The Beginners Guide to Successful Email Marketing

Kickoff your email marketing strategy with these valuable insights

Email marketing has proven itself as one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach their customers. Whether you're looking to share promotions, monthly newsletters, or long-form content with your audiences -- email marketing is the perfect tool to get the word out.

With impressive metrics and obtainable benchmarks, email is a great option to improve customer relationships and increase your return on investment. But when you're just starting, it can be challenging to know where to start.

In this article, we'll take you through a few of the things you need to know when just getting started in the world of email marketing.

Here's a look at what you can expect to learn:

  • Why you need email marketing
  • Things to consider when developing your email marketing strategy
  • Ten email marketing platforms you need to know

Why You Need Email Marketing

Contrary to what you may read, email marketing is alive and well. No, it is not slowly dying and becoming irrelevant to your audiences. In fact, if you take this advice and stop using email marketing altogether, you'll be putting yourself at a disadvantage.
Email Marketing ROI
When comparing ROI, email marketing leads the competition by a long shot. Spending more time improving your email communication will result in a higher return than any other channel -- and it shouldn't be ignored. Image courtesy of Lyfe Marketing.

Here are just a few of the reasons you should still be focusing on email marketing:
  • The ROI of email marketing can be up to $42 for every $1 spent
  • 47% of marketers rate email marketing as their most effective marketing channel
  • Emails are 40% better at converting than Facebook and Twitter
  • 72% of customers prefer email as their main channel for business communication
  • 21% of emails sent are opened within the first hour of delivery
  • Marketing and advertising emails include the buying decision of 50.7% of customers

To put it frankly, email marketing is still alive and thriving. With stats like those, it's easy to understand how important email is to your overall marketing strategy. It's a direct way to reach your customers and increase conversion rates.

It's a channel that your customers want to interact with the brands they love, and it will provide you with the return on investment you want to see.

Benefits You Can Expect from Email Marketing

Now that you have an idea of why email marketing is so important let's take a brief look into how email can benefit your business.

There are a variety of different ways that email marketing can benefit your business. From increasing brand recognition to building stronger customer relationships -- it can all positively impact your business.

While there are plenty of benefits, you can expect to see. We'll take a look at just a few in this section.

Increase Brand Awareness

Using email marketing is a great way to start building brand awareness.

Brand awareness means how familiar consumers are with the distinctive qualities of a brand. This can include everything from visual elements, including the brand logo and colors and the voice and tone of the brand.

The goal is to have such a strong brand presence that people can identify your business without being prompted.
Brand Awareness
Brand awareness not only keeps your company top of mind for your audiences, but it also can have a direct impact on your revenue. Consistently presenting your brand across all of your marketing channels is very important. Image courtesy of Kettle Fire.

Think about when you see an ad for a big-name store like Target or Walmart. You can quickly associate that ad based on color and imagery with the brand it is promoting. This is what you want to happen when a customer sees your ads.

Once you've started to gain some traction and your audience is becoming more aware of your brand, you should begin to see an increase in revenue related to this. Having a consistent brand experience will improve the customer experience and lead to increased sales.

Drive Traffic to Your Site

Another great benefit that comes with email marketing is the ability to drive more traffic to your website. As more people visit your site, you're increasing the chances that you'll convert them and land a sale.

By including relevant links within your emails, you can send subscribers directly to the page of interest on your website. With personalization and reliable customer data, you can target these emails to ensure you're sending the most relevant information to each user -- which will result in even higher traffic increases.

Make sure when you're developing emails to keep this in mind and incorporate engaging content with a great call to action. Sending messages without intent won't return the metrics or engagement you're hoping for, but a thoughtful email that directs customers back to your site will.
Build Stronger Relationships
Email is an excellent way to stay connected and build relationships with your customers. Your subscribers have chosen to join your email list and want to hear from your brand, but you need to continue to nurture them.

When done right, email marketing can convert new leads and turn them into loyal customers.
Customer relationship building
Taking the time to build relationships with your customers will pay off. Consumers who are loyal to a brand are much more likely to spend more and recommend the brand to a friend or family -- increase your revenue. Image courtesy of Yotpo.

If you're only sending one or two emails a month, chances are good your customers have already forgotten about you. But if you develop campaigns that engage with subscribers over a period of time, your brand will be top of mind, and they will welcome your messages.

Now, keep in mind that your emails need to provide something of value to your customers. If you're continually sending irrelevant content and messages that don't appeal to their needs -- you'll just become an annoyance.

A little later in this article, we'll talk more about what nurturing campaigns look like and how to develop one to improve your customer relationships.

Things You'll Need to Consider When Developing Your Email Marketing Strategy

There are several things you'll want to consider when developing your email marketing strategy. By considering these things, you'll be setting a solid foundation, and your emails will be much more successful.

In this section, we'll take a look at three steps you'll want to take to make the most out of your email marketing strategy. Each of these areas will be just one of the many stepping stones to set your emails up for success -- but they are all important to understand from the start.

1. Your Subscriber List

The first thing you need to do when starting with your email marketing is to start building your subscriber list. Whether you're starting from zero or already have a few thousand subscribers, continuously growing your list is vital to email marketing.

Not sure how to start growing your subscriber list? Here are a few tips:
  • Add sign-up forms to your website
  • Ask customers to sign-up when they make a purchase
  • Provide incentives
  • Offer exclusive content and deals
  • Deliver value-added content

Once you've started to gather a good number of subscribers, it's time to start thinking about new ways to leverage this content. This is where segmentation comes into the picture. Segmentation is the idea of grouping customers based on similarities to send more relevant and personalized content at scale.

But it doesn't stop there. You need to continuously work to keep your subscribers engaged and update your data based on customer interactions and insights.
Email Subscribed retention benchmark
Keeping an eye on your subscriber retention rates is an essential part of your list management duties. This will allow you to identify potential issues and find inactive contacts you might be able to win back. Image courtesy of Marketing Charts.

Over time, your subscriber list will change.

Not only will it change by adding new subscribers, but you will also lose subscribers. You'll want to keep an eye on your retention benchmarks to identify if there are any problems with your content and that you're not drastically losing subscribers each month.

Luckily, if you're actively reviewing your subscriber list, you can identify inactive users and create campaigns to try to win them back. When you consider it is much cheaper to retain a current customer than attract a new one, this is a big opportunity.

2. Develop Click Worthy Content

Next up, you need to identify what content is relevant and interesting to your audiences. If you're not producing engaging and click-worthy content, your subscribers will not respond to the message.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to creating click-worthy content:
  1. The type of content you're creating
  2. The way you're writing it
  3. The relevancy of the content to each subscriber

First, let's talk about the type of content you're creating. One of the most useful things you can do is share sales and promotions, but you need to go beyond this in some industries.

Creating monthly newsletters to keep subscribers up-to-date on company news may be what your audience wants to see. Or maybe it's creating a lead magnet such as an informational whitepaper that provides value to the reader.

Whatever the case may be, you need always to provide value to your audience. If they do not feel like they are getting something of value, they're likely to churn or unsubscribe.
Write short and concise emailsThe task of physically writing your emails can be a challenging one. You need to get the message across in a way that encourages your subscribers to open, click, and convert -- but shortly and concisely. Image courtesy of AWeber.

When it comes to writing your emails, there are many things you'll want to consider. Knowing how to get your message across shortly and concisely will help increase the chances of your email being read, but it's not the only consideration.

Another important factor is making sure you're speaking to your audience in the right tone and manner. Talking down to your audience or not speaking at the right level could quickly turn them off from your brand -- and once you lose them, they're gone.

Here are a few tips to help you write better email content:
  • Know who your audience is and write for them
  • Use actionable language
  • Make sure your subject line and body copy are consistent
  • Quickly establish relevance and value

Lastly, you need to make sure your content is relevant to your readers. This means you need to take time to ensure the topic you've chosen will actually resonate with your audience. Sending irrelevant content is one of the quickest ways to lose subscribers.

When writing your emails, you can make the content more relevant by adding personalization and dynamic content into the message. This will help the message grab the reader's attention, keep them interested, and increase the chances of them converting.

Nurture Your Subscribers

Once you've built a substantial subscriber list and mastered the art of email creation, the next step is to put automated campaigns into place. These campaigns can be used to accomplish a variety of different things, but in this section, we'll talk a little bit more about nurturing messages.

It might feel like once you've started to get a decent following, you don't have to focus on your subscribers as much as developing quality content. But the fact of the matter is you need to continue to nurture your subscribers throughout the entire lifespan of the relationship.

When it comes to re-engaging leads, email is one of the most effective channels to accomplish this -- coming in higher than social media, display targeting, and search retargeting.
Rengaging email leads
Email marketing is a great option to nurture and re-engage leads. Whether you're looking to win-back inactive users or simply reach out to a lead that hasn't connected in a while, email nurturing can help build that relationship. Image courtesy of WP Forms.

Luckily, with the right tools creating automated nurturing campaigns can be easier than ever before.

Using automation will allow you to create customized workflows that enroll users based on their real-time behaviors and interactions. This keeps the content they're receiving fresh and relevant to their personal needs.

Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate nurturing emails into your marketing strategy:
  • Welcome campaigns
  • Top-of-mind campaigns
  • Reengagement campaigns
  • Product-focused campaigns
  • Promotional nurturing campaigns
  • Renewal campaigns
No matter what product or service you're selling, there's a way to nurture your subscribers. It might look like a promotional nurturing campaign for some brands, while others may benefit from a more top-of-mind campaign -- it all depends on your brand's needs.

10 Email Marketing Platforms You Need to Know

To set your email marketing strategy up for success, you'll want to consider investing in an automation platform.

These platforms provide you with all the essentials needed to create, manage, and understand how your email campaigns perform. They will also provide you with the tools you need to make your emails scalable and effective.

When comparing platforms, there are a few common tools that you'll want to look for, including:
  • Email building tools to help make the design process quick and easy
  • Subscriber and list management capabilities
  • Automation to develop campaigns that run without manual intervention
  • The ability to track and measure your emails

In this section, we'll provide you with the most important heights of 10 different platforms available. Each one offers something a little different and unique, so check them out and see what ones fit your needs.

1. Listrak

Listrak provides retailers with a sophisticated email marketing tool that can improve current email marketing efforts. With the help of automation, advanced segmentation, dynamic content, and predictive technologies, you can stay ahead of the wants and needs of your customers -- and always send the right message.
Listrack marketing pitch
When it comes to planning a successful email marketing campaign, you need to have the right tools in place. The Listrak platform provides you with a place to create, manage, and improve your current email marketing strategy to impact your customer engagement significantly. Image courtesy of Listrak.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Responsive email designed to ensure your messages look professional and are visible on all devices
  • Customer journey orchestration allows you to optimize engagement by knowing who your customers are and what content is most relevant to their personal needs
  • Abandonment messages that will encourage people who left something behind to come back and complete their purchase
  • Predictive content and product recommendations that identify the content your customers want before they even know they need it

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? Its advanced email marketing technology including, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics.

2. Drip

Drip is an email marketing automation platform developed to help eCommerce brands engage and interact with their customers. From acquisition to building loyal subscribers and everything in between -- this platform will help you build stronger relationships with your customers.
Email marketing automation
Understanding how your email marketing campaigns are performing quickly is essential to improve your current efforts. Drip provides you with an easy-to-use dashboard that will give you a snapshot of your most important metrics. Image courtesy of Drip.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Forms and lead generating ads to help you attract new subscribers and actively increase your contact list
  • A/B testing capabilities to help identify what content works and improve future messages with these insights
  • Recommended audience segments to make sending mass emails personalized and scalable for your teams
  • Automation that can help to nurture customers post-purchase and convert them into loyal, return visitors

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? That this platform helps you build stronger customer relationships by using real-time data and insights to drive marketing decisions.

3. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is a marketing automation platform that has the email marketing tools you need. From making email creation simple to improving list segmentation and optimizing email send times -- Sendinblue can help you achieve your goals.

Create professional-looking emails
Creating professional-looking emails doesn't have to be a time-consuming process. With the right tool in place, you can quickly and easily create beautifully designed messages that are much more likely to convert. Image courtesy of Sendinblue.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • A variety of predesigned templates and a simple drag and drop editor to make designing professional-looking emails a breeze
  • Personalization capabilities to create messages that are tailor and speak to each customer based on their interactions
  • List segmentation that allows you to group like audiences and make sending relevant content more scalable
  • Machine learning send time optimization techniques that will ensure messages are sent at only the most opportune times

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? The ability to learn and understand when your customers are most likely to open and engage with your emails and using that to send emails at the right moment.

4. MailerLite

MailerLite is an email marketing automation platform that helps businesses reach their customers and integrate eCommerce to increase revenue directly. This platform will allow you to continuously grow your subscriber list with lead generation capabilities and optimize as you go.\
email marketing automation Mailerlite
An easy and intuitive platform is one of the most important things to make your email marketing campaigns a success. With MailerLite, you can easily create professional-looking emails and integrate all of the critical elements from one central location. Image courtesy of MailerLite.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Connect your eCommerce platform to develop campaigns that directly drive sales and revenue increases
  • Grow your audience with website pop-us, landing pages, embedded forms, and more
  • Send the right messages to your audiences with the help of automation, interest groups, personalization, and more
  • Optimize campaigns with technology like A/B testing, time zone sending, and auto resends

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? The ability to connect and integrate with your eCommerce platform making it easy to convert your customers and increase revenue.

5. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a marketing platform that can help you find your audience and convert them into purchasing customers. This platform is meant to help businesses continue to grow their audiences and manage their email marketing needs.
Marketing Platform Convertkit
Connecting with your customers has never been easier. By having all the information you need in one platform, you can create, send, and track emails while growing and managing your subscriber list. Image courtesy of ConvertKit.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Easily design and write emails with templates and a clutter-free writing experience to help you focus
  • Leverage ConvertKit's 98% deliverability rates and repudiation with email providers to increase your deliverability and stay out of spam folders
  • Grow your subscriber list with sign up forms and landing pages dedicated to lead generation
  • Manage your subscriber list by creating customized segments, adding tags based on customer interactions, and more

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? The ability to grow your subscriber list and then segment and tag your customers to ensure you're sending the most relevant content.

6. Benchmark

Benchmark is an email marketing platform that will allow you to create, manage, and send all of your email campaigns. By understanding who your customers are and creating automated workflows to send the right message at the right time, you can improve your campaign results
Email marketing with Benchmark
Email marketing is made easy with this easy-to-use platform. Quickly create messages to drive sales and know exactly who to send them to and when. Image courtesy of Benchmark.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Grow your subscriber by creating forms that fit seamlessly with your website and other feedback tools like polls and surveys
  • Create emails with a drag and drop editor and use their email checklist to ensure you didn't miss any important elements
  • Automate email campaigns to send timely and relevant emails to your customers based on real interactions
  • Track and measure your campaign success and find areas of optimization for future messages

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? It provides businesses with all the tools needed to improve their email marketing efforts and spend less time creating new campaigns.

7. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is an email marketing platform that can help you manage your email needs, from subscriber list management to developing automated campaigns to welcome new users. With this platform, you can easily connect with your customers and create campaigns that convert.
Constant Contact
Make your messages stand out, and you'll quickly see your monthly metrics begin to increase. With Constant Contact, you can easily make professional-looking emails that are much more likely to convert. Image courtesy of Constant Contact.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Create automated email marketing campaigns including, welcome series, triggered messages, and more
  • Grow your subscriber list with powerful list-building tools and then segment your lists to understand your customers better
  • Connect your eCommerce store to create campaigns that send your subscribers directly to your online store
  • Track campaign results in real-time and use that data to help drive changes and improvements for future messages

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? The ability to connect with your eCommerce store to drive customers directly to the products you know they love.

8. Mailify

Mailify is a marketing automation platform that can help businesses manage and improve their email marketing from one central platform. It's an advanced solution that provides the tools you need to improve your email strategy and personalized support when needed.
Email marketing analytics automation
Create emails that wow your customers and then watch as the metrics come in. Taking time to analyze and reflect on past campaigns will allow you to work towards continuous improvement in your strategy. Image courtesy of Mailify.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Put your customer data to work and develop email marketing campaigns around their wants and needs
  • Subscriber list management capabilities and no limitations to how many contacts you import
  • Quickly create emails with their flexible Email Builder tool and send beautiful emails every time
  • Ensure your messages make it to your subscriber's inbox with high delivery rates

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? The list management capabilities and that there are no limitations to how many contacts you can upload to the platform.

9. GetResponse

GetResponse provides businesses with inbound marketing solutions that include a variety of email marketing capabilities. Whether you're looking for a tool to create messages easily, manage your subscriber list, or send emails based on real-time interactions -- this platform can do it.
Email marketing tool GetResponse
Create emails that convert in no time with GetResponse's drag and drop media creation tool. With a variety of layouts and sections, you can make every message unique in a fraction of the time. Image courtesy of GetResponse.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • Create automated email sequences that engage and nurture your customers throughout their purchasing journey
  • Send newsletters to keep your subscribers up-to-date and share special offers
  • Use their Perfect Timing and Time Travel delivery tools to ensure your sending emails at the right time for each customer
  • Create transactional emails that are triggered based on customer interactions and provide relevant information

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? The ability to know precisely when to send messages to your users for optimal results based on their previous engagement.

10. MailChimp

MailChimp is an email marketing platform that is designed to help small businesses reach their customers and grow their business. From list growth and management capabilities to advanced creative tools, you can achieve all of your email goals with this tool.
Mail Chimp content manager
Manage all of your email content from one central location to keep your messages consistent and on-brand. With everything you need in one easy-to-access location, creating emails can be done in a portion of the time. Image courtesy of MailChimp.

Email Marketing Highlights:
  • A content creation studio that featured an AI-powered Creative Assistant to help generate custom designs
  • List management capabilities to better understand who your audience is and how you should be talking to them
  • Personalization that can be added to any automated campaign to make it feel less like a robot
  • Campaign insights that will help you identify what worked and potential opportunities for future messages

What makes this platform stand out from the crowd? That you can manage all of your email marketing needs and leverage many powerful tools within the platform.

11. Selzy

Selzy is an all-in-one email marketing platform that is a great choice for small businesses. The best thing about it is simplicity: the no-code editor and the user-friendly interface allow even newbies to set up and launch their first-ever campaign in less than 15 minutes.
From countdown timers to image carousels and bold CTA buttons with a customizable design — Selzy has it all to create modern-looking and picture-perfect emails.

Email marketing highlights:
  • Build well-designed emails with a no-code editor and 100+ free templates for any occasion.
  • Grow your list with in-built signup forms and maintain its quality with the List Hygiene feature.
  • Look through digestible but extensive campaign reports that even include a click map and optimize your future emails for maximum efficiency.

What makes this platform stand out in the crowd? Selzy is great for startups and middle-sized companies thanks to its affordable pricing, the generous forever-free plan, and the overall simplicity of the tool that makes it the perfect choice for beginners in email marketing.

Get Started With Email Marketing Today

If you're reading this article, you're already on the right path to getting started with email marketing. Now that you understand why you should use email marketing, a few tips for creating successful messages and the tools to help you take it to the next level you're ready to jump in.


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