Email Marketing: Definition and Best Practices
Email marketing is a pillar of the digital marketing strategy and the most important direct marketing channel with an estimated ROI of 3800%.
It is impossible today to have an online business without using emails!
From order confirmation email to news newsletter, they are essential for the management and growth of your business.
In this guide for beginners, we explain everything there is to know, in a simple way, about email marketing.
What are the main objectives it serves, where to start, the different types of emails to send and the various aspects to take into account.
Why is email marketing a must ?
The goals of email marketing.
Email marketing is about informing and retaining and a network of contacts interested in your products or services and generating sales by encouraging them to visit specific pages of your site.
Email marketing can fulfill 3 objective types:
- notoriety (make you known),
- image (positioning yourself as an expert) and
- (sell your products and services).
The communications you send are received directly in your recipients’ email inbox, allowing you to be present in the daily lives of each of them.
The email thus intervenes at every stage of the customer relationship: at the information and prospecting course, at the time of conversion, but also later for loyalty.
The value of email marketing lies in its great scalability: it is possible to easily send emails on a large scale, while customizing the exchanges as much as possible according to what you know from your recipient.
Email marketing in 2019
Email is not new. On the contrary, it was one of the first digital media that appeared. But far from being obsolete, email marketing is now more used than ever.
Because of its high accessibility, it can reach a variety of audiences that are not necessarily comfortable with the Internet – it is the most widespread marketing medium.
Using emails for your marketing allows you to build a lasting relationship with your customers and prospects.
According to one study, 90% of Internet users visit their main address at least once a day.
Almost half (45%) they also manage their purchases from the same address.
Email is described as the most popular business lever for both professionals and people who check their emails from their mobile phones.
If you don’t have a marketing email strategy in place yet, you’re losing sales opportunities, and a great opportunity to connect with your customers to get to know them better!
It’s time to fix it: we explain how.
Where to start: choosing the software
The value of emailing software
The first step in implementing an effective emailing strategy is choosing your sending software.
It is indeed essential to use software to send your emails for several reasons.
The first is that email platforms (such as Sendinblue) allow you to ensure that your emails are delivered to your recipients.
There’s no point in sending emails if no one gets them, right? 😉
An emailing software allows you to manage the registrations to your emails (a legal obligation I’m talking about below) but also to design your emails easily.
With just a few clicks, you can design a newsletter that’s fun to read and that fulfills your goals.
Email platforms also allow you to track the statistics of your emails sent: you can see which emails are the best and learn more about your audience thanks to the rate of opening, clicking and responsiveness.
Finally – and most importantly – emailing software saves you time! Sending emails one by one via Outlook or Gmail is risky but also very time consuming and produces few results.
Comparison of solutions.
There are several e-mailing software. To make an informed and relevant choice for your business, here are the questions to ask yourself:
- How many contacts do you have and plan to have in a year?
- How many emails do you plan to send in a year?
- What kind of email do you want to send? (Automatic and/or marketing)
- Are you comfortable with English? (Some software is only available in English)
These questions will help you determine your emailing platform based on your needs.
Different types of marketing emails
One-off emails are emails that are anchored in time. You design them and send them over the water. They keep pace with your business:
- The newsletters present your company’s news (new milestone, new feature or service) and/or highlight an example of your products’ use. They keep in the minds of your recipients and inspire them.
- Email campaigns are more focused on the marketing and sales aspect. A campaign can consist of 3-10 emails over several days or even weeks. They correspond to a promotion/a strong marketing moment. For example: an offer for Black Friday, specials for the holiday season, the launch of a new product, etc.
Automated emails save you time and money.
These emails are customized based on the information you have, but don’t require someone to press the « send » button every time.
You set an email template that will then be sent directly, without human intervention, to your recipients based on pre-established conditions.
There are two types of automated emails:
- Transactional emails: sent as a result of a transaction. These include booking confirmation emails, welcome emails when someone signs up for your newsletter, or appointment reminders.
- Marketing automation emails: sent based on your relationship with your recipient. This is for example emails sent after sending a white paper, or following a first visit to your site without purchase.
The best practices of email marketing
Now that you know more about the different types of emails and their interests for your business, it’s time to move on to the main points of email marketing.
These are points on which I draw your attention because they will allow you to send high-performance emails legally.
Collect emails legally
To send emails, you need email addresses – logical. However, how you collect these addresses is very important.
The RGPD is a European regulation that protects consumers’ personal data, including their email addresses.
To collect emails legally, you have to go through a process called opt in.
This procedure allows you to record the collection and processing permissions given by your prospect or customer.
Segment your mailing list
The bigger your email list grows, the more likely it is to contain very different people.
Segmenting your list is cutting it into several small lists of similar people.
Segmentation can be done according to age, the source of the lead, the purchase of a first product… there are many possibilities!
This allows you to continue to offer relevant and personalized content to everyone on your list.
Caring for your deliverability
Deliverability is a term derived from the English « deliverability. » It’s a concept that means that emails are sent – and therefore received – by your recipients. Conversely, some emails are delivered directly in the SPAM folder (unwanted mail), so they are rarely read.
The deliverability of your emails depends on technical as well as behavioral factors. In practical terms, this means that the quality of your emails influences their good reception – in every sense of the word. Caring for the object of your emails (avoiding words like « free »), keeping a contact list up to date and setting up a opt-out link are best practices that improve your deliverability.
Create a nice design
In marketing, form matters as much as substance.
Whatever your message and the value it has for your audience, no one will read it if the medium through which it is broadcast is not readable.
The trick to producing well-read and consistent emails while saving time is to create email templates.
Choose a template for your emails that you customize in your company’s colors. All you have to do is change the text for your various emails.
You don’t even need a designer: the drag-and-drop editor simply lets you customize your emails while creating a clean rendering.
Personalize your exchanges
We all like to feel a little special. On the other hand, you also feel very quickly when someone does not listen to what you say and respond next door.
This is also true in email marketing! Personalizing your emails is therefore essential in order to create a real relationship of trust with your prospects and customers.
This means using your first name at the head of email (« Hello, Chloe ») but also by more advanced features, such as dynamic customization, which allows you to offer your recipients different products according to their preferences in the same email!
These anecdotal appearance changes have a profound impact on your opening, clicking and therefore conversion rates.