“But, wait – they’re the same thing, aren’t they?” you ask, as you read the title of this blog post.

Not really. Email marketing is solely dedicated to email as a platform to spread your message and encourage engagement from potential and existing customers.

Digital marketing is more of an umbrella term (sorry, we hate that phrase, too), and while it arguably includes email, it also spans a huge range of disciplines including content, social and SEO.

This is great news, because it means we can draw from the lessons learned in those disciplines as email marketers, and in this blog we’ve picked out six which will define the way you conduct your campaigns from now on:

1. Focus only on the message – not the platform

It’s all-too-easy as email marketers to focus solely on the platform we use to convey our messages. But that’s a huge mistake.

Spend too much time worrying about and tuning your message for the platform and you’ll forget the bigger picture; you’ll forget what the overall goal is.

Email is just that – a platform, and the message means far more than the way it’s delivered. An ineffectual message will never be engaged with, no matter how well it’s presented.

2. You can’t predict how people will take action

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are intrinsic, vital parts of email marketing campaigns, but you should never assume you can predict how people will choose to take action.

Humans are funny beasts, and you’ll often find that people will circumnavigate your chosen CTA in order to take action via their own, preferred method.

That’s fine, but it’s also why A/B testing exists. Try and account for plenty of eventualities and ensure there’s ample room for your audience to interact with your business in any way they see fit.

3. Great design really does make a difference

People don’t want to receive emails that look terrible – it’s that simple.

The human race is driven by visual stimulation, which is why great design should play a prominent role in every marketing campaign you send.

Even if you have to convey a less than favourable message about your brand (an apology, for example), doing so with great design will soften the impact and prove you care.

Focus on design that is simple and always has the audience (rather than the preference of the designer) in mind.

4. Marketing bandwagons are best left alone

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally jumping on the ‘next big thing’ in marketing, but chances are it won’t last.

Marketing, at it’s heart, is incredibly simple. It’s about telling stories that engage people and tempt them to buy – that’s it.

You don’t need to get clever or worry that you’re being left behind by the countless new forms of marketing that arrive seemingly every week. Instead, rely on the tried-and-tested marketing techniques that have always worked.

5. You don’t need to be a marketer – just smart

You’re a smart person, which means you have all the tools you need to be great at email marketing.

You don’t need a degree in marketing or oodles of experience at director level – you just need common sense, a desire to experiment and be unafraid of failure.

Surround yourself with similarly smart people and you really can’t go wrong in email marketing.

6. Data is everything

Marketing would be nothing without data.

If you send out a campaign and pay zero attention to the figures in generates, you’ve all but wasted your time.

The performance of your last campaign will dictate what you do with the next one, and in the age of big data, there has never been a better time to bury your head in the fascinating statistics modern marketing campaigns generate.

Wrapping up

With the above six insights in mind, you’ll avoid repeating the same mistakes that have already been made by experienced marketers.

Your job really is no different to that of a social media marketer or content marketing wizard. We’re all in this together, after all!

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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