7 Things to consider before creating an email marketing strategy

by Jo Crellin |

As a digital marketing agency, social media is almost always the digital hero when our clients ask us for support and the humble email is often overlooked. This may be because many brands already have a customer acquisition strategy, a fantastic CRM tool or a pretty successful email newsletter. However, with a recent study by McKinsey showing that the buying process on email happens 3x faster than on social media, the role of a email marketing strategy has never more important and there’s always room for improvement.

So, if you want to revisit how email marketing is working for you, here are 7 things to consider if you want your next email campaign to deliver like Dominos.

1. Why are you sending the email?

It’s proven that email marketing is an easy way to tell your database important or interesting information, but before you roll out your next email marketing strategy take a second to consider why you’re sending the email in the first place. There are many different types of campaigns to choose from such as:

  • Are you trying to generate sales for an ecommerce site, in which case, a promotional email, cart abandonment or seasonal offer email may be the way to go.
  •  Perhaps you’re hosting a party and you want people to sign up with their email address.
  • Or maybe you’re trying to raise awareness of your brand in which case you may need a triggered email series or a seasonal campaign based on a date.

With so many options available, take your time to think about what you want the recipient to do and plan your campaign with this objective in mind.

2. Clean your email database

Sending an email is worthless without an up-to-date database. It’s like delivering a key-note speech to an empty room. If you’re trying to reach new audiences, you need to make sure you have a customer acquisition strategy where you get people to sign up, either as a separate form, at events or as part of the shopping process.

You also always need to make sure that your database has no duplicates, is clear of bounced email addresses and unsubscribes. Thankfully if you’re using an email service provider, their platform will take care of this for you.

Likewise you’ll need to ensure your database is GDPR compliant and a massive quick win is to ensure you have added your most recent data to your list just prior to sending. It’s surprising how many people forget to do this when they rely on manual methods.

3. Design for inbox deliverability

Often overlooked, but one of the most important factors when designing a custom template, is to ensure your designer knows the latest requirements for inbox deliverability. Whilst complicated designs may look pretty, they may not reach your contacts’ inboxes intact.

Poor design such as too many images, over complicated html or lack of responsiveness will all affect email rendering and could cause your email to land in the junk folder. So, it’s important to take the best advice when it comes to making your design inbox ready.

When designing your template it’s likely that you will need to make compromises but as long as you know what the most important email client or device is for you e.g. Outlook vs. Gmail, Mac vs Windows you can make sure that your email will get through to your customers.

Our top tip would be to keep your code simple. Where possible use grid-based layers and avoid html floats or positioning. You can also use a tool like Litmus to check your deliverability which tests your email template on 70+ email clients and devices.

4. CTA (Call to Action)

As with all marketing campaigns, consider what you want your customer to do once they open their email. Plan your hierarchy of information, make your CTA buttons clear and be obvious.

A well-crafted paragraph or cute image may be engaging but there should be no doubt in the receiver’s mind on what they should do next. Make sure you are clear on what this should be and make it obvious in your design.

5. Don’t forget the subject line

The subject line is your chance to capture attention within a busy inbox and this is where you really need to think about clickbait.

Options include creating urgency, using emojis, creating curiosity, demonstrating how to, cultivating FOMO or proving credibility….and once you’ve got a few options, you can try one of these free tools to see how you fare against spam filters.

6. Measuring and reporting

All email service providers offer an element of reporting and you should start here when defining your success measures. Industry-wide measures include open rate, click through rate and number of clicks. You should track these to see how each campaign leads to increases and decreases and set KPIs based on your industry’s averages.

Tracking unsubscribes, hard and soft bounces is also really important as this can help you to check your content is relevant to your audience. As with most digital marketing tools, if your recipients hit the ‘mark as spam’ button too much, your email will soon be relinquished straight to the junk folder.

7. Opt-out and GDPR

We know that GDPR may seem complicated, but as a digital marketing agency we know that it’s important to take the time to understand it.

So, we’ve put together this short overview to help you succeed when it comes to email marketing:

A fundamental part of GDPR is that email recipients need to explicitly allow you to market them. This means that they need to physically opt-in their consent, either by ticking a box or entering their email address and all marketers need to adhere to this concept.

It also states that recipients have the right to be forgotten and the right to reclaim their personal data. This means that you should make it easy for them to unsubscribe and also provide them with an easy way to ask you for their data should they request it.

That’s really all there is to it! But for more information read here.

That concludes my Listicle, which was a lot longer than I was planning to write, but like an Amazon Black Friday email….I hope it delivers! If you need help reviewing your email marketing strategy or wider digital marketing strategy get in touch today.