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A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing

A Step-by-Step Guide to Email Marketing for Beginners

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Email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing tools and remains popular. 89% of marketers use it as the primary channel for lead generation.

89% of marketers use it for lead generation, with 22% reporting click-through rates of over 20%! It is an impressive number considering the industry average is 10.69%.

However, cracking the email marketing code requires skill, expertise, and creativity, especially if you want to be part of that 22%. It is always good to aim for the top, and this guide to email marketing will help you achieve your goals.

Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing

Before you begin reading the guide, I want you to look at the marketing emails you receive daily. Put the ones you open and those you ignore in separate categories. Lastly, take note of why you opened the ones you did while ignoring the rest. Done?

We are ready to get started.

If you aren’t using Aweber marketing software, then you’re probably paying too much to send emails. It’s so affordable! Plus, it’s got all the key features. Get started for free here >>

1. Your Email Lists Should Include Engaged Customers

Let’s start with the basics. Once upon a time, marketers received email addresses for specific purposes and added them to email lists for their generic content. It quickly became a nuisance as people began receiving hundreds of unwanted emails, which they deleted without sparing a glance.

Don’t do that.

Your email lists should always include people who subscribed to your email marketing campaigns. It will ensure that your communication goes to engaged customers interested in hearing from you.

2. Create Interest-Based Categories for Your Audience

Unless you have a niche brand, your audience will likely have a few unique interests. For example, some of the initial iPhone early adopters were tech enthusiasts, while others bought it as a status symbol. But, there’s no doubt both parties were critical to the product’s success.

Similarly, you must divide your audience based on the top 2-3 interest categories. It will ensure you can structure more relevant content to capture their attention.

3. Use Attention-Grabbing Titles

The subject line is the first email detail the reader will see and needs to capture their attention. Using something too generic will automatically land your email in the ‘Deleted’ folder no matter how good your content or offer is.

Try to look at the issue from the reader’s perspective and think about the type of subject that would prompt you to open emails.

Please, also avoid using click baits in the subject. That strategy worked initially, but it is no longer as effective, primarily since scammers used them for phishing.

4. Define Goals for Email Campaigns

All your marketing campaigns need to have a central goal, and email marketing is no different. Common campaign goals include:

  • Customer engagement
  • Generating brand awareness and recall
  • Boosting sales
  • Optimizing customer experience for loyalty

Setting goals will help streamline your communication and structure your content. If you don’t know where to start, check out our list of the latest email benchmarks.


5. Create a Template

You might be thinking about channeling maximum creativity to make each email unique, but that is not feasible. It is always better to develop a template optimized for readability and fit your content.

You can change the imagery, illustrations, and content, but the base structure will remain the same. This strategy will save you time and allow you to develop consistency in your communication.

6. Rely on Email Copywriting

Not everyone can write emails that can have the desired effect. Outsource email copywriting to a content agency or hire a copywriter for your organization. They understand email marketing and readers and will create content with higher effectiveness.

Hence, you will have better chances of increasing your ROI with professional email copywriting.

7. Keep Communication Crisp and To the Point

Your email copywriter will know this point, but I am adding it for your convenience. Do not elongate your email unnecessarily, and keep communication crisp. Attention spans have reduced significantly in the past decade, and people spend less time on a page than before.

Additionally, seeing paragraphs upon paragraphs of content will put them off reading the content, making the email ineffective. Hence, keep it short and make it enjoyable.

8. Incorporate Design for Visual Attractiveness

Email marketing has evolved extensively, and businesses are finding new ways to increase effectiveness. This inclination has led them to make emails visually appealing by strategically incorporating pictures, illustrations, and other design elements.

Visual appeal positively impacts attention retention and recall, so it’s an excellent opportunity to explore the same for your email campaigns. However, do not opt for busy designs because they will take away from your core message.

9. Initiate Conversations and Add Headlines

I mentioned earlier that clumping content in long paragraphs would deter your audience from reading. The best way is to take a conversational approach by presenting questions and incorporating tone changes here and there.

Think about it. Won’t you pay more attention when someone addresses you directly?

Additionally, add headlines! Give people summaries of the following content through a headline. It can do wonders for retention when people know your core message at a glance. Keeping these two factors in mind will boost communication effectiveness significantly.


10. Personalize the Message

Personalization is a vital sign of respect and shows your sincerity to your audience. There are many ways to add it to your email content. Ensure you use the person’s name in the address when starting the email.

You can also take this step further by mentioning their last brand engagement and asking them for their feedback or review. It is a simple gesture but helps them feel valued and creates a positive brand perception in their minds.

11. Don’t forget CTAs

Lastly, do not forget to incorporate CTAs in your emails. Your call to action draws attention to the core objective and is a direct message. For example, if your goal is redirection to your e-commerce website, you can add personalized purchase suggestions along with the CTA below:

‘Click here to view and order this product on our website.’

Making ‘click here’ a clickable link will increase the chances of the reader following your instructions. CTAs drive people to perform preferred actions and have measurable performance indicators.

I know an 11-step guide is a tall order, but I want you to return to the list you made initially. Now, review the emails you read, keeping this guide in mind. You’ll realize that most of them followed several or all steps mentioned above, increasing their effectiveness.

Hence, you know these methods are effective and worth the effort.

Email Marketing Benefits

Email marketing has had its ups and downs, with some marketers questioning its effectiveness. However, data proves that this component has a higher ROI than most other techniques, as long as you know what you’re doing.

Following are some of the top email marketing benefits:

1. Customized Content

Firstly, email marketing gives you the rare opportunity to develop and distribute customized content for your audience. Digital marketing has revolutionized targeting extensively by allowing brands to choose specific demographics and interest groups for mass marketing dissemination.

This feature allows targeting for all communication, but further customization takes more effort and money. Email marketing targets an engaged audience, so it is easier to personalize content.

2. Targeted Communication

The first step in my guide to email marketing mentioned the need to split your audience into interest-based categories. The goal is to boost targeting effectiveness and create relevant content for each group.

Too much segmentation will increase costs, but too little will lower communication effectiveness. Therefore, email marketing can potentially improve targeting communication with the correct segmentation.


3. Affordable

Email marketing is one of the most affordable aspects of marketing strategy and requires significantly less investment than other approaches. It also gives you extensive control over how you want to present it, allowing you to maximize your ROI for each campaign.

This affordability and effectiveness are critical for small businesses with limited budgets and rely on such techniques for growth and development. Some email software is more affordable than others. Our article on how to choose the best email software can point you in the right direction.

4. Can Facilitate your SEO Strategy

It may not seem like emails and SEO are related, but that is an incorrect assumption. Integrating email marketing and SEO strategy can increase the effectiveness of both campaigns. Your goal should be to incorporate SEO keywords in your email and link them to your website.

This strategy will improve CTR and website visitors, boosting your SEO score. Retaining an audience on your website will further increase your SEO score and SERP.

5. Measurable Performance

Lastly, email marketing has measurable performance allowing you to calculate your ROI accurately. Each email needs to fulfill a goal, which is why it is better to include a CTA. Email redirections show up on the tool database, allowing you to see how many people read your content.

Such numbers are objective and easier to report and analyze.

Wrapping Up

If you need more convincing, we go a bit deeper into the benefits of email marketing in this article. But to summarize, your email marketing needs to be personalized, visually appealing, goal-centric, and optimized for readability. Following the steps mentioned in the guide will significantly improve your marketing effectiveness and boost your performance.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide to email marketing and found it informative. I invite you to check out my other blogs on the topic to learn more.

Get started with email marketing the right way with Aweber marketing software. It’s got every feature you need to grow and engage your list, from automation, 100+ email templates, and more. Plus, it’s FREE to sign up and get started.

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