Email marketing is the bread and butter of modern growth tactics. It remains one of the best ways to attract customers, build your brand, and boost your bottom line!
With effective email marketing campaigns, you can drive consistent conversions and enjoy more personal relationships.
But if you employ weak email marketing strategies, you’ll never achieve your full potential.
To ensure you achieve the desired results, you’ll need to start with the right email marketing strategy for your brand!
Why Do You Need an Email Marketing Strategy?
Email marketing is one of the most influential (and affordable) digital marketing strategies. By reaching right into subscribers’ inboxes, you’ll enjoy a direct link to your customer base.
Plus, it has one of the best returns on investment (ROI) in the business, with every $1 spent returning an average of $42 in revenue. Effective email marketing campaigns even beat out content marketing and paid search!
Not to mention all the other perks a successful email marketing campaign promotes – you can sell products, share the good news, and improve cart abandonment rates. Or, you can get more personal and take the time to share a story or re-engage with lost subscribers.
How to Formulate Your Email Marketing Strategy
Before you run out and send emails willy-nilly, you need to prepare. Effective email marketing campaigns all start with a well-designed email marketing strategy.
Once you find your stride, the potential rewards can be huge.
Pick the Perfect Email Service Provider
Email service providers are a dime a dozen, but the right one can make or break your email marketing campaigns.
Choose an email service provider that balances cost against the email marketing tools you need to design and send emails that are beautifully on-brand.
Define Your Audience
You can’t target your audience if you don’t know who they are. The more information you gather about your customers (even if they don’t exist yet), the more success you’ll see.
Build Your Email List
Next, it’s time to build your email marketing list. Ideally, you’ll curate a list chock-full of engaged subscribers who choose to receive the valuable content you create.
(Note: You should never buy an email list. Purchasing customer emails isn’t just ineffective; some spam filters will shut down entire email marketing campaigns based on past spam complaints.)
You can build your email list by:
- Adding opt-in or subscription forms on your webpage
- Designing standalone lead capture pages to promote offers like free webinars or eBooks
- Offering lead magnets, like discounts or free shipping, in exchange for emails
- Boosting your email marketing list on social media
Pick Your Design
Every email campaign will likely have a different flourish to set it apart. But first, you need to decide on the basics, such as your brand colors, ideal fonts, and email signature.
Planning ahead here ensures that no matter who actually composes your message, your emails hold to your high standards.
Plus, applying an identical color scheme and logo ensures brand familiarity with your audience.
Mobile-ize Your Infantry
Over 60% of emails are opened using a mobile device. Yet, 20% of all email marketing campaigns aren’t optimized for mobile.
That’s a big mistake – especially considering that mobile device customers are more likely to spend big than desktop customers.
Unoptimized emails lead to wonky, unreadable images and text and drive higher unsubscribe and delete rates.
Avoiding these mistakes can be as simple as inserting responsive email designs that are automatically optimized by the device.
Other tips include keeping the subject line short and minimizing the preheader’s length.
You should also make the call-to-action (CTA) big, bold, and beautiful to ensure it’s obvious on tiny screens.
Test in Different Clients and ISPs
Before you send emails for the first time, it’s crucial to test email clients and ISPs. The way clients handle data may alter how your designs look in a subscriber’s inbox.
Automate Your Campaigns
You should also consider automating your email campaigns. Trigger-based automation lets you send personalized messages and content based on:
- User behaviors, like visiting your website, clicking a link, or purchasing a products
- Demographic information like birthdays, holidays, and religious preferences
- Time-sensitive actions, such as expired subscriptions, reorder reminders, and re-engagement opportunities
You can also send out the classics like a handy welcome email, transactional emails, and thank-you emails. And don’t underestimate the power of “surprise” emails for your most loyal customers. (25% off goes a long way to building loyalty!)
Data supports using automation, too.
Triggered emails nab higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Trigger-based marketing has even been found to produce 500% better results than batch emails.
Leverage Social Media
Social media provides powerful tools to build your email list and further engagement. For instance, Facebook-boosted posts can increase traffic by nearly 50%.
You can use social media to build landing pages, share incentives, and premium content, and host webinars or digital get-togethers in real-time.
Remember: the more subscribers engage with your brand, the more memorable – and profitable – you’ll be.
Prepare to Measure Your Performance
It’s impossible to accurately predict how effective email marketing campaigns will be before you send them out.
But before you can measure their performance, you need to determine which metrics to gather.
Knowing which email metrics are most important for your campaigns before you send emails means you can segment your email strategy from the outset and optimize it as you gather more data.
For instance, you may base email newsletter success based on open and click-through rates.
Meanwhile, your click-through rate, website traffic, and total sales may be more important for promotional emails.
How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign That Works
Once you’ve defined your email marketing strategy, it’s time to move into the meat of your success: actual email campaigns.
The first step in designing an effective email marketing campaign is deciding upon its goal. Your goal will determine the content, images, CTA, and segmentation you deem appropriate.
Do you want to…
- Court new subscribers?
- Promote your social media campaign?
- Maximize your ROI?
- Invite disengaged customers back to the brand?
Or do you need to start with the basics and design your welcome email and transactional emails, too?
Next, you need to determine the frequency of emails within this specific campaign.
Send emails too often, and you risk the dreaded unsubscribe button. Send too infrequently, and your customers may forget about you.
You’ll also want to think about your timing.
Many marketers swear by mid-week sends, while some target the weekend crowd!
Purge Your Subscriber List
Unfortunately, just because a subscriber joins your email list doesn’t mean they’ll stick around.
While a re-engagement campaign can reignite their passion, sometimes, your subscribers will relegate you to the spam folder or move emails without informing you.
Whatever the reason, purging these subscribers from your list ensures your content only goes to subscribers who will take (and give) the most value.
Segment Your Email List
Segmenting subscribers allows you to deliver the best value to customers.
Unique interests or characteristics, location, purchase history, and industry all comprise segmentable data.
You can even use segmenting to re-engage inactive subscribers.
Conversely, failing to segment your emails, or segmenting them poorly, risks pushing customers away by meeting them at the wrong stage of the customer journey. You’ll also miss out on benefits like increased deliverability and opens, better click-through rates, and more conversions.
Perfect Your Designs
In the modern world, appearances mean a lot – specifically, your brand appearance.
You should test and retest the presentation of every email within your larger campaigns. From content and templates to fonts, layouts, images, and even text sizes, no detail is too small to consider.
The last thing you want to do is design the perfect email for the wrong purpose.
Write Your Content
With the visual elements out of the way, it’s time to write your email message. Ask yourself what you want to say to your audience and what value you can offer them.
Sending purpose-driven emails will keep your subscribers engaged and your bottom line fat.
Run Re-Engagement Campaigns
We mentioned the need to purge your subscriber lists before sending out your major email campaigns to prevent wasting sends.
But sometimes, subscribers just lose interest – and it’s your goal to re-engage them.
Instead of removing them from your mailing list, spark a re-engagement campaign. Remind subscribers of the benefits of sticking with your brand and offer exclusive offers and discounts.
You can also use this opportunity to gain feedback through your emails or unsubscribe page.
6 Quick Email Marketing Tips to Optimize Your Strategy
Once you’ve built an effective email marketing strategy, you can start optimizing individual emails.
1. Craft the Perfect Subject Line
An email subject line can make or break your open rate.
In fact, 47% of all emails are opened based on their subject line alone.
From inserting some humor to personalizing with subscriber names, a well-written subject line stands out in inboxes and keeps your brand percolating.
(Oh, and personalized subject lines increase open rates by 16%.)
2. Use a Real Reply-to Email Address and Signature
When you use a “do not reply” email address or generic sign-off, that turns off the engagement and reduces the likelihood that customers will respond positively to your brand.
The key is building engagement and excitement through authenticity and credibility.
3. Personalize Your Message
Personalization is a small tactic but a powerful one.
By capitalizing on customer data, you can insert a little spice into your strategy.
You can insert names into email subject lines, send welcome emails to new customers, offer birthday wishes (and discounts!), and recommend products based on previous purchases.
Remember: email marketing isn’t just another marketing channel; it’s crucial to each customer’s experience of your brand. There’s almost no end to the ways you can use personalized messages to improve the customer experience.
Best of all, 70% of brands don’t personalize their email marketing strategy. That means a little personalization goes a long way to helping you stand out against the competition.
4. Optimize your CTA
Your call-to-action can dramatically impact the click-through rates of your email marketing campaigns. (And in turn, your conversion rates.)
An ill-placed or poorly-designed CTA translates to fewer clicks and visitors and a smaller bottom line.
To improve your CTA, experiment with factors like:
- Buttons versus text
- Text font and size
- Colors (standing out is almost always better!)
Additionally, focus on the language you use in your CTAs. Tried-and-true tactics include starting with strong verbs (like buy and download), evoking emotion, and giving a reason to convert.
5. A/B Split Testing
How do you know that your email is perfectly optimized?
You test it, of course.
But don’t just limit yourself to A/B testing your subject line. (Though that’s important, too.)
Your home page and landing pages, templates, colors, fonts, CTA, personalization opportunities, and even segmentation should all be tested too.
And don’t forget your signature, sender name, image usage, and placement…
You get the point. There’s a lot to A/B test.
As you test these factors, you can build a database of customer preferences and optimize every email from the get-go.
Over time, you can re-test to keep up with consumer trends and perfect your email marketing strategy long-term.
6. Link to Your Social Media Marketing Campaign
Linking your social media to your email marketing campaigns can generate more activity and bring customers into the customer experience.
When subscribers see customers enjoying your brand and products, they’re more likely to click through and convert.
Aside from capitalizing on existing customers, you can also include CTAs on your various social media in your marketing campaigns.
You may even want to share the content of your emails on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Don’t be afraid to spread the word!
- Email marketing continues to be a popular, effective way to promote your brand and generate a higher ROI.
- Through your email marketing, you can connect with your audience, drive sales, and rally a community around your brand.
- Determine the best email marketing strategy by testing, optimizing, retesting, and reoptimizing. Running the paces ensures you don’t have to re-engage inactive subscribers later or hassle with high bounce rates.
- Your marketing efforts will build successful campaign strategies to see you through to the brand you always dreamed of.