Email Marketing: Back-to-Basics Guide

The art of emails goes waaay back.

Long before the invention of today’s fancy apps and programs, first-generation web users only knew faulty dial-up internet with slow connections to experience the then-uncharted virtual world of the “web.”

We’ve come a long way since the screeching sounds of a modem starting up. But here’s the amazing thing about internet milestones:

While most internet fads have come and gone throughout the years, emails stayed on

You know what’s even cooler?

Despite the frenzy on social media, videos, and instant messaging, email is considered to be the most effective form of digital marketing channel to date. In fact, it’s 40x more effective than social media, search engine optimization, blogging, or paid ads.

Experts say — and I agree — that email marketing isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Thinking inside the inbox

Why is email relevant? And why is it important to your business?

Here are a few reasons:

1. Emails are part of our routine. Despite others claiming that email is dead, according to HubSpot 99% of consumers check their email on a daily basis. Whether it’s for work or personal use, some check their emails as much as 20 times a day! The use of email as a communication channel is as alive as ever. 

2. You own your email list. Social media platforms can suddenly flag or even take down a post, page, or account if it breaks guidelines, even if it was completely innocent. There’s always a risk of being suspended or blocked from your account. I’ve known people to lose thousands of followers with zero warning. But an email list? It’s 100% all yours.  

3. You can use it to target ads. If you’re using facebook ads, you can choose to target your existing audience or an audience similar to your list. THIS IS HUGE. Think about it — the more specific your target audience is, the higher chances your Facebook ads will deliver. By using your email list to define who the ads should be shown to, you will attract more high-quality leads.   

The ABCs of email marketing

Tech jargon is the worst.

It doesn’t help if the definitions online are confusing and still so tech-y that you can’t make heads or tails of it.

So let’s circle back and start with some basic terminology.

Here’s what you need to know about email marketing in its simplest terms:

List – The “List” is a collection of email addresses that your prospects and  customers have willingly given to you. Generally, this will include their first name and email address. By giving their email address, they have agreed to be on your email list and receive mass email messages from you.

The best practice is to ask only for first name and email address. Asking for more is likely to turn people off and they’ll be less likely to sign up. Knowing their first name is the minimum needed to personalize your email greetings.

Campaign – This refers to the actual email messages you send out. It may refer to a single message that goes out to a specific segment (refer to term below) of your list. It could also be a series of messages that are sent out over some period of time, related to a specific event or promotion.

Let’s say you are organizing a webinar. You set up a series of emails to invite people, then remind them, and then provide specifics about the event. That would be called a campaign — a series of emails about one specific topic (your event).

Segment – Email segmentation is the practice of dividing your email list into smaller segments so you can tailor your email messages to a specific set of your audience (list).

In simple terms, you group your potential customers based on a common characteristic  among them. (You wouldn’t want to seat an adult at the kids’ table during a party, so you segment them.) 

The characteristics you use to create a segment could be based on age, gender, interests, engagement behavior, or even their position in your sales funnel, to name a few.

The way you segment your email list will ultimately be up to you and what works for your business.

The 75/25 formula

Here’s the stark difference between emails then and emails now.

Emails THEN: Correspondence from faraway friends/family, funny pictures, chain mails, Nigerian Prince scams.

Inbox: 125  

Emails NOW: Correspondence from friends/family, work matters, social media notifications, chain mails, funny pictures/memes, brand-related emails (updates, discounts, promos, freebies, etc), spam, newsletters, event reminders, and on and on… 

Inbox: 3478

Nowadays, the average person receives 121 emails a day with an open rate of 20-40%.

With a number of emails left unopened and eventually deleted, several other brands are fighting for a lead’s attention.

Your subject line, font, images, or email body are all important — any one of these can set a potential customer off and ultimately make them hit the dreaded “Unsubscribe” button.

So how do you stand out among hundreds and hundreds of emails?

I use the 75/25 formula.

The 75/25 formula tells you to allot 75% of your email towards relevant content that builds trust and relationships with your potential customers. 

This is your chance to show them you understand their needs, and offer valuable content that helps them make progress on their problems. When they see your value, these potential customers will start  looking forward to your emails. 

As a result, you can now allot 25% of your email towards promotional content that offers customers a paid solution to their problems.

This way, you get to be both a nurturer and a problem-solver.

The email ninja

Email autoresponders are the stealthy ninjas of email marketing.

They work behind the scenes to get the job done—fast and easy. 

So… what exactly is an email autoresponder?

An email autoresponder is an automated email, or series of emails, that you write, schedule, and send automatically to your email list, in response to an event (called a “trigger”). 

By welcoming new subscribers, sharing your blog posts, and telling people about new discounts and offers, an email autoresponder can save you a ton of time. Autoresponders take many forms and sizes with one thing in common: they are triggered by a subscriber’s action. Opting into a freebie, registering for a webinar, or clicking a link in one of your emails are all examples of actions that can trigger the autoresponder.

Remember: It will rarely be “buy at first sight” for your new audience members. 

With the help of email autoresponders, you can stay in touch with everyone on the email list and provide them great experience with valuable content and offers.

Thankfully, there are tons of email marketing services that provide email autoresponders among many other features. 

Casting a wider net

I like to compare the chore of building email lists to the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain. This breathtaking church has been under construction for 136 years, and it’s still not finished.

Can you imagine all that hard work? 

The builders could easily just call it a day and go, “Good enough”. But they knew the work wasn’t finished, so they kept building.

Just like the majestic Sagrada Familia, your email list also needs continuous building. 

Without actively growing your list, your business and its potential will be extremely difficult to grow. 

Targeting and re-targeting the same leads can eventually wear them down, so it’s crucial to maximize your email marketing strategy and keep adding new names to the list. 

Be bold enough to recalibrate and build a business as great as Sagrada Familia.

Unspoken rule of email marketing

An unspoken rule of email marketing: Practice good hygiene.

And no, it doesn’t involve brushing your teeth.

Cleaning your email list is an important practice that encourages you to delete inactive and uninterested email contacts so you can focus on the ones who are interested. 

Way more than just a desire to stay organized, email cleanups are beneficial in achieving:

  • Better open rates and click rates – If you clean your email list regularly, the engagement data becomes much more valid; it shows you those who actively engage, read, and open your email. You can use this to further improve your email marketing efforts.
  • Fewer spam complaints – It happens to the best of us — someone who willingly signed up for our email list gets annoyed and flags our email as spam. Practicing good list hygiene you will have far fewer (if any)spam complaints.
  • Reduced costs – Email providers charge based on the number of people on your list and the number of emails you send. The more subscribers you have on your list and the more emails you send out, the higher your monthly costs. Regular email cleanups will eliminate those who don’t engage with your email messages and reduce your costs.

Once you notice your engagement numbers dipping unusually low, bring out your virtual brushes and get ready for a good old email scrubbing.

From me to you…

How do you write attention-worthy emails that engage your audience?

From my 20 years as a digital product expert, I have proven and tested marketing strategies that work. I know that a good email can be the ultimate driving force that urges your audience to BUY and a bad email can annoy them and urge them to UNSUBSCRIBE.   

The art of crafting and sending killer emails is more than just composing and hitting send — that’s why I want to teach you how to set up and maintain  your email marketing the right way.


My exclusive program Launch Success Club helps you craft different types of emails for different trigger points. Learn what type of killer email to send and when to send it so you can hook your potential customers (even with just the subject line!).

Launch Success Club opens soon — join the waitlist HERE and receive a special gift from me!

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