What Is Email Marketing: A Definitive Guide For Beginners

Whether you’re a one-man company or a beginner marketer, if you’re reading this, you know email marketing is exactly what you need to improve your KPIs. To make this journey a little easier we have created this short but comprehensive guide to starting your email marketing. Let’s begin.


What is email marketing?

Email marketing basically means sending any kind of commercial message via email. These emails can serve numerous purposes: promoting services and products directly, sharing special offers to existing customers, onboarding with thank you emails and detailed feature explanations, and many, many others. Really, any email sent to a prospect can be considered email marketing.

Don’t listen to the naysayers blaming their bad email marketing results on the obsoleteness of the format – the end results of your email marketing efforts depends solely on the quality of your product, the tools you’re using, and your email copy.

Email marketing itself is performing better than ever. Don’t believe us? Numbers speak louder than words:

  • 97% of specialists use email marketing to convert (Social Media Today);
  • 59% of marketers have noticed that email shows a higher ROI than any other means of promotion (Campaign Monitor);
  • 235.6 billion emails were sent and received every day in 2017. This figure is growing every year by 5% (Radicati);
  • Every $1 spent on email marketing returns a profit of $44 in the USA, ₤38 in the UK (2017) (Campaign Monitor)
  • Email marketing is used for: lead generation (85%), sales (84%), lead nurturing (78%), customer retention (74%) (Content Marketing Institute);

Related: 75 Email Marketing Statistics You Should Know About In 2019

What are the advantages of email marketing?

There are multiple other theories about the redundancy of email marketing, especially in comparison to other marketing types. Think SMM is better? We can present at least 4 reasons why email marketing is better that SMM. Think PPC is a safer bet? Dispel this myth once and forever.

The advantages of email marketing are enough to keep it ahead of most other marketing forms:

Advantage #1: Price

The abundance of email marketing tools that can simplify and streamline your workflow is making email marketing cheaper and cheaper every year. For example, all-in-one platforms like Snov.io offer complete email marketing tool sets on a monthly or annual subscription basis – one can start their email marketing at as low as $39 per month.

Advantage #2: Highly targeted audience

Email marketing is the perfect combination of personal and mass marketing. You can reach highly targeted leads with extremely personalized emails, and automate the whole process, including follow-ups, with the help of email drip campaigns. Email marketing makes it possible to reach out to those who are genuinely interested in your offer and never lose touch.

Advantage #3: Easy to get started

All you need to start your email marketing is an email list. There are many ways to build it. Our favorite is using an email finder and laser-focused targeting to make sure you are addressing exactly the person who’d be interested in your offer. Next comes the email copy, which you can create yourself. Once you have those – you are ready to go. Start small, test, and grow from there.

Advantage #4: Easy to track and analyze

Once you’ve sent your campaign, it’s all about analyzing the results. If you’re still doing small email campaigns from your own email account – using an email tracker is the way to go for you. If you’re using email sending tools, pay close attention to the statistics page – follow opens, clicks and replies and edit your email copy accordingly for best results.

Advantage #5: Reach any person

Unlike many other marketing channels, through email you can reach almost any person: everyone from teenagers to over-80s, from CEOs to freelancers, use email. Such variety is great, as long as you don’t forget to segment your audience when creating your campaigns.

Advantage #6: Personalization

Email marketing gives you a possibility to address your potential customer directly and by name, giving it an unparalleled level of personal quality. Personalization makes all the difference for open rate and conversion, with 62% of emails being opened solely based on personalized subject line.

Advantage #7: Segmentation

Segmentation and personalization go hand in hand: divide all your prospects into groups according to defined parameters like location, age, interests, and job position to send offers relevant specifically to them.

Related: How To Avoid The Spam Folder

Advantage #8: Automation

Marketing automation is nothing new, but it’s grown into something truly spectacular when it comes to email marketing. Now, you can free up hours, and sometimes days, simply by moving from manual campaign sending to automated drip campaigns. No need to constantly check and manage follow-ups – tune it once and reap the results for weeks.

Advantage #9: No character limits

There are no strict limits to emails and that means you have everything you need to create a truly captivating email, either through a story or visual content like pictures and videos.

Related: 10 Best Email Subject Lines For Sales

What you need to start your email marketing

There’s so much for you to do to become the best of the best marketing specialists. Here are 10 tips that will help you start your first email marketing campaign.

  • Choose the right email marketing tools.
    No matter the size of your team or your resources, soon you will understand that you need tools to help you streamline your email marketing and make it more efficient. Start with an email finder tool – it will help you build a quality targeted email list fast and won’t hit your wallet too hard. We’ve created an email finder comparison page and an accompanying article to help you make the best choice for your company depending on your business size and budget.
  • Build your email list.
    Start with a small, but highly targeted list. Try which prospects convert best and concentrate on building your email list based on these parameters. There’s no such thing as a list too big, so start with 100 prospects and keep building.
  • Verify your email list.
    Bad emails can hurt any business: when they don’t verify emails, small businesses put their KPIs at risk and big businesses lose hundreds and thousands of dollars on sending to invalid emails. To avoid this, always verify your list. Do it regularly, even if you’ve already verified it before – emails can get abandoned and blocked. You can check out your options and choose an email verifier in our article Best Email Verification Services Of 2019.
  • Know how to write cold emails.
    Research, research, research! Generally speaking, however, it’s always a good idea to learn from experience. Check out what email formulas your competitors are using. I highly recommend AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action) and BBB (Brief – Blunt – Basic). Snovio Labs has released a PDF with detailed instructions and examples on how to use 10 fail-proof cold email formulas, go ahead and download it.
  • Segment prospects.
    Create your perfect buyer personas and always segment your prospects. This will help you personalize and convert better. Not sure where to start? Check out our guides on how to create a perfect buyer persona and segment your prospects.
  • Personalize your email.
    We’ll never get tired of repeating this – personalization does wonders for your email marketing. If you have data on your recipients besides their email (and you should!), don’t be afraid to use it. Personalized emails show better open rate, CTR, and conversion rate. Need proof? Check out scientific evidence. Don’t know where to start? Check out this guide.
  • Always be GDPR and CAN-SPAM-compliant.
    Always make sure you’re only sending your emails according to international regulations. Don’t expect services to take the punch – a sender is responsible for being compliant.
  • Become friends with your prospects.
    As simple as that. Though you are all professionals, it’s vital to stay friendly, genuine, helpful, and endearing. Don’t fake it either. Your aim is to genuinely help your prospects.
  • Automate your email campaign.
    You can’t afford to waste time and resources. Whether you’re a one-man company or a big established business – once you get comfortable creating campaigns, put one on autopilot using email drip campaigns. Don’t know how to use them? We created a whole series for you covering everything from copywriting to technicalities.
  • Self-educate through books and podcasts.
    Use the experiences of noted specialists from various industries to perfect your own marketing. We have created a list of the best books for email marketers and a list of our favorite marketing podcasts, including a few dedicated solely to email marketing.

Feel overwhelmed?

I sometimes ask people if they’d say email marketing is easy, and the responses range wildly from “the easiest type of marketing” to “too difficult to even attempt to organize”. I’d say the truth is in the middle – email marketing is incredibly easy when you view it as a collection of small steps; but as the steps accumulate, you can’t help but feel like you’re forgetting something.

Creating a buyer persona, building an email list, creating an email copy, choosing an account for sending, creating the email, monitoring the results, analyzing… it’s a lot. Which is why you have to look for ways to streamline your email marketing.

One such way is using the tools we’ve mentioned before. Almost every step mentioned above can be made more efficient or sometimes automated completely.

This may sound like a shameless plug, but our team has created a platform to improve your workflow and make your life easier. We use it to make our own marketing team’s lives easier.

Snov.io covers email list building, list cleaning, email sending, and campaign analysis. We’re adding email templates very soon to help you save time and money on copywriting as well.

Check out all Snov.io tools here. Email marketing can get overwhelming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

Final words

As you can see, email marketing is a great way to improve your KPIs and customer relationships on a budget. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do to start – learn from the experiences of others and automate where you can.

Have a great growth hack you want us to add? Let us know in the comments and we will mention you in the article.

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