What is an email marketing strategy?
As with all marketing channels, no two email marketing strategies are the same. An email marketing strategy is designed to help you reach your marketing goals, whether that is improving brand recognition, increasing sales, or just keeping your customers up to date.
Once you identify your marketing goals, you can create a series of emails and workflows with tools such as automation, email templates, and list segmentation.
What is the difference between traditional email marketing messages and transactional messages?
Traditional email marketing is designed to communicate with many people. These emails can share information about your business, such as news, promotions and special events. You can send these to your entire subscriber list or only certain segments of your list.
Transactional emails are sent to individual customers after they perform certain actions. For example, when a customer makes an online purchase from a business, the confirmation email they receive is a transactional email.
Why is an effective email marketing strategy so important?
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your products and reach your customers. If executed correctly, email marketing campaigns can help you build trust with your customers, encourage users to visit your website, and ultimately result in more sales and satisfied customers.
How do I know if my email marketing campaigns are working?
The best email marketing services have extensive reporting and analytics. To determine if your email marketing campaigns are successful, check the recorded data once an email is sent. The reports should indicate how many people received your email, the click-through rate, bounces, etc.
How do email marketing services help you grow and maintain your contact lists?
Email marketing services offer several tools to help you obtain and manage email addresses from your customers. Most software options integrate with your current email address book to start your list. In addition, many provide the ability to embed signup forms on your website and social media accounts to grow your contact list.
Most of these software solutions also have automatic tools that keep your contact list up to date by removing inactive addresses and customers who unsubscribe from your emails.
What are automation tools, and how do they make the email marketing process easier?
Automation tools allow you to set up recurring emails, which automatically go to certain subscribers based on actions they take. For example, if you set up a welcome series, a contact will receive a welcome email once they subscribe to your list.
Is it really feasible for someone without marketing experience to master email marketing?
While you might not hit a home run with your first campaign, email marketing services provide everything you need to eventually be successful. The software offers a selection of design tools to help you create emails (including templates and sample emails), contact management solutions to help you manage and grow your distribution list, and analytics to determine if what you're doing is working.
What types of analytics do email marketing services provide?
One of the biggest reasons email marketing is so popular with businesses is that you can track its success. Services typically provide details such as who opened your email, who immediately deleted it, who forwarded the email to others, and who bought your product or service.
You can drill down into the data by looking at the days and times emails are being opened, and the types of customers – male, female, old, young, etc. – who engage with your emails most. All of this information helps you increase the success of future campaigns.
Can you use email marketing in conjunction with social media?
Yes, most email marketing services let you take advantage of the social media following you've built. Many providers let you connect your campaigns with your social networks, so your emails automatically post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms. In addition, the services let you collect email addresses for your contact list with prebuilt social media signup pages.
You can also get data on whether your email campaigns are resonating on social media by checking which messages are being liked and shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter.
Does email marketing software integrate with any programs I already use?
Yes, most email marketing services integrate with at least some popular business applications. The most common integrations are with Salesforce, WordPress, Shopify and Magento. These integrations save you time and resources by automatically transferring content between your email marketing platform and your other software. Some providers also let you tap into their application programming interface (API) to build your own custom integrations.
What if I have trouble with the service? What help is available?
Whether a problem occurs when you're designing an email, managing your contact list, or deciphering the analytics, most service providers offer customer support, either through live chat or a toll-free number. Rather than sending an email and waiting hours or days for an answer, you can reach the company and get help for the problems you're experiencing. Additionally, most providers have an extensive online knowledge base of user guides, videos, and whitepapers that explain the ins and outs of the service and how to use each feature.
What should I look for in an email marketing service provider?
Ensuring that the software actually delivers your email is one of the most critical aspects of any service. You want a service that delivers your emails to your customers' inboxes – not their spam folders. Segmentation and automation are also features that small businesses should look for.
How do I choose an email marketing software solution?
When deciding which email marketing software is right for you, draw up a list of features that are essential, features you would like but could live without, and features that you do not need or want. Then, narrow down your choices based on these lists. Determine what you want your email marketing service to do for you and what you hope to get out of it.