How to Create an Email Marketing Strategy
Authenticity is what keeps business alive, and not many marketing channels can achieve this. Email marketing is one of the few ways in which marketers can reach people directly. You can send email campaigns to large numbers of people at a relatively low cost.
Let’s delve into what’s so good about email marketing and look at some practical ways to create an email marketing strategy that works for your company.
One-to-one communication at its best
A hyper-personalized customer approach is something that stores first used. Before the Internet and large chains took over retail, shopping was localized and personalized. Brick-and-mortar, Mom & Pop stores would welcome customers by name. Since they knew their customers, they also knew what to offer.
These days, industry giants like Starbucks are taking it to the next level using GPS technology and apps to generate tailored offers when customers come near a store. Research shows that consumers are hungry for this level of personalized marketing.
They want discounts, recommendations, and an enhanced shopping experience that only personalization can offer.
With email marketing, this is not only possible; it’s also simple. An email marketing campaign can help you connect with customers and activate your business objectives. You can use email marketing to achieve goals like:
- Build positive customer connections through personalized engagement.
- Promote content like blogs and valuable assets like webinars, eBooks, etc.
- Generate leads by offering content in exchange for personal information.
- Boost brand awareness to keep your services or products top-of-mind as soon as potential customers are ready to engage.
- Reach out to your customers after they leave your store with abandoned cart emails.
- Market products and services and make promotions and special offers known.
Why you should create an email marketing strategy
The benefits of email marketing are immense. There are at least 3.9 billion email users in the world. It’s forecasted to reach 4.3 billion by 2023. Every single day, billions of emails are sent and received. What’s more, if you use email marketing, you own the channel, so there’s nothing external that can influence how or when you engage with your customers.
Email marketing builds credibility and forges stronger client relationships. It can increase website traffic and boost sales. And all of this for minimal cost and minimal effort (see how to choose the right email marketing service). Here are the steps to creating an email marketing strategy that works.
Steps to email marketing success
But before you hit Send on your first marketing email, there’s some prep work you need to do. These steps will help you become primed for success when you run your email marketing campaign.
#1 – Who are you targeting?
Trying to sell family vacations to college students or college education to a retiree is counter-productive. Like every other aspect of marketing, your campaign begins with defining your audience. An email campaign is only effective if it is relevant.
To make sure you only send relevant and valuable information to your audience, you must define your target market. This means you have to understand your potential buyers and what they want and need and then tailor your email campaign to these needs. These tips will help you to define your target market:
- Explore your current customer base.
- Investigate your competition and what they offer.
- Analyze your services and products.
- Choose demographics to target. This includes age, gender, location, income, and more.
- Consider the psychographics segmentation of your target market. This covers internal characteristics like values, beliefs, interests, lifestyle, social classes, and more.
- Evaluate your decision by considering if there are enough people who fit the criteria you’ve specified, if they will genuinely benefit from your offering and whether they can afford it.
#2 – What are your goals?
As soon as you know who you want to send your email campaign to, the next step is to figure out your goals with the campaign. This would cover content and schedule. Do you want to use content to create brand awareness, website traffic, sales, engagement, or all of the above? Once you have this defined, it will be easier to create content.
Should you schedule emails daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly? Sending too many or too few emails is easy, so you’ll require a delicate balance between the two. Do some research on email stats in your industry to use as benchmarks.
Defining goals and working around them can get tricky, especially when you explore more intricate details like opening rates at certain times of the day and which call-to-action phrases are most effective. Start simply; as you become more experienced over time, you can refine your campaigns.
#3 – Get customers to sign up
It’s impossible to send out an email campaign without anybody to send it to. An email list is a collection of customers and potential customers who have permitted you to send them email content. Building this list can take time, and some marketers are tempted to buy lists. This is usually not a good idea. Instead, create a list like this:
- Create valuable assets like webinars, eBooks to create a reason for people to give you their email addresses.
- Create useful tools and offer them in exchange for signing up. Your industry would determine the tool. For example, suppose you have a home loan company. In that case, you could offer a mortgage calculator; if you’re in the pet industry, a name generator, or if you’re in marketing, how about a blog topic generator?
- Promote these assets and tools in all your marketing channels, like blogs and social media platforms.
- Include share buttons in all your emails. In marketing, nothing is as effective as word-of-mouth!
Don’t be discouraged if you start with only a small list; it takes time to build quality email lists. As long as you treat every single subscriber like gold, you’ll see your list growing organically.
#4 – What type of campaigns will you use?
Deciding what type of email campaign to use can be overwhelming. Do you build engagement by sticking to tradition and sending a weekly newsletter? Do you stick to product announcements? Or do you share blog posts? If so, which ones are worthwhile? These are questions that plague marketers. The answer is always subjective.
Your best bet is to begin by researching different campaigns and then deciding what best suits your target market. You could also set up different lists for different types of email campaigns. This will give your customers and potential customers the option to only sign up for what is relevant to them.
#5 – Send the right content
When you send the right type of content, you have a better chance of converting leads into customers. If you send the right content, you will create engagement, develop relationships, and build trust. Your content has to build rapport, make your audience feel heard, and, most importantly, fulfill a desire or a need.
The right content is defined by need, want, and perception. This would depend on the demographics and psychographic segmentation of your target audience. Take time to determine this, and you will formulate a better idea of the right content. By sending a contextual message, you are providing value to your target market.
All tools to deliver the right offers to the right people via the right channel at the right time
Engagement is key. People need to feel included and that they are part of something bigger. When you create interactive content, it satisfies this need.
#6 – Keep it consistent
People like consistency. It builds trust and reinforces positive information. So if you are scheduling your email marketing campaigns, make sure you stick to a consistent schedule. Decide how often you plan to communicate with your audience and let them know, so they know what to expect.
Consistency is not only about keeping a regular schedule. It’s also important to keep your quality and basic design consistent. Keep your emails in line with your company’s brand identity and maintain the tone while ensuring that all content is fresh and doesn’t become boring.
#7 – Nurture your leads
You’ve connected and engaged with customers and prospects through your email marketing campaigns. Now it’s time to nurture those relationships to turn them into paying customers. To do this, you need to deliver helpful content in the right context at the right time with one goal: to encourage your audience toward a specific action. Some tips for effective lead nurturing:
- Be selective when choosing your audience.
- Be personal.
- Know your voice.
- Use effective CTAs.
Get your email campaign going today
There’s some learning involved with communicating and engaging with customers instead of just sending emails out. Following these seven steps is an excellent start to learning how to tie it all in.
No matter how much experience you have, you will soon create professional and effective email marketing campaigns. That means you’ll spend less time focusing on marketing and have more time to work on making your business successful.