Email Strategy & Goals
Planning your strategy and goals before diving straight into a full-fledged email campaign is always a wise approach. You need a clear vision of the exact purpose behind your email communications. Are you announcing an update, sharing powerful content or selling something juicy? Then, you need to understand your campaign goals. The following is a list of some typical strategic approaches to email marketing:
- Welcome Series Email: Often used when a customer first interacts with a brand e.g. purchase online, submits an online form or subscribes to a newsletter for the first time. These are usually considered critical email pieces. This is your first chance to introduce yourself, tell the brand story, encourage customers to engage with your social properties, explain how you will be communicating in the future and also to give the customer an opportunity to set their email preferences.
You don’t need to convey all this information in on email. Often this process is built into an automated sequence. The best practice for timing and messaging can vary pending industry, so thought needs to be put in as to how you think your customers should be receiving these messages.
- Nurture Based Email: When customers first engage with your brand, more often than not they are not ready to buy from you. This is particularly true in the B2B space. Many B2B companies have sales cycles that last 12 months or longer. This is where it becomes super handy to have a powerful lead nurturing email campaign.
Lead nurturing emails are all about guiding your customers to purchase. Ultimately, they are designed to build relationships with prospects whilst establishing your company as a trustworthy and authoritative provider. Importantly, they take the onus off sales to keep leads warm over long periods of time.
Using clever strategies to automate, segment and personalise your nurture sequences can ensure high-quality email communications are being received by your prospects.
- Transactional Email: Transactional emails are frequently the forgotten children of email marketing but are often the communication pieces that customers really want or value. So, you need to make sure both messaging and timing are impeccable. That way, it packs more punch.
- What are Transactional Emails? Well, there’s a huge variety of them, check them out;
- Billing and Invoicing
- Account Creations
- Refunds and Renewals
- Receipt of Form Submission Email
- Alerts & Notifications
- Account Safety Notices
- Membership Updates
- Abandon Cart and Cross Sell Emails
- Product Returns
A well thought out plan of how your customers will receive these emails will ensure they have the key pieces of information they need to stay connected with your brand. It will also help them keep administrative business processes running smoothly. Some companies leave these tasks to individual pieces of software to automate, while smarter business have a more structured and holistic approach to transactional emails. They give a greater overall customer experience.
People use this format as a cover-all basis email, where they believe their customers will receive everything they want to stay up to date in one neat monthly package. This is rarely the case – just think how many newsletters you have unsubscribed from over the years!
So how do leading companies create engaging newsletters? First, there needs to be a good analysis if a newsletter is even required – does it tie in with overarching marketing goals, what action are you looking customers to take? If there is a business case there, you can then begin to think about the format it should take.
Having succinct messaging is usually considered to be best practice. It’s not ideal to have PR releases, mixed in with product updates, staff events and whatever else is going on that month. Having specificity to a mailer is always going to be more effective. As a rule of thumb, shaping specific content to a 90% educational information and 10% sales mix is a sound approach to ensuring relevance.
Great subject lines, singular calls to action and clarity around subscriptions and communication cadence at the sign-up stage will all help in delivering a high-impact business newsletter.
The above points are only a handful of possible strategic approaches companies can take for their EDM campaigns and of course, some of these tactics can be run in conjunction too. The important takeaway is to ensure a clearly defined email strategy is in play before comms hit the market.
- Newsletter Email: The classic business Newsletter! Often this is the first starting point for companies venturing into email comms. However, it is probably one of the hardest types of email to get right.