What is Email Marketing and How Does It Work?

Before we discuss what email marketing is, let us start by mentioning how effective and relevant it is even today. Of all the direct marketing channels that currently exist, email marketing is the most profitable. According to Data & Marketing Association (DMA), a leading marketing intelligence company, a powerful email marketing campaign can generate an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent.

A 2018 SmartInsight report also places email marketing amongst the most powerful marketing channels, such as SEO, SEM, affiliate marketing, and other types of digital marketing. It may sound strange to you that in this artificial intelligence, virtual reality, chatbots, and the like, email still works so profoundly well as an effective marketing channel. But it’s very true.

Email marketing is still going strong and is probably the best marketing strategy to grow your business. That is mainly because email is still used by most of us in spite of the rise of social media and other digital connectivity and information platforms. Plus, statistics show that the number of email users is only rising with the passage of time, so email marketing is also there for the long haul.

For starters, email marketing can be confusing because email itself is a vast discipline with a sea of tools, techniques, and terminology. Here, we will try to deconstruct email marketing to help you understand it better.

What Is Email Marketing?

Simply put, when you send commercial email messages to a target audience, with the aim of converting leads into sales, you’re doing email marketing. The target audience typically comprises email subscribers, which are the contacts who have signed up to your email list and allowed you to communicate to them via email.

These emails are personalized to sell or promote a product or service to a potential user, or simply educate them about the value of the product or service. In short, email marketing is used to inform and educate the potential buyer, drive sales, and build a community around your brand. The email itself may be a decade-old marketing tool, but the email marketing practices have evolved significantly over time.

Today, the modern marketing email is not the old ‘one-size-fits-all’ in any way; instead, it’s more personalized, segmented, and focused on consent. Also, it’s not aimed to convert one-time buyers, but rather to turn these buyers into loyal customers. Being one of the most effective digital marketing strategies, email marketing can easily turn an effective campaign into a raving success.

What Are Some Key Benefits Of Email Marketing?

As discussed above, email marketing can prove to be the most effective tool in your marketing mix if done right. We have also discussed how the world’s top marketing intelligence and statistics companies place email marketing amongst the highest ROI generating tools even today. Below, we’ll have a look at some key benefits of email marketing and why it should be a mainstay, and even a priority, of your marketing plans.

  • It costs less
    Email marketing, compared to other forms of digital marketing, costs much less. Plus, there are numerous email marketing software solutions available in the market that make email marketing more effective and cheaper for you.
  • It generates a higher ROI
    For the amount of money you spend on a good email marketing campaign, the ROI you get is also higher than most marketing channels. DMA says you can get an ROI of $42 for every $1 spent on a great email marketing campaign. That’s a huge deal!
  • It helps you reach a potential customer better
    In email marketing, you have the power to reach out to larger audiences, as well as smaller targeted lists. Hardly any other digital marketing channel gives you that kind of flexibility. Once you reach the right audience with a powerful message, a conversion is almost certain.
  • It empowers you to attract new customers
    With consistent email marketing efforts, your email subscribers’ list will keep growing and you’ll get new leads that will eventually convert and reflect positively on your brand’s growth. The key is to optimize your mailing list and get the best out of it.
  • It helps you integrate other communication channels
    Email of today is much different than it was in its infancy. Today, it enables a marketer to integrate various communication channels so no potential lead or sale is lost. And email provides the best integration solution for your business needs.
  • Allows you to create personalized messages
    Another thing that sets email marketing apart from other digital marketing channels is that it allows you to personalize your message better for a specific target audience. You can say all that you want and the way you want to say it on a more personal level via email.

What are Some Key Types Of Email Marketing?

As with all other channels in your digital marketing mix, email marketing also comes in different shapes and sizes. As both email and user behavior have evolved significantly since the tool was first introduced, email marketing campaigns of today have also gotten smarter, more personalized, and more targeted than before. Here are some key types of email marketing:

  • Welcome Email
    Welcome email is when you touch base with a potential customer. Putting yourself in the customer’s shoe, you’ll know how annoying it can get to have yet another promotional email cluttering your inbox. The key is to make this very first impression of your brand a lasting one.
    As the customer is unready to do business with the first email – only 25% of leads are immediately sales-ready, and 50% qualify but aren’t ready for the purchase – nurturing is critical in the first phase of the email campaign. Welcome emails show better open and click-through rates when they’re not outrightly selling and are more personalized.
  • Promotional Email
    After you’ve welcomed the lead, the next phase is a promotional email where you pitch your brand proposition in a more direct manner. Usually, the promotional emails, dozens of which we have in our inbox all the time, are often less strategic or systemic than they ought to be.
    Putting some thought into your promotional campaign to make it more unified and progressive can really work wonders for your campaign. Try provoking emotion, adding humor, building curiosity, giving away gifts, using bold colors or messaging, and you can experience a major difference.
  • Seasonal Email
    This type of marketing email branches out of the main promotional campaign and can be spread across different weather of festive seasons. You can make the most of any major holiday – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fathers’ Day, Mothers’ Day, etc. – to position your brand in a whole new way.
    To be on top of seasonal marketing emails, you must be aware of the holidays or special days in countries where you’re marketing your product or service. As people are bombarded with seasonal emails, starting early can give your brand a winning edge.
  • Email Newsletters
    Email newsletters are a great way of staying connected with your target audience while keeping them updated about what’s the latest with your brand or business. For many organizations, email newsletters serve as the very foundation of their email marketing program.
    For including email newsletters in your email marketing mix, you must be very clear about your marketing goals. Is it that you want to nurture your existing contacts? Or do you want to be a brand they think of first when they need a product or service? An email newsletter can serve both if done right.
  • Dedicated Emails
    Dedicated emails sell or talk about only one particular product or service at a time. Also known as standalone emails, dedicated emails help you build context to pitch the main call to action. In this way, you may see some similarities between dedicated emails and a landing page.
    As opposed to newsletter, the prime focus of dedicated sends is to drive results via one call to action. Dedicated emails are easier and faster to build with most of the information already being on the landing page. These emails also allow you to quickly measure your campaign, such as CTR, landing page views, conversions, etc.
    There are also many other kinds of marketing emails such as Triggered Emails, Post-Purchase Email, Re-Engagement Emails, and more. Key is to have full knowledge and understanding of the types of email campaigns and when and how to use them to reach your goals faster.

Why You Should Use Services Of An Email Marketing Agency?

On the face of it, email marketing is simple to execute. You’d think you just have to write an email message and broadcast it to your mailing list and the job will be done. But that’s not true. There’s much more work in email marketing involved than it appears. And in this highly competitive business climate that increasingly keeps you busy with the core business, creating and managing email marketing campaigns yourself will hardly be a wise choice even if you get time for it.

Although there are many email marketing software solutions available in the market – which actually simplify email marketing and make it more effective by folds – it’s still advisable to use the services of professional email marketers if you have little or no experience in the domain. With some research, you can easily find an email marketing agency that will help you meet your business goals effectively and at a budget that you can afford.

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