Would you know how to design an email marketing strategy from scratch ?
Almost all marketers are clear that email marketing is essential within a digital marketing plan , since it is one of the most effective and profitable channels and can help us achieve multiple objectives. But when it comes to defining how exactly we are going to achieve those goals, things get complicated.
In order not to start the house on the roof and end up wasting valuable time and resources, it is necessary to have an email marketing strategy that can cover all this complexity. Don’t you know very well where to start? In this article I tell you the 5 essential elements of a success strategy, 4 examples of brands and what we can learn from them and 7 tricks to optimize your campaigns . Go for it!
The 5 İngredients Of A Good Email Marketing Strategy
1)Email Marketing Strategy: Clearly Define Your Goals
Before planning any action, there is a question you need to ask yourself: what exactly do you want to achieve with your email marketing strategy ?
The marketing email can help achieve many goals, but can not do everything at once. If you want to get good results, you need to be focused. Therefore, the first step is to sit down and think about what you want to use email marketing for:
- Create a new loyalty channel?
- Increase sales of a specific range of products through your newsletter ?
- Get more subscribers to your promotional emails?
Remember that for a goal to be truly functional, it must clearly specify a quantifiable value and establish a time frame to achieve it: “increase sales of cosmetic products by 20% in the next six months.”
Along with the definition of objectives, it is also important to clearly consider what our target is . Here we can rely on tools such as the buyer persona , a semi-fictional description of our ideal client that helps us better target recruitment initiatives.
2) Think About How You Are Going To Get Subscribers
And speaking of recruitment, any email marketing strategy must be supported by a good database. Therefore, attracting subscribers is a fundamental ingredient to succeed with your email marketing.
To synthesize your recruitment strategy properly, my recommendation is that you try to answer these three questions:
- Who are you addressing? As we saw in the previous section, the buyer persona can help us guide our marketing. But the reality can be much more complex: many times we will find that we need to have databases segmented by objectives (first conversion versus loyalty, for example) or by types of consumer (parents with children from X to X age). Based on that, we will structure our database so that the right messages reach the right people.
- What are you going to offer them? To become part of your database, users have to voluntarily share their personal information (at a minimum, they should leave you their email address). In exchange for this valuable data, the brand must offer them some kind of incentive. Sometimes, it may be enough to explain the benefits they are going to get thanks to your newsletter, but it may also be necessary to reinforce this incentive through exclusive discounts or content that is of value to them (such as the typical “leave us your information and download free our ebook “).
- How are you going to capture them? Here we will pay attention to topics such as form design and calls to action. The idea is to design a smooth, engaging user experience with as few obstacles as possible.
3) Design A Step-By-Step Plan
With all the bases clear, the time has come to get down to work and think about what exactly we are going to do to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.
To start, we need to think about short, medium and long term email marketing strategies . For example:
- Offer free trials of a new product in exchange for sharing the launch on social media and using the newsletter to communicate it.
- Design special offers only for subscribers.
- Regularly send exclusive content that reinforces the link with the brand.
- Inform of the events that occur near the place where the user lives and give him the opportunity to sign up for them from his email.
The chosen strategy will determine the type of content that our newsletter should include, from the latest news to discount coupons. Obviously this content will be updated depending on what’s new, but it is always useful to have predesigned templates that are consistent with the brand’s image in the other channels. We must not forget the importance of interactive elements, animations, GIFs and others, but always maintaining visibility on different devices.
Within this planning of our email marketing strategy, we also need to define the frequency with which we will send content to users, seeking a balance between being present on a regular basis and not being annoying.
Finally, we will design a medium term email marketing calendar . For this, we have to make the decision about when to send the emails , that is, the most appropriate day of the week and time. There are different studies that guide us about the moments with the highest opening and conversion ratios, but above all we must consider that it makes sense for our brand and for the content of the email. For example, we may be interested in reaching users when they are planning their activities for the weekend or, conversely, offering them help to start their work week.
4) Choose An Email Marketing Tool
Today, to carry out an email marketing strategy it is essential to have a tool that helps us manage the entire process. Email marketing solutions have multiple benefits, such as:
- Systematize the measurement of campaigns . You will know at all times how many emails have been sent, the opening rate, the conversion rate and other useful information to evaluate the success of your strategy.
- Facilitate the design of emails . These types of tools often have plenty of predesigned templates and even image libraries, so even small businesses can easily design professional-looking emails.
- Keep our database organized , for example, with different lists depending on the segmentation we have decided.
- Automate and personalize email marketing. It is possible to schedule shipments to be made automatically at a specific day and time (even while you are on vacation!), Customize the content based on the information we have about the user and a long etcetera.
- Easily scale our marketing . Many email marketing tools have free versions, which have basic but sufficient functionalities and allow sending emails to a few thousand subscribers. From there, the sky is the limit: it is very easy to change plans and extend our email marketing to infinity and beyond.
From small free solutions to very complex tools for large companies, there are all kinds of programs on the market that can be tailored to your needs. These are my favorites:
- HubSpot . More than an exclusive email marketing tool, HubSpot is an integrated marketing solution that allows us to obtain a great deal of information about what is happening with our campaigns.
- MailChimp . One of the email marketing classics, with a free version that allows you to create lists of up to 2,000 subscribers and make up to 12,000 mailings a month.
- Sendlane . Although much less known than the previous ones, I find it very interesting for sales-focused email marketing strategies, since its analytics allow you to track each conversion and link it to a specific email. In this way, you will be able to know exactly how much you have earned with each campaign.
5) Define Your Metrics
Last but not least, you have to know at all times how you are going to measure the success of your email marketing strategy. Only then will you be able to see what is working and what is not, and make the appropriate changes to correct the course.
The selected metrics will depend on the objective that we have initially selected. The idea is that the objective and the variable to be measured are clearly related, so that it works as a key performance indicator or KPI. Secondarily, we can also rely on other metrics that help us know what is happening.
For example, if we are focusing on the recruitment phase, we will have goals such as the increase in subscribers or the drop rate. In the shipping phase we will take a look at the opening and click rates, and if we have goals related to sales and lead generation, the most important will be the conversion rates.
4 Examples Of Successful Email Marketing Strategies
Over the years, Argos, a British distribution company, has experienced all kinds of changes . But one thing has remained constant: their commitment to send nothing less than a daily email to millions of subscribers .
For many brands, one email each day may seem excessive and risk overwhelming users. But what we can learn from this brand is that consistency is very important, since it creates consumption habits among users and also helps to compare the results of our email marketing strategy consistently.
Of course, you should never sacrifice quality in exchange for frequency. Once again, here Argos is a great example thanks to its dynamic and seasonal emails, for example, showing animations with fitness products during the first weeks of the New Year.
2) Jack Willis
The carts abandoned are one of the most common problems of e-commerce. In fact, according to a Salecycle study , 75.6% of online purchases end up being abandoned. Therefore, it is worth developing a strategy aimed at recovering these users and getting them to convert.
Jack Willis, a fashion brand, has perfected his abandoned cart emails to become a role model. These are the keys to its success:
- A standard template with images of abandoned purchases and clearly visible calls to action.
- Personalized texts to give a more human touch to email and improve the user experience.
- An additional incentive to complete the purchase: free shipping on abandoned products.
- A message at the end of the email promoting discounted items, to invite the user to return to the web and stimulate cross-selling opportunities.
eBay is a prime example of good email marketing strategy.
Take note and sign up these tips:
- A design consistent with the website. It’s proven that users remember brands better when they have a consistent design across all channels. Here consistency not only applies to buttons, colors and fonts, but even emails have a top menu very similar to the eBay home page.
- A clear arrangement, with a clearly established hierarchy and drawing attention to the title. So much so, that the call to action button is transparent.
- A well defined strategy and objectives . Emails focus on attracting users to the page and getting them to take a specific action (for example, sign up for discount alerts).
Finally, we are going to see an example of how to use the email marketing strategy to reinforce the image and values of a brand : Allbirds electronic tickets.
Allbirds is a certified organic brand, so it makes sense for them to bet on reducing their environmental impact and clearly showing this commitment to users. One of the ways to do this has been to suppress paper receipts and instead choose to send an electronic invoice to customers by email.
In addition to being a greener option, electronic receipts help keep track of transactions and open a new way to communicate with customers and send them the latest promotions and discounts. All are advantages!
7 Tips To İmprove Your Email Marketing Strategy
To finish, we are going to see a series of very simple tips that can help you optimize your email marketing strategy and improve your results:
1. Include the social proof in your emails . Social proof is a simple psychological trick that consists of showing your product through real people, for example, testimonials from satisfied users or photos of your clients wearing your clothes. Including this type of content in your email marketing strategy will help you approach users in a more humane way and reinforce transparency and trust.
2. Don’t stop testing . Subjects, fonts, colors, image size … Emails have a lot of elements that can be optimized, so they are a perfect territory for doing A / B tests . For best results, pre-test a significant percentage of your audience (typically 5-20% of subscribers), and then send the winning version to the rest of your database.
3. Facilitates casualties . Although it may seem paradoxical, facilitating users to unsubscribe without complications benefits you in the long term. On the one hand, you want your database to be of quality and only have subscribers who are really interested in your content. On the other hand, facilitating unsubscribes means that users do not end up marking you as spam, which could negatively affect your reputation as a sender.
4. Personalize, personalize, personalize . Personalization starts in details as simple as including usernames in subjects, but can be extremely complex. The more you can adjust to each individual user, the greater the chances that your email marketing strategy will achieve the objectives you are looking for.
5. Start a conversation . Email marketing is often thought of as a one-way channel, in which the brand issues and the user receives. But there is no reason not to encourage interactivity and get good feedback with subscribers. Bet on interactive content and calls to action and make it very clear to users how they can contact you.
6. Take maximum care of CTAs . If there is one aspect that can radically change the results of your email marketing strategy with minimal changes, it is the calls to action. This is an element worth spending time and research as much as possible using A / B or multiversion tests.
7. Simplify . Yes, it is important that the emails are taken care of and have a design according to the branding of the brand, but they are not a copy of your website. Keep in mind that many times they are displayed on small screens and reading emails is combined with other tasks. Therefore, the ideal is that each email has a single very clear objective and that all its content is aimed at getting the user to perform that action.