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Back To Basics: What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies used by brands since time immemorial. But what exactly is email marketing? It is a direct method of connecting with your leads by sending them valuable content with the goal of developing a relationship further or nurturing it.

Despite the rise of social media, brands are still opting to go for email marketing. As a matter of fact, 40 percent of B2B marketers believe that email newsletters are one of the most essential parts of their content marketing strategy. If you’re a brand or entrepreneur who wants to leverage an already captured audience, it is important to develop a strong email marketing strategy. By doing so, you will be able to move them down the sales funnel and turn first-time buyers into recurring customers.

You must be wondering, isn’t email marketing dead? Not at all. In fact, it’s merely getting stronger. Did you know that 99 percent of consumers actually check their email every day? This statistic shows that there is a high potential for brands to leverage this direct channel with their customers. 

We’ve cultivated a deep dive into email marketing’s importance and some best practices to convert your leads. 

Benefits of email marketing

There are various reasons why you need to invest in email marketing, but here are the most important ones you need to take note of.

1. Target and personalized content

Unlike social media where your content is directed to the different segments of your target audience, email marketing gives you the opportunity to customize it further. If you’ve noticed that weekly email you get from your favorite store, they’ve added a personal touch by adding your first name. Studies have shown that emails that include the recipients’ first name have a higher open rate than those that do not. 

Email marketing also allows you to craft content based on which part of the customer journey your subscriber is in. For instance, if you’re a fitness influencer, you can create two different email sequences, one for a person who is starting out in their fitness journey and another one who’s already reached their goals. Having a highly personalized email strategy that fits your audience’s needs will deepen your relationship with your customer.

To have a successful email marketing strategy, keep in mind that you need to send the right email to the right person at the right time. 

2. Cost-effective

Compared to its other counterparts, such as print or social media, email marketing campaigns are easier on the pocket. Brands won’t need to spend a dime on boosting, photoshoots, printing, or placement. 

All you need to invest in will be an effective email marketer and a graphic designer if you’re planning to include some infographics. Since time and budget are always a constraint that marketers face, email marketing campaigns are easy to execute and cost-effective. 

3. Increases sales

Studies show that email marketing has a direct impact on their ROI. The content of your email could be the final piece to get your customer to purchase. It could feature items on sale or even encourage customers who abandoned the cart by giving them special discounts. If you think social media has higher conversions, think again; according to McKinsey, the average order value of an email is at least three times higher. 

In addition, email marketing can also be leveraged to automate certain parts of your sales process as well. 

Choosing the best email marketing software

There are multiple options for email marketing software you can choose from today. Given this, it can be quite challenging to pinpoint, which exactly fits your needs. Should you immediately go for the most popular one? Or the most affordable option? In most cases, when choosing an email marketing software, you need to weigh in different factors. 

We’ve narrowed it down to three things you should consider before hitting subscribe.

1. Reading and viewing options

In a world where more than 50 percent of emails are opened through a mobile phone, you need to make sure that your software has a mobile-first structure. Since more people are opening their emails from their phones, they expect your emails to display correctly. If it isn’t optimized for mobile, they’re a high chance that you’ve lost a customer. Make sure that when selecting your email marketing software, it is capable of automatically optimizing your email campaigns for you and has a variety of mobile-friendly templates that you can use.

2. Email builder

Time is of the essence when running email marketing campaigns, so when browsing through the multitude of email marketing software, you need to ask yourself this. Is it intuitive? Is it easy to use? Does it have a drag and drop feature? 

It would be best if you get a powerful email builder that you can use right away. Ideally, a template from this type of email builder allows you to drag and drop CTA buttons, images, dividers, headers, and text with effortlessly. 

3. Response handling

So no matter the size of your business, email response handling is a crucial factor to be considered when choosing an email marketing platform. If you are expecting around 50-100 sign-ups per month, you’ll still be able to manage some manual send-outs. But preferably, if you are expecting mass amounts of emails, your email marketing software should have an autoresponder. Having an autoresponder, which is a time-based email, allows you to send pre-written messages automatically. For example, for every member that signs up on your email list, you wouldn’t want to send them out one by one. 

Email Marketing Softwares

Now that you have a better understanding of factors you need to look at when picking out an email marketing platform, here’s a comparison of the different email marketing services available.

A. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is an industry leader in email marketing. They’re one of the first movers in the email marketing software industry. 

Advantages

The free version of Mailchimp is one of the reasons why beginners opt to use this platform versus the others in the market. It includes up to 1200 emails for 2000 subscribers and also gives you access to their scheduling feature. 

If you’re new to email marketing and would like to simply give it a try first before committing, Mailchimp’s free version is as good as the paid one. What makes this email marketing tool better than your counterparts would be its smart recommendations feature, which gives you valuable buying behavior insights. It also automatically sends out purchase follow-ups and personalized product recommendations. 

And last but not least, it allows you to automate certain emails at crucial parts of the customer’s journey. So this gives you the opportunity to quickly send out welcome emails, order confirmations, and the like. 

Disadvantages

Just like any product, it has its flaws. Compared to other email marketing platforms, the templates you’ll get in Mailchimp are simple and basic. Since aesthetics is another factor that customers consider when deciding whether to open an email or not, you need to make sure that it is attractive from a reader’s point of view. 

This means you need to invest time and money to import your own email forms or spending time changing these existing templates. Another downside to using Mailchimp would be that the learning curve is quite steep. Unlike its competition with drag and drop features, it will take more time to design and launch an email marketing campaign. 

B. Hubspot

Hubspot is all in one marketing automation platform that offers tools for growing traffic, converting leads and tracking customer engagement. HubSpot’s Marketing hub gives brands and entrepreneurs to create a consistent sales funnel that will help engage and convert new and recurring customers. 

Advantages

Hubspot’s free version gives you access to their email marketing tool with a “what you see is what you get” email tool. So if you are in need of a transactional tool that has a user-friendly interface, HubSpot’s email marketing tool can definitely get the job done. 

With Hubspot, you can easily put together an email marketing campaign with content that looks professional and mobile-friendly. Since their email builder has an intuitive structure, you can easily create a template that’s responsive across all devices. With their drag and drop feature, you also won’t need to hire a designer to build your emails. Unlike its other competitors, formatting issues are not something you’ll have to worry about with Hubspot.

To top off, since it is a centralized marketing tool, Hubspot can show you a subscriber’s lifecycle stage. This allows you to send out personalized content tailored to whichever phase they are in. 

Disadvantages

Although Hubspot’s free version will more than suffice for those who are starting in email marketing, the pricepoint shoots up once you decide to go for a membership. If you’ve already gotten accustomed to using Hubspot and want to add 1,000 new contacts to your database, you’ll be charged a premium. 

As with any marketing execution, the ability to split test different elements is key in the optimization process. Unfortunately, HubSpot does not have any A/B testing features both in their basic or PRO package. If you want to run some split tests, you’ll only get this feature once you upgrade to their $2,400/month membership, which is quite steep.

Another disadvantage of Hubspot would be their technical support is paid. HubSpot is a straightforward platform and easy to use, but when facing a technical difficulty you’ll only gain access to their customer service if you start paying. 

C. ConvertKit

ConvertKit brands itself as the email marketing platform for online creators. So if you’re a blogger or online entrepreneur that sells digital products, this software is for you. 

Advantages

As an online entrepreneur, building the email list is one of the cornerstones to make your business succeed. ConvertKit makes it easy by providing attractive and easy to use opt-in forms. One of the biggest frustrations customers have with email services software would be the difficulty in configuring their lead forms. 

And this feature is alongside unlimited landing pages and forms, unlimited traffic, customizable domain, email broadcasts automation up to 1,000 subscribers is available in their free plan. 

They also provide you with an easy to understand reporting structure, which gives you a better understanding of your email marketing performance. 

Disadvantages

Compared to other email marketing platforms that also caters to online creators, the price is unusually higher. They also have limited template design options, currently, they only have three available templates which are also just text-based.

ConverKit only offers simple designs that aren’t heavy on graphics and images, which leaves out leads that are visual learners. If you want to customize your email design, you will need some HTML and CSS knowledge to get the branding you want. Another option would be to hire an expert to do the work for you, both of which will cost you time and money. 

ConvertKit similarly has a limited A/B testing option. This can only be applied to the subject lines, which is not the only factor that should be considered when split testing. Last but not least, they lack the option for test emails for autoresponders. Since all emails you put out need to be checked, not having this option prevents you from doing quality checks on your emails. 

Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. Before taking committing into any subscription keep in mind the important features you need your email marketing software. If you aren’t sure which one fits your business best, Brightminds PH will help you make sure that you are matched with one that fits your budget and business goals. 

Now that you know the importance and benefits of email marketing and how it can positively impact your sales and leads, it’s time for you to start investing in your strategy. If you don’t know where to start, check out our website and book a consultation call with us.