Email Marketing Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide [Beginner To Expert]

Mangesh Supe

by Mangesh Supe· Updated July 01 2022

Email Marketing Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide [Beginner To Expert]

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If you're looking for the best guide to email marketing, you've come to the right place. This guide will show you how to build a specific list, make sure it gets opened and clicked on, and set up a system to follow up with leads.

The first marketing email was sent in 1978, resulting in $13 million in sales, and companies around the world then launched this most frequently used marketing channel, and it continues to be used today. Given its early beginnings, email is not as shiny as newer channels like instant messaging and social networking, but it's an effective way to build a target audience and get good results.

Marketing emails are not spam, nor are they personal notes from an old friend, but somewhere in between. Your customers don't give out their information easily, and when used properly, email marketing can both build relationships and generate profits.

You should use email to help your customers achieve their goals by providing relevant, valuable information that will build a long-term relationship. Email marketing is not only about you and your company, but more importantly about your customers as well. If you keep this golden rule in mind, then your subscribers will not only read the content of your emails, they will expect to hear from you every time.

Email Marketing Effectiveness

There are 3.8 billion email users worldwide, so if you are looking for a way to reach out to your customers, email would be ideal. On average, email generates $38 in profit for every $1 spent, which equates to a 3800% return on investment. Here are some statistics to prove the effectiveness of email marketing.

  1. Over 60% of customers purchase directly through email marketing messages.
  2. Only 20% of the conversions generated by direct sales are valid, meaning that they need to be nurtured through email and specific content.
  3. Email is 40 times more effective at engaging customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  4. (a) Perhaps the best reason to use email marketing is that you own the channel and no outside entity, other than compliance regulations, can influence the way you contact your customers.
  5. Unless you have the manpower, energy, time, and money to build a personal relationship with your potential customers, email should be the best way to market.

Email Marketing Use Cases

These are the many ways you can (and should) use email.

  1. Building relationships: building connections through personal involvement.
  2. Brand awareness: making your company a top priority when a potential customer is ready to buy a product or service.
  3. Content promotion: using e-mail to share relevant blog content or useful information with potential clients.
  4. Lead conversion: enticing subscribers to provide personal information in exchange for something they find valuable.
  5. Product marketing: promoting your products and services.
  6. Customer Nurturing : Attracting customers through content that can achieve their goals.

Introduction to Email Marketing

Before we look at the vast possibilities of email marketing, let's look at some key things that will enable you to gradually build campaigns that work and keep your customers happy.

  1. Create a marketing strategy

Each customer receives an average of 121 emails per day, which means that if you don't put thought into your strategy, your marketing emails will get lost in a crowded inbox, or worse, go straight to the spam folder. You can learn how to build an effective email strategy and send content that people actually want to read by simply developing a plan, which can be broken down into the following key steps.

1. define your audience

Effective emails must contain useful content and, as with all other forms of online marketing, start with buyer personas to understand what they want and then tailor the email campaign to the needs of the audience.

2. Goal setting

Before coming up with a goal, gather some background information and research the average email statistics in your industry and use them as a benchmark for setting your goal.

3. Provide subscription method

You need to have subscribed users in order to send emails, right? An email subscription list is a group of subscribers who have granted you permission to send relevant content to them. To build a subscription list, you need several ways for prospects to opt-in to receive your emails.

Don't be discouraged if only a few people subscribe, it takes some time to build a list. In the meantime, value each subscriber and prospect and you will see the email list grow naturally.

4. Select email campaign type

Email campaigns vary and trying to decide between them can be very difficult. Do you send weekly information? Should you send out new product announcements? Which blog posts are worth sharing?

These are questions that plague every marketer, but the answers are subjective. You can start by understanding the different types of email campaigns available and then determine the options that work best for you and your audience. In addition, you should set up different lists for different types of emails so that customers and prospects can only subscribe to emails that are relevant to them.

5. Develop a schedule

Plan how often and how you will connect with your audience, inform them in advance so they know what to expect, and stick to a consistent schedule to build trust and keep them from forgetting about you.

6. Assessment of results

As marketers, we evaluate all content and being cautious about each key metric will help make small adjustments to emails that will produce good results.

  1. Build an email list

There are many creative ways to build an email subscription list (besides paying for it), and strategically, list building can be boiled down to two key elements that work closely together to increase subscriber numbers: paid giveaways and join forms.

Paid freebies

It should be a way to attract prospects to the email list, can take many forms, be valuable to the prospect, and be given away for free in exchange for their email address.

Now here's the rub: people have become extremely protective of their personal information, and you can't expect them to give away their email addresses for free. So consider a paid giveaway that is relevant, useful and makes your customers' lives easier, such as the following types.

  1. E-Books
  2. White Paper
  3. Infographic
  4. Reports or Studies
  5. Checklist
  6. Template
  7. Webinars or Courses
  8. Tools

How to create effective giveaways

Keeping in mind that paid giveaways should be relevant to where you are going, here are some guidelines to ensure a valuable asset for potential clients.

1. make your strategy solution-oriented and feasible

Provide practical information to solve problems and create effective methods to achieve solutions.

2. Ensure easy access to assets

Giveaways should be delivered in a digital format, whether it's a PDF, web page, video, or other format that prospects should be able to easily access and use.

3. Create marketing programs with future content in mind

When a subscriber subscribes to a mailing list, but is disappointed with the follow-up content, it's a marketing failure. Therefore, make sure the giveaway is consistent with the value offered throughout the relationship or it could be damaging to your credibility.

4. Use giveaways as stepping stones to paid solutions

The focus of the mailing list is to guide customers to buy paid products, the free content you offer is mainly used to prove the value you can provide, and these free offers should eventually lead to a large number of orders.

5. Provide different marketing content for customers at different stages

Each client is at a different stage of collaboration, and the list is broken down from the beginning to provide unique content corresponding to the stage each client is at.

How to create enticing subscription forms

There are many places where you can add subscription forms to get relevant information about your potential customers and add them to the subscription list.

1. Create attractive designs and compelling headlines

Your form should come with a logo that stands out from the page and entices people to register.

2. Make the content relevant to the commitment

Although the purpose is for visitors to enter personal information, you cannot deceive them and any information on the form should be a true representation of the offer.

3. Keep the form simple

This may be your first interaction with a prospect; don't use too many fields to scare them away. Ask for only the most basic information: name and email.

4. Set up the subscription form for double confirmation

Asking visitors to confirm receipt of your email twice may seem counterproductive, but a marketing services study shows that customers prefer to opt-in to email subscriptions that require a second confirmation than welcome emails.

5. Ensure processes are effective

Before going live, read through the user experience, check that the forms are working as expected, that the thank you page is active, and that your marketing content is delivered as expected. This is your first impression of your latest lead - make it a professional and motivated customer.

Email Marketing Best Practices

If all goes well, you'll have built a solid list of subscribers and prospects, but it's not time to send emails right away unless you want to get into the spam folder, or worse, become a blacklisted subscriber. There are some things to keep in mind before sending emails for those precious lists you've worked so hard to build.

  1. Email marketing techniques

You may not think twice about the format or subject of an email you send to a friend, but email marketing requires more thought. Your goal is to generate more leads, which makes crafting marketing emails more complicated, and for any successful marketing email, it consists of at least the following components.

  1. Copy: the content of the body of the email should be consistent with your voice and follow only one subject.
  2. Images: select images that are optimized for all devices, compelling and highly relevant.
  3. CTA: Your call-to-action phrase should result in a relevant offer and stand out from the overall email content.
  4. Timing: According to a study of response rates to 20 million emails, Tuesday at 11 a.m. is the best time to send marketing emails.
  5. Responsiveness: 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so make sure the email format is optimized for all devices.
  6. Personalization: emails should look as if they were written individually for a particular friend, be poised and speak in a familiar tone.
  7. Subject line: Use clear, workable, and inviting language that is not only personalized, but also consistent with the body of the email.
  8. Email segmentation

Segmentation will divide your large mailing list into different subcategories based on the attributes of your subscribers such as gender, age, interests, preferences, etc. After all, subscribers are emotional individuals and we should try our best to meet their needs rather than sending everyone off with one email.

Why Breakdown ListsHow to Breakdown Lists

Every email subscriber can be transformed into an end customer, only the level of readiness varies. If you send a coupon or promotion directly to an unknown subscriber, you are likely to lose them because there are 2 important steps that have not been executed: building trust, and developing a relationship.

Every email you send should treat the subscriber as an important contact. The more you segment your list, the more trust you generate in your prospects' minds and the more likely you are to convert them in the future.

The first step in segmentation is to create separate giveaway and subscription forms for buyers at different stages of the process, so that your contacts are automatically entered into different lists. In addition, the email marketing platform allows you to segment your lists by data and behavior in order to send the right emails to the right people. You can break down lists in several ways.

  1. Industry
  2. Language
  3. Title
  4. Location
  5. Frequency of interaction
  6. Life Cycle Stage
  7. Awareness, Consideration, Decision-making Stage
  8. Personalization

Now that you already know who to send the email to and what's important to them, it becomes easier to send emails with personalized touches. Sure, you may need to talk to more than 100 people at a time, but the prospects don't know that. Personalized emails can have a 26% higher open rate and a 14% higher click-through rate than other regular emails.

You have collected all this data and your email marketing service allows for personalization tokens, here are some ways to personalize your emails.

  1. Add name to subject line and/or greeting
  2. Include region-specific information as appropriate
  3. Sending content related to the lifecycle stages of a prospect
  4. Only send emails related to a prospect's most recent interaction
  5. Writing about and/or personal events, such as holidays or festivals in specific areas
  6. End emails with personal (not company) signatures
  7. Use relevant call-to-action phrases that readers will find useful
  8. Automation

Automation enables you to use segmented lists, and after creating specific subgroups, you can send more targeted automated emails, and there are two ways to do this.

  1. Autoresponders
  2. An autoresponder is a series of emails that are pre-configured to go out automatically once triggered by an action (e.g. someone downloading an e-book). You should determine the interval at which emails are sent, for example every few days, weeks, or even months. The advantage of an autoresponder is that you can set it up and then ignore it, and every user who belongs to the autoresponder feature will receive all the emails you have configured.
  3. Workflows
  4. Workflows take autoresponders a step further by thinking of them as flowcharts with yes/no branches that will perform actions based on conditions you set. Workflows have two key components: actions that bring users into the process, and actions that take them out of the process. Such tools are smart enough to know if a user opens an email or downloads an offer, and to initiate a series of actions based on specific behaviors that change the lifecycle stage they are in based on their behavior, in addition to sending emails.

Analyzing Email Marketing Results

As marketers, we like to analyze all the content that helps enable us to make our next marketing decisions and make our work fit for the rest of the company.

  1. A/B testing

Not all email lists are created equal; some subscribers like personalization, while others consider it spam; some prefer eye-catching CTA buttons, others prefer subtle call-to-action phrases.

You never know which type of people will make up an email list until you test the variables, but with the help of A/B testing, you can analyze the marketing effectiveness of different emails and use that to determine which types of emails are more popular with people. The following is a step-by-step process for A/B testing emails.

  1. Selecting one variable at a time for testing, e.g., subject, CTA, image.
  2. Create two versions of the e-mail: one with variables and the other without.
  3. Enabling e-mails to be sent out one after another over a period of time.
  4. Analyze test results and retain only the version that works better.
  5. Test a new variable and repeat the above process.
  6. Most email service providers already have A/B testing integrated, which allows you to easily compare email results without a lot of manual work.
  7. Email Marketing Key Performance Indicators

When evaluating the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign, there are four key metrics to look for.

  1. Delivery rate: the percentage of emails that reach the inbox of the intended user.
  2. Open rate: the percentage of people who open an email once it arrives in their inbox.
  3. Click-through rate: the percentage of people who click on the call-to-action phrase.
  4. Number of unsubscribes: The number of people who unsubscribed from the mailing list after receiving the email.
  5. How to improve the effectiveness of email marketing

KPIs are influenced by many factors and require some experimentation and guesswork to determine which adjustments will make the biggest difference, so if you don't already have the data you need, try using the following variables to improve marketing results.

Delivery Rate Open Rate Click Rate Unsubscribe Rate

  1. Be sure to follow best practices to prevent access to spam folders.
  2. Removing inactive people from the e-mail list and keeping only subscribers.
  3. Check which emails are forced to bounce and remove them from the list.
  4. Use specific language in the subject line to entice people to click on your email.
  5. Adjust the date and time of sending emails to know the most effective method.
  6. Evaluate giveaways or offers to ensure that they provide value to the segmented list.
  7. Rewrite the content of the email to ensure that the reader clearly understands your intent.
  8. Try different CTAs, e.g., graphic copy vs. inline copy, boldface vs. thinface.
  9. First, consider whether this is a disingenuous greeting, as disinterested parties are unsubscribing.
  10. Assess whether the emails sent are consistent with your brand.
  11. Make sure you are not executing the wrong offer by committing to one thing and delivering another.
  12. Make sure your emails are providing value to your audience before trying to upsell.
  13. Email Marketing Report

It's difficult to determine email marketing effectiveness if you can't generate reports in a well-organized manner. A marketing report is a spreadsheet that helps you extrapolate from KPIs and take steps to improve them. This is how we recommend organizing your reports.

Indicator data worth considering

  1. Total number of emails sent
  2. Total Mail Delivered
  3. Delivery Rate
  4. Bounce rate
  5. Open Rate
  6. Click-through rate
  7. Unsubscribe Rate
  8. Topics
  9. Email body length
  10. Offers
  11. CTA (text or graphics)
  12. List Breakdown
  13. Has the delivery rate improved compared to a previous period?
  14. How does the click-through rate compare to the open rate?
  15. Is the number of unsubscribes consistent with other emails?
  16. Does one theme perform better than others?
  17. Does the length of an email affect click-through rates?
  18. Could another form of CTA perform better?
  19. Do the offers fit the list breakdown?

Best Email Marketing Services

You have fully understood email marketing and now you need to choose a service provider who should be able to meet all your needs in order to create the best marketing campaigns. When choosing an email service provider, make sure that they have the following characteristics.

  1. CRM platform with segmented functions
  2. Good reputation
  3. Easy to build forms, landing pages, call-to-action phrases
  4. Automation
  5. A simple way to comply with email regulations
  6. Ability to perform A/B testing
  7. Built-in analysis
  8. Downloadable reports

While there are many rules for sending marketing emails, the most important one is this: treat your subscribers like people. If you consistently maintain this golden rule in every autoresponder, paid giveaway, and email subject, it's easier to achieve all your marketing goals.

Subscribers want to hear from you and want to connect with you. Provide a truly useful resource and they will open each of your emails with anticipation, just like your friends.