Want to put together an email marketing strategy, but you’re not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective and valuable marketing strategies out there. All kinds of businesses can use it to achieve great results, and it can be used for many different purposes.
To get email marketing for your business right, you’ll need to start with a solid email marketing strategy.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to do email marketing, including some of the best tips for a winning email marketing strategy.
Let’s get into it!
- What is an Email Marketing Strategy?
- Why Do You Need an Email Marketing Strategy?
- What Do You Need for an Email Marketing Strategy?
- 10 Strategies for a Winning Email Marketing Campaign
- 10 Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your Campaigns
- Types Of Email Marketing Strategies you Can Use
What is an Email Marketing Strategy?
Email is possibly the most important marketing tool for any small business.
Email marketing can be used in many different ways. With the right email marketing strategy, you could warm up leads and turn them into customers, promote specific products and content, send special offers, ramp up sales, increase brand awareness, and much more.
An email marketing strategy is all about understanding where your leads are in the buying journey when they sign up for your mailing list and sending them the right kind of content to become customers.
Any email marketing strategy is focused on developing relationships with subscribers and directly communicating with your customers.
Email campaigns should never be sent out randomly. Instead, they need to be carefully planned to ensure the right people get the right messages at the right time. Email marketing strategies are always focused on a clear goal and have a clear plan to achieve it.
An email marketing strategy is your roadmap to help you execute and achieve the outcome you want from email marketing.
Why Do You Need an Email Marketing Strategy?
Emails are one of the biggest influences on buying decisions. In fact, 59% of customers have said that email affected their buying decision.
Why are email marketing campaigns so great?
First off, they let you communicate directly with your target customer. You have a direct line into their inbox and can send them targeted emails. This is far more direct than other marketing strategies – like running ads.
Second, email marketing offers one of the best returns on investment possible. The average ROI for email marketing is a $42 return for every $1 dollar spent. That’s crazy, and it’s something small businesses should take full advantage of.
Finally, email marketing can help your business achieve many different things. There are loads of different types of marketing emails that you can send. You could use email to maintain relationships with existing customers, build relationships with new ones, and run all kinds of specific promotions.
So, a well-planned email marketing strategy can help your business achieve many different goals – easily and affordably. Email is one of the most reliable marketing tools, and unlike many other digital channels, its popularity seems like it’s here to stay.
What Do You Need for an Email Marketing Strategy?
If you want to send out email marketing campaigns, your business will need three things.
1. An Email List
You need to have a list of active email subscribers in order to send email marketing campaigns. This is essential.
Your email marketing list is your database of contacts who have agreed to receive email marketing messages from you.
There are many different ways to get email subscribers. Some popular options are offering a lead magnet (like an ebook), hosting events, running a giveaway, or simply offering valuable content in return for an email address.
You’ll need a sign-up form on your website to capture email addresses.
2. An Email Marketing Platform
Also known as your email service provider (ESP), this is the tool that you use to send out your marketing emails.
When you send an email blast, you send out one email to a large list of people. You can’t do this effectively with your personal email platform. Email marketing platforms also allow you to automate your email campaigns, access analytics and personalize your email sends to improve conversion rates.
3. Clearly Defined Goals
Your email marketing strategy has to be goal-oriented. There are many different goals that your email campaigns could have. These include:
- Improving brand awareness
- Driving sales
- Generating and nurturing leads
- Keeping existing customers engaged
- Running specific promotions
- Increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value
An effective email marketing strategy aligns each of these three requirements:
- First, you segment your mailing list so that you can send the right content to the right people.
- Second, you write and design your email campaign based on your goal.
- Third, you use your email marketing platform to send out the campaign and monitor the results.
This is how effective email marketing strategies work in a nutshell.
10 Strategies for a Winning Email Marketing Campaign
There’s a lot that goes into successful email marketing campaigns. To help you make sure your email campaign achieves great results, here are some of the most important email marketing steps and strategies to follow.
1. Segment Your Email List
Once you have a list of active email subscribers, you’ll need to segment this list into different groups. Although everyone has signed up to receive email marketing communications from you, your different subscribers are interested in different things. They’re also at different stages of their journey with your brand.
By segmenting your email marketing list, you can send the right messages to the right people. Focusing on only sending relevant content will help your subscribers engage more with your email campaigns. This will result in a better outcome for each campaign.
You could segment your email list based on factors like how the person signed up, whether they are a new or existing customer, where they live, how old they are, and more.
For example, an online clothing store might want to segment leads into males and females. This way, they can send promotions about their men’s clothing and women’s clothing to relevant lists. This will help them make more sales and achieve greater engagement on their emails.
Follow our complete guide to lead segmentation for more information on how to do this.
2. Focus On Email Deliverability
It doesn’t matter how amazing your email marketing campaigns are if they don’t get delivered to the right inbox. Email marketing deliverability is all about getting your emails into your subscribers’ inboxes and not in their spam folders.
Before even worrying about perfecting your subject lines, you’ll need to make sure your email is heading in the right place.
Some strategies to improve email deliverability include sending the right content to the right lists (as mentioned above), keeping your list clean, using trusted email marketing software, and sending a consistent volume of emails. Knowing the best times to send your emails to maximize engagement can also help with deliverability.
You can find more strategies and tips on improving email deliverability in our in-depth guide on the topic.
3. Have a Single, Clear Goal
As we mentioned earlier, all effective email marketing campaigns need to start with a clear goal. Make sure that each email only has one goal and that it aims to achieve a single action from the recipient.
This can be achieved through your Call to Action (CTA) at the end of your email.
Once you have established a goal, you can craft your subject line and email text around that goal. You can also personalize your emails for your different lists to ensure they take the action you want from them.
Trying to get subscribers to perform multiple actions from a single email is confusing and won’t help you achieve anything.
4. Personalize Your Content
The best way to improve engagement from your email marketing campaigns is to personalize your email content. This means sending tailored email messages to match the interests of your email lists.
Offering personalized email experiences will improve email open rates, get more people clicking on your emails, and it will keep subscribers more actively engaged.
Here are a few important tips for successful email marketing campaign personalization:
- Address your subscribers using their names: It’s a small detail, but it makes a big difference.
- Send content based on the subscriber’s lifestyle stage: New subscribers get a welcome email, existing customers can be sent upsell discounts, and so on.
- Send personalized messages based on your subscriber’s information: You could send personalized birthday cards, location-specific content to subscribers in different cities, and more.
Personalized email marketing builds trust and helps you achieve your desired outcome from subscribers more easily.
5. Write an Irresistible Subject Line
Your subject line is what determines whether your emails will be opened or not. Even if you have great email content, without a killer subject line, nobody will end up reading it.
Great email subject lines can take many different forms. The important thing is that they’re short and that they offer value.
Try to entice the recipient to click on the email with a subject line that leaves them wanting to know more. Try to include value in your subject line if you can. Ake the subject line catchy, and avoid being too generic or robotic sounding.
Check out our email subject line formulas to help you out.
6. Write the Perfect Email
Now it’s time to put your email content together. The way that you write your email should depend on which list you’re sending it to and what you want the email to achieve.
Some general tips for email copywriting include keeping it brief, focusing on the value, and keeping it focused on one main action.
Nobody wants to receive a long and boring email from a brand. Instead, emails should be quick and easy to read. Keep your target audience in mind, and think about the benefits and value that you can translate to them in your email.
Follow our complete guide to email marketing copywriting to help you out.
7. Design Your Email
You can send a plain text email. This is ok, but it can also look a bit boring. For more engaging and interesting email content, consider a more exciting email design.
There’s no need to go too crazy here, but adding enticing visuals, graphics, and unique design elements to make your email stand out.
8. Test Your Emails
You should always try to A/B test your emails when you send them.
This is when you create two different versions of the same email and send each one to a different half of your mailing list. Once the email has been sent, you can monitor the results of each campaign and see which one was most effective.
Now, you can use this information to optimize future email marketing campaigns.
You can test any element of your email – like the subject lines, the welcome line, the CTA, the color of your button, or the image used. By continually testing and optimizing, each email campaign should achieve better results.
Any good email service providers should have A/B testing functionality built into the platform.
9. Automate Your Email Campaigns
Automation is one of the most important email marketing strategies. This is when you send triggered messages to certain subscribers after they perform a certain action.
For example, you can set up a series of emails that automatically trigger when a new lead signs up to your mailing list.
First, they get a welcome email offering a discount code. If they use the discount code to make a purchase, the lead gets placed in one list and is targeted with content to maintain and nurture the relationship, eventually upselling them more products.
If the lead does not redeem the discount code, they can be placed in a different list and get automatically sent further promotional content to help them make their first purchase.
Automated email campaigns are also important for things like transactional emails, welcome emails, and thank you emails. By automating these emails, you’ll save loads of time and effort while still targeting the right people with the right content.
10. Monitor Your Email Marketing Metrics
Email marketing is a long-term game. To run successful email marketing strategies, you should constantly be optimizing and measuring your email campaigns. This is why it’s so important to follow the right metrics.
Monitor things like your email bounce rate, open rate, unsubscribe rate, and click-through rate. Doing this will help you see what areas of your email campaign work and what needs improving.
Carefully monitoring your email metrics will also help you understand how well your email campaign is achieving its original goal.
Check out our complete guide to email marketing KPIs to help you know what to track.
10 Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your Campaigns
Now that you know how to set up your email marketing campaigns, there are many ways that you can optimize them.
Here are some important tips to help you create a more effective email marketing campaign.
Send Emails Consistently
You should always keep your email list warm. If you are too sporadic with your sending, your subscribers might soon lose interest. So, when creating an email marketing strategy, try to plan out your email calendar and make sure to send at least 2 – 3 emails each week.
Use the Right List-Building Strategies
Having a big email list is not as important as having a relevant email list. Make sure that the strategies you use to grow your email list attract your target audience. Promote content that is relevant to your brand, collaborate with brands that complement yours, and if you’re running a giveaway offer a prize that relates to your business.
Sell the Benefits, Not the Features
When crafting your emails, make sure they’re always loaded full of value for your audience. Don’t talk to your subscribers about features – translate this into benefits for them. If you aren’t adding value, nobody will engage with your emails.
Be Engaged and Responsive
Never use a no-reply email address. Email addresses like [email protected] will kill your engagement and deliverability. Instead, make sure that your emails are sent from a real person and that you reply to anyone that responds to your email messages.
Check Your Emails Carefully
This may seem silly, but it’s only too easy to send out an email marketing campaign with a missing link or a bad typo. Before you send your email marketing campaign, always test these 7 things.
Encourage Readers to Reply
A great way to improve email deliverability is to get people engaging with your emails. Having your recipients respond to your emails is ideal here.
Try to get people to respond to your emails by asking questions or letting them know that you’re here to answer them. Never use a noreply@… email address – this will kill your deliverability! Encouraging replies from readers will boost your engagement and get readers more interested in your email content. This will help each email campaign you send reach more inboxes, while also helping you weed out inactive subscribers.
Remember to Be a Person
Your email strategy should never feel like it’s coming from a business or marketer. Instead, it should feel personal and authentic. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply include your name in the email.
Show who the email is from and include a sender name (like “Tom from Wishpond”). Recipients will see your name when they read your email subject line and instantly feel more of a connection to you. If the email is from a business, not a person, there will be more chance of them passing it off as spam.
Use Email Banners and Signatures
Each email marketing campaign you send should have one clear objective with a related CTA. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t sneak a few extra elements into your email. A great way to do this is to use an interactive email banner or signature.
You can add social media icons, links to landing pages (like a “book a demo” page), or other digital marketing channels or resources. This could help you to do things like promote an upcoming event, distribute your appointment calendar, add links to your latest marketing content, and more.
Include an Unsubscribe Link
Whenever you create campaigns, you have to include an unsubscribe link. This isn’t just one of the most important email marketing tips – it’s also a legal requirement.
Making it easy to unsubscribe will actually have a positive effect on your email marketing. This will help you maintain an engaged and interested email list, it will prevent your emails from becoming annoying, and it can help prevent you from being marked as a spam sender.
Make Your Emails Interactive
Adding interactivity is one of the best email marketing strategies. This can help you turn boring emails into something fun, engaging, and exciting. All of this will help you improve engagement, get more clicks, and enhance the experience of your brand and email marketing.
If you want to add interactivity to your next email marketing campaign, then check out this complete guide to creating interactive email strategies.
Types Of Email Marketing Strategies You Can Use
If you want to improve your email marketing efforts, then it’s important to know what types of marketing emails you can send. Here are some of the best types of emails for all kinds of businesses.
Start by sending a warm welcome to any new subscribers. This instantly starts your relationship on a good note, and it gives you a chance to gain some engagement straight away.
You could offer a welcome discount or special offer in this email. This is a great way to boost your sales from the get-go.
Milestone emails are important for building long-lasting relationships with your subscribers. These emails are sent out to celebrate things like a customer’s birthday or their anniversary with your brand.
Whatever the case, offer something special in these emails. It will help your subscribers to feel special, and it will keep them coming back to your brand.
Win-back emails, also known as a re-engagement campaign, are sent to re-engage customers who haven’t made a purchase in a long time or have lost interest in your brand. The goal of win-back emails is to get your subscribers to interact with your brand again. You could send a special offer or even just ask them nicely to re-engage.
Upsell or Cross-Sell Emails
If you run an online store, you can target customers with upselling or cross-sell offers. For example, if they purchased an item, send them an email advertising complementary products. It could help you increase the value of each sale.
One of the best ways to keep your email subscribers active and engaged is to send them helpful, relevant content.
This could be a blog post, a podcast, a video, or anything else your brand puts out. This is a great email marketing strategy because it promotes your brand and builds trust without trying to push a sale on the email subscriber.
Email marketing is not just about getting new customers; it’s also about maintaining your existing ones.
You should use your email marketing to stay in touch with all of your customers and make them feel special. By sending out loyalty offers and rewards, you can keep your loyal customers coming back again and again.
Cart Abandonment Emails
If you run an online store, then sending abandoned cart emails is one of the best ways to increase your revenue. This is possibly the best email marketing strategy online store owners can use, as you simply automate it and watch your sales increase.
This strategy involves sending targeted emails to shoppers who have abandoned their carts – possibly including a special offer. These people have already shown a high buying intent, so there’s a good chance you will be able to win them back. Think of them as follow up emails for “lost” sales.
Follow our complete guide to email marketing examples for more email marketing ideas that you can use.
With the right strategy, your email marketing campaign can do amazing things. When you create an email marketing strategy, the most important thing is to understand your audience, and send them relevant, valuable content. Get this right, and you should see excellent levels of engagement.
Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into email marketing than just this. Follow the tips and strategies listed above, and you’ll be able to make the most of this highly rewarding marketing channel.
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- 11 Email Marketing KPIs and Metrics You Should Be Tracking
- The Most Important Small Business Email Marketing Strategies and Tips