Email Marketing Strategy: A Guide to Winning Email Campaigns

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Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing. But despite being old, it is still going strong. Why do I say this? It gives you $40 in return for spending $1. There is hardly a marketing channel you can think of that gives this kind of ROI.

So in this guide, you are going to learn how you can make a terrific email marketing strategy along with what metrics you should measure when sending campaigns. You will also learn about some examples of an effective email marketing strategy that some companies used to boost engagement and revenue. So let’s dive in.

Table of contents

What is an email marketing strategy?

An email marketing strategy is a well-planned, data-driven, and metrics-oriented overarching plan to ensure that your campaigns achieve the set targets. A strategy includes the methods, objectives, and analysis, and also focuses on the results.

How do you develop an email marketing strategy?

A smart and fruitful email marketing strategy focuses on:

  • Defining the goals and objectives of your campaigns.

  • Target audiences for your email marketing campaigns.

  • SWOT analysis of your email campaigns (internal analysis of your business).

  • PESTLE analysis for gaining an external context of your business.

  • Analysis of data from previous campaigns.

  • Leveraging automation for better customer analysis, behavioral targeting, and smart customer segmentation.

The below image outlines the steps of forming a strategy.

10 ways to develop an email marketing strategy

Email marketing strategy in 10 easy steps

1. Know your goal

Just like any other strategizing process, you have to begin with the preliminaries or the "stage zero", or "discovery phase".

This stage can also be divided into two steps:

What and Why: Aims and Objectives

During this stage, you do a thorough exploration of the ultimate goal of your campaign, because targeted emails convert better, build credibility, and boost your sales.

Some of the common email marketing objectives include:

  • Sharing information about a newly launched product.

  • Getting your customers to sign-up for your services.

  • Getting your customers to buy your product or renew their subscriptions.

  • Informing your customers about a new feature or service.

Who: How to implement STP (Segment, Target, and Position)

The next part is to identify and establish the ground rules for measuring the progress and success of your email marketing campaign. To ensure that your CTAs get clicks and good responses, you must:

  • Segment your customers and target audiences based on various parameters, such as behavior, preferences, purchase capacities, and previous data.

  • Target your campaigns for each customer segment, and offer them personalized offers, information, and deliverables.

  • Position your campaigns to stay aligned with your email marketing goals.

You can set specific metrics to measure the progress and success of your email campaigns.

Once you are done, you are ready to enter the key stages of developing an email marketing strategy.

2. Know how you’ll measure your progress

Sending optimized and targeted emails will only work if you have a way to measure it. If you cannot measure the success of your current campaign, it’d be difficult to use the data from the current one to use for your future ones.

Hence, it is important to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. Decide on a metric you should track and set a base measure.

For example, you can measure your click-through rate with a base measure of 3%. Or you can measure your open rates with a base measure of 15%.

3. Choose your tools

Investing in the right email marketing tools can offer you actionable insights into your email campaign data.

These tools will automate mundane tasks responding to signups, recommending your best-performing articles, etc.

The email marketing tools like Mailmodo allow you to personalize your email campaigns and make them more targeted. With Mailmodo’s AMP emails, you can make them as interactive and engaging as a website.

4. Identify your target audience

Identifying your target audience is an important step in your email marketing strategy. Study your market and recognize the people who would be a good fit for your product.

For example, you are a chocolate brand that is planning to launch new flavors, namely - Hazelnut, Peanut Butter, and Caramel. Now, you do market research that reveals the following:

  • The number of people that live in New York, love eating chocolates and are in the age group of 10 to 40. Let us call this segment A.

  • The number of people in segment A that are in the age group of 10 to 20, 20 to 30, and 30 to 40.

  • The number of people in segment A, that is in the age group of 10 to 20 and love caramel, hazelnut, and peanut butter flavors. Let us call this segment B.

  • Likewise, you have segment C and segment D with people in the age group of 20 to 30 and 30 to 40 respectively.

When you have such clear identification of customers, you can target them by sending highly personalized emails and offers.

5. Create tactics to get your audience to opt into your email list

Now that you have successfully identified the target audience, you have to create tactics to get them to opt into your email list.

You can do that by offering valuable content. For example, you can offer 3 blog posts without them signing up. If they like the articles, you can offer them access to your repository and future articles by asking them to sign up.

This has two advantages:

  • You get qualified leads that are motivated, increasing chances of conversion.

  • You can create personalized email marketing campaigns based on their preference and intent.

6. Choose the types of emails to send

Based on the Chocolate company example discussed above, you might have realized that you need to send many types of emails to your audiences. As your email lists don’t have the same types of people and not all of them will open your every email, sending different emails becomes even more crucial for the overall success of your campaigns.

You must choose the types of emails for each segment of your email list. For example, if you are a clothing brand and you have gender-based segments, send appropriate clothing recommendation emails to each segment.

Some of the emails you can send to your customers are:

  • Abandoned cart emails

  • Confirmation emails

  • Curated content emails

  • Milestone emails

  • New product announcement emails

  • Newsletter emails

  • Progress emails

  • Review request emails

  • Special offer emails

  • Welcome emails

7. Determine how often to send your emails

The frequency with which you send your emails has a significant effect on email engagement rates. If you send emails daily or even weekly, in some cases, your audiences can flag them as spam as well.

So, setting the right frequency for sending emails is a vital part of creating a fool-proof email marketing strategy.

Forbes suggests that the businesses that are just starting to use email marketing can send their emails weekly. Also, it is important to "test" the emails you sent and are going to send. It also recommends that you should be aggressive with testing, to ensure that you send more emails that work and fewer emails that don’t work.

Further, some businesses, such as eCommerce setups, find sending weekly emails, alerts, and reminders a must, because they have such offerings that require frequent reach outs.

As the sending frequencies vary across the businesses and business sector, we recommend identifying your unique business needs and opting for the right frequency.

8. Determine how you’re going to craft your content

From crafting an enticing subject line to creating an engaging email body to compelling CTAs, you have to burn your midnight oil to create content that:

  • Resonates with your audience

  • Appeals to their interests and preferences

  • Sells your offerings

Creating content is one of the most daunting processes, as you have to keep it aligned with the value proposition for both the ends - customers and you.

You can of course get insights from the advanced analysis of the customer data collected from the previous campaigns.

And using that data, you have to get creative with the type of content you share with your customers. Infographics, animation, conversation, and case studies offer technical content and data metrics in an interesting and easy-to-understand manner.

9. Set up a/b tests

A/b testing allows you to test your email campaigns before you send them to the target audience, and gauge the effectiveness of your campaign. You send one version of an email to one set of subscribers and the other one to another.

Some companies also use in-house teams and staff members for a/b testing. The testing can vary in its complexity and can include sending multiple subject lines and figuring out which one of them generates better results.

You can use a/b testing for:

  • Subject lines

  • Content

  • Length

  • Word order

  • Visuals

  • Personalization

  • CTAs

  • Styles and visuals

10. Record your results and adjust according to the performance

Once you are done with all the hard work and have sent the emails, you must gear up for the next step in the email marketing strategy - measuring the results.

When you invest in the right email marketing tool, you can use its advanced analytics and reporting features to make the most of the data you collect with every campaign.

Some of the most focus-worthy metrics are:

  • Click-through rates

  • Spam complaints

  • Unique opens

  • Unsubscribe rates

While there are dozens of email marketing metrics, the best way to measure the results of your campaigns in an effective way is to choose the most relevant metrics. For example, if you are tracking conversions, measure click-through rate and click-to-open rate.

Whatever you are measuring, ensure that the outcomes are aligned with your expectations and goals and plan your next email campaign based on the inferences you draw.

What does a good email marketing strategy look like?

Five ways to increase email marketing revenue

A good email marketing strategy covers most of the steps shared above and all of these steps that are relevant to their business model. As every business owner has a different set of offerings, services, and target audiences, his email marketing needs are also different.

Hence, every business has different goals, targets, and deliverables with its strategy.

However, there are some key elements of every successful email marketing strategy, as shown in the image above.

A good email marketing strategy:

  • Helps you diversify your messaging for a 360-degree reach.

  • Offers list monetization.

  • Increases email ROI.

  • Makes your campaigns agile, dynamic, and appealing to the audience.

  • Allows you to leverage email marketing automation.

  • Keeps the email optimization and sending frequency in mind.

Metrics to monitor and measure

As mentioned earlier, there are more than a dozen popular email marketing metrics that you can use to measure the progress and success of your campaign. But, you have to choose only the ones that are the most relevant to your business and marketing requirements.

A few of the must-follow metrics are:

Email deliverability

What use are your emails if they are not even delivered to the audience, and delivered in the right folder of their inboxes?

Email clients automatically put the emails in the spam folder based on some trigger words, phrases, and their frequency.

So, always monitor and measure the email deliverability to find out whether your emails are properly landing or not.

List hygiene

Your email list decays naturally and as per the studies, the expiration rate is around 22.5%. So, it is important to note that your subscriber list must be monitored properly to ensure that it stays at a healthy size. Hence, this metric helps you understand whether your subscriber list needs expansion or not.

Also, many times people either stop using their email IDs or close accounts associated with them. Checking your email lists for the same will ensure whether your emails are sent to live or active email addresses.

Sending reputation

It’s a complex metric that includes IP reputation and domain reputation. Many times your emails are directed to the spam folder, but it is still better than them getting outright rejected by the email server of your customer. Hence, it is important to maintain your reputation as an email sender.

Some of the tips for the same are as follows:

  • Optimize your email quantity for deliverability

  • Maintain a good-quality email list.

  • Send quality content at the right times.

Related guide: 9 Reasons Why Your Emails Land in Spam and What You Can Do About It

Wrapping up

Email marketing continues to be a leading method to reach out to your customers. You can get the most out of every campaign by developing a robust and fool-proof strategy driven by data and actionable insights.

As it is impossible manually, investing in a smart, intuitive, and a versatile tool like Mailmodo can be a good decision for marketers and business owners.

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.
  2. Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Sign up now and send 10k free emails/month. Sign up here.
  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

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