A short series from COG Branding on the digital marketing basics for Australian Small Business.
COG Branding is a Sydney marketing agency with a structure that ensures we are providing brand design, marketing, technology and business development solutions that are underpinned by true value. Our dynamic approach has been refined over the years by the demands of Australia’s small business community. This six part series is a summary on common digital marketing opportunities in our marketing landscape today.
- Google Advertising
- Facebook Advertising
- Instagram Advertising
- LinkedIn Advertising
- Email Marketing
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Article 5: Email Marketing
COG Branding make Email Marketing a central pillar of our clients digital marketing strategies. So what exactly is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the practice of sending promotional messages or advertisements to a group of people via email. It is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. Email marketing can be used to build relationships with customers, promote new products or services, or generate sales. It can also be used to inform customers of special promotions, upcoming events, or other important information.
Has Email Marketing always been a popular inclusion to a small business digital marketing strategy?
Email marketing became popular in the 1990s, with the advent of internet-based email services such as Hotmail (now Outlook) and Yahoo Mail, which made it easy for people to send and receive emails. As internet adoption and email usage grew, businesses and organisations began to realise the potential of email as a marketing tool. Early forms of email marketing were primarily used for direct sales, but as the technology and strategies evolved, it became a more versatile communication tool for building relationships, providing customer service, and engaging with audiences.
Today, email marketing is widely used as a cost-effective and targeted way to reach customers and promote products or services. COG Branding include email marketing as a fundamental marketing function for our clients digital strategy as it’s owned media benefits are powerful.
In simple terms there are 5 top ways Email Marketing works for small businesses and brands.
Most people get sold to in some form or another hundreds of times a day. Television ads, radio, billboards, social media. Though most of these platforms are not a direct line of communication to the individual – this is where Email Marketing comes in.
As email marketing is all about sending communications directly to the recipients inbox, ideally addressed to them, your chance of getting your message across is much greater. The better the content of your email campaign the better the campaign will perform. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Building a list of email addresses: This can be done by collecting email addresses from customers, website visitors, or other sources.
- Creating an email campaign: This involves designing and writing the email, including the subject line, header, body, and call-to-action.
- Sending the email: This is done using an email marketing software or service, which allows you to send the email to your list of contacts.
- Measuring the results: Email marketing software or service provides an analytics that allow you to track the results of your campaign, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
- Optimising and refining future campaigns: Based on the results of your campaign, you can refine your strategy to improve the results of future campaigns.
Overall, the goal of email marketing is to build and maintain relationships with customers and promote products or services in a way that is both cost-effective and targeted.
Digital marketing is often technical and complex, and there are many different types of Email Marketing services.
There are several different types of email marketing services available, each with their own set of features and capabilities. Some of the most common types of email marketing services include:
- Email marketing platforms: These are standalone email marketing tools that allow you to create, send, and track the performance of your email campaigns. Examples include MailChimp, Constant Contact, SendInBlue, Campaign Monitor and GetResponse.
- Transactional email services: These services are used to send automated, triggered emails, such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, and password resets. Examples include SendGrid, Mailgun, and Amazon SES.
- Marketing automation platforms: These services provide more advanced features for creating and automating email campaigns, such as lead scoring, segmentation, and personalisation. Examples include suppliers such as Hubspot.
- ESP (Email Service Provider) : This is a service provider that enables companies to send large volumes of emails to customers and prospects. They manage the technical aspects of email delivery and provide tools to create, send and track the performance of email campaigns.
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) : This software application can be integrated with Email Marketing services, this allows businesses to manage customer interactions and provide insights into customer behaviour.
Overall, the type of email marketing service you choose will depend on your specific needs and the features you require. Important to note that some companies offer all-in-one solution that provides a combination of these services, though be cautious as most are from the US, and in US Dollars and can be very expensive. COG Branding offer great insights into technology solutions for small business, and also how these softwares and services can assist in the business development projects for brands and business.
Over time Digital Marketing has become expensive, with the degradation of performance across social media platforms, Email Marketing still remains a cost effective digital marketing opportunity for Australian small businesses.
The cost of email marketing can vary depending on the type of service you use and the features you require. Some email marketing services are free to use, while others require a monthly or annual subscription. Free email marketing services typically have some limitations, such as a limit on the number of contacts you can have or the number of emails you can send per month. These services may also include branding, or display ads in the emails sent with their service, this is how they make money.
Paid email marketing services, on the other hand, typically offer more advanced features and a higher sending limit, but they can be more expensive, especially if you have a large email list. Additionally, there are Email Service Providers (ESP) that charge based on the volume of emails sent, typically they are more expensive but they allow to send large volumes of emails.
Overall, the cost of email marketing can vary widely depending on your specific needs, but it can be considered as an affordable and cost-effective option for reaching customers and promoting products or services. It is important to compare the pricing and features of different email marketing services to find the one that best fits your budget and requirements.
To start Email Marketing for your Small Business you might be asking what do you need to get started.
To start email marketing for a small business, you will need the following items. Some are technical by nature so to ensure you are deploying email marketing campaigns that are sophisticated and functioning correctly, you may need to engage a digital marketing agency like COG Branding
- Email List: A list of email addresses of people who have shown an interest in your business. You can start building your list by collecting email addresses from customers, website visitors, or other sources.
- Email Marketing software: This is a tool that allows you to create, send, and track the performance of your email campaigns. There are many email marketing software options available, both free and paid, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, and more.
- Email Templates: These are pre-designed email layouts that you can use as a starting point for your campaigns, you can use them to create professional-looking emails quickly.
- Content: The content of your emails should be relevant, engaging, and provide value to your audience.
- A strategy: It’s important to have a clear plan on how you want to use email marketing to achieve your business goals, whether that be to generate leads, promote products or services or just keep in touch with your customer base.
- Compliance: Make sure you comply with laws and regulations related to email marketing, such as the CAN-SPAM act in the US or GDPR in the EU, it is important to be aware of the specific regulations in your area.
Once you have these things in place, you can start creating and sending email campaigns to your audience. As you gain more experience and learn more about your audience, you can refine your strategy and optimise your campaigns for better results.
You might be asking COG Branding, is Email Marketing easy to do ourselves or do we need a professional digital marketing agency?
Email marketing can be easy to do yourself, especially if you are using an email marketing software that is user-friendly and has a simple interface. Many email marketing services offer templates, drag-and-drop editors, and other features that make it easy to create professional-looking emails without any design or coding experience.
However, creating effective email campaigns that achieve your business goals takes more than just sending an email to a list of contacts. It requires a clear strategy, understanding of your target audience, and a well-crafted message. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to your area, and to make sure you’re following best practices for email deliverability, engagement and privacy.
There is some very technical and IT based tasks that need to be complete relating to your domain name and the domain records that need to be set up for email marketing to function correctly. A domain name is required to set up email marketing, as it is used as the address for sending and receiving emails. The domain name needs to be registered with a domain registrar like COG Domains, and the domain records, such as the MX (Mail Exchange) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records, need to be configured correctly.
MX records are used to direct incoming email to the correct mail server, while SPF records are used to authenticate the domain and prevent email spoofing. Additionally, DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) records can be set up, which provide another layer of authentication for email messages.
Once the domain and records are set up, an email service provider (ESP) can be used to send and manage email campaigns. ESPs typically handle the technical aspects of sending emails, such as compliance with laws and best practices, and provide tools for creating and analysing email campaigns. These types of activities are why clients often choose COG Branding as we have the communication specialists for the branding and marketing, and the website developers to manage the IT tasks.
A professional digital marketing agency can bring a lot of value to your email marketing efforts, they can help you with:
- Defining your target audience and creating a strategy to reach them
- Designing email templates that are visually appealing and engaging
- Creating high-quality and relevant content that is tailored to your audience
- Conducting A/B testing to optimise your campaigns
- Managing your contacts and segmenting your list for better engagement
- Provide you with insights and analytics to measure the performance of your campaigns
- Provide you with best practices for email deliverability, engagement, and privacy.
When you partner with a professional digital marketing agency like COG Branding you get the experience and expertise to create and manage a successful email marketing campaign on your behalf. They can help you identify your target audience, create effective content and copy, and manipulate your databases to ensure every drop is squeezed from them in the deployments.
Plus, marketing agencies can ensure your landing pages on your website are set up for conversion and accurately reading the data and analytics. They also have the ability to optimise and continuously monitor the performance of your campaign to make sure it’s getting the best results possible.
Overall, it depends on the resources and expertise you have available in-house, if you have the time and knowledge to do it yourself, then it can be relatively easy to start email marketing for a small business. However, if you want to optimise your campaigns and achieve better results, it may be worth considering hiring a professional digital marketing agency.
There are tons of activities that you can include in a digital marketing strategy, though is Email Marketing a suitable marketing activity for a small business?
Above all, email marketing is cost effective form of communicating, so this makes it very relevant to small businesses needing value. Email marketing can be a suitable marketing activity for a small business for several reasons:
- Cost-effective: Email marketing can be a cost-effective way to reach customers and promote products or services, as it typically costs less than traditional forms of advertising such as print or television.
- Targeted: Email marketing allows you to segment your list and send targeted messages to specific groups of customers, based on factors such as location, purchasing history, and interests.
- Measurable: Email marketing software provides analytics that allow you to track the results of your campaigns, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, this can help you to optimise your campaigns and measure the ROI.
- Personalisation: Email marketing enables you to personalise your messages to each recipient, this can increase engagement and conversion rates.
- Automation: Some email marketing services offer automation features, which enable you to send automated, triggered emails, such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, and password resets, this can save time and increase efficiency.
However, it’s worth noting that not all businesses or industries are well-suited for email marketing, and it’s important to consider your specific business model, target audience and marketing goals before deciding if email marketing is the right fit for you. In addition, small businesses must be aware of laws and regulations related to email marketing, such as the CAN-SPAM act in the US or GDPR in the EU, and make sure they are following the best practices for email deliverability, engagement and privacy.
Email Marketing is adaptable and a fundamental communication tool, and Email Marketing can be used for any type of small business.
Email marketing can be used for a variety of small businesses, but the effectiveness of email marketing can vary depending on the type of business and its target audience. Businesses that sell products or services online, or have a significant online presence, are well-suited for email marketing as they can use email to promote their products, inform customers of sales and discounts, and encourage repeat business.
Service-based businesses such as law firms, consultants, and accountants, can use email marketing to provide valuable information to their audience and build trust. Physical retail businesses such as restaurants, boutiques, and salons can also benefit from email marketing by sending promotional offers, event invitations, and other information that is relevant to their audience.
However, some businesses may not be as well-suited for email marketing, such as a business that doesn’t have an email list, or a business that doesn’t have an online presence. In these cases, other marketing channels such as social media, SEO, or PPC may be more effective.
COG Branding is a full service marketing agency that develops websites, and we know through thousands of email marketing campaigns we have deployed, when we send email recipients to a website landing page to convert the performance greatly exceeds email marketing campaigns that don’t have a website.
Small business websites that are designed to generate leads and promote products or services work well with email marketing. COG Branding has an experienced team of website developers for many different types of websites, though our focus is primarily WordPress Websites, Shopify Websites, Magento Websites and Big Commerce websites as they provide the most versatility and value for our small businesses and brand clients, especially with email marketing. A website is not strictly required for email marketing, but it can be beneficial for several reasons:
- Email collection: A website allows you to collect email addresses from visitors who are interested in your business. This can be done using sign-up forms, lead magnets, or other methods.
- Branding: A website can help to establish your brand and provide information about your products or services to potential customers, this can increase trust and credibility.
- Call-to-action: A website allows you to include calls-to-action in your emails, such as links to your website, where recipients can make a purchase or learn more about your business.
- Analytics: A website allows you to track the performance of your email campaigns using analytics tools such as Google Analytics, this can help you to optimise your campaigns and measure the ROI.
That being said, it is possible to use email marketing without a website, for example, if you already have a list of email addresses from customers or other sources, you can use an email marketing service to send campaigns to that list. However, having a website can help you to expand your email list and make your email campaigns more effective.
A website is a core virtual home for your business and brand. COG Branding prefer our clients to send their email marketing campaigns to a website for better conversion to truly own the customer conversation. Small businesses that have a website can get the most out of their email campaigns as the Click Through Rate (CTR) is most obvious from the email to the website.
There are many websites that can be used by a small business, and COG Branding knows what websites work best for Email Marketing. These types of websites typically include the following features that are integrated into email marketing softwares and CRM solutions:
- Email sign-up forms: Websites that include email sign-up forms, such as lightboxes or pop-ups, can help you to collect email addresses from visitors who are interested in your business.
- Lead magnets: Websites that offer lead magnets, such as e-books, whitepapers, or webinars, can encourage visitors to provide their email address in exchange for valuable content.
- Calls-to-action: Websites that include calls-to-action, such as “Sign up for our newsletter” or “Get our latest offers,” can encourage visitors to join your email list.
- Product or service pages: Websites that have dedicated pages for their products or services, such as e-commerce websites, can use email marketing to promote their products and inform customers of sales and discounts.
- Blogs: Websites that have a blog can use email marketing to send updates and new content to their subscribers and help them to stay engaged with the brand.
Overall, the most important thing is that the website provides value to the visitors and encourages them to sign up for the email list, this way, you can reach the right audience with your message and achieve your marketing goals.
Measuring traffic and email marketing results is not always easy, so what are the best analytics program to measure the results of your Email Marketing campaigns?
There are many analytics programs available that can be used to measure the results of your email marketing campaigns. Some of the most popular and widely used options include:
- Google Analytics: This is a free web analytics service that allows you to track the performance of your website and email campaigns, including metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
- MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, and other email marketing platforms come with built-in analytics that allow you to track the results of your campaigns, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
- Mixpanel: Mixpanel is an analytics platform that allows you to track user behaviour and engagement on your website and in your email campaigns.
- KISSmetrics: KISSmetrics is an analytics platform that allows you to track user behaviour and engagement, including metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
Ultimately, the best analytics program for you will depend on your specific needs, budget, and the features you require. The most important thing is that the program provides the metrics you need to measure the performance of your campaigns, and that it is easy to use and understand.
The results Email Marketing provides a small business can be varied, though it should be a fundamental marketing activity.
Email marketing can provide a variety of results for small businesses, depending on the goals of the campaign and the target audience. Some of the most common results include:
- Increased sales: Email marketing can be used to promote products or services and encourage customers to make a purchase.
- Increased website traffic: Email marketing can be used to drive traffic to a small business website, through calls-to-action in the email, such as links to the website.
- Increased brand awareness: Email marketing can be used to build relationships with customers and increase awareness of a small business brand.
- Increased customer engagement: Email marketing can be used to engage with customers and encourage them to participate in surveys, contests, or other activities.
- Lead generation: Email marketing can be used to generate leads for small business by including calls-to-action in the email, such as sign-up forms or contact information.
- Improved customer loyalty: Email marketing can be used to build trust and loyalty with customers, by providing valuable content and personalised offers.
It’s important to note that the specific results will depend on the goals of the campaign, the target audience, the quality of the content, and the effectiveness of the call-to-action. The most important thing is to measure the performance of your campaigns using analytics, and optimise your strategy to improve the results over time.
Content is king, though it needs careful consideration. Our clients often ask us what sort of content makes a great Email Marketing Campaign.
What other Digital Marketing strategies work well with Email Marketing?
Email marketing can be combined with other digital marketing strategies to create a comprehensive and effective marketing plan. A key digital marketing strategy that COG Branding have had great client success with is Google Ads retargeting, which you can read about below. Other marketing strategies that work well with email marketing include:
- Social media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to drive traffic to your website and encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.
- Search engine optimisation (SEO): Optimising your website for search engines can help to increase visibility and drive traffic to your site, where visitors can sign up for your email list.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: PPC advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website and encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.
- Content marketing: Creating valuable and informative content can help to attract visitors to your website, where they can sign up for your email list.
- Influencer marketing: Partnering with influencers on social media can help to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website, where visitors can sign up for your email list.
- Retargeting: Retargeting is a form of online advertising that allows you to show ads to people who have previously visited your website. It can be used to remind visitors to sign up for your email list or to promote a new product or service.
Overall, the key is to use a combination of strategies to reach your target audience in different ways and at different stages of the customer journey, and then use email marketing to nurture those leads and turn them into customers. Ideally when working with a leading Sydney brand marketing agency like COG Branding, we identify the mix of marketing activities for your particular brand and business.
Where can I teach myself Email Marketing?
There are many resources available for teaching yourself email marketing, including:
- Online tutorials and guides: Websites such as Hubspot, MailChimp, and Constant Contact offer free tutorials and guides on email marketing, covering topics such as building an email list, creating effective campaigns, and analysing results.
- Blogs and articles: There are many blogs and articles on email marketing available online, covering a wide range of topics, such as how to design effective emails, how to write great subject lines, and how to segment your list.
- Video courses: Websites such as Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer email marketing courses, which are in the form of videos, that cover a wide range of topics and are suitable for beginners and advanced users.
- Books: There are many books available on email marketing, both in print and electronic format, that cover a wide range of topics, such as how to build an email list, how to create effective campaigns, and how to analyse results.
- Practicing: Practicing and experimenting with your own campaigns is one of the best ways to learn, you can start with small tests, and then as you acquire more knowledge, you can start optimising your campaigns.
By using a combination of these resources, you can teach yourself the basics of email marketing and gain the knowledge and skills you need to create effective campaigns and achieve your business goals. Though keep in mind COG Branding is only a call away if you get stuck! (02) 9523 6007
Where can I learn more about Email Marketing services?
There are several places where you can learn more about Email Marketing services, including:
- Email marketing software providers: Many email marketing software providers, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, and Aweber, have detailed information on their websites about their services and features. You can also sign up for free trials to test out the software and see how it can work for you.
- Online reviews and comparison websites: Websites such as Capterra, G2 and TrustRadius provide reviews and comparisons of different email marketing software providers, so you can see what other users have experienced with the services.
- Blogs and forums: There are many blogs and forums dedicated to email marketing, where users discuss different email marketing software providers and share tips and best practices.
- Conferences and webinars: Many email marketing software providers host conferences and webinars, where you can learn more about the services and get expert advice on how to use them.
- Consult with industry experts: You can also reach out to industry experts or digital marketing agencies, they have experience working with different email marketing platforms and can provide guidance on which one may be the best fit for your business.
By using a combination of these resources, you can learn more about the different email marketing services available and find the one that best meets your business needs.
COG Branding is a leading Sydney digital marketing agency providing Email Marketing Services.
We’re email marketing specialists, and with a broad range of marketing disciplines within an email marketing campaign we’re able to provide a high level of value to our clients. The COG digital marketing team are experts at managing the complex suite of digital marketing products and softwares and understand how to generate inspiring content to grab your customers attention. We have the skills and experience to integrate intelligent business solutions that link your customers to your branded digital touch points and assets.
Providers of strategic Lead Generation solutions via Performance Marketing Campaigns on platforms such as Google Ads, Meta (Facebook & Instagram), LinkedIn, Twitter and Outbrain. We create ad copy, design content, deploy campaigns and analyse data. Reach out anytime on (02) 9523 6007 or contact us here https://cogbranding.com.au/contact/