Want to learn how to market your business without spending a fortune on pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media, or influencer marketing? Email is the way to go.
Email’s marketing clout comes primarily from a few characteristics:
- Reach: More than 4 billion people have an email address, and that number will grow to 4.6 billion by 2025. In 2020, just over 3.6 billion people used social media (not a single platform like Facebook or Instagram, but any social media network), and that number will increase to 4.4 billion by 2025. If you want to reach any niche in any place around the world, email is your best bet now and in the future.
- Return on investment (ROI): Email has a mind-blowing ROI, returning an average of $36 for every $1 spent. When you need to market your business on a budget, email is the safest way to do it. Each email costs a penny (or even less) and has the potential to drive thousands in one-time or recurring revenue.
- Ownership: You don’t control your social media followers—the networks do. And you also don’t control your organic search rank—search platforms do. However, you do own your organically grown email list. No algorithm change or Twitter banning can take that away from you.
Below, we’ll walk you through how to do email marketing for your business. This guide provides tactics, examples, best practices, and how-tos to help you send better emails in 2022.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or growing an existing program, these are the quick-and-easy tips you need to see results immediately.
Your email marketing program’s value stems from your email list. No list, no value. You need an engaged email list to market your business, but you won’t find any shortcuts to the top—buying or renting an email list is a big no-no and almost always tanks your program, reputation, and marketing results. It takes time to organically grow an engaged list of email subscribers, but the gains are worth the investment.
Not sure how to grow your email marketing list? We’ve got you covered.
Collect email addresses from recipients who are likely to engage with your emails (and to become paying customers down the line). Then consider promoting your email program in highly-visible areas on your website and social networks (e.g., in the navigation bar, footer, sidebar, and in your profile). When writing messaging for this promotion, focus on the value you provide in your emails and how your content will benefit recipients.
Building a valuable list isn’t all about new subscribers and growth—it’s also about nurturing your list. Provide a preference center on your email sign-up form to allow recipients to choose the messages they want to receive. Some subscribers may want to receive your sales, marketing, events, and product emails, while others might only way to see discounts and product updates. Give them the option to choose. This will keep them more engaged with your emails and brands.
Don’t worry about list size too much. Instead, focus on engagement. It’s better to have a small list of engaged recipients than a massive list of unengaged subscribers.
Tip: Provide an example of previous emails or newsletters so that recipients get a feel for the email content. Use a double-opt-in method to begin your relationship with your recipients from a place of trust and transparency. If you’d like to explore more email list growth strategies, check out our How to Grow Your Email List Guide.
Design is one of the pillars of marketing your business. Before you start sending emails to your subscriber list, spend time building engaging designs that are easy to replicate and drive results.
Unless you have a dedicated email designer or developer to hardcode your emails, your best bet for building email campaigns is to use a modular email template design. Modular templates consist of precoded design blocks that you can easily edit or swap out depending on how much content you’d like to include.
It’s also important that your email designs reflect your brand as seen on your website so that users have a consistent experience when they read your emails. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Twilio SendGrid’s free email marketing templates—a complete catalog of free, responsive email designs that you can download and tailor to your brand in minutes.
Tip: Need more design and development help? Check out Design Email Best Practices to Boost Engagement.
Providing a valuable and seamless experience for your subscribers starts with an established and consistent brand voice. Just like how your designs need to stay consistent with your brand’s visual identity, your brand voice needs to come through in your email copy.
How to market your business while maintaining your brand voice will come down to your company’s personality. Your brand voice should also be appropriate to your industry and service. Business-to-consumer (B2C) brands have more leeway to use a casual and witty tone, while business-to-business (B2B) companies should maintain a warm, coach-like tone so that recipients view you as the subject matter expert.
Once somebody signs up for an email list, they should receive a welcome email. The more time that passes between the sign-up and the first email, the more likely a recipient is to forget, lose interest, or become confused by your first message. If this happens, they’re likely to ignore your emails, unsubscribe, or mark them as spam—none of which you want to happen.
Include a “Thank you” in your welcome email. Handing over an email address is a big step for many consumers, and showing them appreciation is a great way to start your relationship on the right foot.
Remain helpful, kind, and friendly in these welcome emails. Adding prospects to your email list is exciting, but be careful not to take this as a green light to push your product or service at full velocity. Nurture the relationship first, then market your business second.
Tip: Consider providing a discount or complimentary service once someone provides you with their email address. For example, if you’re an ecommerce company, provide a coupon code for a discount on their first purchase. If you work in the B2B space, provide a free download of a white paper, ebook, or educational piece that provides valuable information.
Although it’s tempting to start sending promotional emails right away, establish a relationship using the tactics outlined above before you get deep into promotion.
Once you’ve welcomed your recipients, here’s a list of the types of promotional emails you may want to send:
- Product or service sales or discounts
- Special events
- Social media promotional campaigns
- Customer features showcasing your brand’s value
- Product news
The types of promotional emails you send will vary according to your business goals and the resources you have available. Try to add valuable, educational content to your promotional emails whenever possible. If you only promote your business or brand, you’ll likely lose your recipients’ interest. Plus, your engagement might start to slip.
Tip: Transactional vs. marketing email—an effective transactional email program in place will ensure your users receive crucial notifications, such as password resets and receipts. Download our Marketing and Transactional Email Best Practice Guide to ensure you’re up to speed on the nuances of marketing and transactional email and how to optimize both!
Newsletters can be a powerful way to market your business. However, depending on your goals, you might conclude that a newsletter doesn’t fit with your content. For example, if you don’t publish educational pieces on a regular basis, it could be hard to pull together a meaty newsletter that your users find valuable. It might be better to send one-off emails when you create a best practice guide or a data-rich blog post.
If you decide to move forward with newsletters, you’ll need to put together a strategy for the timing and process of creating this new content type. We highly recommended that you keep your newsletters educational and community-minded.
Monitoring your metrics and engagement levels will provide valuable insight into your email program. One of the harder truths to accept is that some recipients just won’t engage with your emails. It may be because they forgot they signed up, don’t feel persuaded by your subject line, or just don’t prioritize your emails.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to remove unengaged users from your list. However, there’s something you can (and should) try before you cut out email addresses from your list: Send them a win-back or reengagement email.
Be honest with your recipients. Tell them you’ve noticed they haven’t engaged in a while and that this is a chance for them to remove themselves from your email list.
Here’s some example copy to consider using when sending out a win-back campaign:
Hi [first name],
We’ve noticed that you haven’t opened our emails lately. We know you’re probably busy, so we want to let you know that we’d be happy to remove you from our email list if you’re not feeling our content or are overwhelmed with all your emails (we understand!).
But if that’s not the case, let us know, and we’ll keep sending our emails. We find them valuable and hope that you do too.
No—keep me signed up!
Yes—please, remove me from your list.
You’ll want to customize the content to your personal email program, but being open and even having a sense of humor (when appropriate) will showcase your brand voice and come off as relatable to your recipients. For more tips on sending win-back campaigns, check out our 4 tips in How to Create Effective Reengagement Email Campaigns.
Email marketing can be just as much of a science as an art. One of the best parts of email marketing—and part of the reason why it continues to be one of the most successful marketing channels—is that you can measure and test it at an almost infinite rate. If you’re just starting out marketing your business with email, don’t be afraid to experiment—and even mess up once in a while.
You can make educated guesses about your audience and their behavior, but you won’t fully know what resonates with them until you try different tactics and measure the results. Plus, most elements of your email program can be measured and tested against each other, which means you can always make adjustments to help you continually improve your campaigns.
Approach your email marketing strategy with the philosophy that an email marketer’s job is never over (job security!) and that there are always more strategies to test and ways to improve. No best practice guide or blog post can tell you exactly how many emails you should send every month to successfully market your business, but the more data you compile, the more informed decisions you can make for your email marketing efforts.
Want to hear how industry-leading email marketers strengthen their program? Download a copy of Twilio SendGrid’s Expert’s Guide to Email Marketing.
Email campaigns involve many factors that influence whether recipients open and engage with your communications. Twilio SendGrid makes it easy to master these moving parts and create stellar marketing emails with its vast template library and drag & drop editing tools. Prefer to code your own emails? You can also design your emails from scratch using HTML.
Our automation tools, email testing, and easy-to-understand metrics allow you to create compelling campaigns that you can refine as you discover more about your recipients and their preferences. Learn about every aspect of this vital marketing channel with our comprehensive Email Marketing Getting Started Guide.
Ready to start sending emails your recipients will love? Learn more about Twilio SendGrid’s email marketing tools and try them for free.
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