Email Marketing: a 2-Minute Introduction

Email marketing sounds old school, especially in light of all the flashy social media campaigns that everyone talks about these days, but don’t write it off just yet. Done right, email is still the most effective way to reach customers online and actually get them to buy from you.

Here are a few reasons:

Email has wider reach. Everyone has email, but not everyone is on social media. Think about it: when you sign up for any social media, the first thing you’re asked to provide is an email address.

More proof: Facebook has over 1 billion active users, Twitter has 225 million, but the total number of email accounts worldwide is 3.9 billion. That number is expected to balloon to 4.9 billion by 2017.

It’s personal and distraction-free. Put it this way: social media is like sitting in a huge auditorium with several other people, watching a concert. Email is like, well, opening your mailbox at home and reading your mail. The result? Customers will give more attention and better focus on your message.

Email delivers your message better than social media. Let’s compare Facebook and email. Only 2% of fans will see your post on their Facebook newsfeed. On the other hand, 90% of the people on your mailing list will receive your email. If you have 10,000 Facebook fans and 10,000 email subscribers, that’s a difference of 200 versus 9,000.

Customers prefer to receive promotional messages through email over social media. Straight from the horses’ mouth: 72% of people surveyed would rather that you sold them something through email. This is in stark contrast to the 17% who choose social media.

These numbers make a lot of sense if you consider the fact that for most people, social networks are a way to keep in touch with friends and family.

Why is this important? Simple. You want to avoid turning off your customers as much as possible.

So how does email marketing actually work? The simple answer is that you send a potential customer a marketing message via email, in the hopes of triggering a reaction. Your message could be anything from announcing a sale, asking for feedback, or inviting them to visit your site again.

Once your email recipient does any of these things, you can chalk that up as a conversion.

Let’s talk about a few terms commonly used in email marketing.

  1. Open rate is the number of emails opened divided by successful deliveries. The number varies among industries, but the general benchmark is 30%.
  2. Click rate (or click-through rate) is the number of clicks divided by successful deliveries. Again, this differs depending on which industry you’re in, but the general average is 3%.
  3. Conversion rate is the number of actions divided by successful deliveries. This number is entirely dependent on your goals, because every email campaign will have a different purpose.

What does a good marketing email look like? There are several examples of effective email marketing campaigns, each with its own merits, but let’s look at a few simple rules for now.

You want your email to achieve three things: be opened, be clicked on, and convert. How do you achieve these goals? By making your subject catchy, and making it clear what you want your customer to do.

For this particular client, we addressed common pain points and provided solutions. Revit is an expensive architectural software, and the process itself is time-consuming and labor-intensive (resulting in even more costs in the form of labor). Best Price Revit Global provides outsource services to help design and architectural firms save money.

The subject for this email in particular was, “Using Revit doesn’t have to be expensive.” Most email clients provide a preview of the contents, and so we used that opportunity to reinforce the subject with “We’ll prove it” (1).

In the message body, we once again addressed this particular problem, elaborated on it, and then provided a solution (2).

The solution was reinforced using a brief example: in this case, a short list of their rates (3).

Last, the call to action: using the body as a build-up, we led the customer to the next logical step, which is asking for a quote. The call-to-action button is highly contrasted with color, and the text clearly states the next step (4).

Using these principles, we were able to achieve a consistent open rate average of 25%, in contrast to the industry average of 19%.

email marketing a 2 minute introduction

Indigo Media Labs is a content-focused and data-driven digital marketing agency. Our strategies revolve around the lifeblood of your business: the customer. We create extremely high-quality content that builds trust, authority, and likeability for your brand. Ask us how we can help your business. We’d love to chat.