Find out what email marketing is, why you should be doing it and how you can implement it into your marketing strategy.
Welcome to our new blog post series called, ‘Knowledge Is Power’ or ‘KIP’ for short. In this series we’re going to be diving deeper into different marketing topics, helping you to strengthen your knowledge of them and understand how you can start implementing this into your business. The more you know about how to market your business, the more it will help to ultimately grow your business.
For our first post in the series, we’re looking at email marketing and the things that can be achieved when a business implements it in the right way. It’s a marketing technique that business owners often want to start doing, but they’re not sure where to start or what they really want to achieve with it. If this is you, we hope that this article is of use and that you find you can start using this amazing marketing tool within your business.
What is email marketing?
We’ll start from the beginning. Email marketing is a marketing technique which involves an organisation sending out a commercial message to a group of people over email. The great thing about email marketing is it doesn’t have to be a ‘hard sell’ tactic and can instead focus on building a relationship with the organisation’s target consumers.
Just like other forms of digital marketing, email marketing allows the organisation to not only send out marketing communication but measure it too. So that over time campaigns can become more intuitive to the audience and more effective at achieving the goal they were set out to.
The benefits of email marketing
Email marketing can support any stage of the consumer journey and can help organisations achieve their marketing goals. Here’s a few key benefits a good email marketing strategy can bring to your business:
Build relationships with existing customers
Marketing isn’t just about acquiring new customers, it’s also about nurturing the relationship between the business and existing customers. This makes sure that they continue to see the business positively and, in turn, gives you repeat business or new customers through recommendations.
Sending out regular emails to your existing customers increases the touch points they have with your business. This strengthens the relationship the two parties have and increases customer advocacy.
What is customer advocacy?
Customer advocacy refers to the final stage of the loyalty ladder, a concept developed by marketing theorist, Adrian Payne. The concept outlines the stages a consumer goes through to become an advocate of a brand. Meaning that they actively recommend your product or service to people and speak well of the company. A very powerful asset when growing your brand.
Get customer feedback
The only way to build customer relationships is to understand what your customers want and email marketing can help you do that. Through sending online surveys via email, you can gain good insight into a huge variety of things:
- Which of your products your customers like best
- Why they chose you
- What they value most from an organisation
- The areas they feel your organisation needs to improve in
Having these insights is invaluable and will help you to improve your future marketing efforts as well as your products or services. It can also work really well with customer nurture – how many times have you received an email that looks like this:
Not only is an email like that a post-purchase touch point, it’s also an opportunity to gain customer insight.
Send very specific content to target audiences
While customer segmentation is possible in all marketing techniques, email marketing platforms like Hubspot make it really easy to segment your audience. Which is separating your contacts into lists based on different factors. For example; have they only just made their first purchase with you or have they been loyal for over two years?
By segmenting your audience, you’re able to send very specific content to each segment. Making it relevant to them and increasing the campaign’s effectiveness as it’s much more likely to resonate with the audience. There’s no point in sending a ‘thank you for your first purchase’ email to a customer who has been loyal to you for years. In fact, it could harm your relationship with the loyal customer if you did so. Instead, why not offer your loyal customers a special discount to thank them for their loyalty? Which is possible to do with the correct segmentation
Automate the nurture cycle
One of the problems businesses face is not having enough time to maximise the benefits we’ve listed above. But, when used properly, an email marketing platform like Hubspot allows businesses to automate emails. So keeping on top of it doesn’t become time-consuming.
Send out welcome emails, thank yous and even reminders to consumers automatically to make sure you hit all the right touchpoints and ultimately grow your business.
How to implement email marketing into your marketing strategy
Thousands of businesses are already harnessing the power of email marketing and using it as part of their marketing strategy, but it can be hard to know where to start. So here’s a step by step to give you some pointers. Although we would recommend getting a professional on board to guide you to making the most of your email marketing.
- Collect email addresses
You may find that you already have email addresses from previous orders you’ve had or from people you already know in your network.
If you don’t have any email addresses to add to your mailing list, start actively recruiting them. You can do this by putting an email sign up on your website and putting out social media posts asking for people to sign up. Another good way to get a good number of email addresses in one day is by being an exhibitor at a business expo and running a prize draw. To enter the prize draw, people have to put their business cards in a hat.
- Create an email template
To generate brand awareness, it’s important that all the emails you send out are identifiable. If you’re sending out different types of emails – e.g ‘thank you’ ones, newsletters, company updates etc, it’s worth having different templates for these.
Platforms like Hubspot, Mailchimp and others make it easy to create professional email templates and save them so you can use them at a later date.
- Plan your content
The key to being consistent with your email marketing is creating a content plan so you know what to talk about and when. A good place to start is thinking about what you want to promote at different times of the year. You may already have events in the calendar that you’ll want to talk about when they come around.
Don’t forget that this content plan doesn’t have to be written in stone. In fact, it’ll probably change as you find out what your audience responds best to. Make sure that the content you plan for your emails fits into your overall marketing strategy. It’s important to make sure that the different channels you use work with each other rather than against each other.
- Let people know they’ve been added to a mailing list
It’s important to be completely transparent when running email marketing campaigns and abide by the GDPR rules.
The first email you send to your mailing list needs to be one that lets them know they’ve been added to a list and that they can unsubscribe if they don’t want to receive the emails. This may seem counter-intuitive, but remember that if people don’t want to receive your emails, they simply won’t open them anyway. You only want people that want to receive them to be on your mailing list to make your campaigns effective.
- Segment your list (if applicable)
Once you’ve let everyone know that they’ve been added to your mailing list, you may want to segment the list as we mentioned before. For some organisations, segmentation isn’t needed – at least at the beginning – so don’t feel that you have to straight away. Over time however; when your audience grows or you get more used to sending out emails, you may want to start sending different emails to different people.
Remember that your audience segments can be as broad or as specific as you like. It’s just important that they work for you.
- Begin sending out emails consistently
Off you go! You’re now ready to begin using email marketing as part of your marketing strategy. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t change your email strategy. It’s crucial to always be monitoring the stats and changing your method accordingly.
You may find that you get more opens at a particular time of day – if that’s the case, start sending emails at that time. Or if your audience responds well to a particular type of content, start sending out that type of content more.
Once you start using email marketing in your marketing strategy, you’ll start reaping the benefits we spoke about. As we said earlier, it can be beneficial to get an expert on board, not to take over your email marketing but help guide you in the right direction.
When you’re ready to start using email marketing within your organisation, we recommend using Hubspot. As a very user friendly platform, it’s easy to get to grips with it – it has lots of fab free resources too!
You can sign up for Hubspot here: