Behind every successful campaign is a strong strategy. Developing your strategy is a fundamental step that improves the chances of success. It introduces structure and coherence to your marketing efforts. Plus, it ensures your messages remain on target and in line with objectives. Today you’ll discover how to create a winning email marketing strategy.

A strategy answer’s essential questions, so the key to a winning one is knowing the right inquiries. Do that, and you’ll have a concrete document to propel your organization to email marketing success.

1. What Are the Objectives?

An objective or goal is what you hope to accomplish through email marketing or other promotional efforts. When you set goals, it keeps yourself and the team on track or undistracted. Good goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (aka SMART). Let’s take a look at each.

Being specific refers to the details concerning how you intend to reach your goals.
Measurable is about making sure you can gauge results with numbers or KPIs (key performance indicators).

Attainable refers to considerations for the available resources (budget, time, skills, etc.) to ensure the desired objective is achievable.

Realistic refers to whether the objective is within reach. Consider using research and historical data, including industry benchmarks, to see if you’re reasonable about set targets.

Time-bound is about giving yourself a timeframe or specific date to accomplish the goal.

For example, ‘contact 10,000 filmmakers between the first of January X and December X by scrapping email addresses from LinkedIn’ is a smart goal. It’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

2. Who’s Your Target Audience?

The process of identifying your objectives should’ve also helped you figure out the target audience. These people would make ideal customers because your product or service solves a problem. But you still need more information.

You see, knowing your target audience means intricately understanding the people that’ll buy from you. Go beyond the simple ‘my customer is X’ and identify the following demographic details.

  • Age
  • Location
  • Income level
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Marital status
  • Interests
  • Specific behaviors
  • And anything else that’s relevant

Uncovering those details will help you send the right messages, something most people would want to engage with or read. You can take things further by creating marketing personas. These are fictional representations of crucial segments of your target audience.

3. What Tools Do You Require?

No strategy succeeds without the right tools. You need email marketing software that can help create and send emails. The platform should feature analytics for tracking and measuring your marketing efforts beyond email activity.

For example, Benchmark makes it possible to track email open and click rates and website activity. Modern email marketing platforms typically come with many various tools and features.

4. How Will You Build Your Email List?

If you already have a contact list, these people can be imported using your email marketing software. If there’s no existing contact list, then you must build your list from scratch.

Specify your tactics for list building in your email marketing strategy. The way to build a list is by attracting the target audience with content and offers. Great content can build trust, making people more willing to provide an email address. Free offers, whether content-based or not, are also effective at generating subscribers.

Collectively, all offers and content meant to attract subscribers are known as lead magnets. You’ll need a means of sharing your offers and content to ensure discoverability. Again, your email marketing software plays a critical role here. For instance, Constant Contact provides web forms, popups, and hosted landing pages for sharing your offers or content.

Other tactics you may use to build your list include:

Directly ask people offline and online to join your email list – no offers necessary, give folks a compelling reason.

Place a permanent opt-in form in your header, footer, or side menu.

Use cold outreach software to push a compelling offer or content to the target audience. Send each person interested in receiving it to your lead magnet (preferably, use double opt-in). This tactic may work depending on the niche and providing you’re complying with the gov. regulations in your region.

5. How Will You Segment Your List to Improve Outcomes?

You want people to engage with your content, so it’s better to send relevant emails. But that becomes less likely when everyone is on the same list.

To get the most out of your contact list, split it into smaller groups based on interests and similarities. For example, you can place everyone that subscribes via your blog in one group or segment the list based on recipient age.

The extent to which your list can be segmented depends on how much data is collected concerning each recipient. You can’t do much with only a name and email address because the information doesn’t offer any demographic data.

Yet, consumers can be deterred from subscribing if you ask for too much information, so the important thing is finding a balance.

6. What Are the Send Times and Frequency?

Generally, people receive a lot of emails throughout the day. That means you won’t be the only one seeking to grab the recipient’s attention. The number of companies competing for consumer ‘eyeballs’ is staggering and can leave many feeling overwhelmed.

People should be able to read and engage with your emails without feeling overwhelmed. So consider how often and when you’d like to send. Several studies show that Tuesday is one of the best days to send messages because it has the highest open rates. The same data suggests that 10 AM is the best time to send.

While these studies provide useful suggestions, the most important thing is ensuring you’re sending messages per subscriber time zones. That’s made possible by some email marketing software, such as HubSpot. The platform’s Smart Send feature lets you deliver messages simultaneously across various time zones.

Strategy vs. Tactics

The terms ‘strategy’ and ‘tactic’ are often used interchangeably. However, these words mean different things.

Your strategy specifies all the tactics you’ll use to accomplish set goals. The strategy is essentially an all-embracing or comprehensive plan for your entire email marketing campaign. It typically includes objectives, methods, KPIs for measuring success, the ‘why’ behind campaign goals or actions, and other relevant information.

Tactics are the ‘ninjutsu,’ methods, or techniques that’ll be implemented to help achieve each goal. For example, a lawn mowing company has the objective of signing up 100 new customers by year-end. The company has chosen to use social media posting and bulk mail as some of the tactics required to reach the desired outcome.

It’s a Process

Email marketing is a process. There are many evolving aspects to it, and without a strategy, failure is more plausible. Every email marketing strategy should contain the objectives, details about the target audience, tools to be utilized, and plans for building the email list. It should also address plans for segmentation, send time, and frequency. Finally, make sure you’re using the right email marketing platform – something that not only helps you plan and execute campaigns but also keep track of everything. Good luck.