So far we've discussed how you can market through Facebook and Google. These platforms are what we call rented assets
because you don't own them. The risk of relying too heavily on rented assets is at any time the rules can change or new competitors can enter and outcompete you.
That's why the aim of the digital marketing game should be to direct people to your website and email database. These are your owned assets
. A large engaged email database is a great source of revenue that will continue to work even if the digital marketing landscape changes. In this post we'll go over the basics of email marketing and some common questions we get.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is when a brand sends a marketing message to a database of email addresses. Usually included is a call to action to encourage them to purchase or sign up. A lot of your email marketing can even be automated, meaning you can generate revenue with little cost or involvement!
What software should I use?
There's a lot of different software options to manage your email marketing. Mailchimp, Campaign Mailer and Klavio are just a few examples. For 99% of people Mailchimp will be the go-to. It's free to start and pricing scales with your database size. It also integrates with most digital marketing and e-commerce platforms.
How to build out your email list?
Once you've setup your email database you'll need to drive people to it. A pop up asking people to enter their email is the classic method to convert web traffic. These days it's really important you incentivise sign ups with a discount code or offer. People don't usually sign up unless you give them a reason. Discount codes also encourage purchases. Even if they don't purchase, it allows you to email them later with additional incentives.
Email discount codes are a common, and successful methods to build eCommerce email lists.
A lot of business owners think that $10 discount codes are a steep price to pay. However, if you consider the cost to get customers through Facebook and Google it often ends up a lot cheaper. You also can continue to market to subscribers to get more purchases down the line. Email subscribers have high purchasing intent and are already invested in your brand. We recommend working out the lifetime value a subscriber to see what you can afford to pay per acquisition.
Another great way we've found to build up an email database is running sweepstakes campaigns. These are where people can enter their email to go into the draw for free product. Depending on how you market these campaigns they can generate thousands of new subscribers!
Sweepstakes campaigns are another method to promote email database growth.
How often should I send out emails?
How often you send emails depends on your brand and audience, however studies recommend one email every 3 weeks
. Some of our clients are sending up to 6 emails per week, although in those instances it's to highly segmented smaller groups rather than mass-marketing to the whole database.
It's important you check to see what works and what doesn't. The best way to measure this is by checking your open rates and click through rates. The industry average open rate is 20% and click through rate is 2%. You want to ensure that people continue opening your emails. Engaging headlines and attractive designs will help keep subscribers engaged.
If in doubt whether you're sending a suitably number of emails to subscribers, remember the follow golden rule -
You also should be continuously topping up your email database as over time it will lose effectiveness. Subscribers grow fatigued with a brand and their life circumstances can move them out of your product/service category. We suggest you regularly filter the bottom performing 50% of your email list into a reengagement list targeted to get them re-invested. If this fails, filter them into a dormant list that only receives emails occasionally.
What are email automations?
At least to us automations are the most exciting part of digital marketing! It's basically free money once they're set up. Your goal should be to take every subscriber on a journey, to engage and encourage further purchases. A simple example of an automated email is the thank you message you receive after signing up to an email list. A more advanced example would be an automated notification to re-purchase if your product/service has a lifecycle. Sending people birthday emails with discounts is another great way to increase average lifetime value. Automations are definitely worth it, programs like Mailchimp make them fairly simple to setup.
MailChimp offer powerful (and free
!) solutions for business new to email automation.
You now have an overview of email marketing and how it can help your business. In the next section we'll talk about your other paid asset: your website. As always feel free to shoot us an email or comment with any questions you might have! You can also listen along to our podcast on Soundcloud: Devote Digital Marketing Podcast