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by Justin Guinn | Published on May 18, 2022
Image source: Getty Images
Your email marketing strategy plan should be the workhorse of your overall marketing plan. Research shows there’s a 42x return on every dollar spent on email marketing. That’s a 4,200% ROI on a channel that doesn’t discriminate between enterprise or small business email marketing.
Email marketing is essential to a successful marketing plan for any business. Image source: Author
It’s critical that you choose the best email marketing services and define and implement the email marketing best practices for your unique business goals. Take the time to study top email marketing examples and master the fundamentals, such as:
Perhaps the most important fundamental to understand is that email is not a set-it-and-forget-it marketing strategy. You must invest time and resources into optimizing your work regardless of whether you’re launching full marketing email campaigns or just one-off promotion emails.
We’ve put together seven essential email marketing management best practices you can implement to consistently boost performance across your organization. Expect some trial and error with these and all email marketing tips. Just be sure to fail fast, analyze, learn, and optimize on your next go.
Personalization comes in many different forms for email marketing. There’s low hanging fruit like addressing recipients by their names, which should most definitely not be taken for granted.
There are obvious personalization tactics like reminding customers about the items they may have left in a shopping cart on your website. And then there are the hard-hitting segmentation and persona-targeting personalization capabilities.
Personalization has become a leading consumer expectation. Image source: Author
All of your personalization efforts are predicated on your information collection capabilities. These must be in place before you launch any kind of personalization.
It’s critical that you are gathering as much information as possible about your site visitors. It’s this information that’s qualified and quantified into actionable analysis for individual personalizations.
Data capture is primarily driven by conversions, so be sure to design your site so that visitors constantly have an easy path to conversion. Be sure you’re properly recording and storing data as well as keeping it clean on the back end. You don’t want any duplications in your email lists.
And consider going with a solution that provides dynamic conversion fields. Rather than asking a site visitor to provide 20 critical pieces of information, dynamic conversions only show three to five fields.
Then when the lead goes to convert again, three to five different fields will be required. It provides a much improved user experience.
Here are a few email marketing tips to help you build and launch a revenue-driving personalization strategy.
In all the talk about automations, systems, segments, personas, etc, it’s easy to forget that these are actual individuals you’re communicating with. It is absolutely critical that you never forget this fact.
You must work to build a culture on your email marketing team that keeps this humanity top of mind and displays authentic empathy, compassion, and humor in email creation.
Personalization goes far in helping to humanize your messaging. Simply addressing someone by their name shows that you’ve at least invested some effort in learning more about them. But truly touching on your recipients’ humanity requires more than that.
You want your email creators to balance professionalism and brand voice with a conversational tone. Have your creators write the way they would talk to a lead in person. Make sure they’re not getting too cute with things, but simply writing as humans to other humans.
Don’t overthink treating your email recipients a certain way. Simply train your team to treat them as humans, how you’d want to be treated, as a human. Here are a couple of tips to help.
Performance metrics are the lifeblood of modern marketing. As marketers take on more and more responsibilities, they must have the ability to accurately articulate their work. This is especially true for email marketing, given all the metrics available for reporting on and tying to revenue.
Similar to personalization, this tactic is dependent on your email marketing system. If you’re looking to adopt a new system, you should be prioritizing analytics capabilities above almost everything else.
These metrics provide the necessary data to see what content, subject lines, jokes, etc. are working and optimize around them.
Key metrics you’ll want to have readily available include:
And of course, you need to be able to measure the ROI driven from your marketing efforts.
Email marketers must be able to prove value by showcasing campaign performance. Here are a couple of tips you can employ for your performance analysis.
Email automation capabilities are must-have tools for your marketing efforts. Automation capabilities such as an autoresponder for sign-ups are included in most all email marketing systems.
These capabilities have never been more accessible, affordable, and easy to use. They put hours back into your week and are worth every dollar.
Determine the automations you need and find a solution that excels at them. Image source: Author
These automation tools are actually critical for achieving email personalization efforts. For many systems, these automations take the shape of journey or experience builders. These journeys are essentially paths individual audience members can take based on their actions and behaviors.
For example, say you sign up for a newsletter about marketing. If you explicitly interact with email marketing content in the newsletter, you could be put into an email marketing path and receive more focused communications around email best practices.
Email automation tools are a must-have to enable you to provide these types of experiences.
Email automation must be a critical component of your overall strategy as well as your tool set. Here are two tips to ensure you’re maximizing value from your automations.
A central beauty of email marketing software is the ability to test everything. You should take advantage of that to build best practices for optimizing communications. And don’t worry, it may sound time-consuming but your email marketing solution should do most of the work for you.
Tests can include variations of email subject greetings, such as comparing open rates for subject lines with and without numbers. Or tests can be more complex and overarching, such as testing segmented content as we discussed above to see if it moves the needle on click-throughs.
The benefits of testing are the learnings. You can test thousands of variations on word usage, designs, etc. These results may be interesting, but if there are no learnings to be gleaned from the results, then is the test actually worth it?
Here are a few tips for setting up testing best practices so that you can get the best results for optimizing future email campaigns.
Email marketing serves you by driving recipients to take action. Your content must reflect this principle. It starts with creating subject lines that catch the eye and invite recipients to open the email and read more. There’s no secret sauce to share about writing engaging subject lines.
It’s a personal journey that your email marketing team must take. Draw from your brand voice and tone, test, and figure out what works best for your audience.
The actual content in your email should follow a similar process of optimization. You have to test to determine what engaging and compelling means to your readers.
For example, maybe your email needs to have a bulleted list to maximize click-through rates. Or maybe a particular segment of your audience needs an image above the fold in your email.
One thing that’s certain with creating compelling emails is that you have to give enough to engage and entice readers to click through and learn more, but you can’t give too much so that they feel satisfied from the email alone.
Here are a couple of tips for creating actionable email content that consistently engages your audience and boosts marketing performance.
Email marketing is a hugely important component of all marketing teams. And sometimes, given the volume and scope, the entire process can feel like finding a needle in a three-story high haystack.
Data shows that in 2019 alone there were 290 billion emails sent every day across the world. All this is to say, if you land a successful email campaign, take the time to celebrate.
Much like marketing in general, email marketing involves a mix of analytics, strategist, creatives, technologists, and more. So a successful campaign requires a harmonious combination of efforts from all these folks.
Whether it’s stickers, bringing in coffee, or accumulating points, celebrating a campaign is a great way to build morale across different marketing disciplines.
Here are a couple of tips for how to celebrate successful email marketing campaigns with your team.
Email marketing and its ridiculous ROI should be the workhorse of your overall marketing strategy. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy path to success, but it doesn’t have to be hard.
Get the right systems in place for your business, coach your team on the fundamentals, take creative risks to test new content ideas, and continuously learn and improve.
Justin Guinn is an SMB technology expert writing for The Ascent and The Motley Fool.
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