign is working.
Chapter 3 : How To Personalise Your Emails?
Every day, our inbox is flooded with many emails asking for confirmation for newsletters, subscriptions or signups for an account with an email address. But a lot of them are left unopened. This is a common occurrence for most email users. How can you make your emails stand out to encourage your audience to open and read? The solution lies in personalising your emails. Yes, if you aren’t personalising your email messages, you’re likely missing out on leads and sales. Don’t worry; it’s not too late. You can still create more personalised emails to skyrocket your email marketing campaigns. Here are a few surefire ways to succeed.
Let’s understand who is your ‘buyer persona’.
As we discussed above, knowing your ideal customer is crucial to tailor your marketing strategy so that you can cater to their needs and problems effectively. A better understanding of your ideal client will let you frame your email copy in a way that will address their concerns effectively.
You have to analyse demographic (age, gender, employment, income, education and more) and psychographic (like attitudes, interests, and values) data when creating a buyer persona profile. By identifying your target audience, you are increasing the chances for more leads and, finally, sales.
Start your email content by addressing your customer’s name.
This tip is the first and foremost rule of email personalisation, and we can’t go wrong at any cost. Ignore the cliche “Hi”, “Hey there” or “Hello” and address your recipients by their names.
Thank you for choosing our service. To help us make your experience better, we request you to complete this short survey. This should not take more than two to three minutes of your time…..
Our name is all about self-perception and identity, so hearing it engages us.
When a recipient sees their name in the email, they are more likely to listen to what you’ve got to say. Just make sure to avoid the blunder of addressing someone by the wrong name.
The chances of your email getting neglected are quite high unless you have a pretty subject line.
Out of hundreds of emails we receive daily, the ones that usually catch our attention are the ones with catchy subject lines. Your subject line is your first impression on users; it should let readers know that there’s something they’ll find useful in the body content.
This is another example “XXX, here’s something to help you have a great Holiday”. Subject lines like this evoke a sense of urgency, excitement and enthusiasm will have a high open rate. But make sure it does not exceed seven words or 50 characters.
Are you about to hit the send button? Wait for a second…why not send your emails at a specific time that would have the most impact.
Sending your emails at scheduled times i.e. your recipient’s time zone, is another simple yet powerful way to personalise your emails. If your company is located in Texas, but your clients are in London, you could schedule your emails to reach the client’s inbox at the right time.
Your customers might respond quickly if you email them on a Friday afternoon or some might be early morning mobile readers. Sometimes, Monday mornings or Tuesday afternoons are the best time to send emails to your prospects.
You hit the ‘send button and pat yourself on the back. Unfortunately, you see a low click-through rate, and you did everything you were supposed to. We want to ask you a question – did you remember to include an actionable CTA?
That doesn’t mean a simple “Register Today” or “Buy Now”. You need to take some time to make your CTA stand out. Remember, the ultimate point of email marketing is to drive action. The most effective way to do that is by including compelling CTAs. Without a CTA, your customers or potential prospects have nothing to act on, leaving your emails just a piece of digital information. It’s vital to place your CTA ‘above the fold’ rather than at the end of the message.
What could be more personal than sending wishes to someone?
It’s great to remember someone’s birthday and send something special. Though receiving birthday or festival promotional emails are not as important as receiving birthday gifts from special ones; it can make you stand out from the competition by developing a more personal bond.
We would like to wish you a happy birthday. Here is your special gift from us. To get your birthday gift….
By offering a birthday gift in the form of a voucher or a 25% discount, you convey that your customers mean something to your brand. Note that this is also applicable during important festivals as well as celebrations.
Did you know that 75% of customers are more likely to make a purchase decision based on personalised recommendations?
You might have seen online giants such as Amazon recommending related products that you have already purchased or rated. Showing related products, individualised offers, and other content to your visitors based on users browsing history, previous actions, demographics, and other data is another method of personalisation. Proper suggestions at the right time (like reminding them of items they looked at or shared suggestions of similar products) make it easy for them to find out what they want.
In essence, email personalisation is all about letting your customers feel valued. Based on your products or services, applying two or three of these tactics in your email personalisation can highly increase your click-through rate, drive engagement and make personal connections with your audience.
Chapter 4 : 5 Email Marketing Tips That Will Improve Your Performance.
To avoid getting your emails immediately deleted, marked spam or ignored altogether, here are some of the best email marketing tips to keep in mind.
1. Create Mobile-friendly Emails
If your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on the opportunity to engage your subscribers and yield results. Wondering why?
From 2010 to 2020, email opens on mobile devices have increased to a large extent. People like browsing the web, scrolling through pages and checking their emails via their smartphones. Researchers state that the number of mobile users will hit five billion in 2025.
Here are some essential tips for creating mobile-friendly email campaigns:
- Watch your subject line strength
- Use pre-header text
- Keep your copy concise
- Keep CTAs front and centre
- Leave enough breathing space
- Use a single column template
2. Don’t ‘sell’ Your Product
When you are sending cold emails to unknown prospects, you don’t rush up and start making offers. That would be awkward. An ideal cold email copy won’t praise your product at all. It’s ok you do mention it, but never try to ‘sell’ it. Focus on the benefits or the outcome of your initial offer. Instead of brainstorming about how to sell your product, tell them about how your product can solve their problem. That’s how you get them on board. When you have conversations around prospects’ needs, naturally, they start trusting your business. Once you’ve convinced them and build trust, you next need to show how you can help them.
3. Persuade Without Being Pushy
Getting people to trust you and buy your product or services can create a lot of stress. You shouldn’t sound salesy, and be careful that you’re approaching each prospect the right way. It’s important not to be pushy or aggressive when you’re trying to sell. In the end, it can cause you to lose more than you win. The more comfortable your customer is, the better your chances of closing the deal. Though this approach can take more time, it’s more effective in the long run. In the end, your prospect will see you as someone who genuinely cares about their concerns and needs.
4. Follow “Above The Fold” Strategy
The concept ‘above the fold’ comes from the News publishers and literally means “above the fold”. Even in the email marketing industry, the concept is still relevant though there may not be a literal fold.
In email design, subscribers must see this area right after opening any message without scrolling down the screen.
If you want to attract subscribers’ attention and engage them reading, put the most enticing content at the top of your email. Part of your job is to give them a reason to scroll down to read more.
There are many online tools for defining the ‘Above the fold’ placement that can give you an exact idea about the layout.
5. Use Images Correctly
Images have the power of making a lasting impression on your reader. Having too many large, high-quality images can adversely affect the loading time, which causes the subscribers to just delete the mail instead of waiting around.
Adding background images in emails is not recommended because they aren’t supported across all email clients.
Optimise the image size as possible without sacrificing quality. Declare the image width and height to help your email maintain its structure when images fail to load.
Avoid using PNG files as few email clients don’t support the same, use JPGs instead.
Make sure your images do not distract from the content of your message and results in a negative user experience for your subscribers. The images should be balanced with the right amount of text so you don’t come across as too promotional.
6. Hit The Send Button At The Right Time
The timing certainly matters, especially when it comes to getting clients to notice and open your emails. If you want your cold messaging to have a big impact on your sales, you need to change when you’re sending them out. The thing is, the time works based on the nature of your audience. So there is no strict rule for when to send out your emails until you know what time works best for your specific prospect.
It is usually better to send out emails during the daytime when people are awake. Sending emails on Mondays are not recommended as people are trying to get over the weekend hangover. Weekends tend to have low open rates, so most marketers avoid them at any cost.
7. Leave A Reason To Respond
Though you want your customers to buy from you right away, the prime purpose of a cold email is not to sell something – it’s meant to build a connection. While a compelling subject line boosts your email open rate, an effective Call To Action increases the reply rate.
And you need to make it as unique as possible;
- Is fixing this issue the topmost priority for you right now?
- Can I share a presentation to show how we can improve your conversion rates?
- Would you like to attend the event? Reply with YES, and I’ll send you further details right now.
- Can you confirm with a yes/no if this is a pain point you currently experience?
- Is this a problem that you are facing currently?
8. Include Social Sharing Buttons
One of the serious mistakes you could make in your email design is forgetting to provide social sharing buttons. Social media buttons can be called secondary calls to action.
Follow icons lead right to your social media pages – to hit the like button on your Facebook page or follow your Instagram account.
The share icon conveys the act of sharing a specific piece of content, including blog posts, articles, photos, videos, etc. When your email subscribers share your content with their social media site, the likelihood of increasing your brand exposure is high.
Chapter 5 : Best Email Tracking Tools
Your company is planning to launch a new mobile application they’ve been developing. So you have decided to pitch influencers, industry leaders, bloggers about your product announcement. You’ve started outreaching your prospects by sending cold emails, and you’re now waiting for them to respond. Of course, your mind is now bombarded with tons of questions.
Who has opened the mail?
When was it opened?
How many times was the email opened?
Which links or attachments were opened from the email?
Are the images in the email viewed?
Who all reviewed follow up emails?
These kinds of never ending questions inspired us to share some ideas about email tracking tools. Email tracking software is most beneficial to marketers, executives, recruiters, customer support and sales professionals. Well, you don’t really need to wait to know whether they have opened your email or not. Also, you can be sure that the emails are getting delivered in the inbox and not in the spam folder. Let’s read on to understand some tools that can help you track your email marketing campaigns effectively.
It’s a sales enablement free tool that can track an unlimited number of emails and provides you with email recipient’s engagement data. Users can track both Gmail and outlook using SalesHandy email marketing plugins. Apart from free email tracking, the tool has other features such as;
- Free email scheduling
- Email verification
- Double tick email open notification in Gmail inbox
- Attach and send smart templates
- Automate follow-up emails
- Document and attach tracking
- Desktop notifications
- Link tracking
Pricing – The tool provides a 14 day trial period to new users, and after that, they can use the email tracking feature using the free plan.
Regular Plan – $9 / Per User, Billed Monthly
Plus Plan – $20 / Per User, Billed Monthly
Enterprise Plan – $50 / Per User, Billed Monthly
One of the top email tracking tools, Yesware is the most powerful one, which has awesome email tracking and reporting features. The tool can track the emails when you send and also schedule your emails for sending them later. It provides real-time notifications when someone opened your emails, clicked on your links and downloaded the attachments. Users can access all the open rates, click rates and reply rates, focusing more on the target audience.
Additional features include;
- Email templates
- Scheduling meetings
- Automated followup
- Set reminders
- Phone Dialer
- Salesforce integration
Yesware works with both Gmail and Outlook. It can be easily integrated with any
CRM like SugarCRM, Salesforge etc.
Pricing – A free trial is available for 28 days with provisions for email tracking, email templates and salesforce sync.
Pro Plan – $15 / Per user, Billed Monthly
Premium Plan – $35 / Per user, Billed Monthly
Enterprise Plan – $55 / Per user, Billed Annually
We know HubSpot doesn’t need any special introduction, as you must be familiar with it already. Known mainly for its effective sales and marketing platforms, HubSpot offers many email tracking features customised to the requirements of salespeople and marketers. Its email plugin allows users to track and log emails, receive desktop notifications, and record all email activity in HubSpot’s CRM. You will get insights about the recipient’s activities such as opens, clicks and responses. You will get a pop-up notification on your desktop when the recipient receives and opens an email. HubSpot Email tracking is available for Gmail as well as for Outlook.
Pricing – the free plan is available with features like Gmail and outlook integration, email scheduling and templates, meetings and canned snippets.
Starter plan – $50 / Per Month
Professional Plan – $400 / Per Month
Being an email marketing and marketing automation software, Mailchimp takes complete control over your email marketing efforts from the beginning to the end. Mailchimp was founded in 2001, and now the software has grown to become an all-in-one marketing platform. Users get email campaign reports which help them to track the performance of email marketing campaigns, click rate, open rate, bounces, social activity and purchases.
Pricing: Mailchimp offers a limited Free plan. Paid plans start at $9.99 per month.
This tool helps you to track and identify the most qualified leads as well as customers and gain valuable insights about your sales workflow. Its chrome extension integrates with your Gmail and tracks email opens, link clicks and more. The best thing about LeadBoxer is you can get to know the behaviour of your prospects from sources like websites, email, advertising or social media. A lead score is given to potential prospects based on various parameters like location, industry, size, campaigns and more. The tool also uses big data technology which allows you to configure custom filters and use them to segment your audience.
Pricing – Leadboxer does not have a free version.
The pricing starts at $149.00 per month.
Another email tracking tool operates as a Google Chrome extension that works with Gmail. Mailtrack is completely a straightforward email tracking tool without possessing any fuss and extensive features. This is mainly useful for small business owners or freelancers who only want to track their emails. Also, it has a clean and sleek user interface. Mailtrack perfectly integrates with Gmail and Google inbox. The double green tick informs users that recipients have opened the email. It also tells when someone opened your email and from which device.
Pricing plan – A free plan is available with unlimited tracking and Mailtrack signature.
Basic Plan – $1.50 / Per User
Pro Plan – $2.49 / Per User
Another Google Chrome extension for Gmail as well as outlook, Bananatag helps you send compelling and engaging email content. It notifies users whether the emails sent are successfully delivered or not. With the help of the email template feature, Bananatag sends 100 emails in place of 10 and optimises it by tracking the best out of them. Its email analytics feature provides you with detailed reports and performances of your emails with comprehensive data on your open, reply and click-through rates. This data helps you to identify which cold emails are working best and how to set an appropriate time for further follow-ups.
Pricing plan – Bananatag has a free plan with five emails per month. The paid plans are $10/month for 100 tags a day, $20/month for 200 daily tags, and a custom plan for internal communication.
Mixmax helps you to get notified when someone opens your message with real-time Google email tracking and alerts. Along with this, you can track individual opens even if you are sending emails to a group. Email tracking feature can be set as a default option so that you don’t have to enable email tracking every time you send an email. Another interesting feature is that users can have instant meetings where you can just share your multiple availabilities and then let the recipients choose. Also, you can schedule the emails to some particular time when the chances of them opening are maximum. An exciting feature is that all this information can be integrated into your CRM.
Pricing plans – A free plan is available for 28 days with facilities like email tracking, email templates and salesforce sync.
Pro Plan – $15 / Per user, Billed Monthly
Premium Plan – $35 / Per user, Billed Monthly
Enterprise Plan – $55 / Per user, Billed Annually
Ready To Take Email Marketing To The Next Level?
Email marketing shouldn’t be a hassle!
Whether you’re just getting started with email marketing or dreaming up your next big campaign, you will find this guide a helpful resource to drive unparalleled results for your business. Once you master this, you’ll be having better results than ever before!
There’s no better time than now to get started.