Welcome to my Technical Email Marketing Definitive Guide. In this guide, I will go through all the concepts and topics that you need to understand well before entering the world of email marketing.
I will cover the following topics:
1- Email Marketing overview:
- What is Email Marketing?
- Is Email Marketing Still relevant?
- Types of Email Marketers.
- The Email Marketing System Structure.
2- Email Marketing System in Deep
- What is SMTP?
- What is Email Marketing Application?
- Email Marketing Services.
3- Building Email Lists.
- What is List Building?
- Lead Magnets?
- What Are optin-forms?
- 10000 Lead in a one-month case study.
4- Important Terminologies.
- Open and Click Rates
- Spam and Inbox.
- Email bouncing.
- IP & Domain Reputation.
And in the end, I will share with you my Own Email Marketing System and how I built it.
1. Email Marketing Overview:
What is Email Marketing?
Simply, Email Marketing is a type of Digital Marketing, where you collect emails from people in a specific niche (List Building).
Then you send emails to those people promoting a service, product, blog, or anything so you can increase your revenue & web traffic.
Benefits of Email Marketing
The Main Advantage of Email Marketing, when compared to other digital marketing strategies, is mainly two things:
1- Price: Do You Know that you can send up to 100K emails for 10$!
I will explain later how you can save a lot of money with Email Marketing, mainly if you use your own email marketing system.
2- Simplicity: With Email Marketing Automation, It’s Simple!
Today, We have a lot of email marketing services like MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse, and other companies where they make everything easy for you when you want to manage your email marketing campaigns, Email Lists, and everything else.
And Even if you’re going to use your own System, which will be a lot cheaper, you can have the same simplicity and features as of those companies.
Is Email Marketing Still relevant?
Of course, YES!
- 94% of Internet users today use email, while only 61% use social media
- 75% of adult online users say that email marketing is their preferred marketing method
- the “opt-in” feature of email allows marketing by consent, which means people are subscribing to your list and will enable you to market and send them messages.
- You can target a specific audience when you build your lists properly, so you can target by location, demographics, or interests, or simply people that love your content.
- Email messages have a much more extensive range of formatting possibilities than social media messages. We will talk about Email templates later in the last section.
- Email offers more reporting and analytics capability, such as click-through rates, open rates, bounce rates, and conversions.
So Email marketing can substantially increase your income if you do it correctly, I will show and guide you on how to start successfully and how to follow the best practices, so Don’t worry about anything.
Types of Email Marketers.
I dissect Email Marketers into two types:
The First Type, I call them “bulk mailers.”
and the second type is “Straight Marketers.”
Of course, I created these Terms to make it easier for you to understand; it’s not scientific.
Bulk mailers: are those people who collect, scrape, or buy people’s emails and start sending them promotional emails to sell them their service or maybe share an affiliate link to earn some commission. They are considered as spammers.
Because they are sending emails to people who didn’t permit them to do so, and they don’t know them.
The “Legal” form of Email Marketing, where websites and business owners send emails to only people who subscribed to their lists promoting their services, and sending updates and newsletters.
Email marketing system structure
Where to Start?
To make things super simple, when you want to work with Email Marketing, you need to understand the Email Marketing System Architecture.
Mainly any Email marketing system consists of two parts:
- The sender: (SMTP service) this is the technical part. It allows you to send emails over the internet.
- The Management Application, where you can configure and manage your Email Lists, Marketing Campaigns, monitor and analyze results, manage your sending servers, and so on.
So we connect both together to get an Email Marketing System.
Now We have two choices:
2- Or you can build your own Email Marketing System by Building or Subscribing to a Sending Service(SMTP) like AWS SES, Mailgun, Mandrill…
And Installing an Email Marketing Application Like Mailwizz, Mailster, Mamura, Interspire, or other applications.
Then you connect both and have your own system.
Using your own System, have only one tiny drawback, which is building the system manually for the first time, which can take around 2-3 days to set up things correctly. But then you will be able to send a 10x amount of emails for lower costs.
For example, you can send up to 100K emails for only 10$, YES!
2. Email Marketing System in Deep
What is SMTP?
I mentioned that the first part of an email marketing system is the SMTP service, so what is SMTP?
SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a technical term, and it’s simply a network protocol that is responsible for sending emails over the internet.
Watch the following video to learn more about SMTP in 4 minutes:
What is Email Marketing Application?
Now we have an SMTP server that can send emails, but the main question now is how I can send emails? How can I save my email lists and create email marketing campaigns? How can I monitor my campaigns and automate email messages?
Simply, we connect an Email Marketing application to the SMTP service, and then we can manage and control everything, and the app will send emails using the SMTP.
Email Marketing Services.
The Other Option is to subscribe to an Email Marketing service that will give you both parts (SMTP and the Application) combined in one easy, simple platform, without worrying about any technical stuff.
Which email marketing service is the best?
When you want to choose any service, you need to think about the following 4 Factors:
1. Pricing: I will make a small comparison between the top five Email marketing companies.
Let’s say we have a list of 5000 contacts(emails).
And we want to send an unlimited number of emails monthly to those contacts.
All Companies will start with at least 49$ per month
So you can see all services start with 49$ with 5000 contacts, if you go further, you may pay up to 400$ for 75000 contacts and so on.
2. Features: when we compare features, we see that most of the services have almost the same features.
But when we talk about the core email marketing features, which is List Building and management, Campaign management and monitor, Forms builder and integrations.
All these tools have the same powerful features.
3. Simplicity: all these top companies have Simple platforms, and anyone can learn how to work with, in one day.
4. Support: In General, all have excellent support and response.
So What to choose?
To make things simple for you, if you have just started your online business and you don’t have that big list, and you only need the core email marketing features, just go to the pricing page and get the cheapest service or even you can go with the Free plan.
If you feel that you need more features, you can then check each one and the detailed features that are provided by each one, and you can select the best that fits your business.
But if your business is growing and you are planning for a big email marketing campaigns, then if you can’t afford the recurring prices of these companies, you can go and build your Email Marketing system.
With your system, you can send 100K only for 10$ with an unlimited number of subscribers.
Building Your System
Ok, to develop your email marketing system, you need to configure and setup two things:
1- The SMTP Server (the sender)
2- The Email Marketing application.
You may say: “I don’t have any IT skills, and I don’t want to bother my head with this stuff!”
I am here to help you accomplish what you think is hard and make it a piece of cake. YES!
1- Building an SMTP Server with 10/10 as “Sending Score”
So the first step is to build the sender server or what we call the SMTP server.
We can build this server using several methods and applications:
- Postfix server
or other services.
Don’t worry about these terms now if you are not familiar with it.
Or you can build using an SMTP service like AWS SES, Mailgun, Mandrill.
And Then Install an Email Marketing Application Like Mailwizz, Mailster, or other applications. Then you connect both and have your system as if you are subscribed to MailChimp or other services.
How does this work?
You need to configure an SMTP service like Amazon SES, which is the cheapest SMTP service compared to all other SMTP companies and has high performance sending rates with a super delivery score.
If you are interested in learning about Amazon SES and how to configure, check the following Video:
Or if you want to learn how to build your own SMTP server, you can check this Video also:
Then the next step is to Setup a Mailing application. You can use several apps. You can check the following Videos to learn how to install Mailwizz and Mailster, which you can get for only a 50$ one-time payment.
3. Building Email Lists.
What is List Building?
Ok, now, after we understood the email marketing system.
Where to start?
The first thing you need is to plan a strategy for your business and think about how you are going to collect leads (emails) and build your email lists.
So List Building is the act of collecting emails into organized Lists.
So you can send them emails… I think it’s obvious.
What is a Lead Magnet?
The easiest and the most common way used to build Email Lists properly is by using a Lead Magnet.
Simply, a lead magnet is giving something free to people in exchange for their email addresses.
It can be a free ebook, free course, software, or anything. But it’s preferred to be related to your service and people’s interest so that you can build a targeted email list.
Also, it’s essential to give a High-Quality Lead magnet, so people will trust you and will love maybe to get your premium paid services later when you promote through emails.
Also, there are a lot of other methods and tactics you can use to build a Targeted email list. You can check this video here if you want more info:
It is the concept of list Building in General, Lets now discuss some more details and other methods to build and grow your email lists and go somehow practically.
1- Subscription Newsletter
It is the basic strategy of collecting emails. If you visit almost any website, you will see a box somewhere on the page asking you if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter and get updates.
So if you are interested in that’s website’s content, you will subscribe to get their updates.
How to add subscription forms?
It is super simple today because almost everybody is using WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, or even an already made website that includes such types of forms by default.
2- Popup or slide in Optin boxes
You can use timed popups on your website that will appear on your website while someone is reading an article or so.
Best practices and Tips:
Sense of humor: To increase your email lists, you might want to try injecting some personality into your call to actions, like this one from Optimonk:
Give value in the call to actions: example, use the following keywords: “Download,” “Featured,” “Exclusive,” “Access,” instead of “Sign Up” and such traditional phrases.
Let people feel about the value or what they will get when they subscribe.
Use Timing: psychologically, you will get more people to subscribe if you set the offer for a limited time, you can show a countdown timer to stimulate people to get your offer before it ends.
3- Inject your newsletter on social media, forum’s profile, and email signatures.
If you have a following on Twitter, LinkedIn, a fan base on Facebook, Pinterest, Quora, or whatever Social network or Discussion forums, Try to inject your Newsletter in these places to get new subscribers.
4- Running a Giveaway:
Giveaways are known as one of the top strategies in growing, not only in building your email list but also growing on social media, YouTube, and other platforms.
You can use platforms like easypromosapp,rafflecopter, shortstack, or gleam.io to create and manage a Giveaway.
5- Facebook Lead Ads (paid):
You can use Facebook Ads to run a campaign and set the target to collect leads, so then people will be able to sign up directly from within Facebook. Then you can export the email list to your email marketing application from Facebook.
There are a lot of other tips and strategies that you can follow in building email lists, but this was a highlight on the top known strategies that marketers use.
1000 Leads Case Study:
In the following video, I want to share with you How I collected 10000 Targeted leads in one month for Free! Without Ads.
Ok, now we have our Lists, Our System, Let’s Market!
So now, after we built our email marketing system and built our email list, you can start sending emails and marketing our services.
But before you click send, there are some critical terminologies and concepts that you have to know.
4- Important Terminologies.
Open and Click Rates:
When you send an email marketing campaign, as an example, you sent a message to 1000 people.
Obviously, not everyone will open the message.
So the percentage of people who open the message is the open rate of this campaign. I think the idea is simple.
For example, if 300 people opened the message, then the open rate is 30%.
The same for click rate, it is the percentage of people who clicked in any click inside the message,
It’s essential to monitor both Open and Click rates and analyze the results to see how much your campaigns are successful.
How to monitor?
Usually, all email marketing applications have this built-in functionality.
So whether you have your own email marketing system, or if you are subscribed to an email marketing service (as we explained before), you will be able to monitor these metrics very easily.
What you have to know also that you can do a split test. You split your campaign into two campaigns, and you can change the subject line and the content, or use different SMTP servers,
and then you compare and see which campaign performed better.
You may be Interested also to watch the following Video:
Spam and Inbox:
It is a nightmare of email marketers!
I Get always hundreds of questions:
“How can I reach the inbox?”
“My emails are going to spam. Please help!”
“How to avoid spam filters?”
and similar questions.
When you send an email to anyone, your email may be classified as a spam email, and it will not reach the inbox.
So the recipient will not be notified about the message, and this decreases your open and clicks rates, which will make your email marketing campaigns fail.
Why are Emails marked as spam?
Mainly, we have three main factors that may filter your emails as spam.
1- Spammy Keywords: there is a list of keywords and words that are categorized as spam keywords, so if your message or subject contains one of these keywords, your message will be probably marked as spam.
2- DNS records and message signing: (Dkim, rDNS, SPF):
SPF (Sender Policy Framework):
An SPF record is a TXT record that is added to your Domain DNS Zone and allows you to set the mail servers that are allowed to send emails from your domain.
Messages sent from a server that isn’t included in the SPF record will be marked as spam or rejected.
As an example, you can’t send an email from your own server and set your sending email as “firstname.lastname@example.org,” you can’t use google’s domain. It indicates that you are trying to spam.
In the same way, you can configure SPF and prevent anyone from using your domain to send emails, So setting SPF is very important when it comes to making your domain trusted by other mailing providers.
To set up SPF. Open your DNS zone in and add the following record:
v=spf1 a ip4:XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX ~all
*Replace with your server IP.
Now only your server can send emails from your domain.
Dkim (DomainKeys Identified Mail) :
A Dkim record is also a text record in your DNS that holds a public authentication key. This key will be validated using a private key saved privately inside your server.
All emails will be signed, and this will avoid any alterations and protect your email originality, and this is very important for your server to archive high sending scores.
rDNS (Reverse DNS):
The reverse DNS is called a pointer record and is used to point your IP to your Domain, its the inverse of the regular DNS A record.
So when you call the IP, you will get the name. It is also an essential factor in setting up your mail server and increasing your sending score and reputation.
3- Email List Health:
Keeping your email lists healthy and clean is very important to keep your Mailing system healthy. To keep your Email list healthy, you should always clean it from any inactive or invalid emails that may cause your bounce rate to increase, and this will hurt your reputation.
You may be Interested also to watch the following Videos:
IP & Domain reputation
When you build an SMTP server or subscribe to an SMTP service like Amazon SES and get a dedicated IP for you.
You will have a score for your IP and your Domain. This score determines if your server will send it to the inbox or not.
So Higher Score means a good reputation, which means better delivery to the inbox.
Bounce rates and bounce handling is a critical point to take care if you want to run a professional and successful email marketing campaigns.
What is a Bounced Email?
Simply, when you send an email to someone, and it’s not delivered to any reason, it will bounce back. So it’s called a bounced email.
Why Emails Bounce?
The Main Reason for is when the target recipient’s email is not available or doesn’t exist. Sometimes the target email is temporarily down, so you get a Soft Bounce, and if it doesn’t exist at all, it will be a Hard Bounce.
The main thing that you must know is that Bounce rate will have a significant effect on your email marketing system, because higher bounce rates may get you blacklisted and make your IP and Domain Reputation lower. And this will cause your emails to be marked as spam.
If you want to learn more about email bouncing, you can check the following video: