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Email Marketing 101: The Basics of Email Marketing

Chances are you’re collecting leads on your website or via another portal – but unless you are using those emails effectively, that information is not serving you as well as it could (and should). Email marketing allows you to send targeted emails that offer information, advice, helpful tips, and even promotions to your prospects, with an end goal of leading them closer to making a sale. Email marketing is popular for two reasons: it offers high ROI and is incredibly affordable, particularly when compared to PPC or traditional ad campaigns.

Why Email?

Email marketing is not only affordable (in some cases, all it costs is your time) and offers a high ROI for the time you spend on it. Targeted emails sent to customers who have opted in to your list significantly outperform social media, AdWords and other common marketing channels, according to marketing experts at Campaign Monitor, email ROI can be up to 4400%.

Email Marketing Basics

What Can You Send?

Emails that detail new products, seek to recover abandoned shopping carts or that announce an event or upcoming special are the most popular forms, but you are not limited to just these topics. You likely get several emails daily; start paying attention to what you’re receiving, and you’ll get a broad overview of the ways this method is being used. Not every email needs to result in a sale. Emails that connect and engage lead the customer further into your sales funnel and help you forge a lasting connection. Your newsletter, tips for using your product or industry news are all helpful forms of content that will engage with your readers without being overly salesy.

Who Should You Send to?

People who have opted into your list are the ideal recipients. Your list of subscribers may be small at first but will grow over time. Your existing customers can also be prompted to opt in and give permission for you to send an email to them occasionally. It is important to note that you can’t just send random emails to people who have not opted in; that approach will get your account shut down in a hurry and could even lead to legal troubles related to spam content.

How Can You Send Emails?

The easiest way to set up email campaigns is to use an email service provider (ESP) like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Most ESPs offer free services for brands with under a set threshold of subscribers (MailChimp’s threshold is 2000) and all offer a sliding fee scale based on the number of emails sent.

Your emails can be delivered via your ESP and you’ll be able to track results – you can tell how many people opened your emails and how many people clicked through to view your offer or your site.

How often should emails be sent?

The Direct Marketing Association says that most brands send no more than 2-3 emails per month. While email is effective, sending too frequently can cause your prospects to unsubscribe out of annoyance. Sending your own newsletter and one or two other emails per month is a good starting point; you can adjust this based on your own metrics and responses.

Email marketing remains affordable, accessible to brands of all sizes and above all, effective, making it an ideal option for any brand interested in growth and customer retention. Want to learn about the most effective strategies for your brand? Subscribe to our newsletter and you'll get a steady stream of ideas and helpful content to help you make the most of your own marketing program.