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What is Email marketing

You are welcome to this resourceful article and today, we're going to answer the super high question, "What is email marketing". There may be a whole bunch of reasons, of course, why you'd want to understand this and this article will help you understand how email marketing work.

Wikipedia defines Email marketing as the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.

If you’re just getting into digital marketing, or if you understand a little bit of email marketing, but you might be missing a few pieces here and there, this is the article for you. So read to the end, because we’re going to do a comprehensive overview of what email marketing is and the fastest way to implement it in your own business, by the end you will have a solid grasp of all the pieces along with the know-how to launch an effective email marketing strategy for your business.

My name is Armstrong Uzoagwa a digital marketing consultant with LiwoxDotNet. And if you need our services with your email marketing or to build your own email marketing system, feel free to reach us anytime.

So what is email marketing?

First of all email marketing is sending commercial emails to a list of contacts who have given their express permission to receive email communications from you. You can use email marketing to inform your contacts, drive sales and build a community around your brand like with a newsletter.

Modernism marketing has moved away from one size fits all mass mailings and instead focuses on consent segmentation and personalization this may sound time-consuming but marketing automation does the heavy lifting for you. Examples of difficult types of emails and marketing emails can be promotional informational or serve a specific purpose in the buyer’s journey.

So email marketing campaigns are used to promote special offers, new products releases, gated content like eBooks and webinars, and your brand at large. A campaign could consist of three to ten main content and several days or weeks of promotional email marketing.

Your content should have a clear call to action or CTA for short. The CTA report sets the specific action you want to reader to take whether visiting a page on your website or using a coupon to make a purchase. Your email masks your business’s sales and your marketing rhythms should determine the frequency of this type of marketing email during critical periods like Black Friday or major holidays.

You may be sending multiple promotional emails in the same 24 hours period during slower periods in the marketing calendar. There may be a few weeks between your promotional campaigns and newsletter but you know the newsletter does not just have to be about news.

Email is the perfect way to inform customers of company announcements and new releases of a product and changes to the service CTA.

More often than not email will preserve your transmission of important messages even if there is a glitch on your website shipping delays or an outage in your system software. Updating your content via email is the best way to maintain communication. It’s a secure instant and it can match the formal tone of even the most important announcements.

Email marketing is a tool that lets us do two things. One is firstly to provide value to users in the form of content. And two, direct users through each step of the customer journey or the sales funnel when they get stuck and convert for sales. So we use it in these two ways primarily when we’re talking about digital marketing. Email marketing is arguably the most underrated digital marketing channel out there currently.

I, personally, love Search Engine Optimization, and SEO. I’ve been doing SEO for quite a while now, but as we’ve grown this business more and more, I’ve come to the realization that email marketing is incredibly important and usually the most underrated digital marketing channel. And there are a number of reasons why, and I want to show some of them in this article.

Email marketing is the most profitable and cost-effective direct marketing channel that can generate an average return on investment of 42 dollars for every one dollar spent. For this reason, alone email should be a pillar of your digital marketing strategy. Not doing any email marketing is like leaving money laying out on the table.

But if you are a bit confused about where to start that’s totally normal, because email is a vast discipline. It’s easy for us to get lost in a sea of tools, techniques, and terminologies. So this article will simplify everything you need to know about your email marketing.

Is email marketing still important in 2022?

Email is not a new technology in fact it was one of the very first means of digital communication to arrive back in 1971. And this same email marketing at 50 years old is used today more than ever before. You may be thinking do people really still use email. It’s not social media. While it’s true that social media is an important channel for any digital marketing strategy, email has several advantages.

First email marketing campaigns can be can be personalized to a greater extent than those content on social media.

Next, costs are considerably lower than for other channels especially considering the reach and conversion rate associated with email marketing. This is the part of what makes email marketing so ideal for small businesses.

Finally what makes email marketing so powerful and locative is that it gives you direct access to your audience inboxes.

Still don’t believe then let’s take a look at the numbers in 2020. There were over 4 billion google email users. 80 percent of Americans check their email at least once per day with nearly a quarter of them checking their personal email several times a day. 62 of consumers ranked email as an entire top preferred communication channel. For small businesses given the figures not having an email marketing strategy means missing out on sales opportunities and the chance to build lasting customer relationships and customer base.

And there are many benefits of email marketing. Some benefits are conversations selling your products and services, personalized content of special offers, brand awareness, and customer loyalty and affordability.

Now understand that not everyone is on Facebook, right. Not everyone is on Snapchat. There are a number of different social channels out there.

But one thing is sure – everyone has an email address, and that’s why this is so important.

Your email list is an asset you can convert into sales anytime. You as a marketer need an email list, or even you as an entrepreneur, or as a business owner.

And as you grow your email list, that email list can go with you anywhere. It is a portable asset.

So what makes your email incomparable is that unlike many of the digital marketing channels out there that change very dramatically or even outrightly die, emails will always be there. So what has value today might not necessarily have value tomorrow right? Not for email. The value is eternal.

Take Alta Vista, for example, It was probably great for any business. It’s not that important now. Does Alta Vista even exist?

Or for instance, Having the “dopest” Myspace page. Back in 2002, it was probably awesome. Probably doesn’t matter as much now, right. So spamming your way to growth through social invites may not be sustainable. They learned this the hard way.

They did this with FarmVille back maybe five, or 10 years ago. Got a lot of early growth, and then Facebook changed the rules with social invites, and their stock price slid, as well. It was a very tough break for them. Praying Google doesn’t change the rules.

Demand Media basically went public with some kind of low-quality content marketing, and then Google’s Panda update really slapped them, and their stock price took a very dramatic drop, as well.

So rules change all the time, right. Google and Facebook can change their rules all the time. Different social networks can expand and change the times.

Stuff can often change a lot, right. But email often doesn’t change. That’s because It is not a social channel.

It is a web protocol, and I want to talk a little bit about this and what that difference is. So the internet is made up of protocols and applications, right. So web applications are a lot of these sort of private companies that you use every day.

Facebook, Google, Yelp, Instagram, Snapchat, and MySpace are web applications. And they often sit on top of web protocols. When we talk about web protocols, we’re talking about DNS, the Domain Name Service. HTTP, FTP, IRC, SSL, or SMTP.

These are all kinds of standardized digital communication platforms, digital communication languages effectively, that we all use on a day-to-day basis.

They’re not necessarily owned by a private company. They are these kinds of standards that we all use when we use the internet. SMTP is email, right. And so when you’re doing email marketing, you’re using the SMTP protocol. You’re not using Facebook’s terms of service or Goggle’s terms of service.

Do you get it now?

This is a really important distinction, and that’s why your email list is effectively this portable asset that moves along with you, right. So companies can change their rules, platforms can become unpopular, but protocols don’t really die. People are getting really excited about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now because some people are saying, “It’s a new protocol for money,” right.

The protocols are really rare. They’re very fascinating and they’re very interesting, as well, right. So keep that in mind. Companies change their rules, platforms can become unpopular, but protocols don’t really die. So until people stop using email, until people stop using the SMTP protocol, your email list is a portable asset. The chances are very good that we’re probably still going to have an email in 25 or 50 years from now. That’s why this is really important to build now, right.

Let’s talk a little bit about the different types of email, right. So there are really only three different types of email when we’re talking about email marketing.

These are Transactional email, content email, and conversion email. We’ll dive into these a little bit here.

The first is transactional email, so let’s look at some examples of transactional email. This might be things like receipts. If you buy something on Amazon, you get a transactional email receipt. Maybe an order confirmation, forgot password, support tickets, sign-up details, double opt-in for your email list, unsubscribing email, or maybe shipping details. These are all transactional things. Maybe a user’s doing something on your site, and you’re kind of giving them an update via email.

Next is your content email. So content email would be things like a welcome email. Maybe you just got their email address or they just signed up as a customer, right. It’s a new blog. Maybe something like a new blog post.  “Hey, everyone. We just posted this new blog post, right. So check it out.”

A lead magnet or a value sequence, something like your newsletter. Your weekly or monthly newsletter, any type of social post, or social post reminder, right. “Hey, go check out this post on Facebook.” Free tools or exclusive content, any content that you create is a content email.

And the third one is a conversion email, right. So any type of promotion, a sale, or lead magnets can also be in this group, as well. If you’re launching a new product, you’re upgrading users, you’re offering a discount, and you’re doing an affiliate, anything like that would be a conversion email, usually when money is changing hands.

Okay, so we HAVE talked about the three different types of email. Now Let’s talk a little bit about email distribution.

So there are three different types of email, but there are really only two means of distribution, or at least two you should be focusing on.

The two means of distribution are broadcast email and automated email.

So there are two different types of email. Most of your emails should be automated, right. If you’re doing most of your emails now as manual broadcast, in general, for most businesses, that is not ideal, right. Sometimes it’s understandable, especially if you’re smaller at the moment. But in general, most of your emails should be automated.

So Let’s talk about these differences first. The first is broadcast email. So you should only broadcast two types of email; great content suitable for your entire list and one-off promotions.

So in general, when you create something absolutely amazing, and you want to tell your whole audience about it, fine. Go ahead and do a broadcast. Or, if you’re doing a kind of a seasonal or a time box promotion, Christmas 2020, or seasonal whatever, you go ahead and do that as a broadcast. That’s totally fine. Everything else should be automated, based on user actions.

So in general, you want to be automating email based on what the users are doing on your site. This allows you to send out content and messaging that is much more specific and relevant, contextually relevant to the users. Instead of just blasting out everything that you have, you want to be sending them emails based on what they’re interested in, and based on the actions that they’re taking on their own site.

So examples of automated email might be something like receipts, order confirmations, forgotten passwords, welcome emails, or a value sequence. Maybe cart abandonment, right, if they add a product to the cart and then leave. Lead magnets or upgrades. And you want to do this in a contextually relevant way that’s based on the actions they’re taking on your site.

So that’s really it. We just wanted to do a super high-level overview and answer the question, “What is email marketing?” You can go a step further to discover trends in digital marketing and how email marketing is core.

So of the areas that will be addressed in another article will include what is email marketing and why your business needs email marketing in 2022, how does email marketing work, how to start email marketing tools and tips, how to launch your first email marketing strategy and it’s text samples, 10 strategies for successful email marketing and some other related aspects.

So that’s it. I hope that was useful. If it was helpful and if you learned something today, go ahead and comment down below to get even more Digital Marketing Tactics and Tips from us. What’d you think? Is this helpful? Is this how you think about email marketing? Go ahead and leave a comment right now. I read every single one.

Finally, if you want all of our email marketing resources, or you want us to build your automated email system to accelerate your online business, please go ahead and reach out to us via any of the links in the author section. Thanks a lot.

About the author

Armstrong Uzoagwa

Armstrong Uzoagwa is the CEO and team lead at Liwox.

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