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    Email marketing is a type of direct digital marketing that uses electronic mail (also called email or e-mail) as the marketing communication delivery method. Email marketing is used by organizations and marketers for brand and customer loyalty building, acquiring or converting customers, company advertisements, and communicating promotional offers.

    What Is Email Marketing?

    Email marketing is a digital marketing technique used by marketers to promote products and services. Businesses use email marketing software to connect with their target audience in a personalized way and boost sales at an affordable cost.

    With email marketing, companies can make customers and prospects aware of discounts, sales, or new products in their email inboxes. The more personalized email marketing is, the greater its chances of success; people are more likely to read emails that promote products or services they already want.

    How Does Email Marketing Work?

    Businesses typically use an email service provider (ESP) to send marketing emails. Most ESPs charge a fee, but there are free email marketing solutions that work well for low-volume senders. 

    Businesses typically take these steps when they get started with email marketing:

    1. Build an email marketing list.

    2. Choose an email service provider.

    3. Create an email marketing strategy.

    4. Segment the email list based on factors like demographics, past purchases, and buyer behavior.

    5. Use autoresponders to automate the sending of emails.

    6. Track data from the email marketing campaign.

    To target their message to the right audience, email marketers also engage in A/B testing, or creating at least two different emails and sending them to different users to test engagement. A/B split testing shows which email campaign offers the best results and helps a business identify the most effective offers and language for its campaigns. 

    Best Practices for Creating Email Marketing Campaigns

    Avoid mailing lists

    Buying mailing lists can put a business at legal risk. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires an email recipient’s consent before they are contacted, and purchased email lists don’t come with that consent. There are many ways to grow a mailing list organically and ethically. 

    Know the audience

    A business can only create targeted email marketing campaigns if it knows its audience. Data from Google Analytics and social media profiles can show audience demographics, locations, interests, and other metrics, helping businesses craft successful marketing campaigns.

    Personalize emails

    Email personalization uses subscriber data to create an individualized user experience. Marketers can use personalized emails to target specific subscribers with special offers and relevant content. As an example, personalizing the email subject line with a contact’s first name makes them more likely to open the email.

    Write compelling subject lines

    A good subject line conveys urgency, curiosity, and personalization. Interesting words, a relatable phrase, or a compelling statistic can increase email open rates. A good subject line is no more than 30 to 50 characters.

    What Are the Benefits of Email Marketing?

    Great ROI

    Email marketing is affordable and may even be free. According to Constant Contact, the average ROI is $36 for every $1 spent.

    Targeted marketing

    Brands use data to create personalized, targeted emails for each person on their mailing list. When businesses send tailored messages to subscriber sets based on their interests, age, gender, and more, they boost the email open rate.

    Measurable results

    Most email marketing platforms offer data that helps marketers gauge the efficiency of their email campaigns. Companies that run successful email marketing campaigns keep an eye on the metrics that suit their email marketing goals.

    Best Email Marketing Tools 

    Mailchimp

    MailChimp Logo

    Mailchimp is the most popular email marketing platform and is known for its ease of use. These are its key features:

    • Custom reports allow for easy tracking of email campaigns
    • Split test campaigns
    • Visibility into subscriber targeting and email marketing metrics

    HubSpot

    HubSpot Logo

    HubSpot is an email marketing platform that works best for B2B marketing. Here are its key features:

    • Detailed analytics and marketing automation
    • Range of themes and templates
    • Mailing list building and customer segmentation

    ActiveCampaign

    ActiveCampaign Logo

    ActiveCampaign’s pre-built automation features allow marketers to personalize campaigns for each subscriber. Here’s why it’s popular:

    • Automation that simplifies customer interactions
    • Machine learning technology used to analyze recipient data
    • 850+ integrations with popular software

    Learn about other top email marketing solutions here: Best Email Marketing Software