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Step by Step Guide to Email Marketing

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Guide to email marketing

Email marketing: Step by Step Guide

For a long time now email marketing has been here and for the good reasons. It is the most reliable and effective way of connecting with your leads and eventually turning them into your customers.

In this step by step guide to email marketing we shall treat the entire process of setting up your email marketing funnel and how you can acquire leads and generate sales 24 hours of the day.

You might be wondering what really Email marketing is. Let us define it.

Guide to email marketing
How to start email Marketing

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is an effective way in the digital marketing world of sending emails to prospects and customers.

An effective marketing email has the potential of turning a one-time buyer into a loyal fan of your products and services.

This guide is specifically for someone who is ready to commit time and energy into email marketing or the Digital marketing world. You need to know why you need to build an email list.

This is going to be a long post because we are going into every corner of the email marketing world.

By the end of this post you will be able to do the following:

  1. Build and email list full of your targeted audience
  2. Get your emails optimized for the highest click through rate and open rates.
  3. Automate the process of getting leads and turning prospects into customers.

This sounds great. Isn’t it?

Let us get down to the business of the day now that you know the definition of email marketing. If you have forgotten, scroll up and read it again.

Why email marketing?

We have done justice to the question of what email marketing is but we haven’t touched why email marketing is important. Let us do that now.

With the rise of social media and unnecessary email (Spam) all over the place, email marketing remain the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into regular buying customers.

There are enough reasons why you should consider email marketing but let us look at the top three:

  1. Email is the number one communication tool: Research has proven that 95% of consumers check their emails daily. That is more than any other communication tool out there.
  2. You are the owner of the list: On other social medias like Facebook, instagram and others, your friends and fans don’t actually belong to you. Your account can be blocked, suspended or even hacked and that means everything will be gone in less than a minute. But in email marketing you own the list. Nobody will come to take it away from you.
  3. Emails converts better: According to optinmonster, people who buy their products and services through emails spend 138% more than those who don’t receive emails.  Research has it that email marketing has an ROI (Return on Investment) of over 4400%. That is really huge! You might be wondering that social media converts even better than email marketing. The average order value of an email is three times higher than that of social media.

Email is just a better way to make sales online.

How to start email marketing

You are probably wondering how to start email marketing. Email marketing is made up of some dynamic pieces. But it is not complicated as you might be thinking. This is how it is done:

Sign up with an email service provider: There are tons of email service providers out there. There are paid and free ones depending on your budget choose one and sign up with them. MailChimp and sendfox are example of the email marketing service providers. We shall others later.

While they both offer free services there are limitation to the free plan. Mailchimp allows only 2000 subscribers and in most cases if your blog gets more traffic you might have up to 25k or even more subscribers. You can start with the free plans but make sure to upgrade with time.

The email service providers allow you to automate emails which will make things easier for you.

Grow your list

The next step is to start building your email list. Some people just design a form, put it at the side bar on the footer and expect people to just opt in. It mostly doesn’t work like that. You need something called a lead magnet to lure people into signing up and subscribing to your newsletter.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet also known as an optin bribe is something of value that you give away for free in exchange of an email address.

Most lead magnets are digital products like a PDF, webinar, an audio or a short video you created to add value to people.

A lead magnet can be anything you wish to give for free provided it will add value to your subscribers. People like free things you know……….

The popular lead magnets are:

  • An ebook
  • A webinar
  • A cheat sheet
  • An audio
  • Trials and samples
  • A coupon

The list can go on and on.

What makes a lead magnet good?

A good lead magnet should possess these great qualities:

  1. Not long or bulky: Whether it’s a PDF, a video or an audio you are offering as a lead it magnet it should not be too long or bulky. It should be easily consumable. Imagine offering a 600 paged eBook as a lead magnet. Just think of it. Would you still have interest if it were offered to you?
  2. Applicable: A lead magnet should be actionable. Something that your audience can easily apply or take action on and see results.
  3. Have noticeable improvements: People buy products that work. Your lead magnet will be a success and bring you what you want if it provides values to your customers.
  4. Relevancy: Your lead magnet should be relevant. Do some homework and provide something that solves your prospects’ problems.
  5. Instantaneous: People don’t like delayed gratification. Provide something that solves their immediate needs.  Something immediately available.

Now that you know what a lead magnet is, it is time to create your optin form.

How to create an optin form

The purpose of your optin form is to get the benefit of your lead magnet so your visitors will subscribe to your email newsletter in exchange of the lead magnet.

To able to really create a form (optin form) that converts well it has to possess these qualities:

  • Attention seeking headline: Your headline should be a very enticing one which reader will find it difficult to ignore.
  • Clear description: Is your description short, clear and straight to the point? Use bullet point to list the benefits they stand to get so they can scan through quickly.
  • Attractive graphics:  Include a mock-up of your eBook you choose to use as lead magnet. Make it beautiful and attractive.
  • Design a simple form: Design a very simple optin form. Ask for only first and second name and their email addresses only. Asking too much will slow your conversion.

Once you have created your optin form with your lead magnet it will be time to install it on your blog.

Best places to put an optin form

There are about eight best places to install your optin form.

  1. Your site’s header
  2. Welcome gate
  3. Within blog posts
  4. Sidebar
  5. Site’s footer
  6. Resources page
  7. Blog archive page
  8. Exit-intent pop

One of the best ways to get conversion is using the exit-intent pop. This triggers at the moment the visitor is about to leave the page. It does not affect his reading experience.

It is the right time to show pop up messages because the user is deciding to leave the site and its not going to interrupt him in anyway. After reading your blog they might find it helpful and might be moved to sign up your optin form.

Choosing the right email marketing service provider

Choosing an email service provider should not be a hard thing for you anymore as I have taken care of that in this post.

We have so many email service providers to choose from. All the ones I provided in this post are good ones you can start with. I see how good they are that is why I am asking you to use of them.

After signing up and having zero subscribers at first, you might be tempted to buy an email list and start sending them your newsletter.It is a bad practice and I don’t recommend you do that. Just follow the step provided above to build your email list.

Adding someone who did willingly subscribe to your email list is always a bad idea. They will hardly buy from you. Don’t add people just because you their email addresses also. They will fall in the same category with those you bought. Your emails will be marked as spam by them.

Email service providers

Constant Contact: It is one of the largest email providers in the world.  They allow users to manage their list and easily build form using a drag and drop tool. You can also send emails to new subscribers automatically.

You can use constant contact for 60 days and afterwards pay $20/month.

Constant contact was rated by WPBeginner as the best email service provider in 2019. That is to tell you how good they are with their services. If you choose to start with them you can check out how to create a constant contact pop up for wordpress.

This will you get started with growing your email list with constant contact.

Mailchimp: One of the most populous email service providers in the world. It is good for people who are just starting out. It is easy to set up because of its user friendly interface. You can also add new subscribers to some segments in your mailchimp dashboard.

Mailchimp do have a free plan which can have only 2,000 subscribers and paid plan start as low as $10/month. The higher the number on your list, the higher you pay.

You can use auto responders only if you are on the paid plan of mailchimp.

Aweber: Also a popular email service that offer an array of tools like autoresponder,  segments and email builders and even more. They have great customer support and can send target emails.

ConvertKit: Just like mailchimp, convetkit will be an excellent choice if you are as well starting out. They have really some advanced features that a beginner will need in the future.

They target professional content marketers, authors and speakers.

Pricing starts at about $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers and goes up like that. The more subscribers you have the higher you pay.

Email list segmentation

Most experts tell you to always build an email list. Some even say “Start building an email list from day one” but did not tell you to segment your list or what even what Email list segmentation is.

We shall take a look at these two in this section of the post.

What is email list segmentation?

Email list segmentation is the process of breaking or categorising your list into smaller units so you can send them mails based on their interest or criteria so you can send them a more personalized emails.

Instead of sending a mail to everybody on your list, segmentation helps you select the people you send it to based on the interest to which they signed up for your newsletter.

You might be having a newsletter category of business or career and you will definitely be sending two different newsletters. You wouldn’t want to send a business newsletter to someone who signed up for career. Your mails will be spam to them if you do so. That is segmentation is a good practice.

If you send out email only to those subscribers that will be interested it will result in higher conversion.

Why you should segment your list

One of the proven ways to increase your email open rate, boast your click through rate and reduce unsubscribe rate is to segment your list. Smart email marketers use segmentation to greatly improve their email campaign.

Segmenting your list your list will help you to write the actual subject line that will give your subscribers that nudge to open your email campaign. It creates more engagement.

There are many ways to dice your list in segments. See it below:

  • New subscribers: Send a welcome email to new subscribers
  • Preferences: Those who want to hear of new blog posts and those who want only sales notification
  • Interests: Those who like food vs. fashion
  • Location: Notify those who live around or close to your location about an event.
  • Inactivity: Remind inactive subscribers of a step you want them to take.
  • Lead magnet: Send mails based on the lead magnet they opted-in.
  • Shopping cart: Remind customers who abandoned their cart to take action.

These are just a scratch of how you can segment your email list.

Tip: Contact forms are a perfect way to collect emails from your lead and create more targeted emails. There are great wordpress plugins to help you create contacts forms and take your email marketing to another next level.

Also read: Best wordpress form plugin

How to improve an email open rate

Even with the hard work you have to put to grow your email list, this section is very important to you. How would you feel sending emails that never get opened?

We shall explore the factors that lead to an unopened email. The factors if avoided will get your emails opened and you will get those clicks you need.

Avoid spam filters

The greatest problem is when your emails get delivered to the subscribers spam folder. Now that you have already gotten the go ahead to send emails, and you have choose of the email services I recommended it means you are off to a really great start.

How to stop emails from going to the spam folder

  • Do make sure all your subscribers willingly opted-in to receive your newsletters.
  • Use a good IP address to send your email. Don’t use an IP address that was once used to send out spam emails.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject headlines
  • Use verified domains to send your emails
  • Don’t use spam trigger words too much. Words like buy, discount, cash, and clearance.
  • Provide an easy way for subscribers to opt out of your newsletter.
  • Keep your template code clean and clear.

All these can be avoided by choosing a reputable email marketing service.

Keep your list fresh by removing inactive subscribers

It is important to send emails to your subscribers regularly so your list maintains its freshness. Although with time it might loss its freshness because someone might have changed emails or some are just no more interested in your brand.

In this case it is okay to remove the inactive subscribers so as to maintain your lists’ freshness.

Before you remove them send them an email to remind them of your brand but if they still don’t get engaged then go ahead to remove them from your list.

You can periodically ask your subscribers if they want their information to be updated. This way you are telling them they can really take control of how they engage with you.

Also read: How to take your business online


Timing is the key to everything. Success in business is as a result of the right timing.

Timing does have a great effect on whether your subscribers open your emails or not. Always think about what time of the day to send out emails to your subscribers.

Perform an A/B test to determine the time of the day your emails are opened and take advantage of the time.

Your subject line should stand out

Your subject lines are everything when it comes to the aspect of email opens and the click rates. it is  One’s duty is to try and make his subject lines stand out.

See the tips for making your subject line stand out:

  • Curiosity: Entice curiosity in your subscribers. Make them too curious to click your and open your email.
  • Include numbers. There is something about numbers that makes people to want to click your and open your email.
  • Write in a conversational manner
  • Use languages that your subscribers also use.

Automating emails with autoresponders

This section is an online marketer’s most powerful tool for driving sales. It helps you keep your subscribers engaged even in your absence.

What is an autoresponder?

Autoresponders are sequences of emails that are automatically sent to a subscribers based on a certain browsing behavior.

Every online business should have an autoresponders for these two reasons:

  1. Turns prospects into customers: Autoresponders help a business man to turn prospects in to customers by helping them build trust and like even before asking for a sale.
  2. It nurtures your leads by giving information and insights valuable enough and teaches your prospects and customers how to make better decisions through automated emails.

Also read: How to start affiliate marketing

How to choose a better autoresponder

Have a goal for your autoresponder

There are a number of goals you could choose for your autoresponder which include the ones below:

Send a welcome sequence to new subscriber: The welcome message is the message you send to new subscriber after subscribing to your email newsletter.

The message could contain a link to download your lead magnet, read one of your blog posts or any action you would like them to take.

Every email list should have a welcome message so as to make your new subscribers feel special and cared for. You should not miss on this great thing to do.

Use it a lead magnet: Autoresponders can be used as lead magnets to attract more subscribers to your list. You can make it in form of a course, a mini one, and promise to run it for some weeks or so. Promise them value and make sure to deliver what your promise. This will help bring more people to your list.

Write a converting autoresponder series.

Always write an autoresponder that really converts. You might have to outsource the job of doing so to a professional copywriter or you do it yourself by:

Focus much on your reader: Focus a little more on your readers. Always write in a way you can solve their problems. It is not always about you and your products.  Try to solve problems. It is not always about you and your products.

Personalize: Always personalize your email to tailor the content to solve their problems. It is far beyond sticking your subscribers first, second name or both in the email.

Keep monitoring your performance

An email autoresponder series is not something you create today and leave it just like that because it is automated. No.

Always come back to check how your performance is. How are your subscribers engaging? What is the open and click through rates?


Email marketing is not just an easy job. You have to really put in the hard work to build your list and start sending out emails. Don’t leave at the sign of defeat and you will conquer.

Never send too much email otherwise your emails will be tagged as spam.

Thanks you for coming today.

Please share with family and friends.

The comment box is open for your questions which I will be glad to attend to.

Please with family and friends.

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