How to Build a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

Jonatan Parski CEO

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How to Build a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

What is email marketing? It’s more than just another blast from the past. Gary Thuerk was the first sender of a computer promotional campaign email he sent to 397 recipients, resulting in an estimated sales of $13 million for the company he worked for then! However, for this reason, Thuerk received an entry in the World Guinness Book of Records for the world’s oldest electronic spam. Now that’s a good email marketing strategy!

Instead, we would like to guide you on building a successful email marketing strategy without your emails ending up in spam folders.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing involves businesses sending promotional messages to many people as an email campaign strategy. Its primary purpose is to generate sales by disseminating promotional offers, nurturing leads, and amplifying the impact of content marketing endeavors. We have all been hit with that catchy ‘free shipping’ email subject line.

Imagine opening your email inbox at this very moment, and you’ll likely find that a significant portion—possibly more than half—of the messages waiting for your attention are prime examples of the power of an email marketing strategy.

Is Email Marketing Still Relevant?

Yes! Ultimately you want to ensure your email marketing strategy reaches the right audience for your industry. Despite the rise of social media advertising, email is still one of the most used platforms by users. Data has shown that the numbers continue to increase annually and that most people prefer email.

Number of email users worldwide
Source: financeonline.com

Furthermore, email acquisition best practices for email marketing grant you ownership of the connections, eliminating concerns about algorithm changes that could severely reduce your reach.

How to get Started with Email Marketing

Before immersing yourself in the exciting world of crafting and harnessing the potential of an email marketing strategy, let’s lay a solid foundation by exploring the fundamental principles. By embracing these invaluable insights, you’ll empower the sales team and yourself to unleash the full potential to send better emails. We’ll delve into this in exquisite detail shortly.

  • Be authentic: Amidst the bustling marketing realm, email marketing emerges as a widely embraced technique, brimming with popularity and competition. To rise above the rest, seize the power of personalized emails by addressing your users by name and unveiling your brand’s authentic, human side.
  • Unleashing magnetic subject lines: It holds the key to skyrocketing email open rates, but remember to strike the perfect balance between intrigue and relevance, steering clear of anything that might appear spammy.
  • Keep it short and sweet: In a mobile-centric world, most email consumption occurs on handheld devices. Therefore, wield the power of brevity and conciseness in your copy, ensuring that each word packs a punch. Let your emails be a gateway to streamlined engagement and seamless information sharing.
  • Don’t forget your C-T-A: Unleash the power of a strategic and engaging call to action to captivate your audience and drive action. As landing pages cleverly position a call to move above the fold to seize attention, adopt a similar approach in your emails.
  • Always ask permission and keep your promises: Unlock the path to ethical and fruitful email marketing by vowing never to purchase email lists. Instead, focus on crafting irresistible deals or compelling content, but remember that delivering high-quality offerings is critical.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

Email marketing forms part of any company’s most effective marketing strategies, even though it’s one of our oldest digital communication methods. Digital marketing has evolved into more advanced communication and marketing channels, like live chat and social media. But email has bragging rights to more than 4.5 billion users, making it a valuable marketing channel and campaign for businesses.

Exploring the immense potential of email marketing as a versatile tool can bolster many other marketing channels and initiatives, from content marketing to lead generation and sales.

Embark on an extraordinary marketing campaign by ensuring the presence of three pivotal elements:

Build an Email List

An email list is your database of new subscribers that has permitted you to email them. You must build an engaging and active email list to create a successful marketing campaign.

Among the most effortless avenues of direct marketing lies in creating a compelling lead magnet, an irresistible offering meticulously tailored to captivate your target audience. Utilize the power of strategic allure and witness your email list flourish, re-engaging them like never before.

Email Service Providers

An (ESP), an email marketing software service provider, is a dynamic email and marketing automation software that transcends the boundaries of mere list management. Its technological marvel empowers you to design and create awe-inspiring email marketing tools, breathing life into your email marketing service.

But that’s not all! Most email service providers’ capabilities extend further, allowing you to conjure automatic triggers whenever your audience dances to a predetermined tune. These triggers ensure a personalized experience during interactions, breathing new life into engagement and igniting soaring rates. Imagine the magic it creates to remind subscribers materializing effortlessly on a mobile device when users add an item to their virtual cart but forget to complete the checkout.

Set Clear Goals

Email can open many business goal doors, as well as:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive revenue and sales
  • Keep customers engaged
  • Nurture leads
  • Increase customer lifetime value and loyalty

Harness the full potential of your marketing campaign by orchestrating a harmonious symphony between your email list, email clients, email service providers, and goals.

The opening act commences with the beautiful art of segmentation, where your email list transforms. Focus on dividing your subscribers based on their demographics or past actions, creating exquisite segments and welcome emails that resonate with their needs.

It’s time for the main event—a meticulously crafted email or series of purposeful emails. Every word, image, and call to action entices your consumers to indulge in a desired action. Brace yourself for an overflow of conversions.

But it doesn’t end there. With the click of your fingers, unleash your email service provider’s power as it effortlessly sends your carefully crafted marketing emails out to eager recipients. As your marketing campaign unfolds, your email service provider acts as the conductor of automation, monitoring every beat and ensuring a seamless performance.

The stage is set, and the spotlight is yours. It’s time to captivate and engage your audience with your re-engagement marketing campaign.

How to Create an Email Marketing Strategy

You should focus on a strategic marketing plan to succeed in your marketing campaign. Here are some email strategies you can follow to create campaigns and email personalization:

Identify your Audience

Crafting a powerful email begins with one golden rule: relevance is critical! Just as in the marketing world, by immersing ourselves in the world of our buyer personas, we gain a deep understanding of needs and aspirations. Armed with this invaluable knowledge, we embark on a marketing campaign meticulously tailored to fulfill our target audience’s unique needs.

For example, if your business sells organic female products, your target demographic would be females interested in environmentally friendly products for women. The possibility of teenage boys being interested is improbable for your product.

Ensure your focus is on the right buyer persona and avoid targeting an audience not interested in buying your product or using your service.

Define your Goals

You find a purpose behind your marketing campaign when you set goals. These goals can help you stay on track while avoiding emails ending in the recipient’s spam folders. Focus on measurable goals that help you reach your overall results, which we shall discuss later. You can define your goals by considering your business needs.

Think about it this way: suppose you incur new subscribers through a promotional social media campaign. While the thrill of success envelopes you, consider creating a marketing campaign with a welcome email introducing them to your subscription service or product!

Email Marketing Platforms

Choose wisely here because you want a marketing campaign platform to help you accomplish your goals. The aim of the game is to streamline your outgoing email process and be able to assess the effectiveness thereof. It simplifies the email campaign journey while having everything in one place. Doing this ensures you achieve the scale you aim for and are backed by the support you need.

Determine the Type of Email Marketing Campaigns

To build a successful email marketing campaign and strategy in a few ways, we suggest you focus on a specific call to action regarding your email marketing campaigns. Another focus point should be a set of coordinated written targeted emails for your engaged subscribers. A successful email marketing campaign will be determined by the type of campaign you focus on to reach your target audience.

Go back to the drawing board and evaluate your audience and goals to decide on the most suitable type of email marketing campaign to launch. Ensure you reach your goals with a call to action for potential customers.

Here are a few marketing campaign types:

  • Welcome emails
  • An announcement or Promotional emails
  • Blog or Content update emails
  • Newsletter Email
  • Re engagement emails
  • Seasonal Marketing emails

If your audience prefers more of a connection with your company, a few blog posts or a monthly newsletter might give them a sense of community, keeping them engaged with product updates.

Your Email List

Building your email list is part of accumulating your target audience. But you need to stay on the straight and narrow here and don’t purchase an email list. It’s unethical and could be a waste of time with the possibility of not focusing on the target audience. Instead, aim to build an email list using an organic approach.

Consider this to make your email list organically:

  • Your company’s existing email lists
  • Through your website or social media
  • Customer relationship management software
  • Promotional offers or gated content

Always ensure your email list has customers who opted in to receive communications. It’s crucial to avoid adding them to your list of automated marketing emails if they have not.

Segment your List

Like many things, you must separate them to sort and organize them, as with your email list. You can segment your email list by categorizing your audience into different groups. By doing this, you can customize your emails, creating more engagement from your new or existing customers.

Segmenting your list can help you generate beneficial responses to each audience group instead of blocking your emails with spam filters. Let’s look at a few email segments and how you could benefit from them.

  • Demographics: Customize your email subject lines and content to engage with different age groups.
  • Geography: Consider the locale of your audience if you are sending an outreach newsletter to ensure it’s relevant to them.
  • Buyer Persona: If they respond positively, you can focus on more promotional emails.
  • Past Sales: If you have customers that have purchased from you in the past, consider sending promotional emails in the same product line.
  • Expressed Interest: If you have sent out surveys and customers have shown specific interest in a product, you can recommend products.
  • Frequent Engagement: If customers have shown email engagement, you can send more frequent emails without the possibility of them unsubscribing.

Don’t forget that these segments should still form part of your email marketing strategies and campaign goals. Doing this could make a difference in effective email marketing campaigns.

Personalized Message

You want the email subject line of your emails to be authentic to your brand and connect with your target audience. Your content should ensure that even inactive subscribers want to follow your call to action. The aim is to reach your goals, drive sales, and create customer loyalty. Grabbing their attention through a customized email subject line and relevant content is best.

You don’t want recipients to scroll through the visual content of your emails. You want them actually to read it! Start by creating a subject line packed with a punch to hook them. Focus on a subject line that suits different segments or personalized email subject lines to create a more customized experience for the recipient.

Focus on simplifying your email experience by incorporating the email marketing templates from your email marketing platform.

A/B Test your Emails

We all know and understand that you don’t just pick a vehicle online and hope for the best when it gets delivered to your front door. No, the responsible thing to do is to take it for a test drive and be sure it’s what you want and need.

A/B testing your emails is almost the same. It would be best to try which email subject line, lines, content, and CTA’s generate the desired results from a marketing campaign. Testing also ensures you focus on the results you want to achieve with your email marketing efforts.

So how does this A/B testing work exactly? You will focus on generating various versions of your emails where you change up some factors of each. Once you have done this, you can compare the results of each and observe which is the most effective version.

Measure your Success

Measuring your results will help you to see if your email marketing campaign’s performance and business goals are aligned. To accomplish this, analytics on your email marketing platform can be used to track various metrics when measuring your success.

Here are a few analysis areas used:

  • Click-through rate tracks how many users are clicking on links. Here, the effectiveness of your content is measured.
  • Unique open rate tracks how many users are opening your emails, so you can measure the relevance of your emails and subject lines.
  • The unsubscribe rate is self-explanatory and measures if recipients see your email as irrelevant or spam.
  • Bounce rate tracks rejected emails from servers. An unproductive email list could cause this.

You can pay attention to various metrics. When deciding which analyses suits your needs, the aim is to consider which metrics align with your business goals.

Is Email Marketing a Tactic or a Strategy?

Tactics and strategy might share some similarities in meaning, but when it comes to marketing, they are very different. Often when a business goal is not reached through a marketing strategy, small business owners revert from their plans to tactics.

Unfortunately, it ends up creating the following results:

  • Your blog post content that’s published frequently fails to generate conversions.
  • You have a high unsubscribe rate from your newsletters and a low click-through rate.
  • You spend more on Google Ads but no increase in revenue.

If any of these has touched a nerve, continue to read further as we explain how tactics and strategy complement each other to achieve your goals.

What is the Context of your Email Campaigns

Although we aim to focus on creating the marketing strategy first and foremost, the business’s external and internal context is another factor to consider. It will have an impact on your business goals as well as the tactics you require to achieve them.

You can use PESTLE and SWOT formulas to gain insights into these contexts.

PESTLE focuses on your business’s external context:

  • Political: Any political developments or issues impacting your email marketing strategies.
  • Economic: Any locale’s economic conditions should be considered for a marketing campaign.
  • Social: It focuses on everything from education levels to pop culture and how your audience will respond to or interpret an email campaign.
  • Technological: Consider all the email formats recipients can receive, such as voice-enhanced features on devices like Alexa.
  • Legal: Consider the legal environments, but if you keep to the rule of not sending emails to users that didn’t opt-in, you can abide by the GDPR.
  • Environmental: If you are an environmentally ethical business, you must comply with your environmental ethics.

SWOT focuses on your business’s internal context:

  • Strengths: It separates you from your competitors and makes your marketing campaign unique.
  • Weaknesses: Resource limitations and where your competitors exceed you in marketing prospects.
  • Opportunities: When your business can close the gap in the market and create an effective marketing campaign.
  • Threats: Limited resources and budget to create marketing campaigns.

What are Your Marketing Objectives and Goals?

Now that you have established your business context, you can focus on your objectives and goals. You can create an email marketing strategy once you select the desired outcome of email campaigns.

However, you must understand the difference between the two to accomplish your objectives and goals.

objectives

Sometimes objectives may seem similar to goals, but objectives are more like milestones to achieve your goals. For example, if your objective is to increase your click-through rate, your goal could be creating clickbait content.

goals

Goals aim to achieve the outcome you hope for with a marketing campaign. These may include driving more sales and increasing your (ROI) return on investment re engagement campaign.

Even though your goals can be as simple as “generating more conversions,” you want to focus on having specific objectives. If you are clear about your objectives from the start, it will make it easier to strategize and execute tactics to reach your goal.

You can accomplish this using the SMART framework:

  • Specific: Be clear about your objectives and email strategy.
  • Measurable: Are your objectives aligned with quantifiable metrics for a successful campaign?
  • Achievable: Can you accomplish your goals by implementing your objectives?
  • Relevant: Are your objectives realistic in achieving your marketing campaign goals?
  • Time-bound: Ensure your email campaign has a start and an end date.

You can track your campaign’s performance when your objectives are aligned with this framework. You can adjust your marketing strategy and revisit your objectives if you aren’t achieving your goals.

Email Marketing Best Practices

We are convinced that if you have come this far, you now understand that effective email marketing campaigns are valuable in growing your business. We have also established that creating an effective marketing plan is as essential as email marketing strategies and best practices rise to the surface.

We will explore some of the most relevant best practices and highlight marketing predictions for 2023.

CAN-SPAM Act.

Beware of the CAN-SPAM Act because if you violate its regulations, you could be at risk of a ban on your domain name. Should this happens, you won’t be able to send any emails using your domain. A CAN-SPAM Act compliance guide was complied with by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) with the following rules:

  • Prohibition of false or misleading transmission information
  • Prohibition of deceptive subject headings
  • Inclusion of return address or comparable mechanism in commercial electronic mail
  • Prohibition of transmission of commercial electronic mail after objection
  • Inclusion of identifier, opt-out, and physical address in commercial electronic mail
  • Address harvesting and dictionary attacks
  • Automated creation of multiple electronic mail accounts
  • Relay or retransmission through unauthorized access

Emails Should be Optimized for Mobile Devices

Users open between 42% – 60% of email marketing campaigns on their mobile devices, according to SparkPost research. Recipients using their desktop computers also view emails differently than those using smartphones. Most mobile device users quickly scroll through an email, paying less attention than those reading it on their desktops.

You can optimize emails for mobile by following these practices:

  • Keep subject lines short and sweet (less than 30 characters)
  • Grab your reader’s attention by placing your best content before your subject line
  • Don’t use a small font (12 points at least). You don’t want readers to struggle to read it or have to zoom in on the limited screen space
  • You want to entice readers to open your email, so add a preheader text to give them an idea of your email marketing campaigns
  • Ensure you use visible images that load correctly on mobile devices
  • Your emails should be tested on different screen types to ensure they display the way it’s intended
  • Always place your CTA at the top to ensure readers don’t miss them.

Test Your Emails

Yes, again, testing, but this is not like the A/B testing we mentioned before. You need to test if your emails display correctly on all screen types. Ensure you preview the Inbox, Mobile, and Desktop.

Market to Opt-in Subscribers (only)

Email marketing tools allow businesses to reach users who are inactive subscribers who didn’t opt-in to receive emails. Experts in the field strongly advise you against such an approach. You could end up harming your email marketing efforts when you reach out to people who never opted in. As mentioned earlier, purchasing lists is another waste of time for your email marketing strategy.

Instead, focus on upholding digital privacy laws like the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

2023 Predictions for Email Marketing

Yes, marketers are always at the forefront regarding new strategies, trends, and technology. We decided to share some of these 2023 top email marketing tips and trends with you!

Automated Email Sequences

Email marketers deploy automated emails via triggers. Think of it this way – when a potential customer opts-in to your e-commerce company’s email list, you will have generated emails that automatically are sent out.

Here are some examples of potential sequences:

  • Welcome new subscribers with a welcome email with a free shipping offer or a promo coupon with their first order once they sign up for your mailing list.
  • Send a ‘How to Use Guide’ a week after subscribing to your mailing list if they haven’t used their discounted or fee offer.
  • Entice new subscribers with a 24-hour promo code if they have not reacted to the previous offers after two weeks.

It can be time-consuming without email automation if you want to send emails at suitable times, leaving you with little to no room for error.

Increase Your Email Marketing Investment

If you want a successful email marketing strategy, you should consider having a capable team onboard. Why not invest this year in the right email marketing software and qualified talent to lead your email campaigns in the right direction?

Part of SparkPost research showed that there had been a 5% increase in marketing budgets. However, marketers have moved on to what they feel are ‘greener pastures.’ Many shifted from social media and digital marketing to CRM (customer relationship management), branding, and email marketing.

If you are still wondering if you need an email marketing budget, we will encourage you to consider it seriously. You can build brand and customer loyalty and engage your audience with a suitable and effective email marketing campaign.

GIFs

Oh, how the times have changed when you have to think of GIFs as part of your email campaigns. You can do this with a low budget and use this animation to make your emails stand out.

We know you can’t always rely on images to convey a message; some might not load correctly or be blocked. However, you can try to use standard text mixed with animations.

Accessibility

It defeats the purpose if it’s impossible or difficult to get the message across for emails to communicate or convey information with receipts. Accessibility should be for everyone, making it crucial to design emails for those with disabilities.

You must include specific text alignment and font sizes with HTML coding that enables everyone to hear and read your content. It’s a good practice to design emails that are accessible to everyone. If you ignore designing for accessibility, you could harm your brand.

Personalization

It’s a trend that will be trending for years to come. Personalization allows businesses to use customer data such as their name and purchase history to personalize their emails. You can utilize CRM software to personalize your email campaigns with valuable customer data and insights.

Why is a Strong Email Marketing Strategy Important?

Well, the proof is in the pudding. According to statistics, email remains at the top regarding marketing.

According to Statista research, 2021 showed 4 billion people using email globally, and it’s expected to increase by 2025 to 4.6 billion.

If you are still uncertain about what you can accomplish with an effective email marketing strategy, then consider the following goals:

  • Incorporate email campaigns into your email marketing strategy
  • Ensure your email marketing strategy optimizes your return on investment
  • Focus on your email marketing KPIs and ensure they fit your email campaign business goals

Conclusion

To wrap it up, this article should have offered you more than just your average email marketing tips, whether you are new to the email marketing scene or know your way around the block.

Email marketing campaigns are an excellent way for ecommerce businesses to create a landing page to invite subscribers to join their mailing lists. Remember that your emails have subject lines that grab your audience’s attention. You want them to accept promotional offers when you run them.

Ultimately we are guests in recipients’ inboxes and could lose their attention at any time with only one click. Be respectful toward your subscribers and always keep your promises.

There’s no particular recipe for boosting your email automation. You will need to see what works for your business’s style and tone of voice. The aim is to remain authentic with your content throughout your email marketing campaigns.

Finally, once you have mastered the basics, you can focus on sending email campaigns and delivering worthwhile emails to your subscribers.

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Chantelle

Chantelle started her career in IT before eventually finding her way into Marketing. This eventually became her passion, along with Digital Marketing, SEO, and Brand and Web Development. Today, she helps businesses find their voice and grow online.

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