What is Your Email Marketing Strategy?

Your Email Marketing Strategy

Almost no other marketing strategy can be as effective as email marketing. Not just because of the low cost to get your message in front of your customer.  But because of the highly targeted method of delivering private communication directly to one person at a time, amplified by as many people in your list.

What is the most effective email marketing strategy?

For the vast majority of email marketing campaigns, the most effective email marketing strategy is focused on three main criteria:

  1. Email open rate,
  2. Email click thru rate (CTR), and
  3. Sales generated.

The email open rate is defined as the number of people who open your email divided by the total number of emails sent. The email click thru rate is the number of people that click on a link in your email divided by the number of emails opened. And the sales generated is just that, the number of sales made x the sales revenue per transaction.

For example, you might have 1,000 emails in your database and you decide to send out a holiday sales announcement. If 324 of your customers open up the email, you would have a 32% email open rate. Likewise, if 175 of these customers click thru to your website from the email, you would have a 54% click thru rate (CTR). And if 50 of these customers purchased a $40 product from your email, the email would have generated $2,000 in sales.

The total cost for this campaign?

As a hypothetical, the cost may be 2 hours to develop the email at $50 per hour and $50 for some images and creative, for a total cost of $250. To generate $2,000 in sales, this can produce a fantastic return. Actual results can be far more with costs much less than $250.

This is one reason why email marketing can be such an effective strategy.

Now let’s get into some email details.

How do you develop an email marketing strategy?

Developing an email marketing strategy requires that you understand the most important component:

your email list

Nothing is more important than your list. And the best companies on the planet take care in ensuring the health of their email list.

  • First and foremost is to ensure no one is in your list who has opted out of your list.
  • Second, remove any duplicate emails from your list.
  • Lastly also remove misspelled emails from your list and email addresses that will bounce back because the email is invalid.
  • These are basic email hygiene actions that email service providers will take care of for you, but it is still your responsibility.

Next, is to decide what you want to do with your list. Are you wanting to make sales? Are you wanting to build a brand based on loyal customers who love your product? Or a combination of both?

Start your email marketing strategy with with four basic buckets

With this high level strategy in mind, the first step is to segment your list into some basic buckets. First and foremost is your “house list”. Your house list is your most important asset because it is all your customers in one list.  This list is your literal bread and butter and it needs to be maintained and healthy at all times.

Next, you need to organize your email list into these four segments:

  1. Your entire list, a.k.a ‘house list’ – your house list is composed of every person in your database.
  2.  Your potential customers – your potential customers are all people that have not become a  customer yet.  You can send special offers to this list as part of your strategy.
  3. Your current customers – your current customers, also known as active customers are those that have purchased within 1 year (your recency of purchase may be different).  It is best to send your current customers regular communication.
  4. Your past customers – Your past customers are those that you are not servicing  any longer.  They can be your best referral sources, or can be re-activated to become a customer again because they know you and trust you. Treat them like potential customers, you can send them special offers and great tips.

The best way to organize all this is to first organize the email records in excel or google sheets. Keep these spreadsheets in a convenient location, in a designated folder on your computer or in your Google drive, and clearly labelled. These databases will be constantly updated and dynamic in nature.

How to do email marketing

Let’s now get into the fun part and develop some email marketing campaigns. First, we want to create an email schedule.

Our team strives to send 100 emails per year. If you are just getting started and haven’t sent 1 email yet, 100 may sound like a lot.  Please review how we approach this email strategy here. An email marketing calendar can be very simple, literally a word or google document looking 90 days out listing the email topics and dates, oftentimes in union with a holiday schedule. With our email marketing partnership clients we develop this plan and execute all the emails for you.

Many companies don’t like to discount their products too often. In this case, they may run two sales per year: 1) a Holiday special, and a 2) Summer Special.

In this scenario, there will be two main sales per year. But this isn’t just two emails. Often, and through copious testing to find out what the best strategy is for you, you might find that each sales term generates the most total revenue by having 2-4 emails per sale. Email one could be the announcement of the sale. Email two could be the reminder that the sale is ending soon, and email three could be the final reminder. You might find that the majority of sales occur on the final day of the sale. This is absolutely worthy of a test.

Additionally, a great strategy is to extend the sale for another few days, providing the opportunity to send another 2-3 emails but also giving the customer a chance to purchase during the extended timeframe.

Build your Holiday email marketing schedule

Other holiday emails could be focused on New Years day, Memorial day, Independence Day, labor day, Columbus day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and more.

So, if we only did Holiday and Summers specials twice per year, this could be 6 - 10 emails per year. But we are just getting started.

Remember the most valuable part of making your email marketing strategy is to deliver as much value to your customers as possible.

There really is no such thing as sending too much email. There is however such a thing as sending too little value. And when there's too little value, your customers will tell you by:

  • unsubscribing
  • calling you to complain
  • not responding or even
  • marking you as spam.

These are important metrics you must consider when developing your email marketing strategy.

If you have a blog or a library of resources this can present a lot of great value to provide to your customers. Oftentimes you and your team come across valuable items that you can pass along to your customers. A blog can offer tremendous value and reasons for your customers to come back to your website and do business with you.

Another set of emails that many great companies deliver to their customers are educational emails, often called newsletters. These can be tips and strategies that add value to their lives. As long as you stay on topic and answer the most relevant questions, these kinds of emails are usually a big hit. You could start with one of these mails per week and carefully measure your email open rate, click through rate and general responses.

Let’s now review a few simple some examples.

Email marketing strategy examples

You have many choices in how you deliver your email. Ultimately you want to test what drives the best results for you.

Some of our best email campaigns are extremely simple. Written just like you would send to a friend starting with a basic subject line and email body with simple language and no fancy graphics with one call to action. This kind of an email tends to have great deliverability bypassing spam folders and even landing directly into the customers primary email inbox. Here’s an example:

email example 1

Here’s an example of a more complex, graphic heavy email sales special. This email has a larger chance of landing in the promotions folder if the rest of the email does not trigger the spam folder:

email examples 3

Here is another email marketing sample, of a very short communication, all text with one simple link and call to action. There is really no limit in length of the email except you need to always ask yourself about the value being delivered and if it is relevant to your reader:

email example 2

Everything you do in your business, and in marketing, should be focused on building your house list.

And your email marketing strategy should be a core set of ongoing marketing systems that drives sales, revenue and keeps your customers current on all the wonderful things your company is doing.

When you implement these strategies, and the ones in setting up your own email marketing agency, your company will be better equipped for massive growth. Combine these powerful email marketing strategies with our website marketing and online advertising strategies and our targeted direct mail marketing campaigns, and your company will be unstoppable!

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