A New Year has started and a new quarter has begun, it is time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy and revisit your email marketing plan. We have talked previously about how having an email marketing plan acts as a roadmap to guide you in this post here. Now, let us talk about ways to help ensure your success when putting together an effective email marketing plan.
What is your objective? To start off, you first need to identify what you hope to accomplish with your emails. Why do you feel that you need to do email marketing for your business? Is it to keep in contact with customers? Do you hope to increase revenue? There is a wide range of goals that can be reached through email marketing tactics. Emails can be used as a source of revenue in the form of a paid subscription or exclusive promotions and limited time offers only available to subscribers. It can also be used as a way to show a more personal and human side to your business in the form of personalized birthday ecards to clients. By determining what your objective is, you are setting the direction that you will move in for your roadmap.
What types of emails will help you achieve your objective? Now that you have determined what it is that you wish to achieve with your email marketing efforts, you need to determine which types of emails will be the most effective in helping you achieve that objective. Here is a list of different email types for you to consider:
Promotional Emails – These emails tell your customers about special promotions you are running for a set period of time. They can be exclusive to those receiving the email or be general promotions that you are offering to all existing and potential customers.
Newsletters – These emails are sent on a regularly scheduled basis and can include tips, news about your organization, a spotlight on a particular service or product, or can be generated from blog postings on your website.
Daily Deals – These emails highlight a new special or deal everyday. Examples of a daily deal email would be email subscription services like Groupon, SaveLocal and Living Social. Typically these deals are only available for a short window of time.
Paid Subscription Emails – These emails are typically paid for at the time of sign-up by the customer and billed automatically either monthly or yearly. Examples of content can be tutorials, guides, courses, secrets, hard to find deals, etc.
Autoresponders – These emails are sent automatically and are typically triggered by an action by the customer. An example of an autoresponder would be a welcome email that a customer receives upon signing up for a service, subscription or by creating an account on your website. Birthday ecards and promotional gifts are also considered autoresponders, although they are not triggered by a specific action by the customer.
How often will you be sending out correspondence? If you have decided to make use of autoresponders, you will not need to spend a lot of thought on how often these will be sent since they are generated automatically. For your other chosen email types, you will need to decide how often you want each type to be sent out. When deciding on the frequency of your correspondence, try to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What would they want? If you are planning to send out promotions, how often would they want to receive them AND if you are sending out other types of emails as well, how often would they want to receive correspondence from you in general? There is a thin line between keeping your customer informed and your customer feeling that they are being spammed due to the volume of emails that they are receiving from you.
It may help to segment your email list to target your different email types to specific groups of customers. This will help cut down on the volume of emails one individual customer may receive from you and keep you on the positive side of that thin line.
Who is going to write the content? Depending on the types of emails that you have chosen to send out, you may need to enlist the services of a copywriter or designate this task to a member of your staff. If you have the time to spare, this can be a job that can be done by you. The most important aspect of an email is the content, so it is important not to rush through the process of preparing and writing it. If you do not have the time to write the copy or the resources to delegate this task to a staffer, you can use a site like scripted.com, fiverr.com or enlist the services of a company like eTouch Marketing. eTouch Marketing not only manages email marketing, but also offers copywriting services.
What will your emails look like? We all feel like we may possess a little creativity and this can make it very tempting to try to design something on our own. Although you may be able to create something in-house that looks decent, it is best to leave this task up to the professionals. By doing so, you can ensure that any branding that you are incorporating in your other marketing efforts are in line with your email marketing efforts. If you are using an email marketing service provider, they will have options to help you achieve a professional look for your emails. You can also enlist the help of a Graphic Design student from your local college if cost is an issue.
Execute! Now that you have an outline or roadmap for what you plan to do, it is time to put your plan into action. Putting an email marketing plan in place is essential in order to guarantee the success of your campaigns. A plan is only of benefit to you if it is consistently implemented or executed. If you indicate to your readers they will hear from you the first week of each month, then this needs to happen on this time basis for you to gain credibility and to keep it.