Email Marketing for Newbies
You might know how important email marketing is, but you’re not sure where to start. Here, I breakdown what you need to know to get started
Email still remains the platform you as a brand have the most control over in terms of ROI and reach as long as you follow the best practices, test different formats to see which works and create engaging content that is relevant to your audience. I’ll be sharing things you need to nail to ensure that the emails you create get to the recipient's inbox and get them to take the actions you hope for.
What makes email so great?
Simply put: email gives you the best value for your money with the open rate averaging around 20–30%, it drives the most return on investment than any other marketing channel. Not only does almost everyone have an email, but it is also an incredible channel to build credibility as a brand and boost your business sales.
When thinking about starting email marketing you want to be aware of a few things:
- Always get permission: Make sure that whoever you have on your subscribers list, opted in and agreed to you sending them emails. Subscribers decide to opt-in because you give them something of value in exchange for their email address. This can be in the form of a free eBook, coupon, or even them just enjoying the content you already have and deciding to sign up for your newsletters so they are updated when you have new content.
- Be clear of data privacy: Let them know that their data will not be shared and that they have the opportunity to opt-out if they are no longer deriving value from your emails.
- Have a plan: Decide what you want this channel to do for you — what metrics are you trying to drive? Open rates? Click rates? Conversions? It should ideally tie into your overall content strategy in the sense that if you’re sharing blog posts 3x a week or promoting a campaign across channels, email should also be used to share these blog posts or the ongoing campaign.
- All platforms & devices are not equal: One key thing to take into consideration when creating your emails is that there are different platforms as well as email providers. This means that the email sent will not look exactly the same across board. An email sent to a recipient using the Outlook email platform will not be the same as one sent to someone using Gmail. A recipient viewing the email on their desktop will not see it exactly the same way someone viewing it on the mobile device will. So there are also best practices in this area you’ll need to be aware of.
- Absolutely never buy an email list: It might seem enticing and a quick fix, but it never ends well. For one, it’s invasive to the recipient who is not expecting an email from you. It also (in most circumstances) leads the recipient to mark your email as spam.
“When your emails are being flagged as spam it can harm your sender reputation, deliverability rates, or even get you blocked by ISPs.”
Your sender reputation is the score given to your brand by an ISP which can influence if it lands in the recipient’s inbox.
Newsflash: You can send an email to 1000 people and only 850 people or less will receive it in their inbox. Some will receive it in their spam folder while others will not receive it at all. Your sender reputation is influenced by:
- The number of emails being sent by your organization.
- How often your emails are being marked as spam (especially if the recipient is not expecting your email).trii
- How often people are unsubscribing from your emails.
- If your emails are being caught by the spam trap by ISPs especially when you use certain trigger words. Here’s an extensive list of trigger words
Now you know emails are so great; they are also not incredibly hard to create. In explaining the makeup of an email, I’ll be using Kuda Bank as an example because they do emails really well.
Anatomy of an email:
- From: This informs the recipient of who the sender is.
- Subject line: Keep it concise. Use it to build interest and expectation of what the recipient should expect when they open the email.
- Pre-header: This helps encourage an action i.e opening the email and is used to start selling the deal/pitch before you even open the email. This snippet text can also be hidden in the code so it doesn’t show in the body of the email.
One thing to here pay attention to is the dates between emails as well as the types of emails sent. I signed up to join the waitlist and I got a confirmation email. When the launch date was approaching, I got a reminder email to expect it on a specific date. When the product launched I also got an email letting me know. All this to say, follow the user’s journey and don’t leave them hanging. Also, pay attention to the use of emojis, this serves as a way to express the brand’s personality and their down to earth tone.
- Logo: It is displayed on the left side because when viewed on mobile the screen is smaller so it adjusts without taking up the entire screen or part being cut off.
- Supporting image: Emails can be purely text-based, but it depends on the context. In this case the image is used to emphasize excitement.
- Body of Email: Make sure to always use text as some email providers turn off images. So when the email is received, the images are turned off till the recipient gives the go-ahead for the email to load the images. So if your entire email is an image with text on it, the recipient opens it up and the whole email is empty till they turn on images. Be clear in your copy.
- CTA: Call to action is the next step you want the reader to take after reading your email. It can be to ‘read more’ of a blog post, sign up for a webinar, share the post on social media, etc. This is all dependent on you.
- CTA button: This button contains the link to where you want the reader to go next. It’s best practice to leave as much whitespace as possible around the button.
- Supporting msg: It’s usually required that emails sent should have the address or at least postcode of the sender. This is also where you might one to re-iterate that they opted in for your email.
- Footer: Legally compliant footer must give users the option to opt-out if they choose.
Emails are a great way to stay engaged with your audience and there are so many ways you can make them creative and engaging. Test different subject lines, time of day or day of the week it is sent out and also don’t be afraid to try out GIFs and emojis as long as it fits in with your brand voice. I’m curious to know, what emails you’ve gotten recently that stood out to you, share them in the comments, please.