Have you found yourself wondering, what is email marketing? And can it help my business? We’re here to tell you that a well-crafted message delivered straight to your customer’s inbox can have an amazing impact, from brand awareness to lead generation and nurturing perspective customers.
Email marketing helps you connect directly with your audience, promoting your brand and increasing sales. You can do a lot of things with emails, like advertise products, share news, communicate your brand values, introduce your team, share resources, or, if you’re a retailer, improve your cart abandonment rate.
All you need is an easy-to-use campaign builder platform, or Email Service Provider (ESP), preferably one that is drag and drop with branded “ready to use” templates.
At Original Ginger, we set up customer dashboards on a commercial Email Service Provider, which has many advantages, from A/B Testing and marketing segmentation, to powerful insights. We are able to gather very valuable insights about the campaigns you are sending and help you refine your messaging over time. Not to mention, with our professional design savvy and compelling messaging, we can make your emails look and feel like an extension of your website, keeping your customer’s brand experience consistent.
Does email marketing work?
You may find your inbox inundated with email marketing campaigns, and although some of it may feel spammy (and you should take care yours doesn’t), there’s no denying that email has become a popular and useful marketing tool. Reaching your customers directly, emails require attention, waiting in their inbox until it is read or deleted.
Email marketing helps you build a relationship with your subscribers, while also driving traffic and creating search engine optimization (SEO) for your website. You can even segment your emails and target users by demographic, so you’re only sending people the messages they’re more likely to interact with.
Email marketing also happens to be one of the most cost-effective marketing tools around! According to a 2016 report by Campaign Monitor*, there is a $44 ROI for every dollar spent, compared with $38 in 2015. When customers are ready to do business or buy something, they often look for emails from familiar brands.
Email marketing is also a great way to capture contact information from your social media connections. Let’s face it, you spend a lot of time building followers on your social channels; but, if the platform loses popularity you lose those connections. Plus, you often have to pay to promote posts to even reach your followers and get ahead of the algorithm. Encouraging subscription to your email list creates a valuable and direct connection.
Here are some examples of reasons to utilize email marketing:
- Driving Traffic – Email can be effective at promoting resources and sharing the valuable content you create on your website, like blog posts.
- Brand Awareness – Not everyone who opts into your email list is ready for a purchasing decision; but, you can use your email campaigns to stay top of mind while providing content that is most relevant to your target audience.
- Lead nurturing – Email campaigns are a great way to share information and then monitor who on your subscriber lists are most engaged with what content. It’s an ideal way to identify leads most likely to purchase from you, and identify the content most likely to “nurture” future subscribers towards a sale.
- Revenue generation – To increase revenue, you can create email marketing campaigns targeted to existing customers that promote your products or services, and then upsell complimentary products or services. Other email campaigns could be focused on capturing sales from leads who have been considering a purchase, but just need a gentle reminder; for example, an “abandoned cart” email.
How do I get an email list?
The success you have with your email marketing is directly tied to your subscriber lists and how engaged your subscribers are. It’s important to get your ideal customers to sign up and give you their permission to send them emails. Due to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation you MUST only send to subscribers who opted in – that means, they gave you their permission to send marketing communication, either by email or by filling out an online form. Building a targeted list like this may take more work at the outset of your email marketing strategy, but your ESP of choice should have built-in tools to help you along the way.
There are lots of ways to find people who’ll look forward to receiving your emails, and encouraging subscription to your newsletter is typically part of a greater content marketing strategy. Our biggest caution is that you should never purchase an email list. Not only are they ineffective, but you are more likely to have your emails marked as spam or get high unsubscribe rates. This is also why we recommend using a commercial ESP.
When you use a free or cheap ESP like Mailchimp, your email is delivered through their servers. That means if other businesses on the same server send spammy or poorly targeted emails, everyone gets flagged and users’ emails don’t reach inboxes. Businesses on commercial ESPs are serious about their content marketing and likely more educated about how to use it effectively, which increases deliverability for everyone.
When we set up a personal email marketing dashboard under the Original Ginger umbrella, we’ll make sure you have the resources and support you need to be successful and keep your sending reputation intact.
Basic email marketing rules you should always follow:
- Follow anti-spam laws. In Canada, follow Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and if you are sending to U.S. subscribers, follow the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act
- Don’t use third-party lists. This includes purchased or rented mailing lists, and lists scraped from third-party sources, including public websites.
- Always get permission. Everyone on your list should have opted-in to receive emails from you, and their permission should be express and verifiable. Having a signup form on your website is one of the best ways to do this.
- Anti-spam laws require you to Include an unsubscribe link on every email campaign you send.
How much does it cost?
This will vary depending on the ESP, number of email campaigns you plan to send each month, and the number of subscribers you are sending to. Typically, you can either “pay as you go” or set up a monthly plan.
I’m new to email marketing, and I’ll need help.
We’re here when you need us. We can provide assistance with à la carte email newsletter strategies, content writing, and brand design. We can also provide full service options that include implementation, or consulting services to help you create your own content marketing strategy.
A great way to get started is with our Content Marketing Webinar Series. Whether you want to learn how to do it yourself, train your internal marketers to do it, or hire an agency like ours, it will give you the insight you need to make a confident start. If you’d like to touch base with us on a quick call for more information, or set up a full series of consultations on content marketing, you can reach us at 778.298.1966 (TF 1.855.298.8650) or complete our online form.