sales strategy

Email Marketing: What is it and how does it work?

Christina Miranda
LAST UPDATED
April 4, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves the use of email to promote specific products, special discounts, or other services to a targeted audience.

Email marketing aims to reach a mass quantity of leads or clients with little inversion.

With these emails you are persuading your leads or clients to take a particular action, you will also be building brand awareness and customer loyalty. With a good email marketing strategy, you will ensure to stay in your clients’ minds.

We’ve all seen these emails pour into our inboxes, so we know that the beauty of email marketing is that (generally) the messages will be tailored and target your specific needs and interests.

By using email marketing you can guarantee a more personal touch than you would with social media publicity. It offers a much better chance that your lead will be enticed with personalization, rather than just scrolling through their feed and not seeing anything that applies to their needs.

History of email marketing

Email marketing has been around since the early days of the internet and has since then undergone great development.

During the 90s companies started gathering email addresses to contact leads and clients with promotions and newsletters, although it was a primitive version.

Since then, marketers began to see the real potential email had and started adjusting and designing messages more appealingly, with stronger CTAs and visuals. Aside from that, automation and segmentation made their appearance, allowing a much more targeted and personal approach in all of their campaigns.

Today email marketing has been fully adapted to the modern customer. Emails can be read on phones, tablets, and computers. They are highly targeted and personalized. Not only that but there is full integration with social media, allowing multichannel campaigns which benefit both marketers and customers.

Types of emails

Email marketing is so much more than simply sending mass emails saying, “Hey, this is our product. Go check it out”. There is a large range of marketing emails that are dedicated to specific situations leads or clients may be at.

  • Promotional emails

When we think of email marketing, these kinds of emails are the first ones to come to mind. Promotional emails aim to announce new features, products, or services.

You can use promotional emails for “special occasions” such as seasonal events, or even upcoming birthdays. They are the perfect opportunity to engage your leads even more.

  • Welcome emails

These emails are typically sent to new subscribers/customers and tend to be the first contact between you and your leads.

With these emails, you’re allowing your clients to complete their onboarding in a simple way.

With these emails you can confirm successful subscription/onboarding, reassuring your new client that they will receive the service/product you provide.

They are useful to introduce yourself and let your new client know exactly what to expect for you.

Remember you should follow through with everything you’re promising, it is the only way to successfully build a solid relationship with your client.

This is a great moment for you to provide value to your new client. Let them benefit from an exclusive discount as a thank you. This will ensure loyalty and could lead to more potential clients. After all, we all like a little reward, don’t we?

  • Newsletter emails

These emails are sent on a regular basis to your clientele.

With newsletters, you get the opportunity to update your clients on new services or products or share experiences and uses of existing ones. Newsletters are a great way to announce launches or promotions in a more “exclusive” manner.

By sending newsletters you can establish yourself (or your company) as thought leaders, as you introduce relevant topics or members of your industry. Your clients will receive immediate value from these emails, as you are sharing relevant and valuable information in their niche.

Newsletters play a crucial role in building brand awareness, loyalty, and revenue.

  • Lead nurturing emails

These emails are designed to engage with leads at various stages of the buyer’s journey, providing them with relevant content and information to move them closer to making a purchase decision.

In order to correctly nurture your leads, you should make sure you’ve completed the email list segmentation correctly. You want to take into account your leads’ stage in the buyer journey, interest, demographics, and previous interactions. With proper segmentation, your leads will receive hyper-personalized emails that will move them further along the sales funnel.

In these emails, you want to provide as much value as possible. Whether you provide educational content or exclusive promotional offers, make sure they are tailored to your leads’ behavior and preferences.

Lead nurturing emails will ultimately help you drive your sales and increase revenue.

  • Invite emails

With invite emails, you allow your leads/clients to attend an event, webinar, program, or another activity or interaction.

These emails need a very clear and strong CTA, as you aim to persuade them to attend your event.

With invite emails, you build stronger relationships as you are asking your leads to actively participate.

By organizing this type of event you are opening the door to direct communication with your leads, therefore creating an even more personal environment.

  • Survey emails

Survey emails give you the chance to assess the perception of your product or service that your leads have. It gives you the perfect opportunity to run tests to see what needs to be fixed and what needs improvement.

With survey emails, you allow your leads to be involved and to give their feedback.

Difference between email marketing and cold emailing

Cold emailing and email marketing both aim to engage and nurture leads.

The main difference between them is that with email marketing you approach existing clients or leads who have expressed interest at one point, whereas with cold emailing you are contacting leads for the first time.

In email marketing, you already know your leads’ interests and, therefore, you’re able to push certain products or services right off the bat. However, with cold emailing your main aim is to build a relationship first and research your leads’ interests to ensure you are using the right approach.

If you want a more in depth analysis into cold emailing, check out our comprehensive guide.

Best practices in email marketing

Here are some tips to make sure your email marketing goes as swiftly as possible!

  • Craft a compelling subject line

The subject line is the first thing that will pop up in your leads’ inboxes, therefore it should be as eye-catching as possible.

Be actionable, straightforward, and don’t use more than 14 words. Make sure it’s readable on smartphones, smartwatches and tablets, as most of your leads will likely check their email on these devices as well.

If you want more info, check out our video ⬇️

  • Have an intentional structure

When sending out marketing emails, you want your leads to go through them seamlessly, without really having to stop or go back. There should be an intentional flow, where you lead them on a simple and short journey that should end with a strong CTA.

  • Make it simple

When crafting your email, you want it to be eye-catching and original. But beware! If there is too much going on, your leads may be discouraged and eventually not focus on the intent of your email.

Including 1-2 images in your email can improve your click-through rates by up to 42%, but make sure that the file’s size is correct so your recipients can see them correctly.

And if you’re wondering if images will send you to spam? We’ve got you covered.

When including images, be cohesive with your tone and colors, so you will establish your personality through all your campaigns and make the intent seem even clearer.

  • Clean your email lists regularly

Unfortunately, not all leads or clients will accept to receive your emails forever (I know, bummer). So staying on top of unsubscribed lists is important to stay in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR regulations.

With clean email lists you ensure that your sender reputation stays intact, as you will be contacting with recipients that will most likely engage with your emails.

Having a clean email list ensures that your emails are delivered to the recipients' inboxes rather than being flagged as spam or bouncing. ISPs and email clients monitor engagement metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates to determine whether an email is legitimate. High bounce rates or low engagement can negatively impact your sender reputation and deliverability.

  • Come back, check, and adjust

Keep track of all of the relevant metrics of your campaign.

By getting comprehensive reports on all of your campaign you’re able to see what’s working and producing the results you want (or better ones), and which ones aren’t meeting your expectations and, more importantly, why. This will help you make the proper adjustments to all of your outbound campaigns to ensure that you meet all of your goals.

  • Stay human

You want your leads to feel special and that they are talking to an actual person. No one likes feeling like just one more number or email address in a long list.

By engaging on a more personal and human level, you will guarantee higher engagement and more solid relationships.

Use an email automation tool that will help you send out hyper-personalized emails, based on their preferences, behaviors, and past interactions.

Keep your tone friendly and conversational, you don’t want to seem too sales-y. Talk as you would with a friend and show empathy and appreciation. This includes not limiting your interactions to going on and on about your company and what you have to offer.

Encourage your recipients to reply and provide their feedback and personal experiences.

Strategies in email marketing

It’s time to start creating your email marketing campaigns, but where should you start?

Here are a few strategies that will help you get going and skyrocket your results 🚀

  • Define your audience

Not all campaigns will be suitable for every lead or client in your list. Before sending out your campaigns you should take into consideration email list segmentation.

Separate your leads considering their demographics, needs, or behaviors.

By sending out targeted campaigns, you will be able to improve your results as your clients will be receiving exactly what they need from you and will be hooked from the get-go.

  • Establish your goals and KPIs

Have a clear goal with every campaign you send out and take into consideration the impact they will have on your company.

Take into consideration the aim of your campaign.

  • Schedule your campaigns

Plan your campaigns ahead. You don’t want to barrage your clients/leads on a daily basis.

Plan and set specific dates and times for sending out your email messages to subscribers.

Create a content calendar or schedule outlining the dates and themes of your upcoming email campaigns. Align your email schedule with your marketing objectives, product launches, seasonal promotions, or events to ensure timely and relevant communication.

  • Track results and adjust:

To make the most out of all your campaigns, don’t forget to conduct A/B tests to pick the best times, images, subject lines…

Choose a platform that can help you do it intentionally and don’t just guess or estimate how the numbers work.

Pros and cons of email marketing

✅ Pros

The biggest benefit email marketing offers is its cost-effectiveness.  It eliminates the need for printing, postage, or advertising space, making it a budget-friendly option for businesses with limited resources.

Email marketing consistently delivers a high ROI for businesses. According to industry studies, the average ROI for email marketing is around $40 for every $1 spent. This makes it one of the most cost-effective marketing channels available.

There are over 7.9 billion email accounts out there, so you are guaranteed to have a wide audience and you will most likely reach anyone you could possibly want to reach. Email allows you to communicate with your subscribers wherever they are.

❌ Cons

The major downside to email marketing is that you need total awareness of how you are sending out your campaigns.

Email deliverability can be a challenge, as messages may end up in spam folders or get blocked by ISPs. Maintaining a good sender reputation, following best practices, and regularly cleaning your email list can help improve deliverability rates. If you are not careful you could be flagged as spam and hurt your email deliverability, therefore stunting the growth of your business.

Inboxes are flooded with emails from businesses and marketers, leading to content saturation. Standing out in a crowded inbox and capturing the attention of recipients can be challenging, especially if your emails are perceived as spammy or irrelevant.

To prevent this, make sure you’re sending valuable messages, offers, and promotions that will keep your leads and clients engaged.

How can you ensure that this does not happen? Keep on reading ⬇️

Mistakes to avoid

  • Don’t send out all your campaigns at once

Campaigns should be sent out imitating human behavior as much as possible. If your clients receive 7 emails from you on the same day and time, chances are they won’t open any of them.

However, if they receive one with an enticing subject line, it will be hard for them to look the other way.

  • Avoid spam triggers

You want your emails to sound as human as possible, we’ve left a list of 222 spam trigger words you should try to avoid.

  • Do not push if your client opts out

Respect those clients who have unsubscribed. If you continue to barrage them after they have decided to stop receiving your emails you could have larger issues, aside from greatly hurting your reputation.

Key takeaways

Email marketing aims to help you build strong relationships with your clients.

Overall, email marketing offers businesses a cost-effective, targeted, and measurable way to connect with their audience, build brand awareness, and drive revenue growth. With the right strategy and tools in place, email marketing can be a powerful asset for achieving your marketing goals.

Building brand awareness and ensuring customer loyalty are vital components to grow your business, so why not create fun and enticing campaigns that will bring all of your leads and clients that much closer?

If you’re looking for a simple way to get all of your campaigns going, start your 14-day free trial now!

Christina Miranda
Content creator and translator @ lempire
Get weekly outreach tips
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Thanks! You've successfully subscribed to lemlist newsletter
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Multichannel Expert

$
99
/ MO
Per user / 5 SENDING EMAIL
Everything in Email Pro
Email finder + verifier (500 credits/mo)
500 free credits per month
Linkedin prospection
LinkedIn voice notes
with Aircall
Cold calling prospection with Aircall
with Aircall
Advanced campaign conditions
Custom landing page
Premium support chat

Outreach Scale

$
159
/ MO
Per user / 15 SENDING EMAIL
Everything in Multichannel Expert
Email finder + verifier (1,000 credits/mo)
1000 free credits per month
Dedicated account manager (4+ seats)

More than 10 users?

Multichannel Expert

$
89
/ MO
Per user / 5 SENDING EMAIL
Everything in Email Pro
Email finder + verifier (500 credits/mo)
500 free credits per month
Linkedin prospection
LinkedIn voice notes
with Aircall
Cold calling prospection with Aircall
with Aircall
Advanced campaign conditions
Custom landing page
Premium support chat

Outreach Scale

$
144
/ MO
Per user / 15 SENDING EMAIL
Everything in Multichannel Expert
Email finder + verifier (1,000 credits/mo)
1000 free credits per month
Dedicated account manager (4+ seats)

More than 10 users?

Multichannel Expert

$
79
/ MO
Per user / 5 SENDING EMAIL
Everything in Email Pro
Email finder + verifier (500 credits/mo)
500 free credits per month
Linkedin prospection
LinkedIn voice notes
with Aircall
Cold calling prospection with Aircall
with Aircall
Advanced campaign conditions
Custom landing page
Premium support chat

Outreach Scale

$
129
/ MO
Per user / 15 SENDING EMAIL
Everything in Multichannel Expert
Email finder + verifier (1,000 credits/mo)
1000 free credits per month
Dedicated account manager (4+ seats)

More than 10 users?

PRM Tool
G2 Rating
Price
Best for
Standout feature
Con
4.9
star
star
star
star
star
$30/mo
$75/mo
$2,999/mo
Large, distributed sales teams
AI evaluation precision, gamified KPIs
Lack of tracking system
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Sales operations and finance teams
Powerful configurability
Limited training resources and complex to navigate
4.4
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Mid-market and enterprise businesses
Comprehensive incentive management
Potentially high cost and steep learning curve
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
$15/user/mo
$40/user/mo
Enterprise: custom price
Complex sales structures and businesses of all sizes
Intelligent quota management and gamification
Steep learning curve
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Collaborative teams
Connected planning
Complexity and steep learning curve
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with complex sales structures
Complex incentive compensation management (ICM) with high efficiency and accuracy
Complexity for smaller teams and potentially high costs
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies who want to automate commission calculations and payouts
Simplicity and ease of use
Lack of features like redirection
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
$30/user/mo
$35/user/mo
Custom: upon request
Businesses that need a comprehensive and user-friendly sales compensation management software
Ease of use and adoption
Lack of ability to configure the product based on user needs
4.8
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with modern sales culture and businesses who want real-time insights
A built-in dispute management and real-time visibility
Users say it works slowly, customer support is slow
4.9
star
star
star
star
star
$30/user/mo
$50/user/mo
Smaller sales teams
Powerful automation
Lesser user base and average user interface
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with scalable needs
Automated Commission Calculations
Lack of filtering by date, no mobile app
PRM Tool
Rating
Feature
Pro
Con
Mobile App
Integrations
Free Plan
Pricing
4.65
star
star
star
star
star-half
Org-wide alignment
User-friendly layout and database
Suboptimal as a personal CRM
square-check
Lack of tracking system
square-check
Team: $20/month
Business: $45/month
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Social Media Integration
Easy contact data collection
No marketing/sales features
square-check
Lack of tracking system
square-xmark
7-day trial
$12/month
4.75
star
star
star
star
star-half
Block Functions
High customization capability
Not a dedicated CRM
square-check
Limited
square-check
Plus: €7.50/month
Business: €14/month
N/A
Open-source
Open-source flexibility
Requires extensive manual input
square-xmark
Limited
square-check
Self-hosted
$9/month or
$90/year
3.1
star
star
star
Simple iOS app
Ideal for non-tech-savvy users
iPhone only
square-check
iOS only
Limited
square-xmark
1-month trial
$1.49/month or
$14.99/month
3.6
star
star
star
star-half
Smart Contact Management
Feature-rich and flexible
Reported bugs
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
7-day trial
Premium: $13.99/month
Teams: $17.99/month
4.4
star
star
star
star
star-half
Customizable Interface
Customizable for teamwork
Pricey for personal use
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
Standard: $24/member
Premium: $39/member
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Integrated Calling
Integrated Calling
Too sales-oriented & pricey
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
14-day trial
Startup: $59/user/month
Professional: $329/user/month
4.8
star
star
star
star
star
Business Card Scanning
Business Card Scanning
Mobile only
square-check
Limited
square-check
$9.99/month
4.45
star
star
star
star
star-half
160+ app integrations
Comprehensive integrations
No free app version
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
14-day trial
$29.90/month or
$24.90/month (billed annually)
PRM Tool
Capterra Rating
Free Trial
Free Plan
Starting Price (excluding the free plan)
Maximum Price (for the most expensive plan)
Best for
4.5
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-check
14-day
square-check
Up to 1,000,000 contacts
€15/month/seat billed annually
€792/month/3 seats billed annually + €45/month for each extra seat
Versatility and free plan
4.2
star
star
star
star
square-check
30-day
square-xmark
But it offers reduced price to authorised nonprofit organisations
€25/user/month
€500/user/month billed annually (includes Einstein AI)
Best overall operational CRM
4.3
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-xmark
square-check
Limited to 3 users
Comprehensive incentive management
€52/user/month billed annually
Small-medium businesses and automation
4.5
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-check
14-day
square-xmark
€14/seat/month billed annually
€99/seat/month billed annually
Sales teams and ease of use
4.1
star
star
star
star
square-xmark
square-check
Limited 10 users
$9.99/user/month billed annually
$64.99/user/month billed annually
Free plan for very small teams up to 10

What you should look at next

Receive weekly outreach tips in your inbox, sent to 210 000+ salespeople, marketers, founders, and entrepreneurs worldwide!

Subscribe to the lemlist newsletter
You've successfully subscribed to the lemlist newsletter!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.