Email marketing is all about using the speed and convenience of email to communicate, updates, tips, important messages and promotions to recipients that have opted to receive your messages.
The different stages in an email marketing campaign depend on how you choose to do email marketing. The suggested model is to define the campaign, test it, measure it and then report on it.
Define the campaign
Before you even think about sending out an email you need to think about what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to generate more leads, grow your subscriber base or target a new audience?
You can define your campaign by thinking about what you are trying to achieve and whether you can set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on that. KPIs are benchmarks that let you measure whether you are achieving your strategic objectives. Like your corporate objectives, they should be SMART and should be applied consistently throughout your business.
So how will this email marketing campaign meet your corporate objectives? If your business objective is to grow your market, then your email campaign would need to target new customers.
Segment your audience
It is important to define target markets in order to achieve your marketing strategy because different audiences have different needs. To reach the right audience email marketers need an effective, targeted marketing strategy. This can be achieved by segmenting your audience. If you don’t have your target market in your email database, you will need curate a new list.
Once you’ve defined your target audience you will need to create engaging content to appeal to that audience, this includes a catchy email header and eye-catching images. As more email clients support interactive animation, it’s a good idea to build an interactive element into your email.
You don’t have to do anything too elaborate. If you are running a time-limited campaign, you could embed a countdown timer into your email. As animated gifs are so popular on social media, you may be missing a trick if you don’t make use of these in your campaign.
Testing your emails is just as important as creating the content. How will you know if your animated gif works in popular email clients if you don’t test it? Keep in mind that 40% of emails are opened on a mobile device so it’s important that your email has a responsive design.
Your email should have a link giving your potential customer the opportunity to read the email in a browser so you need to make sure you also test all the popular browsers.
As part of your testing, you may want to carry out some AB testing to see which email campaign will achieve your desired results. With AB testing only one thing should be changed in your email, it could be the subject line, call to action, font colour or image. By doing this it is easy to know what version of your email is preferred based on that one thing whether image, subject line or call to action.
As with all marketing campaigns, you need to be able to track your efforts. Email marketing is no different. Tracking how and if customers engage with your content is important as it helps you to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
Some of the best email marketing software comes with tracking built-in. You need to be able to measure:
Open rate – This is the number of emails opened. You measure this by dividing the number of opened emails by the total number sent out (x100 for a percentage). It’s a good indicator of how well your subject line is performing but just because a lot of recipients opened an email doesn’t necessarily mean the campaign was successful.
Click-through rate – This is measure by the number of clicks divided by the total emails sent, x100 for a percentage. The click-through rate measures how many people have clicked a link on the email. This is an important measurement if you have included a call to action in your campaign.
Conversion rate – This rate is calculated on the number of conversions divided by total emails sent, x100 for a percentage. The conversion rate will always be the lowest of the three main measures because it requires the user to take the action you intend.
Bounce rate – There are two types of bounce rate, hard bounce and soft bounce. A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure which could be the result of an incorrect or fake email address. This is a good indicator of the quality of your mailing list. From the bounce rate, you can gauge how many of the email addresses in your database are fake and should be removed.
A soft bounce is a temporary delivery failure and can occur for a variety of reasons. It could be that the receiving server has identified an email as too large or the recipient’s mailbox may be full. Once the recipient has deleted a few emails, yours should get through.
Choose the best time to send
To improve your open, click-through and conversion rates you should think about the best time to send your emails. According to various studies, Monday to Thursday are good times with Tuesday morning being the most optimal time.