What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their audience and promote their products or services. With its ability to reach a wide range of potential customers directly in their inboxes, email marketing can be a cost-effective and efficient way to drive sales and build brand loyalty. In this article, we will explore the importance and potential of email marketing for businesses, and provide tips on how to effectively utilise this marketing strategy.

Welcome to your Email Marketing 101; Class Is In Session

As a business owner, there are many marketing tools that you need to use to showcase your business, but when it comes to marketing, most would think of social media content at the forefront when trying to build a wider audience and increase sales. However, many businesses often forget the importance and potential of their email marketing.

Email Marketing 101: What is email marketing?

So, what is email marketing?

By definition: email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.

Did you know, the average professional spends 28% of their day in their email account? That’s a 28% chance that this time could be spent reading your email. So, what is there to lose?

The potential gains from email marketing are significant; not only is it a way of keeping in regular contact with your following, but also provides you with a better perception of your potential client lists and marketing funnel. If you have already started compiling a list of email addresses, you’re already one step ahead: one of the most powerful tools you have is your email marketing list. Imagine if something happened to one of your social media accounts, with an email address you have another option for communication.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing services for your business

There are many platforms to use to start your email marketing journey, here are some of the ones we used.

After much research, we are now using Flodesk. There is a flat fee regardless of the number of subscribers and has really easy drag-and-drop functionality for email design. We think it is one of the best on the market. If you would like to save 50% on your first year of Flodesk use our affiliate link here.

Another option that we have used is MailChimp. They recently changed their pricing plans – now up to 500 subscribers are free.  We have used MailChimp frequently for clients over the years – great for those with a small budget in mind – offers both a free and paid version.

Building your email marketing list

Your email list should be made up of previous, existing and potential clients. If you’ve recently started your business, you may have a relatively small list of contacts, and you may need to look to collect more email addresses to begin implementing your email marketing strategy, here are a number of quick and easy ways to start building your database:

  • Add an email sign-up link to your Facebook page.             
  • Add an email sign-up button to your website.
  • Include a link to your email sign-up on the signature of your emails.
  • At events put out a clipboard to collect email addresses.
  • Run a competition on social media or at events to encourage people to give you their email address.
  • Offer a freebie if people give you their email address.
  • Include a ‘forward to a friend link’ on your email campaigns.
  • Include a call to action at the bottom of every blog post you write.
  • If you run a class or own a retail outlet use a QR code for people to scan and sign up.
  • Use an app on a tablet to collect emails that automatically populate your mailing list. 

There are a lot of articles about how you can use Social Media to grow your email list. Having a large following on Facebook & Instagram is great, but we all know it can sometimes be difficult to catch the eye of your ideal audience, so obtaining their email address could give you direct access to their inbox and potentially, more of their time and this could make all the difference to your business. Unless your business is brand new, hopefully, your list will be a combination of your enquiries and your previous and existing customers. Whichever category they fall into, they are a warm lead and therefore an incredibly valuable asset to your business.

Building your email marketing list

Email newsletter ideas – Newsletters

Email newsletters are extremely popular, you need to decide if this is a suitable campaign idea for your business. Normally used to share updates from your company to both existing and prospective customers. It’s a great way to stay top of mind for your audience. This type of campaign also gives you the opportunity for continuity – using the same design/layout each month helps your audience identify you, from your branding, content and right down to your voice.

Newsletters give you the opportunity to showcase employees, company projects, current workload, relevant graphics and highlight any upcoming information that may come in useful to your audience, such as offers, events, product announcements and feedback requests. Ongoing communication in your newsletter campaigns will help you retain happy customers and collect valuable insights about them and what they like to see from you.

Email newsletter ideas – Dedicated Emails

Dedicated emails, also known as stand-alone emails, contain information about only one offer or promotion. For example, you can notify your audience about a new service addition to your business, a product release or end of season sale.

It’s a good idea to send these types of emails to a specific target audience, not everyone in your mailing list will want or need to see these types of emails and can quickly become unsubscribes rather than sales. While there are instances when all of your subscribers should be notified, such as a timely new offer or an unprecedented national emergency (covid updates are a great example of this), in most cases you would want to segment heavily based on your subscribers’ different behaviours and interests.

Dedicated emails help you to introduce the main call-to-action before your client has even opened it; which is just another beneficial way you can see what your potential customers are interested in by way of the click-through rates and opens in the report of the campaign.

Email newsletter ideas – Transactional Emails

Transactional Email – Transactional emails are messages triggered by a specific action your contacts have taken and enable them to complete that action. For instance, if you are signing up for an online event, you will fill out a form and then receive a transactional (thank-you) email, which gives you login information to join (Zoom is a good example).

Transactional emails are also the messages you receive from eCommerce sites that confirm your order and give you shipment information and other details about your recent purchase.

Email newsletter ideas – Feedback Emails

Re-engagement/ Feedback Email – If your reports show that a portion of your subscribed client list has been inactive, it may be time to send a re-engagement email to re-establish contact. Email campaigns can be an excellent way of receiving feedback from either current or potential clients to bring your business back to their minds, and if they respond, it’s a win-win; they’re again actively aware of your business, and you’ve got fresh feedback to work with for improving you email marketing campaigns.

The best time to send an email marketing campaign

Did you know that over 80% of email campaigns are sent out right on the hour? So, if you send your email at this time, you’ll be up against a ton of other messages, and yours might just get lost in the inbox.

B2B email campaigns that aren’t sent exactly on the hour have up to a 15% higher open rate. However, keep it close to the hour when you do send your message because 70% of all email traffic occurs within 10 minutes of the hour.

Try sending your email campaign just before or after the hour and then head to your analytics to test whether this improves open rates.

Email marketing reporting

When it comes to improving your email campaigns, it is vital to measure the success of your previous campaigns. Most email providers will track your performance and allow you to view open rates, click-throughs, spam renders and the number of unsubscribes; all of which will allow you to improve with every campaign. Tracking and evaluating your email marketing performance is the ultimate way to get to know an audience, build upon what works, eliminate what doesn’t, and make a strategy the best it can be. We run reports for our clients each quarter, to allow them to see what type of content work best for their business.

There are so many things we love about email marketing- but one of the biggest pieces of advice we can give is DON’T SPAM. No one wants to see multiple emails from the same company in their inbox, especially if it’s got no real purpose to the audience. Be mindful of what content goes into your campaigns and keep it objective. Think about a meaningful headline, keep the message focused and provide clear offers or actions.

How can we help you when it comes to your email marketing strategy?

Ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level? Book a Marketing Strategy session with Piece of Cake Marketing and unlock your recipe for success!

During a personalised 3-hour session (in person or online), our expert marketing team will dive deep into your business goals, target audience and competition. We’ll analyse your current marketing strategies and identify areas for improvement and growth.

To schedule a session or learn more email  hello@pieceofcakemarketing.co.uk or call Emma 07799626332. You’ll also find a list of our services and prices here.