How to Create an Inbound Email Marketing Strategy

Jan 29, 2024 | Latest, Email Marketing Strategy, Funnel Marketing Strategy, Marketing Tips

How to Create an Inbound Email Marketing Strategy

With over 4 billion users worldwide, email remains one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers and increase sales. But with so many emails flooding inboxes every day, how do you stand out amongst the noise and have your email read before your subscriber deletes your email? That’s where an inbound email marketing strategy comes in.

Understand what inbound email marketing is, how it needs to form part of your overall inbound marketing strategy and why it’s crucial for your business success.

When implemented correctly, an inbound email marketing strategy can significantly boost your brand awareness, customer retention, and ultimately, your revenue.

What is Inbound Email Marketing?

Inbound email marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting and engaging potential customers through personalised, relevant, and valuable inbound emails.

It involves building strong long-term relationships with subscribers by providing them with helpful information, rather than just promoting products or services.

Unlike traditional outbound email marketing which often relies on mass emailing and unsolicited messages, inbound email marketing aims to nurture subscribers through targeted emails.

This means that your email content is tailored to the specific interests and needs of your subscribers, making it more likely for them to engage with your brand and stay subscribed.

How to Create an Inbound Email Marketing Strategy

1. Define Your Goals

Before you embark on creating an effective inbound email marketing campaign, it’s critical to establish clear and measurable goals. What do you aim to achieve with your email marketing strategies?

Perhaps you want to drive more traffic to your website, increase product sales, improve customer retention, or enhance your brand awareness. 

Defining these goals upfront will give your campaign direction and purpose. It also sets the groundwork for measuring your success as you can match your results to your initial objectives. 

inbound email marketing strategy

Remember, your goals should align with your overall business strategy, and they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART).

Having well-defined goals will provide a roadmap for your email marketing strategy, helping you to focus your efforts and maximize your ROI.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Start by defining your target audience. Identifying their interests, preferences, and needs will allow you to develop content that is relevant and engaging for them.

Understand not only who your customers are, but also their behaviours, preferences, and needs. This could include demographic information such as age, gender, and location, as well as psychographic information like interests, values, and attitudes.

To collect this information, use customer surveys, understand social media analytics, jump into relevant Facebook Groups and seek customer feedback. Once you have a thorough understanding of your audience, you can create buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. These personas can guide the creation of your email content, ensuring it is relevant and appealing to your audience.

Remember, the more personalised your emails are, the more your audience will feel connected to your brand. This not only increases open and click-through rates but also creates customer loyalty and promotes long-term engagement.

Taking the time to get to know your audience is an investment that will pay off in the success of your email strategy.

3. Segment  Your Email List

Segmentation of your email list is an essential step in creating an effective inbound email marketing strategy. This process involves dividing your subscriber list into smaller, more targeted groups based on specific criteria.

Common segmentation categories may include demographics, past purchase behaviour, email engagement rates, and website activity.

inbound email marketing strategy

For example, you could create a segment of customers who have made a purchase in the last six months or a segment of subscribers who have never opened an email.

By segmenting your list, you can create more personalised email content that is tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each group. 

Creating different segments of your audience allows for more targeted and relevant communication, which can significantly improve your open and click-through rates, conversion rates and contacts staying on your email list.

Personalisation can also boost conversions, increase customer retention, and enhance overall customer satisfaction. 

Remember, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in email marketing. By segmenting your list and tailoring your content, you can ensure that your emails resonate with your audience and keep readers engaged.

4. Develop a Lead Magnet

Using a lead magnet is a powerful tool that attracts potential customers to your business by offering them something of value in exchange for their contact information.

Lead magnets help generate new leads and grow your email list. Using lead magnets is an effective email marketing strategy not to be missed.

Creating an effective lead magnet involves a combination of search engine optimization (SEO) research to identify the right lead magnet that offers value and is relevant to your ideal audience and main offer.

Initially, you’ll want to perform SEO research to identify topics that resonate with your audience.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs can help you discover high-volume keywords related to your business that can form the basis of your lead magnet.

inbound email marketing strategy

When deciding on the type of lead magnet to create always have your paid offer in mind and create a lead magnet that offers the first step towards solving their problem.

You can then use Canva, a user-friendly design tool to create your lead magnet. Canva has hundreds of amazing templates to choose from such as eBooks, templates, checklists, or educational guides.

Canva makes it easy even for design novices to create professional-looking lead magnets.

Remember, your lead magnet should provide real value to your audience. It needs to be something that your potential customers want and perceive as valuable enough to exchange for their contact information.

The more valuable the lead magnet, the more likely your audience will subscribe.

5. Create a Landing Page to Collect Emails

An opt-in landing page is an essential part of your email marketing strategy, designed to convert website visitors into subscribers and potential customers.

This standalone webpage aims to persuade your visitors to take a specific action such as subscribing to your newsletter, downloading your lead magnet, or registering for a webinar.

When creating a lead magnet landing page focus on simplicity. Keep your design clean, straightforward, and free of distractions. Your primary goal is to keep the visitor focused on the call-to-action (CTA).

inbound email marketing strategy

Your headline needs to be compelling and clear, describing the offer and its benefits. This is your first chance to grab the visitor’s attention, so ensure it’s persuasive and engaging.

Next, clearly explain the offer with a short paragraph or bullet points. Describe what the potential lead will gain by opting in, focusing on benefits rather than features.

Include a strong CTA like “Download Now”, “Sign Up”, or “Get Access”. Make sure the CTA button is highly visible and placed strategically. Add any social proof like testimonials or reviews to increase trust and credibility.

You can learn more about how to create a landing page to collect emails and grow your email list on our blog here.

6. Use an Email Marketing Platform

Next up to create an effective inbound email marketing strategy you need to use an email marketing platform.

A reliable email platform can streamline your marketing efforts, automate your email nurture sequences, and provide valuable insights into your campaigns.

Email marketing platforms like ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and MailerLite are powerful tools that offer automation features to help you segment your email list and send personalised emails based on user behaviour and preferences.

They are essential tools to use for your overall inbound strategy.

inbound email marketing strategy

ActiveCampaign stands out for its advanced automation and CRM features, making it a great choice for businesses looking to take their email marketing to the next level.

ConvertKit, on the other hand, is particularly user-friendly and caters especially to creators and small businesses. 

MailerLite is an excellent choice for those starting with email marketing, known for its simplicity and affordability.

inbound email marketing strategy

By investing in an email marketing platform, you’re not only purchasing a tool that simplifies the process of email marketing but also gaining access to features that can greatly enhance your marketing strategy.

Choose a platform that aligns with your business goals, budget, and technical abilities, and you’ll be well on your way to efficient and effective inbound email marketing.

inbound email marketing strategy

7. Create a Welcome Nurture Sequence

A welcome automation is a series of automated emails sent to new subscribers, aimed at building a relationship with them. These welcome emails help to offer valuable content and share more about your brand and journey.

With a well-thought-out welcome nurture sequence, you can significantly increase engagement and conversion rates.

Using email marketing platforms like ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and MailerLite, you can easily automate your welcome sequence.

Start by sending a warm welcome email that thanks the subscriber for joining your list and sets expectations for future communications. Include your lead magnet and any links back to your website and social media channels.

inbound email marketing strategy

Then over a few days, week or more, gradually introduce your brand’s story, values, and products or services. Always start by offering value and tips to support their journey.

Share links to your podcast, relevant blogs or testimonials. Think about what value you can offer that will help build a relationship with them and turn them into loyal customers.

8. Nurture Your Subscribers

Nurturing your subscribers is a critical step in converting them into paying customers/clients. This forms part of your welcome email nurture sequence, but also the ongoing nurturing that you will offer via your email campaigns.

Personalise your emails using data and insights about your subscriber’s preferences and behaviour. Use their name, refer to their past interactions, or tailor content based on their interests.

This level of personalisation makes your subscribers feel valued and understood, fostering a deeper connection with your brand. 

Encourage subscribers to provide feedback, engage with your content, or reply to your emails. This interaction makes them feel heard and appreciated, further nurturing your relationship with them.

Remember that each email you send should provide value and bring your subscribers one step closer to becoming customers. 

How to create an inbound email marketing strategy

9. Promote Your Lead Magnet

Once you have your lead magnet and email sign-up form ready, it’s time to promote your lead magnet to generate leads for your business. Include your lead magnet anywhere and everywhere.

Share it on your blog posts, social media platforms, website, podcast and anywhere else that you promote yourself. Include your lead magnet within your content marketing and create content for your social media posts referring to your lead magnet.

Always focus on the valuable information that your lead magnet offers and what problem it solves. This will help increase email subscribers and grow your email list. 

10. Test & Analyse

Creating an effective inbound email marketing strategy requires constant testing and analysis.

Best practices are to start by examining your opt-in rates via your landing page, then look at the open rates and click-through rates of your emails.

This will help you identify which part of your marketing funnel is working and not working.

inbound email marketing strategy

For example, if your email opt-in rates from your landing page are low, then your landing page needs to be reworked.

If potential leads are opting in but not opening the nurture emails, then evaluate the subject lines of your emails and the quality of the leads coming into your sales funnel. Are they the right audience for your brand?

If people are opening the emails but conversion rates are low, look at your email copy. Analyse the data and make changes as needed. Then test again.

Use the metrics of your email marketing platform to provide direct insight into how many people are interacting with your content and in what way. Understanding these metrics will help you identify potential issues and make necessary adjustments.

By continually testing and analysing your email marketing strategy, you can better understand what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to optimise your campaigns for the best possible results.

Sales & Marketing Funnel

Final Thoughts

Creating an inbound email marketing strategy is a powerful way to increase brand visibility, generate leads, build your email list and drive conversions.

Taking the time to set up an effective lead magnet funnel to nurture potential customers, is a must-have marketing strategy for any business.

Think about the steps outlined in this blog and create a lead magnet that offers value and gives your leads the first step in helping them solve their problems.

Then continue to build relationships with them over time with your inbound email marketing strategy.

If setting up your inbound email marketing seems overwhelming, then be sure to reach out. We specialise in setting up inbound strategies for our clients, helping them every step of the way.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’d be more than happy to guide you on your journey to achieving your marketing goals.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. 


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