FAQ Friday: Effective Email Marketing


In the age of digital overload, inbox zero on the horizon and banner blindness in full force, you have to be extra cautious that your emails don’t alienate your brand, or negatively influence your subscribers. Let’s review the most frequently asked questions surrounding effective email marketing in your brand's mix.

What is email marketing and how can it help businesses?

Email marketing is simply the practice of directly marketing your brand to a select group of people. The general idea behind email marketing is to enhance the relationship you have with your customers, get more repeat business, and boost customer loyalty.

Although email marketing is usually thought of as a great way to let customers, and potential customers, know what you do well, email marketing campaigns can also go towards sending customers promotions and offers in an effort to increase customer loyalty.

In a lot of ways, email marketing is the natural extension of direct mail, print newsletters, and magazine space for an advertisement.

Email marketing takes the best marketing techniques that have come before (e.g., newsletters) by using a very affordable form of communication (i.e. email) while still being a permission-based form of marketing communication.

How can I grow my email lists?

Businesses naturally want to know how to extend their email lists. Why? Because email marketing has been shown to have a return on investment of 4300%, which means that for every marketing dollar you put towards email marketing you'll receive over forty dollars back, on average.

Fortunately, there are a few proven ways to grow the scope of your email list and the amount of customers that you regularly reach. Creating more engaging content, curating an online contest, incorporating an opt-in feature to your email messages (more on this in a moment) and using social media to kickstart your email marketing efforts can all work to enhance your email list.

  • Engaging Content
  • Online Contests
  • Opt-in Feature
  • Social Media

Creating engaging content ensures that those already subscribed to your list stay subscribed, and content that excites will also get you new subscribers. Giveaways and time-sensitive promotional offers are one way to spice up your content.

And if you're unsure whether your subscribers are "authentic" and enjoying what you do or merely holdovers from years ago, consider incorporating an opt-in feature to your emails. Lastly, consider forwarding offers on social media that require those interested in the offer(s) subscribe to your email list to cash in.

What types of emails are appropriate within email marketing?

There's a huge difference between an email that gets customers excited and one that leaves customers cold (i.e., spam).

Making your content more personalized and relevant to customers moves your email away from spam territory and towards fostering a deeper relationship with each of your customers. Email marketing usually takes at least one of the following forms:

  • Promotional Offers
  • Unique Content (e.g., infographics or blog posts)
  • Relationship Building

Incorporating engaging content that nonetheless comes through with a distinctive voice increases the odds that customers will read and buy into what you have to say. Better targeting and delivering more niche content can also help boost your referral rate and get the kind of word-of-mouth attention that drives leads.

Follow the link below to see examples of email marketing campaigns that clearly work — you'll notice that these emails feature engaging content, opt-in features that make the campaigns more permission-based and promotional offers to drum up excitement. (HubSpot)

Does email marketing only work for new product launches?

The short answer is that email marketing goes far beyond product launches. Email marketing can be used to "seal the deal" with leads by providing them more of an incentive to considering a product that they've had their eye on.

How? With offers and coupon codes embedded in emails sent to customers who've shown an interest in one or more of your products.

The tone that an effective email marketing campaign has is one of helpfulness and guiding the customer towards a product or service that will increase his or her's quality of life (value proposition).

Email marketing could, in essence, be thought of as a way to inform or remind customers about a product that could help them out. Therefore, when done right, email marketing should feel more like a friend lending some useful advise rather than an overt advertisement for a product.

Do email marketing and B2B marketing complement each other?

Since both B2B and B2C marketing rely on smart content strategies to achieve their ends, and since most of us rely on the web to get more information about a company before making a decision, email marketing can support both B2B and B2C marketing campaigns. (HubSpot)

Email marketing in a B2C context focuses on curating niche content and promotional offers to subscribers (customers) who have opted into the campaign. In a similar way, email marketing can help B2B marketing initiatives by forwarding relevant product details, industry best practices, ratings, and recent blog posts.

The right digital mix in a B2B marketing context would include social media, email marketing, inbound SEO, content marketing and online advertising.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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