How To Build An Email Marketing Strategy – The Basics

Oct 7, 2022 | Email Marketing, Strategy

When looking for ways to market your business, email marketing can be a cost effective way to connect with your current or future customers. While cost effective, many companies are sending emails and hoping for opens and clicks. Though that tactic may see some engagement, building out an email marketing strategy will give you a plan to stick to and offer guidance as you navigate through the year. Here are a few points to remember as you build out your email strategy.

Growing Your Email Marketing List

Having a subscribe button on your website is oftentimes not enough when trying to grow your email list. You can generate more opt-ins by promoting your email program on your social media channels. Beyond a simple post, you can create authentic or unique gated content to be housed on your website and use sponsored posts to lookalike audiences to promote it. To gate your content, you’ll want to add a form that requires the downloader’s contact information, likely first name and email address, before they can download. Be sure to add a disclaimer to the form informing the downloader that by downloading, they are agreeing to receive email communications from your business. (More tips on growing your email list below.)

Segmenting Your Email Audiences

Not all emails are meant for your full audience. Segment your contacts  into groups that make sense for your business and deploy emails tailored to their interests and/or needs. The more personalized you can make your email communications, the better.

Email Marketing Automation

Get your audience the right message at the right time. By setting up email automations, you can scale your emails without having to manually compile lists and deploy. For example, if someone opts in for email communications on your website, you can set up an email automation to trigger a “Welcome!” email to be sent to the new subscriber in real-time. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Ideas for other email automations include:

  • Customer Retention – “Hey, we miss you”
  • Cart Abandonment – “Did you forget this in your cart?”
  • Post Purchase/Onboarding – “Thank you for your purchase. How do you like your new …”

A/B Testing Email Creative

If you’re not receiving engagement, clicks or opens, like you think you should, try A/B testing. You can A/B test content to different segments, images, call-to-action buttons, subject lines, email layouts and more. Apply your learnings to future sends and optimize your email campaigns.

Email Personalization

Ninety percent of consumers find personalized content very or somewhat appealing. At the very least you should be inputting first name personalization into your email marketing communications. Depending on your business, personalized product offers or recommendations is also a good place to start. The data you have on your customers and ability to segment your list will offer numerous options when it comes to personalization.

Email Subject Line Best Practices

As a best practice, your subject line should be related to the content of your email. Usually subject lines are successful when they:

  • Are short and to the point – New product drops today!
  • Instill urgency – Limited time only: free shipping
  • Induce FOMO (fear of missing out) – Last chance! Free shipping ends tonight
  • Evoke curiosity – You need these new shoes…
  • Include an emoji – Free shipping ends tonight 📦

How To Measure Email Marketing Results

When measuring results of your email campaign, you’ll want to look at open rates, click rates, click-to-open rates, unsubscribe rates and bounce rates.

Open Rates: High open rates indicate your audience is receptive to your email communications and interested in hearing from your brand. It’s important to note that after the release of iOS 15 open rates are often inflated due to Apple Mail Privacy Protection. You can learn more about that here.

Click and Click-to-Open Rates: High click rates are a good indication that your content is relevant to your audience. Click-to-Open rates are also good to look at as this metric is calculated using your number of clicks vs. the amount of your audience that actually opened your email.

Unsubscribe Rate: High unsubscribe rates show your emails may not be relevant to your audience, you may be over-sending and causing audience fatigue, or they’re not interested in receiving your emails.

Bounce Rate: High bounce rates are a sign your email list may not be healthy and can negatively impact your sender score. You should monitor your bounce rate and remove any contacts that hard or block bounce from future email sends.

More Ideas for Growing Your Email List

The first step in getting new opt-ins is providing something of value to your subscribers and simply asking them to signup. Define what your email program will entail (i.e., product releases, savings, webinars, etc.), and look for ways to highlight your program in any marketing you’re already doing. If you’re not garnering many subscribers at first, don’t be discouraged. A small but engaged email list will likely do more for your business than a large unengaged list.

There are many ways to grow your email list, but let’s break down two primary methods for growing your list: online and in-person. Online tactics offer a more “passive” way to bring in more contacts to your list. In-person, specifically for businesses that sell goods or services from an actual brick and mortar location, offers yet another great moment for capturing contact info. Here’s a short list of methods to consider to grow your list.

  • Social Media: You can generate more opt-ins by promoting your email program on your social media channels. Beyond an organic post, create a sponsored post and target lookalike audiences to promote both your business and email program, and engage with a new audience.
  • Your Website: Ensure there’s a prominent call-to-action to sign up for your email program on your website. While the footer may seem like a great place to house such a link, it can often get lost if your landing page is too long. If you’re really looking to push opt-ins, consider adding a pop-up (that isn’t annoying and doesn’t interfere with the user experience) to your homepage asking for an opt-in when a new visitor accesses your site.
  • Gated Content: Create authentic or unique gated content to be housed on your website and use your social media channels to promote it. Meaning, develop a piece of content (i.e., check list, infographic, pdf, etc.) that requires a name and email address to allow entry or download. Be sure to add a disclaimer stating that by entering their information they will be added to your email list.
  • Ecommerce: Add an option to sign up for email communications when a user creates an account or checks out may be a fruitful place to gain subscribers. Many online stores offer some kind of incentive for the signup.
  • At Check-Out (In-Store): If you have a retail location, consider asking for your customer’s email address at checkout. They have already shown interest in your products and your brand so it’s a great opportunity to ask for an opt-in.

Next Steps

Creating an email marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by determining your goals, what you’d like to focus on this year and take it one campaign at a time. If you need help with your email marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us today!