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How to Develop an Email Marketing Strategy

The beginning of the year is for strategic sessions and determining business development vectors. Some prefer to stick to the old course, while others radically change it. If you still decide to update the strategy, it is important to approach this systematically. Our top SEO services company will tell you how to properly develop an email Marketing strategy to get the desired result. 

What is an Email Marketing strategy, and why is it needed?

An email marketing strategy is a plan for developing email communications with a description of the goals and actions that help achieve them. 

Before reading further, define a global goal for yourself:

  • high level of Open Rate, CTR, a large number of subscribers, or
  • income from this channel.

If you chose the second item, continue reading the article. After all, any marketer’s action should bring income to the company.

4 signs of a good strategy

  1. Flexible. Even though the strategy is a specific plan of action, there should be room for a scheme. Leave the opportunity to correct, supplement and delete blocks. 
  2. Realistic. Look at all business processes, technology applications, your product, and your target audience from the sidelines. It is important to honestly assess the situation and determine where your advantage is and where there are gaps.
  3. Results-oriented. Everything you do must have a measurable result. If the goal is not specific, it will be challenging to achieve it. 
  4. It forms part of the overall marketing strategy of the company. Email newsletters are not a magic pill. They will bring a full-fledged result in combination with other tools. Strengthen and complement email marketing strategy with different communication channels.

Steps to Create a Strategy

  1. Audit of the current situation

It is worth eliminating errors, finding growth points, and improving working methods at this stage. 

Notice a few things.

  1. Posting efficiency. Do an audit of all types of emails. Look at their deliverability, Open Rate, Click Rate, and conversion rate. That way, you will know how to move on.
  2. Status and quality of the contact database. If there is no base, consider ways to collect it; if there is, determine the segmentation criteria. You can read about the methods of managing the floor in the article. 
  3. Client entry points. See how the user gets into the database and what percentage of the conversion of your lead magnets.
  4. Types of letters. Analyze what types of mailings you already send to customers: triggered, bulk, or transactional. Perhaps you have multiple segments that receive different messages. 
  5. Content and layout of emails. Pay attention to how you communicate with subscribers. Does the writing style match the portrait of your target audience? Check the design too. It will be mandatory to have Alt for images, links under images, the primary call to action button, etc.
  6. Do an audit of your email topics. Do they intrigue, cause a desire to open a letter. If not, experiment with wording.
  7. Technical settings. Make sure your company is GDPR compliant. 

But if you haven’t done email marketing strategy before and don’t have a database, analyze your competitors. Subscribe to their newsletters to see how they communicate with their customers. Could you pay attention to their lead magnets? Take good ideas and adapt them to your project.

  1. Determining the goals and objectives of communications in the email channel

Goals are divided into two types:

Strategic (macro conversions) Spot (micro-conversions)

Increase in active client base Site subscription

Increasing customer LTV registration

Increasing the average check Buying online

Increase in the number of purchases, registrations, applications, Repeats purchases.

Regardless of the goal, it is important to tie it to real and achievable numbers and set deadlines for implementation. But if you are at the beginning of the journey and it is difficult to indicate the exact numbers, then put down indicative indicators. So you will not stretch the process for a long time and will be able to adjust the numbers after testing the first hypotheses.

In addition to deadlines, it is important to define KPIs– key performance indicators. Write down metrics that will help you understand if you are moving in the right direction. Often they measure Open Rate, Click Rate, CTOR, Conversion Rate. But you can have your own set of metrics depending on the stage of the customer journey and business goals.

  1. Description of the target audience and segmentation

Using segmentation, identify customer requests and needs, prioritize groups, and provide everyone with a relevant offer. 

You can segment the audience according to one criterion or combine several – below are a few examples.

  1. Business model. For the B2B and B2C segments, there will be different offers, communication styles, and even designs. An example of a Ranking goal mailing that is sent to business representatives: 
  2. Family status. Divide the audience into groups by rate: parents, couples with or without children.
  3. Activity. Depending on the position of your recipient, choose a communication style and persuasion leverage. 
  4. Season. Consider seasonality in your campaigns. For example, if you have a travel business, then seasonal segmentation is important. In winter, invited to a ski resort and offer to bask on sandy beaches by the sea in summer.
  5. Prescription. Lead potential customers smoothly to purchase. Introduce them to the range, the company. But for the current ones, offer to buy a product become a member of the loyalty program.
  6. Site behavior. Depending on the user’s action, send different emails. For example, send a welcome message to those who have just subscribed. Reminder about a forgotten item in the cart – for those who have not completed the purchase. 
  7. Funnel stages. Based on the path of the client, divide the database into segments.

Potential customers are those who have started interacting with the company. They are already studying the offer, getting to know you, and deciding to buy or not.

  • New – those who once used your product or service.
  • Regulars are those who regularly buy your product.
  • Customers — this segment has stopped opening letters ordering services, but they can still be returned.
  • Lost customers – those who could not be reactivated or unsubscribed from the mailing list.
  • Base collection methods 

Regardless of whether you have a base, you need to regularly update the list with new addresses. You can get personal information if you give valuable something in return, such as:

  • discount on the first order;
  • checklist, guide, e-book, instruction;
  • product test drive;
  • gift for the first order
  • free shipping;
  • unlimited promotional code;
  • fresh news, exciting stories, and useful tips in a convenient format. 

4. Consider also where and what form will be placed:

  • built-in form in the footer on each page;
  • the built-in form on the main blog and on the page with articles;
  • Pop-up on all pages is triggered depending on the user’s actions. For example, when trying to close a page or viewing content at 85%. 

You can choose one of these options or combine several by placing lead forms on different pages.

  1. Development of a trigger map

A range of methods and principles are considered when creating a trigger map.

  1. Customer Journey or Sales Funnel.
  2. Site behavior. The most common user actions on the way to the product.
  3. RFM (Recency Frequency Monetary) – prescription, frequency, and amount of purchases for a certain period.
  4. Current segments. For example, members of the loyalty program.
  5. Posting behavior. Whether they open letters or not, follow links, whether they perform the target action.

Send different emails depending on the customer journey stage and your goals. Let’s look at a few examples.

  1. Welcome, to encourage the user’s interest in the purchase. You introduce the subscriber to the brand and product and motivate them to buy or order a service. Relevant for new users. 
  2. Reactivation helps identify subscribers who are ready to continue interacting with you. Below is an example of a letter from such a mailing list. If you have a base but have not worked with it, you can start with this type of letter but formulate the message differently for the audience. 
  3. Recommendations of similar products are retained and converted into repeat orders. If your subscribers are active but the conversion is low, send them an email. 
  4. Abandoned cart reminder to push you to checkout. If the base is functional, but there are a lot of incomplete orders, implement these letters first. 

Description of mass mailing formats

After you have prescribed the types of trigger emails, consider possible topics for mass mailings. Please send them to the entire database of active contacts.

There are several formats.

  1. Promotional mailings: promotions, products of the week, sales, special offers. For this type, the rule is one letter – one request. 
  2. Content: guides, tips, helpful information about the company, infographics. For such mailings, the same rule applies to promotions. 
  3. Digest: a collection of the most interesting, relevant materials proposals for a certain period. For a digest, three or four headings are allowed for one letter. 

Let’s Summarize

As a result, you will have a clear plan of action. Most importantly, could you not put it off? The implementation is not as scary as it might seem. Start by fixing critical bugs and choose a couple of pilot versions to test. For example, a welcome chain or an abandoned cart, as they are quickly implemented and will bring results immediately after launch. If you have resources and a large budget, feel free to start work on all fronts.

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