/ e-mail marketing

Email marketing strategy: a complete guide to getting started

Are you considering setting out on a new email marketing strategy? You should really wait until you finish reading the material we have prepared for you.

TheChecker’s Blog took some time to bring you a detailed guide to help you get started.

By the end of this article, you will learn:

  • What makes an email marketing strategy effective;
  • Why it is so important to have a reliable mailing list;
  • The benefits email marketing strategies can bring;
  • Tips on how to attract your audience;
  • Shortcuts you need to avoid.

First of all, we have to discuss what is an email marketing campaign and why it is so important if you want your brand to be successful.

What is considered an email marketing strategy?

Email marketing strategy is the name we give to the most traditional form of communication between a company and its customers and potential new customers.

As soon as the internet allowed people to create their own virtual address, email marketing campaigns were born. Even if we had no idea back then.

Well, let’s go back in time first. Twenty years ago, the internet, social media, online shopping, and apps were not as trendy as they are right now.

People used to have an email account in order to reach people who lived far - family or epals -, buy things that were not available close to them or just send and receive simple messages.

Nowadays, a lot of people even have more than one email account so they can separate them by purpose: professional or personal use, for example.

According to Radicati, over half of the world population use email nowadays. If we consider that every social media or app require an email account to get started, we know that this number is set to increase over the next years.

Also, in 2018, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will exceed 281 billion.

In a detailed research, Optinmonster confirmed that more people use emails over the most popular social media networks available. Check this information:

  • 91% of people check their emails daily;
  • 77% prefer emails as a channel for permission-based promotional messages;
  • 66% of the people involved in the study made a purchase as a result of marketing messages on emails.

If you want to do anything online, even if it means just ordering a pizza or listening to your favorite artist, you’ll probably need an email account.

And when you become aware that every single person who accesses the internet on a daily basis are possible clients, you understand that you need the perfect email marketing strategy.

When you are allowed to send emails to someone’s mailbox, this individual is opening up to the conversation. And, consequently, opening their minds to hear what you have to say.

Because of that, most companies rely on newsletters, blog updates and invitations to get their audience attention. We will see more about each of these strategies later.

Why having the perfect email marketing strategy is essential to success?

If we consider all the spam we have ever received in our mailbox, we might not feel very enthusiastic about sending emails ourselves. But we still should!

Emails have always been seen as commercial opportunities, and so companies also saw them as a cheap and fast way to get to their goal.

In the beginning, the number of unwanted messages was bigger. But now, we can unsubscribe or report in just a few seconds if we get upset or irritated with some content.

But how do you send emails to strangers and manage to make them comfortable with it? How do you keep them satisfied with your messages?

Having a one-to-one relationship with your aimed audience can lead to better results. It brings your clients closer to your product or service.

It is essential that your strategies relate to the person your service looks for – or the person who will look for your service. Later, you will learn how to identify this person.

Also, you cannot ignore SEO strategies. In combination with social media, they will attract traffic to your site.

This will make you get more readers and, consequently, increase your mailing list.

Still, we need to be careful not to be tempted to get a shortcut and use lists that are not ours.

Buying a mailing list is never a good idea and it will probably bring you the opposite outcome: you can get blacklisted.

You can read more about how to grow a trustworthy one in the article: Email lists: tactics to grow yours.

In the end of it all, email marketing seems to be just the right tool to improve your relationship with clients and provide them relevant content.

Here are some more reasons to invest in an email marketing strategy:

Low cost

To actually get started you need an internet domain, like thechecker.co, an email marketing tool and dedication to your strategy.

Email marketing tools help you customize your mailing list and measure results, that’s why it is so important to choose carefully the one you will use.

They can also offer you easier ways to design your emails and make them eye-pleasing campaigns.

There are free options available and, even if you choose a paid one, they will surely bring you proceeds.

Predictability

Algorithms usually determine whether a person will see your publication on social media. That happens because they filter what is relevant to the user and you have no way to control that.

One of the big pros of email marketing is that you can trust that 100% of your target audience is reached.

If you send 50 emails a day and you have no technical issues, 50 emails will be delivered.

Flexible approach

With emails, you can communicate with your customer in a fun and personal way. Plenty of successful campaigns use GIFs or images.

You can write in an informal and direct language and still get the client’s trust. Credibility is not related only to formal speeches, ok?

Other than that, you should make sure you say what you want to say in a clear and inviting way.

What do you have to do before getting started?

When you have set your mind on a goal, you have to consider these topics:

  • Define your persona;
  • Define the frequency of the emails;
  • Define the aim of each email.

You do not just come up with a plan or a strategy out of the blue and choose randomly these points.

They should be carefully thought about, considering marketing researches and insights you may gather from your experience in the industry.

For this, you can consider taking some time to investigate your own performance on previous strategies and compare them to what you have in mind for the future.

We will talk more specifically about each of these steps right now.

Defining your Persona

If you want to really engage your target audience, you have to think about who your persona is.

Your persona is a demographic representation of your target audience. Where they are from, what languages they speak, what they do in their free time etc. These are some questions that help you define them.

What is your persona interested in? What do they want to know more about? If you ignore this inquiry, you will probably lose track of who you are talking to and who you want to talk to at some point.

The intention is that both people are the same person.

Defining the email frequency

Before you consider how many times a week or a month you are going to send an email to your customers, you must have in mind what you want to talk about.

Having this, things will be clearer and easier for you to plan your schedule. Let’s say I need to talk about technology with my persona.

I want to discuss this year’s trends, what the future holds, how technology has become such an important part of our lives… I could on and on about it!

Thing is, I need to focus on what I want my customer to hear from me and what I know they are interested in. If I talk about random things just to keep a schedule it would likely backfire.

Make sure your emails make sense to not only your client’s interests, but most importantly, they must be connected to your brand!

That is the key ingredient to having a successful email marketing strategy because only if you do so, your business is going to be seen as an authority for that matter.

Defining the aim of the email

The main purpose of mailing lists is to create a relationship between a company or service and their customer.

Yes, a customer. Singular. It’s very important that you keep your emails in a personalized way so that the reader feels they are important.

The main point is that your aimed audience feels like you are reaching out for them and them only.

Most tools offer the possibility of adding the name of the person who the email is sent to.

That may seem simple or stupid, but it actually helps the engaging process between you and the recipient.

Also, the whole point of sending emails is to engage your customers in a way that they understand that your service or product is necessary and do your CTA.

CTA, which stands for call-to-action, is a suggestion you give to your reader on what to do next. If you guide them, they will feel closer and you will begin to earn their trust.

When you teach them how to do something or even offer a solution to a problem, they start seeing you as an authoritative source of knowledge.

After you gain your client’s trust like that, it is very likely that they will become loyal to your content and services.

With that being said, we can talk about the different approaches you can try with your audience.

Newsletters

You can send your mailing subscribers a newsletter to help them get informed about what they might have missed from you recently.

E-commerces and blogs usually rely on that to bring summarized information about their products and services.

Sales, promotions, invitations, e-books… The list of possibilities is infinite! You should explore whatever alternatives you might think are possible for your situation.

Diversifying your plans is a good way not to overwhelm your subscriber or make them bored.

Keeping your public captivated is your goal! Try to vary the technique you are going to use to make sure they are always surprised in a positive way.

Blog Updates

If you really like a website, you can always memorize its URL or make it a favorite in your browser, right? Actually, there is an easier way to always keep track of what you are interested.

Most websites offer the option to subscribe, which means that the person gets notified every time there is new content.

Also, there are tools and algorithms today that send the subscription alert only if the content is relevant to the reader.

That is another reason why you should always have in mind what is interesting both for you and your persona.

Think of everything you and your persona have in common and how to make these similarities feel like a conversation between friends.

What benefits can a well-planned email marketing strategy bring?

Although it is believed that email marketing campaigns aim just in making sales, that is not the main goal of the whole thing.

You see, when you educate your audience and get to engage with them, you increase the chances of getting them to make progress in their purchase journey.

Internet usage nowadays is not restricted to only one possibility. People use it for entertainment too, but mostly for communication.

Email marketing strategies can make your communication with your customer more pleasing and educational at the same time. Yes, that is possible.

Digital marketing strategies are likely to succeed due to our digital dependence, but that does not mean we use it just for leisure purposes. We want to learn useful information online.

How to think through your email marketing strategy: step by step

Let’s try to think of a timeline in which we consider all the steps for a successful email marketing strategy, in short, and long terms.

Coming up with a plan

Consider where you are, where you have been and where you want to be as a company.

Think of your achievements and your mistakes too. What have you learned from all of it?

What can be improved? Where should you start from? In how long will you check the outcome? How will you measure the results?

You might keep in mind that strategies will not be handed to you on a plate. You should spend some time discussing with your team and hearing from everyone.

What is your aimed audience for these emails? Are they already clients? How will you manage to get new ones and keep the ones you already have?

All these topics need to be considered for you to think about the result you want to have.

Otherwise, how will you measure if your campaign was effective or not?

Putting your plan in action

After you thought every detail of your objective through, it is time to create a list of possible topics and dates to get started.

It is not something you decide along the way. You must carefully reflect on what is the ideal frequency for your customers and the conclusion you expect to get.

An email lifespan is longer than any other form of marketing. Flyers are thrown away few minutes, tweets are outdated in just a few minutes too… But do not flood your customer with content.

Subscribers should get new content according to your planned demand to discuss their topics of interest.

Measuring progress and results

Email marketing strategies allow you to check their repercussion at any time. There are several tools available that will help you with this.

It is crucial that you do follow-up checks according to the frequency chosen to send emails.

This way you can track the topics your audience is most interested in and identify which adjustments are necessary.

Personalized emails and automation

There are loads of platforms that provide you with ways to personalize your email content, and by that, I don’t mean mentioning the recipient’s name.

In addition, automation tools will enable not only scheduling emails but delivering them according to the customer’s habits.

If a person checks their mailbox more than once a day, the tools will recognize a different behavior pattern than the person who reads emails every two days.

This way, these tools help you send useful information without flooding your audiences’ mailboxes and making sure you are remembered when it is necessary.

What is the difference between email marketing strategy and digital marketing strategy?

Every good digital marketing strategy should have a good email marketing strategy, but that does not mean that all of them do.

Digital marketing strategies usually comprehend creating blog contents, involving customers on social media and maybe attracting new ones via online ads.

But without email marketing, all three of these strategies might fail or be less effective, for they are not guaranteed to get to people’s eyes.

Well, as internet users are not expected to quit using emails anytime soon, the number of companies investing in email marketing campaigns is increasing.

Email marketing strategies merge all of these actions to make all of them more powerful.

As you could see, email marketing works effectively because it is a combination of every marketing technique you have heard of.

In addition to everything it has been said before, here is an extra reason why email marketing strategy is a good idea: sustainability!

Sending emails is not only a solution to your relationship with your audience. It helps to save the environment as well.

It is believed that people are more bothered and disturbed by flyers delivered in person than by spam mail.

How to make your mailing list reliable?

Now that you know all about the importance and the step-by-step of a good email marketing strategy, there is one crucial aspect to think about: your mailing list reliability.

Earlier in our conversation, we discussed briefly being blacklisted, remember?

Well, if you haven’t read our post on how to grow your mailing list yet, you can check it after you finish reading this one. Better late than never, right?

But right now we have to cover the possible difficulties involved in email marketing strategies.

First of all, it is mandatory that you never buy email addresses. We already talked about the importance of really engaging your audience.

If you randomly start sending emails to a person that never asked to receive your emails, they will probably be confused or may be offended.

You see, email inboxes are very private environments, even when they are professional. The people who know that address and send emails to it were given permission to do so.

When people feel violated like that, the whole strategy can backfire. You will not get the readers’ trust or build your brand an authority image.

Also, email marketing strategies are supposed to be used to bring you closer to a client that has already shown interest in what your brand offers.

Other than that, I have to let you know some more bad news: people migrate email accounts daily.

Because having an email account is so easy and affordable - most of the times people get it for free -, people tend to change their virtual addresses faster than expected.

That means that, even when you get a legit subscription, it may not be valid for long. For that reason, you need to have a reliable solution to avoid being blackmailed.

You can always use TheChecker to verify if the emails on your mailing list are still useful. If you want to have a trustworthy mailing list, click here.

Email marketing strategy: a complete guide to getting started
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