Everyone knows that email marketing is one of the most cost-effective strategies available, but figuring out how to make the most of it can be a challenge. Most businesses working on their own never discover the formula for success; many write off email as an inefficient means of reaching clients directly, but that couldn’t be farther from the mark. Engaging customers, avoiding spam filters, and building better email lists are just a few of the considerations that transform an average email marketing plan into a major element of your overall sales strategy.
Defining Your Purpose
Email marketing serves a variety of purposes. The more you can refine those purposes, the more you’ll gain from your email marketing. Are you hoping to build your customer base by reaching out to new market segments, or are you focusing your campaigns on customer retention? Should your email messages deliver vital information, create excitement, or encourage exploration of your static website? How does your email marketing campaign fit with your social media strategy and other marketing platforms? Finding the answers to these broad questions is the first step to building email campaigns that work.
Creating Concrete Goals
Less defined goals such as “we want to engage our customers” or “increase traffic to our website” won’t get you far. Instead, come up with specific, achievable, and measurable goals that will enable you see your progress as it happens:
- Achieve 30 percent growth in site traffic over 12 months
- Improve click-through rates by 50 percent over current figures within 6 months
- Connect with 5,000 new prospects in 3 months
- Develop and maintain a customer loyalty program
Targeting Your Audience
The average office worker receives just over 100 emails a day. For CEOs, business owners, and other decision-makers, that number rises steeply. Email readers have developed selective hearing in response to this constant influx, only heeding those messages that speak directly to them. Relevance is a key factor in differentiating spam from valuable content, and your messages can only be relevant if you know your audience. Building your own email list and segmenting it appropriately or sending messages to targeted email lists will give you far better results than generic messages.
Only after you know the “why” and the “who” of your email marketing campaign can you define the “what.” Content creation may tie in with a blog or newsletter, or it may relate directly to your online store. Always write effective subject lines to get your message opened and deliver quality content specific to your target audience to get your message read.
Full-service email marketing providers can provide a range of integrated strategies to help put your email marketing plan into action.
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