A Beginners Guide To Create an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

Liz Slyman
Liz Slyman

Last updated on

October 27, 2021

Email marketing is not dead. It’s anything but. 

In fact…

Email marketing actually has the highest return on investment.

According to the email marketing giant, Litmus, the payout averages 42:1 for every dollar spent. If you can create an effective email marketing strategy for small business, you have virtually created your own ATM. 

There are no algorithms, no platform limitations, no ad spend, and no targeting. Your email subscribers are a custom marketing audience made up of prescreened clients primed for your offer. It’s up to you to deliver and put it to good use.

As a copywriting agency owner, my team writes a lot of emails.

And I mean a LOT of emails. My team of writers put together this collection of tips for creating an effective email marketing campaign for your business. Put it to use. Let me know what kind of results you see.

List Building

Before you can market to your email list, you must have a list to start with. There are several list-building strategies marketing experts recommend, but here is a rundown of the simplest. 

Establish Who You’re Marketing To

If you ever stop hearing this in the world of marketing, something is seriously wrong. You won’t ever sell a single red cent if you’re not speaking to the right people, the people who need what you have.

You need to narrow down the demographic for your product or service and get comfortable with their story. 

  • What is their negative experience like right now?
  • What is the positive experience they desire?
  • How can you serve them? 
  • How does your product or service get them the results they want to see?

Ask yourself these and any other client journey-related questions to help you establish your ideal customer identity. Once you have these essential points settled, you can begin to craft your brand messaging to fit what will resonate with your target market. 

Drive Paid Traffic To A Landing Page Using Ads

Growing your brand organically would be ideal. However, when you’re in the earlier phases of growth, it simply isn’t realistic. The best option is a hybrid approach to combine your paid efforts with your organic ones. 

Your ads can promote your website, blog, social media content, lead magnet, or a specific offer. Ads provide a providing ground for your brand to see “what sticks” and what doesn’t. What do your people click on? Test different offers and digital media. Does your ad audience respond more to graphics, pictures, videos, or written content? Try them all and run with what works best!

Advertising platforms can be tricky. The most common ones are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google. They each present unique challenges and have different requirements, so start with just one and test there. Keep in mind, a campaign that was successful on Instagram will not necessarily have the same results on YouTube. Test, test, test again!

Offer a Lead Magnet

Emails are personal. People don’t generally give them out to just anyone on the internet. Research what information will resonate with your niche audience and create a giveaway, benefit, or helpful resource to attract your target customer. 

Your lead magnet should be something that is highly valuable by solving a real problem. What will help your ideal customer along the buying path? It should also be immediately available. Ideally, they will give you their email address and get instant access to what you’re offering. This is basically permission to send them emails. 

Lead magnets take many different forms. What type of lead magnet would your audience be interested in? 

  • Template
  • Checklist
  • Educational Material
  • Strategy or SOP
  • Swipe Files
  • Outline
  • Case Study
  • Webinar
  • Workbook
  • Planner
  • Video Series
  • Spreadsheet
  • Hacks
  • Recipes

Create what you think people in your target audience desire, something that makes their journey easier if your first attempt doesn’t work; pivot and try again! Remember, your lead magnet is not intended to give away the farm; it’s just a taste to begin their relationship with your brand. 

Set up an email marketing software to organize your subscribers and schedule your campaigns in advance. This takes the headache out of email marketing and provides you with tracking and analytics. ConvertKit and MailChimp both have free versions to get you started. 

Create Content That’s Amazing and Relevant

What you don’t want to do is share your lead magnet and then ghost them. No one is making any money by ignoring the momentum you get from paid lead generation. Keep the conversation going by continuing to provide valuable, relevant content via email. 

That first follow-up email is the most critical! This should be an introductory email that reminds them why they signed up. Prepare a welcome sequence of 2 to 3 emails that give the reader a peek into your business, what you offer, and what they should expect to hear from you. 

Take your time, don’t sell to them immediately. Give them a chance to get comfortable and build trust with you and your brand. If your lead magnet did its job, you’ve begun to establish yourself as an industry expert. Keep putting out content that is relevant and useful to your target audience. Stay in your lane!

Be sure to tell your own story. Your reader should see themselves in your content and ads. Show them how you came to the place of the understanding you’re in today and what it was like before. Case studies and testimonials should also be sprinkled throughout your content as proof of concept.

If you want to change subscribers into buyers, write with intention. It’s not enough to just check the box in the email column. Plan your campaigns so you know the end of the story before you hit send on the first email. 

The general structure of marketing emails should be:

  • Hook - something that gets them to keep reading.
  • Story - appeal to their emotions and desires. Now they’re invested!
  • CTA (Call to action) - Ask for action. Buy, watch, register, etc. 

Each new offer is an opportunity for a sequential campaign as you introduce a new product or service. Prepare a 3 to 5 part sequence to create a bit of buzz, remind them of your offer, and close the sale. Need more help on what to actually say in your emails? Enroll in online copywriting courses and get familiar with creating messaging that resonates with your audience. 

Analytics - How To Know If You’re Using An Effective Email Marketing Strategy

Your email analytics tell you how you’re doing and the health of your list. How do you know if your email list is productive? Do your emails get opened? Are the links being clicked? These are all contributing factors to the overall engagement of your list. 

According to HubSpot, there are eight general categories to track when understanding your email marketing analytics:

  • Clickthrough Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • List Growth Rate
  • Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate
  • Overall ROI
  • Open Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate

Clickthrough rate is the percentage of readers who are clicking on the links within your email. The links could be to your website, a landing page, video, social media, etc. Is your content interesting enough that your CTA has them leaving their inbox?

Conversion rate is the number of subscribers who clicked on your link and then completed the desired action. Maybe they filled out a form, registered for your webinar, or bought your product or service.

Bounce rate is the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered at all. The email address is incorrect, fake, or no longer in use. 

The list growth rate is how much or how fast your subscriber list is or isn’t growing. If your marketing efforts never stop, which they shouldn’t, then list growth is the goal! More people to engage with and more people who will buy your offer.

Email sharing/forwarding rate tracks how “shareable” your content is. Are your readers sending it to like-minded friends and family? Or posting on social media? This is essentially free marketing! And here’s another plug for creating real, genuine, relatable content that gets people excited to share!

Overall ROI is the total revenue generated from sales via your email marketing, divided by the amount of money you spent on ads. This will help you understand what it costs you to gain a new lead or subscriber. 

The open and unsubscribe rates are self-explanatory. This tracks how often your emails get opened and how many people leave your list. Subject lines play a significant role in these rates. If your emails are never opened, your content isn’t being consumed, and no money will ever exchange hands. 

Understanding your analytics will help you pinpoint exactly where your marketing is successful and where you need to improve. Never give up! Establishing an effective email marketing strategy takes time and testing. As your list grows, the demand may change. Be ready to pivot and produce what your target audience needs to see. 

Respect The List 

Your email list is worth gold. This is a private, targeted list of people who are interested in what you have to say. If you want to turn your list into a virtual ATM, don’t waste cyberspace or your readers’ time with fluff and nonsense.  

A well-orchestrated email marketing campaign doesn’t just create buyers. It creates loyal customers who will buy again and again. Prepare your email marketing strategy to suit your target market and watch the receipts roll in!

Author Bio

Liz Slyman

Over the past decade, Liz has worked as a copywriter and digital marketing executive for a multitude of companies from startups and mid-sized businesses to working as the VP of marketing for award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Leveraging an understanding of the nuance of language in marketing, Liz founded Amplihigher, a content marketing, and copywriting agency, designed to connect consumers to companies in a way that results in next-level brand expansion.


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