5 Steps to Start Harnessing the Power of Email Marketing in 2021

Shuvrodip Ghosh

The following blog post is a guest blog post written by Shuvrodip Ghosh, the Digital Account Manager at Salespanel.

Email is one of the most potent communication tools invented by humankind.

While many people think that social media marketing is the greatest way to boost revenue, marketing via email is still incredibly successful, almost half a century after the first electronic message was sent.

Email marketing has steadfastly remained one of the most formidable marketing techniques. The only thing that changes in its effectiveness is the approach that marketers and entrepreneurs use to leverage the communication platform.

Just How Powerful is Email Today?

Before we get to why and how your business should use email marketing, here are the numbers that prove just how powerful email marketing can be:

  • At the beginning of 2020, over 3.9 billion people around the globe had an active email address, according to Statista. There are roughly three times as many email accounts in use today as Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. It is projected that in 2021, marketers will use as much as $350 million on email advertising alone.
  • Roughly 306.4 billion emails are sent and received every day in 2020.
  • A report by Ascend2 shows that 46% of marketers today consider email marketing a potent lead generation channel. Another 47% consider the platform critical for lead nurturing.
  • The smartphone may have saved email. The popularity of email marketing was at its lowest just before BlackBerry showed up and revolutionized how we access emails. Today, almost half the people who use email every day access it on their mobile devices.

Reasons Why You Must Incorporate Email in Your Marketing Campaign

Whether you are a small-time marketer or a bigwig entrepreneur, you cannot afford to ignore email marketing. Three solid reasons why you should incorporate email into your marketing are::

  1. The momentous fall of pop-up and banner advertising left a vacuum that only email marketing could fill. As interactive and personalized marketing grew popular, so did email as the delivery channel.
  2. Email marketing has proven to be effective when managed correctly. There is a delicate balance between too much and not enough that an email campaign must strike. 
  3. Consumers have accepted email marketing as a permanent part of the online experience. With better algorithms to filter out spam and phishing emails, marketing emails today offer real value to the target market.

Email marketing is continually evolving. The tools used to implement it and how they work are changing constantly. Luckily for you, we have condensed all you need to know to make full use of the power of email into five practical steps.

Step 1. Set Your Campaign Goals

First-time and old-school marketers often dive into email marketing by signing up to use ready-made marketing tools. These tools allow them to collect emails and send promotional messages to their target audience.

Unfortunately, this approach is rarely successful, as there is little science involved. An effective approach starts with setting the campaign goals, then walking backwards to figure out the how.

To make your email marketing campaign a success, you need to think about and plan for what you wish to achieve. The campaign’s end goal will determine the nature of the target market, the source of the leads, and the content to include in the promotional emails.

The goals of any email campaign must be in line with the company or business-wide objectives. This means you should always factor in the brand’s broader marketing objectives as well as KPI’s. From this point, it is much more practical to walk back and come up with a formidable marketing strategy that ensures the campaign objectives are met.

The ‘Right’ Kind of Email Marketing Goals

Is the goal of the campaign to get new signups for your product? Are you looking to create brand awareness? Perhaps you wish to attract more attendees to your event? Whatever the objectives of the campaign, it pays to factor them in the initial planning stages of every marketing campaign.

The internet is your friend when determining your email marketing campaign goals. A quick search on how marketing teams in the big leagues use email will save you a lot of pain later.

You can check out how brands such as BuzzFeed, SoHo House, SXSW, Inc., and organizations such as UNICEF implement goal-oriented email marketing campaigns. The information is freely available online and can be useful for your team to use as examples. 

Step 2. Build Your Email List

The most challenging step in email marketing is compiling mailing lists. The most effective approach to getting enough new leads in your marketing campaign funnel is to use lead scoring.

What is Lead Scoring?

Simply put, lead scoring is assigning numerical values or ‘points’ to email leads generated for your business. The leads are scored based on specific attributes, including:

  • Personal information about the account holders
  • Potential to convert the lead into a customer
  • How the user has engaged with the website and brand
  • The source of the lead and other sales/CRM data
  • Demographics and other individual attributes

Lead scoring uses a model to determine which contacts have a higher potential of becoming customers. An algorithm determines this probability and assigns the point to make the marketing campaign more effective. Lead scoring offers the highest ROI of all other email marketing approaches in 2020.

How to Use Lead Scoring with Email Marketing

When you pair lead scoring with your business’ email marketing strategy, you can quickly determine how and when to engage your subscribers to achieve high conversions. What is required on your part is to understand how this approach works under the hood.

The first step in using lead scoring in your email marketing campaign is to define a foundational strategy. The process involves setting the groundwork and identifying the lead stages of the campaign.

You can also search online for a lead scoring calculator or develop one in-house. Most companies choose to hire a professional marketing company to do the heavy lifting for them. The right type of lead scoring methodology you should use will depend on the objectives of your marketing campaign. There are two types of lead scoring methodologies: predictive and rule-based.

Step 3: Create Targeted Content

The type of email campaign you should send to your subscribers will depend on the marketing goals you established in the first step of this process. Here are five popular types of email content to consider using in your email marketing campaign to guide you in getting started.

1. Marketing Offers

Because of how personal email can be, there is a lot of controversy surrounding email marketing. However, once a person subscribes to receive marketing emails, they expect special, even personalized offers. Your campaign should consider including marketing offers that showcase the latest and revamped products, special discounts, promotions, or offers.

2. Ebook or Software Download

Many people who read marketing emails in their inboxes are also avid readers. Businesses are leveraging this to create value-laden ebooks that promise to improve the subscriber’s quality of life. Mediocre marketers can often overlook the intrinsic value of an ebook to a subscriber. If your business has its own app, you can use this channel to promote it as well.

3. Newsletters

A newsletter is a periodical broadcast to subscribers, often focusing on one topic of interest. Newsletters can be regular or occasional, depending on the ‘news’ your business has to disseminate. Newsletters must be simple without too much graphics, concise, and thematic to capture your subscribers’ attention.

4. Announcements

Announcement emails often introduce a new service, feature, or product. It is different from a newsletter in that it encourages the recipient to take action, such as review the latest product, grab an expiring discount, or spread the message to their contacts.

Example from Havenly of an email announcement:

Once you determine how to create targeted content in your email campaign, the next step is to roll it out.

Step 4: Roll Out Your Campaign

There is no need to reinvent the wheel; email marketing tools come in handy when it is time to roll out your email campaign.

Email marketing tools make it easy to create engaging and practical email templates and to oversee the campaign. Here are a handful of the most fundamental points you should know to get the best results from your marketing campaigns.

Even with emails, content is king

You have heard that content is king when it comes to SEO and content marketing. The same applies to email marketing.

Research shows that the average attention span of a typical internet user is eight seconds. Marketers must create their marketing content that is easier to skim through to understand the ‘gist’ of the mail before the reader loses interest.

Simple sells

Research by Campaign Monitor shows that about 40% of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device. The email template you use in your campaign must be responsive to both large and small screen devices.

The right marketing tools can help you create adequately optimized email templates with buttons and texts in the right place. The simplicity of the language you use should complement the subtlety of your call to action.

Simple emails convert better than complex emails with overlapping and unstructured content.

Boost engagement with images, visuals, and videos

When we talk of simplicity in reference to email copies, it does not mean boring. Graphics should, above all, make your marketing emails stand out from the crowd.

Example from Headspace of a marketing email that includes engaging graphics:

Give life to your marketing copies with relevant visuals, enticing graphs, and easy-to-digest visuals. Marketing emails with colored images are not only eye-catching, but also more memorable.

You could link to your YouTube channel and videos, however, it is a bad idea to embed the actual videos in the email body.

Step 5: Track Performance and ROI

Start recording and analyzing the performance of your email marketing campaign as soon as you send the first email. Depending on the marketing tools you use, you should know when the first link is clicked and when a click is converted to a sale.

There are many ways to keep track of your campaigns. The most popular, by far, is the use of Google Analytics on your website. This approach, however, is very demanding to set up and can be overwhelming for a busy entrepreneur. If you want to try some other tools apart from Google Analytics, you can check out this guide here.

As a rule of thumb, your choice of performance tracking platform should be guided by these metrics:

  • The number of unique opens is the number of unique email subscribers who read the marketing email.
  • The number of emails not opened is the number of emails that were delivered but not opened.
  • The number of bounces is the number of marketing emails that could not be delivered. This rate often highlights the efficiency of the lead scoring tools.
  • Open rate is the percentage of email recipients who opened the email and clicked on a link in reference to the total number of emails sent.
  • Click-Through Rate is the percentage of recipients who opened the marketing email and clicked the call to action link. The higher the CRT, the more effective the email marketing campaign.
  • The number of shares is the number of recipients who forwarded the campaign email to their contacts. This number can be determined by including a forward or share icon in the email template.
  • The number of spam complaints is the number of users who marked the marketing email as spam.
  • Unsubscribe rate is the percentage or number of email recipients who opt out of the campaign by clicking unsubscribe at the bottom of the email copy.

Ideally, you will want subscribers to click a link to a landing page on your website, purchase a product, or take some action. If you sell directly, learn about the streamlined order process and how it does wonders for email conversion rates. The success of your campaign will also depend on what you expect of the click-throughs after they get to the landing page.

Conclusion

Email marketing is still a powerful marketing tool at 50. If you are not planning on using it in 2021, it is never too late to get started. Lead scoring is simply the newest tool in the arsenal of online marketing companies to harness this power.

With these considerations in mind, you’ll soon be on your way to crushing your next email campaign.

Shuvrodip Ghosh

Shuvrodip Ghosh is a passionate marketing ninja working for Salespanel through UpWork as a Digital Marketing Manager. He’s dedicated to providing high ROI to his clients.

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