Hi folks, I welcome you to my Email Marketing Technical Guide.
In this guide, I will be going through all the topics that you should be knowing before you dive into the world of email marketing.
Table of Contents:
- Email Marketing Overview
- Building Email Lists
- Important Terminologies
Email Marketing Overview
What Is Email Marketing?
To explain Email Marketing in simple terms, it is basically a type of digital marketing, in which you collect email addresses of people in your niche (which is also called as List Building).
Once you get their email addresses, then you start sending them promotional emails regarding a product, your blog, services you offer or anything which helps you to increase your website traffic and revenue.
Benefits of Email Marketing
The main advantage of Email Marketing, when we compare it to other digital marketing types, is mainly two things:
1. Its Affordable (You can send up to 100K emails for just $10)
You can save a lot of money with Email Marketing, mainly if you use your own email marketing system.
2. Email Marketing Automation Is Simple To Setup
In today’s day and age we can find several email marketing software companies like SendInBlue (Recommended), Aweber, Getresponse which makes it easy for you to manage all your contacts, email lists and run automated email marketing campaigns.
You can even use your own email marketing system, which is a lot cheaper and have almost the same features as other email marketing softwares out there.
Does Email Marketing Still Work In Today’s World?
In short, YES!
- Almost, 94% of people who use internet use email, while only 64% of those people use social media.
- 75% of marketing companies have said that email marketing is their preferred way of marketing.
- The “Opt-In” feature in email marketing gives you the consent of people which will be subscribing to your email list.
- You can use segmentation feature in email marketing to target a specific audience on the basis of demographic, location, interests or just the people who like to read your content.
- Email Marketing allows you to format your messages the way you want, unlike social media which has a lot of restrictions & limitations.
- You get in-depth reports of all your email marketing campaigns such as open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and conversion rates as well.
Hence, if you strategically plan your email marketing campaign it can really help you to generate a substantial amount of revenue.
In this post I will show you how to start email marketing and share some important practices you can follow.
2 Types of Email Marketers
1. Spam/Bulk Mailers
These are the kind of email marketers who either scrape or buy people’s email addresses from a third party seller and send them promotional emails regarding their service or emails with their affiliate link in it.
In the Digital Marketing world marketers like these are called spammers.
Because they send email to people who haven’t heard of them and that too without their consent.
2. Ethical Marketers
These are the people who use the legal/ethical form of email marketing.
In this form of marketing, the marketers send emails only to those people who have given their consent to send them promotional emails regarding their service, products or blog updates.
Email Marketing System Structure
So basically all Email Marketing Software consists of 2 parts:
- The Sender: (SMTP Service) This helps you to send emails across the internet.
- The Management Application: This is where you configure and manage all your contacts, lists, campaigns, analyze your stats, manage the servers that help you to send emails, etc.
When we connect both together then what we get is a Email Marketing System.
Now There Are 2 Things That You Can Do:
1. We can either directly signup for an email marketing company where it provides you both the necessary parts in just one platform.
2. Or we can build our own email marketing software by subscribing to SMTP (email sending services) like Amazon SES, Mandrill etc.
And Installing pre coded email marketing applications like Sendy, Mailwizz, Mailster etc.
Then we can connect both of these together and have our own email marketing software.
The only drawback of installing our own software is that we have to manually setup all the things and it can take up to 2-3 days to do it correctly.
But, once done successfully you will be able to send literally 100K emails for just $10.
Building Email Lists
What Is List Building?
List building is basically collecting people’s emails and segmenting them according to their demographic, interest’s etc.
You can easily build targeted email list by making use of a lead magnet,
What Is Lead Magnet?
Lead Magnet is something that you offer to people for free in order to get their email address.
Lead Magnet can be an eBook, Trial offer, software, course.
But if its related to your service then the chances of people give you their email address increases.
Let’s take a look at other methods by which you can build your email list.
1. Newsletter Subscription
It is the most common way to collect emails.
Now-a-days almost every website you visit has a subscription form where you are asked to enter your email address in order to get updates.
How To Add Subscription Forms?
If you are using wordpress, it is very easy to add a subscription form.
Thrive Leads is the wordpress plugin I recommend.
Thrive Leads gives you various options to choose from and also has multiple trigger and data statistics.
2. Popup & Slide In Forms
You can make use of exit intent, time based or activity based pop up forms that Thrive Leads has to offer. Its very easy to setup.
Open and Click Through Rates
Suppose, you send an email marketing campaign for 100 people.
Its obvious not every one will open your email.
Say only 50 people opened your email, that’s 50% of people opened the email you sent.
That’s 50% open rate in email marketing terms.
Similarly, from those 100 people only 10 people click on the links in your email.
That’s 10% click through rate in email marketing.
It is really important to keep a close look at your open and click through rate in email marketing to ensure your campaign is successful.
How To Track Data?
Almost, all email marketing system’s have their own tracking functionality.
Which means even if you have your own email marketing system or you are subscribed to email marketing companies, you will be able to track and monitor all your data easily.
Spam and Inbox
It’s the biggest nightmare for an email marketer.
Most of the questions that I get regarding email marketing are:
“How do I avoid my email from getting into spam folder”
“How to reach customer’s inbox folder”
Lot of similar questions regarding this topic.
Usually when you send an email to someone there is a possibility that your email is considered as spam and it might not reach the inbox of your contact.
Which means the recipient will not get your notification and as a result he won’t open your email. This will lead to lower open rate and your email campaign will be a total fail.
So first let us understand why emails are marked as spam?
There are 3 main reasons because of which your emails might be filtered as spam:
1. Spam Keywords
There is a specified list of words that are categorized as spam in email marketing industry. And if any of your email headline/content has these words then your email is automatically marked/filtered as spam.
2. DNS & Email Signing Records (SPF, DKIM, rDNS)
SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
SPF is basically a TXT record that you need to add in your DNS zone of your domain registrar in order to connect the mail servers that you will be using to send emails.
Which means if you send emails from a server which is not included in your SPF record, they will be marked as spam emails.
To make you better understand here’s an example:
Suppose you want to send an email to your audience you cannot send your sending email as “email@example.com”.
You cannot use the domain name that you do not own. This is considered as spamming.
Similarly you can create SPF record and prevent spammers from using your domain to send emails.
Hence, it becomes very important to set your SPF record if you want mailing service providers to trust your domain.
Its is very easy to add a SPF record. Just open your DNS zone editor and add the following record:
v=spf1 a ip4:XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX ~all
Make sure to replace “xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx” with your own IP address.
That’s it. Now no one other than you can send emails from your domain.
DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail)
DKIM is yet another TXT record that you need to add in your DNS zone.
It holds a public authentication key which will be validated using a private key securely saved inside your server.
Which means all the emails that you sent will be signed and will ensure any conflicts which is very important if you want to achieve high sending scores.
rDNS (Reverse DNS)
The reverse DNS is used to point an IP address to your domain, it’s the revers of DNS A record.
Which means, when you make a request to the IP you get the name.
It is one of the important factor when it comes to set up your mail server and improving sending score reputation.
3. Health of Your Email List
In order to keep your mailing system healthy it is necessary to keep cleaning your email lists on a regular basis.
What it means is you should regularly remove inactive contacts which do not open or click the links in your email for a long time. (30 days is ideal)
If you do not clean your email lists then it will lead to a increase in bounce rate which will indirectly affect your domain reputation.
IP and Domain Reputation
Whenever you subscribe to a SMTP server like Amazon SES you are assigned with a dedicated IP address.
The IP as well as your domain will have a particular score,
Higher the score, means better the delivery.
If you want your email campaigns to be successful then email bounce rate is one such data that you should keep a close eye on.
What Is a Bounced Email?
When you send an email to your contact and for some reason the email won’t deliver to him. In that case the email will bounce back.
That is called a bounced email.
Why Do Emails Bounce?
One of the main reason for an bounced email is that the recipient or the target contact’s email is not available or it doesn’t exist only.
If the email is temporary unavailable you will get a soft bounce.
And if the email does not exist only then you will get a hard bounce.
One thing that you should really keep in mind in email marketing is that bounce rate play’s a vital role in affecting your email marketing system.
Because, if you start getting high bounce rates then you might get blacklisted which will lower the reputation of your IP as well as your domain.
This will result in your emails to be marked as spam.