Email-strategy is a structured action plan, technical task for a marketer, which describes the main goals and objectives of email campaigns. This document sets the direction in which email communication with the subscriber will move and determine the final result that should be achieved after the email campaigns.
An important feature of an effective email strategy is its relevance to the chosen marketing strategy and the synergy of the tools used to achieve results. Activity on social networks, promotional offers offline, information activities through the company’s resources, website content and email campaigns – everything should be combined into one and harmoniously complemented by one another.
What should an effective email strategy consist of?
Messaging platform SendExpert often receives requests for email marketing strategies. Of course, the development of a strategy depends on the specifics of the business and the wishes of the client. It should be noted that its effectiveness is influenced by many factors. However, any email strategy has a certain format, a certain action plan that can be taken as a basis and finalized to the desired result. SendExpert has created a unified basic scheme for applying of email technologies, which can be used as a metaphorical skeleton for developing unique strategies to help our customers. And now we will share with you the main elements that should be present in any email strategy that claims to be successful.
Setting goals and tasks.
Any marketing strategy begins with goal setting. The more specific the goal is formulated, the higher the possibility that it will be achieved. It is important to write down the well-defined results that you want to see at the end, and just as important is to be realistic, to assess the situation soundly and not to set impossible tasks.
Typically, the main expectations from email campaigns are to increase traffic, rise the number and quality of leads, grow brand awareness and build customer loyalty.
And in this case, it should be understood that email marketing is not an instant-action lottery: you won’t get the prize right away. This is an investment in a long-term relationship and loyalty of subscribers. Therefore, you need to be prepared for systematic work with your base of subscribers and take this into account when determining the desired results.
Definition of target audience, segmentation
The next step is to work with the databases. It is necessary to determine your target audience and its preferences. A list of hundreds of emails can not be called a quality base, it remains a simple list of emails. You need to know what are the people behind these addresses and whether they will be interested in what you are going to offer them.
At this stage, a segmentation will be an important component, that means the distribution of all contacts into groups united by a certain factor – territory, age, gender, income level, average check, behavior during the purchase, relations with the company. You need to analyze and collect as much information as possible about your subscribers in order to develop the right approach for each group.
You can collect such data in different ways, which depend on your state of financial and human resources. For example, you can add fields to the subscription form. This is the easiest, but not the best way, as it is proved that the more concise the subscription form, the more likely it will be used. You can offer to take a small survey in the first confirmation letter of the subscription. You can collect data in social networks where people leave almost all the information you need. But this method requires a considerable amount of time. If you have sufficient resources, you can order a study in the respective companies or buy insights from competitor marketers.
You need to analyze what competitors offer your to target audience. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – subscribe to the competitors’ newsletters. Analyze the style of letters, the approach to headers and topics and CTA buttons, the frequency of sending, how competitors work with customer retention, the design of letters. This will help to find your own unique style and avoid repetition.
We develop the concept of content. Knowing what your target audience wants and what gets, it’s time to determine what you will offer to them. We determine which types of emails will meet our goals and help achieve the desired results. It can be informational, promotional, announcements, promo, welcome, trigger, transactional letters.
For example, communication with new subscribers begins with welcome letters. This is a series of messages, the purpose of which is to greet the recipient, to thank for the subscription, to acquaint them with the company and your intentions.
You can further visualize the chain of letters to schematically depict the sequence of actions with new subscribers. You can see the most primitive simple option in the diagram below.
If we are talking about the old base, communication should begin with a series of letters that help to highlight the core of active subscribers, with whom we continue to develop the dialogue. And in parallel, we launch the reactivation process for inactive part of the base – for example, you can prepare a special offer for such a group of customers.
Trigger emails are also an important component that helps to keep in touch with the audience, as these messages are sent in response to certain actions before and after the purchase / order. Such messages are created once, and then automatically sent after the action, for example, after paying for the purchase, a person receives a notification that the order is confirmed.
If the company has a blog or you are engaged in information activities, then usually this is followed by the creation of a digest of materials – information materials. But since the specifics of the business are different, as well as the target recipients, if you decide on a newsletter or digest, you will need to test different formats for submitting materials. It can be like posting a full-length article in the email itself, submitting material in storytelling format, a list of all publications with a short brief, or just a list of titles of all materials.
After outlining the general characteristics of the planned mass mailings, you should make clear scenarios of future letters. This means that it is necessary to describe what exactly each letter of each series will consist of. So you can make sure that they are all united by a common message and a clear line is traced along which you lead your subscriber.
Even having studied your TA well, you cannot predict all its wishes and preferences, even the most experienced specialists cannot guarantee that. And the professionals will not try to do this, as they know that everything needs to be checked by testing. You need to try different time and frequency of sending, the style of letters, topics, design and calls to action, the format of mailings. Therefore, A / B testing is an indispensable option in the email service. How does it work?
For example, in the SendExpert service, the user can compose one letter, but come up with two options for the topic. In order to find out which one will “go in” better, he sends an email with subject A to a certain number of randomly selected addresses by A / B testing, and does the same with subject B. After reading the results, the system selects the most successful one and sends it to the remaining contact database.
In conclusion, I would like to note that no matter in which direction and in what area of business you are working, what term you are counting on, plan to do everything by yourself or order a strategy for a bulk email marketing provider, the above theses are integral elements of any email strategy.