When you’re doing email marketing, you’re using the SMTP protocol. You’re not tied to Facebook’s or Google’s Terms of Service.
That is precisely why your email list is, effectively, a portable asset that moves along with you.
Companies can change their rules, platforms can become unpopular, but web protocols don’t really die.
Until people stop using the SMTP protocol, your email list will retain its value.
The chances are very good that we’re probably still going to have email in 25 or 50 years from now. That’s why it’s really important to build on this channel.
The 3 types of emails
There are only three different types of email when we’re talking about email marketing:
- Transactional emails,
- Content emails,
- And conversion emails.
These are emails that have a mostly utilitarian purpose—users expect to get these as feedback from an action they took on your website.
An example of a transactional emails is receipts: You buy something on Amazon, you get a transactional email receipt.
Forgotten password emails, support tickets, sign-up details. Double opt-in for your email list, the unsubscribing email, the shipping details for an order—they are all transactional emails.
Content emails are those that are meant to provide value to the user and nurture your relationship with them.
One of the most common examples here is the welcome email: Maybe you just got a user’s email address or they have just signed up as a customer and you can send them an email thanking them as a welcome.
Basically, any content that you create and share via email (blog posts, free tools, exclusive content) is a content email.
These are the emails you use to try to generate conversions. In this context, conversion doesn’t necessarily mean purchase—a conversion can be any action that moves the subscriber further along in the funnel.
Any type of promotion, a sale, upgrades, invitations, lead magnets—they can all be conversion emails.
The 2 methods of email distribution
While there are three types of email, there are only two means of distribution—or at least two you should be focusing on:
- Broadcast emails;
- Automated emails.
The rule of thumb in email marketing is that most of your email should be automated—manual broadcasts are not ideal for most businesses.
Sometimes it is understandable to send broadcasts, especially if you have a smaller business. But, generally, most of your email should be automated.
There are only two types of email you should broadcast:
- Great content suitable for your entire list;
- One-off promotions.
When you create something absolutely amazing and you want to tell your whole audience about it, you broadcast your email.
Broadcast emails may be sent on a seasonal basis as well (e.g. for Christmas 2020, for example).
It’s totally fine to send emails to your entire list when they are of interest to everyone.
Aside from the two types of email mentioned above (content that for your entire list or one-off promotions), everything else should be automated based on your user’s actions.
Automating your emails allow you to send content and messaging that is much more specific and contextually relevant to the users.
Instead of just blasting out everything that you have, you can send emails based on what each user is interested in and the actions they’re taking on your site.
Doing this typically leads to an increased click-through-rate and, in the end, more conversions.
Some examples of automated email are:
- Order confirmations,
- Welcome emails,
- A value sequence,
- Cart-abandonment emails (when users have a product in the cart and leave the site),
- Lead magnets,
This is really it! A very, very high-level overview of what email marketing is, the main types of emails you can send, when to send them, and whether or not they should be broadcasted or automated.
Using this information, you can proceed on digging deeper into email marketing and making the most out of it to increase user awareness, conversion, and customer loyalty for your business.