Are you ready for Email Marketing?
There are a lot of things that go in to planning an email strategy. Long before you choose your platform, build your list, or design your template you need to have a plan. Here are some general suggestions of things to have in mind before jumping in to email marketing.
Do you have multiple brands?
Does your company have multiple brands? If you do, be sure that you have a way to tell which customers have had interactions with the different brands. You’ll need to separate these leads out into their own lists. You’ll also need to create independent email marketing road maps for each of your brands.
How many email leads do you have?
This is a number you need to know. If you don’t know how many leads are in your database, find out NOW. Many email service providers base your monthly cost on list size or sending volume. If you have an idea of how often you want to send, and how many customers you have the costs are much easier to estimate.
How old are your email leads?
If your leads are older than three years, expect many of your email addresses to no longer be valid. Also, be prepared to have your ESP preen your list. Many ESPs don’t consider it to be best practice to email leads that are older than three years if you haven’t maintained contact.
What is your budget for email marketing?
How much are you looking to spend on your campaigns? There are ESPs for every price point. But, keep in mind you get what you pay for. Some of those cheap, or free ESPs have low sending reputation. Low sending reputation means your email likely will never see the inbox.
Also plan to have a small budget for setup/integration. If you want to set up a connection between your lead database and your ESP there will likely be a fee to do so.
What are your current marketing metrics?
Before you start your email campaigns, get a solid idea of your current metrics for your customers. What’s the value of a current customer? What is your ROI on your other campaigns you’re running? This will give you baselines to easily compare whether or not your campaigns are making a positive impact on your bottom-line.
How do you measure success?
Do you consider a call, a click, reply or a conversion a success? To measure your success with your email marketing efforts you will need to know what metrics are important to you. I’ve had many clients measure success based on coupon code usage, some prefer phone calls. Take a good look at your business and decide what type of call to action is preferable and what metrics are important to you.
What are your short term and long term email marketing goals?
Before you create your short term and long term email marketing goals, take a look at what the industry benchmarks are for email marketing in your category. This won’t give you an idea of conversions, but you can get a good idea of what type of opens you can expect. For a typical ecommerce site, click through rates average between 3 and 5%.
Set up realistic short term goals first. Short term goals should be based around growing your list, and engaging your audience. If you’re testing the waters you’ll need to plan for two or three months of time to start to understand your audience. What sending times/days work best for your customers? Do they seem to respond well to your campaigns? Are they opening your emails or ignoring them?
I’d recommend that to begin with that your long term goals aren’t based on metrics. Have long term email marketing goals that relate to a sending strategy, and building your brand.
I hope you found these basic tips for starting your email marketing journey helpful.
Note: I do not recommend beginning email marketing anytime between November and the first week of January.
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