Creating an email marketing strategy is the best way of targeting your audience to increasing sales or even your reputation. Here’s 6 steps to give your campaigns the best chance of success:
1) Identify your online marketing goals
Basically, what is the main objective of your email marketing campaigns. Do you want to gain customers? Retain your current ones? Increase site visitors? Build your reputation? There are 1000 more reasons why you might want to send an email campaign, but it’s likely one of the above will fit the bill. Set this as your primary goal, and then work around this for anything additional you want to achieve.
2) Take a look at where you are
Have a think about where you are currently, and start putting together a competitive analysis. This is not only for your benefit, but also makes it easier to share your thoughts with anyone else concerned with your online marketing strategy.
If anyone else is dealing with your email campaigns, make sure you get their thoughts on each matter to provide a “snapshot” of what you are all doing. The idea is to look at each of the things under your control, to see where your current e-marketing strengths and weaknesses lie.
3) Who are your readers?
When you know who is going to be reading your e-marketing campaigns, it’s easier to produce your content for their benefit.
You can break consumers down by looking at marital status, age etc. In the business world, you can categorise your readers by job title or position.
Then next thing is to decide on your goals for each group. What product features are each of your groups likely to be interested in? Perhaps offering more than one category the same thing if the interest is likely to be there. What do you want them to do after reading the information you have just provided? Tailor your content for each, using the segmentation tool to divide up your subscribers and give them the content they need.
4) Decide on your email type
There are many different types of email you can use for your campaigns, each one serving a different purpose. The most common are:
- Short informational emails
Short editorials are great for getting visitors to your site, keeping your brand name in front of your audience, or building up a relationship. If you are going to include an promotional email, keep it very short. This should be an email full of useful information. Not a sales letter!
- Long informational emails
These are the longer forms of the above. They serve a similar purpose, but also offer the opportunity to build yourself as an expert, and generate an advertising income due to the extra amount of space you have to work with. However, remember this is meant to be informative, and over half of your email marketing content should be exactly that.
- Short promotional emails
These contain no editorial-style information, just act as an email marketing promotion. They can be effective in getting the reader to take action, but aren’t that great as a reputation-builder. Short promotions are exactly that…short. There’s no information below the fold, and scrolling isn’t needed by the reader. With these short messages, you can drive traffic to your website product pages or invite readers to participate in something you’re doing. Remember not to include too much content. Minimal copy is always best, with a great image to really sell what you are doing.
- Long promotional emails
Long promotional emails features several different products which are going to appeal to the reader. This can be in a similar format to the shorter form, but with a more in-depth look at each item.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just one of the above. You might want to to publish an informational email alongside a promotional email, if the content ties in with each other.
5) Develop a marketing strategy
Once you know what kind of email you’re going to send, it’s time to decide when you’re going to send your content out. This should include a description of the content, frequency for each e-mail, and a schedule for the production process.
Allow the type of content to determine how often you send your marketing mailings. Think about how much you could produce at full capacity. Could you manage a short promotion a day? Would a daily information email be too much to handle? It’s much better to produce a couple of really good e-marketing campaigns per month than an average daily version. If it’s just too much for you to create, it’s probably too much for your audience to read!
6) Evaluate the e-marketing results
After completing your email strategy, refer to the documents you have created when ever it’s time to send out a new marketing email. Additionally, keep track of the open rates and clickthroughs from the sent campaigns and tweak your plan.
Following all this, you will hopefully start to see some of the great results e-marketing can produce.