Despite the growing number of marketing and social media channels, email is an effective tool to cut through the clutter and help market your business. But why and what is email marketing exactly? We’re here to break down all the components, walk you through all the benefits, and answer your questions. Why? Because here at We Rock Your Web it’s our mission to find the best products on the market for small and medium-sized businesses. And because email marketing is such a critical business tool, we’ve dedicated our time to learning as much as we can about this topic over the years so we can share our findings with our readers. Use the menu below to jump to the section that interests you or keep scrolling to read it all.
- What Is Email Marketing?
- Benefits of Email Marketing
- What to Consider
- The Best Email Marketing Services
- Compare Providers
- Why Trust Our Reviews
- Terminology Explained
- Is It Worth it?
- Tips & Best Practices
- Got Questions?
In the most basic definition, email marketing is the process of using electronic mail to inform potential and existing customers about products and services. And unlike traditional direct mail that marketers have been using for years to fill your mailboxes, email marketing is a more cost-effective way to reach a higher number of people. It allows you to track and get real-time data (which we’ll get into more in the next section). Almost everyone has an email address these days (even grandparents!) and most people are pretty diligent about checking their email regularly throughout the day. And thanks to smartphones their inbox travels with them.
So what’s an email marketing campaign typically used for? Email campaigns can be used to send special discount codes, share member-specific info, promote sales, announce new products, remind about upcoming events and more! The options are endless! What’s best is you can personalize emails and target segments of your lists based on location, behavior, demographics, and other criteria. Learn more in our article What Is Email Marketing?
There are a number of benefits to email marketing including:
- Less expensive than physical mailings which require design, printing and postage (and better for the environment too!).
- Short turn around time as you can quickly create and send a campaign out last minute with a few clicks of a button.
- Metrics to track results track how your campaigns are performing and make quick adjustments.
- Stay top of mind with regular email campaigns so your customers can remember you and in times of need purchase without hesitation.
- Personalize communications by leveraging the data you collect from subscribers, such as their first name.
- Timely messages that can be optimized to send when a recipient is most likely to open.
- No limits on characters that other channels like social media restrict you to.
Those are just a few of the many reasons why your company should consider email marketing (if you aren’t already doing so). But if you’re still not convinced, we go into more detail on reasons why email marketing works in our Using Email Marketing to Help Your Small Business article.
If you are ready to dip your toes into email marketing then congrats! And rest assured it’s a painless and easy process to get started. Here are some things you should take into consideration before signing up for an email marketing provider:
- First (and most importantly) you should ask yourself what your company goals are, as those will affect other factors like how often you plan to send out emails (which can affect pricing).
- Then, determine your mailing list size as this is the single biggest factor that will determine your cost. Perhaps you have an existing database of customers you can pull from. If so decide how many of those you plan to import (considering some might be outdated).
- It’s also good to think of ways you can grow your list as a healthy mailing list should always be replenished with new, fresh people to talk to since people will inevitably unsubscribe over time.
- Finally, you should determine who will be the one creating and deploying your emails and what their level of technical experience is. That way you can make sure they are trained properly and feel comfortable with the email provider you select.
Once you know the answers to these questions then it’s time to move on to picking an email service provider that will be the vessel to deliver your ideas into inboxes!
There are dozens of email marketing platforms on the market, and it can be time-consuming and overwhelming to sift through them all. Luckily we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you and over the years have become very familiar with the best email marketing providers. We’ve taken our findings and put them into a comprehensive, detailed guide that can make your job easier. In our Best Email Marketing Provider Reviews, we review the pro and cons for each company along with pricing, features and more. And we update it regularly so you can rest assured you’ll be getting the latest and greatest information out there (since trust us, we know it’s constantly changing!).
Since there are so many companies we’ve also put their critical information like pricing, features, image hosting (and size), what’s included with each plan, and more into a table so you can eye-ball companies at a glance and stack them up against each other. After learning more about each company and narrowing down your favorites, visit our Email Marketing Comparison Table to see more details about what each offers so you can pick the best fit for you and your business needs.
Our reviews are conducted in unbiased fashion by independent writers that do rigorous research and gather reader and consumer feedback from various sources around the web. Check out our Review Process for details.
As you read through our reviews, you may come across some industry jargon that you don’t understand such as open rates, autoresponders, A/B split testing, etc. We’ve put together an Email Marketing Terminology page that describes everything in laymen’s terms for you. Still confused? Leave a comment on the article you’re reading, and we’ll follow up. And as the industry grows and changes we’ll continue to make sure our terminology list is reflective of the times.
By now you’re hopefully ready to make the investment. But if you are still struggling to justify it to your boss or are questioning whether or not it’s worthwhile then let us put your mind at ease. We know every penny counts when it comes to running a business, so putting funds and resources towards something is a bit scary. But the rewards and return you will see from email marketing is more than worth it! The implementation costs for email marketing are minimal compared to the ROI you’ll experience if implemented effectively. It’s just a matter of putting together a message that resonates with your client base. And, most likely, you already have existing content from somewhere else you can repurpose. Additionally, most companies provide you with pre-designed templates you can use which reduce the need for you to hire a designer. Give email marketing a try (our top 3 picks all offer free trials and we have guide to Free Email Marketing Tools) and you’ll see for yourself how the pros of email marketing outweigh the cons (and costs).
Video: Email Marketing for Businesses
This short video from Elite Email summarizes how email marketing business solutions are effective and can help your business succeed.
After signing up for a plan, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and have some fun! Whether you are an email marketing rookie, or a veteran looking to brush up your skills, hop on over to our Email Marketing Tips article to learn some best practices (such as what to put in an email, A/B (split) testing, leveraging social media, and more) and check out some pro tips from email expert DJ Waldow in his guest post on Components of a Killer Email.
Thanks for making it all the way to the end. Hopefully, you’ve gained some valuable insights about email marketing and are starting to see the value it could add to increase awareness and sales for your business. If you still have any questions, we’re here for you. If you come across something you don’t understand or would like us to dive deeper into, feel free to leave us a comment on the respective article you were reading, or Post a Reader Question. Our rocking community will do our best to help you out!