Email Marketing in 2020: Everything you need to know

Email Marketing Codesmithers Digtial Agency

Email Marketing Codesmithers Digtial Agency

Email Marketing is a very powerful Digital Marketing medium that is often underestimated. As we enter a new decade, questions abounds in the mind of digital marketers, business owners etc on whether email marketing is dead. This question almost always make a comeback every year since the invention of social media marketing and sophisticated PPC (pay per click) media platforms. A lot of people think, its not worth the effort anymore as there are now more available options of reaching and engaging with their customers and audience. For this reasons and some more, many businesses are totally ditching email marketing in favour of faster means of generating leads such as Social media marketing, PPC campaigns etc

Is email marketing dead?, if not why do people consider it a lost cause? and what are the results  when compared with other long term lead generating efforts like  SEO? In reality, it is one of the most direct and effective way of reaching new leads, staying in touch with existing customer base, nurturing and converting them into customers. It’s implementation is however by no means easy. Plus it takes a considerable investment of time and consistency to start getting appreciable results. Yuck, who needs that in this Jet (fast and furious) age ?

Well for one It is very cost effective and if done the right way can increase conversion and win out over all other marketing channels.

Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and customers informing them about your brand, services, products or information to keep them updated. Email marketing allows businesses to keep their customers informed, and to customize their marketing messages accordingly. Think of it as one of the most cost-effective and conversion-rich forms of digital marketing today. It’s potent, persuasive and gets your ecommerce store great results.

The intention or goal of email marketing campaigns depends on your overall goal. Effectively built emails convert prospects into customers, increase sales, and turn one time customers to returning and referring customers.

By using this definitive guide, you’ll know:

  1. How to build an email list full of targeted customers.
  2. How to optimize your emails for the highest open rates and click-through rates (CTR).
  3. How to automate the process of nurturing your leads and turning prospects into customers.

The Importance of Email Marketing

Having considered what email marketing entails, there is a need to dive into why email marketing is so very important for your business.Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam emails, email marketing remains one of the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers.

There are many reasons you should make email marketing one of your top priorities, but here are the top 3:

  1. Email is a direct communication channel.Emails get to enter into a person’s inbox, which makes it a personalised and direct form of communication. Do you know that averagely, over 70% of consumers check their personal emails at least once every day. And with more powerful smart mobile phones, more people are receiving their emails on the go.  This really shows the importance of email marketing which can’t be said of any other marketing channel.
  2. Your list, Your Asset.On any social media platform, your account (along with your following, fans and posts) could be suspended, flagged or removed at any time, for any reason, without notice and mostly without consequence. However, you own your email list and it is your asset. No one can take your list, contacts or leads away from you.
  3. Email has better conversion rate. 269 billion emails were sent and received each day.   The average open rate for a welcome email is 82%. And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.

Growing Your Email List

Having an optin form on your website for lead generation and to grow your email list is a common trend and strategy which usually does not work well. To grow your email list, you need to attract and entice people with a compelling offer. You need a lead magnet.

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet or optin bait is something of value or importance you give away for free in exchange for an action to be taken(subscribing to your channel or mailing list). It has to be something of value, free and it doesn’t have to cost you much to create; lead magnets are mostly digital materials like PDFs,  audio files, infographic or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost.

Lead magnets can take these forms:

  • Ebook or PDF
  • A Checklist or case studies
  • A cheat sheet of tips or resources
  • A coupon
  • Free trials or samples
  • A free quote or consultation
  • A webinar or free tutorial


What Makes a Good Lead Magnet

You already know that a lead magnet needs to provide value for free. But if you want your lead magnet to be highly effective, here are the 4 criteria for you to consider:

  1. Actionable:Lead magnets need to provide an actionable tool, skillset, or useful information that your audience can apply.
  2. Easily consumed:Lead magnets are only effective when the audience uses them, so it must be concise and precise so as to gain traction.
  3. Relevant:If you’ve done your homework about your prospects, you’ll have no trouble coming up with a lead magnet subject that solves problems. Therefore your lead magnet must be relevant to what your prospect is looking for.
  4. Immediately available:People love instant gratification, so give it to them right then and there. It helps build trust with your audience and gain traction because everybody loves freebies.

 Choosing an Email Marketing Service

Before you can email anyone, you need their permission. If you started with an optin, you got that permission, so hooray! This is what makes opt-in email marketing great. If you didn’t use an optin, use extreme caution.

While buying email list may sound like a great shortcut, it isn’t. And we do not recommend it.

We also do not recommend adding emails from people’s business cards that you collected at conferences. Unless you have express permission to send them your email newsletters, your emails are spam. And it doesn’t serve your business anyway.

People who don’t opt-in specifically for your email list are not the people who will buy from you. Sending them anything at all would be a complete waste of your time and money. What you need in order to get started the right way is 1) an optin form and 2) an opt-in email marketing service.

Email List Segmentation

Email list segmentation help boost the effectiveness of your list and helps your mails to reach the right audience, thereby, enhancing performance and initiating desired response.

Email list segmentation is the process of breaking your subscribers into smaller groups based on specific criteria so that you can send them more personalized and relevant emails.

Rather than blasting every email to your entire email list, segmentation lets you send certain emails only to those subscribers you think will be the most interested in that content, resulting in higher conversions.

Segmenting your list is proven to increase your email open rate, boost your click-through rates, and decrease unsubscribe rates. That’s why smart marketers use segmentation to drastically improve the effectiveness of their email campaigns.

Once you’ve “tagged” your subscribers into different segments, you’ll be able to send really powerful autoresponders, a series of emails that get sent out automatically based on certain conditions, that you can use to nurture your leads and make sales. We’ll talk more about autoresponders in the section of automation.

Segments make it so much easier to know what subject lines and messages to write that will entice the users to open and engage with your email campaigns.

The goal with segmentation should be to find out how the subscriber got on your mailing list in the first place knowing this helps you to send a well targeted mail to the subscriber.

Improving Your Email Open Rates

This section is super important because even with all of the hard work you’ve done to grow your email list and segment it, you won’t benefit from any of it unless your emails actually get opened.

There are several factors that play a role in whether or not your emails get opened. Let’s explore each of them:

1. Avoid Spam Filters

Probably the most obvious problem is when your email gets sent to the subscriber’s spam folder. Since you’ve already gotten permission to send emails, and you’ve chosen an email marketing service provider that works for you, you’re off to a great start. (Also check out this 11 Point checklist on some best practices to keep your emails from falling into spam folders)

2. Remove Inactive Subscribers to Keep Your List Fresh

It’s important to email your subscribers on a consistent basis, so your list doesn’t go stale. Even then, over time, email subscribers still go stale.

Some people may have changed email accounts, or maybe they just aren’t interested in your brand anymore.

So to keep your list fresh and filled with engaged subscribers, it’s a good idea to periodically remove inactive subscribers. An inactive subscriber could be anyone who has not engaged with any email in the past 6 months or more.

But before you get rid of them, try sending one more email campaign to try to re-engage your inactive subscribers.

3. Timing Your Emails Perfectly

Timing is everything and has a huge effect on whether or not your subscribers will open and click your emails or not, hence, the need to think carefully about what time of the day and what days of the week you send out emails.

You won’t be able to figure out the perfect time immediately but a sure way to go about it is to do A/B testing to identify which time frame works best and stick to it in future campaigns.

But you may be wondering, has anyone tested the best time to send out emails that you can benefit from? The answer is Yes!

In a study by GetResponse, they found that Tuesdays have the highest open and click-through rates:

However, a study from Yes Marketing found that Saturdays are the best days for conversions:

You can experiment with this and see what gives you the best results for your subscribers. You can check out Google Analytics to find out when your subscribers are most active and send your emails at that time.

  1. Make Your Headline Catchy

Email open and click rates is determined largely by the headline, your headlines play an important role in getting clicks. Your job is to make your headlines stand out. Here are some tips for crafting creative subject lines:

  • Entice curiosity, but don’t be too clever. You want to make them curious enough to open and click, but without being so cryptic that the subscriber hasn’t a clue as to what you’re talking about.
  • Include numbers. There is something about numbers that draw the eye.
  • Use a friendly and conversational tone.
  • Speak in the language and style that your subscribers use themselves, especially when talking with their friends.

5. Write Personalized Emails

When you draft your subject line and message content, it’s natural to think of the thousands of people who are about to receive it.

However, it’s far more effective to write as if speaking to an individual person, with a personal subject line and a personalized message.

To write this way, you’ll have to really know your buyer’s persona. You need to understand their problems, their desires, their values, their likes, and their dislikes.

6. Be Professionally Friendly

When writing your emails, put your corporate hat to the side and write like a friend. This is the only way to really appeal to your subscribers and get them to open and click your emails.

A  friendly write-up could be something like, “you’ve gotta check out this deal…” or “Hey Jide, would like you to benefit from this amazing offer”

That makes the email seem a whole lot more personal and makes it less likely that your recipients will ignore your message or delete your message.

7. Write Unique And Amazing Content Always

You may be thinking that when a subscriber opens your email, you’ve essentially won the battle. However, the actual content of your email also plays an important role in your subsequent open rate and click-through-rate.

Here’s why: if your subscribers are happy with your content, they are more likely to open your emails in the future. They may even begin to eagerly anticipate your emails. Conversely, if a subscriber is displeased with what they got in your email, they probably aren’t going to open your emails again, and they may even unsubscribe.

So how do you make sure your subscribers are happy with your email content? Simple: make it awesome. Link to incredibly valuable resources, like a free eBook, an epic blog post, or webinar. The key is to make sure that you aren’t sending emails just to send emails. Every single time you email your list, you need to deliver something of real value. The higher the value of every email you write, the more loyal your subscribers will become, and your open rates will increase.

  1. Inject Humor and Good Vibes

Humor has a way of making a strong, instant connection with people. It’s personal, entertaining, and opens peoples’ minds to what you have to say. But what if you aren’t a very funny person? It’s not always easy to be clever or humorous, and trying to fit your attempt into the narrow constraints of an email subject line? That can be super tricky.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a comedian in order to pull off a humorous email. It’s more important to really know your recipients and what they’ll respond to.

  1. Optimize for Mobile

Mobile email accounts for 67% of all emails open, depending on your target audience, product, and email type. You simply can’t afford to ignore your mobile users, you have to appeal to them. Make sure your email is responsive and includes easily loadable media. Also consider the fact that mobile screens are smaller, so long subject lines may get cut off on mobile devices.

Here are some more tips for appealing to mobile users:

  • Keep the formatting simple (single-column), under 600px wide.
  • Use a larger font. Small fonts are difficult to read on mobile.
  • Don’t assume images are being displayed (Android turns images off by default). Make sure it looks good without them.
  • Use smaller images to reduce load time.
  • Use a large call-to-action button. Larger buttons are easier to tap with a thumb.
  • Email marketing is an art and science, so give yourself some wiggle room to experiment and find what tactics work best for your business and your subscribers.

Automating Your Email Marketing with Autoresponders The autoresponder series is arguably an online marketer’s most powerful tool for making sales. It helps you to successfully engage your email list, build relationships, and turn prospects into buyers. The best part is, once you’ve created it, your work is done, so you can focus on the important aspects of your business.

What is an Autoresponder? An autoresponder is a sequence of emails that are automatically sent to a segment of people on your email list and is triggered by a specific event, such as joining your list, a certain browsing behavior, cart abandonment, downloading a PDF, or buying a product. The content of an email autoresponder series is created in advance and set up to send at the appropriate time with the help of your email marketing software. Every online business needs an autoresponder series for two main reasons:

  1. They nurture your leadsby providing valuable information and insights, as well as teaching them how to make better decisions through an automated onboarding process
  2. They turn prospects into customers by helping you build “know, like, and trust” before you ask for the sale. Then you can make your pitch at the best possible moment, and you can do it without being overly “salesy” or pushy. So, how do you create a highly effective autoresponder series? There are 4 basic steps:

Step 1: Choose a Goal for Your Autoresponder There are many different goals you could have for your autoresponder, but here are the 4 most common. Choose one (or a combination) of the below goals for your autoresponder series before you create it.

  • Send new subscribers a “welcome” sequence. This is the message that you send to people right after they subscribe to your email list. It could contain a link to your lead magnet for an easy download, a thank you for subscribing, or maybe a call-to-action to check out your most popular blog posts. Every email list needs a welcome email series, don’t miss this chance to thank your new subscribers and turn them into loyal fans.
  • Use it as a lead magnet/free mini-course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini-course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is high perceived value with a mini-course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
  • Make sales on autopilot. Creating a sales funnel out of an email autoresponder sequence is a widely adopted strategy used by information marketers, but it can also be used by software companies, eCommerce businesses, and service providers. For example, it could consist of a series of educational videos, a sales video, and follow-ups to sell your information products. Or, you could create a sequence of free educational emails, and then invite leads to a live or recorded webinar where you make an offer. For eCommerce businesses, your sales sequence could include promo offers for products your subscriber has just viewed on your website.
  • Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.

Step 2: Map Out Your Entire Email Sequence

In this step, you will draft an outline for your sequence. But first, you’ll need to figure out how long you want your sequence to be. How many days? How many emails? There is no universal rule when it comes to exactly how many emails you need to have in your email sequence. Your sequence should be long enough to help you accomplish your goals, no more, no less. So its length should be determined by its purpose, your segments, subscriber’s preferences, etc. Next, you’ll need to figure out how far apart each email will get sent. It’s okay to send an email once every two days for educational emails, and three to four emails in a single day when you’re running a huge sale that’s about to end. It depends entirely on the goal for your sequence. You need to find a healthy balance between your “value” emails and your “offer” (sales) email. The exact number of emails you send doesn’t matter as long as you send more value emails than sales emails. This helps you keep your list from getting burnt out. To simplify things, you can use the 80/20 rule: 80% of your emails should give value, while only 20% of your emails are about making a sale.

Step 3: Write an Autoresponder Series that Converts

Writing the actual emails of your autoresponder series might be the hardest part of this job. You may even want to outsource it to a professional copywriter. However, if you still want to learn how to do it yourself, here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Focus on the reader first. You should always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours. Offer ways to solve their problems, don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are. Ask yourself, what are the biggest pain points for my subscribers? How can I solve their current problem in this email?
  • Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails will make it so much more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization goes beyond sticking your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
  • Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient.

Step 4: Monitor and Improve

Although it is mostly hands-off, an email autoresponder series is not something that you should create one day and then completely forget about the next. To get the best results, monitor the performance of your emails to identify areas that need improvement. Then, A/B test some changes in order to make those improvements. Here’s what you should pay attention to when you analyze your autoresponder campaigns:

  • Open rates. If your open rates aren’t where you want them, consider the following: Is this autoresponder relevant to your list? Are your subject lines as good as they can be? Are you sending your emails at the best times?
  • Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is a copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?
  • Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually okay because those people probably wouldn’t have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails? Now that you can automate and target each of your email marketing campaigns, you can turn those campaigns into a sales machine!

How do I build an email strategy? This guide is a great way to build an email marketing strategy and we encourage you to follow it! Key points to consider on how to run a successful email campaign that you should definitely check out.

  1. Set a goal for your email campaign
  2. Decide on the types of email you’ll send
  3. Choose your audience segments
  4. Select the right technology
  5. Create attractive optins
  6. Plan emails and follow ups
  7. Craft the perfect subject line
  8. Write your email sales copy
  9. Design your email
  10. Test and track your email campaign

How often should I send marketing emails?

There’s no hard, fast rule when talking about how often to send marketing emails, so we recommend that you ask your subscribers how often they want to hear from you. You can also do some A/B testing to see what frequency has the best performance. Generally, you’ll want to reach out to newer subscribers more often since they’re just getting to know you. But, beyond that just send out emails on the schedule you’ve established and no more.

Email Metrics and Performance Measurement

Measuring Your Email campaign efforts and the email metrics to measure (With formulas) to gauge your email marketing efforts, you’ll want to track a few important metrics. Which metrics you measure will depend on your goals. The goal of your email marketing campaign may be very different from that of another company. In fact, it may even vary within your own company over time. Here are a few of the most important email metrics you should consider measuring.

  • Click-through-Rate. This shows the percentage of subscribers who clicked a link in your email. This is expressed as: [ (no of users who clicked a link) ÷ (no of email opens) ] x 100%. CTR represents the ratio of people who clicked on one or more of your links to the total number of people who opened your email. CTR gives you immediate insight as to how engaging your content is for your readers.
  • Conversion Rate. This is expressed as (no of people who took a desired action) ÷ (no of emails opened). A conversion is recorded after a subscriber takes action after following a link in your email. Similar to your CTR, it’s measured as a percentage. So if the goal of your email is to get subscribers to sign up for your next tutorial, and 500 readers out of 10,000 do actually sign up, then your conversion rate would be 5%.
  • Bounce Rate. This is calculated as 1 – [ (no of emails delivered) ÷ (no of emails sent) ] An email bounce happens anytime an email cannot be delivered. These bounces are distinguished as “hard” or “soft”, depending on the circumstances. A hard bounce is due to inactive, closed, or incorrect email addresses. This is a common problem with purchased lists. Hard bounce prevent the email from being delivered in the future. A soft bounce is less serious and not as permanent; it happens when your recipient has a full inbox or their email server is down, for example. When this occurs, you have two options: Wait to see if the provider resolves the issue and delivers your message, or re-send your message to any address marked with a soft bounce
  • Open Rate The open rate shows the number of recipients who opened your email. This is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email campaign. These rates can vary depending on the subject line and the relevancy of the subject matter for subscribers, but we found an average open rate of 17.92%.
  •  List Growth Rate This is calculated as ( [ (no of new subscribers) – (no of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total # of email addresses on your list]) x 100. As we mentioned earlier, growing your list is a top priority. To track your efforts, you’ll need to pay attention to the rate at which your email list is growing. Your email marketing database will naturally degrade by about 22.5% each year as people switch jobs, abandon old email address, and unsubscribe, which makes growing your list and paying attention to this metric even more crucial.


Codesmithers Digital Agency offers a wide range of digital marketing services that delivers guaranteed ROI for businesses. Email marketing is one of our specialties. Talk to us about the challenges you are facing with your Email Marketing Strategies by contacting us here , we would be glad to help you out.