E-mail marketing is still one of the most successful digital marketing channels. The average return on investment is around 36 dollars for every dollar spent. E-mail marketing is successful because it is one of the least expensive digital marketing tools, it is easy to learn, and easy to track. E-mail marketing is also personalizable, direct, and easy to understand for any type of consumer. In the age of AI, e-mail marketing can become even more efficient by using AI tools to improve customer segmentation, personalization, and content creation.

Types of e-mail Campaigns

Welcome

When someone initially subscribes to your email list, a welcome email can set the tone for your entire relationship. This first email should show a personal touch without a heavy-handed sales pitch. These potential leads may not be ready to buy, but they’re open to hearing more about what you can offer. 

Newsletters

Newsletters should focus on building brand awareness. Send newsletters on a schedule with attention to design and formatting.  Your newsletter should represent your brand with consistent colors, fonts, and logos. When including calls to action in your email newsletter, clearly indicate clickable information.

Offers

Have a clear understanding of what you’re promoting and the campaign’s goal before crafting the email. Promotional emails should highlight value; make sure you communicate what the customer stands to gain. Sharing the benefit in the subject line (e.g., Have a book on us75% Off ClearanceFriends and Family Sale Is On!) entices recipients to open the email.

Re-engage and cart

A cart abandonment email reminds customers to finish their shopping. Re-engagement emails seek to reactivate dormant users—those who aren’t bothering to open your emails. Re-engagement emails often feature “we miss you” or “come back” messaging or offer a discount for returning. The goal is to win back customers with waning interest in your product or service.

Leads

Send lead-nurturing emails to prospective customers who haven’t made a purchase. Use segmentation to select which emails your leads receive based on their interests and pain points. Lead-nurturing emails are not sales pitches; instead, they should educate, entertain, or inspire recipients based on their location in the buyer’s journey.

Milestones and announcements

Use the data customers share to generate milestone emails on particular dates, like birthdays or anniversaries. Also, sending announcement emails can generate customer interest. Inform customers about new collections, collaborations, or exciting events.

Strategy

Goals

What do you want to achieve with this campaign? What action do you want recipients to take?

Each email should have a specific goal and call to action (CTA). Identify your goals in relationship to your organization’s broader marketing objectives and key performance indicators. Are you trying to drive more traffic to your website? Or increase sales? Your goals will influence the type of e-mails you send.

Audience

Who is your target audience?

Your audience will dictate aspects of your campaign development.

You can divide your audience in an infinite number of ways—such as by location, age, preferences, sign-up method, or relationship with your organization. We’ll explore segmentation in our CRM system.

Schedule

Determine the best time to schedule your campaign.

The optimal timing for campaigns depends on your goals, audience, and organization. Stick to a consistent schedule, and build trust by following through on the frequency you establish. If you’re not sure what works best, ask subscribers how often they’d prefer to receive messages from you. You can also create an editorial calendar to keep track of your timing.

Measure

KPI or key performance indicator is a metric that measures performance against a goal. When thinking about KPIs, choose those that match the goals you established.

Deliverability rate. How many of your emails made it into inboxes?

Open rate. How many people opened your email?

Click-through rate. How many people clicked on a link within your email?

Conversions. How many emails led to subscribers taking the desired action?

E-mail Tips

Personalization

Personalization increases your email’s chances of being opened. Add the user’s first name, or company name in the e-mail subject line. The subject line should be actionable, create a sense of urgency, and communicate what you are offering to a The North Face: “Before you head for the hills, explore our latest.- Tea Drops: “A Little Welcome from Tea Drops Inside! ”

Preview Text

You’ll notice an additional bit of text under the subject line in most email applications. Often pulled from the email, the preview text provides additional context about the message and can further entice readers to open the email. Your preview text should complement your subject line and add detail about what the reader will find in the email. Don’t just restate the subject line differently. Find creative ways to expand on the benefits, create a sense of excitement, or otherwise tempt readers to open the message.

Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) encourages your email readers to take a specific action. Typically a clickable hyperlink or button near the end of the email body, the CTA communicates what the user should do. Using commands will avoid reader confusion. Avoid including too many calls to action in one e-mail. Some examples of CTAs: Buy now, Add to Cart, Sign Up, Start your trial, Support us.

Automated E-mail Workflows

E-mail marketing campaigns are the most effective when they are part of a marketing automation. An email marketing workflow is a series of automated emails that are sent to subscribers based on their actions or behavior. Workflows are triggered by events, such as signing up for your email list, abandoning a shopping cart, or downloading a template from your site. Email marketing workflows can help to onboard new subscribers, nurture leads, convert leads into customers, and retain customers. Most e-mail marketing tools and CRM systems allow businesses to set up automated workflows.

This is an example of an automated workflow in Hubspot. To create this workflow, we need to create a form that subscribers can fill out to join your email list. The form should include at least the subscriber’s name and email address. Once the form is connected, we will create the automated workflow. The workflow should include a series of emails that will be sent to new subscribers over some time. The first email in the workflow should be a welcome email that introduces the subscriber to your brand and products or services. Subsequent emails can be used to provide additional information about your brand, offer special discounts or promotions, or collect feedback from subscribers.

E-mail Marketing Examples and Resources