Email marketing is a customer relationship management tool, as well as an extension of permission marketing. Email marketing can generate the most revenue out of all other email marketing activities when used effectively.
It can be said simply that e-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing, as it relies on electronic means to deliver marketing messages to the target audience, and although it is one of the oldest means of electronic marketing, it is still one of the most effective means, because of several reasons:
- The low cost of each communication compared to its great effectiveness.
- The ability to target a specific audience precisely.
- The ability to customize it to suit the target audience.
In addition, e-mail accounts for a large part of the daily activity of customers on the Internet, and e-mail marketing can be a tool for building relationships with existing and potential customers, helping the company to keep its customers and increasing its value, and ultimately driving to increase profits.
Using e-mail has become very common, but it has not always been so. The emergence of the e-mail was predating the Internet. It was first used in 1961 as a means for users of the same computer to leave messages for each other, invented by Ray Tomlinson in 1971, The first network email application, and it introduced the use of the "@" sign and formed the email address we know today as username@hostname -which stands for the username and hostname used-, and email was used to send messages to Computers are on the same network, and it is still used for this purpose today.
Major network service providers, such as America Online and Delphi, began connecting their e-mail systems to the Internet in 1993, and thanks to standards developed over the previous twenty years, users of different networks are now allowed to exchange e-mails via the Internet, and The first appearance of spam was recorded in 1978, where this type of mail is defined as unsolicited commercial or mass messages, and the fact is that over 97% of emails handled on the Internet worldwide are spam and undesirable.
Direct marketing has always been an integral part of any marketing campaign, but its high cost made it limited to large companies only. However, with the growth of the Internet, marketers began using e-mail to market directly to consumers, which led to a reduction in direct marketing costs and an increase in its effectiveness.
How email marketing works
You should view marketing based on some form of communication with your current and potential customers, so every email from your company should be part of an overall marketing strategy. Does that sound a little complicated? Suppose a company sells products online. What are the instances in which a customer might receive an email from that company?
- Transactional messages: When a customer orders a product from the company, they will receive several email messages, starting with the order confirmation, and ending with shipping notes. And if the customer wants to return the product, he will certainly also have to communicate with the company through e-mail.
- Newsletter: These messages do not include a direct promotion, but they aim to maintain constant communication between the customer and the brand and help in building the relationship and enhancing trust between the two parties by sharing the latest developments and news about the company with the customer.
- Promotional messages: When the company offers promotions on the occasion of summer - for example - it will certainly send emails to its customers with a direct link to those offers, and these are the promotional messages.
Company emails may also include:
- Communicate with suppliers.
- Communicate with partners.
All emails should carry the company's marketing message, but here we want to focus on commercial emails, which are divided into two types:
- Promotional messages: These messages are direct, aiming to prompt the user to take immediate action and achieve a specific goal.
- Communication messages with customers: Also referred to as newsletter messages, and although they can contain promotional messages, they focus on providing the customer with valuable information and building a relationship with them in the long run.
As in all marketing activities, email marketing requires attention to planning, evaluation, and testing, to make sure that you get the most revenue possible. The cost of email marketing is very low, but the cost of dealing with it incorrectly can be huge.
Nine Steps to Implementing an Email Marketing Campaign
Implementing a successful email marketing campaign requires following the next nine steps, and if the marketer implements these steps accurately, he will get amazing results. These steps are:
- Strategic Planning;
- create a mailing list;
- creative execution;
- merging the campaign with other channels;
- Personalizing the message;
- respond to interaction;
- Reports preparation;
- Analysis of the results.
before the campaign
The first step: strategic planning
Good planning of desired goals should be the first stage in any email marketing campaign. As we will come up with in Chapter 15 "Web Analysis and Conversion Optimization, ", you should also define the KPIs that you will use to evaluate your campaign later.
The immediate goal of promotional messages is usually:
- Urging customers to buy.
- Urging customers to upload white papers.
- Urging customers to request additional information.
As for newsletter messages, they focus on long-term goals, and therefore key performance indicators play a more prominent role here. These indicators include:
- the rate of opening messages;
- click rate;
- The number of messages that recipients have re-shared
- Return on investment, or ROI.
Note: ROI may be one of the campaign objectives, and it can also be used within KPIs.
It can be said that a successful email marketing campaign focuses on retaining customers, building long-term relationships with them, knowing your target audience well, defining your marketing campaign, and for more information on how to write ads that specifically target your specific audience In particular, please see Chapter Fourteen "Writing Electronic Advertisements."
Step Two: Create a mailing list
Implementing a successful email marketing campaign requires having a real database of all subscribers who have agreed to receive marketing emails from the company, and this base represents the most important resource needed to implement the campaign.
The company must first ensure that it gets clear permission from customers before sending emails to them, as companies that abuse email endanger their reputation, and in some countries, legal action can be taken against companies that send spam or unsolicited email messages.
Building a subscriber database while maintaining its accuracy is a critical factor in successful email marketing. Building this base requires getting the email addresses of potential customers, but the following data must be considered when building this base:
- first name, last name, and surname;
- date of obtaining the permit;
- Authorization source;
- The state;
- phone number;
- Date of Birth.
It should also be noted that the first name, last name, and surname should be stored in separate fields of the database, as well as collecting the date of birth of the subscribers rather than their age so that the database remains up to date.
Don Pepper and Martha Rogers like collecting information from subscribers over a period to drip irrigation because it doesn't overwhelm the potential customer with details and doesn't neglect them entirely.
However, beware of asking for more information than you need, as obtaining more information helps marketers to better customize their marketing messages, but the more information required, the reluctance of the potential customer to disclose these details, and this are due to two main reasons: the customer’s discomfort with That being said, and for fear of being scammed online, you would be better off asking for more information over a period after the customer has signed up for your mailing list.
There are many ways to persuade potential customers to join the mailing list, including placing a mailing subscription box on the company's website. That a potential customer visits the company's website means his actual interest in it, and this is an opportunity to develop and build on this interest.
In the postal subscription form, it is advised to consider:
- Place the mail subscription form in a conspicuous place, preferably at the top of each page, so that the visitor does not need to go down to access it.
- Clarify that you initially reject spam and that you respect the privacy of your subscribers.
- Send visitors a simple invitation to subscribe to the mailing list.
- Explain to subscribers the nature and frequency of the messages they will receive, and explain the benefits they will get from them.
- Make sure that the email addresses entered are correct by checking that they are spelled correctly.
- Experiment with various forms of mail subscription boxes and choose the best one.
You can also take advantage of each interaction with the customer to request permission to email them.
- Offer something valuable for free, such as uploading white papers, music tracks, or getting gift vouchers for signing up for the mailing list.
- Add your mail subscription box to your website's purchase and payment form.
- Exploiting trade fairs to request email addresses from visitors.
Postal subscription confirmation: The credibility of the email database can be maintained through the postal subscription confirmation process, whereby the company emails the email address entered by the user and asks him to click on a specific link inside the message to confirm his subscription, thus excluding fictitious email addresses from its database, and makes sure that it gets the explicit consent of all users.
Step Three: Creative Execution
Emails can be categorized into text E-mails or HTML messages. As for text messages, they comprise text only, and if you have a Windows system and open Notepad and type in it, the resulting file here is called a text file. This type of message is clear and small. Although postal messages always contain important content, it is especially important in this case, as it is the major factor, and perhaps the only one in the success of these messages; HTML messages contain images, fonts, and links, which is probably the first thing that comes to mind when talking about email marketing.
Email message parts
The postal message comprises six main parts:
- Header: This section includes the “from”, “to” and “response to” fields. It provides the opportunity to create a feeling of familiarity between the company and its customers. Using a personal name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org gives the customer a feeling of trust. Here, the customer must feel that the message was addressed to him personally and that someone from the company sent it himself. The “from” field also included the name of the company clearly, to avoid any confusion or fear by the customer about the source of the message.
- Subject line: The subject line is the most important part of the postal message. It helps the customer identify the content of the message and encourages him to open it. However, avoid using words such as “Free, win, buy it now” in the subject line for fear of categorizing the message on It is a random and unsolicited message, and be sure to use a consistent pattern in the subject line that includes the name of the company, and the postal message number in all your messages, so that it is easier for customers to identify your messages from among the many messages in their inbox, and you can also try different patterns of Subject line until the pattern that achieves the best results is found.
- Greetings: If you have a database of your customers' names, you can easily personalize your email. For example, "Hi Ahmed Hassan" gets much better interaction than "Dear Customer", and you can also sometimes personalize the subject line to get more interaction.
- Message body: This part includes the actual content of the message, but does not use too many images, as this may increase the size of the message. Also, be sure to separate the text from the images, so that the customer can read the text even if the images cannot load. Customers usually look for valuable content, so use images when they are useful for the content, not just to fill the space.
- Unsubscribe link: Every commercial mail must contain an unsubscribe link.
In commercial mail, it is preferable not to use too much HTML to facilitate its opening quickly, and the shape of the mail should be designed in a way that allows customers to skim it and move between its different parts easily. If you want to create a clear and organized postal letter, you must consider many factors, such as the length of paragraphs, the use of colors, bold font, addition to the use of points and tables.
Quality content is essential to the success of email marketing, and it can be said that good content provides useful information to readers or addresses their problems and needs. And here you realize that readers care about the quality of the content, regardless of the sender of the message. Successful emails are the ones that provide useful content to their readers, but the nature of this content may differ from one campaign to another, as emails can provide:
- humorous content;
- Promotional offers.
However, try to avoid using words such as "Free, discount, buy it now" so that your emails are not classified as spam or spam.
Supply test and delivery check
Email readers differ from each other, some of which depend on Internet browsers, such as Gmail and Hotmail; Some of them depend on software, such as Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora, and Lotus. And the way to display e-mail differs in each of these programs, so you should test the view of your mail in as many of them as possible to make sure that the message is clear, that the images are in the right place and that everything is OK, and you should check the ability of your mail to Skip spam filters.
Step Four: Integrate the campaign with other channels
Although email can launch an independent marketing campaign, its integration with other channels - electronic and traditional - will enhance the company's message and increase interaction with it.
But in the beginning, there must be complete compatibility in content, tone, and design between email and all other company channels, and email database can, for example, be used to promote in-store promotions, and it can also publish company website information.
It is also recommended to create special landing pages when sending big promotions by email.
Fifth step: Personalize the message
Email technologies allow messages to be highly personalized, and it can be said that it is like doing personal marketing at a large scale, and personalization, even if it is simple, can help achieve much better results.
The customization starts from using the name of the recipient of the message to identifying the options that the customer prefers, and designing the content according to his needs.
The database can also be segmented in a way that allows emails to be customized by demographics or previous purchases, and if you can link your mailing list subscribers with their activity on your website, this will allow you to customize the messages much better.
Sixth step: Submit
After creating the content and testing his email messages, the marketer must choose the optimal time to send his messages, determine the frequency, and always maintain it. Emailing at specific times helps enhance customer confidence.
Email reputation is very important, especially for its contribution to knowing whether an email is spam. Your email reputation depends on the opinions of Internet service providers, the anti-spam community, and the recipients themselves. Your IP address, transmission range, or both, so your reputation can be damaged if someone uses the same server to send spam, ISPs use an email reputation rating, if the sender rating is higher than the required percentage, their messages will reach your inbox; But if his rating does not exceed that percentage, his mail will reach the trash bin, or return to it.
Email marketing success requires you to constantly clean and organize your mailing list, and in fact, most lists shrink by 15% annually because of subscribers changing their addresses, so always keep your mailing list clean and organized to improve your reputation, and increase your mail’s ability to reach customers.
Here are several tips to maintain your email reputation:
- ISPs offer many authentication criteria, such as SendGrid, SPF, and demands, so be sure to use them. Keep your database clean and up-to-date by getting rid of old and obsolete mail addresses and adding new, effective mail addresses.
- Get rid of inactive email addresses when sending fails three times. ISPs aren't comfortable with email senders who have a high bounce rate.
- Remember that having a small and organized mailing list is much better than having a large but outdated and inaccurate database. Working to expand your mailing list is necessary, but you should not forget to clean it up first.
- Make sure not to send emails too often.
- Interact with complaints and requests to cancel the subscription. If a customer requests to cancel his subscription, let him have what he wants.
- Ask users to add you to the whitelist and show them how to do it.
- The whitelist is the list of contact addresses that the user may send email to, so their messages do not go to the trash folder.
When can you email me? Common sense would be to send messages on Saturday morning or Thursday evening, but that depends on your target audience, and the results of the tests you're running.
And when is email considered spam? Spam is a mass unsolicited message, meaning that the recipient of these messages does not want to receive them, and has not been permitted to do so.
Users are usually granted permission by clicking on the box "Yes, I would like to receive offers from your company via email." The customer's email address may not be shared with any other company unless the latter click the "Yes, I would like to receive offers from third parties via email."
The company must get clear permission from the user before sending the e-mail to him. Attempting to get this permission in devious ways and methods is a source of inconvenience to customers, and may lead to sabotaging the company's reputation, and classifying its messages as spam and undesirable.
Step seven: respond to the reaction
All email messages should serve the strategic objectives of the marketing campaign, and this is not limited to promotional messages and mailings but includes all interactions with customers, including automated messages and order confirmation messages. If the company has a certain style or style, then it should be used in all messages without exception. These messages are also an opportunity to announce other companies' offers.
After the campaign
Step 8: Prepare reports
Monitoring, analysis, and optimization are key factors for developing email marketing, and it should be noted here that the data and statistics produced by email trackers are clear and easy to use.
The following are the most important criteria that help evaluate the performance of email marketing campaigns:
- The number of emails received.
- The number of emails returned, distinguishing between messages returned for permanent reasons and those returned for temporary reasons.
- The number of open emails. Successful mail sending does not mean that the customer has opened it.
- The number of opt-outs losing many subscribers is a major indicator of your inability to meet your subscribers' needs.
- The number of times your email is shared, which reflects your subscribers' interest in the content you provide to them to share it with others, and the sharing rate can be increased by adding a "send to a friend" link in each email message, and the mailing list can be expanded By adding the subscriber list link to the messages that subscribers share with their friends.
- Click and conversion rate: This method is based on measuring the effectiveness of an email by measuring the click rate on links attached to this email, compared to the number of messages sent, opened, or received, and this data can find out the most interesting content for readers.
Step 9: Analyze the results
After you've finished reporting, it's your turn to discover the important numbers, and try to use them to improve subsequent emails.
Two-way tests can help improve your email marketing, and here are some factors you can test:
- Open rate when using different variations of the subject line, and different sending times.
- The optimum number of links within an email message to achieve the best click and conversion rates. Different message styles and lengths.
- Video effect on delivery, open, and conversion rates.
- In short, any email marketing campaign needs a database, and you need a plan to constantly expand this base, knowing that most email service providers offer tools to manage these databases.
It should also be tested for compatibility of e-mail messages with different e-mail reading systems, and also to ensure that they are not classified with spam or unwanted messages. Compatibility with email readers can be checked through.apache.org can ensure that your messages are not classified as spam.
Finally, it is necessary to analyze the results of the email once it has been sent to identify ways to improve and develop it in the next marketing campaign.