What is Email Marketing? Definition, Strategies

Email marketing is a sort of direct marketing in which you send customised emails to your email list to educate them about your product or service. It can also be used to persuade your email list to do something specific, such as make a purchase, schedule a demo, sign up for a trial, or register for an event.

Let’s get started with the most comprehensive guide on email marketing on the internet.

What Is Email Marketing?

Why Email Marketing is Important

We’ve answered the most crucial question, what is email marketing, but we haven’t gotten into why email marketing is so critical to your organisation. Let’s get right to it.

Despite the rise of social media and unwanted spam email (which, by the way, is never a good marketing plan), email continues to be the most effective tool to nurture leads and increase client loyalty.

There are numerous reasons why email marketing should be one of your top priorities, but here are the top three:

1. Email is the most used mode of communication. Did you know that 99 percent of consumers check their email every day? That cannot be stated of any other mode of communication.

2. You are the sole owner of your list. Your account (together with all of your fans and posts) on any social networking site may be suspended or destroyed at any time, for any reason, and without notice. Your email list, on the other hand, is yours. Nobody can take those opportunities away from you.

3. Email simply converts more effectively. People who purchase things advertised via email spend 138% more compared to those who do not receive email offers. Email marketing, in fact, has a ROI (return on investment) of 4400 percent. That is enormous! If you think social media converts better, think again: the average value of an email is now at three times that of social media.

Email Marketing Glossary

Email marketing has its own jargon that might be perplexing. But don’t be concerned! We’ve included a basic email marketing glossary to assist you in learning the main phrases so you can effectively design your email marketing strategy.

Subscriber: anyone who has agreed to receive emails from you.

Choosing to accept marketing emails from a person, company, or business is referred to as opting in.

Optin (noun): an inducement for people to join your mailing list; also known as a lead magnet.

A list is a collection of email subscribers that can be divided into categories or segments.

A group is a subset of subscribers in a brand’s or company’s list.

Segment: an automatically produced category of subscribers depending on their subscription activities, such as timezone, engagement rate, purchase history, and more.

Automation: a succession of pre-written emails that are sent out automatically in response to a subscriber’s actions, such as abandoned cart automation; also known as email sequence or autoresponder.

Broadcast: a one-time communication sent to groups or segments on your list; sometimes referred to as newsletters, announcements, and promotions.

Optin Form: a signup form that allows visitors to join your email list; optin forms can be popups, inline, fullscreen, sliders, floating, and other variations.

A landing page is a single page that contains an optin form that users may use to join your email list.

How Email Marketing Works

Do you want to learn how to use email marketing? Email marketing is made up of multiple moving parts, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s how it works.

1. Begin With Your List: The simple truth is that you can’t send email marketing campaigns to people you don’t know. Another thing to keep in mind is that email marketing will not work unless you have the correct people on your list.

That means you’ll need to collect leads in order to expand your email list with your target audience. There is no better tool for this than OptinMonster:

Email Marketing

The world’s leading lead generation software is OptinMonster. We enable businesses to develop attractive optin campaigns in minutes with no coding necessary.

Then, using our cutting-edge targeting rules, you can show these messages to the appropriate people at the right moment in their customer journey.

As a result, you can significantly improve the number of quality leads on your list while also seeing a significant boost in your company’s earnings. OptinMonster also interfaces with over 30 common email service providers.

2. Integrate an Email Service Provider (ESP): An email service provider (ESP) allows you to segment your audience, organise your list, and send email campaigns to your list. You can also monitor the outcomes in order to optimise future efforts.

A decent ESP should link with your other marketing tools, allowing you to put everything on autopilot as your leads develop.

There are numerous email service providers available, but we remove the guesswork and make it simple to select the best one for you and your goals. We’ll include our favourite ESPs for you to chose from later in this guide.

Growing Your Email List

When most people want to establish an email list, they simply place an optin form on their website and hope that people sign up. Unfortunately, this method does not always succeed.

You must attract folks to your email list by making an appealing offer. A lead magnet is required.

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet (also known as an optin bribe) is something fantastic that you provide for free in exchange for an email address. It doesn’t have to be expensive to create; most lead magnets are digital assets such as PDFs, MP3 audio files, or movies that you can create yourself for little or no expense.

It can be anything you desire as long as it gives free value to your visitors.

Examples of popular lead magnets include:

  • ebooks
  • A cheat list containing resources or tips
  • Case studies or white papers
  • A webcast
  • Trials or free samples
  • A no-obligation quote or consultation
  • Quizzes or self-evaluation
  • A voucher

What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?

You are well aware that a lead magnet must deliver value for free. However, if you want your lead magnet to be extremely effective, consider the following five criteria:

1. Consumable: Lead magnets are only effective if the audience uses them, therefore delivering a 300-page manifesto will not result in traction.

2. Actionable: Lead magnets must deliver an actionable tool, skill set, or relevant knowledge to your audience.

3. Produces visible improvement: People will continue to buy items and services that operate well. If your lead magnet is as valuable as your products and services, it will be successful.

4. Relevant: If you’ve done your research on your prospects, you’ll have no trouble creating a lead magnet subject that addresses problems.

5. Immediately available: People crave rapid pleasure, therefore provide it to them right away. Check out 4 Ways to Deliver a Lead Magnet to learn how simple it is to distribute your lead magnet with OptinMonster.

Let’s look at some of the top email marketing lead magnet examples from real-world campaigns.

OptinMonster offers a list of 12 tried-and-true tactics for converting abandoned visitors into subscribers.

How to Create an Optin Form that Converts

The goal of your optin form is to express the significant benefit of your lead magnet so that visitors to your website subscribe to your email newsletters in exchange for receiving the lead magnet.


To develop a successful optin form, the following elements must be included:

1. Captivating headline: Make sure your lead magnet’s main value is clearly described in your headline.

2. Useful description: Is your description brief, clear, and concise? Use bullet points to assist the reader’s eye in quickly scanning what they will receive.

3. Eye-catching visuals: If possible, include a photograph of the lead magnet (like a mockup of your eBook). A photo of a person looking at the optin form is also an excellent technique to increase conversions. We’ve compiled a fantastic selection of visual content production tools to assist you in creating stunning visuals.

4. Use a simple form: Do not request more than a first name and email address. Too much information requested too quickly will kill your conversions.

5. Captivating subscription button: Use a contrasting colour for your subscribe button so that it stands out on the website. Use non-generic email copy that entices customers to click immediately (“Send me the 7 steps!”).

Check out our checklist for designing the best optin form for even more advice on creating a high-converting optin form.

After you’ve designed your optin form, you’ll need to put it on your website. There are 14 high-converting locations where you can position your optin form:

If you want to obtain as many subscribers as possible, one of these is a must. This is an exit-intent® popup.

An exit-intent® popup appears just when the user is ready to depart your website. This popup does not interfere with the reading experience and only appears when the user is about to leave. This is an excellent opportunity to ask them to subscribe because they have most likely read your content and found your site useful.

Using an exit popup works incredibly well, and our customers typically experience large gains when they use exit-intent. Neil Strauss, for example, was able to increase conversions by 125 percent using exit intent!

Read our post on 40 Exit Popup Hacks That Will Increase Your Subscribers and Revenue to learn more about exit-intent® popups.

What Email Marketing Service Is Best?

Before you email anyone, you need 2 things:

  1. Their permission
  2. A business email set up

You acquired that permission if you started with an optin, so yay! We don’t recommend sending marketing emails to them unless you have their permission if you didn’t use an optin.

You run the danger of their marking your emails as spam. As a result, not only will customers not purchase from you, but you may also face undesirable consequences.

Instead, you may use a service like OptinMonster to generate smarter optin forms. You can gather leads and subscribers who want to receive marketing emails from you.

Then you must choose an email service provider. These service providers provide you with the necessary infrastructure to send broadcasts and bulk business emails.

You acquired that permission if you started with an optin, so yay! We don’t recommend sending marketing emails to them unless you have their permission if you didn’t use an optin.

You run the danger of their marking your emails as spam. As a result, not only will customers not purchase from you, but you may also face undesirable consequences.

Instead, you may use a service like OptinMonster to generate smarter optin forms. You can gather leads and subscribers who want to receive marketing emails from you.

Then you must choose an email service provider. These service providers provide you with the necessary infrastructure to send broadcasts and bulk business emails.

1. Constant Contact

2. Sendinblue

3. HubSpot

4. Drip

5. ConvertKit

6. Mailchimp

7. MailerLite

Types of marketing emails

Email marketing can be promotional, informative, or fulfil a specific role in the customer journey.

Promotional emails

Email marketing campaigns are used to advertise special discounts, new product releases, gated content such as ebooks and webinars, as well as your overall brand. A campaign could consist of 3-10 emails distributed over a period of days or weeks.

Promotional emails include a clear call-to-action, or CTA. The CTA reflects the precise action you want the reader to perform, such as visiting a page on your website or making a purchase using a discount.

The frequency with which you send this form of marketing email is often determined by your company’s sales and marketing rhythm. ⏱️ You may send numerous promotional emails in the same 24-hour period at critical occasions such as Black Friday. There may be a few weeks between promotional efforts during quiet periods in the marketing calendar.

Informational emails

Newsletters: As the name implies, a newsletter shares news about your company. 📰 Consider significant milestones attained, new product features, or highlighting useful material such as case studies. Newsletters, when sent at regular intervals — weekly, biweekly, or monthly — assist in maintaining consistent touch points with your email subscribers.

But did you know that newsletters don’t have to be all about news? Focus on the letter, as email guru Ann Handley suggests. Assume you’re writing a one-on-one letter to each of your subscribers about something that piques their interest.

Simply defined, a newsletter is an opportunity to share insights, views, and tips with your target audience.

Announcements: Email is an excellent tool to notify customers about corporate announcements, new product releases, service modifications, and so on.

Email is frequently used to communicate vital messages. If there is a problem with your website, shipment delays, or a system/software outage, emailing your contacts is the best method to stay in touch. It’s safe, quick, and can match the formality of even the most essential announcements.

Re-engagement emails

The re-engagement email is another key sort of marketing email. Re-engagement emails, as the name implies, assist in reconnecting with consumers or subscribers who haven’t been active in a while.

Consider the following Shopify example:

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