Here are some important considerations when designing your Email Marketing Strategy:
1. Know Your Customer. Different characteristics of your service or product can appeal to different customer segments. When designing an email strategy the first step is to find out what appeals to which audience so you can differentiate your message accordingly.
2. Single-View Email List. Are all customer email addresses and relevant data from all sources channeled into a single email database? A single-view customer database has obvious benefits:
- Allows you to establish a single and easy to manage opt-in email list.
- Allows you to address all of your customer segments.
- Perform ongoing and frequent updates to the email database.
- Use an appending service to obtain the email addresses of customers for whom you only have a physical address.
- Identify your most valuable customers with best lifetime value perspective (80:20 principle).
- Launch email campaigns addressing different customer segments by adjusting a "master template".
3. Testing Your Email Campaign. To measure the validity of the campaign before a full launch, conduct your very own focus group. Take a sampling of customers from your database and test the message on variables such as subject lines, offer, lay-out, etc. Narrow your choice to three different versions of the message and use the click-to-view and click-through rates to determine which message drew the greatest response.
4. Setting Goals. Email marketing can be used successfully as a direct response vehicle (short-term, results-oriented) or as a branding tool (long-term and strategic goals). You can measure the success of an email campaign in different ways: open or view rates, click through rates, the number of pages viewed, the duration of the site visit, the number of contact forms submitted, the number of phone calls received, revenues, and the long term sustainability of the campaign.
5. Call to Action. A marketing promotion is a call to action. You create the offer for the customer to react soon if not immediately. The influence of an email decays based on the rate of new email arrivals. After 72 hours studies have shown the email becomes completely forgotten. You have to contend with a reader's short attention span and the loss of priority as the email box gets filled up. Consider placing a time constraint on the offer. A real or artificial expiration date motivates the recipient to act. The timeliness of your appeal also turns a simple promotion from common to premium and ordinary into unique and special in the recipient's mind. It prompts them to act.
6. Personalization. Personalize all electronic communications with your customers. Every email guru expounds on the importance of personalization: if you have the information, use it -- eg. a first name, a company name, what products they buy from you, when you last saw them.
7. Landing Page. A landing page is a web page that was linkable from an email message. The message and landing page must be synergistic. By matching each offer in the email message to a relevant link for more information, you have streamlined the reading process for the recipient. The user can now go directly to the site for more information specific about the offer in the email and complete the transaction.