Cartoon of dozens of letters flying out of a computer with a picture of the world behind it.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

When you first hear about email marketing, you may probably have a lot of different questions such as “how to build your email base” or “how to persuade your audience to open a marketing email.” Before you start working on your first email campaign and running it, you need to know how it works.

Being aware of the main principles of email marketing will help you understand how just 1-2 emails make people perform the target action – visit the website, make a purchase, or leave their data on your site. Email generates $38 billion in retail sales annually. Want to get a piece of that pie? It is time to think about how to maximize your email performance.

What Does an Effective Email Campaign Mean?

Marketing today employs everything that the human brain reacts to. With the smart usage of these instruments, you can ensure the customer builds trust in the brand, which develops into loyalty. In email marketing, the set of channels for influencing a client is significantly limited – you can only use the visionary channel for this purpose. But how can you achieve good results?

1. It All Starts with Trust

The easiest way to establish trust and ensure the success of your email campaign is to ask your customers for permission to send marketing emails to them. Communicate with your clients. Firstly, demonstrate your respect for the personal space of your client; secondly, involve him/her in your business, providing an opportunity to make a choice. It works the same as Instagram security – knowing that you are in safe hands makes you use the service more often.

Let it be the first form of subscription with only 2-3 offers made independently or with the help of the mailing service. Otherwise, you will gain a reputation as a spammer, and no one will ever trust you

2. Think over the Email Subject

These couple of words put in a sentence should force a person to open an email, instead of moving it to a spam folder or a wastebasket. There is no need to reinvent the wheel – write what the message is about.

If you offer a discount on your services, then let the topic of the letter sound enticing. Compare the two variants: “Today only, the Samsung refrigerator is 40% cheaper” and “Get your personal discount on the Samsung refrigerator.” If your newsletter is informational, then bring to the topic addressing the benefit that the reader can get from it.

For your email campaign to reach impressive conversion rates, follow the below tips:

  • Shorten the email subject – Not “ten ways to bring in new customers,” but “10 ways to attract customers”
  • Intrigue, provoke, appeal to individual customer audiences
  • Use characters and numbers instead of words

3. Work on the Design of the Email Newsletter

In other words, maximize the vision of the recipient. In just 13 milliseconds after opening an email, a person decides whether he/she is interested in the offer or if they will delete the email. Use this time to catch the attention of your customer and persuade the one to do the action you need.

The decision-leading processes happen so fast in your mind that you don’t even notice. You need a few seconds to make a decision. During these 3-5 seconds, the brain needs to evaluate the selected product according to specific parameters. For example, if you are looking for the best VPN: the Definitive Guide, you will pick the one by simply checking out its content structure, ease of reading, and comprehensiveness.

For this purpose, it is recommended to use catchy theme images. Thus, part of the text message can be replaced with a picture. However, designing the visionary part of the email is rather tricky – the main thing here is not to overdo it! The recommended ratio of text and visual is 60% to 40%.

Here are some other hints that can make your email campaign more effective:

  • Play with the fonts – Do not use more than two fonts; it is best to use “formal” fonts that are easy to read on any screens and devices. For example, the Comic Sans font does not give credibility in business communication. But when selling children’s products, it is just a perfect match.
  • Attach clickable links and buttons to the body of the message. The reader is led by interest, and most likely, he/she will click on a button rather than google an online store.
  • Use CTA’s (Call to actions) with the relevant text – they will be subconsciously followed. At the same time, it is better to avoid the words “issue” or “download” because these remind people of obligations and reduce confidence.

4. Segment Subscribers Lists

Segmentation is the division of all customers according to a specific attribute (depending on your needs). It is needed to exclude the possibility of delivering an email to the “wrong person.” You can segment your customer base by gender or by activity and previously completed purchases. In general, there can be as many types of segmentation scenarios as you need. It can be done manually in an Excel spreadsheet or in a few clicks directly using the service functionality.

The possibilities and advantages of segmentation by a subscriber are truly endless – building an individual approach to each category of subscribers, as well as reactivating “sleeping” ones and making them hot leads. Following this approach gives excellent results. With segmentation, you can improve the performance of your email campaign and, as a result, significantly increase revenue.

Inspiring Cases

1. Uber

Example email from Uber showing "Ready? Let's go!" with a big button saying "Get Started".

Uber’s email campaigns are simple and straight-to-the-point – kind of like their service. Design-wise, the text is usually pretty brief and easy to find. A consistently clean email design perfectly lines up with the company brand image across its app, website, and social media. Such consistency helps to bolster communication and marketing leading to a strong and loyal customer base.

2. The Skimm

The real shining star content of The Skimm’s email marketing campaign is the personalization, special care, and engagement the brand has with its subscriber base. The team celebrates your Anniversaries (milestones for how long you have been a subscriber). It truly feels like you are receiving an email from a good friend. It is no wonder why this brand has an incredibly loyal customer base.

3. Invision

Another example email with a large red button saying "Take Us Back" in the middle of the email.

InVision’s weekly roundup of their standout blog posts is a gold mine. You can dive into this email for hours. Their newsletter is mobile-friendly and downright beautiful, which also increases the engagement rates of their customers. The brand does an incredible job of placing a call-to-action after each piece of text content, so you will not spend lots of time searching for the magic button.

What Does It Mean?

The effectiveness of email marketing is a truly strategic game. And you can reach impressive results if you adhere to the rules of the game. Therefore, we recommend you to plan it in advance and involve dedicated experts instead of running it yourself. Only in this case, you can make your customers do what you need them to do.

Dainan Gilmore is an enthusiastic expert in cybersecurity and works as a data privacy advisor for Bestvpnrating.com.

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