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Inbound Email Marketing

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Attract customers to regularly subscribe

When it comes to inbound email marketing, you want to attract customers to regularly subscribe. How do you get people to keep coming in?

  • Create a free guide: One thing you can do is create a free guide directly related to your business. It’s a sort of an exchange. You say, “We’ll give you this information, this PDF document, or some infographic, or some element of content related to the business, related to the sector in exchange for a few details about you.” And then a little checkbox to say, “Would you like more information? Would you like to subscribe to our lists?” It’s an exchange.
  • Lead capture forms: Whenever you’re creating your leads or your lists, or you’re doing lead generation, you want to capture email in there. You want to capture as much detail and information as possible about potential readers.
  • Email subscription forms: If you are trying to build a relevant list of readers, you essentially would like to put your email subscription form in as many places as possible because you want people to see this. You want people to share it to their friends and say, “Hey, I’m reading this amazing email that is relevant to our sector, relevant to our industry. You too should subscribe.” And make it really easy for your readers to essentially, in a grassroots method, share the word about your email and your email list.


So what are some advantages to inbound email marketing?

  • Inbound email marketing is more effective because the customer chooses to hear from a business. That idea of choice is very important.
  • This leads to greater engagement levels. “I have chosen to come in.” It’s like when you walk into a store. You’ve made that choice as a customer, as a consumer to walk in, to physically engage with this content.
  • You can build a relationship with highly qualified leads and then form that strong brand community. If people feel like they’re part of an inside group, they’re getting content that no one else can get. I subscribe to a lot of professional people who have really taken the time to build email newsletters in this sense that give me information that I might not be able to just find on my own very easily, and they’ve done such a good job of curating this information for me that their email is something that I look forward to on a weekly basis.
  • And then your user engagement can be benchmarked against sales revenue to measure effectiveness of email marketing strategy. One of the things that we always must challenge ourselves with when it comes to email marketing is to connect the dots. Connect user engagement to sales as well as sort out how it all leads and connects to our email marketing strategy, because, once again, we’re not just doing email for the sake of doing email. We’re doing it for revenue generation, or content sharing and creation, you know, or maybe it’s connected to an ad campaign, that type of thing. There’s a lot of reasons why we do it but it has to all be connected and then benchmarked and using our data that we collect from as I mentioned earlier something like a MailChimp, which gives you amazing analytics. Remember, it’s not just about sending out emails. It’s about collecting information that you can then utilize to connect back to your purpose and your strategy and your goals.
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Eric Stoller

Eric Stoller is a Higher Education Strategic Communications Consultant and Blogger at Inside Higher Ed. With a background in student affairs, academic advising, wellness, technology, and communications, Eric educates clients and audiences on digital identity development. As a blogger, he generates conversations, answers questions, and provides insight about a variety of tech topics, including Social Media Strategies and Email Marketing.

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate inbound and outbound email marketing techniques and how they are used in marketing campaigns
  • Critically reflect on practices for managing email data and building an email subscriber base
  • Critically appraise how to optimise email delivery and email open rates for marketing campaigns

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


Email Marketing Strategy
Eric Stoller
Skills Expert

The Email Marketing Strategy module will introduce the key concepts of email marketing and enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to build highly effective email campaigns. You will learn how to think like an email marketer and recognize that your subscriber list growth and quality is a key metric for the success of your campaign. Finally, you will recognize the role of various email delivery techniques as well as the importance of balancing frequency and volume of email sends.