Email Marketing 101: What Is Email Marketing & How Is It Done?

Email Marketing

Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of starting an email marketing campaign? You’re not alone! With all the different strategies, tools, and best practices out there to consider, it can be daunting for a beginner to even know where to start.

But don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place.

In this complete beginner’s guide, we’ll break down everything from setting up an email list to crafting effective emails and understanding types of marketing campaigns.

We’ll also share some tips on creating an effective email marketing strategy to help you drive results.

By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll feel confident in creating successful email marketing campaigns and implementing them right away!

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a direct communication strategy businesses use to build relationships and engage with customers, promote products or services, drive sales, and do more.

This marketing form uses emails as highly targeted messages tailored to the interests of different audience types with just one goal in mind, i.e., to increase customer engagement and conversion.

Why Is Email Marketing Important?

Why do marketers love email marketing?

Well, it’s a potent business development tool with a high return on investment (ROI) rate. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent, making it one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels.

But high ROI is just one of the many benefits email marketing offers. Here are some reasons that make emails desirable for business success.

Generate Sales & Leads

Personalization is key when it comes to selling online, and emails help you do just that. By sending highly personalized and targeted messages that resonate with your audience, you generate higher open and click-through rates.

This not only boosts engagement but also increases the chances of generating sales and leads from your email campaigns.

In fact, the impact of personalization is so profound that a study by Salecycle.com revealed that 59% of people admitted that emails directly influence their buying decisions.

Track Progress

One of the great things about email marketing is that it’s highly measurable.

With the right email marketing tools, you can easily track the success of your campaigns and gain valuable insights into what’s working and what needs improvement. Metrics like open rate, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate can provide valuable information about the effectiveness of your campaigns.

For example, if you have a high open-rate but a low CTR, it could indicate that your message is resonating with your audience, but your call to action may need some tweaking.

By tracking your email marketing metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your campaigns for better results. This means you can continue to refine your strategy over time and get the most out of your email marketing efforts.

Target A Desired Segment

If you wonder, “Do people actually read emails these days?” The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, statistics show that a whopping 99% of email users check their inbox at least once a day, and some may even check it up to 20 times a day.

This means that email is still a highly effective way to reach and engage with your audience. And with the ability to segment and send targeted messages based on subscribers’ interests, preferences, and engagement with past emails, you can deliver content that resonates with each individual.

Build Trust

Email marketing is more than just a way to promote your products or services. It’s a powerful tool for building trust and developing customer loyalty.

By providing helpful tips, educational content, and value-driven offers, you can create a deeper connection with your audience and nurture them into brand loyalists.

Automate Processes

Email marketing can be time-consuming, but did you know you can automate the entire process?

Yes! You can schedule your emails in advance, set up triggers to send automated emails based on customer actions or behaviors, and track campaign performance with ease.

How does it all help?

You can save yourself time and focus on creating quality content and developing strategic campaigns while your automated emails do the heavy lifting for you.

But that’s not all – email marketing offers a host of other benefits, too, if you know what you’re doing.

Don’t worry if you don’t; we’re about to bare it all.

Ready to learn how to get started with email marketing? Let’s dive in!

Email Marketing Basics

Before we answer the question, “how do emails work?” let’s get you up to speed with some fundamental email marketing terms that you’ll need to understand.

List Building: An email list is more like your contact list. So, list building is the process of collecting email addresses from potential customers in order to send them emails.

Email Service Provider (ESP): This is a platform that allows you to design, send, and manage your emails. Examples of popular ESPs include Mailchimp, Klayvio, and Sendinblue.

Email Campaign: This is the type of email (or series of emails) that you send to your subscribers. Common types of email campaigns include welcome emails, newsletters, promotional emails, and lead nurturing emails.

Open Rate: This is the percentage of emails that were opened by recipients.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): This is the percentage of emails that resulted in a click on a link or button.

Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of emails that resulted in a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Now that you have a basic understanding of email marketing, let’s look at the types of email campaigns and how to set them up.

Email Campaign Types

There are several different types of marketing emails that you can use for different business purposes. Let’s look at some of the most common and popular marketing email types.

1. Welcome Emails

Also known as onboarding emails, welcome emails are sent to new subscribers who’ve just opted-in to your email list. It’s an opportunity to thank them for joining and to give them an overview of your business, giving some details about your products or services.

Plus, it’s also a chance to reward them for subscribing and inspire them to engage with your brand from the very start. Most brands offer a discount or product giveaway to get things started, and it absolutely brings positive list growth results.

On the flipside, you might see unfavorable results if you don’t offer instant value.

That’s true! We saw our new subscriber form rate plummet from 10% with an offer to a mere 1.6% without one.

Take away?

Don’t think twice about incentivizing the welcome offer – just do it!

2. Newsletter Emails

Newsletters are the most popular type of email marketing campaign. According to a 2020 study by Content Marketing Institute, 81% of B2B marketers use email newsletters to keep audiences engaged. But what is a newsletter?

This type of email is used to keep subscribers up-to-date with the latest content, news, tips, and offers from your business. The purpose of these emails is to give valuable content to email subscribers, keep them engaged, and give them non-salesy call-to-actions that will lead them to your website.

How often should you send these?

Well, newsletters can be sent on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis depending on your email marketing strategy (and your overall writing and marketing budget, of course).

3. Promotional Emails

Promotional emails (exclusively used for promoting products, services, or discounts) are incredible sales boosters. These emails are designed with a clear call-to-action, encouraging your target audience to check out your latest offers and deals.

Promotional emails are sent to an existing list of subscribers and can be combined with other campaigns, such as welcome emails or newsletters.

A very popular sub-category of promotional emails is “seasonal marketing emails.” These emails are usually sent on holidays and occasions, such as Christmas, Black Friday, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and others.

PRO TIP: Look for other opportunities beyond the usual high-traffic holidays where you’re literally fighting for a spot in your customer’s inbox. Read more on how we raked in over $300,000 for our client on 2.22 when the daily average was just $59,374!

4. Cart-Abandonment Emails

This type of email is used to bring back customers who have recently abandoned their shopping carts. Usually, cart-abandonment emails are triggered when customers add products to their shopping carts but don’t complete their purchase.

These marketing emails are indeed an effective way to remind customers who added some items to their cart but abandoned it and have not completed their purchase.

5. Lead Nurturing Emails

As the name suggests, these emails are used for nurturing leads and guiding them through your sales funnel. Lead-nurturing emails are typically sent to people interested in buying a product but who haven’t taken the plunge yet.

6. Confirmation Emails

This type of email is sent after customers have completed an action. For example, confirmation emails can be sent after they’ve made a purchase or registered for an event. The purpose behind these emails is to confirm the action and reassure customers that their purchase or registration was successful.

7. Survey Emails

This type of email is used to gather feedback from your customers.

Survey emails can be sent after a purchase or event registration, giving you valuable insights into customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Tools like Judge.Me make things even better. With its customizable review widgets and emails, ecommerce businesses can automate review requests and get detailed analytics and insights about their customer’s feedback.

Plus, you can also display these reviews and ratings on your Shopify or WooCommerce store and use them as user-generated content throughout other channels to build authenticity.

These are some of the most commonly-used email types. Some other popular types of emails include invite emails, re-engagement emails, announcement emails, and loyalty program emails. Each type is designed to achieve a different business objective.

Now that you know about basic terminologies and different types of emails, let’s look at how do emails work for marketing purposes.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

Although email marketing is made up of several components, the primary email marketing process is not complicated – it’s based on two simple things:

1) Having an email list

2) Sending out emails to that list

Let’s dive deeper into each of these elements and learn how to do email marketing.

Email Marketing

Step 1: Build An Email List

The first step to get started with your email campaign is creating an email list. Your list should include the contact information of potential customers and target prospects who you would like to reach out to.

You can build your email list in several ways, including:

Opt-in Forms On Your Website

Ever encountered those forms that you fill out giving permission to receive emails from any brand? Those are called opt-in forms, and they are one of the easiest ways to build your email list.

Want one for yourself? It’s easy; create “subscribe” or “signup” buttons or complete opt-in forms and place them strategically on your website.

Anyone who fills out their name and contact information on those subscriber forms can be linked directly into your welcome/onboarding email sequence.

But you’ve got to be strategic and often offer immediate value to get people to opt-in to your content and exchange their contact details with you.

Use compelling copy with these forms and offer your audience a glimpse of what they can expect from subscribing to your newsletter or offer an attractive incentive to join. This could be a discount, guide, report, or a promise to deliver valuable tips and tricks to their inbox.

A foolproof strategy to boost website opt-ins is to place them in your headers and key content locations to drive clicks. Some of the most promising positions are:

  • Home page
  • Footer
  • Sidebar
  • Pop-up
  • Landing page
  • Blog feed

You can create these forms with any email marketing tool of your choice and embed them on your site.

Privy is one such amazing platform that provides email marketing and website conversion tools to e-commerce businesses. Besides creating targeted pop-ups and banners, it lets you create email campaigns to grow your list, reduce cart abandonment, and increase website sales.

Plus, it integrates with popular e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, making it super convenient – that’s why we love it too!

Lead Magnets Or Gated Content

Lead magnets are an email marketer’s eternal love!

Why? Because they’re super effective.

Fact: 50% of marketers experience an increase in conversions using lead magnets, reports WPForms.

But what is a lead magnet?

It’s a powerful tool to entice potential customers into giving you their contact information in exchange for something they find valuable. Think white papers, reports, ebooks, and special offers or discounts – anything that will make your audience feel like they’re getting great value in exchange for their contact information.

Besides lead magnets, you can also offer ‘gated content’.

What’s that?

Gated content is any type of digital content or resource that can be accessed only after a user has submitted their contact information. This can include webinars, content upgrades, and more.

A typical lead magnet or gated content form will include fields such as name, email address, company name, and other information that you could use to nurture your leads.

Opt-in forms and lead magnets are two of the most popular ways to build an email list. However, it is easier said than done. Your offer, call-to-action, approach, visuals, and copywriting have to be on point to make visitors give away their information.

Besides these two, you can also use other methods such as referrals, social media campaigns, and co-marketing initiatives.

Once you’ve built your list, the next step is to start sending out emails. But again, this simple process consists of several components that require careful planning for execution.

Let’s look at how you can do that.

Step 2: Send Email Marketing Messages

1. Get An Email Service Provider

Email marketing software is mandatory for email marketing management.

Whether you want to send emails for your brand or offer email marketing service to clients, you must have one.

Email service providers like Lead Connect, Mailchimp, and Klaviyo offer a range of services, including autoresponders, email templates, and analytics needed for successful email marketing.

How to choose the right email service provider?

Using the right email service provider for email marketing services is super important!

Here are a few things to consider before choosing one:

Usability: The ESP you choose should be easy to use and have good customer support

Send Volume & Contact List: Your ESP should be able to handle the number of emails you want to send.

For this, you must first know your expected email list size and what kind of emails (and how often) you want to send. Figure that out and then choose a plan that offers the right send volume and list size for your needs.

Features: Make sure that the ESP offers features such as segmentation, tracking, personalization, and automation. Plus, you’ll also want to consider interoperability. How well it integrates with your tech stack cannot be ignored.

Cost: Last but not least, you will definitely want to choose one that fits your budget. So, be sure to compare different options and how much they will cost you.

2. Segment Your List

The next essential step to starting your email marketing campaign is to segment your list into groups. This segmentation could be based on region, age, occupation, gender, whether they’re already your customers or not, or other audience characteristics.

Why is it important?

Because segmenting your audience helps you send more relevant messages that are specific to the interests of each group. This ultimately leads to:

  • Improved open and click-through rates
  • Higher engagement
  • More sales

3. Design Your Email

No matter how great your content is, if the design of your email is clunky or not designed for mobile, it won’t be effective. Poorly designed emails are often ignored and devalue your brand in the eyes of your customer.

This is why it is essential to have a clean, eye-catching design that is visually appealing and easy to read. You can use email templates or a drag-and-drop builder for this purpose.

Here are some tips for creating an effective and engaging design:

Use your branding style

This includes adding your logo and using your brand’s colors and fonts in your email design. This helps create a consistent look and feel that your customers are familiar with.

Keep it simple

Your email should have a simple layout with enough white space, allowing the content to stand out. Not only does it make reading easier, but it also looks more professional.

Add images

Don’t do it too often, but adding relevant images to your email can make it more engaging. Just make sure to keep the image file size small for faster loading.

Make them responsive

Your emails should be designed to look great on any device, from smartphones and tablets to desktops.

4. Create Engaging & Valuable Emails

The success of your email campaign depends on the quality of the content you are sending. Creating interesting and informative emails that are engaging and valuable for your audience is essential.

Here are some tips for writing a great email:

Write compelling subject lines

Your subject line (SL) is the first thing that your recipient sees. With so much noise in your customer’s inbox, if your SL doesn’t get noticed, your email won’t get read.

So, write a catchy, intriguing email subject line that grabs attention and entices people to click.

Include a call-to-action

Your readers should know what action you want them to take.

This is why your email should have a clear call-to-action. This could be anything from signing up for a webinar to purchasing your product/service or checking out any cool offers.

Keep your email short

Your emails should be short, sweet, and to the point. Don’t overdo it because people’s attention spans are short, and they may not read through a lengthy email.

Use a conversational tone

When writing your emails, use a conversational tone that is easy to understand. This will help make the content more relatable and engage readers.


Before hitting the send button, make sure to proofread your emails. This will ensure that there are no grammar or spelling mistakes that could make it look unprofessional.

BONUS Tip: Resend emails with different subject lines or CTAs

Don’t let unopened emails bring your morale down.

This is actually your chance to pounce on the opportunity and send the same email with a different subject line to your DNO (Did-Not-Open) list.

Or, if they opened but didn’t click, send them a new email with a different CTA and see if that works.

Remember, all marketing is trial-and-error; email is no exception.

5. Follow Email Marketing Regulations

Unlike social media ads, email marketing is a direct marketing form that lands in your inbox exclusively addressed to you. This is why people hate unsolicited emails and want only relevant and valuable information to reach them.

Several laws govern the commercial use of emails to curb the inflow of unsolicited emails.

The CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR are two of the most important and widely followed regulations, and not following them could result in your emails getting blocked or you getting fined.

Follow the above steps, and you’ll be all set to launch your email marketing campaign.

However, you still need to come up with an effective email marketing strategy to get the desired results.

7-Step Checklist For An Effective Email Marketing Strategy

1. Set Clear Goals

Before you create an email marketing campaign, you need to set clear goals that you want to achieve. This is the only way to move forward strategically and measure your success along the way.

Some email marketing goals could include:

  • Drive and enhance sales
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Warm up cold leads
  • Connect and engage with customers
  • Enhance customer loyalty

2. Refine Your Email Lists/Segments

Creating targeted email lists and segments is the key to successful email marketing. You need to make sure you are sending the right message, at the right time, to the right people.

This will not only help you get better results but also ensure that your targeted emails are not marked as spam.

So, based on your audiences’ behavior or data, group them into different segments and send relevant emails.

3. Use A Real Person’s Name As The Sender

The idea behind email marketing is to add a “personal” touch to your marketing efforts.

So, always use a real person’s name as the sender of your emails. This will help create a sense of trust with the recipient and make them more likely to open and read your emails.

4. One Email = One Goal

When sending out an email, make sure it is focused on one goal or one big idea. Talking about several things or adding different CTAs in a single email will confuse readers and increase the chances of them unsubscribing or not taking your desired action.

5. Perform A/B Testing

A/B testing or split testing allows you to measure two versions of an email simultaneously to see which one performs better. This will help you know which subject line, content layout, headline, or CTA works better and optimize your emails for maximum performance.

Email marketers use A/B testing all the time to know what works and what doesn’t.

6. Analyze Email Performance Metrics

Measuring the performance of your emails is extremely important to understand how they are getting responded to.

Analyzing email marketing metrics like open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, unsubscribes, etc., will give you an insight into how your campaigns are performing and whether you need to tweak them.

7. Optimize Your Email Content

Finally, once all the above steps are taken, you’ll need to optimize your email content.

Ensure your emails are concise, easy to read, and contain relevant images or videos that catch readers’ attention.

Also, pay close attention to your email copy and ensure it is error-free, as any grammatical or spelling mistakes will hurt your credibility.

Reminder: Go study the CAN-SPAM Act to save your emails from getting into the spam folder and avoid any possible penalties.

That’s it – you’re now well-equipped to start your email marketing management journey.

Follow the above tips to create a successful email marketing campaign and amplify your email marketing efforts.

Maximize Your Business Potential With Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful yet cost-effective tool to reach potential customers and increase your ROI.

With proper strategies in place, you can maximize your business potential with email marketing. To make sure that your email marketing campaigns are as effective as possible, consider partnering with a trusted agency such as Mongoose Media.

We offer personalized campaigns and in-depth analytics so you can make data-driven decisions and achieve maximum results. Check out our email services today!


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