"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Monday, April 30, 2018

How to Plan a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Email might not be the most exciting topic in the grand scheme of digital marketing, but there is one thing that helps it maintain its spot at the top of the marketing world: it offers solid results without a huge investment. Just last year, analysis from DMA showed that the average email campaign could expect a $30 return for every dollar spent.
While the numbers are impressive, you can’t expect to achieve these big returns without planning for success. Here are a few tips to help companies that want to maximize their gains from email marketing.

Define Your Goals

So many businesses start email campaigns without knowing what they want to achieve. It’s not enough to know that you want to make contact with customers or that you are trying to alert people to a new product or service. You have to envision what you want the recipient to do when they receive the email.
Are you trying to get them to buy a new product? Is your goal to upsell? Do you want to get more people to download your app? When you know what you want the recipient to do, it is much easier to craft email content that will move them in the right direction.

Track Your Progress

Beyond having a goal for each and every campaign, you should also establish a means to track your success towards reaching that milestone. Along with that, you should record a number of different metrics to make it easier to see where you are succeeding and where you are coming up short.
Track your open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates and even the number of emails that are actually making it to customers’ inboxes. A simple tool for verifying email addresses can make sure you send out emails that actually make it to the consumer, and thereby avoid negatively skewing your metrics.

Write Good Subject Lines

Subject lines are a critical part of achieving a good open rate. In a survey from CMB, 47% of consumers said that the subject line was an important factor in the decision to open emails from businesses and nonprofits.
Writing compelling subject lines is important, but you want to be sure they ring true. If a customer opens your email only to feel like the subject line was not an honest representation of what to expect, they are unlikely to read on or further engage.

Optimize the First Lines of Text

When your email pops up in a customer’s inbox, they see more than just the subject line; they can also see a few words of text. This offers an additional opportunity to attract readers to your email, and it could almost be used like a second subject line. Try to optimize the first sentence in a way that increases readers’ incentive to click on your email.

Mobile Friendly Email Design

If you are not already optimizing your emails for mobile, you need to start. In a 2017 report, Litmus found that 54% of all emails were opened on mobile devices. If your emails are not designed to adapt to devices like smartphones and tablets, you are not making the best impression on this segment of your email list.
This isn’t too difficult to change, luckily. It just means using templates that are designed to look good on mobile screens, making sure the content is easy to read and interact with on mobile. Go even further by developing content that is easy to consume on a mobile device.

Edit Your Content

You want to develop email content that is short and to the point. If your email content is too long, there is a good chance that most recipients will click out before the end.
Once you have an initial draft of your content, go back and edit it down to remove any unnecessary text. You may even want to have a friend or colleague read through it as well. It is usually easier for a second person to identify additional ways that you could improve your email content.

Why Email Marketing is Invaluable

Email marketing is essential for online brands looking to grow awareness and increase sales. The tool can be used throughout all stages of the sales funnel, keeping customers familiar with your brand and building a more personal connection.
It’s important to customize email content for each client. Something as simple as addressing them by name in the subject line can boost open rates by as much as 50%. This tactic can be used in multiple stages of the consumer life cycle, from welcome emails to thank you pages. It can also be leveraged when sending out abandoned cart emails.
Imagine that a customer visits your page and adds multiple items to their shopping cart, then leaves without completing the purchase. Without using email, your company can only hope that the customer will return. With an abandoned cart email strategy, however, you can gently remind the consumer of the products they abandoned.

Timing Your Emails for Ecommerce

You should send the first email within an hour of a customer leaving your site, and if necessary, send the second as a way to create a sense of urgency. The initial reminder shouldn’t come across as pushy, which could alienate the potential buyer. It should simply remind them of what they left behind, and give them a direct option to return to their cart.
The second should be sent 24 hours after the first email and make customers eager to purchase your product. Include information about discounts which will run out soon, or products that are low in stock to build on the sense of importance.

By following these simple email best practices, your online brand can rise to the top. Email marketing is a cost-effective, highly persuasive method of obtaining and retaining customers. Through building connections and addressing them personally, consumers will be more likely to remain loyal to your brand, increasing your ROI and conversion rate.

This is a guest post by Camille Moore, an email marketing specialist.

Image credit: Pixabay.com


  1. excellent advice from Camille. Thanks, Jen for providing great content on your site.

  2. It's a pleasure to serve readers like you. Thanks so much, Linda.

  3. Hi, Jen. Boy, that subject line is important, heh? If you don't catch their eye, they won't buy. That's been true forever. Very helpful post!

  4. Thanks, Sue. Glad you found it useful. Have a great week.

  5. So much of success involves planning and research. I use to be the one who dived into things without a plan or a thought. If we can put on the brakes and get organized we have a shot of succeeding.

    Good stuff as always. Thanks!!!

    1. Bryan,
      How true. Planning and research are crucial. Thanks so much for adding to the mix here.

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thank you once again.

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    the greatest blogs on the web. I'm going to recommend this website!

  8. I have been your silent reader for long.. Now I think you have to know how much your articles have inspired me to do better. This is very insightful and informative. Thank you for sharing. I would love to see more updates from you.

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  9. Some great information.

    Subject lines are so important, usually if it's in regards to some type of question you will have an increase in response rates. Generally around 6 words long is also what to aim for.