Email marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
It allows you to reach out to customers and potential customers with news, promotions, and other information.
But before you can start emailing your list, you need to create a strategy.
In this guide, we will walk you through the steps necessary to create an effective email marketing strategy that will help you increase ROI, open rates, and click-through rates.
What is email marketing and why should you use it?
Email marketing is one way to reach out to customers and potential customers through email.
You can use it to send promotions, news, and other information.
It can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, helping you increase ROI, build relationships with customers, and drive sales.
What is an email marketing strategy?
An email marketing strategy is a plan that outlines your goals and how you will achieve them.
It includes your target audience, the content of your emails, the frequency of your emails, and the methods you will use to measure success.
Without a strategy, it can be difficult to know what you are trying to accomplish or how to improve your results.
There are three main parts to a successful email strategy:
- Lead Conversion
- Traffic Generation
- Email Funnel
1. Lead conversion: Your goal in lead conversion is to turn subscribers into customers through targeted, personalized emails that offer valuable information and promotions. This can be achieved by segmenting your list and creating targeted campaigns for different audience segments.
2. Traffic generation: In addition to converting leads, your email strategy should also focus on driving traffic to your website or other online platforms. This can be accomplished by including links to your website and social media pages in your emails, as well as promoting any events or promotions you may have.
3. Email funnel creation: An email funnel is a series of automated emails that are triggered based on actions taken (or not taken) by the subscriber. These can be used to nurture leads and guide them through the sales process, as well as offer helpful information or promotions to existing customers.
How do you create or improve your email marketing strategy?
1. Identify your goals: Before creating your strategy, it is important to identify what you want to achieve with your email marketing efforts. Do you want to increase sales, drive traffic to your website, or engage with your audience?
2. Know your audience: It is important to understand who you are trying to reach with your emails. Who is your target audience and what do they want to see in their inbox? Understanding this will help you create targeted campaigns and offers that will resonate with them.
3. Plan your content: Once you know your goals and audience, you can start planning the content of your emails. What information or promotions do you want to include? How often will you send out emails?
4. Set up tracking and measurement: In order to determine if you’ve implemented an email strategy that is successful, it is important to set up tracking and measurement methods. This could include metrics such as open and click-through rates, as well as conversions from subscribers to customers.
5. Test and adjust: Once you have implemented your strategy, it is important to continuously test and adjust based on the results you are seeing. Are certain segments or types of content performing better than others? Use this information to make changes and improve your strategy.
Now that you understand the importance of a strategy and what it should include, let’s look at the elements of creating one.
How to create a winning email marketing strategy
Build Your Email List
Building an email list is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and keep them updated on your latest products and services.
But before you start adding names to your list, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First of all, you will need to choose software to manage your list.
These days, email marketing is highly automated and the right software will ensure that you abide by CAN-SPAM regulations, easily allow for unsubscribing, and help you avoid being relegated to the spam can.
Another important consideration is that your subscribers must be opted-in.
Never automatically add a customer to a list or have the default option be joining the list.
Violating this can get you into legal trouble, potentially in multiple countries! (Make sure your emails are GDPR Compliant).
Instead, make it easy for people to sign up for your emails by including a link on your website or in your newsletters.
The best way to get people to sign up for your mailing list is by tailoring the process to fit your goals. For example, you might:
- Offer a discount or special promotion to those who sign up
- Provide valuable content, such as a free ebook or webinar, in exchange for joining the list
- Include an opt-in option to receive emails whenever somebody makes a purchase; more people are likely to subscribe when they complete a transaction.
- New subscribers will receive a newsletter magnet. This is something you give in exchange for signing up, such as a white paper, ebook, or other content of high value.
- Make sure to place your sign-up form prominently on your website, but be careful not to make it too pesky, or else visitors will leave ASAP. For example, we’ve all been frustrated when trying to exit a website only to have a subscription popup appear every time we click the “back” button.
- People who visit your landing page are likely interested in what you have to offer. You can collect their contact information by asking them to sign up for your list. This way, you can keep in touch with potential customers and let them know about new products or promotions.
Once people start opting in for your emails, you will want to segment your lists. This will allow you to send more targeted content to different groups of people, which can increase engagement and overall results.
Segment your audience
When it comes to email marketing, one size does not fit all. In order to get the most out of your campaigns, you need to segment your audience and send targeted content to each group.
This ensures that everyone receives messages that are relevant to them, which can lead to higher engagement rates and more conversions.
Here are a few ways to start your list segmentation:
- Based on the purchase history
- Based on how they came into your community, i.e. a sales funnel, social campaign, etc.
- Based on demographic or psychographic data
- Based on the engagement they have with the emails you’ve sent them
There are a number of different ways to segment your audience, so take some time to figure out what will work best for your business.
By segmenting your lists, you can better target leads and customers with targeted content that meets them where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Once you have your segments set up, you can start creating targeted campaigns that are designed to appeal to each group.
For example, when people buy something, they go on a buyer list.
Meanwhile, somebody who downloads your white paper in exchange for signing up goes onto a different list altogether.
Design your emails
Any business that sends out email newsletters or marketing emails knows that it can be a time-consuming process.
But there are ways to make it more efficient, such as by designing email templates that can be reused with new content.
This not only saves time but also allows you to create a consistent look for your emails that reflects your brand image.
When choosing colors and designing your template, remember to keep your audience in mind and don’t go overboard with graphics or animation.
And don’t forget to include a call-to-action (CTA) button so recipients know what you want them to do next.
Using templates can help you save time and create more professional-looking emails.
Insert catchy email signature
Creating an email signature can make your messages appear more professional, and help you build trust with customers or clients.
When crafting your signature, consider these tips:
- Keep it simple: Make it easy for your readers, and don’t overload your signature with too much information or different fonts and colors. Keep it basic by including only the essentials like your brand name, email address, website URL, etc.
- Ensure consistent branding. Maintain branding across all platforms by using the same colors and logo in your email signature as you do in other marketing materials.
- Add necessary links. Add links to your social media platforms and homepage so that subscribers can easily follow you on multiple channels.
Personalize your content
Email marketing personalization targets your campaigns to specific audiences based on their last purchased product, demographics, etc.
Tailor your content to your customers’ needs and provide offers relevant to their interests to give them personalized experiences.
Doing so helps you connect, engage, and nurture relationships with your audience, boosting your conversions and sales.
- increase customer loyalty by building one-to-one relationships
- increase engagement
- increase conversions
- increase customer retention
Try these email personalization methods for your campaigns.
- Address your subscribers using their names. Make your audience feel special by using their names in your greeting or subject line to engage them better.
- Deliver content relevant to your audiences’ lifecycle stage. Send appropriate content to the right audience, such as a welcome message for new subscribers and upsell offers for previous customers.
- Send content about personal and seasonal events. Personalize your campaigns more by sending your subscribers birthday and holiday greetings (among others).
Use short subject lines
The subject line of your email is extremely important in order to ensure that your campaign will be successful, so before you hit the send button, make sure you’ve ticked off the items below.
Your email subject line should be:
- Under 43 characters long – approximately seven words or fewer
- Not be too generic and personalized to them (when possible)
- Do not include any words that tend to trigger spam filters.
- Be accurate to the contents of the email
- Be snappy and attract attention, using normal sentence capitalization
One way to get more people to open and click through your emails is to send out multiple subject lines and compare the results. This is called A/B testing, and it can be a really helpful tool.
The content is important; make sure it’s something you’re proud of and is error-free because once you hit send, there’s no way to unsend an email.
Also, be sure that your email headers do not look spammy. You want your email to appear genuine, and not “funky” if somebody decides to check the full headers.
While you are harvesting emails you should also start planning your campaigns.
If you have prior metrics this is a lot easier, but many companies don’t properly record the results of their campaigns.
The things you need to plan are:
- What you are going to send
- When you are going to send it
- How often you are going to send it
Both of these are important and timing is vital. While you don’t want to spam people, it’s ideal to be fairly frequent with your mailings.
Being silent for a while creates unsubscribers, although these are generally from people who were not the best to have on your list anyway.
Specific timing often depends on demographics.
For example, if you are mostly targeting working adults, they are more likely to see your email in the morning before work.
For a newsletter with full content, once a month is typically about right.
Launch emails should be sent slightly before the launch, on the day of, and then a follow-up slightly afterward.
Never send only one launch email because the gremlins might eat it.
What to send depends on which list segment you are targeting.
Current customers want information about how your business is doing, how to better use your products, etc.
New customers and prospects are best targeted with things that make you look like an expert and case studies to show off your product.
What should your emails contain?
Your emails need to be appropriate to your target audience and reflect whether you are attempting customer retention or acquisition.
Your messaging should be on-brand, polite, and appropriate to the audience.
Either way, your best emails have content not just adverts in most cases.
There are different types of emails you might send at different times, but mostly you want to put stuff in somebody’s inbox that they want to read.
The effectiveness of your email messaging should be useful, snappy, and grammatically correct (Sorry, I have to say it).
Notifications of sales that are indeed primarily ads should go to existing customers you are hoping will return.
Some content, of course, will be suited to go out across multiple lists, such as new product releases.
However, you might want to use slightly different wording with different segments.
The power of social media networks lies in their ability to help you grow your email list and keep your audience engaged.
So let’s look at an example of a company that uses Facebook to grow its list.
With over two billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. And it can be a powerful tool for email marketers.
Privy, an email marketing company, conducted tests on driving subscribers to their landing page and found that Facebook boosted posts increased traffic by 46.7%.
While boosting a post on Facebook is not free, it is a relatively low-cost way to reach a large audience.
And since Facebook allows you to target your audience by interests, demographics, and even behaviors, you can be sure that your message is being seen by people who are likely to be interested in what you have to say.
So how can you use social media to help your email marketing by building your list?
Here are a few ways how:
1. Offer an incentive, discount, or giveaway in exchange for an email address on each of the different digital marketing channels
2. Share email subscription links on your social media profiles and share premium content to entice followers to sign up
3. Use social media ads targeting potential subscribers with messaging about the benefits of joining your list
4. Include a call to action in every social media post
5. Use social media to promote any special events or promotions and drive attendees to sign up for your list
6. As new subscribers join your list, be sure to send them into a welcome email series so they can learn more about you and your service
By leveraging the power of both social media and email marketing, you can reach a wider audience, increase conversions, and boost sales.
Just make sure not to neglect either one in favor of the other.
Mobile-friendly content is more important than ever before.
With over 42% of users deleting emails that are not optimized for mobile, it’s essential to provide a great user experience for your subscribers.
Mobile-friendly content is easy to read and navigate on a small screen, and it provides an excellent user experience.
To optimize your emails for mobile, follow these simple tips:
- Use a responsive design: Responsive design ensures that your email renders correctly on all devices, from small screens to large desktop monitors.
- Use short paragraphs: Long paragraphs are also difficult to read on a small screen. Keep your paragraphs short and easy to scan.
- Make sure you test your call-to-action before using it. You want to avoid using any email graphics that could take away from the focus of your CTA or make it hard to read on a mobile screen. Try testing different CTA colors, text, and content to see what drives more conversions.
Anyone who has ever sent out an email knows how important it is to track key metrics.
After all, the whole point of an email campaign is to produce results, whether that means generating leads or making sales.
By tracking metrics such as the bounce rate, open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and conversion rate, you can get a clear picture of how your campaign is performing and make necessary adjustments.
For example, if you see that your open rate is low, you might consider changing the subject line or sender name in order to capture attention.
Or if your unsubscribe rate is high, you might want to take a closer look at the content of your messages to make sure they are relevant and engaging.
So just for clarification here is the meaning of each of the terms shared above:
- Bounce rate is the percentage of email addresses that are sent an email and do not receive it. For example, if you email 100 clients and 10 of them bounce, your bounce rate would be 10%. The higher the bounce rate, the more likely it is that your email list is outdated or of poor quality. So focus on removing them from your list.
- Open rate –This is the percentage of subscribers who open your email. It’s a good indicator of how effective your subject line was at capturing attention.
- Click-through rate –The click-through rate is the percentage of subscribers who click on a link in your email. It’s a good indicator of how relevant and engaging your content is.
- Unsubscribe rate –The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe from your email list. It’s a good indicator of how relevant and engaging your content is (or isn’t).
- Conversion rate –The conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who take the desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. It’s a good indicator of how successful your email campaign is at achieving its goals.
Creating successful email marketing campaigns is all about understanding what your customers and prospects want and don’t want.
By constantly measuring feedback, you can start to learn which elements of your emails are resonating with your audience and which ones might be causing them to unsubscribe.
Remember that most emails should focus on delivering valuable content, not advertisements.
An effective call to action (CTA) can be the difference between a successful email marketing campaign and one that falls flat.
CTAs that offer high value at low cost to the recipient is more likely to get clicked, so it’s important to focus on creating CTAs that will appeal to your audience.
Button-based CTAs tend to perform better than link-based CTAs, so if you’re looking to improve your click-through rates, consider making the switch.
Keep your CTA simple and clear, and make sure it’s easy for recipients to understand what they need to do next.
Creating an optimized CTA doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some tips:
- Be specific in your copy.
- When crafting your message, focus on the benefits that your product or service provides.
- Choose words that will reduce friction.
- Make sure your button designs are an appropriate size and color that will make them stand out in the email.
- Use whitespace in the email to make it more easily readable.
- Experiment with CTA placement in your emails.
If you’re not split-testing your email campaigns, you’re leaving money on the table.
A/B testing allows you to test different versions of your content to see which one performs better.
This could be something as simple as testing two different subject lines to see which one gets more opens or testing two different calls to action to see which one gets more clicks.
Email marketing services like Active Campaign make it easy to split test your emails, so there’s really no excuse not to be doing it.
And once you start split testing, you can start collecting data on what works and what doesn’t work for your audience.
This will help you create even better email campaigns in the future.
The importance of visuals in email marketing can not be understated. According to HubSpot, 65% of users prefer emails that contain mostly images vs. 35% who prefer text mostly.
This trend is likely to continue as people consume more and more content on their mobile devices where visual content is easier to consume than text.
In addition, visuals are more likely to capture attention in a crowded inbox and email marketers who used visuals saw a click-through rate that was twice as high as those who did not use visuals.
For email marketers, using visuals is a great way to increase engagement and get noticed in a crowded inbox.
So how can you make the most of visuals in your email marketing campaigns?
Consider the following tips:
1. Use high-quality visuals in your emails that represent your personality and your brand.
2. Make sure your visuals are relevant to the content of your email.
3. Use a mix of images and text in your emails. But be sure to optimize the image, meaning small images so they load quicker in the email.
4. Experiment with different types of visuals. And if you are needing some inspiration, head over to Pinterest. There are plenty of great ideas there.
5. Use visuals to capture attention and increase engagement.
Focus on email time
One of the most important things to consider when sending an email is the time of day that you send it.
While it may seem like a small detail, the reality is that the timing of your email can have a big impact on its success.
For example, if you send an email late at night, there’s a good chance that your customer will already be asleep and will not see it until the next morning.
On the other hand, if you send it during the daytime, there’s a better chance that your customer will be awake and will see it right away.
Therefore, it’s important to choose the best time to send emails wisely in order to improve your open and click-through rates.
Additionally, you should also keep in mind that loyal customers are more likely to engage with your content.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to split-test different timings in order to discover what works best for your target audience.
Generally speaking, the best days to send emails are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Finally, it’s worth noting that more than 51% of companies use marketing automation tools like Active Campaign to automate their email campaigns.
Re-engage inactive users
If you’re like most email marketers, you’ve got a few inactive subscribers on your list.
And according to research, you’re not alone.
On average, 63% of an email list is inactive. But don’t despair – there’s still hope for those inactive subscribers.
With a little effort, you can re-engage them and get them back on track.
Re-engagement emails are a great way to reach out to inactive subscribers and let them know they’re missed.
Consider sending them an email with a subject line that says just that.
You might also want to give them a special offer or discount to re-ignite their interest.
Those who respond should be moved to your active list.
And those who don’t respond should be given a notice that they’ll be removed from your list if they don’t respond within a specified time frame.
With a little effort, you can breathe new life into your inactive subscribers and keep them engaged for the long haul.
Here are a few other ideas to help reconnect with your subscribers:
- Your subject lines should be clear and accurate, so your recipients know what to expect from your email.
- Where it makes sense, send incentives, discounts, contests, and coupons to encourage people to click links in your emails.
- Establish the frequency of sending emails to your subscribers.
- Too many promotional emails, via e-newsletters, will turn off readers and limit the effectiveness of the right email marketing strategy.
- Learn why people unsubscribe from your emails by simply asking them for feedback when they do so. Use this valuable information to improve future email promotions.
- Add an annual subscription renewal process where subscribers must renew their subscriptions to continue receiving your emails.
A referral contest is a great way to build your email list, and you should consider it a part of your email marketing strategy.
The principles are very simple.
You say to your audience that you will choose one (or more) emails that will subscribe to your list in the next two weeks and give the owner of that email a prize.
A free course, 6 months on your platform, $100 credit in your online store – whatever fits your overall business strategy.
This will allow both the viral spread of your message and gain you many new subscribers.
Plus, it’s a great way to show your existing subscribers how much you appreciate their support.
And finally, it’s just a lot of fun!
Now there is a flip side to giveaways that I feel I need to share.
Yes, you will get sign-ups.
Yes, you will create buzz around the giveaway, but it doesn’t always end up being your target audience.
Sometimes, people just opt in for the idea of winning the prize. They actually have no intention of buying from you down the road.
So to address this, create separate email automation for contests, and start nurturing these new people to see if you can get them into your community or if they were just there for the prize.
It will help manage expectations and list growth.
Create an email editorial calendar
An email marketing calendar is an essential tool to help ensure your email marketing campaigns are executed on time and as planned. When creating your calendar, consider the following:
- The day of the week you plan to send your email campaigns
- The time of day you plan to send your email campaigns
- The content of your email campaigns
- Who will write the content
- Who will design the email campaign
- Who will send the email campaign
- What metrics you will track for each email campaign
Having a clear plan and schedule in place can help keep your team organized and on track with your email marketing goals.
It can also help provide a framework for making changes and adjustments as needed. And don’t forget to leave room for last-minute changes or timely events that may come
Tips for writing effective email copy
1. Keep your subject lines short and sweet.
2. Write in a clear, concise style.
3. Make sure your content is relevant to your audience.
4. Provide valuable information and offers.
5. Test different content strategies to see what works best for your audience.”
6. Personalize emails, including the recipient’s name in the subject line and throughout the email.
7. Use visuals, such as images or graphics, to enhance your message.
8. Proofread your emails before sending them out to avoid any mistakes.
9. Include a call-to-action to encourage readers to take action on your offer or information.
10. Use A/B testing to fine-tune your email campaigns and improve results.
Ways to increase email open rates and click-through rates
1. Experiment with your email content and subject lines to see what gets the best response from your audience.
2. Personalize emails as much as possible, using the recipient’s name in the subject line and throughout the email.
3. Use visuals to enhance your message and capture your audience’s attention.
4. Make sure your content is relevant to your audience and provides valuable information.
5. Test different email content strategies to see what works best for your audience.
6. Include a call-to-action to encourage readers to take action on your offer or information.
7. Use A/B testing to fine-tune your email campaigns and improve results.
Measuring the success of an effective email marketing campaign
Once you have sent out your email, it’s important to measure the success of your campaign.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as by tracking opens and click-through rates.
Open rates can be tracked by using a tool like Google Analytics along with the platform you are using to send the emails.
This will show you how many people opened your email and which links they clicked on.
By tracking these metrics, you can see which emails are most successful and which ones need improvement.
You can then make changes to your content and subject lines to increase opens and click-through rates.
It’s also important to track conversions, such as sales or sign-ups, resulting from your email campaigns.
This will give you an idea of the ROI (return on investment) for your efforts.
Overall, measuring the success of your email marketing campaign will allow you to make changes and improve future campaigns. This will ultimately lead to better results and a higher ROI for your efforts.
Effective Email marketing can be a great way to connect with your audience and promote your products or services.
When creating your email marketing strategy, it’s important to have a clear plan in place so that your team can stay organized and on track.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure you include content that is relevant to your audience and provides valuable information.
You should also test different strategies to see what works best for your audience.
Measuring the success of your email campaigns is essential for determining which techniques are most effective.
By tracking open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, you can fine-tune your campaigns for better results.
If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to learn more, come join us at zindolabs.com where we talk, share, and create marketing strategies 24/7!