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What is Email Marketing?

Intro to Email Marketing

Email marketing is when brands use automated email communication to send promotional or other marketing messages to customers. Essentially, it's a digital version of traditional, direct mail marketing but instead of a postcard in the customer’s mailbox, it’s a message in their inbox.

Compared to traditional broadcast messaging, modern email marketing requires a deep understanding of the end-user and has become an integral component of the overall customer experience.

Email marketing should be personalized to the individual user and, with that, can provide the user with relevant information along their customer journey. While it may be difficult for some marketers to determine the best times to email their customers, there are some standard email campaigns that can help you optimize your strategy.

Types of Email Campaigns

Welcome Campaigns

Out of all email campaigns, the welcome campaign is probably the most important. Therefore, any good email marketing strategy is sure to include a well-constructed welcome campaign. A welcome campaign is a series of emails that starts with the first email you send to a customer after they’ve provided their email address.

The welcome campaign is the foundation for building a strong customer relationship. These campaigns are an opportunity for you to introduce yourself to the customer and educate them about your brand. Therefore, welcome email campaigns involve sending multiple emails in the hopes of engaging the customer and keeping them engaged, rather than cramming all of this information into one email.

Think about emails you get from brands that thank you for signing up, offer you promotional codes or provide additional information about the company. These types of emails are all likely part of the brand’s welcome campaign.

Cart Abandonment Campaigns

Next, there are cart abandonment campaigns. As a mainstay in most email marketing strategies, the purpose of these email campaigns is to get customers to convert. We are all familiar with the “forget something?” emails we get after compiling a dream cart on our favorite site, realizing we can’t buy what we’ve collected and quickly closing the window.

Abandoned cart emails are a great place to share promo codes or offer exclusive discounts to users who have items in their cart. Often, in an effort to cross-sell, savvy  marketing teams will also include products related to the abandoned items in these email campaigns.

Promotional Campaigns

Lastly, there are promotional campaigns. These email campaigns don’t have a specific purpose, like welcome campaigns and abandoned cart campaigns, but they can be an effective part of an email strategy.

Promotional campaigns are likely what most people think of when they think of email marketing. Brands use these campaigns when they want to get important information out to their customers. For example, maybe there’s a new product release, or a big sale coming up and you want to let your customers know what’s on the horizon.

However, just because promotional emails don’t have a specific purpose, it doesn’t mean they can’t be tailored to the individual customer. Even the smallest personalized element in email campaigns can make a big difference.

Summary

Email marketing, simply put, is when brands use email to communicate with customers.

Email marketing strategies are made up of a combination of email campaigns that connect with customers at specific points in their journey. Most often, this includes welcome campaigns, cart abandonment campaigns and blast campaigns. But there’s a vast array of other types of email campaigns that you can add to this mix to supplement your strategy.

A personalized email strategy is only a piece of a larger cross-channel marketing strategy. Once your email marketing strategy is established, consider how else you can connect with your customers as individuals. For example, maybe as part of your mobile marketing strategy you trigger push notifications to send to users after they open an email. Then, maybe you add a direct mail component to complement your email marketing and mobile marketing strategies.

However you connect with your customers, Iterable can help you understand how these channels interact with one another and how to improve upon the customer experience.

Iterable is a cross-channel marketing platform that powers unified customer experiences and empowers marketers to create, optimize and measure relevant interactions and experiences customers love. Leading brands, like Cinemark, DoorDash, Calm, Madison Reed, and Box, choose Iterable to power world-class customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle. Discover our growth marketing solutions for personalization, increasing customer engagement, and more. Discover our platform and schedule a demo today.