Email marketing is a powerful tool that benefits both customers and companies. However, a poorly executed campaign can quickly become spam. To ensure customers actually open your emails, you need to plan ahead.

Define Your Goals

Setting goals narrows your focus and helps you make efficient choices. What do you want to accomplish? The versatility of email marketing means you can select several goals:

  •   Strengthen customer relationships
  •   Bring people back to your website
  •   Inform consumers about new deals, products or services
  •   Direct customers to your social media
  •   Solicit feedback

Find a Platform

Once you have solid objectives, it’s time to find a platform to help you achieve them. Various services have different strengths, so look for a company that specializes in the type of communications you want to send:

  •   Transactional emails
  •   Newsletters
  •   Promotions
  •   Surveys
  •   Invitations
  •   Lead-nurturing emails
  •   Catalogs
  •   Reminders

Platforms also offer features to help you gauge the efficacy of your campaign and personalize communications:

  •   Segmentation tools
  •   Custom branding
  •   A/B testing
  •   Responsive design
  •   Drag-and-drop

Create a Campaign Strategy

Knowing your email capabilities, you can craft a campaign strategy to reach your goals. The first step should be identifying your audience.

In the case of email marketing, your audience is the email recipients. Their demographics depend on the products and services you offer. For example, if you provide business-to-business marketing software, your audience will likely be business owners or marketing professionals. If you sell home cookware, your audience will be amateur cooks buying for personal use.

You may have to do some research to identify your audience demographics and what they want. Then, you can use that information to craft emails that bring you closer to your objectives. Of course, your audience will change as you expand your contact list.

Build Your Contact List

Your contact list is a record of everyone receiving your marketing emails. This record will fluctuate as people unsubscribe, sign up or addresses become inactive. You should put effort into constantly growing your contact list without being too pushy, as consumers are wary about giving away their personal information.

The best way to find this balance is to provide opportunity and incentive rather than demanding data. For example, website visitors may move on if you require registration to view your products. However, they may be more willing to enroll in a newsletter if you advertise perks such as discount codes. There are several ways to present sign-up opportunities:

  •   Host giveaways on your social media accounts
  •   Utilize pop-ups
  •   Solicit enrollment during checkout
  •   Design footers with an opt-in form

Make Templates

Personalization goes a long way toward building customer relationships, but you can’t write unique emails for each consumer. Instead, you should create templates for different demographics. Templates make automation easy while customization ensures the recipients feel valued.

Of course, you can’t use the same templates forever. It’s essential to analyze the response and audience data regularly so you can adjust your templates accordingly.

Do you need help launching your next email campaign? Sprout Media Lab offers a wide variety of digital advertising services, including email marketing. Our results-driven approach allows us to optimize your strategy as the economic environment fluctuates. For more information, contact us online or call (800) 617-6975 for a free consultation.