Email marketing: Step-by-step guide to send an email to the right target audience
Updated: Apr 28
Email marketing has never lost its importance amongst other digital marketing tools. It’s the most direct and cheapest way to connect and nurture your leads and turn them into customers. A savvy marketer will never forget to use Email Marketing in their marketing strategy to grow the audiences. In this article, we will walk you through the current position of Email Marketing in the Marketing industry, its benefits, and most importantly, guide you on how to get started with this digital marketing tool in your strategy.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a type of digital marketing. In this method, emails will be sent to the customers to make them aware of the new products and promotions and other services, educate, and utmostly, connect with them to nurture the relationships.
Email Marketing: Why does your company need it?
The technology keeps evolving, and new forms and trends of marketing methods are constantly changing. However, one thing that remains clear in the digital space - email marketing stays in the chart for years. The latest statistics about the benefits of this tool already prove its importance in the Marketing strategy.
The potential growing number of users
In 2019, there are 3.9 billion people using email, and is set to grow to 4.3 billion users (almost half of the world population in 2023 (Statista, 2020). These numbers prove that your company will be able to reach a wider pool of customers by using this “old” marketing tool.
Email marketing is growing. In 2009, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received every day and is expected to increase to over 340 billion in 2022 (Statista, 2020). In reality, if you are an employee, the first thing you do at the office is checking the email. And the popular method of communication in university is Email. The email has become a crucial part of daily communication between human beings.
Great Return on Investment
According to the report from DMA in 2019, every $1 you spend on email marketing can generate an average return of $42.
From a study of 1,000 small business owners, email marketing was ranked as the second most effective medium for building brand awareness. Email with a segmented audience list can generate a 760% increase in revenue (Campaign Monitor, 2021)
Over 90% of consumers check their email daily. Also, 86% of consumers would like to receive a promotional email from brands at least once a month. It is the result of a well-crafted email strategy and the widespread popularity of email itself.
Read more about the proven benefits of email marketing here: Is Email Marketing Dead?
When do you need email marketing?
- To establish the relationship with customers: through personalized email content, you can build positive engagement with the receivers
- Promote brand awareness: your brand name needs to appear on a regular basis to become the top of mind.
- Promote your products/ services
- Generate leads: through a call-to-action button, you can entice subscribers to take desired actions, such as enroll in the course, purchase the products/ services, etc.
Steps to create an Email Marketing Campaign
While half of the world population uses emails, your brand must have a clear and efficient strategy to make sure that your email will not be lost in a crowded mailbox, or worse, land in the spam or junk folder.
Think of the key following steps to get used to the email marketing tool.
Step 1: Clean up the database
Data is the most important part of your Email strategy, as they are the final destination of the whole campaign. Without an email address, your email campaign cannot process. If this is the first time your company uses email as a promotional tool, then first thing first, you should have enough data to get started.
You can divide the current customer data into different segmentations, depending on the common characteristics and the purpose of the email marketing campaign, which a professional marketer usually refers to as the “segmentation” step.
The more detailed the categories are, the higher chance that your email will reach the right audiences and convert the leads. Here are a few ways to categorize your list:
Current users (who have purchased the products/ services)
Demographics, such as age, location, or job title
Preferences and Interests, such as marketing or sales topics
Step 2: Set up Email marketing account
There are many platforms and apps that provide email marketing services. If your company is using CRM platforms such as Hubspot, Zoho, etc, you can use their built-in email marketing functions. Website builder platforms such as WordPress, Wix also incorporated Email Marketing to help your business send newsletters directly from the Website.
If your business doesn’t have any CRM or Website as mentioned above, that’s totally not a problem as there are Email service providers. The most popular one is Mailchimp.
A small business with less than 2,000 contacts can get used to its free plan option to get started, which is a good deal.
Step 3: Import customer database
After setting up your account with an Email Service Provider, you will need to import the database you have arranged into the list. With the segmented customer list, you can easily set up a clear and detailed Email marketing campaign later. Moreover, tracking progress is also easier to perform in the future.
Step 4: Define your target audience for the campaign
From the segmented list, you can understand the preferred content the target audiences would like to receive, as well as their email usage behaviors, from which you can tailor the email strategy to match their preference and cultivate the best possible result.
Step 5: Choose the Email campaign type
Not all email serves the same purpose. Depending on your goal when sending the email, you can select one of those campaign types:
New information/ update
Products/ Services introduction
Digital magazine or Newsletter
Confirmation email: this type of email is regularly seen in the e-commerce business, where buyers will receive an email to confirm their purchase every time they make a payment online.
Thank you email: to show your brand’s appreciation towards the desired actions from the recipients, such as filling the survey, submitting the forms, etc.
Welcome email: this is a great option to provide more information to people who have signed up for your newsletter, product trial, or other offers.
A welcome email can be seen as a tool to introduce your brand personality and highlight values the customers can receive.
Lead nurturing email: this type of campaign aims to remind the leads about your brand name, as well as provide some useful information that you think the receivers will need. In this email, it’s important to announce why they receive this email. For example, there will be a footnote saying that "You are receiving this email because we noticed you’re interested in [topic] and we thought, you might want to know more about [topic] ..."
Step 6: Draft email
Here are the crucial elements of an email that you need to include:
Subject Line: The overview/ purpose of the email
Sender: The email address of the person who sent the message.
Recipient: The list of recipients
Attachment & hyperlink
To make your email more attractive, images and videos should be used to enhance the visual effect.
Step 7: Schedule email
The best time to send the email will depend on the Email usage habits of your target audience. Here is some data backend for the suitable time:
Source: Campaign Monitor (2021)
Tuesday and Thursday are the best days for higher open and click-through rates.
Avoid sending emails during the weekend
The best time to send emails is from early in the morning between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. or in the evening between 8:00 p.m. and midnight if you’re looking at engagement rate. The rate will decline during lunchtime.
Step 8: Track performance
The key metrics that a marketer needs to watch in an Email Campaign include Email open rate, Email click-through rate, Click-to-open rate, Unsubscribe rate, Email bounce rate.
Email open rate refers to the percentage of users who open your email campaign. The average open rate is 18%, depending on the Subject line and relevancy of content towards the audience.
Email click-through-rate: This is the percentage number of recipients who click on a link or image in your email, regardless of whether or not the subscriber opened the campaign. From this figure, you can understand how many total subscribers are converting from email (based on the action desired in the email). An average click-through rate is 2.60%.
Click-to-open rate: it is the percentage of email viewers (who open that email) who click on a link or image within the email. This is a key metric used to measure the success of a specific email campaign. The average email click-to-open rate of 14.10%.
Unsubscribe rate: refers to the number of recipients who choose to opt-out from the email list.
The average number for thí metric is 0.1%.
Email bounce rate: relates to the number of unsuccessfully sent emails, or the number of audiences who cannot receive the email. Marketers always want to keep this rate as low as possible. There are two types of bounce rate: hard and soft.
A “hard” bounce means an email has bounced back to the sender undelivered without having been accepted by the receiving email server. It is permanently a delivery failure. The given reasons for a hard bounce rate are invalid email addresses, an outdated domain, blocked email server.
A “soft” bounce means that after the email is accepted by the recipient’s mail server, it are sent back to the deliverer. The reasons can be: mailbox reaches the quota, the email server of the audience is down, or using too many/ too large images in the email.
Email never dies. In contrast, if a brand knows how to gauge its Email Marketing Strategy, the Return on Investment will be amplified. Don’t hesitate to ask our experts to master this marketing tool in your business.