Elements of a successful Email Strategy

 

Whether you are a smaller E-commerce business or a larger B2B oriented company, the need for e-mail marketing remains the same since it is still one of the best performing channels within digital marketing. The major benefit is mainly driven by the fact that with a good e-mail marketing strategy, you deliver the right message for audiences of different sizes and types from one place. 

Whatever that “place” is, whether it is a Marketing Automation tool (which was also covered here) or an application solely with the purpose of sending out mass or individual emails, a comprehensive email marketing strategy is required to succeed, regardless of the platform. 

There are approx 280 billion emails sent on a daily basis, how do you make sure your messages stand out? Although there are a number of different approaches to a good email marketing strategy, some aspects are more applicable and easier to maintain than others. Here’s a start.

Elements Of Your Email Strategy

Use Email templates

Having predetermined email templates streamlines the whole workflow when it comes to sending out emails at scale. The creative process is often a time-consuming step, by recycling your templates you really only need to be creative once - at least as far as the layout and email elements are concerned. 

In addition to saving time, the templates are also ensuring brand consistency across all send-outs. Your emails look familiar and your brand awareness increases. With templates, you also secure a consistent layout and format of the emails so the structure of the emails becomes easy to follow with time. 

Audience Segmentation

When building target audiences for your campaigns, it is critical to conduct a thorough segmentation of your customer data in line with the core-subject of the email. To increase the engagement with the customers and minimize the amount of opt-outs no matter whatever it is you are offering, some of the questions should be answered before building the list of recipients. Just because you can send to everyone at the same time does not mean you should.

  • What types of demographic data are suitable for the email? 

  • Which geographic areas are we aiming for?

  • Is there any focus on a specific stage of the sales funnel?

  • Is it relevant for new subscribers or existing customers?

Depending on your prospect data quality and the email technology you are using, segmentation can either be a straight forward, automated process or a manual, time consuming one. Either way, unless you are planning on sending out generic mass emails (which I do not recommend), this step is essential.

Use of Personalization Tokens

Personalization in emails has been a hot topic for a while and is still an important aspect to include in your strategy, if possible. With personalization based on your customer data, the likelihood of engagement and interaction with the emails is increasing. What you want to include in the personalization can be quite broad, the most frequently used value is “First name” within the email. Other personalization tokens could include company names, locations etc. and even dynamic content based on your customer personas.

But why personalize your emails? Well, did you know personalized emails stand out within the inbox as highly relevant, tailor-made material and your messages are more likely to be opened and clicked on?

PRO TIP: Always make sure to test before starting your campaign, so it does not look like in the image below from an email I actually received while writing this... 

The red box in the image shows a prime example of how  not  personalize a subject line.

The red box in the image shows a prime example of how not personalize a subject line.

Reports & Continuous Improvement

The majority of Email Service Providers (ESP) come with some kind of reporting feature out-of-the-box. Although some may be limited while others are providing too much data to even comprehend, it is useful to get insights on how your campaigns are behaving based on real-time data. These features are enabling you to continuously improve, tweak and test your campaigns, and see the results. Some basic metrics to look out for are:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) - Statistics of clicks on links within your email

  • Open Rate - Of all recipients, how many actually opened the email

  • Delivery rate - Gives you an idea how many people actually received the email

  • Bounces - Gives insights on how many emails bounced, meaning they were not delivered for some reason, e.g “inactive account” etc. 

  • Opt-out and Spam report - Keep a close eye on how your messages are perceived 

PRO TIP: Experiment with different subject lines to increase the email open rates. Try out different CTA’s and links to improve click-through rates. Only use good quality lists (recent, never bought) for high delivery rates. Keep your content relevant and appropriate to avoid opt-outs and spam reports.

Conclusion

Although many people may think email marketing is dying, trends and industry figures* show this could not be further from the truth. But with the ever-increasing amount of emails being sent, your focus on delivering relevant and engaging messages to the right audience, at the right time, needs to go up. Above I mentioned a few elements of your email strategy that will give you a good start, maybe even a bit of an edge.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Always looking forward to your feedback and comments.

 

*Stats compiled by Campaign Monitor:

  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. – Campaign Monitor

  • Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates. – Experian

  • 53% of marketers say ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact. – DemandGen

  • 94% of customer insights and marketing professionals across multiple industries said personalization is “important,” “very important,” or “extremely important” for meeting their current email marketing objectives. – Conversant Media

  • Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. – DMA

  • Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. –Campaign Monitor

  • Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences. – Monetate

  • 50% of companies feel they can increase interaction within email by increasing personalization. – Experian

  • Some brands have recorded 8x improvement on click-through rates with a personalized video versus standard outbound email campaigns. – Marketing Land

  • The open rate for emails with a personalized message was 18.8%, as compared to 13.1% without any personalization in 2016. – Statista

  • 74% of marketers have stated that targeted personalization increases their overall customer engagement rates – eConsultancy

  • Birthday emails tend to generate 342% higher revenue pers email than standard promotional emails – Experian

  • On average, 36% of consumers have expressed an interest in purchasing personalized products or services – eConsultancy

  • Personalized calls to action convert 202% better than default calls to action – HubSpot

  • Personalized email marketing is said to generate a median ROI of 122% – Instapage

  • Email subject lines that are personalized generate an average of 50% higher open rates – Oberlo

  • 55% of consumers have stated that they like email messages that contain relevant products and offers – Liveclicker

  • The share of U.S. consumers who find marketing content personalization “very” or “somewhat” appealing is 90% – Statista

  • Segmented, personalized and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue – Instapage

  • 62.26% of consumers feel “happy” and “excited” to respond to a personalized message from a retailer – Dynamic Yield Research

  • 66% of marketers are working toward securing internal resources to execute personalized marketing programs. – Conversant Media

  • When asked to prioritize one capability that will be most important to marketing in the future, 33% of marketers answered: “personalization.” – Adage

  • 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. – eConsultancy

  • Only 39% of online retailers send personalized product recommendations via email. – Certona