What Is Email Marketing And How Does It Work? Many people still don’t know what email marketing is or continue to think that this technique consists of doing a super massive email campaign, that is, “hunting ducks with a machine gun”. At the same time, I am still hearing that it is not wrong to buy databases or add any email or subscriber to our lists.
Given which, we must ask ourselves: Is that an example of email marketing or is it spam? Perhaps these are some of the main reasons why until a few years ago, this strategy was so criticized and it was even heard that it was on the verge of disappearing or becoming a secondary role within a Digital Marketing Plan .
For this reason, and in the midst of so much media noise, in this article I would like to clarify first the definition of this term, so that before showing you how to carry out a well-designed strategy, we have clearer the basic premises:
What Is Email Marketing?
The Email Marketing is a digital media carried out via electronic mailings. Communication takes place between an issuer (which is usually a company or entrepreneur) and a receiver (the subscriber of their databases), in order to attract and retain you as a customer.
It is a non-invasive strategy for the user and much more direct than other techniques used on the Internet, since the person who receives the emails does so in the inbox of their email account . In addition, the latter has previously given their consent to periodically receive this type of shipment.
Remember: email marketing is one of the most effective and least invasive direct communication techniques for the user who receives it, so it should be included in any digital marketing strategy.
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What Is Email Marketing And How Does It Work?
This is a question that, if you have read carefully from the beginning, perhaps you could have intuited:
»Keep in touch with customers
As mentioned in the previous definition, it is mainly a «communication technique», so it represents a direct and close thread through which you can listen to the requests and feedback from your community.
»Send them news and updates
Just as I personally do with the contents of my blog, if you publish weekly on it, it would be good to send them that new content through this digital medium.
Surely they will be happy to know that they can enjoy a new article from one of their favorite blogs to which they are subscribed.
That direct contact I was talking about has a reason for being: to create empathy and connection between both parties.
Also, from a commercial point of view, the day you launch your own product or infoproduct, who do you think would want to be the first to receive it?
»Keep the brand in your ‘top of mind’
Given the fierce competition existing today on the Internet, you should always stay in the mind of the user and potential client, since if you lift your foot from the accelerator, a few days later you have several brands ahead of you …
Therefore, the periodic sending of emails offering them content of value generated by you, will make you remain a benchmark in your sector.
How To Achieve Better Results Today With Our Email Marketing Strategies?
This is the question that many of my clients often ask me when I tell them that email marketing is not dead, but that it is the misuse of this technique that no longer has a place in our current marketing strategies.
Mega Guide: The Rebirth Of Email Marketing And
Its Applications In The Business World
This is another of those marketing channels that have suffered a premature death and that has been reborn around the objective of putting the customer in their sights, thus forgetting the company-centrism that was lived in many cases.
We always see the same maturation cycle in any online marketing channel:
- Quality reduction.
- Saturation for the user.
- Hate and death of the channel.
Email marketing is not saved, but what is behind this supposed death?
Well nothing less than high growth rates, CTR’s much higher than in other channels, funnel of conversion / sale much smoother and more manageable than in other campaigns … It does not seem then that it is so dead, right?
What is dead are some ways to use email marketing channels, but not the channel itself.
In its day, something similar has happened with SEO positioning , with guest blogging, with social networks … when they grow up and are the success and envy of others, those who want to do the same but en masse always appear, without professional work and as if it were a simple money factory.
In this world there is no easy job , and in environments as changing and demanding as online much less.
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How To Integrate Email Marketing Into An Inbound Marketing Strategy?
Today I bring you a guide to convert your old and outdated email campaign into an unstoppable source of income.
And if you have already made the change, I also hope to give you some good tips to continue working your database, how to segment by market niches , and some guidelines to optimize the performance of your campaigns.
Paper and pencil please, we start:
1. Confirmed Opt-in Contacts
The first step to implement any email marketing strategy is, of course, to have emails from real or potential clients with whom to communicate, which we will call from this point on: “leads”.
But, can you manage and mature leads exclusively from a complete email marketing strategy?
In large part yes, but surely a direct phone call or an invitation or freepass in the final phase of maturity of the lead (when that lead is already hot or qualified for sale) are more effective in closing the cycle and achieving the precious sale.
That said, there are several methods and considerations regarding how to capture these leads and the type of information given to them.
“To achieve a good email marketing strategy we should always receive confirmed opt-in or double opt-in leads”
What is this of confirmed opt-in or double opt-in?
It is the confirmation process that we all know.
We leave the email to subscribe to a list of subscribers or Newsletter and receive an email where we must confirm our subscription by clicking or replying.
This step is essentially established to avoid being included from the competition, bots or people who do not like us very much in lists that we do not want to be part of.
This double process is the so-called double opt-in or confirmed opt-in.
Previously, there was the opt-in without confirmation via email, highly inadvisable if we do not want to flood our database of false leads and have the occasional anger (and even legal problem) with someone wrongly included in that list.
We must also have a clearly visible opt-out in any newsletter or mailing that we do, that is, give the user the possibility of unsubscribing or deleting from said list at any time.
Beyond the legal issues that concern, having a confirmed list of leads will allow us to minimize the risk of false profiles, with which to waste time (and money) from our first email.
At this point, it takes special importance to carry out a global strategy of Inbound Marketing (or attraction marketing), in order to be able to quickly identify those false leads that have signed up to our lists and that will not respond to the inputs or content that we send them. throwing.
Wait a minute … What is inbound marketing?
We differentiate two generic positions regarding comprehensive or 360º online marketing strategies.
- Outbound Marketing : Those that rely more on outbound approaches based on the repetition and saturation of commercial messages to the potential customer (or your target audience ).
- Inbound Marketing : Those that reverse the orientation and try to capture the potential client through content of their interest and not purely commercial messages.
The first case (outbound strategies) we see repeatedly on television, radio or on the street. Also on the Internet with constant offers, discounts and promotions that flood most of the websites on the net.
When we find a company that carries out an inbound strategy, we will notice it in large part due to the fact that we have come to know that company and it has not been it that has martyred us with constant announcements so that we know it.
In inbound approaches it is intended to capture attention with quality and not quantity. This is why segmentation and targeting the interests and needs of the potential customer are so important.
Having done this necessary subsection to locate email marketing within a global online marketing strategy (inbound or outbound), we retrieved the guideline.
Mailing lists Confirmed Opt-in or Double Opt-in?
We commented that being agile enough to not have to need a request to unsubscribe from a newsletter to remove a lead from the list, can be one of the most effective ways to optimize the resources and return of these campaigns.
All this, whether they are false leads or leads whose interest in us has expired.
In the first case (false leads) , we should eliminate them as soon as they are detected.
In the second (expired leads with interest) we should readjust them to include them in other lists aimed at discovering the reasons for their disinterest and, if feasible, starting a recovery campaign through new content, messages or purposes for which a day we are interested in said lead.
With these processes we will improve the transition between cold leads to qualified leads for marketing (MQL) and later on leads qualified for sale (SQL) .
2. How To Get Quality Leads?
Well, this point could give to write a book on its own, but in essence the objective is to be able to define minimum quality standards and guide the actions of recruiting leads to meet these demands.
SHOUT WITH ME ⇒ NO to externally purchased databases and NO to manually upload emails from people who have not given their full confirmation to enter our mailing lists.
A classic example is to include in the database companies or potential customers who have asked us for a quote or who have sent us an email or contact message about any questions or comments they have.
Here we are not talking about leads, but about contacts. Let’s not confuse love with friendship. That they say hello to us is not an invitation to send them emails, since in that case they will throw the drink at us.
“Having emails does not give us permission to start email marketing campaigns, nor does it allow us to be optimal for carrying out actions aimed at a future sale”
Therefore, the way to get leads really interested in receiving a mailing or a Newsletter from our company is through organic recruitment strategies.
These are, without a doubt, the highest quality sources available to us.
We quickly identify the blog as a lead capture engine .
In other words: “A blog is an organic, private and segmented source of generation of potential clients”
Why do we talk about segmented?
Because we always know where they entered the list.
This analysis begins to mark an initial segmentation based on what was interesting to you at the time of registration, since surely we will have different topics and various articles on the same blog, so a registration on one page or another already marks a first line .
Somewhat blurred yes, but a line.
I exchange a guide, ebook or template for a lead!
This is one of the best ways to attract quality leads. Under the label “free guide” or “free ebook” hides the true value of a lead.
That content is supposedly free at a monetary level, it is clear, but instead it saves great value for the company or professional who collects this authorization to send Newsletters, mailing, newsletters or any other type of communication via email thanks to that guide, ebook, template, etc.
At the same time, from the client’s point of view, we will be giving them value, in addition to being able to segment their interests in a much greater way than in the previous case.
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⇒ Example of attracting B2B leads
It happens that many companies resort to more commercial and traditional B2B methods to attract customers, suppliers or partners towards their own interests.
Why not do a market study, trends or the competition to share with other professionals or stakeholders?
This type of content is not as common as it could be due to the suspicion of companies to create professional content of extreme quality that they then share with the competition.
But in this process, many forget that, beyond the use that competitors may give it, the parallel benefits of these actions and the leads that will be generated from other stakeholders will be exclusive to the company itself.
In addition, we make a difference and manage to position ourselves as an expert in the sector.
Doesn’t that count towards closing deals?
Surely the volume of leads we generate is less than in content aimed at end customers, but that handful of contacts from suppliers or actors in our economic sector is well worth it for its high potential.
3. Lead Segmentation
There are still too many companies that use generic mailing or newsletter campaigns with their best offers or promotions, believing that “if someone itches, it’s worth it” .
Surely many examples come to mind, so in our memory we show that this technique is still unfortunately too widespread.
The analysis is not in who will convert, but in the negative effect of those who do not convert.
As in many situations, the return is based on income / cost but not on the basis of potential or confidence losses.
“Every poorly segmented email is an angry person”
That is why each action must be perfectly measured so as not to err on the part of quality. This is one of the pillars of inbound marketing, and much of the power of unifying this strategy with email marketing campaigns.
We know the tastes, preferences and interests of customers, so we must know how to adapt to what interests you , how it responds and your demands for quality or technicalities.
Because there may be two people interested in SEO, for example, but one being a beginner and the other a professional in the sector.
Despite sharing themes, they do not share knowledge, so they will not share objectives and, ultimately, they will obviously not be on the same list.
4. Me, Me and Me … (Company-Centrism)
The “yoismo” or looking at the navel is not exclusive (or originating) of email marketing but, like all direct communication channels with our potential clients, it has suffered the consequences of this unhealthy orientation for the benefits of companies.
The company only matters to its managers (and sometimes not even that), the rest see it as a source of solution to needs or whims.
Repeatedly talking about us will not serve to offer value, and if we do not offer value we are hopelessly doomed to lose leads along the way.
- What we are going to send interests and generates value to the recipient?
- Do you solve any need you may have? Will you fall in love so much that you will share it on your Facebook instantly?
If the answer is no , you have to go back a step and rethink the mailing before betraying the trust of our leads, even if it is involuntary.
Recovering the idea of getting quality leads, we must treat them with equal or greater efficiency still:
Why not send them your own study of news, prototypes or trends of the next 10 years in the market in ebook format? Sounds a lot better than the classic “this week’s deals”, right?
Email marketing campaigns do not always have to be aimed at a sale, moreover, this type of objective should be addressed after a long and mature relationship with our lead, at that point where it is practically impossible for us to escape and minimize the risk of losing it.
Who is going to mind an email that gives you tutorials, ebooks, tools, tickets to an event, an interesting viral video or a simple “how is everything”?
Do you see other possibilities of email marketing? It’s time to talk about loyalty …
5. Email Marketing ⇒ A Weapon or Loyalty Tool
If we have all the information from when we get a lead until it converts, why not use it so that we continue to add value beyond the simple purchase?
We know what you have bought, so we know the concerns, doubts and requirements of any person, segment, niche or micro-niche.
And no, I’m not talking about cross-selling strategies, but rather tools, resources or curiosities of value for users who have already bought from us.
Since today I collaborate with José Facchin, what less than to give an example of the tourism sector.
What’s more, it comes in handy because the information that this sector has on its clients is usually high and of enormous quality.
Example of loyalty with email marketing campaigns in the tourism sector
We know what profile of clients have come, at what times they have, what time they have had during their stay, what tour packages they have hired.
We can even know those that they did not finally opt for, either due to lack of time, organization or money.
Why not attack these fronts in a segmented way in micro-niches and even personalized to build loyalty and make a difference from the competition?
We know what our clients want, what they are like and what we can offer them. What else does your hotel need to succeed with email marketing?
In this sense, analyzing the data will be essential and an extremely addictive exercise for those who have the soul of an analyst like me.
Example 1: Let’s talk about time
This is one of the most determining factors for the success or failure of any tourist trip. It is something that neither the hotel nor the client can control, but that can ruin any forecast or dream trip of our clients.
For the client it will be a disappointment on an economic and emotional level.
And for the hotel, you will be a client who will not have maximized your satisfaction and, therefore, will not have such a strong link in your memory with our hotel, city or location.
So why not approach these clients unintentionally unsatisfied by the bad weather and recover that old illusion of living a sunny vacation in the way they had dreamed of it a few months later when they came to our hotel?
In exchange, we can offer you the plus of a high-end room at a lower price for coming out of season, or give them a romantic / original / family dinner (let’s not forget to segment between couples, friends or families at least) with a surprise gift Very special (I leave it to your liking) waiting for you at our hotel if you return in the next 2 years.
At this point, let’s not be too hard on time margins either, as a client will add value to us both if he returns after 2 months or after 2 years .
Loyalty is getting them to return, not to return before anyone else just to offer them preferential treatment for having spent a vacation spent in water.
This is just one example that will surely increase the probability of loyalty, or the less it will impact and make us remain in the top of mind of those clients for their future trips (for example in the case of having a hotel chain).
Have I re-included a strange term like “top of mind”?
Well, for the curious: What is the top of mind? Simple, it means being in the consumer’s subconscious
In this line, we could even condition the trips of our clients based on the cities where we have a hotel in the case of being a chain if our treatment exceeds (as in the previous example) the expectations of the clients.
When we add value within our loyalty strategy (where email marketing is an excellent tool) we will ensure that, in case of doubts, customers always bet on your hotel. Insured.
Example 2: Let’s talk about birth dates and other data
Few hotels or room reservation managers do not ask us during registration for the birth details of the people who will be staying.
Does your stay coincide with a birthday?
Well, we can surprise those who come with a welcome gift, or singing their happy birthday in the middle of breakfast during their stay, or design a greeting canvas to leave them in the room that day with a picture of our landscape and best wishes. for de side of the company.
Surely if you are looking for original ways to surprise your clients you will find many and very good, as well as cheap, that are capable of making a difference again.
If we go further and combine this registration information, in addition, with a courtesy email campaign when making the reservation in which customers are asked the reason for their purchase, this detail can be further personalized (which does not have to be too expensive) and maximize the value of your stay.
I am not talking about implementing the classic “comments” box at the time of booking, I am talking about a welcome email from the moment of booking, which aims to continue segmenting and enriching our database or our Online CRM system .
You will be surprised to see the enthusiasm with which customers talk about their next trip, the reason for their future stay and the interests and expectations they have of our hotel or specific location.
All this is extremely valuable information if we know how to adapt it to each particular case.
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With this example we can build loyalty even before the end of the stay , something that a priori would seem contradictory but that undoubtedly delves into the consumer’s post-purchase psychology in a practically permanent way.
Information will be power if you know how to use and put in the spotlight the will to maximize the customer’s shopping experience.
As we can see, loyalty is possible in the tourism sector, and often reaches the field of feelings due to the explosion of emotional impacts, memories and even nostalgia that these trips collect.
If the hotel next door has the same beach or the same mountain, how would we differentiate ourselves if not thanks to a good loyalty campaign that maximizes the quality of potential customers?
The solution should not always be in the price , because there really are much more profitable ways to increase our turnover.
This phrase should be framed by any company, but it is much easier (and cheaper) to capture a sale from an old client than from a new client .
So it’s time to put the email marketing machinery to work, as this is the ideal link to stay connected with our former guests.
And already leaving the hotel example, the truth is that all these patterns are adaptable and applicable to most current economic sectors in the conditions of competition, massification and saturation that we live.
I will keep my opinion on all those predictions that email marketing died, because it seems that people do not learn that in online marketing nothing dies, but that everything evolves! … And very fast, by the way.
6. Email Marketing Social
I really don’t know if this concept exists or not, but I always use it in my professional day to day. With this merger I like to highlight that the most used social networks are not always as present as would be necessary in companies’ email marketing campaigns.
Can you retweet a piece of an email? Can you follow the corporate Twitter in 1 click from the same email? Can it be shared on Facebook directly without having to leave the email?
If your answer is no, here is another point of really effective social improvement with global repercussion in the digital strategy of any company.
It is a serious mistake not to unite the strategies of the two best loyalty channels: email marketing and social media.
We have already touched on the case of email in the previous point, but if we add social networks to this, we will be able to cover practically all of our potential customers.
Again, communication must flow between company and customer, so linking both strategies is an excellent idea to enhance this relationship, and strengthen it for the benefit of both. Both! … not just the company.
Now let’s talk about the latter, communication.
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7. Allow Two-way Communication
Have you noticed that most mailing or newsletters are of the noreply type (or similar automated sources)?
Why don’t we want feedback?
Please! This is something I will never understand, and it is that there is nothing more valuable than the comments of any new or recurring user.
This strategy has great potential for improvement, from the moment you are able to break the barrier that many companies build for themselves in that they define this channel as an exclusively one-way communication channel.
Can we say that we did not like an email? Or what we did not find interesting? Or maybe we weren’t the right recipient?
Email marketing is not black and white
We are not 100% correct or totally wrong.
A job well done in the form of a well segmented and appropriate email marketing campaign also has points of improvement, it would only be missing, but we need those inputs that tell us in which direction to look.
So far we have been monitoring it essentially from web analytics, whether it is tracking the CTR, the links that have been entered, the post-click behavior, labeling the links to include them in a study at campaign level …
And later taking that information to generate a new automated email about the configured workflow based on the behavior that person has had after receiving their last email.
All this is modeled by a lead nurturing strategy in which the user is the one who defines the content that he will receive through his interactions.
But the truth is that sometimes we forget to make things easy for ourselves and leave free way to break with these automatisms thanks to the simple feedback from our recipients.
Email marketing is nothing more than a communication channel , so relearning how to communicate with it and integrating all existing campaigns around constant conversation with each person is a challenge that many companies have to face, from SMEs to large multinationals.
8. My 3 Favorite Email Marketing Tools
For lists of up to 500 subscribers, it is free and has no limits on sending.
In addition, Doppler allows you to easily make Social Email campaigns , something that I have already mentioned during the article.
It also has a very intuitive and nice interface in terms of design. It all adds up!
This great tool offers us free plans much more powerful than most of its competitors.
When we refer to Mailrelay , we are talking about more than 15,000 subscribers and 75,000 emails sent completely free of charge.
Perhaps the most famous tool. Mailchimp also has free plans for lists of up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 monthly mailings.
9. Is Email Marketing Inbound or Outbound?
Well, I would say that in due measure it should combine both types of approaches, especially if we are talking about segmenting effectively and in a personalized way.
There are people or segments that, due to their lifestyle or preferences, are not sensitive to inbound messages, and instead respond positively to aggressive price campaigns.
What’s more, we could also define as inbound stages within email marketing those that include the treatment of leads , while we would go to an outbound stage when closing a purchase or turning that lead into a customer.
After the sale, by the way, we would be inbound again to mature from the value that real customer into a loyal customer, going through a last outbound phase again before achieving the precious loyalty.
Neither option is valid and all are in turn, because here I am not talking about specific real clients but about professional cases and experiences, where repeating the same formula or combination would lead to a resounding failure .
In some cases these approaches have been valid, in others I have had to model them in depth for each specific situation.
So there is no magic formula that defines the degree of success of any campaign because, without going any further, the business objectives of each case can be very varied.
Is sending a commercial outbound email to those who prefer it a way to have an inbound mentality?
Surely, but philosophizing around these nuances at this point in the guide does not make much sense either, so I leave it for a complementary debate to be done by all through the comments in this article or on social networks.
In short, every good email marketing campaign is hopelessly inbound, as it is customer centric.
And stay with this concept because there will be no company that should not reconvert to the customer centric philosophy if it wants to remain competitive in the online market in the coming years.
They already told us when they were little: the value is not in the price!
Now it’s your turn to comment:
Do not stay without reading the comments that readers leave … because there you will find much more information and advice on the subject.