June 20

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Email Marketing For Beginners

By David Holland

June 20, 2020


Some great news for you. Email marketing is still the most cost-effective way to communicate your messages to your customers. Marketing studies have revealed every dollar invested in email marketing has a massive $38 return. 

While you might have heard that e-mail marketing is dead, this is not true, 61% of consumers enjoy weekly promotional emails. Top performing marketing agencies that use email marketing have 2.5% more ROI than average. People who receive offers through email spend 130% more compared to those who don’t.

These numbers tell you a lot about how email marketing holds its power in the hearts of consumers. Now what’s left to do is to harness its immense power to work for your business. 

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Step 1: Understand What Email Marketing is All About

You might have heard about it from conferences, the Internet or your friends. Email marketing is there to build your brand, create better awareness and sell to your customers. 

Email marketing has come a long way since its accessibility in the late 1990’s. Now almost everyone who has a computer has an email address and more. 

While countless digital marketing “experts” may say email marketing is dead, that claim is slowly dwindling. To begin with, the average person opens their email 150 times in a day.  By 2019, the number of email users worldwide is forecast to rise to 1.9 billion. 

There is even more to this.

A few points:

  • Despite the rise of social messaging apps, 74% of teenagers use email
  • 95% of professionals use email to deal with business to business communications
  • Automated emails with personalisation have 75% return
  • People love redeeming coupons using their mobile devices (via emails!)
  • To keep up with trends;
  • To save on marketing budget;
  • To deliver messages instantly;
  • To reach people online; and 
  • Because email is the preferred communication of modern consumers.

Why do email marketing:

  1. To keep up with trends;
  2. To save on marketing budget;
  3. To deliver messages instantly;
  4. To reach people online; and
  5. Because email is the preferred communication of modern customers. 

Step 2: Identify Email Marketing Red Flags

Don’t just dive into any email marketing strategy implementation. Start by identifying the downsides so you can use the right approach towards your future campaigns. 

Here are common red flags:

  • Undelivered emails

  • Spam folders

  • Irrelevant messages

  • Designing problems

“Humanising” email automation is the worst problem you can face in email marketing. An automation tool should be able to give a human touch to your messages. The right automation tool will help you segment, personalise and automatically send out messages that are relevant to each reader.

Step 3: Make Use of the Sales Funnel Concept

You should make use of the concept of sales funnel for email marketing. A sales funnel is made up of 3 stages; 1.) awareness, 2.) consideration, and, 3.) purchase.

Not all customers are the same but they’re likely to fall into one of these stages of a marketing panel. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can help you keep track of a customer's status within the funnel. This allows you to send relevant messages according to their journey with you. 

Awareness is when you create events like trade shows, advertising, blogs and webinars to gain the attention of your targeted customers or prospects. After that, you want to build interests, consideration and position your intent (which is clearly to sell) to people. If your efforts succeed, you should be able to send people to the buying/purchase stage. 

You need a powerful CRM to integrate with your sales funnel

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software automates email marketing processes wherever the person might be in the sales funnel. A CRM lets you create sequenced messages that are triggered by the action of an email reader making every message relevant to the person’s journey with your marketing emails.

When a new subscriber joins your email list they will receive a welcome message to their email. That e-mail will allow you to set a call-to-action where the reader can go to a new page. If the reader clicks that call-to-action, they are redirected to that page. The reader might grab the offer or they may opt to jump somewhere else on their browser.

A powerful CRM records the click-through data of that reader. Once the reader opens your email they are expressing an interest to your offer. You then, send more messages to them to keep nurturing relationship until you are able to send them to the buying decision or the end of the funnel.

Step 4: Partner with a Powerful CRM

You need an intelligent and intuitive CRM system to integrate with your campaigns. You want a CRM that does automation at a human level. 

Use a CRM to:

  • Automate and track your email marketing efforts.
  • Have a comprehensive return on investment as shown on metrics and analytics
  • Create targeted messaging
  • Automate personalisation and create actionable triggers

There are a few trusted vendors out there but our personal recommendation would be Keap. Keap is a leading email marketing software that offers automation and provides all the essentials to email marketing.

Step 5: Segment Your List

Segmentation is the slicing and dicing of your email list so you can create more targeted messages to the right people for better conversion. You will group your email list by segment so you can build campaigns that resonate to each consumer’s classification.

You can group your past customers and send out exclusive loyalty offers to them. You can also group fresh subscribers so you can send them fresh welcome emails.

Here are a few other ways to slice and dice your email list. 

  • Demographics
  • Geographic area
  • Past purchases
  • Persona
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Jobs/Industry
  • Education level

Step 6: Learn How Each Element of  an Email Works

The basic structure of an email includes the subject line, introductory message, body copy, signature and the P.S. You must be strategical at each point. 

More than 30% of email readers open their messages for the subject line alone. It is therefore important that you have a powerful and relevant subject line. 

Correlate the promise of the headline to the body text. People are likely to send your message to their junk/spam folder if your body copy is not relevant to what was promised on your subject line. 

Use the P.S at a personal level. Check out this example from Neil Patel

Do quality assurance checking for the email text, graphics, links and call-to-action. Use a CRM and  do a/b tests on your campaigns before blasting a massive campaign.

Step 7: Automate and Sequence Sending

To make campaigns efficient you need to have processes that are efficient. This includes building campaigns, nurturing prospects, their shopping experience and even post-sale following. You need a CRM to automate these sequences

A tool like Keap can help you sequence and automatically send messages. The only downside to using a CRM tool like Keap is the time needed to master your way around its ecosystem.

The best way to cut through the process is by asking help from a qualified Keap consultant who can walk you through the system and help you build campaigns that are efficient to your business. 

Step 8: Dodge the Danger of Spam Filters

First thing’s first, right? You wanted to avoid being caught by spam filters.  The Worst case is when your emails are tagged as spam. Once this happen, you are risking your entire domain name to be flagged as a spammer meaning, you might not be able to send messages anymore. 

You don’t want that to happen. Here are some surefire ways to avoid the danger of being flagged as a spammer. 

  • Ask your subscribers to whitelist you
  • Avoid too much capital letters and punctuation marks (!!!)
  • Make it possible to unsubscribe (CAN-SPAM law mandatory rule!)
  • Make sure your emails are relevant 
  • Send only to a permission-based list (do not buy emails)
  • Use a good text to image ratio
  • Avoid large attachments or do not attach anything at all

Step 9: Keep Nurturing Fresh Prospects and Old Customers

  • Re-engage prospects who have fallen off your map
  • Offer timely offers
  • Send only relevant and valuable messages
  • Educate your prospects
  • Send updates about what’s going on in your organisation
  • Help make lives of readers easier

Step 10: Measure, Tweak and Improve Campaigns

Use your campaign’s data to measure, tweak and improve your reach and conversion. Therefore a CRM should be an investment to your email marketing efforts. 

Keap has three key performance indicators:

1. A campaign dashboard that allows you to run metrics to see a complete picture of the success of every campaign

2. A/B tests that lets you measure two campaigns so you can see which work is best on different campaign variations and analyse what can be improved

3. A monthly analysis that lets you keep track of long term campaigns so you can identify success and repeat it


Data tells so much about your campaigns. Always make use of analytics and metrics to improve efforts.

David Holland

About the author

Nice bloke with practical ideas. Former Procter & Gamble, Kraft and IBM sales and marketing executive. Became a business owner 20 years ago. Started multiple businesses including EXELA which is the most successful Keap® & Infusionsoft™ reseller in the EMEA region.

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