Email’s not dead – an introduction to email marketing

Lily Karenza

LK Copywriting

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a BRILLIANT way to:

  • increase the Know, Like, Trust factor with your audience
  • build your brand – and your following
  • start conversations
  • increase conversions… AKA make more money

Email marketing has a massive ROI (return on investment), with an average of £38 return for every £1 spent.

It’s also a pretty much-guaranteed way to get a message directly to your audience – unlike a social media post where fast-moving feeds can bury a post before you can say “algorithm change”.

So if you’re not on board with email marketing yet… What are you waiting for?

Getting started with email marketing

First things first, you’ll need to choose your email platform.

I use Mailerlite, which does the job nicely for me. I chose it because it’s free up to 1000 users (Yep, I have a bijou list!), it’s easy to create nice looking emails with the drag-and-drop email builder, and it allows you to schedule emails and send automated sequences.

I tend to batch write my emails and schedule them for the coming month so this was super important for me – I love the set it and forget it aspect!

How often should I email my list?

Next up: frequency.

This tends to be a tricky subject for many business owners. For some reason we worry that if we email our list (of people who specifically consented to being on our list and to receiving emails from us) we’ll somehow be annoying them and they’ll unsubscribe en masse.

And sure, no-one likes spammy, overly sales-y emails constantly pinging into their inbox on a daily basis.

But you’re not going to be sending spammy, overly sales-y emails – you’ll be sending high value, relevant emails that your list actually wants to receive!

So, what’s that magic number?

Like most things marketing, the answer is “it depends” (Sorry!)

Some people get away with sending an email per day with high engagement and super low unsubscribe rates, whereas others stick to once a week, or even fortnightly.

It sounds counterintuitive if you’re worried about high frequency, but sending emails too infrequently can actually be a bigger problem – your audience forgets who you are between emails!

A more important question than frequency though, is relevance. People will not only accept but welcome as many emails as you want to send – as long as they’re relevant to them.

How to send relevant emails

I’ve got three words for you, my friend:

Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation.

Segmenting your list means that some people get some emails, and other people get other emails, based on their preferences, or behaviour.

You can absolutely send the same email out to your whole list but you’d be missing valuable opportunities to show your audience that you get them.

Not only that, sending irrelevant emails massively increases un-subscription rates.

How to segment your list

This really depends (sorry again) on your business. If you’re a product-based business you may segment based on buying behaviour.

Let’s say your business sells camping equipment. When I buy a tent from you, it would make sense to send me emails about related products like camping stoves or sleeping bags that I might want to use alongside my new tent.

You might want to segment based on a demographic like location.

If you run in-person events, you don’t want subscribers in New York being notified about your event in London – not only is it pointless, it’s likely to frustrate them and lead to un-subscribing.

Email sequences

Email sequences are series of automated emails which go out to your list – or segments of it – after a certain trigger, or at a set time.

Trigger-based email sequences include:

  • subscribing to your list
  • abandoning their cart
  • reading or downloading certain content
  • browsing behaviour
  • buying a product

Time-based email sequences include:

  • on the subscriber’s birthday (if you collect birthdates)
  • 30 days after purchasing a product or online course
  • on the anniversary of subscribing

You only have to set up your email sequences once and then they work for you in the background, helping your subscribers get to Know, Like and Trust your brand.

You can read more about the most important email sequences here.

But… what should I actually say in my emails?!

Great question! I love the 80/20 rule for email marketing.

This means that roughly 80% of the emails you send out will be high value for your subscribers. This could be informative emails, teaching them about a relevant topic, or how to do something.

It might be storytelling (an incredibly powerful tool) to help them get to know you, or understand a topic on a deeper level. Maybe you’re asking questions, encouraging your subscribers to respond and enter into a conversation with you.

However you do it, this 80% is focused on nurturing your list, helping them get to know you and your business, Like the way you work and Trust that you’ll do what you say you will.

This leaves the other 20% for selling your products or services.

If your subscribers know that every email from you is a hard sell? It won’t take them long to un-subscribe! But if they know that the majority of emails from you are something they really look forward to receiving, they’ll be more than happy to receive your offers as well.

After all, they Know, Like and Trust you so much now they’ve probably been wondering when they actually get to work with you!

Help! Someone unsubscribed 😭

It’s SO easy to take this personally, I know! But try to see this as a positive. If someone unsubscribed it can mean one of a few different things:

  • They’re not your people – cool, they never would’ve bought from you anyway so there’s no need to have them cluttering up your list, costing you money and messing with your engagement metrics!
  • It’s just not the right time for them – they may love you and what you do, but due to circumstances totally out of your control, they’re not ready to buy or they need to free up some inbox space. Let them go, they may well come back later when they are ready
  • Your approach needs an overhaul – if you’re getting mass un-subscribes it may be time to look at how you’re doing things. Are you segmenting correctly so people only receive relevant emails? Are you giving them the option to opt out of launches they’re not interested in? Are you sending too many or too few emails?

Before you take to your bed with a tub of ice cream to mourn your break up, realise that un-subscribers are actually doing you a favour.

And usually, it’s not you, it’s them.

Are you using email marketing yet?

Have you signed up for my email newsletter yet? It’s a weekly dose of copy and content love, straight into your inbox PLUS I’ll send you my content strategy guide free, to say thanks 🙂

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