Email Marketing 101: Tips and Tricks

  • Email marketing should still be a priority. Although we can market on social media, we’re posting on borrowed ground that doesn’t belong to us. If the platform disappeared tomorrow, you’d lose your following.
  • Once an email is on your email list, it belongs to you.
  • If you send an email to your list, you can expect an open rate of 30-50% depending on your list. On Messenger, the open rate is between 70-80%. However, the reason that rate is so high is that people aren’t
  • used to it yet. This is why there’s still a place for email.
  • You need to be sending marketing or newsletters through a proper email provider, not just Outlook. Plus, you need to provide an opt-out. MailChimp, Drip and Infusionsoft are great options that offer opt-outs automatically.
  • HTML emails often cause email providers to see them as a bulk email. This can cause delivery rates and open rates to decrease. Text-based emails work and are better for producing increased open rates.
  • Keep your emails consistent. At least once a month is a good minimum.

You should always be adding value to your recipient’s lives through your emails. Tips, ideas and strategies are a great place to start! Obviously, a strong call to action is a must. However, start by adding value and then attempt the sale.

  • Is email marketing still worth doing? – 05:30
  • Open rates in email compared to Messenger – 07:15
  • Collecting email addresses for your list – 09:10
  • Best email platforms for your list – 10:44
  • HTML or text only? – 11:42
  • Always add value to your emails – 18:42
Transcript below


Hello, and welcome to episode 32 of the Social Media Marketing Made Simple podcast, and I am your host Teresa Heath-Wareing. I hope you're having a great Monday, if you're listening to this as it comes out on Monday. Or whatever day it is that you're listening to this, I hope you're having a good day.

So this week I've been out and about, I've had a bit of a busy week, and I've attended Marketed Live, which is an event here in the UK. It's an event aimed at, obviously, marketers and people who work in social media, and they have some great speakers talking all about various different things to do with the future of marketing and social media. And it kind of got me thinking a bit about, do you attend many conferences? I know in this digital world we live in, it's amazing that you can be, I don't know, cooking dinner in Australia and listening to my podcast, phenomenal what a world we live in, and how amazing it is that if you want to learn anything, you can just go online and learn how to do that thing. But sometimes I honestly think that it's worth having that one-to-one interaction with human beings in the same place. Because actually, not only is it great to see the speakers and connect with them, but also it's so good to meet other people in your industry, like-minded people who you can talk through things, who you can share ideas with.

So it was a really lovely event and I was really glad I attended. But I understand it takes a couple of days at the office, you got to pay to get there, you got to pay for the events, so it is a big investment in your time, but I do genuinely think it's a worthwhile investment. And actually, if you get the tickets early, and I know Marketed Live have already released the 2019 tickets, if you get them now before they announce their speakers and get closer to the event, you can actually get these at a really low cost. So it's the same with all events, but I would definitely have a look at that one.

So the other thing I've been thinking about, and I decided that I wanted to talk about it on here before I get in today's content, is I've decided to challenge myself. Now, most people won't believe this, but I'm actually not that keen putting myself on camera. Like most people, I am super critical of how I look and how I come across, and there are a million times that I've recorded me on camera, on Insta stories, or wanting to put it somewhere, maybe on Facebook or whatever, and then I've taken one look at it and thought, uh-uh, and I've deleted it and forgotten the idea. So I am going to set myself a challenge, and I'm going to become accountable because I'm going to tell you now what that challenges, and I would like you to come and have a word with me if you see that I am not meeting that challenge, if you see that I am not carrying out what I've said I am going to do.

Okay, so the thing I'm going to do is, every day for 30 days … So I'm going to start the challenge when this podcast comes out, which is Monday, the 1st, and I'm going to run it until the end of October. And my challenge is, every single day, I am going to appear on either Insta stories or Instagram TV, depending on how long I want to talk for, and I'm going to share with you one tip and it's literally going to be really quick, really direct, and really helpful, useful tips. Now, they're not going to be big, complicated things. This is going to be back to basic stuff. It's going to be explaining how to use hashtags or how many you can use. It's going to be explaining a content idea, or a scheduling tool, or something like that.

But do you know what? I train an awful lot, and sometimes you get to a point where you think surely everybody knows that because obviously I talk about it so much. But actually, the truth is, lots of people don't know some of these things. So I'm going to go back to basics. Like I said, October 1, I'm going to show up every day over on Instagram, so if you're not following me, go and find me over there, and I'm going to start sharing some tips for you. And like I said, they're not going to be the most massively confusing or crazy tips, they're just going to be some real basic stuff that you can change and do today. Go over there and have a look, and if I'm not doing it, then you need to tell me.

Okay, after four amazing interview episodes, I love doing them, I hope you enjoy them, too, today's episode is just me all on my own. As I've said, the interviews will come back, but I'm going to mix them up with these sessions where I'm just talking on my own. So today, we're going to be talking about email marketing. We're going to be looking at, with all these new technologies, is email marketing still a thing you need to do. We're going to be considering of how it fits into social media. And then we're going to be looking at some email marketing platforms, and some of the things you might want to think about when doing email marketing and how to use some of those emails.


Is email marketing still worth doing?


To start us off, is email marketing even still worth doing it? With things like Messenger advertising, and direct messages, and social media being so great, is email really worth still putting time and effort into? 100% yes. From my opinion, I think email is still a very valid and key part of any marketing strategy. The first reason I think that is because when you market on social media, and I've said it before, you market on borrowed ground, it doesn't belong to you. So it's all very well and good having loads of followers, and loads of likes on a page, or loads of connections through LinkedIn, or whatever it might be. However, if something was to happen to that platform tomorrow, or you were to break a term and condition, then you would no longer have those connections. Also, with the constant algorithm changes, what might work today, suddenly then doesn't work tomorrow.

So it's always best to try and get that data onto your own email list in a good and proper way, obviously, and if you're in the UK and Europe, then obviously complying with GDPR rules. However, it's always helpful to get that email onto your email list because then it belongs to you and you have another way in order to connect with that client, or prospect, or audience member. Obviously, once you've got that email address, don't think, that's it, I don't need to put anything on social media for them. You still want to try and capture them and market to them in different ways. However, having their email just gives you another option.


Open rates in email compared to Messenger


At this point, I just want to address sort of open rates and how that's comparing next to something like Messenger. Now, if you send an email today to your list, you can expect an open rate between, let's say, 30% and 50%. Now, obviously this is different for everybody. It depends on the size of your list, how warm you list is, who you are, what you're talking about, et cetera, et cetera. However, you're probably talking 30% to 50% tops, so I would say. And your click through rate, well, that is going to be down near 5% to 10% if you're lucky. And when you look at Messenger marketing, i.e, when someone sends you a message, a business sends you a message within instant Messenger within Facebook, the open rate on that is anywhere between 70% and 80%, and the click through rate is something crazy like 40%. I think that's great and amazing. And if you can do Messenger alongside your email, then brilliant. But I also think that the reason that rate is so high is because it's a fairly new technology and people aren't used to it yet. And maybe like email, they will get tired of that once it becomes overly popular and people are using it all the time. But I still think there is always room for email.

The other thing I love about email marketing is you can now do super clever stuff through email automation, and it's no longer just sending those massive bulk emails to people where it says, “Hi, first name.” Classic, don't know how many of them I've had, or not even bothering to attempt with your first name. You can send much more personalised emails to people based on what they've done, what they've looked at, what they've bought. So therefore, you can get much more smarter with your marketing.


Collecting email addresses for your list


So if you're going to be sending emails, one of the first things you need to think about is collecting that email data. Now, if you head back to episode six, I talk you through five tried and tested strategies to build your email list. Because obviously there's no point putting together emails if you got no one to send them to. You should be actively trying to build your list all the time. So go check out that episode. I'll link it up in the show notes, which if you go to, you'll see the show notes there. But you want to head over and check out that episode to see how to build your email.

But let's say you have an email list and you want to start marketing to those people, you're going have to think of a platform in order to use to send those physical emails out. Now, some people might still think it's okay to use your own email, i.e, Outlook or Mac mail, or whatever it might be, but I promise you it's not. You really do need to be sending marketing, or newsletter type communication through a proper email provider, one, it's built for that purpose, and two, you have to provide an update. So at the bottom of your email or somewhere in your email, there has to be a very easy way in which someone can physically opt out of your email list if they want to. And obviously with the platforms I'm going to be talking about, they have this technology easily built in as standard into their emails.


Best email platforms for your list


So the three platforms I'm going to talk to you about as possibles for your email marketing are MailChimp, Drip and Infusionsoft. And as the same with the episode link, I will put these links in the show notes as well. Now, MailChimp is probably the one that most people know. And the good thing about MailChimp is it's free to get started, and you can actually send quite a lot of emails to a fairly large list with no cost whatsoever. However, the one downside to MailChimp is that some of the functionality, some of the really cool stuff you want to be doing if you want to take your email marketing a step further, then actually cost you money. Even though you can send out newsletters, if you want to automate it, or if you wanted to make it do something clever, you're likely to have to pay for that.


HTML or text only?


Now, MailChimp is a really good thing to use if you want a drag and drop builder, where you literally put together a HTML email. Now I have to say, I have stopped sending HTML emails. Let me just quickly explain what I mean by that. So an HTML email is an email that has lots of images in it, or is really beautiful looking. So people like Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, these are UK company. Sorry, I'm just trying to think. Who else I could think of that's American as well and Australian? But obviously any kind of big brands are likely to send you HTML emails where they're all beautifully done and there's images in the email. I now send text only. And the reason I send text-only emails is, one, when a email provider, i.e, the people you're sending it to, the systems that they're receiving their emails through, so say Gmail, sees a HTML email, they know that it's a bulk email, they know that it's a big marketing email. So the deliverable rates, the people who actually receive those emails, could be less than with a text email.

The other reason I use text only is it looks really personal. It looks like an email that I would physically send as if I was directly emailing you myself, and I really like the look of that. I like the fact that people see it as a more personal thing between me and them. This is really odd because actually I love beautiful things as I've talked about before, and I really liked HTML emails because I like the fact that you can make them look great. But what's more important to me than something looking beautiful is actually working. And for me, text-only emails work so much better. Now, you can use text only emails in MailChimp, however, they are predominantly set up for HTML, and that's what people tend to use them for.

If you don't want to do any automation or anything of the cool stuff, then MailChimp will be a great option for you because you can have up to 2500 people on your email list and send your emails for free. So definitely check out MailChimp. However, if you want to get a bit smarter, and by smarter I mean, let's say when someone signs up to your email newsletter they get an autoresponder back, let's say if they click on something in their email, they then get something else sent to them. That's the kind of more automation that I'm talking about.

So for me, I have a lead magnet on my Teresa website where it says, “Five things,” I have to think now, “Five things that you can do in order to grow your Facebook followers for free.” And that lead magnet is a five part email mini course. So because I use one of these cool systems, I'm obviously not having to send out each email, I set it up, I decide the time difference I want between each email, and it sends it automatically for me. It's really smart like that.

The other thing that these email systems do that I'm going to be talking about, is they can tag your audience with things, and this is awesome. So for me, if someone downloads a particular lead magnet, I can tag them so I know that they got that lead magnet. If I speak at an event and someone downloads something again, I can tag them to say they were at a particular event. And when I mentioned earlier that email is getting more personal and smarter, this is what I'm talking about. I'm talking about you being able to email someone saying, “Thank you so much for downloading that thing. How did you find it? What was it like? Because you downloaded this, I think you might like this.” That's really cool. You're not wasting people's time, you're not sending them messages that aren't of interest to them.

So for me, the two email systems that I use are Drip and Infusionsoft. Now, Drip is a great system and does some really cool automation stuff. It is owned by lead pages. And obviously as you know, because I've talked about it before, I love lead pages. So the two systems talk together really nicely. The cost wise isn't too bad. You get something like your first 100 email contacts for free, but it's free with all the functionalities. So if you wanted to start your account today, you could at no cost. You could set up all your automations, you can plan all your emails, plan your funnel, and then as people start getting added to it, then when you hit the 100 mark, you'll then start getting charged for it. I actually really like that way because at least you can go in and have a play and decide whether you like the system or not.

Now, Drip is a great one. Like I said, it can do some great automation, and currently, that's what I use. I am actually moving over to Infusionsoft, which I feel really bad about because I do love Drip. They're a great company. But Infusionsoft for me is next level stuff. So the cost of Infusionsoft is considerably higher than Drip is. However, the stuff it can do is immense. It connects to a card, it can tell me when someone's paid, it can do reoccurring payments. It's a really fancy system. It can do some really smart integrations. So for instance, I've used Infusionsoft for a client where we've done a webinar and we've connected it with Zoom, so we know who's registered, we know if they've attended. And because of that, we can then send a more specific automated email out. It can do some really, really cool stuff.

So like I said, those are the kind of three platforms I'd use. If you're only at the stage of wanting to send the odd newsletter, or the odd email out, I would try and be consistent with it by the way. I would at least try and do something once a month as a minimum. Now, I'm going to have to speak to myself about this. I'm not very good at emailing people very often. However, if I was advising someone, I would say you should probably do it at least once a month. Obviously, we all know that we have some companies that we follow or people that you follow, and we get bombarded constantly. However, for me, if you're doing it a minimum of once a month, then that's a great starting place.

Like I said, if you're just going to be sending out newsletters, or fairly sporadic emails and your list isn't massive, then MailChimp is a good starting point, if you're wanting to get more sophisticated, which is a fantastic way to save time and ultimately money in the end. And the other thing it does is it future proofs you. So even though at the moment you think, “Well, you know what, I'm not getting loads on my list, but it would be good to automate that bit,” imagine when you then start getting loads of people on your list how easy it would be that that's already set up. So it's worth having a think about that. And also when you're used to a system, you don't want to then have to change again. Because I'm changing from Drip over to Infusionsoft, I've obviously had a couple of months where I'm paying for both. So if I just gone with Infusionsoft in the first place, then may it would be different. But anyway, that's where I am.


Always add value to your emails


Once you've got your system set up, think about how you're going to be sending those emails. Ideally, you want to be adding value in every single email that you send. Obviously if you sell a product or a service, you are going to want to try and have a call to action to do something. But ideally, I would just be trying to add value, add value, add value, and then you can look at selling something, or you can look at promoting something to sell. I would see your email list as a way in which you can add value to someone's world. And that's the way I try and do my emails. I try and only tell people that I've got podcast coming out, or that I've done a new lead magnet, or there's a new blog post, or whatever it might be. I try and give them constant tips, and ideas, and strategies, and things like that.

I wanted to cover off a bit about if you were doing email marketing. So I know that some people aren't, I know some people have a bit of a list, I know some people are really good at this and do some really cool stuff in Drip and Infusionsoft, but I wanted to just kind of cover off the basics of getting setup and whether you should be spending your time on it. And my answer is, yes, you should be spending your time on it and think about these systems. Start looking into them now. Start thinking about how you're collecting that data and how you can keep building that data as well.

Now I know this has been a bit of a short one, but I really wanted to kind of cover those basic bits off first, and then in future episodes, I'll talk about things like how to get your emails opened, what to use as a subject line, how to structure them, and more kind of in detail about emails themselves. But for the time being, I just thought I would give you a heads up about the kind of systems that you can use and whether it's still worth doing, which is. there are obviously also loads of other systems out there that do email marketing. However, these are the three that I have used and know very, very well. So obviously, I'm going to speak about them. You might have an email system that you use that you think actually this is awesome. If so, let me know. I would love to hear what you think.

Now, don't forget, I'm setting myself a challenge from today, October 1. Obviously, if you're listening to this afterwards, I should have already done it. So go check. Go find me on Instagram, it's Teresa Heath-Wareing. I'm easy to find anywhere. And go give me a follow and pick up those cool tips every single day. Like I said, it is going to be a challenge for me because I'm not keen on going on screen and it is something I have to force myself to do, which is why I'm trying to make myself accountable by saying it on the podcast. I can't wait for you to connect with me over on Instagram. Have a wonderful week, and I will see you next week where I have another cool interview for you, this time with Rob from Thinkific, and we will be talking all things online courses and social media. So if you haven't subscribed already, make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don't miss it. Until then, have a great week.