I’m excited to bring you the next installment of my blog series focused on Email Marketing.
In my last blog post, I covered the basics of creating an email marketing plan.
Now, I’d like to dive a little deeper into seven ways you can put an email marketing plan into action.
Set A Plan For Campaigns
One of the first things you’ll want to do is set a plan for campaigns.
Similar to a marketing campaign, you’ll want to set a schedule and a budget for your email marketing efforts.
Why is this important? Think about it this way: If you don’t set a plan for campaigns, you’ll likely end up sending out hundreds of emails.
That’s a lot of work, and it could seriously backfire on you. Set aside a few hours a week, and you’ll be able to plan out a monthly email schedule within minutes.
Plus, you’ll have a record of what you’ve accomplished, which is great for future self-evaluations.
Another vital step in the email marketing process is to create personas.
A persona is essentially a fictitious character that you create to represent a group of customers.
Instead of relying on your best guess as to what sort of person would be interested in your product, you can create a profile of a typical customer and tailor your messaging to appeal to them.
There are a number of tools you can use to create personas, like Salesforce’s Behavioural Targeting feature, which uses AI to identify key patterns in your customers’ engagement with your product and web content.
You can also use online tools to generate random email addresses and populate them with fictitious information, such as a name and a company. Don’t worry – if you’re worried about your customers’ privacy, you can always opt out of this feature (and every other feature, for that matter).
Determine Your Goal For Each Campaign
Before you do anything else, make sure you’ve determined your goal for each campaign.
This is critical, because you don’t want to send out a bunch of emails and have no idea what you’re trying to achieve. You can use the SMART framework to determine the importance of each goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
For example, if your goal is to grow your mailing list by 10%, you’ll want to track the number of subscribers you have and compare this to the goal you’ve set. If you want to improve your conversion rates, you can measure the number of people who’ve subscribed to your list and the number of people who’ve completed a given action – in this case, buying your product or service.
Determine The Content Of Your Next Email
An easy way to get started is to ask yourself a set of questions about your last email.
If you were able to glean some value from that email, you can use this as a jumping-off point to create more valuable content for your next send.
To come back to my example above, if I received some value from the email I sent out last month, I’d want to create an even more useful piece of content to distribute in the upcoming months. So, I’d ask myself questions about this email, like:
- What was the most valuable part of the email to me?
- What would I like my next email to be about?
- What would make that email more valuable to my audience?
If you can answer these questions clearly and simply, you’ll be able to distill your message into a few lines of text that make perfect sense. Your next email won’t be over-warranted, and it’ll get opened more often than not.
Plan Out Your Distribution Channels
Depending on your target audience and goals, you’ll want to plan out your distribution channels.
This will include both the physical distribution platforms (e.g., mail, email, and social media) and the digital channels (e.g., websites and mobile apps).
Your physical distribution channels will be based on your target audience.
For example, if you’re marketing to small businesses, you may want to consider direct-mail marketing as a method of distribution.
If you’re marketing to consumers, you may want to consider using email marketing tools to send out regular emails with content that’s valuable to your audience.
Once you’ve determined the value that your physical distribution channels can deliver, you can determine what digital channels to use in tandem with them.
Determine The Timing Of Your Next Email
One of the most important things to consider about your email is when you should send it out.
You need to consider the individual habits of your target audience.
If you can identify some patterns and determine the best time to email your list, you’ll be able to maximize the benefit you get out of your marketing activities.
To return to my example above, if you know that my target audience spends most of their time on social media during the week and some of their time on the phone during the day, you can determine that the best time to email them is during the day when they might be on both platforms – i.e., morning hours.
By extension, if you know that your target audience spends more time on social media in the afternoon and some of their time reading email during the day, you can determine that the best time to email them is in the afternoon, when they’re most likely to be on social media – i.e., in the afternoon.
Plan Your Measurements And Metrics
You’ll also want to plan how you’ll Measure the success of your email marketing campaign.
Measuring the success of your campaign is important for two reasons: First, so that you can determine whether your efforts were worthwhile.
Second, so that you can identify areas where you can improve.
The first step in planning your measurements is to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your product or service.
If you sell SaaS products, your key performance indicators will be: number of subscribers, percent of those who’ve made a purchase, and revenue. If you sell physical products, your KPIs will be: number of orders, number of customers, and profit.
Once you’ve set your KPIs, it’s time to turn to the next step – identifying which metrics to use and how to calculate them.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
You can use technology to your advantage to make your email marketing campaign even more effective.
For example, if you’re using a CRM tool like Salesforce, you can integrate email marketing into your account – such as by creating custom emails or integrating third-party tools, like MailChimp, to perform different functions.
You can use Marketing Automation to create email campaigns with ease.
Marketo’s Marketing Automation platform allows you to create automated email campaigns that can be scheduled and dispatched to your subscribers without any additional input.
You can create automated email campaigns that will send out a series of emails at regular intervals – like every week or every two weeks.
Or, you can use email automation to follow-up with people who’ve expressed interest in your product or service but haven’t yet made a purchase.
Don’t Forget About The Basics
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the basics: your email marketing plan needs to be well-written and must follow the necessary format, including having an unsubscribe or opt-out option at the end.
Make sure you review email marketing best practices like the USA Today email marketing checklist to ensure you hit all the marks and avoid common pitfalls.
You’ll also want to take the time to review your email marketing plan from top to bottom, including the previous steps detailed above so that you can see how everything comes together. Don’t forget about your plan – reviewing it once every month or so will make sure that you stay on track and don’t get off track.
Create A Successful Marketing Automation Strategy
With the basics out of the way, let’s get deeper into the nitty-gritty of creating a successful marketing automation strategy.
If you’re looking for a robust platform to power your marketing automation needs, I’d recommend you try Marketo.