Guide

Email marketing

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is when an organisation uses email to promote their products or services. It is a form of direct marketing. It can be used to build customer relationships. It is one tool in the online marketing mix, alongside other channels such as social media and pay-per-click advertising. 

Importance of email marketing 

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your audience. It can have a high conversion rate, encouraging users to take an action on your website, eg make an online purchase. It is quick and simple to use. Large and small businesses across sectors run successful email marketing campaigns.

Email marketing allows you to connect with your audience directly. You don’t need to rely on them coming across your ad. You have complete control over the format and content of your messages – unlike social media and other online channels. 

Email marketing is measurable. You can use success metrics to compare and optimise campaigns. It is easy to target and personalise email marketing messages.

Types of email marketing

Your business can send different kinds of email communications to promote products or services. This could include:

  • Welcome – introduce your business to new customers or users who have registered on your website. 
  • Newsletters – these could be monthly or weekly.
  • Seasonal – suggest products, services and promotions relating to events such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s day.  
  • New product launches – inform customers about new products and services. 
  • Special offers – inform your audience about discounts and price promotions. 
  • Abandoned cart – When a customer adds product to their online shopping cart and does not complete the purchase, you can send them an email reminder. You could automate this through your e-commerce platform.
  • Re-engagement – a reminder to a customer who hasn’t made a purchase in a while or has cancelled a subscription. You could use Customer relationship management (CRM) software to send these automatically. This could include special discount to entice the customer back. 
  • Event invitations – boost attendance at events with email marketing. You could link to an online registration page. See organising events in Northern Ireland

Options for email marketing 

While you could send promotional emails from your standard email provider (eg Outlook or Gmail), there are a number of downsides. These services aren’t designed to send bulk emails. Most businesses use a specialist email marketing service. 

Email marketing services offer a number of benefits:

  • Design – email marketing services allow you to create visually appealing, professional designs. They often provide templates and user-friendly design software. 
  • Personalisation and targeting – you can often integrate the email marketing service with your CRM system. This lets you easily create targeted lists and personalise messages with the customer’s name or past purchases. 
  • Deliverability – email marketing providers design their service to reduce the risk of your email being flagged as spam. This can prevent bounced emails. If you use Outlook or Gmail, your emails may regularly end up in spam folders and your IP address could be permanently blacklisted. 
  • Evaluation – email marketing services allow you to track bounced emails, open rates, and click-through-rates in your email communications. You can use this information to improve future campaigns.