Email marketing is one of the most effective and affordable digital marketing tools at your disposal. In this guide, we will break down everything you need to know about email marketing—from its definition and history to how to create an effective email campaign and measure its success. Whether you are a woman just starting out in marketing or looking to add email marketing skills to your repertoire, this guide has you covered. Let’s get started!
Email marketing 101
First, what exactly is email marketing? Simply put, it is the use of email to promote products or services. This can include sending out newsletters, promotional offers, and other forms of communication to current and potential customers.
Email is a popular marketing tool because it allows for targeted and personalized communication. Marketers can segment their email lists based on demographics or purchase history, allowing them to send relevant and tailored messages to specific groups.
A brief history of email marketing
Email as we know it today was first introduced in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that businesses began using it as a marketing tool. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 established guidelines for commercial messaging and gave consumers the right to opt-out of receiving emails from businesses.
In recent years, there has been an increase in regulations governing email marketing, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in Europe in 2018. Despite these challenges, email remains a vital part of any marketing strategy, with the average return on investment for email marketing reported to be $42 for every $1 spent.
Email marketing terminology
Before diving into how to create a successful email campaign, it’s important to understand some common terms used in email marketing:
Giving permission for a business to send promotional emails. This typically happens when a consumer signs up for a newsletter or provides their email during an online purchase.
The option for a consumer to stop receiving promotional emails from a business.
A two-step process where a consumer first provides their email and then must confirm their subscription via a separate email. This helps ensure that only those who truly want to receive emails are added to a mailing list.
Email list segmentation:
The practice of dividing an email list into smaller groups based on common characteristics, such as demographics or purchase history. This allows for more targeted and personalized communication.
Testing different versions of an email (such as the subject line or call-to-action) with a small sample of recipients to see which performs better before sending it out to the full list.
The percentage of emails that were not successfully delivered to their recipients.
Tips for success in email marketing
If you’re looking to have a career in email marketing, there are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Focus on building a quality email list. This means obtaining permission from individuals before adding them to your list and regularly removing inactive or unengaged subscribers.
- Personalize your emails as much as possible, using segmentation and customizing the subject line and content for different groups of recipients.
- Keep an eye on the analytics of your campaigns, such as open rates and click-through rates, to constantly improve and optimize your emails.
- Stay up-to-date with regulations and best practices, such as including an opt-out option in every email and avoiding spammy tactics like the overuse of exclamation points or all-caps words.
Popular tools and resources
There are a variety of tools available to help with email marketing. Here are a few popular ones:
Mailchimp: A platform for creating and managing email campaigns, as well as automating email sequences and segmenting lists. Mailchimp is popular because it offers a free plan for lists under 2,000 subscribers.
Constant Contact: Another platform for creating and managing email campaigns with features similar to Mailchimp. Constant Contact’s competitive edge is its extensive list of education resources and customer support options.
HubSpot: A comprehensive inbound marketing platform that includes email marketing tools, as well as options for search engine optimization, social media management, and website analytics. Hot tip: HubSpot has a full library of amazing marketing resources and free courses!
As with any marketing strategy, there is always room to improve and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in email marketing. Staying informed through industry publications, attending conferences, or even taking online courses can help advance your career in this field.
Want to know more about what a career in email marketing looks like? Check out our Email Marketing Career Guide!