Email Marketing 101 - What Is It, Why Is It Important, and How To Do It Better than the Competition

July 16, 2021

Making connections is hard. That fact is as true in the business world as it is in personal relationships. Once you've made that first contact, you need to find ways to deepen bonds and nurture a long-term attachment.

In the business context, email marketing provides an excellent solution. You'll get a great method for building and maintaining relationships with your customers. (Sorry…for your personal life, you’re on your own.)

Email marketing lets you deliver a message that resonates with your specific audience. As such, it provides a great technique for every type of communication. By perfecting your email marketing campaign, you can connect with your existing customers, expand your client base, and drive long-term revenue growth.

By perfecting your email marketing campaign, you can connect with your existing customers, expand your client base, and drive long-term revenue growth.

What is email marketing?

In its basic form, email marketing presents a simple concept. You use email to stay connected with your customers. The technique lets you communicate with a targeted audience and highlight your products and services, with an eye to closing additional sales.

Simple, yes. But also extremely important. The implications of this powerful promotional tool go far beyond merely blasting out some emails. As a low-priced, targeted marketing approach, email marketing can provide a cornerstone technique for building a loyal customer base.

This is especially true for small businesses, which need to get the most out of every marketing dollar. No wonder almost nine out of 10 firms (87%) use email in their marketing strategy - by far the most common method.

What are the benefits of email marketing?

So many companies turn to email marketing because it provides an extremely strong value proposition. You can get a lot with very little investment. Here are a few of the specific benefits that come from email marketing:

Low Costs

The distribution cost of an email cost can vary. But usually they present an excellent deal compared to other alternatives. Typically, you're looking at a cost of a few cents per recipient.

Not only is email marketing economical on a per-customer metric, you can start an email effort with relatively little capital. With a few hundred dollars, you can hire a professional marketer to launch a program.

High ROI

Done right, the low cost of an email campaign can pay off with a significant revenue boost. One stat showed that a stellar effort could turn around $44 for every $1 spent on the program.

Easy to Scale

As your business grows, you can easily expand your email marketing program. What started with a reach of a few hundred addresses can easily scale as you become a larger company. Email marketing can remain a key part of your marketing program, even as you become a global competitor.

How to create an email marketing strategy (and how to execute on it)

In 2019, nearly 294 billion emails were sent and received each day.

Let's take a moment to put that number into perspective. That figure equates to more than 100 trillion emails each year. Given that figure, every person on the planet would have 38 emails to sort through every day.

But of course, not every person has email. About 3.9 billion people use the communication tool - a staggering number in its own right. But using the previous stat, each person with an email address receives 75 emails a day.

That's the major hurdle you face with your email marketing. You need to break out of the pack. You need to get your email opened and drive revenue conversions.

With that in mind, here are a few steps you can take as you roll out your email marketing program:

Create an Overarching Strategy

Before you send any emails, consider what you want to accomplish. This won't just let you refine your message. It will also help you define your target audience.

Matching these two aspects is the key to a successful campaign. Having a detailed strategy makes this possible.

Build Your List

Meticulously build a list of emails that support your marketing strategy. Find people primed for your message. Start with current customers and expand from there, using tools like your website and social media to engage with a potential audience.

Use the Right Tools

Email marketing represents a crowded space. On the one hand, this can be intimidating. It's hard to know exactly where to turn. On the other hand, it provides you near limitless choice in the right tools to help you get the most out of your program.

Research the available software and online support options. Pick the ones that fit what you're trying to accomplish. With these in place, you can upgrade your results and optimize your marketing investment.

Study Your Data and Improve Over Time

Email marketing comes with automatic feedback. Statistics like open rate and click-through rate will let you know how well you are engaging your intended audience.

Don't be afraid to experiment. You can send different emails to different groups and compare the results. This use of scientific method will let you optimize your approach.

Tips for improving your email marketing

Now that you've started your email-marketing program, how can you get the most out of your efforts? Here are a few tips to maximize your results:

Don't Overdo It

Because email marketing is relatively cheap, there's a temptation to blast out every message to every address. But getting too aggressive with your email marketing has a consequence.

Inundate your customers with messages and you could turn them against you. They'll either start ignoring you or they'll unsubscribe altogether.

Provide Value

Reward your audience for opening your emails. Give them a reason to anticipate future messages from you. Offer deals and interesting content that offers value for the time they invest.

Give [your audience] a reason to anticipate future messages from you. Offer deals and interesting content that offers value for the time they invest.

Sweat the Details

Emails are easy to ignore. You only have a split second to grab attention and entice a customer to open your marketing pitch. Every little detail matters.

Take time to get the most out of every email. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your emails mobile friendly
  • Spend some time crafting your subject line
  • Make the text compelling
  • Add a personal touch

Separate Yourself through Email Marketing

Yes, email marketing is a commonly used tool. But that doesn't mean you'll get drowned out. You have unique offerings that appeal to a defined customer base. By using email marketing, you can make the seemingly difficult connections that will put you ahead of the competition.

Communicating effectively with your customers is crucial. As a small business, you might not have the same resources as your competitors. Still, you have a winning message - you just need to get that in front of the right audience.

That's where a great email marketing strategy comes into play. You can find the right customers and build a long-term bond with them. You can build a real connection, getting through to your customers like never before.