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The formula for Email Marketing Success! (Checklist)


11-05-2021 Krunoslav Rašić

These days, many companies and individuals have felt the impact due to the pandemic, and they had to adapt to the changes in the world. With the imposed limitations regarding personal contact, companies have started to shift most of their focus on digital marketing to attract new customers and retain the previous ones.

Now, more than ever, they need to make the most from their marketing budget, and email marketing has been successfully defending its title as the marketing channel with the highest return on investment (ROI) for years. To ensure that your email campaigns will be successful, however, there are specific steps that you will need to go through, which can be found in our checklist for email marketing success!

Planning

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra, professional baseball catcher

Although every step of the email campaign is important, the planning phase is often where the success of your campaign could be determined before you even start working on it. The planning phase is the foundation of every subsequent action that will be done for the email campaign, and even a slight mistake might negatively affect the results. You will need to:

Define the goal

What do you want to achieve with your email campaign? Do you want to promote a new product or services? Do you want to generate high-quality leads? Many questions such as these need to be answered. You need to set up SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals for your plan.

Define the targeted audience

Proper segmentation of your contact list is a large part of any effective email marketing. Your ROI will depend on how good you do this part. The better you segment your audience, the higher your ROI will be, and vice versa. To make a proper segmentation, it’s essential to know who your audience is, their buyer personas, and their stage in the buyers’ journey.  

Define the content

Your content needs to be carefully adapted to your targeted audience. The easiest way to determine what they would be interested in is quite simple. Place yourself in their shoes and ask yourself a couple of questions: What content would be relevant to them?  What would they need to know about the company? What do they want to know about the products or services the company offers?

It is vital to accurately identify the pain point/s they are experiencing and know how your audience can benefit from your content. Once you know that information, it is easier for you to develop relevant content which will resonate with your prospects.

Define what resources will be used

Should you use internal or external resources? The answer to this question will depend on a variety of factors. Would you like to send the emails to your internal list of contacts, or do you want to send them to a targeted contact list from a third party? Do you have marketing staff that has enough time and experience to work on it? Is it more cost-effective to outsource it?

If you have a dedicated marketing staff that works on email campaigns and you only want to send it to internal list of contacts, then the answer is simple. Your marketing staff will be able to do the preparation and sending all on their own.

On the other hand, if you are targeting new contacts in order to generate more leads, even if your marketing staff can prepare the email campaign, it would still be necessary to outsource the sending. Same situation applies when you lack the necessary marketing staff, or if your marketing staff doesn’t have enough time or experience. Outsourcing part of the tasks or all of them to professionals will definitely be a good idea in those cases.

Preparation

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Many companies already have one or more templates created for their email sending, or they’re using one of the many free email templates found on the internet. For those companies that are just starting with email campaigns, or those that wish to create a new template, here are a couple of tips:

  • The template needs to be mobile-friendly
  • It needs to have a good balance between content and images
  • It needs to have a company logo in a noticeable place
  • The links and Calls to Action (CTAs) should be clearly indicated, having more than one CTA might be counterproductive so it’s best to follow the rule of one mail = one action
  • Other multimedia (like YouTube videos and other flash-based media) should be put on a secondary (landing) page and not inside the email as it will likely be marked as spam and it will increase the weight of the message
  • The unsubscribe option needs to be easy to notice
  • The email design needs to be clear and simple because it needs to highlight the content, not vice versa
  • Prepare a great subject line to make the recipients interested in opening your emails

As we can see, there are many things to pay attention to even when you’re preparing the email template.

Infographic - Anatomy of an effective email message

Execution

“Ideas are yesterday, execution is today and excellence will see you into tomorrow.” – Julian Hall, award winning serial entrepreneur

With the planning and preparation phases finally finished, it is time to schedule the date and time for the email sending. Many studies have shown that emails sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays have the highest open rates. Studies vary significantly when we talk about the best sending time. Some studies have shown that the best sending time is in the middle of the day, while other studies have shown that it’s best to send emails between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. since many office jobs start around that time.

In the end, it all depends on you! You will have to take your targeted audience and their characteristics/location into consideration to set up the best date/time.

Review the results

“Whatever results you get, learn and grow from it and move on to the next one.” – Dabo Swinney, football coach

After the campaign is finished, it’s time to check the results. Was your email campaign successful? Did you achieve the goals you set for it? If the answer to that question is “Yes!” then that’s awesome.

Look into why it worked out so well so you can try and replicate its success in your future campaigns!

Even if the answer is “No.” it’s still important to understand what your recipients thought about it and what they did or didn’t like about it. Using that information will be crucial to improve your next email campaign. As the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and email marketing, in this case, is an endless journey.

Conclusion

With email marketing campaigns, it’s never one thing that will make it successful. The success comes from all the parts of the whole being done well and on time. We know that sometimes, with deadlines fast approaching, it’s easy to cut corners on some of the things on our checklist. In most cases, though, that will negatively impact your campaigns, which is not the result that you want. We hope that our checklist will help you achieve great success in your email marketing campaigns!

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