Email Marketing for Business

Updated: May 26

NCFE Level 2 Award in Digital Promotion for Business (601/6671/X)

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Digital Promotion for Business (601/6673/3)

Unit 10 Email campaigns for business promotion (A/615/8544)




Joseph, the lifestyle designer in the video above, has been effectively using email-marketing to win new orders and projects. He sends regular updates to his actual and prospective customers about his business and maintains a relationship with them through these emails. However, his friend Faridah is still struggling to create a sustainable business. Faridah is a painter and has been doing commissioned work for almost 5 years now. Although her paintings have been widely appreciated, she is still not receiving a stable stream of orders and has to often scout for new customers. Faridah has been thinking of investing in Digital Marketing to promote her business but is not sure about her options. Let's read the conversation between the two where Joseph is answering Faridah's questions about email marketing.


When my work is being widely appreciated, why am I not getting repeat orders?


Problem is that there is so much of competition out there! There are so many other good artists in the market as well and your customers eventually became their customers because you did not keep reminding them about yourself.


What can I do to keep reminding my customers about myself? What can I do to increase my repeat customer rate?

Email Marketing is your best bet. Your customer’s email id is your most valuable marketing asset. With their permission, send them regular updates about your new work. So that every next time they think of buying something similar that they bought form you, you are at the top of their mental list!

Shall I send my customers group emails from my personal email id with pictures of my new work?

Well, you could be doing that. However, it would make more sense if you use an email marketing platform that helps you in grouping the customers in appropriate categories, design picturesque email-content & send personalised emails to your customers without disclosing the identity of other recipients. Additionally, these digital platforms provide you feedback about the open rate and click rate of your emails.


What is Open-rate in emails? What is Click rate in email marketing?

Open-rate tells you that how many people actually opened the marketing emails you sent to their mail-box. If you sent this email to 100 customers and 40 opened the email (rest 60 maybe just ignored it), the open-rate for this particular campaign is 40%.
Similarly, if out of the 40 people who actually opened this email, 8 clicked on the embedded link button (Buy Now, Find out More etc.), the click rate of your email campaign is 8%.
Open-rate and Click-rate depends on various factors like your customer’s relationship with your brand, catchy subject line, meaningful email content etc. Keeping track of these parameters help you understand what is working and what is not working for your business.


What happens when a customer no longer wants to receive communication from my business?

You should always provide an unsubscribe button at the bottom of your email so that people can choose to receive or stay out of the communication network. Again, these buttons are already embedded in email-marketing software.

What is the purpose and objective of an email marketing campaign?


The purpose of an email marketing campaign is to reach out to your actual and prospective customers through their mailbox.

Email marketing can help you achieve various business objectives like:

· Information/Introduction: B2B businesses often send cold-emails to prospective clients, describing the value they offer to bring to the client’s business. B2C businesses can send launch dates, introductory offers and more to win new customers.

· Branding: Businesses also send curated content emails to establish their brand positioning (Shopify & Wix send regular email alerts to their customers about new website-design and e-commerce trends).

· Sales Conversions : Reminder emails about items left in the cart or incomplete purchases can improve your sales by up to 30%. Sending new offers to customers who have not come back to your business for a while can help winning them back from competitors.

· Reengagement : One could be sending offers and updates to existing customers based on their purchase history. Information about discount sales to value-shoppers and information about new stock to premium shoppers can help in winning repeat orders from existing customers. Businesses also send birthday, anniversary discount coupons and more to get repeat visits from existing customers.


How can I design a good email marketing campaign? What are the stages of designing a good email marketing campaign?


An email marketing campaign should be designed in a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timely) way. The ABC steps in designing a good email marketing campaign are as follows:

A) Planning:

  • Identify your business goal: Your email content has to be in sync with your immediate business objective. This could be a short-term goal of informing your existing customers about end-of-season discount sale OR Long-term objective of branding & positioning. Identifying business objective helps in meaningful planning of the email content and identifying the right set of audience for the same.

  • Decide how to measure the progress: The success of an email marketing campaign can only be judged by how much it has been able to convince its customer towards a specific set of actions. The email announcing ‘New Stock in Store’ can be deemed successful if more than a certain percentage of people click ‘Buy Now’ button. The success of an email sending discount coupon codes to its customers can be measured by how many times that discount code was actually used by the customers. Every marketing email should have a system of measuring if it has been successful in its objective.

  • Select appropriate recipients: The email should be only sent to relevant people from the mailing list. Map campaign objectives with appropriate customer groups from your mailing list, tagged as per their pervious purchase behaviours and push marketing emails accordingly. You would be spamming your customers if you are sending child care product discount coupons to elderly coming to your website to buy joint pain ointments.



B) Writing:

· Write a catchy, compelling subject-line that motivates your customer to open the email. Dull subject lines get lost in the overcrowded mail-boxes and are eventually dumped into Spam section of email account.

· Design an effective digital communication content for your email. Organise your email content with more pictures and less text. Use all tools and principles of effective digital media design to design an email that is short, easy to understand and motivates the customer to take next steps. Try and say as much as possible with pictures and less as text. Long, text heavy emails give a burdened feel and demotivate the reader. Emails with attractive, meaningful pictures increase customer engagement and eventually email marketing campaign success rate.

· Embed a prominent Call-to-action button that can take your customer to the next steps if they are impressed reading your emails. These call-to-action buttons ( BUY NOW, GET MORE INFORMATION, BOOK NOW, SUBSCRIBE NOW, APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP etc.) should be based on the campaign objective and help sender measure the success of the email campaign.

· Edit your email thoroughly: Nothing can be more damaging for your business reputation than a badly worded, unedited email with language flaws and spelling errors. It can sometimes take very long to design and execute a perfectly written marketing email and it is totally worth it considering that your brand’s impression and relationship with your customers depend on the content of these emails.

· Add social links & unsubscribe button at the end of your email: The customer should get an all-round view of your brand through every email and embedding social links in your email adds that convenience and confidence for your reader. Additionally, your reader should not be forced to receive communication from your business if they do not wish to. Unsubscribing business communication is a consumer right and denying this might have serious legal implications on the business.


C) Sending: Make sure that you are sending these emails at the right time. Sending emails offering festive discount just 2 days before the festival will not fetch any positive results. This email should ideally be sent at least 2-3 weeks before the festival when people are planning their shopping. Timing is everything in digital marketing!


Should a business send same/blanket email to all customers on the mailing list?

It is ideal to keep your customer lists sorted with proper tags about their frequency of purchase, likes-dislikes, important dates etc. Sending blanket emails to all customers irrespective of their interests will prove counter-productive for your business. No reader wants to receive communication about stuff they have not been interested in. Sending discount, end-of-season sales communication to premium purchase customers might put them off your brand and business for ever.

How frequently should I send marketing emails to my customers?

Your customers should not feel constantly nagged by your email communication nor should you spam their mailboxes! Doing this will compel them to Unsubscribe from your mailing list. Emails can be sent at a frequency of once a week, once in two weeks or even once a month, depending upon the nature of your business.

How will I develop a mailing list for marketing emails?

The email marketing list can be developed gradually. There are professional services that sell email marketing lists to new businesses. However, the authenticity of this data can be questionable. The sustainable process is to automate your e-commerce platforms to sought permission and add contacts to mailing list every time a new customer makes a purchase. Likewise, advance platforms are also capable of capturing email ids of prospective customers who have shown some interest in your product but not made their first purchase. Alternately, B2C businesses also run advertisement campaigns on social media, motivating customers to join their subscriber list.
In any of these scenarios, a customer would like to join your mailing list/ subscriber list only if they see some value in it. It could be a discount coupon or impressive, informative content/newsletter or latest update about a hot issue. The business needs to decide what they can offer best to earn entries in their subscriber list.

Also, it is important to understand here that mailing frequency & content quality are the deciding factors that build or snap your relationship with your customers. A boring, repetitive email content can make your reader unsubscribe from your mailing list or at least ignore your next email in her/his mailbox. Alternately, meaningful content that provides some value (discounts, important information etc.) to your customer which they would have not received otherwise; can motivate your customers to keep receiving your emails and click them open every time.


It’s all about relationship building!


Faridah: Joseph, how do you have so much clarity about the benefits & methods of online reputation management for business?
Joseph: I attended a Digital Self-reliance Program with Omemy.com . The program is customised to train micro/small businesses so that they can optimise their digital media strategy till they have grown big enough to be able to hire professionals!



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