Email Marketing Made Simple: The Definitive Guide (2022)

Momina Asif
Momina Asif

Last updated on

November 23, 2021

Email marketing lets you connect with your audience, promote your brand and increase your sales. With email marketing, you can do it all — sell products, share product announcements, improve cart abandonment rates, engage your customers, and get helpful feedback. 

Mailmunch lets you find the right email template, customize it and send it to your audience. You can welcome new subscribers, thank users for their purchase, notify your audience when there is a sale, make product announcements, etc. 

This article will cover everything you need to know about email marketing, from building an email marketing strategy to sending your first email campaign. So let’s dig in! 

What is email marketing? 

First things first — what is email marketing? 

Email marketing is the process of targeting your audience, prospects, and customers through email. You can boost conversions and revenue by providing your audience with valuable content to help them achieve their goals.

Now let’s dive into when to use email marketing and how to build an email marketing strategy. 

Benefits of email marketing

email marketing helps businesses

You can leverage email marketing for various reasons. Some of the most common include: 

Build relationships: With email marketing, you can build connections through personalized engagement. 

Boost brand awareness: By sending useful content, you can keep your company in your prospects’ minds whenever they are ready to engage. 

Promote content: With email marketing, you can share relevant blog content and other valuable content with your subscribers. 

Generate leads: Get your subscribers to sign up for your newsletter or other informational blog and get them to provide their personal information. 

Market products: You can market and promote your products and services through email marketing. 

Nurture leads: After generating leads, you can nurture them and send your customers the content that can be valuable to help them succeed in their goals. 

Ready to start sending emails to generate leads and grow your business? With Mailmunch, you can do it all. When you sign up to Mailmunch, you get access to 1000+ professionally designed templates to build delightful email campaigns. Automate your emails and send the right email at the right time to the right people!

How to build an email marketing strategy?

Not sure where to start with your email marketing strategy? I have compiled a list of steps you should take to create an email marketing plan in a few simple steps. Think of these steps as the stepping stones towards building a successful email marketing strategy. Let’s go! 

steps to build an email marketing strategy

1. Define your audience 

First steps first — you need to know who your audience is to communicate with them effectively. Understand your brand’s demographics inside and out. Talk to people, understand what they want, and then you can build a strategy around your audience’s needs. 

2. Establish your goals 

Before sending your first email campaign, you need to think about what you want to achieve with email. This will help you determine the type of content you send, who to target, the format of your email, and how you measure success. 

To establish the correct goals for your email marketing campaigns, align them with your company’s broader marketing goals and KPIs. Are you planning to increase signups for your newsletters? Or do you want to generate new leads for your sales team? 

Whatever goals you set, make sure to determine them before sending your email campaign. 

3. Build your email marketing list 

Now that you have established what you want to achieve from email marketing, it’s time to focus on your email list. There are a couple of different ways to build your email list depending on the goals you establish. 

Import a list of contacts 

If you have a list of existing customers or subscribers, you can import that list and start sending them an email. For Mailmunch customers, you can either manually upload an existing list or integrate your Mailmunch account with the tool where your customer data lives and automatically sync your email list to your account. 

It’s important to note here you should never buy an email list as it’s not authentic, violates GDPR/C-SPAN, and increases your spam score. 

Build your list 

If you dont have an email list yet or want to communicate with an audience whose email address you currently dont have, you need to start capturing email addresses and building your list from scratch. 

I have covered this more in detail later, where I talk about building your email list from scratch using lead magnets and incentives to get people to sign up. 

4. Choose an email campaign type 

You can send several different email campaigns to your subscribers, and the type you choose depends on the goals you established earlier. 

Let’s look at the different types of email campaigns and how they help you achieve your email marketing goals. 

Newsletter

An email newsletter generally consists of one main topic of interest revolving around the activities of a business sent to its members, customers, employees, and other subscribers. 

Mailmunch sends newsletters regularly to their subscribers to send them tips on how to scale your small business through email marketing and lead generation and see an increase in ROI. 

If your goal is to keep in touch with your existing subscribers, a newsletter is a perfect campaign to send. It will keep your subscribers informed of any updates and keep your product at the top of their minds. 

newsletter from massive science

Marketing emails 

Marketing emails are any campaigns you send with the goal of getting a direct response. They can take several forms like a discount or special promotions on your product or service or getting people to schedule their demo calls. 

If your goal is to drive sales, marketing emails are the best way to go. 

marketing email from bose

Product announcements 

An announcement campaign is an email sent to your subscribers announcing a new product, feature, or service. An example of this is when Mailmunch announced their latest feature, “Revenue Attribution.” 

If you want to keep your audience updated with your latest products and features, an announcement email is the best way to go. 

product announcement from Mailmunch


Event invitation 

If you want people to sign up for your event, an event invitation email is the best way to go. You can include the details of the event, the location of the event, and other information to get people to sign up. Check out this email from Loop. 

event invitation from Loop


As I mentioned above, the type of email campaign you select depends entirely on your goals with the email. 

5. Make a schedule

Now that you have decided which email to send, you need to decide how often you plan to contact your list. You can also inform your audience upfront, so they know what to expect and anticipate hearing from you. Stick to a consistent schedule as it will build trust and empathy for your user, so they dont forget about you. 

6. Measure your results 

Measuring your results is an important part of your email marketing process. Being on top of your email metrics will help you make small changes to your emails to yield large results. I am going to discuss the email metrics you need to measure in a bit. 

Now that we have talked about what goes into an email marketing strategy let’s look at how you can build your email list and generate leads. 

How to Build your email list 

There are many creative ways to build your email list. As I mentioned before, you should never buy an email list. Yes, building an email list from scratch takes a little time and effort but the engagement you generate from an organic email list — from people who have signed up to hear from you — is amazing. 

With Mailmunch’s lead generation suite, create forms, popups, coupons, and spinwheels, and landing pages to capture leads and nurture them into paying customers. Ready to take it for a spin?

List building comes down to two key elements — lead magnets and opt-in forms. Let’s have a look at both and see how you can start building your email list. 

1. Lead magnets

Your lead magnet is something that grabs the attention of your prospects and gets them to sign up to your email list by offering them a free offer. The offer can be anything but it should be valuable to your prospects so your prospects want to give away their email address in exchange for it.  

Here are a few types of lead magnets you could create:

  • Ebook
  • Whitepaper
  • How-to Guide
  • Infographic
  • Report or Study
  • Checklist
  • Template
  • Webinar or Short Course
  • Tool


types of lead magnets you can create

If you’re short on resources, you can even repurpose your existing content to create lead magnets. 

Tips for creating a lead magnet 

Your lead magnet needs to be relevant and valuable to your prospects. I have listed some tips to make sure you are creating a valuable asset for your prospects. 

  1. Offer solution-oriented and actionable offers. You should provide practical information that solves a problem and create a realistic way to achieve the solution.
  2. Make sure that it’s easily accessible. Whether it’s a PDF, a web page, a short video, Google docs, or some other format, it should be easily accessible to your new lead to obtain it. 
  3. Your lead magnet should have great content to follow as well. Make sure the offer you are providing aligns with the value you will provide throughout your relationship with your prospects. 
  4. You should create lead magnets for each stage of the buyer’s journey. 

2. Opt-in forms

Now that you have a great lead magnet ready, you need an opt-in form. Your opt-in form is how you get a prospect’s information to add them to your list. Here are some best practices to follow to create an enticing opt-in form: 

  • Create an eye-catching opt-in form with an attention-grabbing header. Your form should be on-brand and should stand out from the page. You want to excite readers with the offer.
  • Make sure your opt-in form copy is relevant to the offer. Whatever details you add to your form should accurately depict the offer. 
  • Keep the opt-in form simple. Only ask for essential information, so people dont get scared away with a long-form. Usually, forms only ask for first names and email. 
  • Ensure that the entire flow works seamlessly. Double-check the functionality of the opt-in form, make sure the thank you page is live, and your offer is delivered as promised. 


You can have a detailed look at how to master lead generation through opt-in forms through this eBook — download it here

How to send your first email marketing campaign

So far, we have discussed how to build your email marketing strategy and how to build your email list. With all this information in hand, we are ready to start sending our first email marketing campaign. 

Email marketing tools like Mailmunch make it incredibly easy for you to build engaging and beautiful email marketing campaigns. You can easily sign up, import your contacts and start building an email to send to your audience. But there are a few fundamental steps to cover when you start your email campaign. Let’s have a look. 

1. Choose an email marketing service.

An email service provider (ESP) lets you build your emails, send them and measure the success of your email campaigns. There are a variety of features you should consider when looking for an ESP. You should be able to have a seamless experience when carrying out your email strategy. 

For example, Mailmunch allows you to create, personalize and optimize your emails without any coding required. With 1000+ professionally designed templates for every major industry, Mailmunch helps you build the most enticing emails. You can send newsletters, welcome and thank you emails, abandoned cart emails, and much more. 

2. Write a compelling copy.

Now that you have chosen an email service provider of your choice let’s move on to the email you will be sending. Decide what you want to communicate with the email and craft a compelling email.

When it comes to writing email copy, there are a few things you should remember. 

Use actionable language

Actionable language helps make your email sound strong and compels your reader to take action. Giving direction to your readers always helps. 

Focus on the preview text 

Your preview text is the most important thing after your subject line. Use the available real estate to give your subscribers a solid idea of what is inside the email. Make it intriguing, so they open the email. Always remember that short and brief is better. 

Be consistent 

Just like it’s crucial to have a consistent tone across your landing page and marketing materials, it’s no different when crafting your email subject line and email copy. Make sure the messaging and the offer is consistent throughout. 

Focus on the benefits 

When writing your email copy, you need to focus on the benefits it provides your audience. Instead of talking about the features of your product or service and coming across as sales-y, you need to write for your audience and what they get out of it. 

Add a single CTA

Your email copy must be simple, focused on one goal, and should include a single CTA. With a single CTA, you clearly direct your readers to take the action you want them to take. 

3. Use images and visuals to boost engagement. 

When sending an email, you want to avoid blocks to text. This is because people aren’t reading your emails in detail. The majority of the people will just skim through your content, giving attention to the parts that catch their eyes. 

So, by adding images or videos, you are making your emails more eye-catching. Visuals are also more memorable and help your content to stand out. 

According to research, people follow visual instructions 323% better than written instructions, so visuals help direct your readers to take the desired action.  

4. Optimize your email. 

Your email copy is all ready. You have added images and visuals to boost engagement. So what’s left? You need to optimize your email for better readability on all devices. 

Structure your emails to draw people into reading your content and guide them towards the call-to-action. Also, make sure your email is optimized for different devices, including mobile, since more than 50% of emails are opened on phones. 

5. Implement audience segmentation. 

Segmentation involves breaking up your large email list into subcategories based on your subscribers’ unique characteristics, interests, behaviors, and preferences. You can segment the audience based on whether they have purchased from your business, downloaded a lead magnet, or abandoned a cart. 

Segmenting your audience ensures you are not sending generic emails to your subscribers. Without segmentation, you run the risk of sending wrong or irrelevant content to the wrong audience. 

You can segment your email list by contact data and behavior to help you send the right emails to the right people.

Here are some ways you could break up your list:

  • Geographical location
  • Lifecycle stage
  • Awareness, consideration, the decision stage
  • Industry
  • Previous engagement with your brand
  • Language
  • Job Title

You can segment your list any way you want. It depends on your goals and what you want to achieve. 

6. Personalize your emails 

You have decided which segment you are sending your email to and what’s important to them. With this information in hand, you can personalize your emails easily. 

Even if you are sending emails to 100,000 people simultaneously, your subscribers dont need to know it. With personalization, you can deliver the best experience to your audience. So how do you do personalization? Let’s have a look: 

  • You can add a first name field in your subject line and greeting
  • Add location-specific information where applicable
  • Send content that is relevant to your lead’s lifecycle stage 
  • Write about relevant events, like region-specific holidays or birthdays
  • Sign your emails with a personal signature from a human and not from a company
  • Use a relevant CTA to an offer that the reader will find valuable

7. Incorporate email marketing automation 

Email automation lets you send the right message to the right people at the right time using triggers and automated workflows. Through email automation, you can effectively generate leads and ultimately drive sales and increase your ROI. 

To set up automation, you need to set up your segmentation. After creating specific subgroups, you can send highly targeted automated emails. How? There are a couple of ways to do it. 

Set up autoresponders 

An autoresponder or a drip campaign is a series of emails sent out automatically once triggered by a particular action. For example, if someone downloads your eBook, the action begins the drip campaign. 

Decide how far apart you want to send your emails — a few days, weeks, or even months. With autoresponders, you can set it all up and just forget about it. All the subscribers in the segment will receive all the emails that you have added to the series. 

Workflows

With workflows, you can take autoresponders a step further. Workflows are basically like a flow chart with yes/no branches that execute actions based on the criteria you set. 

To set up a workflow, you need two components: 

  1. Enrollment criteria — an action that would qualify a user for the workflow 
  2. Goal — an action that would take a user out of the workflow 

With Mailmunch’s Automations, you can set up workflows easily. Automations is smart enough to know when a user opened an email or downloaded an offer, setting off a series of actions based on that behavior. Here is an example of how you can set up a workflow in Automations: 

editor in Mailmunch Automations


The key difference between an autoresponder and workflows is that workflows are smart. They can change the course of your automated series based on the prospect’s behavior. 

For instance, if a new subscriber abandons their cart and then dont open the subsequent cart abandonment email, Automations will know and adapt. 

In contrast, with an autoresponder, a user receives a specific set of emails at specific time intervals no matter what action they take. 

Email Marketing Metrics 

We have already covered the importance of measuring the success of your email marketing campaigns. By diving into your email marketing analytics, you will be able to make better decisions that will resonate with your audience and grow your business. 

Here are the best ways to analyze the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

1. A/B test your marketing emails 

When you create email lists, they are all different with different audiences. Some audiences will like bright, eye-catching CTA buttons, while others will prefer subtle calls to action. 
So how do you figure out what your audience prefers? By doing an A/B test. 

A/B testing, or split testing, is a way to see what type of email performs better with your audience by comparing the results of email A against email B.

Here’s the step-by-step process for A/B testing your emails:

  • Only select one variable to test at a time — for example, subject line, CTA, images, color, the structure of the email, etc.
  • Create two versions of the email — one with and one without the variable.
  • Send your emails simultaneously for a certain time.
  • Analyze your results and keep the version that performed better.
  • Test a new variable and repeat the process.

2. Set email marketing KPIs.

When it comes to the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, there are four key metrics to pay attention to. 

Deliverability: measures the rate at which emails reach your subscribers’ inboxes. 

Open rate: percentage of people who open your email once it get delivered to them. 

Click-through Rate (CTR): percentage of people who click on your call-to-actions in the email. 

Unsubscribe rate: measures the number of people who opt-out of receiving emails from you. 

3. Adjust emails to improve results 

Many factors impact your KPIs, and with good experimenting and guesswork, you can tweak your email to yield the most significant results. 

If you aren’t getting the results you want, try experimenting with these variables to improve your email results.

Deliverability

To improve your deliverability rate, ensure that you are following the best practices to avoid spam filters. Remove inactive people from your email list to only keep engaged subscribers. Check which emails hard bounced and remove those email addresses from your list. 

Open Rate

To increase your open rate, play with the language in your subject line and make it more enticing. You should also adjust the time and day when you send your email to see what works best for you. 

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

To increase your CTR, you should evaluate your offer to make sure that it provides value to your list. Rewrite your copy and make sure it’s relevant to your customers. Try different CTAs, revise your CTA button, change colors and fonts to make it stand out. 

Unsubscribes

Let me just say that you should consider this a blessing that uninterested people are removing themselves from your list and not marking your emails as spam or not engaging with your emails. 

To decrease your unsubscribe rate, you should evaluate whether the email you sent is aligned with your brand. Make sure you haven’t performed a bait-and-switch by promising one thing and then delivering another thing. Also, focus on providing value to your subscribers first and foremost.  

4. Questions to Ask 

To make sure you are measuring your KPIs correctly and keeping track of your email metrics, you should ask the following questions: 

  • Was your deliverability rate high compared to previous campaigns?
  • Was your open rate lower as compared to your last campaign? 
  • How did your CTR compare to your open rate?
  • Were your unsubscribe numbers consistent with other emails?
  • Did a specific subject line perform better than others?
  • Does the length of email make a difference in CTR?
  • Did images and videos make a difference in your CTR?
  • Could another style of CTA perform better?
  • Was the offer appropriate for the list segment?

Top 4 Best Email Marketing Tools 

With hundreds of Email Service Providers (ESPs) on the market, it might be hard to know which one is right to achieve your business goals. The first step is to evaluate your needs. Distinguish between the must-have features and nice-to-have features. 

Here are a few questions to help you narrow it all down: 

  • What’s your budget? If it’s minimal, then a cheap ESP should be your starting point.
  • What kind of emails do you plan to send, and how often? This will give you an idea of your required email volume.
  • How many contacts do you have on your list? 
  • What’s your skill level when it comes to designing emails? If you’re a beginner or dont know how to code, you’ll want a drag and drop email editor as this is the easiest to use.
  • Do you plan to set up automated email workflows? See what the potential ESP offers in terms of email marketing automation. Some solutions only provide basic autoresponders. 
  • If your business communicates with different buyer personas, what segmentation capabilities are offered?

With these questions in mind, have a look at the following top ESPs and see how they will help you achieve your business goals. 

1. Mailmunch 

Mailmunch, an all-in-one lead generation and email marketing software, is your go-to ESP if you are an eCommerce store looking to generate leads, nurture them, and increase your sales. With professionally designed templates and intuitive drag and drop editor, you can quickly build engaging emails. 

You can send all types of emails, including welcome and thank you emails, cart abandonment emails, newsletters, and broadcasts. With Revenue Attribution, you can get to know how much revenue your email campaigns are generating for your business. Sign up today and see your ROI soar! 

2. Hubspot 

HubSpot offers powerful email marketing software for small businesses. With the drag and drop editor and ready-made templates, you can easily create beautiful emails without the help of a designer. Hubspot also offers personalization features, A/B testing, and more. You can send up to 2,000 emails per month for free with HubSpot.

3. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the largest email marketing platforms. You can manage your subscribers and create professional email designs with templates and drag-and-drop editing tools. Some of the key features of Constant Contact include email marketing and email automation features that’ll help you send email campaigns, contact segmentation and filtering that’ll help you target your audience better, and signup forms and websites that’ll help you grow your list. 

4. ConvertKit 

ConvertKit is an excellent choice if you are just starting out, but you know that you will need some advanced features in the future, such as complex autoresponders. It’s kind of like a CRM tool without the heavy price tag. If you are a professional blogger, author, or speaker, ConvertKit is the best way to go. 

So, are you ready? 

Yay! You did it. You have reached the end of this article and have learned almost everything about email marketing. So, are you ready to send your first email campaign? 

To summarize, first build your email list. Select the email campaign you want to send and build your email. Optimize it for all devices, send it, and then measure your results. 

Now that you are ready to step into the world of email marketing go forth and start sending engaging email campaigns and grow your business! 

Ready to start sending marketing emails to increase your ROI and grow your business? With Mailmunch, you can do it all and more. Sign up today and get access to our lead generation and email marketing suite.

Additional Resources 

You can have a look at some of the additional resources to help you with your email marketing campaigns. 

  1. Email Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses | Benefits and Tips
  2. The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Email Marketing (2021)
  3. 24 Pros and Cons of Email Marketing | Complete Guide
  4. 15 Best Opt-in Email Strategies (With Examples) | A Step by Step Guide
  5. How To Send Personalized Bulk Email Campaigns
  6. 15 Best Practices to Generate Leads Through Email Marketing

Author Bio

Momina Asif

Content marketer by day and book nerd by night, Momina works at Mailmunch as a Marketing Communications Specialist. Momina eats, sleeps, and breathes content marketing. Her expertise ranges from ideation to production to distribution of content, thanks to 4+ years of experience in the B2B content marketing sphere.

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