Email Marketing Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide [+ Examples]

Definitive Guide to Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around forever, and for good reason. It’s the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers, consistently winning out over all other marketing channels.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of setting up your email marketing funnel so that you can acquire leads and generate sales, 24/7.

What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the highly effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and customers. Effective marketing emails convert prospects into customers, and turn one-time buyers into loyal, raving fans.

Pro Tip: Check out these digital marketing best practices to level up your marketing game.

This guide is for those who’re ready to commit to email marketing. If you’re unsure, you may want to read our guide on why you need to build an email list RIGHT NOW!

This is a long and detailed guide, so we’ve broken it down into different sections you can get to using the links in the Table of Contents below.

By using this definitive guide, you’ll know:

How to build an email list full of targeted customers.
How to optimize your emails for the highest open rates and click-through rates (CTR).
How to automate the process of nurturing your leads and turning prospects into customers.
Sound good?

Then let’s dive into the most comprehensive guide to email marketing on the entire internet.

Table of Contents

Why Email Marketing?
Getting Started
Growing Your Email List
Choosing an Email Service
Segmenting Your Email List
Improving Email Open Rates
Automated Email Marketing
Frequently Asked Questions
The Importance of Email Marketing
We’ve covered the biggest question, what is email marketing, but haven’t gotten into why email marketing is so very important for your business. Let’s talk about that now.

Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam email (which is never a good marketing strategy, by the way), email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers.

There are many reasons you should make email marketing one of your top priorities, but here are the top 3:

  1. Email is the #1 communication channel. Did you know that at least 99% of consumers check their email on a daily basis? That can’t be said of any other communication channel.
  2. You own your list. On any social media platform, your account (along with all your fans and posts) could be suspended or deleted at any time, for any reason, without notice. However, you own your email list. No one can take those leads away from you.
  3. Email just converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI (returns on investment) of 4400%. That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.

Email is simply the best way to make sales online.

How-To: Email Marketing
Wondering how to get started with email marketing? Email marketing is made up of several moving pieces, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Here’s how it breaks down…

You start with your list. OptinMonster has made it super easy to start collecting leads right away, even without an email marketing service, with our Monster Leads integration.

With Monster Leads, you can begin building your email list, and even begin reaching out to leads, while keeping your leads stored safely inside your OptinMonster dashboard. Then, when you’re ready…

You add an email service provider. There are a ton of them out there, but we take the guesswork out and make it really easy to choose the right one for you and your goals.

After those two steps, it’s just a matter refining your lists and your messaging so you’re reaching your audience and really connecting with them. Plus, you’ll be able to set up some automation in your email service which will make things much easier for you.

Ready to jump in? Let do it!

Growing Your Email List
What most people do when they want to build an email list is to put an optin form on their website and hope that people sign up. Unfortunately, this strategy usually doesn’t work very well.

To grow your email list, you need to attract people with a compelling offer. You need a lead magnet.

Lead Magnet Blueprint
What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something awesome that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. It doesn’t have to cost you anything to create; most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost.

It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value to your visitors for free.

Some popular lead magnet examples are:

ebooks
A cheat sheet of tips or resources
White papers or case studies
A webinar
Free trials or samples
A free quote or consultation
Quizzes or a self-assessment
A coupon
The possibilities are endless!

For even more lead magnet ideas, check out our list of lead magnet ideas to grow your email list.

Learn More: Not sure how to create a lead magnet, or need step-by-step guidance? OptinMonster customers have FREE access to How to Create a Lead Magnet from OptinMonster University!

What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?

You already know that a lead magnet needs to provide value for free. But if you want your lead magnet to be highly effective, here are 5 criteria for you to consider:

  1. Easily consumed: Lead magnets are only effective when the audience uses them, so if you deliver a 300-page manifesto, you won’t gain traction.
  2. Actionable: Lead magnets need to provide an actionable tool, skillset, or useful information that your audience can apply.
  3. Creates noticeable improvement: People continue to buy products and services if they work well. Your lead magnet will become successful if it’s as valuable as your products and services.
  4. Relevant: If you’ve done your homework about your prospects, you’ll have no trouble coming up with a lead magnet subject that solves problems.
  5. Immediately available: People love instant gratification, so give it to them right then and there. Check out 4 Ways to Deliver a Lead Magnet to see how easy it is to get your lead magnet out there using OptinMonster.

Let’s take a look at a few real-life lead magnet examples.

At OptinMonster, we share a list of 12 proven strategies for converting abandoning visitors into subscribers.

OptinMonster Lead Magnet
Syed Balkhi offers a list of tools and resources for growing an online business.

Syed Balkhi Toolkit Popup
Here’s another example of a lead magnet we used as a content upgrade to a specific blog post.

Download the OnPage SEO Checklist
Now that you know what a lead magnet is and how to create a highly-effective one, you’ll need to create your optin form.