Email marketing is surely the dark horse of digital marketing.

People have considered email dead and over for some time now. This, however, is not quite the case.

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that can completely transform your business. Experts say it has the best return on investment.

Not only that, but it is often the missing cog in the marketing machine of a business. People already know they have to put their focus on their website, social media marketing, and potentially their company blog. However, even with all of these things in place, sometimes it may take a while before these different strategies begin to bear any fruit.

One of the ways to speed this up is to consider email marketing. Often if you hire a company like to take care of your online needs, they will be able to do this for you.

However, our  Complete Beginner’s Guide should be able to help you understand how to make the best of this marketing strategy if you are doing it on your own or you just want to have a better understanding of what it requires.


Setting up the system

The way email marketing works is you invite the visitors to your website to leave their email for your mailing list. This can be done in a variety of ways, but it’s a good idea to clearly state the purpose of taking their email.

For some, the incentive will be a giveaway or membership to a loyalty club, and for others simply the offer of updates on the business. If you want people to leave their addresses with you, though, you have to make the offer enticing.

Start with yourself – what would make you want to leave your address on a website? Once you have your mailing list set up, you can email your former and future customers with special offers or updates. It’s a great way of turning your potential customers into definite ones. As such, it is a great marketing tool for a small business.


Come up with a good lead magnet

A lead magnet is the incentive to sign up, as discussed above. It should be short and eye-catching, but also clear and in line with what your business actually offers.

It should tell your customers that they are becoming a member of an exclusive club of customers that will get to enjoy special care from your company. A strong lead magnet is key for increasing your number of subscribers.

When it comes to the position of the subscription form, the answer varies. Depending on your website organization, you can put it on your homepage or at the top of your sidebar.

If you have a company blog, it might be a good idea to put it at the bottom of a blog post. In this case, you can have an added incentive – for example, offer a free download of something related to the topic of that blog post for subscribers.

You can also put it on your About page, or make it a pop up, or mix and match a couple of different ones. Try out a couple of options and see what works best.


Should I use a single or double opt-in?

As a user, you have probably experienced both. A single opt-in is when you subscribe and upon clicking ‘submit’ you immediately get the content.

A double opt-in requires that you confirm your subscription from a separate email. There are positives and negatives for both of these options. For example, single opt-in get you more subscribers, but double opt-in has been known to actually transfer into more real customers.


Which email provider to go with?

Picking an email provider is the next step in a beginner’s guide to successful email marketing. Most email providers offer similar features.

However, some might separate from the pack, so to speak, and respond better than others to your needs. Definitely do your research before committing.

Some email providers are geared more towards internet marketing newbies and offer a simpler interface. Others boast advanced automated options that require a deeper understanding of the process but are very effective.

Price is obviously another factor. Look around and try to see what would best fit your current needs. Most of these email providers offer free trial periods that can come in handy.


Email Marketing


Designing an email – a beginner’s guide to successful email marketing

An effective subject line and format

One of the ways to create an effective subject line that will ensure your subscribers will click through is to personalize it in some way.

Certain email providers will let you put the name of the subscriber into the subject line automatically. Another good tip is to keep it short and sweet.

In order for your subject line to fit on the typical screen of a smartphone (which is what most people use for email nowadays) is to keep it under 50 characters.

Even shorter subject lines, for example, under 10 characters, have an even higher open rate. Make sure you avoid certain words like free, make money, urgent, etc. which will, unfortunately, land your email in spam.

You should also make sure that your emails are well-formatted and easy to read. In order to achieve this, you should bold the important information, use bullets or numbered lists, and easy-to-read font size.


Make it personal

People are more likely to be interested in what your email says if it is personable. You can talk about your business or your brand in such a way that it doesn’t feel like you’re making a pitch.

Rather, you should try telling a story that will keep your subscribers interested in your brand.

You can tell the story of how you started your business or challenges that arose along the way. You can also give your subscribers a glimpse at the behind the scenes aspect of your work.