13 frequently asked email marketing questions answered

Start to understand email marketing

Email marketing is a great way to engage with existing and potential customers, but getting started with email marketing isn’t always easy.

Here are the answers to some of the most frequent email marketing questions to help you make the most of this powerful channel.

Want to get started with email marketing? Try GoDaddy Email Marketing. (If you’re a GoDaddy Websites + Marketing customer, it’s included as part of your package.)

Frequently asked email marketing questions

Do people really respond to email marketing anymore?

Yes! Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways of reaching customers, with one study suggesting it can achieve up to 4200% return on investment.

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How do you decide whether email marketing is right for a business model?

Email marketing can add something to almost any online business. It helps you secure business from new customers and gets existing customers coming back for more.

It’s a good way to keep customers engaged through sharing news, hints and tips, as well as trying to sell directly.

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What do I need to do before I start email marketing?

1) Understand your target audience and build customer personas.

2) Build a brand style guide based on your customer personas so you maintain a consistent tone of voice in all your communications.

3) Build content on your website (such as a blog and other resources) that’s tailored for your target audience and which, when promoted, will attract the people you want to sign up for your marketing emails.

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How do I get started with email marketing?

To get started you’ll need a professional email address and an email marketing tool like the one offered by GoDaddy. You can then start signing people up to your mailing list, either by asking people to opt-in when they become a customer, or by asking potential customers to sign up. This blog post explains more about building an email marketing list.

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How do I get people to subscribe to my email list?

Ask existing customers to opt-in to your email list. Include sign up forms in blog posts, your homepage and other places where you can capture people’s attention. Create eBooks or other resources which people can download in exchange for signing up to your email list.

You can also incentivise sign ups by letting people know that you send out special offers to your email list. Make sure that you comply with data protection rules when asking people to sign up.

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How often should I send marketing emails?

Email frequency is a balancing act. Send too many and you could see unsubscribes spike. Not enough and you could miss out on revenue. There’s no set frequency for any business or sector. You need to discover what works best for you.

You’ll need to factor in things like how often you’ll have something interesting to share, your business’s profile (for example, a luxury brand will likely send fewer emails than a tech deals website), the number of products you have to offer and how people respond to your emails.

You should also segment your email list, that way you can tailor your emails to specific audiences within your list. Ultimately, it’s a case of testing different email frequencies and learning what works best.

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Is there a best time to send marketing emails?

There are a number of studies looking at the best time to send an email and they don’t always agree with each other. Overall, it seems its best to land in people’s inboxes around the time they’re likely to be checking their emails.

That used to always mean in the morning, lunchtime and at the end of the working day. But with people now having access to email via their smartphones, and with more people working from home over the last year, this is now more fluid.

People check their emails less often at the weekend, so you might want to avoid it. But these are only general rules, so you might want to experiment with different days and times to see what works for you.

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What type of language should I use in my marketing emails?

It depends on your business’s audience. The language used by a legal firm will be very different from the language used by a fashion brand. The important thing is to make sure you understand the kind of language your customers expect you to use and to employ a consistent tone of voice everywhere you talk to them.

It will also vary depending on the type of message you are communicating in the email – for example, service or sales message, and the tone of voice should reflect this. The main thing is to make it relevant and engaging, and not too long. Also, double check your grammar and spelling!

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How can I write the perfect marketing email?

There’s no such thing as a perfect marketing email. It’s all about testing and improving. If you’re waiting to send the perfect email, you’ll never get started and will miss out on all the benefits email marketing can bring.

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How can I stop my emails ending up in spam/junk folders?

There are lots of factors that impact whether an email lands in the spam folder. Here are some things you can do to reduce your chances of ending up there:

  • Make sure you have permission/consent to mail the customer.
  • Watch out for the subject line and don’t make it too “salesy” or include the words that are likely to flag as spam such as “congratulations” and “sale”.
  • Remove any hard bounces and unsubcribes from future sends.
  • Make the content relevant so that you have good engagement and open/click through rates.
  • Encourage subscribers to add you to their contacts/safe sender list.

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How can I create an email subject line that will grab people’s attention?

There’s no such thing as a perfect marketing email. It’s all about testing and improving. If you’re waiting to send the perfect email, you’ll never get started and will miss out on all the benefits email marketing can bring. Keep things short and informative. Make it clear what benefit opening the email will bring someone.

If you’re offering a big discount, include the discount in the subject line. If you’re launching a new product, include the benefit of using that product in the subject line. If you’re running a webinar, include the topic and date in the subject line.

Always make sure that the body of your email follows through on what the subject line promises. If you claim you’re offering a big discount and people click through to find it’s only 5%, they’re probably going to hit the unsubscribe button.

Finally, A/B test your subject lines. That way, you can see what appeals to your audience and fine tune future subject lines.

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How can I tell if my existing mailing list will respond positively to promotional emails?

The only way to be sure how people will respond to your promotional emails is by sending them! If you’re tracking the open rate and click throughs for your existing marketing campaigns, you’ll easily be able to see how promotional emails compare.

If you want to test the waters, you could start by sending a promotional email to a smaller subset of list members before expanding it to a wider audience. Even if you find you get a higher rate of unsubscribes for your promotional emails, it might be worth it if they generate extra revenue.

An idea for promotional emails in this sector is contacting customers that haven’t visited you in 12-18 months (or whatever time frame makes the most sense). You could offer a discount of ~25%.  Make sure you remove anybody that you wouldn’t want to email either because they have opted out, or if they don’t have their pet anymore.

Finally, make sure people already on your email marketing list have opted in to promotional emails when they signed up.

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Is it a good idea to use images in marketing emails?

Images can be really eye catching and impactful, however they don’t always show without downloading – which could mean that your message can’t be seen.  If you are using them, make sure to use ‘alternative text’ to describe the image in case it doesn’t load. Consider the dimensions of your image to ensure it will render correctly and take into account if it is viewable on multiple devices such as phone, tablet, desktop etc.

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Will joined the GoDaddy EMEA team in 2017, following the acquisition of HEG. He covers all aspects of digital marketing, from SEO to email, for the GoDaddy UK blog. Previously, he has worked in online journalism and also conducted online marketing campaigns for a number of well-known brands.