Email Marketing – A Key Stepping Stone in your CRM Journey

 
email marketing
 
 
Email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing tools despite the exponential growth of social media platforms due to their high usage, engagement rate, etc.

In this article, we are going to explore what is email marketing, why it is so popular, email marketing tools, email marketing templates, email marketing software/services and everything in between!

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the practice of sending email newsletters to your customers or leads about latest development pertaining to your products, services, discounts, and other benefits that you have to offer them.

It is a great way to not only nurture your existing customers and generate repeated sales, but also to reach out to new customers. It is also a great way to keep your customers engaged and connected with your brand value without being aggressive or hard-selling. It is a unique combination of direct marketing & digital marketing.

According to an article by email marketing platform Mailchimp, email marketing dates back to 1978. Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp., sent out an email to a list of 400 customers & leads to inform them about a new product. This email alone is believed to have resulted in sales amounting to $13 million.

Why is Email Marketing Important?

1) You own your list of emails
In case of social media platforms, your profile can suddenly get suspended, blocked, or deleted without notice. You stand the chance of losing your target customers, fans, followers, etc. However, in case of your email marketing list, it belongs to you. Nobody will be able to take these leads away from your.

2) Email still remains the no.1 communication channel
99% people check their email inbox at least once a day every single day. Then there are also those highly productive individuals who consider social media to be a distraction that they can do without. Hence, they choose to stay away from it. Even those active on social media do have work and/or personal email ids that they check every single day.

In both the above-mentioned scenarios, email marketing proves to be the best means of reaching everyone.

3) Email marketing provides the highest conversion rate
According to an article by Hubspot, “Email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available.”

Some of the other 2020 email stats presented in the article include:
  • 3.9 million users use email daily
  • 46% of all email opens are from mobile devices
  • 73% of millennials prefer to receive business communication via email
  • Marketers who use segmented email campaigns note an average of 760% increase in revenue.
Thus, you can see the effectiveness of email marketing as compared to marketing from other channels.

Now that we know what email marketing is, and why it is important, let us take a look at some of its other aspects. This will help you set up an effective email marketing flow.

Email Marketing Strategy

Designing an effective email marketing strategy involves the following steps:

1) Build an email list
Simply putting up an option on your website for people to signup using their email ids is an outdated concept. What you need to do is set up a lead magnet.

In simple terms, a lead magnet is something that offers the visitor some value or freebie in exchange for their email id. It need not cost you much to create. For instance, most lead magnets are ebooks, pdfs, videos, audio files, etc., which you can create by incurring minimal cost.

In case of products & services, you can offer a free item or discount on the first order in exchange for newsletter signup, where users must enter their email ids. The code to redeem the same can be shared in an email confirming their subscription to the same.

These are some of the most effective strategies that businesses use to build their email list. Once you have a reasonable number of email ids (even as less as 50-100), you can send out regular emails about what’s new, latest offers, announcements, opinion polls to know the preferences of your customers, etc.

2) Set up a good lead magnet
What makes a good lead magnet? While developing a good lead magnet, you must keep the following in mind:
  • Easy to consume: People will be interested in your lead magnet if it is crisp, concise, useful, and of interest to them. Hence, a manifesto of 300 pages won’t work.
  • Immediately available: A lead magnet should be available for users to use immediately. It should provide instant gratification.
  • Relevant: Your audience won’t be interested in you lead magnet unless it is relevant. Hence, you must ensure that will be of interest to them and provide them with a certain value that they won’t avail elsewhere.
  • Useful: Your lead magnet should offer something actionable, such as a new skill set or any other useful information.
3) Choose an email marketing service/software:
The next step is to choose an email marketing service that helps you design a suitable newsletter with attractive images, links, text options, etc. Here are some of the most popular email marketing services:
 
  • Mailchimp
Mailchimp is one of the best email marketing services when you’re just starting out. It has a very friendly user interface that allows you to choose from a variety of built-in templates for email newsletters. You can customize these templates or build your own, with options to easily add images, text, headings, etc. to your newsletter.

It also offers the option of automating follow-up emails such as abandoned cart, etc.

It is free for the first 2,000 subscribers, following which plans start from as low as $10 per month. 

Along with newsletter templates, Mailchimp also provides options for you to build custom audience lists, subject, a summery that appears below the subject line, and tracking tools for you to track the performance of your email newsletter – percentage of opens, revenue generated, etc. 
 
  • ConvertKit
ConvertKit is a great option for bloggers, speakers, authors, and the like. 

Some of the tools that it offers include the creation of landing pages, a tool that enables creators to build an ecommerce store, email designer, email sign-up forms, automated/follow-up emails, as well as integrations with social media accounts and other useful tools to help grow your business through email marketing.
 
  • AWeber
Another email marketing service that enables you to set up automations, customize email templates, and a wide range of other tools. They are well known for their customer support.

4) Email Marketing Templates

Depending upon the nature of your products and services, you can either use a ready template from the ones available in any of the email services listed above, or you can have one customized for yourself. 

Depending upon what type of email newsletter you wish to send out, there are different ready-to-use templates that are very user friendly and editable.i love you mama

The broad categories of emails/newsletters that businesses normally send out are as follows:
 
  • Welcome emails
These are emails sent to those who have subscribed to your newsletter or entered their email ids in contact forms on your websites. A great way to touch base with new entrants in your mailing list and create curiosity about your offerings. This is where sites offering discounts on the 1st purchase share discount codes with users, if that is the lead magnet they are using.
 
  • Announcements of offers, discounts, giveaways, etc.
These are emails that you must send out around twice a month. Templates of these emails are normally a combination of images and text. They are full of attractive images, GIFs, catchy captions, and text content that is aimed at maximum conversion. 

They also contain links to your ecommerce store, app, & social media handles. If you have an ecommerce store, it is highly recommended for you to include images of your best-selling products/those on which you have discounts/offers along with a “buy now” button so that users can immediately avail your offers.
 
  • Newsletters in the form of blogs
It is a good idea to send these out once in a while. You may not realize this, but these emails play a crucial role in lead nurturing and re-engagement. These are email newsletters that are aimed at helping your audience by increasing their knowledge about a particular subject. These emails are not aimed at conversions or sales as such, but to provide value-added information. They also help establish your credibility as an authority in your niche.

However, towards the end of the newsletter, it might be a good idea to make your audience aware about certain offers/services running on your website. These can be int he form of product spotlights. Also, if you are involved in any charity or community service activities, this is a good platform to showcase them and request the participation of your audience in the same.
 
  • Abandoned cart emails
A very crucial automation in your email marketing workflow. If you are a retailer or service provider and own an ecommerce store or app that enables users to add items to a cart, this automation is a must for you. 

Statistia reports that in March 2020, it was found that 88.05% of online shoppers were seen to abandon their carts, i.e. not make a purchase. This could be a post-COVID situation. However, the average cart abandonment rate remains at 76% as of November 2020, according to a report by opinionmonstor.com. Hence, this automation is a must for most businesses.

On various occasions, users visit your website/app and add items to their cart. However, halfway through the checkout process, they are likely to abandon their cart and exit. These visitors can be re-targeted through these emails. These emails are designed to display the items that a particular visitor has added to his/her cart, along with the prices, checkout total, etc. You can also offer 10-20% off on the total value of the cart to increase the number of checkouts (purchases).
 
  • Onboarding Emails
These are emails that you can send to your new customers, i.e., those availing your products/services for the first time. You can thank your customers for opting for your product/service and explain the unique features of your product to them.

You can also introduce them to your customer support or any other tools you have to offer, which will enhance their experience.  Businesses also set up a series of “training” emails to enable customers to fully benefit from your offerings, as well as gain new knowledge.

Email marketing services such as Mailchimp and others enable you to set up such emails or sequence of emails.

Thus, we can see the role of email marketing in CRM, lead nurturing, customer re-targeting, enhancing customer experiences, and a whole lot of other benefits. We can also see how this is a safe and sustainable option as compared to other digital marketing options (social media & the like).

We hope this article helps you embark on your email marketing journey! To know more about customer retention, customer relationship management, & related topics, please check out our blog.