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Successful Email Marketing: Step-by-Step Guide

Almost every one of us had an email account way before we signed up for Facebook, Instagram, etc. So, we can say that email marketing has always been a thing!

Yet, businesses have started taking email marketing more seriously recently.

That’s because around 4.5 billion people worldwide use emails, comprising over half the global population!

Reports show email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel available, which makes it a top choice among marketers.

This comprehensive guide tells you how to make the best out of email marketing; we also added some bonus tips for better open rates. Let’s get to it!

The Birth of Email Marketing

Ray Tomlinson revolutionized the world of communication when he sent the first email in 1971. While the email was just a random combination of numbers and letters, it began a new era. He also introduced the use of “@” in email addresses. However, it was not through the modern internet but a network of machines.

A few years later, Gary Thuerk, marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp, sent the first commercial email in 1978. He sent the email to only a few people, yet he earned the “Father of Spam” title.

Sadly, many companies still send spam emails. But you can exclude yourself from the list by following the right email marketing strategies.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing refers to using email to market your products to existing and potential customers. It is a direct marketing channel that lets you share new updates, events, and deals with your customers.

While over half a century since brands started using email marketing, it has evolved tremendously. Instead of sending the same text to all the contacts, marketers now focus on customization and segmentation for better results. 

As mentioned, email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel available. It offers an average return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent. So, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon if you are not already using it.

Why Email Marketing?


Studies show personalized campaigns increase revenue by as much as 760 percent.

You can use the reader’s data and interests to create custom campaigns for your target users. It allows you to build relationships with the readers while driving traffic to your website.

Direct Access

Compared to social media marketing, this part of content marketing allows you to communicate directly with your readers. 62% of consumers ranked email as their preferred communication channel with small businesses. Commonly, most people check their emails daily and are likelier to read and respond to them.


While the results of your emails depend on how well you convey your message, email marketing is somewhat consistent. You do not have to worry about changing algorithms or frequent updates. Also, emails are easy to use for sharing updates with consumers.

A/B Testing

Email marketing is the perfect way to run A/B tests for your business. You can try different subject lines, formats, and email types to see what your audience likes the most; it allows you to get better results with less effort.


Many brands and companies have expanded their businesses through email marketing. The marketing channel is easy to scale, enabling you to connect with more potential customers without spending thousands of dollars.

Challenges in Email Marketing

High Competition

The advantages of email marketing are known to every business. Thus, the competition has risen massively over the past few years. Everyone wants to land in the reader’s inbox, pursuing them to make a transaction. But it’s not that simple.

Marketing emails have an opening rate of 21.33% with a CTR of 10.29%.

It means readers open only 21 out of every hundred emails. So, you need to ensure your email is so good that they wait for it and open it every time.

Need for a Contact/ Email List

An email list is the most important element of email marketing. Else, who would you send your emails to?

Businesses use different approaches to get their target audience’s data, including survey forms and website subscription popups. Some also buy email lists, but that’s a no-go zone!

Landing in Spam/ Promotions

Landing in promotions decreases your chances of opening; who wants to read a promotional email, anyway?

If you want your customers to read all of your emails, you must prefer they land in their main inbox instead of promotions. Create compelling, interesting, and valuable content that does not scream “promotion.”

Additional Costs

Most email services are free, yet many charge for additional prompts like adding an animation or image. These additional costs are usually not much but often come as a surprise. Read your email provider’s guidelines and terms to avoid extra costs or prepare for them.


Despite the simplicity, emailing has its own regulations you must follow. Email is a permission-based way of reaching your potential customers. Thus, CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and CCPA may ban businesses for unsolicited emails.

Successful Email Marketing: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know what email marketing is and how it helps your business, it’s time to tell you everything you need to know about successful email marketing.

Building an Email List

As we mentioned, an email list is the most crucial element of marketing through email. So, how do you build an email list? Creating a website popup is the easiest way to get your target audience’s email.

However, visitors often ignore such forms, which might even increase your bounce rate. Here’s how you can encourage them to fill out the form:

  • Give discounts
  • Offer deals
  • Mention tips and tricks your newsletter brings
  • Provide free e-books on subscribing

Alternatively, use lead magnets on your website that persuade visitors to become subscribers.

Choose a Service Provider

Choosing the right service provider is another important element of email marketing. Mailchimp, Mailjet, Hubspot, and Brevo are some of the most common service providers. But you must consider your needs before you pick one for your business.

Budget: Always consider your budget before signing up for one of these service provider plans. So, keep a range of pricing and select the one with the highest value for money.

Email design: The choice of an email service provider also depends on your (or your team’s) email design capabilities. Can you create code emails from scratch or prefer a drag-and-drop editor? Choose accordingly.

Segmentation choices: If you want to send different emails to various audience sets, does the service provider offer segmentation? Check that before you select one.

Automation: Automation is critical to the magic email marketers produce. Automated emails are opened twice as often as other types of marketing emails. Additionally, it saves you from vanishing from the reader’s memory when unable to send emails. Just schedule them once, and they’ll reach the consumer’s inbox on time!

Email options: Some email service providers have limited email options, while others offer everything under the sky. For example, you can send marketing and transactional emails through Brevo.

If you’re unsure about choosing the right email service provider, feel free to contact Kubico’s email marketing experts for consultation.

Create Valuable Content

Once you create your email list, it’s time to get to the most extensive part of the process. You need attractive and valuable content that would compel your audience to open the email.

If you are not a copywriter, you will need one to create content for you that beats the competitors. A compelling and converting copy includes:

  • A killer subject line
  • Short but crisp content
  • Subtle mention of relevant services or products
  • Addressing the reader’s pain points
  • Story-telling

Send a Welcoming Email

You might be surprised to know that welcoming emails have an open rate of 82.9%!

Welcome emails are the perfect way to confirm your potential customer’s subscription or give them the discount code. Furthermore, it plays a critical role in brand awareness and recognition.

Avoid “selling” in the first email. Instead, focus on how happy the brand is to have them on board; mention factors that benefit them and push them to look forward to the next email.

Follow-up Emails

If you send an email with a particular CTA, such as signing up for a free course, send a follow-up email.

Retargeting lets you know what your readers think about products in your newsletters. If they do not engage, you can move it to different platforms. At the same time, look for other ways to scale your email marketing revenue.

Email Segmentation

Email segmentation is necessary to ensure every reader receives personalized content, leading to higher CTR. You can create highly targeted content by segmenting your readers.

Divide your contact list into different segments based on:

  • Demographics
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Customers vs. non-customers
  • Daily/ weekly/ monthly emailing lists

Result Measurement

Measuring results enables you to decide what interests your readers. You can measure campaigns through website analytics and your email marketing tool. Common metrics include open rates, click-through rates (CTR), unopened emails, and spam complaints.

Open rate: Open rate shows how many subscribers opened your email.

Unique opens: Unique opens refer to new or unique subscribers that opened your email.

Bounce rate: Bounce rate allows you to judge the deliverability of your email. It gives you the number of email addresses where your email could not be delivered.

CTR: CTR or Click-through rate gives you the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your email campaign.

Spam complaints: Many readers mark emails as spam by clicking “Mark as Spam.”

Shares: If you have a forward icon in your email template, you can also measure the number of shares.

Unsubscribe rate: It shows how many people unsubscribed from your list. A high unsubscribe rate is alarming; you must work on your content value.

Types of Email Campaigns

Confirmation Emails

Businesses send confirmation emails to their subscribers, asking them to confirm their subscriptions. It informs them that they successfully subscribed to your emailing list.

Welcome Emails

They increase brand awareness and allow the readers to know more about your brand. Welcome emails do not sell anything but offer incentives to the subscribers.

Invitation Emails

Invitation emails announce product launches, upcoming events, or others. Usually, they have interactive content that compels readers to take action.

Dedicated Emails

Dedicated emails refer to sending emails to a particular set of contacts only. They could be one of the segments you have created.

Lead Nurturing Emails

Lead nurturing emails are a kind of dedicated emails specifically focused on conversions. Businesses create these emails to target specific groups more likely to convert.

Promotional Emails

Promotional emails are among the most common type of emails from businesses. They help maintain awareness among your audience and may share new products.


Most brands opt for newsletter subscription emails that bring valuable information to the readers. Additionally, they offer ample opportunities for product placement, increasing the CTR.

Survey Emails

Marketers often send survey emails to the readers to get their opinion about products or services. It tells the readers that the brand values their opinion and wishes to improve.

Seasonal Marketing Emails

You can also send seasonal marketing emails to their customers to inform them of seasonal offers, deals, and discounts.

Triggered Emails

You can send emails to your customers based on their actions. They typically depend on their potential to convert; it may comprise a series of triggered emails.

Post-purchase Drip

Most companies send emails until they convert but abandon them afterward. However, sending post-purchase drip emails helps maximize their experience.

Testimonial Request Emails

Many businesses request their customers for testimonials after they make a purchase. You can redirect them to your socials or website through testimonial request emails.

Email Regulations

Email regulations cater to customer needs and preferences by protecting them from spam and irrelevant content. Take care of the following regulations when you jump into email marketing:


Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing is among the most critical email regulations. This law applies to all commercial emails to avoid unsolicited content.

Including your company name and address in emails can protect you from CAN-SPAM. Also, write a relevant subject line, and add an unsubscribe link in the email.

GDPR Compliance

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an email rule applicable to EU citizens. It lets your customers decide if they want to hear from you. GDPR plays a major role in cultivating long-lasting relationships with customers.

  • Compliance with GDPR requires you to take care of the following:
  • Request content to store personal information in a precise way
  • Only ask for relevant and necessary information
  • Only use the data for agreed-upon purposes
  • Delete data when the customers ask
  • Make it easy for readers to unsubscribe

Bonus Tips for Successful Email Marketing

If you want to increase your open and click-through rates, consider the following tips:

Plan it Through

You can have a successful email marketing campaign only when you plan it thoroughly. So, create an effective email marketing campaign considering all the elements in mind, including trends, customer’s interests, service provider’s limitations, etc.

Catchy Headlines

It would not be an exaggeration to say that catchy headlines are the most important part of email marketing. Your reader will not convert until they open the email. Brainstorm and create catchy headlines that compel the viewer to open the email; make sure they’re relevant too.

Keep it Short

Many businesses send long emails, and their readers like them. But most people in this fast-paced world prefer shorter emails. Stats show short emails perform better when they are 200 words or less. They are also more likely to get responses from the audiences.

Provide Value

Hitting the “Unsubscribe” button is easy. But you want your reader to stay away from that. So, provide value to your reader through email marketing. Do not send random emails that make no sense to your business. Give your readers the value other businesses or newsletters fail to provide.

Always include CTAs

Smoothly incorporate CTAs to services, products, and socials in your emails to increase conversion rates. They increase visitors to your social media and website and boost conversions.

Final Takeaway

Email marketing is a gem undiscovered by many businesses yet. It has the right ROI among all marketing channels, allowing you to increase conversions. Create a compelling copy and send relevant emails to your contact list. It will keep your brand fresh in the target user’s mind.

Email marketing is so good that four out of five marketers say they would give up social media marketing than email marketing.

So, are you ready to rock the email marketing world?

Go get it!

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