Elements of a successful email marketing strategy

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1
Chapter
Why do you need email strategy

If you want to form engaged communities around your brand, leverage email! The Direct Marketing Association confirms that you can expect up to 3800% ROI from email channel.

77% of that ROI comes from segmented and targeted campaigns that helps you adjust your communication to your subscribers needs.

Like most successful things in life, before you start doing anything, you need a plan.

As Ben Franklin said ‘If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail’, so let’s dig into crucial elements of a successful email marketing strategy that will help you get out the most from email marketing potential.

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Chapter
Plan your list building tactics

You can grow your email list free almost everywhere where your brand is present. Check these articles to find out how social media or external events can help you with your email marketing efforts:

However the most important place to put a prominent sign-up form is your own website. This is a focal point of your marketing activities. Make sure opt-in forms placed there are visible as soon as visitors come to your site. For example if you’re running an online store you can welcome your website visitor with a compelling entrance pop-up:

Or embedded your opt-in on every single web page on your online store. Remember not to interrupt your visitor’s purchase process and place it on the bottom of the page:

What if you run B2B business? According to Adestra survey, email specific landing pages and content downloads are the most effective list building tactics available. B2B decision making process is all about obtaining relevant information from brands. To become a valuable partner for B2B customer you should educate your audience. You will be perceived as a professional and your product or service will gain real value.

Build a landing page with the goal of getting subscribers. Then send visitors from PCC ads, social media, blog posts or any other sources that come to mind, to targeted pages with one clear and continuous goal – email sign-up.

There is one more amazing benefit of email specific landing pages worth mentioning. You have the whole page to showcase the value of your newsletter.

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Chapter
Take care of your deliverability

Return Path’s 2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report has revealed that 20% of all commercial email fails to reach the inbox. A significant amount is still missing the mark, and this represents a significant opportunity cost. Improving deliverability arises as one of the top five marketing priorities in 2017, states ESP buyers Guide released by The Relevancy Group.

Before you start, always remember about technical stuff which will help you be a trusted sender:

  • Implement Sender Policy Framework and DomainKeys Identified Mail. With these, you provide ISPs with the assurance you are who you say you are and not a spammer.
  • Check your reputation with the Sender Score tool to find out your current status.
  • Regularly monitor blacklists such as Spamhaus and Spamcop. Getting listed with one of these can have a dramatic negative impact on your deliverability.
  • Use a dedicated IP address, email clients like Gmail seem to prefer dedicated IP addresses for senders.
  • Consider applying for accreditation with Return Path’s Certification program.

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Chapter
Set your email goals

Goal setting is crucial to your email marketing success. Your goals will only be effective if you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and how. As in any business area, your email goals should be SMART.

Specific – clearly define what your email objectives are, what do you want to achieve with email marketing.

Measurable – make sure your goal can be measured, with email it’s easy, as it is one of the most measurable digital marketing tactic.

Achievable - make sure you can meet your goals

Relevant – make sure your goals are relevant to the direction you want your business to go.

Timely - set realistic deadlines.

Example of a SMART email goal

Overall goal: I want to cross sell to my existing customers products related to their original purchase.

Specific: I will cross sell x products to my existing customers.
Measurable: I will measure my progress by tracking conversions from email campaign to a product page and the number of customers who converted and has bought a given product.
Achievable: I will increase the sale of a given product by X% comparing to the time I didn’t use email marketing for cross-selling. Consider average performance standards in your industry.
Relevant: Cross selling x products to my existing customers will allow me to grow my business and increase my income.
Timely: I will cross sell x products to my existing customers within three months.

SMART Goal: I will cross sell x products to my existing customers within a three month period. This will allow me to grow my business and increase my revenue.

What you should ask yourself when you’ll be setting your email goals?

  • Why did i decide to use email marketing and what do I want my subscribers to do?
  • Who are my subscribers and potential customer/website visitors?
  • Why would they be willing to do what I want?
  • How will I measure my success?

Answering these questions will help you determine your:

  • Email design and frequency
  • Your CTAs
  • Type of email campaigns to send

6
Chapter
Test what works and what doesn’t

Campaign testing is a time-consuming but ultimately beneficial task. After starting work on email marketing campaigns, you should take a few months to optimize the shipping time, the selection of appropriate and interesting content for your customers and determine the frequency of your messages. This valuable information will serve you well in your future email marketing efforts.

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Chapter
Adapt and change

In order to stay relevant, you should refresh your email marketing strategy once in awhile. Here is more about the importance of freshness and optimization in an article by Jordie van Rijn.

He is quoting a great remark by Chad White:

“I’d say retailers do a major email template redesign every 3 years or so on average. Some are long overdue. Nowadays email template redesigns coincide with website relaunches, with small changes in between. In between big redesigns, you should always be exploring small changes. Small tweaks = big results”