Email marketing is a rather complex set of tasks that cannot do without its own strategy. Of course, if we are talking about simple mailings, then you can not go so far, but in order to increase profits, you need to use all your efforts – define goals and objectives and understand how to work with all this. This is where a strategy aimed at avoiding chaos and building the right plan of action helps.
What is an email marketing strategy and how to implement it – let’s find out in today’s article.
The main essence of the email marketing strategy
An email marketing strategy is most often understood as a full-fledged company document, which includes the goals, tasks and actions of email marketing that should lead to them. It indicates the CA segments, key mailing scenarios, expected result, KPI and project estimate. The goal of such an approach, as a rule, is one – to increase sales by increasing audience loyalty.
Here are some benefits of implementing a strategy:
- Planning. An email marketing strategy will help you plan your advertising campaigns and provide a clear plan for it. Urgent letters to motivate customers and content mailings to support the audience will always be at hand.
- Clear goal setting. As a result of creating a strategy, a detailed plan for achieving the set goal is developed. It also allows you to determine the effectiveness of already launched campaigns.
- Choice guarantee. When working with email campaigns, marketers follow certain tactics, for example, they launch mailings to increase sales. The strategy ensures that no mistakes will be made when choosing tactics, and this is what the company needs now.
At the same time, you will not need a strategy if a single mailing is used. In other cases, it is indispensable – not only does it set the vector, but it also gives the opportunity to show the course of action to the management in order to receive a budget for mailings.
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Who is responsible for the email marketing strategy
It is a common situation in a company when all the work on developing a strategy falls on the shoulders of one specialist – a marketer. He must understand sales texts, design, and typesetting. Such employees certainly exist, but let’s be realistic – you can count them on your fingers. And when one marketer begins to work out a strategy, it is not enough that he lacks competencies, then time passes. As a result, he takes a formulaic decision and writes meager text for it, due to which the effectiveness of the strategy becomes minimal.
A good scenario is when the marketer starts the work, and then a copywriter is connected to him, who is responsible for processing the texts. After that, the designer is included, and at the end comes the typewriter, and sometimes this trio is supplemented by a programmer, an analyst and a project manager. At the same time, it is better when everyone communicates with each other during work.
This is necessary because the market of email mailings is filled with many works of different companies. Users regularly receive hundreds of emails that exhaust them from time to time. Therefore, a full set of specialists is needed to develop a strategy that will be able to bypass competitors and give the mailing a uniqueness.
We implement an email marketing strategy in 8 steps
Above, we considered the main theoretical information, now we will move on to practice and talk about building a successful marketing strategy.
Step 1: Define the goal
Any marketing always starts with setting goals. In this case, the goal can be divided into three directions:
- receiving leads from the newsletter;
- forming an expert image – convincing the client that the company knows the business better than others;
- increasing brand awareness and improving subscriber loyalty.
These are just some of the popular destinations that you can use to form a goal. You may have completely different needs – it all depends on the specific niche.
Here’s how, for example, your goal might look like: “Increase profit by resuscitating “sleeping” subscribers.”
It is important to make maximum efforts to work out the goal – so you will determine the vector of development and it will be easier for you to act. It may also happen that the goal will change during the course of work – this is quite normal, because implementing an email strategy from scratch is quite difficult.
Step 2: Study the target audience
Without defining the audience, email marketing is nowhere to be found. To understand what it is, it is necessary to analyze:
- data on age, geography and approximate income level;
- fears, pains, needs and criteria for choosing the target audience;
- the customer’s journey – how he makes a purchase decision, how often he buys, how many contact points are needed for an order, and so on.
If this is your first analysis of the target audience, then try to pay more attention to the ways of decision-making. What the client does and who he is by nationality are secondary information.
You can find information about the target audience in social networks, or conduct a direct interview with your customers. All this will come in handy at other stages, as well as when developing landing pages or advertisements.
Step 3: Analyze competitors
We have dealt with the audience, now we should move on to competitors. You can understand their features in a simple way – just subscribe to newsletters offered by other companies and study their social networks and websites. This will help you form a comparison table, based on which the advantages and disadvantages of the selected competitors will be clear.
Here is what you can write to the table:
- examples of headlines, descriptions and CTAs from newsletter subscription forms;
- information about how competitors guarantee data confidentiality;
- a description of what happens after the successful submission of the form and confirmation of the subscription;
- data on the frequency of sending letters and types of mailings.
In addition to everything, analyze the design and principles of building email newsletters. It is best to sign up for newsletters long before creating an email strategy.
Step 4: We choose tactics for engaging the audience
So, we found out who our target audience is and studied the competitors, now what? At this stage, you need to focus on all kinds of ways to attract subscribers. And it is important that it is organized better than another company.
Here’s what can help you with this:
- place a call-to-action on the site with a form offering some bonus for subscription, for example: “Subscribe now and get a 5% discount on all services”;
- use a pop-up window on the site, which will be displayed after 50-70% of the blog is read;
- tell on social networks that each subscriber will receive a pleasant bonus;
- tell the landing page about your newsletter – show examples of what it looks like, what information is sent, and so on.
There is another way, but it is more expensive – it is advertising. You can run contextual or targeted advertising.
Step 5: Choose which content to send
Based on the data about the product, the target audience and competitors, we move on to compiling a chain of letters. Here, the main thing is to think over the logic of the mailing and its periodicity – it is not necessary to write texts that sell.
Which content to send depends on the project. Suppose we develop and sell expensive household appliances. It is better to use a newsletter format for such a product, for example: A new Samsung refrigerator model will be released next week. Analysts predict an increase in prices – hurry to place a pre-order at a low price.”
After analyzing the audience, you will understand what they need – a promotional offer, informative content or something else.
Step 6: Choose the type of communication
This step is a clear continuation of the previous one: here you need to work on a chain of letters. There are several types:
- Greeting letter. Such emails are sent to users who have subscribed again.
- Promotional Intended for informing about discounts, promotions or sales.
- informative These letters are the basis of regular mass mailing.
- Triggers. Sent when the user performs any action.
- informative They are used in mass mailings and are their foundation.
- Transactional. Intended to be sent after the purchase of a product or service.
- Announcements Sent to subscribers before the start of the event or webinar, usually a few hours/days/weeks in advance.
When developing an email newsletter, rely on audience data and take the best from competitors. The main thing is personalization and segmentation.
Step 7: We optimize the letter
The final stage before using the email marketing strategy is the design of the letter. Work it out so that it fully corresponds to your brand book or corporate style of the company. Mailings may differ, but they should be as a single unit.
Uniqueness is above all else. It is better not to use ready-made templates, because with this approach there is a chance that your mailing will turn out to be similar to the competition (even if you have done their analysis). If you do not have the opportunity to create a unique design, try to rework the template so that it has at least some feature.
And, of course, do not forget about mobile devices – they are the source of high traffic. Here are some tips to help you create a responsive letter:
- come up with a short subject – try to use no more than 40 characters;
- adhere to the sheet width of 600 pixels;
- do not overload the mailing with a lot of images and compress them to reduce the weight of the letter;
- pay special attention to the call to action;
- test the newsletter on different devices;
- do not make the font smaller than 12 pixels, the optimal size is 13-14.
Step 8: We implement the strategy
Finally, we can move on to mailing. Try to start with a small stack of letters – this will help you understand the efficiency and quickly correct the shortcomings, if any. For example, send a few promos with popular or promotional products: they will show how active and ready to buy the base is.
In parallel, you can run an A/B test, experimenting with the frequency, design, subject and size of the letter, title and wording of the offers. Based on this, there is an opportunity to optimize the strategy. We have already said above that this is a rather complicated process, so changes are unavoidable. And step by step you will be able to reach your goal.
Errors in the development of an email marketing strategy
We went through the main stages of implementing an email marketing strategy. In conclusion, I would like to talk about typical mistakes that are made at various stages.
Detailed is not always good
Many companies try to develop a strategy from A to Z. On the one hand, this is good, but there are pitfalls – management. They don’t have much time to study hundreds of pages – they need to know the outcome, the plan of action and the costs.
Lots of unnecessary details
Most often, many details are added to the email strategy, for example, a complete design of the letter or recommendations for layout. It is not necessary to use this approach, since such details especially affect the direction of movement. How to use corporate style in mailings and how to set the adaptability of letters – all this will be described in the TOR.
Binding to technologies
An email marketing strategy is a document that describes the goals and methods of their promotion. Adding to it information about which software will be used is wrong. You can’t get attached to a specific tool, because it can be changed to another. Email strategy should be based on goals and problems to be solved.
An email marketing strategy is a plan of action necessary to create effective mailings. Try to monitor it regularly and quickly make changes: add new email threads, change the design and analyze. Only with such actions you will be able to achieve good results.