Every year it is common to hear two statements: “this is the year of the podcast (or any other new media)” and “email marketing is dead”. As for the first one, I can’t say if we’re still in the infamous “Podcast Year”. However, in relation to the second statement, I write with all the letters: email marketing is not dead. And it won’t even die!
If you want to know what email marketing is, how it works, and the most effective way to create campaigns that convert, you’ve come to the right place! This article will explain everything you need to know about email marketing. Come with me!
What is Email Marketing?
E-mail marketing is the strategy of sending e-mails to a list of contacts, in general already interested in your business. The goals can range from keeping them engaged with your brand to encourage a conversion.
According to a survey by Visual Capitalist, a company that offers business consulting in the United States, every minute in 2019, an average of 188 million emails were sent. That same year, Gmail, one of the most used platforms in the world, reached the incredible milestone of 1.5 billion users.
With these huge numbers, it’s no wonder companies continue to use email as one of their top digital marketing platforms. E-mail is far from being considered obsolete and is still capable of bringing good results to companies that use it.
Email Marketing x Spam
For a long time, email marketing actions were seen as spam, creating a certain stigma on this content marketing strategy. But that was because companies used to buy mailing lists and not build their own contact base.
Well, a good email marketing strategy lies in the interest of the recipient of the email in the content sent. If the recipient is not interested, it will certainly mark you as spam and a conversion opportunity is lost. Hence the importance of building a list of contacts who are interested and want to receive your content.
If you manage to build an interested “base”, your business will be able to take advantage of this type of digital marketing. For example, according to data from Campaign Monitor, an email is 40 times more effective for acquiring new customers than social networks like Facebook and Twitter. That same survey also shows that for every $1 invested in email, the return is $38. In other words, the ROI is absurdly high!
The importance of email marketing
An article in the Pew Research Center predicted an incredible 3 billion email users in the year 2020. Note that there are 3 billion unique users, if you take into account the number of active email accounts, this number is around 5.6 billion.
It is estimated that 92% of adults use this feature, with 61% of them using it daily. These numbers show how email campaigns have enormous reach, which is critical to sales strategies.
As stated before, the ROI on email marketing campaigns is extremely high, that is, investing in it is synonymous with profit. Another relevant piece of data, from Convince&Convert, is that 44% of email recipients make at least one purchase per year based on a promotional email.
Email also allows for closer interaction with leads, which is very interesting for a business. Best of all, it’s all at almost no cost, as sending email is free on all major email platforms.
Now that you understand the importance of email marketing, it’s time to start putting it into practice and create an email that converts. So stay here with me!
How to create your contact list?
This is the main question for anyone starting an email marketing strategy. In this case, the golden tip is NEVER to buy email lists!
While it sounds wonderful at first glance, as they have multiple contacts, there is no guarantee that the email addresses on the list are of interest to your business or your solution. So, before you start sending an email, check out the tips that we’ll give you next.
The General Data Protection Law
This is a point to pay attention to. Since the approval of the LGPD, companies are prohibited from sending emails or messages to people who did not make it clear that they wanted to receive them. Therefore, buying e-mail lists or sending one-off can incur penalties.
According to the LGDP, every company or institution that wishes to make use of a citizen’s personal information must obtain their consent.
The company must also be transparent about the use of the individual’s data, making it clear what data the company uses and for what purpose. Furthermore, the possibility of no longer consenting to the use of data cannot be denied to the citizen.
If I can’t buy email lists, what do I do?
You might already be anxious, wondering how best to get the email address and permission to message people? The answer is through forms. These forms can be posted in company social media posts or blog posts.
There is also the possibility of creating landing pages, pages specifically designed to gather relevant information from a lead through forms. It is important, whether in the form or on the landing pages, that there is some field in which the lead can confirm that they want to receive your content and agree to share some personal data with the company.
Naturally, your leads may be wary of passing on personal data over the internet. For this situation, a tip is to condition access to some rich material when filling out a form.
For example: imagine a company that offers legal advice. The company has a blog, in which it publishes texts related to the area. The texts attract thousands of people interested or not in the company’s solutions. However, at the end of the texts, the company invites visitors to check out exclusive material related to the theme. Anyone who is really interested will click on the link. In return for access, the company requests data from the visitor through a form.
The main and most relevant information to be asked for in an email marketing form are:
More detailed forms can give you more information, but they can be considered boring and discourage visitors from filling out. So, be objective and succinct!
A tip is to focus on simple forms that only question what is necessary. If over time you need more lead information to make your email marketing strategy more effective, make a new form at another time in the funnel.
The types of emails
Within the email marketing strategy, there are several types of email that can be used, depending on the objective and the stage in the sales funnel. Knowing them will help you better choose which type of email to use in each situation. So here are some of the main types of email:
This is the most common type of email and is widely used by companies and businesses to keep their lead base informed of what’s new in the same. The newsletter is usually sent weekly or fortnightly and seeks to inform who receives it. It’s a very effective and simple way to keep in touch between the brand and the lead.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, around 40% of professionals responsible for company and business marketing consider email marketing as the most decisive part of achieving success in their content marketing strategy.
Another type of email that can be used within an email marketing strategy is lead nurturing. With this type, the aim is to “push” a qualified lead for conversion by sending content, usually in an automated way through email marketing tools.
Each email sent should direct you to a new step within the company’s sales funnel strategy, culminating in the conversion of the lead into a customer. The contents must be related to each other, generally following a progressive logic.
We can cite the following lead nurturing strategy as an example :
Let’s say that your company offers an online French language course and you got through a form the contact of João, a young man interested in learning French. He allowed the company to keep in touch with him and he’s even read some posts on the company’s blog. So, we can think of the following lead nutrition schedule:
Day 1: Thanks for forwarding the contact and a CTA for articles related to grammar on your business blog.
Day 2: Basic French Grammar E-book
Day 3: Invitation to a free online French class
Day 4: E-book on French culture
Day 5: Free evaluation on any topic of the materials passed on
Day 6: Discount on one of the French courses offered by the company.
The focus of lead nurturing is to drive them to a conversion. In the case of the example mentioned above, the conversion would be the hiring of online French classes. João was captivated by the contents and his interest in French will probably make him hire the classes.
This type of email is more specific. Like your name, it is an email that is sent at certain times. It is not constant, but seasonal. These emails are sent on commemorative dates and/or holidays.
Seasonal emails are often great for strengthening the relationship between the brand and the lead, making them feel remembered. For example, an email was sent at Christmas with some personalized message for the lead. This email is sure to elevate your brand image with the lead, who will feel like they’ve been remembered by the company.
This type of email is very common in e-commerce and usually has positive results for this sector and also for those offering infoproducts. Promotional emails summon the lead to take advantage of some promotions offered by the company. This promotion can be for everyone or exclusive to those who received the email, a great incentive for the lead to make a purchase.
It is possible to make these types of emails very targeted and increase the chances of successful conversion. You can use the data you already have from each lead and bring individual promotions, according to the products or solutions most interesting to them. This strategy is more advantageous than just creating a collective promotion without segmenting each lead’s individual interests.
One more type of email that can be used in email marketing strategies. While promotional people call the lead to take advantage of a promotion, invitation emails call them to participate in a company event. The event can be a webinar or a live promotion by the company.
What to worry about when making a successful email marketing strategy?
Do you know that famous story of buying a book first for its cover and then for its content? Well, choosing a good title for your emails should be a primary concern for your marketing strategy. After all, this is the first piece of content that the lead will have contact with (the book cover). A bad title can take the interest of opening your email.
According to surveys, 35% of the public opens an email considering only the subject. Did you find little? So look at this: emails with custom subjects are 26% more likely to be opened, according to Campaign Monitor.
If you don’t already know, it’s time to go after copywriting skills and use them to write your headlines. Many copywriters often say that when writing a sales letter, you should spend 80% of your effort thinking about a headline. In other words, you need to think a lot about the titles you will use in your emails.
According to a survey by MailChimp, emails with topics related to hobbies are the most open, with an open rate of 27.35%. In addition, emails where the recipient’s name appears in the title also have higher open rates. One last tip: many of the emails with the highest open rates had the word “secret” in the title!
Deep down, we all like to be pampered, don’t we? It’s always nice to see when a big company calls us by name or sends us personalized offers, even though it was just an automated trigger. I’m sorry if I was too sincere.
As I said in the title part, emails that mention the recipient’s name right in the title have a higher open rate. Another interesting piece of data, this one from Aberdeen, tells us that personalized emails increase click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10%. It’s a good raise, right?
Also, when I talk about personalization, I’m also talking about adapting email content to all types of devices, like cell phones, for example. 80% of people who use email open their inbox from their mobile device. Pay attention to this fact!
Do you know when you buy a product and still receive emails offering that product? Well, this means that the company in question is not properly segmenting its contact base.
Good targeting is essential for an email marketing campaign to work, after all, companies that segment their list have 39% or higher open rates compared to those that don’t. In addition, they have 28% fewer contacts who choose not to receive more emails, according to data from the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report.
Email automation platforms, such as Hubspot or MailChimp, have the necessary inputs for you to be able to segment your base in the best way to leverage your sales.
There’s a really cool story I always like to tell about the right timing to send emails. A certain company used to give collective vacations to its employees every end of the year. However, in a certain year, this company decided to extinguish this benefit.
The decision was complicated, but it had to be communicated to the team. Then, on Monday, when people arrived at the office and started opening their emails, they read the statement saying that that year there would be no collective vacation.
All employees who had planned a family vacation had taken a cold shower at that time. However, that time was Monday, the first day of the week. Certainly, most of that team worked the rest of the week with the motivation down there, because the timing of the email was horrible.
Recently, here on the blog, I gave several tips for those who want to create a successful webinar and there I talked about the importance of knowing the persona of your business, with email marketing campaigns it would be no different. You need to know your target audience and know the best time to interact with them.
Along with the headline, the offer is the culmination of your email. This offer is not necessarily the purchase of a particular product or service. It could be signing up for a free webinar or downloading an ebook.
To make irresistible offers, again, you need to know the concepts of copywriting, know the right mental triggers, and get your audience to take a certain action.
According to the Hubspot survey, Call-To-Action (CTA), known as “click here”, is the one with the highest click-through rate, which means you should be aware of this type of information to create offers that convert.
And how to analyze if email marketing is generating results?
As with other forms of dissemination, the results of email marketing need to be constantly analyzed to improve the strategy. For this, it has its own metrics and knowing them is important to be able to notice flaws and improve the strategy.
The delivery rate reveals the percentage of emails that arrived at the senders. This is a crucial fee for your email marketing strategy, after all, leads can’t see your content if they don’t even receive it. Ideally, it should be above 95%. If the rate is below this, it means that some contacts in your contact list are not receiving, they may be fake emails or emails that no longer exist.
The open rate is an important indicator of the effectiveness of an email marketing strategy. After all, it reflects the percentage of people who open the email. Usually, the rate varies between 6 and 20%. Rates below 6% mean a problem with the title. As stated earlier, it is necessary to create catchy, persuasive and brief headlines.
Some consider this the most important metric in email marketing. However, all are important indicators of success or failure in your strategy. The click-through rate reveals the percentage of people who clicked on the links that accompany the emails.
Click-through rates are usually above 3%, when they are less than that, it is a warning sign. If few people enter the links, make sure they are well exposed and easily accessible in the text.
If there are changes in the text structure and exposure of links, and the rate is still low, make a parallel with other rates. Because all rates are interconnected. After all, there is no way for leads to enter the links if they don’t even enter the emails, for example.
This is the rate that all companies want to be consistently high. After all, the ultimate goal of a marketing campaign is conversion. However, these fees vary widely depending on the type of conversion. It is generally easier for the conversion rate to be higher on a free rich stuff download than when the conversion is a purchase.
A company’s digital marketing strategies must always be constantly changing to achieve its goals and improve results. Hence the importance of noticing weaknesses in strategies and presenting solutions.
The metrics mentioned above can indicate possible problems or flaws in email marketing strategies, thus opening the way to propose solutions. But how do you know the best solution? Simple, testing!
A/B testing, which is widely used in marketing, can help you with this. In an a/b test, it is possible to apply two options and observe the results. It can be two versions of a page, two email titles and other variables.
Let’s go back to the example of the French course company. She already has an interesting base of contacts and wants to do a/b tests to find out what is the best title for an email.
Then, one part of the contact list was sent an email with the title “Learn French at home now” and the other part of the contact list received an email with the title “Learn French at home and at a discount ”.
After sending the emails, the company observed the rates for both, they revealed that the leads interacted much more with the email that had the word discount in the title. Therefore, the company decided to send this title template to everyone.
A/B tests can help you choose the best title, best image or best content for your emails. But it is noteworthy that it is not because one version did better than the other that it cannot be improved, the golden tip is always to test.
How to get the most accurate result in the A/B test?
To get the most accurate results that can effectively target your email marketing strategy, it is important to pay attention to the following factors:
The metric that will be analyzed
It is very important to clearly distinguish which metric is important for your analysis. In the example we gave, for example, it is not interesting to analyze the conversion rate, as the impact of changing the title was better on the open rate and not on the conversion rate.
Test only one variable at a time
This is an important tip for performing A/B testing. It is no use testing several variables at once, as the results will be inaccurate.
For example, let’s say the French course company has decided to test 3 title options, in addition to the two already known they have also tested the “Learn French from Home with Qualified Teachers” version. How will she interpret the results? What made one version do better than the other?
When testing only two variables at a time, the answers are clearer.
The test must take place at the same time.
The sending of e-mail for a/b tests must take place simultaneously. Never send on different days or times, as these time and date variations can interfere with results and lead to an unrealistic decision.
Pay attention to sampling
When we are going to carry out a test, regardless of what it is, we need a relevant number of people so that the result is as accurate as possible. This is a thought even shared by science. Vaccines and drugs need a specific number of people in their clinical trials.
Digital marketing is no different. We need a number determined in advance. The index will vary depending on your contact list. Therefore, it is not possible to say a correct number, but we can say that the larger the sample, the more chances of a more accurate result.
Know how to wait for the results
It’s natural to be anxious about test results, but it’s important to be patient. If the designated time to collect results was two hours after the emails were sent, this should be the time to collect results and it is not recommended to anticipate it. Because not everyone opens an email as soon as they receive it. You have to wait to get the most accurate results.
Are you ready to sell more with email marketing?
Now that you’ve seen what works and what doesn’t in email campaigns, are you ready to start putting it into practice?
Email marketing is a communication channel that you will have with your audience and, as shown throughout this text, it often engages more than traditional social networks. So it’s really worth investing in this type of content marketing.
The main advantage of e-mail over other digital marketing media is its low cost, which is quite attractive. And when used in a planned way and analyzing the metrics, it can bring very interesting and promising results for the company.
That’s why it’s important to learn the main concepts behind email marketing and the main tips to have a successful strategy. A good tip, too, is to have a good email marketing tool.
Thinking about starting your email marketing strategy? HeroSpark can help you!
HeroSpark is a tool that enables you to create sales funnels with high conversion and generate real results for your business. It allows you to create landing pages, trigger emails, broadcast webinars and track key metrics of your strategy. And the best: everything in one place.
We also have checkout integrated with major platforms such as Hotmart, Edools and EadBox. Click here and learn all about how to improve your email marketing with HeroSpark.