Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to turn prospects into customers, and it’ll help you turn one-time customers into fiercely loyal customers as well.
You don’t need to take our word for it — study after study has shown that email marketing produces a higher conversion rate and ROI compared to social media marketing, paid search ads and other popular marketing mediums.
Another benefit of email marketing is that, unlike advertising on social media and other platforms, everything is within your control. You’ll never need to worry about your strategy being thrown off by someone else (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) changing up their policies. It’s just you and the customer.
So, are you ready to get started with email marketing yet? In this guide, we’ll take you through building your contact list, writing the perfect marketing email and everything else you need to know.
Before you can start sending out your marketing emails, you’ll need a list of contacts to send them to.
You should never buy an email list from a third party. First of all, sending messages to such a list is unlikely to lead to much sales. Most of these people will not be familiar with your brand, and the data from these lists is often outdated and inaccurate. In fact, using a third-party email list will make many people less likely to buy from you in the future, as their first impression of your business will be that you blindly sent them spam.
Also, many email services have policies for penalizing or outright banning users that they detect using third-party email lists. It just isn’t worth it.
Indeed, you can’t just buy contacts — you’ll need to earn them yourself, and lead magnets are the best tool for this task.
A lead magnet is something that you give away for free in exchange for the visitor’s email address. This could be anything from an eBook to a webinar to a free trial of your latest product.
Whatever form your lead magnet takes, the key is to make sure that it actually provides value to the visitor. Regurgitating information that can easily be found elsewhere isn’t good enough. You’ll need original research, unique insights, custom graphics, etc. to entice visitors enough to give up their contact information.
The design of your opt-in form also has an effect on how many people will end up giving you their email address. With the following tips, you’ll be able to encourage more visitors to send over their info:
Not all of your contacts are the same, of course. They belong to different demographic groups and have different interests. They also have different relationships with your brand: some are long-time customers, while others haven’t even made a single purchase from you yet.
Given that fact, why would you treat all of your contacts the same?
Segmentation is the practice of breaking your contact list up into smaller sub-groups. That way, you can send messages that are more personalized and relevant (and therefore, more effective) to each group.
In the segmentation section above, we touched on the fact that successful email marketing efforts require some degree of personalization. The type of copy that works well for one group might not be effective for another.
That said, here are a few general writing tips that apply to just about every type of marketing email:
Once your number of subscribers reaches the hundreds (let alone the thousands), email marketing software is all but necessary for keeping your contacts organized and tracking the performance of your campaigns.
While there are many viable email marketing platforms out there, the following services stand out as being especially good options:
And email marketing platforms can do much more than just help you design your emails, organize your contacts and track your campaigns. When determining which service you will pick for your business, you should keep an eye out for these advanced features:
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to make more ecommerce sales. If you haven't already, start building your email list today.
Adam Ritchie is a writer based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He writes about ecommerce trends and best practices for Shogun. His previous clients include Groupon, Clutch and New Theory.