Email Marketing: A Guide For Success


Time to read: 5 minutes

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a powerful form of direct marketing used to promote your business’s products and services via advertisements, coupons, newsletters, and more. It can be used as part of your marketing automation strategy to build customer loyalty, deepen relationships, and keep customers engaged with your brand, products, and services.

While it may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, email marketing remains one of the most powerful channels available to marketers. Email marketing has an average ROI of 3,800%, firmly setting it apart as the single most sound marketing investment channel available.

Email marketing allows brands to deliver highly targeted and personalised 1:1 messaging at scale, build customer loyalty, and ultimately grow their audience base.

Compared to other channels, organisations can deliver a higher return on investment with a minimal amount of marketing spend. In fact, according to Smart Insights, email marketing remains the most effective marketing channel ahead of social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing with an average ROI of $38 for every dollar invested (Salesforce).

With its relatively low cost, email marketing provides an opportunity to nurture relationships with existing customers while driving increased revenue through an already engaged audience. As such, marketers identify email as the single most effective channel for promoting awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. And with improvements in AI and automation, it has never been easier to improve ROI.

The Role of Email Marketing

Having a well-developed email marketing strategy allows you to connect with your customers and target audience in a highly personal way by tailoring your email content based on individual recipients' preferences, behaviour, and interaction with your brand. Depending on your marketing strategy and business goals, email marketing can be used as part of your overall marketing campaign to nurture leads, and increase customer engagement and conversion rates. Regardless of your business type or goals, an email marketing platform will allow you to communicate your brand message to a targeted audience at scale and reach better quality customers using marketing automation, personalisation, and AI software.

Benefits of Email Marketing

So, what are some of the key benefits of email marketing? The following are just a few of the key benefits you can expect:

Generates More Website Traffic and Leads:

Email marketing can be a highly effective way for brands to drive traffic to their website for an upcoming sale, promotion, or new product release. By increasing email subscribers via a subscriber list you can keep your most loyal customers up to date with all your latest offers and exclusives.

Increase Customer Loyalty:

Build stronger customer connections with personalised messaging that resonates with your target audience and builds brand loyalty to increase your customers' lifetime value. Send welcome emails that delight, celebrate an anniversary, or deliver personalised product recommendations they'll love.

Boost Brand engagement:

Keep your brand top of mind and your customers engaged with your products and services, even if they aren’t ready to buy. You can also split-test your campaigns to identify your best-performing message.

Promote Your Content:

Introduce new products and offers you know your customers will love. Segment your emails to deliver personalised product and content recommendations based on their previous purchase behaviours.

Nurture New Prospects:

Nurture customer leads with engaging content no matter where they are in the customer lifecycle. Deliver timely emails to remind customers of a product left in their cart or upcoming sale.

Email Marketing Tools

Gaining an advantage in a competitive market requires the use of email marketing tools. The following are among the most advantageous features that will help you increase your share of the market.

Tracking Tools:

If you simply send out your emails and then forget about them, you’ll never be able to know how effective they are. Email tracking tools tell you whether or not an email has been opened. This will give you a better feel for how your emails are being received.

Testing Tools:

One of the advantages of email marketing is the ability to test email campaigns with built-in testing tools that can help you determine what is effective, and what belongs in the spam folder.

Built-in Analytics Tools:

Email marketing analytics tools can do more than tracking and testing. When an email tool is designed to integrate with existing CRM systems, it can be used to gather, analyse, and extrapolate actionable conclusions from customer data. This means more focused campaigns and a more informed business.

Content Tools:

Capturing the attention of your customers depends on the ability to give them the email content that they want. In fact, 50% of companies feel they can increase interaction within email by increasing personalisation. That said, personalising each email can be prohibitive — particularly when you’ve got an email list that numbers in the thousands. However, there exist various email tools that offer drag-and-drop functionality that makes it easier to personalise content for every client in your subscriber and system lists.

Design Tools:

Modern email allows for rich visuals to be shared as easily as text, which means that the most effective email campaigns often rely on images, graphics, and even videos. Email marketing tools that include design options make it easy to create an enticing email that looks the part.

Event Triggers:

While knowing what kind of email to send is certainly important, it can be just as critical to know when to send an email. By using email marketing automation tools, in the form of advanced event triggers, you’ll be able to depend on the right emails being sent out to the right customers, at the right time. When a new customer subscribes to your newsletter, a client makes a purchase, a shopper abandons an online shopping cart mid-transaction, or any of a number of other events occur, your system will be capable of creating and delivering an appropriate email.

Live Content:

Once an email is sent out, it’s generally beyond your control. However, some email marketing tools offer the ability to dynamically update emails while they are in a client's inbox. This means that you won’t have to worry about the potential damage that outdated emails could be doing.

Customisation and Scalability:

At the end of the day, the right email marketing tool is one that will always be able to fit the changing needs of your business. Email tools that can be configured, customised, and adapted mean that no matter what form your organisation takes, or where it might be headed, you’ll always have the right tools to keep your email marketing campaigns achieving results.

Ways to Build an Email Marketing List

While there are many ways in which to build your email marketing list, the following covers some of the more common tactics you might consider when building your strategy:

1. Include a sign-up form on your website

By placing a sign-up form in a prominent position on your website you’ll be able to encourage site visitors to subscribe to your email list. Many brands achieve this by offering consumers an initial discount code, exclusive offer, or similar promotional means to capture their details.

2. Let engaged customers know you have an email list

Alerting your existing audience base to the fact that you have a subscriber list can be one of the most effective means to increasing email sign-ups. You may find you have many followers on social media platforms or visiting your blog that have not yet subscribed. Consider placing a prominent call to action on key website landing pages.

3. In-store sign-ups

If you have a physical brick-and-mortar store, then don’t forget to ask your customers to sign up at check out. Providing customers with an initial promotional code or access to exclusive content can be a great way to capture additional subscribers.

4. Guides, catalogues, or e-books

No matter what assets you may be creating, the more value you offer as a brand the more likely it is that potential customers will provide their email address. Consider investing the extra time and effort to create something truly valuable for your customers that would encourage them to download and subscribe.

Sending Marketing Emails

So now you’ve built a fantastic email marketing list, what’s next? Creating a compelling email campaign doesn’t have to be hard. With a little knowledge and some careful planning, you can put your email marketing strategy to work.


Here are a few of the key things you should consider when launching your email marketing campaign:

Have a plan:

Before you start, figure out who it is you want to speak to. Having a plan will help you craft the right message, the kind that will resonate with your audience.

Have a clear goal:

Having a clear goal will allow you to measure the success of your email marketing campaign. Is it to drive website traffic? Increase sales or leads, or perhaps both. Regardless, it’s important to have a clear view of what it is you are trying to achieve as this will inform the kind of action you ask your audience to perform.

Utilise segmentation and personalisation:

Businesses can target specific audiences with personalised messages using segmentation. While it may sound complex, segmentation is simply the practice of dividing up your audience into more targeted groups. This process allows you to tailor your messaging to specific users based on the shared preferences they may have previously indicated.

Initial sign-up:

Providing your customers with the opportunity to decide the kinds of communication they receive will demonstrate transparency and place the customer’s preferences first. Setting initial expectations will go a long way in helping you decrease the number of people who may otherwise choose to unsubscribe.

Birthday Anniversary:

If you have captured those details why not celebrate your customers' birthday by offering them something special? An exclusive offer or discount will go a long way in building a great customer relationship and will be something they will remember.

Produce recommendations:

By leveraging your CRM data you can provide your customers with highly personalised product recommendations based on their previous purchase habits. This kind of advanced personalisation will allow you to better understand your audience and build more personal brand relations.

List Segmentation:

List segmentation involves dividing your email subscribers into distinct groups based on specific criteria, such as demographics, behaviour, or purchase history. If segmentation seems too complex or big-data-driven for a business to implement without assistance, there are many software solutions designed to perform this task automatically. This software can look at the interactions with the leads or customers over time and send automatically generated personalised emails.
While you can segment your customers into groups, there are many ways email personalisation can help you engage with your customers in some truly creative ways, these might include:

Deliver Personalised Messages:

Understanding your audience through segmentation helps you identify crucial moments that matter to your customers. This is important, because customers respond better to information that is relevant to them.

Make copy and content that resonates:

Get creative with your content choices. A wall of text isn’t fun to read and will likely impact future email open rates. Use actionable language, personalise where possible, write in the second person, and make the content relevant. A well-composed email with an enticing subject line and a great offer can be a fantastic lead magnet. Whether you’re using an email template or building a custom design, getting your customers to open your email is just the first step.

Leverage the power of CTAs.

Calls to action (CTAs) are perhaps the most important components of a marketing email. Including a call to action button instead of a text link can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%. To make CTAs more effective, the CTA should say exactly what you want the customer to do, but the language should also indicate a low commitment level. The customer is not going to “click here” just because you put a fancy button with Christmas lights around it in your email. Instead, altering the button to read Shop Now has been proven effective. It has also been shown to have higher conversion rates than one that reads Buy Now. Buy Now is less effective because customers are not as willing to immediately commit to a sale viewing an email. Learn More is also an easy, simple call-to-action example that has a proven track record.

Creating a Nurture Track - How often should I send emails to customers? Now you've delivered a great email campaign and the leads are flowing through, what’s next? Remember not everyone will respond to your email the first time so you'll need to have a plan.

Implement a nurture track that will automatically trigger timed follow-up emails based on a lead’s behaviour and information. Instead of a single blast, emails are personalised based on the customer’s stage in the buying process, which is known as the customer lifecycle. Consider nurturing those who didn't convert the first time with a gentle nudge in the days that follow. Remember not to overdo it, you don't want to spam your customers and make them regret signing up.

DB Marketing reports the email open rate is highest when companies send two emails per month. Of course, there may be times when a one-off email message is appropriate, but businesses utilising only the right emails for the right campaigns — rather than an avalanche of messages — will drastically increase their ROI. There are many software tools that can look at the interactions with the leads or customers over time and automatically generate personalised emails.

When it comes to ROI, there are few marketing channels that have the potential to pay off as big as email marketing. However, without the right strategy, that potential is unlikely to ever materialise into anything concrete. To get the biggest bang for your buck, research the data-driven examples of successful businesses, and adopt the practices that will fit your organisation. After all, even with all of the tools and systems available to assist you in reaching your customer, the fact is that at the end of the day, the overall effectiveness of your marketing campaign relies on you.


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