Email marketing: everything you need to know

Email Marketing

Email marketing may not sound like the most integral element of your marketing plan, but its effectiveness is second to none. Not only does email marketing generate awareness of your organisation, but it is also effective in nurturing customer relationships to create leads. This blog provides a quick, whistle-stop tour of email marketing to show how it has gone from a thing of curiosity to a dominant tool within the marketing industry that can provide a ROI of 4400%*. As email usage is only set to rise, email marketing should definitely not be slept on!


However, before you start your email marketing strategy it is important that we set out the GDPR regulations which you must adhere to. Here, you must only email those who have opted in to receive them – whether that’s through a tick-box when they purchased from you, or if they signed up to your mailing list on your website. Once you have established who you can email, it is important that you must not conceal who you are in your communications, likewise, there should be a clear and easy way for subscribers to opt out from receiving these emails. Note that email marketing isn’t something which is limited to B2C markets, rather B2B industries can reap its benefits also. Here, it is possible to build your email list from your current and previous clients, suppliers, partners and associates but it’s sensible to consult a market expert before embarking on this to ensure that you are compliant to these legal requirements. 


Now the legal stuff is over, it would be a good idea to talk about the common types of emails which you can use in your strategy. In general, emails fall into one of three categories – triggered (sometimes referred to as autoresponder) and newsletters. 


Triggered emails, as the name suggests, follow an event. That can be a period of inactivity, a follow-up to an abandoned cart, or a welcome email following a sign-up, to name a few triggers. The fact that these emails target a relevant, specific stage in the customer’s journey has contributed to their high open rate – an average of 38%

Additionally, the triggered nature of these emails means that they can be automated to be sent out following a certain event, so you can create a multitude of different templates for a wide range of ‘triggers’ (e.g. customer birthdays or holidays), too. 

You can use triggered emails to encourage loyalty since they are personal and highly relevant, which creates a sense of the customer feeling valued which improves their relationship with your brand. 

Whilst many triggered emails are great opportunities to market products and services, we must not forget the more transactional and operational emails that can be leveraged to sell to your customers. These include notifications of changes to your account, purchase confirmations and sign-up confirmations but there are many more. Providing the customer has opted in to marketing, you can add in elements like future product/service recommendations, and links to content like blogs to improve their experience with you. 

What’s more, by creating templates for these events you can streamline your process and reduce the amount of time spent replying to every individual. Through having a series of pre-made templates available, you can deliver a highly personalised service, whilst taking a relatively passive role. On average, these emails have a 152% higher click rate*** than other forms of mail in your inbox, so they should be seriously considered.


Lastly, and perhaps the most notorious form of email marketing, is the newsletter. What you include in your newsletter is up to you: there is no set list of content which you have to include. However, a good place to start is compiling relevant information for your audience – whether that’s about new product launches, discounts, or maybe you’ve found a link to a video which they may like. When including this information just ask yourself, does it add value to the reader? After all, that’s why they have signed up to receive your emails!

As mentioned, email marketing is an effective marketing tool. But did you know that it has the highest ROI than any other form of digital marketing? Here, for every £1 spent on email marketing, £35 can be generated^. There are numerous reasons for its effectiveness, but here are some key points:

  • Accessibility: there are over 5.5 billion email accounts, with 91%~ of people checking their email daily. Not only does this enable you to have a potentially widespread pool of subscribers, but in terms of creating an email list, anyone can set one up for low or no cost.
  • Flexibility: as mentioned, the content contained within your email is up to you. Tools can enable you to send personalised emails (whether that’s by the recipient’s name, needs or other information like their birthday or previous purchases) and you can create emails specific to particular events or holidays.
  • Actionability: effective emails include some kind of call-to-action, whether that’s visiting new products or features, revisiting their basket or wishlist, or simply through offering a discount. It makes sense then, that these factors increase the conversion rate of emails because if we’re not told to do something then where’s the motivation to do it? 


Not only should you consider email marketing because of its effectiveness, but having your own email list increases the strength of your organisation. In this case, organisations who have their own email list in essence have their own source of data, meaning that they don’t have to rely on large corporations giving them an audience. Whilst there is nothing wrong in relying on third parties for this, what would happen if these organisations for some reason shutdown? 


Therefore, whilst you may choose to primarily focus your efforts on social media, or perhaps Google Ads or SEO, you should also put some energy into email marketing just in case the unimaginable was to happen. Plus the high ROI and low costs of implementation means that you have very little to lose!

Danielle Slater - On The Dot Marketing