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How to Do Email Marketing Like a Pro

4 ways you can harness the benefits of email marketing for your content distribution and strategy.

neon hello text in the evening sky

Even experienced content marketers can end up scratching their heads when it comes to how to do email marketing.

But emails are just another type of content. Subject lines should grab your readers’ attention like headlines do. The body of your email should deliver on that promise as it informs or entertains (or both).

The magic of email, though, is that it not only does all that, but it also meets your customers where they already are. Because of that, it can supercharge the impact of your other content, too.

Why do businesses use email marketing?

1. Distribution

When it comes to distribution, email is still king. User trust has stayed strong, and over 80% of small businesses prefer email for acquiring and retaining customers. Click-through rates for email average 2.6% (for comparison, the top Google results have 1.9% CTR). And email marketing generates an ROI upward of $38 for every $1 spent.

2. Engagement

Your audience also asked to hear from your business via email if they subscribed. In fact, 49% of consumers want emails from their favorite brands. That means you can deliver thoughtful content that strengthens brand loyalty among those who are already aware of your offerings.

Social is great for supporting long-form content, especially for reaching new readers through paid social. But email is much more likely to reconvert users who have previously downloaded similar content and keep that data contained in a lead-nurturing strategy.

Lydia Gordon, Director, Digital Strategy and Insights, Imagination

3. Personalization

Email also allows content marketers to customize their campaigns on a granular level. Through email marketing, you can segment subscribers by demographics and past behavior, as well as by content type. Segmentation and personalization put relevance at the forefront of email campaigns and help generate 760% higher revenue.

4. Analytics

Finally, email holds a wealth of tracking capabilities. Beyond standard KPIs, email can also analyze where readers become engaged or hit the subscribe button, as well as which content had the highest impact — essential stats to help inform content strategy.

With those benefits of email marketing in mind, here are four ideas for how to do email marketing like a pro.

Send a welcome email.

Welcome emails offer the perfect foot in the door to get to know your audience. In fact, they are 86% more effective than standard emails, with 161% higher conversion rates. Plus, 76% of subscribers expect a welcome, and those who receive one are 33% more engaged.

Take advantage of this introduction to set expectations — and boundaries. When subscribers can control the frequency of their emails and the type of content they want to receive, they’re more likely to continue engaging.

Test different topics, media and audience segments.

Email marketing allows you to test content types and targets. A/B and other types of testing can help you create deeper levels of segmentation within your audience by monitoring who responds (and who doesn’t) to various content. Use this segmentation to deliver hyper-targeted content to the users who will eat it up.

You have seconds to stand out in a crowded inbox — so you need to make your content memorable. That’s why it’s key to test content topics with various segments to find the right combinations for different audiences. 

Christina Hyunh, Editor, Imagination

Done right, email can measure what content, services and products are resonating with your audience. These insights can inform not only your email marketing strategy, but also your broader content and marketing strategy.

Segment your email subscriber list — and personalize your content.

Audience-first marketing is a must when it comes to email. Batching-and-blasting every audience segment with every type of content can lead to more unsubscribes. So once you define your audience segments, deliver them the specific content they’re looking for.

One email doesn’t fit all. Once you identify your audience segments, it’s important to offer tailored content that provides value to those targeted subscribers. By taking this step, you can help strengthen relationships and significantly increase conversion rates.

Christina Hyunh, Editor, Imagination

Haircare brand Overtone knows its market segment very well. And this unexpected Mother’s Day email shows the company listens while staying authentic.

It has a just-can’t-help-but-click subject line, an honest and caring message, a wholesome visual (that still promotes its product) and a simple call to action — all in just about 50 words.

Integrate, integrate, integrate

Promote your email newsletter as much as possible on your other channels — and make sure your email marketing returns the favor. Use frequent CTAs to ensure your audience can easily subscribe, and include buttons to your content in each email.

A consistent brand voice is also key for supporting integration. Create brand guidelines for copy and design to ensure a cohesive content experience. You want your audience to engage with a single voice from your brand, no matter where they’re interacting with it.

Ready to get started on your brand’s email marketing strategy? Sign up for the Imagination email newsletter below to get even more tips for how to do email marketing like a pro. (See what I did there?)

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