Email Marketing Strategy
What makes an email attractive to the user? What are the keys to sending the correct email at the right time? Establishing a good email marketing strategy plan is not an easy task. Not only do we have to take into account the aesthetic aspects of the content of the email, but other important factors that must be taken into account also come into play.
The creation of content for email marketing campaigns is one of the many things we have to do effectively due to the excessive competition and the amount of messages that reach peoples inboxes.
Depending on how often you choose to send emails, maintaining a constant flow can be difficult if you do not plan ahead. The use of an editorial calendar for emailing campaigns can facilitate the organization of the content and its subsequent scheduling for your email marketing strategy.
Currently, email marketing is one of the most used strategies by Internet businesses and is a very effective means of communication because of its low cost, easy and fast direct delivery to the user and means of generating revenue. There are plenty of eCommerce websites that swear by email marketing and some that even rely on it as a major source of traffic and income. You too could enjoy the benefits if you can create an effective email marketing strategy for your eCommerce website.
What is Email Marketing?
“Email Marketing refers to the execution of marketing actions using email as a means of communication.”
Its applications are innumerable: customer loyalty campaigns, a newsletter with offers and news, content bulletins, call for activities and events, surveys or internal communications between employees. Basically, email marketing can be performed in many different ways, but the traditional method would be by contacting a list of subscribers that you have built up over time.
Email Marketing vs SPAM
When we talk about email marketing, we do not mean to send massive messages indiscriminately to contact lists bought, borrowed, or collected from different sources. If you send emails without authorization from the recipient, you will be committing the harmful practice of SPAM.
These emails without permission, in some way, generate discomfort for the recipient, which will directly affect the good reputation of your brand. If our company is reported as a spammer you could have your domain blacklisted in a best-case scenario. Even in some countries, SPAM is punishable by law, so do not even consider something that could remotely be considered as SPAM in your email marketing strategy plan.
The pillar of any email marketing campaign is the base of recipients to which the newsletter will be sent. Without a base of contacts that have opted in to receive communications from your website, you will not be able to carry out an email marketing campaign.
Therefore, the first thing that must be done is to build the subscriber base. The most common method is to incorporate a subscription form on your website but there are many ways to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
Creating an Email Marketing Strategy
The development and implementation of an email marketing strategy must follow a plan:
The objectives of your campaign need to be defined before you do anything else.
What is the objective of the email you are going to send?
– Promotion of products or services
– Increase customer loyalty
– Recruit more email subscribers
– Invitation to an event, course, seminar, etc.
Once you have defined the objective or your email you can move onto the next phase.
You know what outcome you want your email to accomplish, now you need to think of how you’re going to achieve it.
– Create coupon codes
– Run sweepstakes
– Build landing pages
– Referral program
– Provide incentives
The goal you have in mind will obviously dictate how you will achieve it.
Creating coupon codes will be great if you are running a promotion.
You can run a sweepstake on Instagram and encourage your email list to participate to give it a boost.
Landing pages can be used for surveys, opinions, polls, and email collection. Referral programs can encourage your subs to promote your website in exchange for a reward.
Incentives such as discounts, bonuses, and chances to win something can get your subs active.
You have an objective and a strategy to achieve it, now it’s time to put your plan into place.
It’s time to craft an email to send to your list, but how do you do this?
Due to the great growth of SPAM in recent years, large mailbox providers have implemented strict security policies. So, to make sure that the emails reach their destination, it is advisable to use an Email Service Provider (ESP), which are companies that have technology exclusively prepared for the mass sending of emails such as ConvertKit or GetResponse.
Using an ESP is crucial not only to make your email marketing automation a breeze but to make it easier to comply with the legalities surrounding email marketing.
Once you have chosen an ESP, you can integrate them with your website. If you already have an email list, you can import it to GetResponse by formatting your list as a .csv file.
You can build your emails through their platform and preview what it’s going to look like before you send them out. They offer a form builder which has many options to customize the look and feel of your email and enables you to include necessary fields such as unsubscribe links and other notices.
Implementing an Email Marketing Strategy Plan
If you have covered the three points above for creating your strategy then there are a few things you need to know and do before you send anything.
Everything listed below forms a crucial element of your email marketing strategy plan and needs to be individually optimized in order to make everything function as a whole.
Let’s start with the last thing you do before you hit the send button.
Before sending the emails you have to test the whole process to make sure everything is functioning as you want it to. There’s not much worse than putting a lot of work into an email marketing campaign and sending it out there with critical mistakes.
• You have to create ‘test’ users contained within the database. This can be done by you subscribing to your list with multiple email addresses.
• Send different emails with different subject lines and different types of content to see how they display on all devices.
• Check that all the links in your email are working and pointing to where they should be.
• Make sure there are no spelling, grammatical, or factual errors.
• Personalization of the email: Include the name of the recipient
• Powerful Subject Line: Your subscribers will scan through the titles of their inbox to determine if an email is worth opening or not.
• The inclusion of a contact email so that your list can get in touch in case of any questions.
• The inclusion of the link to unsubscribe: At the end of the message you must always include this link if your subscriber wishes to be removed from your database in case they do not want to continue receiving emails from your business. This is a legal requirement, not a choice.
The most important factor to retain subscribers and get users to open our emails is the content, which must be of quality and relevant to the recipient.
It is preferable to prioritize the quality of the content over the frequency. For example, send only one good quality monthly newsletter, instead of one per week with little content and inferior quality.
Use the strengths of your content to make your emails more attractive. Can you create a video to tell the same? Do you use an infographic instead of plain text? Can you transmit part of the message through a powerful image? All are valid options to surprise your users and offer more variety in your communication.
It may seem obvious, but it is the first message the user reads and the main reason that an email is read or not. It is difficult to find the right words for each audience and to entice them to open your email.
Subject lines should be able to immediately grab attention while also not letting the user know the entirety of the content inside. The user needs further incentive to open the email so you can convert them. If they can get the entire gist of your email just from the subject line and they have no interest, then they aren’t going to open it.
Another thing that you shouldn’t do is to use Re: in the subject as if the email was a response to a query made by the user. That is bad practice and counts as a deceptive title, which can lead to people unsubscribing and marking you as spam.
Analyze this aspect and check if you can draw conclusions about the time in which your audiences access and click on your emails.
Does your target audience open your email first thing in the morning or maybe when they leave work? If your database consists of corporate email addresses, it may be interesting to send your communications during working hours, in which your subscribers will be attentive to this email.
The best way to find the most appropriate time is to try different types of content at different times of the day and analyze the results obtained each time.
Generalized messages and offers have limited value for readers. A good way to increase the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is to segment your subscribers based on common categories and then creating an email that combines these factors. The categories could include:
– History of previous purchases
You can also create different newsletter subscription forms for specific pages so that anyone who subs from that page is automatically assigned to a specific list. This enables you to target your list much more and you can send very specific emails to each list.
READ: Email Marketing Tips
Focus on The Path
Not only do we want users to click on the email, but we also want them to follow the path you set. When a user clicks on your call to action, do not send them to a generic initial page and wait for them to search through your website to find the information that appeared in your email.
Users will feel frustrated and leave your page. Instead, make it easy for users and direct them to the relevant pages of your website or create specific pages for the reader to reach them directly from the promotion offer or information. By doing so, it will help reduce drop-out rates and simultaneously boost customer experience and commitment and, above all, ROI.
READ: Email Marketing Mistakes
Recognize Success and Learn From Failure
Despite the best practices recommended in the world of marketing, you must bear in mind that each case is different and it may happen that what in most cases “does not work” for you may be a success for others.
So, after implementing a new tactic, even if you have not obtained the expected results, analyze the results, what you have learned from it and what your next step will be.
Once you have gone through and optimized your emails for each element you should be ready to start email marketing.
Double-check that everything is good and then go ahead and send your email out to your list using your chosen Email Service Provider.
What to Do After an Email Marketing Campaign?
Once the campaign is over you need to measure your results by viewing the analytics. These are metrics such as how many people opened your emails, clicked on the links inside, etc.
You can obtain the results fairly quickly through the Dashboard of your ESP and then study them and make adjustments accordingly.
Test, test and retest each and every one of your messages until they become a fine clockwork mechanism. You have to be analytical, observant and willing to make changes. Be patient, make the necessary changes, and the results will come.