by: Braidyn Browning
Step One: Follow the data, form a strategy
When crafting any form of campaign, the first phase should always consist analyzing the data. A data driven strategy is the only way to ensure consistent success and effectiveness. Begin your process with an in depth review of any historical data you may have.
Ask yourself how your audience has behaved in the past:
- What kind of email headlines have worked well for you in previous efforts?
- Do you generally receive more opens or clicks when you have a special offer going on or when you use a leading headline?
- Does your audience tend to scroll a bit in emails or are they quick to take action and click on content at the beginning of the email?
- What is your average open rate and click through rate?
If you do not have analytics on your previous efforts, it may be time to consider using email deployment platforms that will track the stats for you. Constant Contact, Hubspot and MailChimp all allow for analytics and performance tracking. Each tool comes in at a different price point from free to well over $300 so be sure to do your research and determine what tool is best for you.
Once you’ve analyzed your available data, use the insight you’ve gained to draw up a targeted audience. You may even need to segment your audience and send to multiple pools of people. If so, be sure that each email sent to the various audience is carefully tailored. Your end goal may be the same for everyone (i.e. a subscription or referral) but different audiences may be more or less receptive to the same message so be sure to craft catered content for the highest success.
A side note about sending to old client lists: Since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, marketers have had to be much more wary about sending out content internationally. If you find that some of your potential recipients are out of the country, consult the guidelines of GDPR first before you send. You may potentially have a few names on your send list which no longer allow you to contact them. Many countries under GDPR’s protection require a “double opt in”. In other words, they must have specifically said “yes, you can contact me” AND “you may only contact me about the specific things”. Although the number of lawsuits are fairly small at the moment, they ARE growing. So just be wary and be sure that you are compliant with the law.
When your audience(s) have been established, you’ll need to determine what form of email campaign to run. How many times do you want to touch each audience. Do you want to do a single send or something more complicated like a drip campaign? We often find that drip campaigns are more successful when you’re asking for action from an audience member.
Ex. If you’re aiming to gain more membership subscriptions, you may send out a 3 series drip campaign which would look a little something like this:
Step Two: The Content
The content of an email is arguably the most crucial part of the entire campaign. Why go through all the effort to find a target audience and dig through the data if people won’t be interested in what you have to say?
Best practices for email marketing dictate that the content of the email should be short and to the point. It is okay to get crafty with your visuals but text should generally be limited to a paragraph or two.
We also find that personalized emails often perform better than others. When possible, include your recipient’s name and a custom sign off. This makes the receiver feel they are getting a message from a real person rather than a large corporation.
You might also consider telling a story before you lead into what you are selling/marketing. We often find that brands who are able to tug at the heart strings a bit before asking for anything do fairly well in getting a positive ROI.
Step 3: Consult the Data again
This is the time for not only your performance evaluation but to truly take a look at what your audience wants from you. If they are not responding to your call to action (subscription form, website button, exclusive offer, etc.), maybe it’s time to do a survey to decide what it is they DO want.
The more data you can collect on your audience’s behavior, the more successful your email campaigns and marketing campaigns in general will be. It’s not always about pounding on their door with the same sales message. At the end of the day, you need to give the people what they want.
Before all is said and done, be sure to use the data you gather to help you clean up your email list. If an audience member hasn’t engaged with you in over a year, maybe now is the time to remove them from your list. Also take into account how many unsubscribes or bounces you received. The more you can whittle down the pool to your ideal and engaged audience, the better.
We hope these few big picture steps have helped you into better formulating your email marketing strategy. If you would be interested in offloading tedious tasks like this, be sure to check out our services here. We’d love to chat with you about how we can help to improve your email strategy and marketing strategy as a whole.