Email Marketing Basics

Setting up an email marketing list, and getting started with sending newsletters can be intimidating. But it is also a great resource for any B2B or B2C company. While social media gets a lot of attention, filtering algorithms have made it increasingly difficult to connect with followers on social media platforms.

Email is, however, a much more reliable method of reaching your contacts where they are. As long as you have a properly curated list, respect their privacy, and provide interesting information, you are well on your way to building a powerful communications tool that third parties can't interfere with.

Lets take a closer look at how to successfully set up and run email marketing campaigns using Everlytic.

Fundamentals of email marketing

There are a few fundamental elements of a successful newsletter that you should try and get right from the very start.

Have a clear goal in mind

When you start planning your email marketing campaigns, it is very important that you have a clear goal for that campaign from the start. Your goal might be one of the following, or something completely different:

  • Grow your business
  • Increase donations
  • Improve user's knowledge about a product
  • Sell your product

Knowing what you want to accomplish is the first, and most important, step in executing a successful campaign. After all, you can't measure success if you have no metric against which to measure it.

You may find that you need to create different campaigns to achieve different goals, and that's perfect. If you do so, you can segment your subscribers to better target them based on their needs and your goals (we'll go into more detail on segmentation later).

5 Important points to remember

Right from the get go, there are five important aspects of your email marketing newsletter that you need to pay special attention to.

1. Mail regularly

It is very important that you set up a regular mailing schedule and stick to it. Whether you send newsletters once a week or once a month, your contacts will become accustomed to your publishing schedule, and they will expect you to be consistent.

There are no strict rules for setting email timing and frequency, in general you should start off sending more often, and then taper off as time goes on.

Use your email reports to see if there is a day or time when your contacts are more engaged, and send your emails when you can expect them to respond most positively.

2. Send what you promised at sign-up

When inviting contacts to sign up to your newsletter, online or in-store, make sure to give them an idea of the kinds of emails you'll be sending. Will it be special offers? Knowledge sharing? Free gifts? It is very important that you set the right expectations, and then stick to them.

3. Use images and links

High-quality, clear images make your emails more attractive. Just make sure that you have a good image-to-text ratio in your emails. If too much of your email is an image, your contact's email provider may flag it as spam and send it to the junk folder.

Email is a great tool for driving traffic to your website. Include clear links, in the form of a well-positioned call-to-action, and encourage your contacts to visit your website.

4. Make it readable

Take a little time to design your emails for easy readability. In general, people read on the internet very differently to how they read books or newspapers. Eye tracking studies have shown that people read in an F-pattern, reading the first few sentences, scanning down until something else catches their eye, and then scanning to the bottom. Use proper hierarchical design, with clear headings diving content into short blocks, and you'll get more of your message across to your contacts.

5. Make sure you obey all the spam rules

We say this everyday, and it's so important that we'll say it again: Make sure that you obey all applicable spam laws for the country you live in, and the countries your contacts live in.

In general, spam is:

  • Anonymous
  • Sent to a very large number of recipients
  • Unsolicited
We have a comprehensive spam guide which will help you navigate the spam laws in South Africa.

The importance of mailing lists

The best way to build a successful email marketing campaign is to start with a great database of interested contacts. Apart from importing an existing list, you can create subscription forms that make it easy for people to sign up to receive your newsletters.

When building your lists, make sure that you always get permission to send emails to your contacts. Everlytic offers a double opt-in feature which ensures that prospective contacts are interested in receiving your emails before you start sending them.

Write engaging emails

The best way you can build successful newsletters is to send interesting content to your contacts. If they are interested in what you have to offer they are more likely to respond to you and share your links.

Here are a few tips on how to write engaging emails:

  •  Interact with your contacts, ask their opinions, hold giveaways for people who respond. The more positive an interaction your customer has with you, the more likely they are to want to engage with you in the future.
  • Be personal: Use segmentation to provide content based on your contact's interests, and use personalisation to address them by name. Wish them happy birthday, and consider offering a gift or voucher on their birthday.
  • Make announcements when you have something big coming up. Your enthusiasm will percolate through to your contacts, and they will start to feel like part of your community.

Design mobile-friendly emails

Mobile clients now account for 55% of all email opens. Check your own email reports to see how your contacts are accessing your emails, and design accordingly. An email may look really good in Outlook, but it might be distorted and difficult to read on a mobile phone.

See our Responsive Email guide to learn more about designing for mobile.

If a contact consistently reads your emails on their phone, and those emails always look bad, they are likely to unsubscribe.

Test your email

Everlytic offers a wide range of testing options for you to make sure your email looks as good as possible before you send it.

  • Compatability Preview: This tool analyses your email to evaluate how it will display in common email clients. A client with a red cross next to its name contains incompatibilities. If you click on the email client name, you will see a list of any unsupported styles.
  • Inbox Preview: This is an advanced testing tool where we physically send your email to testing addresses set up on many common email clients. These emails are automatically evaluated for incompatibility with each client. While more thorough than the basic compatibility test, the inbox preview also takes longer to run.
  • Send Preview to Yourself: You can also send preview emails to your own test list. This gives you an opportunity to see exactly what your email will look like in different email clients. You can also test personalisation fields in this step to make sure the system is pulling the correct fields into your email.
  • A/B Split Testing: A more thorough testing tool that allows you to test two versions of the same email by sending them to your list to see which one is more effective.

Testing your emails is an essential step in making sure they look good when you send them to your contact list.

Track message success with statistics

Effective email marketing doesn't end when you've pushed send. To make sure that you're hitting the right notes with your audience, keep an eye on your message reports after you've sent each email.

This will give you a good indication of what types of subject lines and content are likely to draw your readers in, and get them engaging with your brand.

If you've put all these steps into practice, you should be well on your way to a successful email marketing campaign.


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