How to Create a Successful Email Marketing Strategy?

Want to succeed in digital marketing?

Of course, you do. 

You need to accelerate your email marketing efforts. Email marketing is an evergreen strategy that gives proven returns. Whether you belong to the SaaS, B2B, or B2C domains, you should prioritize email marketing.

Why do you ask?

Emails are the top channel for nurturing leads, say 87% of B2B marketers in North America. Similarly, for 80% of B2C marketers, emails are a primary channel for lead nurturing. 

All in all, email marketing is a successful marketing strategy.

But just like all things in life, successful email marketing requires planning. 

You need a solid roadmap to proceed in a strategic way and get the best return from your investment. 

But before we delve into that, let’s first take a look at how much ROI email marketing produces.

Learn more: 9 Most Advanced Techniques of Email Marketing

Is Investing in Email Marketing a Good Move?

The short answer? 

Yes. 

A well-planned email marketing can make you a lot of money. 

When talking about the ROI of email marketing, you need to compare the investment you make and the profit you get from your email campaigns. 

The investment includes:

  1. Subscription fees of email marketing tools
  2. Cost of sourcing email contacts
  3. Cost of sending targeted emails
  4. Indirect expenses such as content creation costs 

On the other hand, profit from email marketing includes revenue generated by an email contact as well as the contact’s lifetime value. Marketers also track email opens, clicks, and bounces when calculating ROI. 

If done well, email marketing can produce $40 per $1 spent. This beats the ROI of SEO, keyword ads, and banner ads by a fair margin. 

Source

You can further improve your ROI by following best practices like personalization and A/B testing.

Are you convinced that email marketing is a worthy investment?

Yes?

Then continue reading to find out how you can create a great email marketing strategy.

9 Steps for Creating a Great Email Marketing Strategy

Whether you have a subscriber list of 100 or 10,000 contacts, a solid strategy ensures that your emails reach the right person and receive a good response. 

Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Identify Your Goals

Goal-setting can help you identify the right metrics and keep your campaign on track. 

Commit to one or more of the following common goals:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Improve website traffic
  • Boost sales
  • Get high-quality leads
  • Nurture relationships with existing customers
  • Improve customer loyalty

It’s best to focus on one goal per campaign and pursue it consistently until you meet the goal. For instance, if your goal is to generate more leads, you should formulate your strategy with that in mind.

Take inspiration from Samsung. 

When they notice that a customer has shifted to a competitor brand, they send win-back emails with subject lines like, “We’ve missed you. Here’s an exclusive deal just for you.” 

Their focus is to foster brand loyalty using email marketing. 

Here’s a pro tip for you: 

Use social listening for email marketing.

“Listen” to your existing and potential followers. 

Social media management tools track the conversations around your brand on all the social networks where your target audience is active. 

This will help you learn about the sentiment around your brand and help you target the right email messages to the right people.

2. Create an Organic Contact List

When it comes to email lists, it’s not just about the numbers. It’s also about engagement and open rates.

That’s why buying contact lists can prove to be counter-productive. 

Often, contacts in such lists don’t align with your customer personas. They may not be interested in your industry, brand, or content. They may not open them or may eventually unsubscribe. Your brand reputation can suffer and any investment you made in the list will be wasted.

So, it’s better to build an organic subscriber list. 

Include a “Subscribe” button on every page of your site. Interested visitors will click on the button. Then you can take them to an opt-in form where they can register their email credentials.

You can also use lead magnets to capture email IDs. 

A lead magnet is a free but gated content piece that you can offer to people in exchange for their email addresses. 

You can use these legitimate and effective ways to build your contact database. 

3. Segment Your List

Sending generic messages to your entire contact list hardly ever yields results. Targeted emails have a better chance of getting a response from recipients. 

You can segment your contact list based on parameters such as:

  • Demographics like age, gender, location, company role
  • Buyer journey stage
  • Engagement history and buying frequency

Next, you can tailor your email messages according to the needs of each segment. Your attention to detail and personal touch can boost your email’s open and click-through rates. 

Pro tip: Keep cleaning your contact list. Remove inactive subscribers as they hamper your campaign’s engagement rate. Automated tools for email marketing can do this task on a regular basis.

4. Write Compelling Subject Lines

A catchy and optimized subject line can make your email pop in an overcrowded inbox. That’s why you should invest some time into writing compelling subject lines.

Additionally, personalized subject lines can boost your email’s open rate tremendously. Some marketers swear by emojis in subject lines as they set apart your email from the rest.

Best practices for writing subject lines:

  • Create urgency: Set a deadline to create a fear of missing out. For example, “This is your last chance to grab a 50% discount” can prompt the recipient to open the email.
  • Build curiosity: “Want to know Kim Kardashian’s secret glow formula?” is sure to tickle a beauty lover’s curiosity. 
  • Offer something irresistible: “I’ve put together the perfect outfit for your prom” can do the trick for you. Avoid using “free” in your subject lines as it can decrease engagement.
  • Add preview text: It provides context to the email.
  • Add dynamic content: Address the contact by their name instead of a plain “Hi.”
  • Avoid clickbait tactics: Using an intriguing subject line just to get a person to open your email is not advisable. The email content should match its subject otherwise the reader feels disappointed and may end up unsubscribing to vent their frustration. 

Use headline analyzer tools to check your subject line’s efficacy. A/B test different subject lines to pick a winner.

5. Invest Time into Writing Good Copy

Along with your subject lines, your email copy needs to be compelling as well. Netizens have short attention spans so use clever copywriting to keep them engaged. 

Follow these tips to craft stand-out email copy:

  • Stay true to your brand voice. 
  • Make good use of white space. 
  • Opt for a vertical layout. 
  • Style your CTA as a button to make it prominent.  
  • Don’t pack too many links into a single email. 
  • Include your social handles and contact details in the email footer.

Though visual content is technically not a part of the copy, still it needs a mention here. High-quality images and videos can help to attract the attention of your audience.

6. Post at Optimal Times

There is a lot of confusion regarding the best day and time for sending emails. But I won’t disappoint you by writing avoiding the topic altogether.

Here is what the data tells us:

CoSchedule collated 14 studies on optimal email sending times and came up with the following findings:

  • Tuesday is the best day if you send one email weekly. If you send two emails weekly, keep Thursday as the second day.
  • 10 AM, 8 PM to midnight, 2 PM, and 6 AM are the best times to send emails.

You can try different permutations and combinations of days and times to find a time that works best with your contacts.  

A lot depends on the nature of your business and your audiences as well. If your contacts are office-goers, you should send emails during early morning and lunch hours so that your emails land at the top of their inbox when they are actually in it.

Also, set a schedule for posting emails. You need to nurture your relationships with your contacts before you convert them. Sending them regular emails with compelling content will keep you on their radar. 

But be aware of cognitive fatigue. Don’t bombard customers with too many emails. You can use email marketing tools to create a reasonable posting schedule.

7. Test Your Emails

When you invest a lot of time and effort into a marketing campaign, you don’t want it to fail. 

Fail-proof your emails by doing A/B tests on all components, including subject line, visual design, copy, and posting time.

Sound daunting?

It can be if you try to do it manually. Email automation tools can make your job easier. They offer A/B testing. They also provide intelligent suggestions for improvisation and can gauge how well your email will render on different screen sizes and devices. 

Take the time to test each and every minute detail of your email, from font colors to CTA button copy. The effort is an investment that can give rich returns in time.

8. Optimize Emails for Mobile Users

Mobile marketing is big these days. 

Customer-centric brands provide their customers with a good mobile experience. Three in five Americans check emails on-the-go. That’s why it’s important for you to design mobile-friendly emails.

Apart from the copywriting tips I mentioned before, you need to follow these additional points:

  • Shorten your subject lines or they will be cut off at the end. Test the subject line on different devices to zero down on the optimal length.
  • Avoid using a multiple-column layout. 
  • Use a font size of at least 13 or 14 pixels so that it’s readable on a small screen.
  • Use compressed images so that your emails load quickly.
  • Never stack links for the same reason as above.
  • Test your email on devices of different screen sizes and resolutions.

9. Include an Unsubscribe Button

It’s always a good practice to include an “Unsubscribe” button in your emails. You hand over the control to your contacts and they can choose to stop receiving your emails. 

Seems counter-productive?

After all, you may lose a subscriber if you allow them to opt-out so easily. But the fact is that this transparency will build your credibility and customer trust, which can benefit you in the long term.

Conclusion

If done well, email marketing can be a great channel to grow your business. Be creative in your email marketing but have a basic strategy in place. Your strategy will shape your email campaign’s performance.

If you are curious to get into the world of digital marketing, check out MICA & upGrad’s PG Certification in Digital Marketing & Communication. Become an expert in email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, branding, marketing analysis and PR.

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