Email Promotion

Create an Email Marketing Plan

An "email marketing plan" might sound complicated, intimidating, and time- consuming to put together, but it's not as hard as you might think. In this section, we'll walk you through the most important steps, highlight real-life case studies,and give you everything you need to know to get started.

Before you start designing, writing, and sending campaigns, you should define your audience. Once you get a grasp on the people who will be reading your emails, it will be much easier to decide what to say to them. If you already have subscribers on your list, their signup method can be used to help identify them. For example, if they subscribed during the checkout process through your online store, they're customers. A collection of subscribers that found you through your website or at a public event (like fairs, trade shows, etc.), would be classified as more of a general audience. If you don't have subscribers yet, think about who is your target audience. How will you find these people, and what do you envision they'll want to read in your emails? Perhaps you're an author or a blogger. In that case, your subscribers are going to be interested in your written content. If you're a retailer, subscribers will want to know about your new products or how they can better use what they've already purchased from you. If you're somewhere in between,your audience is likely made up of enthusiasts of your work or your brand.

Types Of Marketing Emails

    Many business and organizations send email newsletters in order to stay top of mind for their recipients. In this section we will cover some general guidelines for using newsletters as the foundation of your email marketing program.

    Digests should be easier to consume than newsletters because they generally consist of lists and links that helps subscribers scan the email quickly and click on the parts that they are most interested in. The goals of a digest and a newsletter will most likely overlap remember to place the most important call-to-action at the top and measure click through rate and conversions. If your goal is to drive traffic to specific pages, monitor CTR closely and don’t forget to optimize the pages to which you are sending visitors.

    Dedicated emails, or also known as stand-alone emails, contain information about only one offer. For instance, you can be notifying your target audience about a new whitepaper you have released or invite them to attend an event that you are hosting.

    As an inbound marketing tactic, lead nurturing is all about understanding the nuances of your leads’ timing and needs. By getting these details right, you set yourself up for success. Lead nurturing introduces a tightly connected series of emails with a coherent purpose and full of useful content. In this context, lead nurturing offers more advantages than just an individual email blast.

    All the types of marketing email we have discussed so far assume that you are sending communications to your own email database. If you want to reach a different audience and gain new leads, you might want to try out sponsorship emails. You pay for including your copy in another vendor’s newsletter or dedicated send. Research shows that US firms alone spent $1.51 billion on email marketing in 2011.

    Advantages of Email Marketing

  • It’s Simple - It’s easy and simple. Anyone can do it anytime. This method allows you to use the mailing list which gives you the ability to distribute information to a wide range of specific, potential clients.
  • Low Cost - It allows you to eliminate the cost for design, testing, executing, and sending printed newsletters. Also, many people like using email marketing because it supports the green initiative and is paperless.
  • It’s Easy to Track - A user can track user via analytics, bounce messages, un-subscribers, click-throughs, etc. These can be used to measure open rates, positive or negative responses, and correlates sales with marketing.
  • Opt in or Unsubscribe Options - Email contains opt in or opt out options this helps you short list your prospects. People that want to hear your message will happily give you their email address. When they are tired of your message, they can unsubscribe at their discretion.
  • Fast Response - Direct mail is slow. It can take anywhere from 7 to 10 days to get a response. Email Marketing however has a response in anywhere between 1 and 3 days, or instantaneous when you’re looking at online sales. It can reach a substantial amount of email subscribers in a short amount of time who have consented to receive emails that interest them.
  • It has a Global Reach - No matter where you are or when you need to reach people, targeted emails can reach their targets. There are no boundaries with email marketing. Advertisers are able to get repeat business affordable and automatically.
  • Highly Personal - Email allows you to personalize, greet, and target every person personally. By using email marketing segmentation, you can send messages to smaller groups within your larger list to improve results.

Disadvantages of Email Marketing

  • Spam People's inbox get inundated with email, both solicited and unsolicited. To cut down on the amount of unwanted emails, many servers have filters in place to lessen the number of spam emails a person receives. ("Spam" is a common term for bulk distributed emails.) People can further adjust their email filters to their own tastes. Your email marketing could well land in a spam folder and never get viewed. In some cases, you could find yourself or your business in serious legal trouble. The CAN-SPAM Act sets forth strict guidelines that companies must meet in order to use email marketing. Violations of the act can cost up to $16,000, and numerous people may be charged. Even when you take pains to ensure your email marketing confirms to the rules, you may still be accused and have to prove your campaigns are legitimate.
  • Engagement Email marketing requires constant tweaking to keep your subscribers engaged. A person will often sign up to receive email solely as part of a promotion. For example, if a user provides his email address, he may receive a discount on a product. A user might also unintentionally sign up, such as if subscribing was the default choice on a web page. In such cases, your email marketing may be perceived as a nuisance. Even in the case that someone deliberately signed up to receive your marketing emails, like an industry newsletter, you still must work to maintain a level of engagement to keep your reader from unsubscribing.
  • Appearance You may have worked to create your email marketing to look exactly the way you envisioned. Unfortunately, due to the varying servers and computer settings, your design may not come through the way you hoped, which can diminish the impact of your message. Text may be moved from one line to the next on a person's screen. The email setting on another person's computer may only allow text, blocking images from coming through. If the main focus of your marketing was a logo, it could be lost. If you want to avoid a misconstrued or possibly messy appearance, you'll need to make sure the code used translates to the most basic processing systems. This may entail consulting with a technical specialist or marketing firm.

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