The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

Be honest. Do you still decide which mobile device you want to buy by just watching a TV advertisement? Certainly not. Technology has completely transformed the way we make our buying decisions. And not surprisingly, marketing has changed to adapt to this transformation.

This is the age of inbound marketing.

The smart customer of today is internet savvy and likes to make decisions based on their own research. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, is quite in-your-face. More so, it is targeted at one and all, interested as well as the least interested people, making the marketing method less effective. To put it straight, outbound marketing is interruptive.

And when it comes to inbound marketing what better medium can there be to help them make an informed decision, but email marketing?

But, why email marketing? Well, the number of emails sent and received per day will reach 269 billion, and it is expected to surpass 319.6 billion by 2021 Let us understand the stages of inbound and how emails can be molded to fit into that methodology:

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

  • Determine your target audience
  • Build a Quality List Organically
  • Segment into Smaller & Relevant Clusters
  • Knowing the Email Type
  • Measure the Right Metrics

Determine your target audience

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

What if you put the efforts in the wrong direction? Your entire email marketing strategy would go in vain, right? That’s why the first step to inbound marketing is determining the correct target audience. Answer the question – “What kind of prospects are most likely to purchase from you?” and try to discover their pain points. Doing so will help you in getting subscribers with a higher possibility of conversion.

Build a Quality List Organically

Nothing can be accomplished from your email marketing strategy if you don’t have a quality list to go by. Considering, people no longer sign up for ads and are no longer interested in the traditional medium of operations, you need to strategize ways to build your list.

The most important consideration at this time is that you need to work on a strong value proposition that you can offer to the customers.

In the past, a simple “join our list” would have done the job. However, times have changed, and people need to know what they will get against joining your list.

Some of the value propositions that you can offer include:

  • A whitepaper or some form of gated content that aims to educate the customer about a topic that is relevant to them. For instance, “101 ways to build your email list” is definitely relevant to you right now.
  • You could offer discount coupons, vouchers or some benefit against shopping on your site.

These are just examples of how you can improve the quality of your list. The bottom line is if you offer something that is relevant to the customer and fulfills their immediate needs, then you would get their email address in return.

It seems like a lucrative idea to purchase email lists but, you should ideally avoid that. It will add more spam email addresses to your list than the genuine ones, lowering your sender reputation.

Segment into Smaller & Relevant Clusters

You now have a complete list of potential customers. However, not all the potential leads have the same needs. You need to work on understanding whether they are new on your site, old customers, people with buying intent, curious yet not sure and accordingly divide your list into various segments.

Each segment or cluster will contain like-minded people. You will know what stage of buying they are in, and it will ease your communications with them.

For instance, if the buying intent of consumers is clear, you would send them discount coupons that will make them complete the purchase.

Moreover, you could also send out newsletters or deliver your customized message with the help of Mailchimp newsletter templates to reach out to your audience which is responsive and easy to use.

If they are aware and curious, then you need to educate them more about your brand. A newsletter with some details about what your mail does, and how you proceed with it, will help the leads know you better. You can also educate them further about the services you offer, and how they are likely to help the lead.

If they are new-on-the-block, then welcome them, and help them with onboarding. You can also offer something of value to these people, and get them to walk through your website.

If someone from your list has been idle for a while, re-engage with them, and get them to buy something or at least talk about your product.
Segmenting, as you can see, is very important if you want the right message to reach the right customer at the right time.

For best segmentation, you ought to use progressive profiling that includes some parts of demographics, past browsing history, order value, etc. This will help you create smaller and better lists, and improve personalization techniques.

Knowing the Email Type

There are several emails that you can send to your lead and get them to convert. You need to know which email will perform the task better. That’s why you need to know the different types of marketing emails available.

Welcome Emails:

A welcome email is the first business email you send—make it sound more informal than formal. While you confirm that they have successfully subscribed, you also need to prepare them for the emails you will be sending in the future. And yes, send a welcome email immediately because Soundest states that 74.4 percent of customers eagerly wait for a welcome email after subscribing.

Automation of welcome emails will make the task easy for you. Take a look at this email from Discord

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

Transactional Emails:

Whenever a subscriber buys a product from your website, you should send an email confirming the purchase. Also, send a notification email when the product is shipped and delivered.

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

Email Newsletters:

They help improve brand’s awareness, and educate the customers about the brand as well as the services. It is an essential monthly email that your business should send for better recall.

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

Lead Nurturing Emails:

To nurture a lead, first, you need to know the lead well. How is that possible? There are two ways to do that: by asking them questions or collecting some basic information during the sign-up process and through their browsing behavior on your website. These two methods will help you personalize your emails with dynamic content.

With all this information at hand, you can help them by providing solutions to their problems through your products/services. Never ever sound pushy, though. Subtly yet cleverly, you need to make them believe that you are their best option—leading them into the customer journey.

These emails from Topshop are great examples of how to create lead nurturing emails with the inbound methodology in mind.

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

Cart Abandonment Emails:

When your leads abandon the cart midway, you can recover them with cart abandonment emails. In case, they were stuck while checking out, these emails will help regain their trust and get you the conversion.

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Email Marketing in 2021

Pro tip: How to Promote Blog in 2021: Content Promotion Tactics

Measure the Right Metrics

When you run a campaign, it is important to check the results of the campaign as well. You want to know whether the campaign was successful or not so that you can redefine it and meet the customer’s requirements.
Here are a few metrics that are important to understand the success of the campaign.


  • Bounce Rate: The average number of email subscribers you were unable to reach through your email campaign.
  • Delivery Rate: The percentage of the number of emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent.
  • Click-through Rate: The total number of click-throughs that happened after the email was opened as against the total number of recipients.
  • Open Rate: The total number of emails that were opened.


The most important metric is the list growth rate and click-through rate, both of which tell you a lot about the performance of your email campaigns.

Inbound marketing is all about combining SEO, content marketing and email efforts to build a 360-degree marketing strategy that can win you maximum and profitable conversions. Email plays an important role in education, persuading, and even converting these people.

It is the best way to ensure the customers are engaged with the brand. The brand’s recall is effective as a result of proper and defining email strategies.

If you follow all the above-mentioned steps, you should get your well-nurtured and loyal customers, thus increasing customer lifetime value.


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