The first marketing email ever sent was a resounding success.
It happened way back in 1978 when a man called Gary Thuerk sent an email to 400 people promoting the computers sold by the company for which he worked.
That single email blast generated, wait for it…$13 million in sales. According to the same source, that’s almost $80 million in today’s money.
Alas, the likelihood of emulating Theurk’s success these days is very slim indeed. But there’s no denying that, even now – 44 years later – email remains a powerful marketing channel. Done right, it can help you build relationships with customers, grow your brand, increase customer loyalty, and drive steady sales.
…Especially when you have the right email marketing tools at your disposal!
In this article, we’re going to run through a detailed guide on how to do it, with a particular emphasis on the best tools for the job. Let’s dive in.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that involves targeting your audience and promoting your business’s products/services via email.
Primary Benefits of Email Marketing
Still unconvinced of the merits of email marketing? This is the section for you. Aside from advertising your wares, here are a few key advantages to incorporating it into your marketing strategy:
Build Brand Awareness
Regular (but not too regular!) emails will keep your business top-of-mind as prospects move through your marketing funnel. Whenever they eventually need what you sell, they’re more likely to make a purchase.
Strong relationships are the bedrock of any successful business. Email marketing helps you build them. By personalizing each message to ensure it’s relevant to each recipient, you’ll forge connections that increase CTR and CR.
Generate New Leads and Nurture Current Ones
Email marketing and lead generation go hand-in-hand. After all, to build your email list you must attract would-be customers with a compelling offer people can claim in exchange for their contact details. Each subscriber is a new lead for you to nurture with ongoing personalized emails.
Promote Your Content
Email marketing provides direct access to your audience. You don’t have to go through (or rely on) Google, Facebook, or other social media platforms anymore. You can share your latest blog post or YouTube video directly, thus providing value that helps grow your brand.
You’re in Charge
Your email list belongs to your business, which means no other entity dictates how, when, or why you contact subscribers. That said, you should always be aware of compliance regulations surrounding this marketing strategy.
Tips for Effective Email Marketing
Email marketing has changed a lot since it first hit the scene all those years ago. While generic email blasts to a list of eager recipients once generated results, it’s far more nuanced nowadays.
Here are a few quick-fire tips and tricks to help you leverage it to full effect:
Know Your Audience
Successful marketing hinges on understanding your target customer. This knowledge helps you send relevant emails that your subscribers will actually want to receive and engage with. So, whether it’s through direct conversations, surveys, or data analysis, you should do what you can to learn more about your audience!
For the dual sake of boosting engagement and complying with the law, make sure you get permission from every single subscriber to contact them. One way to do this is via an automatic opt-in email that’s sent upon subscribing. If they click “confirm”, you know they’re happy to hear from you.
Avoid sending the same email to every subscriber. Each person’s unique, which means they’ll respond to different types of content, products, and promotions! Personalized emails are more relevant emails, which naturally boosts conversions.
Optimize Subject Lines
The subject line is your hook. It’s the first thing your recipients see in their inbox, so make sure it compels them to see what’s inside! It should be concise, personalized, clear, and clickable.
Write Concise Copy with CTAs
People are busy, which means they don’t have all day to read your email. Keep the copy short and to the point (while still making it engaging and showing some personality). Oh, and don’t forget to include a call to action at the end, with a link to the landing page you want them to visit!
The Best Tools for Email Marketing
One of the best ways to tap into email marketing’s potential is to use a tool that’s been purpose-built for the task. These clever pieces of software help simplify and expedite the process. They enable marketers to create, send, automate, test, report, and optimize their campaigns, thus boosting ROI.
There are many tools to choose from. Here are the best ones:
Okay, so we’re biased! But there’s no denying that City Shoppe offers a major marketing boon for your business – especially with its new tool that allows brands to undertake collaborative email marketing.
That’s right, the City Shoppe directory lets you find other brands to share in email campaigns. Once you’ve found the ones with which you wish to team up, we’ll distribute the content to your target audiences. With 300 small businesses and 25,000+ products, it’s never been easier to build community with other SMBs and work together to acquire new customers.
Simple, intuitive, and full of useful features, Mailchimp’s another popular option. Among other invaluable things, it lets businesses schedule campaigns, run A/B tests, and access reports with data on open rates, CTRs, unsubscribe rates, and so on.
It’s also 100% free for your first 2000 contacts and can be integrated with a huge number of other software platforms.
HubSpot’s a great all-in-one marketing suite that’s ideal for larger and/or more established businesses. Expect in-depth reporting and powerful tools to run marketing campaigns across every channel, including email.
You can track leads, monitor the success of your campaigns, and access awesome online training resources. Oh, and you only pay for the contacts to whom you end up marketing! The fact you can use lead forms, live chat, and digital ads to build your audience via the CRM is another awesome bonus.
Utilize These Email Marketing Tips and Tools
Email marketing has been helping businesses generate leads and sales for over 4 decades.
However, success is never guaranteed! You need the right tools and a firm grasp of the processes involved to truly get the most from this marketing channel.
With any luck, the insights in this article have helped on both fronts. By keeping these tips in mind and experimenting with the email marketing tools we discussed, it shouldn’t be long before you get the results you need. For further information on how City Shoppe can grow your business, click here