As social media has grown in importance, many so-called marketing experts have predicted the end of email.
Don’t believe them! Email marketing is alive and well.
And here’s why we say that with the utmost confidence:
- Traffic and Conversion Summit launched in 2009 with 258 attendees. Email marketing was a big part of the launch strategy.
- Using email marketing to promote the event, T&C grew to 4,500 attendees in just 8 years.
- In only one year, DigitalMarketer generated well over $20 million in revenue from email marketing alone.
Regardless of the rumors, email is nowhere near “dead”—and if you know how to use it, it will help you exponentially grow your business.
With that in mind, in this chapter, we’ll review the basics of email marketing, including the methods, the metrics, the lingo you need to know, and who on your team should own email marketing.
Email marketing can be used for branding, engagement, acquisition, retention, direct sales, reactivation, generating traffic, and getting referrals, making it one of the most versatile tools any business can use to grow their business.
But it’s important to understand why we use email marketing. Interestingly, it’s not for profit or growth.
The outcome of strategic email marketing is indeed profit and growth, but the purpose of email marketing is to move your customers from one stage of the “value journey” to the next.
The goal of email is to assist and expedite a customer’s movement from one stage of the value journey to the next.
We talked about the “Customer Value Journey” in Chapter 1. But let’s review it again.
But first, let’s look at the role email plays in a growing business.
This is your business. Think of it as a path your customers will travel as they get to know you.
In the bottom left corner, they’re only just becoming aware of you, but by the time they reach the top right corner, not only do they know you, they promote you to everyone they know because you’ve transformed their life.
This journey, from awareness to conversion to promotion, is the customer journey. As the customer travels this path, their lifetime value increases as well, adding profits and stability to your business. That’s why we also call this the value journey.
And it’s through email that you expedite the journey—if you understand the methods that work.
Methods of Well-Executed Email Marketing
Email marketing is more than broadcasting an email every time you publish a new blog post. And it’s more than sending email alerts when you have a promotion or sale.
To master email marketing, you need to understand the types of emails you’ll use, their timing, and the different campaigns you’ll use to connect with your subscribers.
The Types of Emails You’ll Use in Email Marketing
There are three types of emails that you’ll rely on as an email marketer.
- Transactional – to provide customer service.
- Relational – to engage subscribers and nurture relationship with them.
- Promotional – for generating sales.
As you can see in the chart below, each type facilitates a different interaction with your subscribers.
You’ll use 3 different types of emails to engage with your subscribers.
Email Type #1: Transactional Emails
These are the emails that get sent out by your automated systems, confirming actions taken by your prospects and customers.
While most transactional emails are templates provided by the marketing systems we use, the average revenue per transactional email is 2x to 5x higher than standard bulk email.
Here are the 8 types of transactional emails you can use, along with some tips for raising their transactional value:
1. Order Confirmations
Order confirmation emails have a higher open rate than any other type of email. That makes sense if you think about it: the recipient has just given you money and wants to verify the details of their purchase.
Most brands don’t do anything to optimize this email for growth. But look at what Amazon does.
Yes, emails can (and should) be optimized for growth.
This email confirms the purchase, sets expectations, and finishes the transaction. The customer is excited about their purchase—which means it’s a great time to add an additional offer or ask for a referral.
2. Purchase Receipts
Receipt emails, like confirmation emails, have a high open rate, but they’re rarely leveraged for growth.
3. Shipping Notices
Another email that excites your customers is your shipping alert email, telling them their purchase has been shipped and when it will arrive.
Shipping alerts get customers excited about their purchase.
As you can see, there’s not usually anything in this email that could expedite the customer journey.
But you’ve just reminded your customer of their purchase, renewing their excitement about getting it in the mail. What could you add to leverage that excitement? Could you ask them to tell their friends? What about a social share?
4. Account Creation
This email goes out when you create an account for new purchases, providing customers their login information.
Think about how you can leverage transactional emails.
As with most transactional emails, this email is rarely leveraged. But getting access to a closed group is a bit like getting a present. Your customers are feeling excited and happy. Why not ask them to do something—say, to share their excitement with their friends in social media?
5. Return Confirmation
If you sell physical products and someone requests a return merchandise authorization (RMA), this is a fantastic time to make them an offer or give them a coupon. While they aren’t happy about the product they’re returning, they can get excited about your excellent customer service.
Your goal here is to re-engage customers, perhaps by offering a different product that would fit their needs better or by providing a coupon code.
6. Support Tickets
As with Return Confirmation emails, support ticket follow-up emails give you an opportunity to add tons of value. If someone received great support, you can easily ask them to share their experience or extend their happiness by giving them a coupon.
7. Password Reminders
Most password reminder emails contain little more than a link
8. Unsubscribe Confirmations
This email is a standard automated email. But what if you could figure out an offer that would be appropriate for these emails? How much growth would that add to your business? How much more movement would you get through that customer journey?
This is the thinking you need to develop to win at email marketing.
You see, with email, you don’t have to make big changes to see big movement. Small tweaks can have very big effects.
Think about the emails you already send. As you’ve seen, a lot of them are system-generated, which means they contain nothing more than generic messages.
- What could you do with these emails to move people through your customer journey?
- What could you do to transform subscribers into referral partners, ambassadors, or promoters of your brand?