Email is the original one-to-one digital marketing channel. It’s so integrated into our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time before it existed. People check their email multiple times a day on phones, computers, and other devices. In fact, some of you probably check your email first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and will even check it during this course. People engage with email all the time. So, it’s a great way to connect with customers at key points during the day.
Email marketing is a commercial channel used by both B2B and B2C companies to deliver advertisements, offers, education, and other marketing content directly to a user’s inbox.
Bear in mind, that a user’s inbox is one of the most private parts of the online experience. Many people can see your website, Facebook, and Instagram posts, but no one except you typically sees your email inbox. So, it’s a very personal space and a great way to connect in a meaningful manner with consumers.
Email has not only stood the test of time as a marketing channel but has experienced a renaissance of late. With the advent of smartphones, users can check email whenever and wherever they like. Coupled with privacy issues on other channels like social media, email is seen by many consumers as a secure place where brands and organizations can communicate with them in a useful, effective way.
Email marketing results #
Email marketing continues to offer companies an effective way of achieving marketing goals:
- 64% of decision-makers use email.
- ROI is higher than any other marketing channel.
- Email marketing converts three times better than social media.
- 44% of consumers who receive targeted emails report buying at least one item as a result.
Email campaigns #
Email campaigns are extremely useful for engaging with both potential and existing customers. There are many different types of email campaigns to acquire and retain customers, from registration emails to product updates, newsletters, and renewal notices.
There are five levels of audience engagement campaigns. The higher the level, the more specific and automated email campaigns become:
Foundational: Baseline communications sent to your broadest audience, such as newsletters, bulletins, holiday greetings, and company or product announcements
Promotional: Email messages to generate revenue or product demand, such as sales and special offers, free trials, discounts, and holiday shopping
Informational: Communications to establish and grow relationships, such as product-related education, how-tos, articles, and lead nurturing programs
Engagers: Email messages to inspire comfort, familiarity, and interest among brand subscribers, such as surveys, reviews, or rewards
One-on-one: Communications targeted at individuals based on their actions, inactions, or personal data, such as welcome, post-purchase thank you messages
Automated emails #
Automated emails are used to keep people in the loop about purchases, subscriptions, and specific interests that they’ve signed up for or to recognize and respond to key customer actions and milestones. Examples of automated emails include new subscriber welcome messages, purchase receipts, abandoned cart reminders, or form submission and content download confirmations.
To better understand the many types of automated emails, it helps to think of them in these five categories. Number one, functional. Two, behavioral. Three, personal. Four, sales lifecycle stage. And five, transactional.
Subscriber lists #
Before you can send an email, you will need to know who you are sending the email to. This is where subscriber lists come from. A subscriber list is the contact information of all the users who have requested emails and are allowed to be emailed. This is the list you will use to send your marketing emails.
Opt-in permission #
It is extremely important to remember you cannot just email anyone. You can only email people who have opted in or subscribed to your email list.
There are two main ways to collect and verify email subscribers with their explicit consent.
Single opt-in: This is where an individual subscribes to emails typically through a form on a webpage. A person enters his or her email address, name, and any other details required and is then added to the organization’s email marketing list.
Double opt-in: When a person subscribes to emails by submitting an email address through a form or purchasing online, a confirmation email is returned. This confirmation email message contains a request to verify consent, usually by clicking a link in the message. Only after a subscriber has clicked a link in the verification message is their address verified and added to your list.
Considerations with opt-ins #
There are benefits and disadvantages to both types of opt-ins.
Single opt-in #
While single opt-in provides for a smoother user experience and offers rapid scale in list growth, it may not be sufficient for organizations such as financial services or healthcare, which are collecting sensitive information from their customers. Companies in those industries might have a greater need to fully verify that the individuals signing up to receive their email truly want it and that those people are, in fact, the owners of the email addresses provided.
The other disadvantage of single opt-in is, in the absence of good email address verification and hygiene practices during collection, individuals can submit bogus or incorrect data, which then causes deliverability problems later.
Double opt-in #
Double opt-in emails ensure that people are entering real email addresses, and this helps reduce the number of bots or fake accounts subscribing to your list. This way, you can ensure that you’re collecting high-quality email addresses from real people.
You’ll get lower subscriber numbers than with single opt-in, but there’ll be higher quality and verified addresses. For this reason, double opt-in is a quality-over-quantity approach to email list building.