Why Email Marketing is Important and How to Get Started

a cartoon woman stands next to an oversized phone with an email icon at the top

Email marketing has been a buzzword for digital marketers for decades. Despite the advent of newer marketing tools, like social media, video, and chatbots, email marketing remains an integral part of the digital marketing mix in 2021. So, it is worth taking a closer look at why email marketing is important. 

To maximize the opportunity, you need to understand the characteristics of this marketing channel before getting started the right way. Here is what you need to know.

What is Email Marketing?

Put simply, email marketing means sending commercial messages to prospective and existing customers using email. Apart from convincing recipients to take a specific action, emails also help build solid customer relationships.

Email marketing can make your audience aware of products, services, and discounts. But not every email has to be centered around a sales pitch. Email also can be used to educate your audience. 

As a form of direct digital marketing, email can be a powerful channel to reach your customers. 

The Difference Between Email Newsletters and Email Marketing

Email newsletters and email marketing are easily confused. But, to develop a successful digital marketing strategy, it helps to understand the difference between the two. 

Newsletters primarily aim to inform and educate recipients. You send these emails regularly, perhaps weekly or monthly. Their primary purpose is to build a relationship between the sender and recipient. Generally, the sender would not expect a response. 

On the other hand, the majority of email marketing is sales-oriented. If not aimed at inspiring a purchase, marketing emails intend to persuade the recipient to take action. Therefore, a well-written email marketing campaign will have a solid call to action.

The call to action is not always a purchase request. Recipients may also be asked to download further information about a product or a service, for example. 

You may combine email newsletters and email marketing, but be careful. When prospective or existing customers permit you to send them emails, they have certain expectations. For example, someone signing up for educational content may be taken aback by receiving sales messages. 

Reasons Email Marketing is Thriving in 2021

It seems that experts question the validity of email marketing every year. But, every year, it continues growing, with almost 90% of marketers using email as their primary method of lead generation. 

Email Marketing is Easily Measurable

You can easily measure the success of your email marketing campaign. From the moment you send an email, you can check delivery rates, open rates, and reactions. You will see which links inspired click-throughs and who unsubscribed. 

Email Marketing Lets You Control Who You Reach with a Message

By emailing your contacts directly, you are in control of who can see your messages. This control is a distinct advantage over social media channels. 

Social media has many benefits, but you don’t own the platforms and algorithms. Changes in algorithms affect how many people you can reach with your marketing activity. This is not the case with email marketing, where the contact list belongs to you.

Everyone Uses Email

More than 90% of consumers use email, and most of them check their accounts daily. Few businesses function without at least one centralized email address. And email is the primary means of professional communication.

People use email — a lot. Once you have a prospective customer’s email address, you know they’ll receive your message. Then you just have to get them to open it and read it.

Email Marketing is Cost-Efficient

Consider email marketing the successor of direct mail. Compared to sending a hard copy letter, email marketing carries a fraction of the cost. 

No printing costs, no stuffing of envelopes, no stamps – it’s obvious where your business is saving money.

Most email marketing platforms offer a range of subscription services. Depending on your audience’s size and the complexity of your products or services, it’s easy to select the best option. As your business grows, Mindsize can help you tailor services to your needs. 

Email is Accessible

Managing email marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy is not difficult. You may choose to tackle it yourself. But, as your company grows, getting external support will free up your time to work on your business. 

As your audience grows, segmenting allows you to send targeted communications. 

Email Marketing Supports Your Entire Digital Marketing Strategy

Email marketing does not exist in a vacuum. Instead, it supports your marketing activity across other (digital) channels. 

Email can drive traffic to your website by highlighting new products and services. It also can encourage your audience to follow you on your social media channels. 

Above all, a successful social marketing strategy allows people to engage with you on various channels. Email is one more powerful way of making it easy to learn more about what you offer. 

a cartoon man stands next to an oversized envelope and email icon

Getting Started in Email Marketing

Ready to get started with email marketing? It’s easier than you think. Below are the steps to creating a basic email marketing campaign.

Build Your Contact List

Without a contact list, you don’t have an audience to receive your emails. Chances are you already have the email addresses of your customers and prospects. Pulling them together is the first step towards creating an email marketing list. 

Even if your list is short to begin with, it is worth segmenting it from the start. Distinguishing between existing, repeat, and prospective customers is a great way to start. 

Depending on local laws and regulations, it’s also essential to get permission to use email addresses for marketing purposes. 

Choose a Platform

Numerous web-based platforms offer email marketing services. Choosing the right one for your business will help make easy work of the individual email broadcasts. 

Develop a Strong Call to Action

Ask yourself what you would like the recipients of your email marketing to do. The answer to that will inform your call to action. 

The call to action could be downloading a white paper, visiting your website, or enquiring directly. Whatever the call to action, it needs to be clear and persuasive to your audience. In addition, it needs to be measurable so you can assess the success of your email. 

Create the Email Content

You know what you want readers to do as a result of receiving your email. Now how do you convince them to do it? 

Use the subject line, title, brief text, and visuals to tell the consumer why they should take your chosen action (based on how it helps them) and how to do so.

What Makes Great Email Marketing Content?

Excellent email marketing content is engaging your audience. It is well presented and responsive to the device on which your audience views it. 

First, you must ensure permission from your audience to contact them with marketing emails. With that granted, develop messages that offer a benefit to your customers. Thinking from your customer’s perspective will help you select the best content to promote your business. 

Sending emails that look great on desktop, web, and mobile email clients is key to your campaign’s success. Most traffic comes from mobile devices, so you want to make sure your audience can view your messages there. 

People still make most purchases from desktop and webmail clients. They buy after researching via mobile. Therefore, your email marketing needs to look sharp on a variety of devices. Most modern platforms allow for that. But nothing beats testing across different email clients to be sure. 

Emails lend themselves to promotional messages, product information, or introducing a new service. What is most important for successful email marketing is to meet and exceed your audience’s expectations. If customers give you their email address in exchange for information, sales messages may put them off.

Email Marketing Pitfalls to Avoid

The biggest pitfall to avoid when it comes to email marketing is spam. 

Sending daily emails when your audience signed up for weekly or monthly broadcasts will soon turn them off. They may ignore your messages or simply unsubscribe. Either way, you have lost your opportunity to contact these people.

Buying email lists is tempting, especially when you are first getting started with email marketing. But you will find that the contacts are not as well selected as you would like them to be in many cases. 

Slowly and intentionally building your list ensures you have an engaged audience that is receptive to your messages.

Even if your goal is to use email marketing to encourage sales, avoid pitching too hard. Think of an email as part of a conversation: establishing a relationship first lays the foundations for successful sales messages later. 

Why Email Marketing is Important  

Email marketing has been an important and powerful tool for digital marketers for decades, and it continues to grow. Email’s versatility, measurability, and cost-effectiveness ensure that it is here to stay. Furthermore, it complements other marketing channels, thus supporting your business’s entire digital marketing strategy.