Hi there!

Further to last week's blog on the forth-coming whitepapers on email marketing, over the next number of weeks I'd like to share with you some of the content and ideas from each paper. This will be in the more digestible blog format! Follow me on @Sage_CRM_DavidR to be notified on each installment, and naturally I welcome your comments and feedback!

To begin, let's take a look at what the steps in your email marketing programme mean in a little more detail.

i.            Strategy:

A consistent and long-term strategy is the prerequisite for successful email marketing. After all, if there is no overall plan as to why you're doing it and what you want to achieve, then you can't really manage it effectively. Therefore your strategy should be in line with the company's overall goals, and take into account its application in different industry and competitive contexts. For example, an email marketing strategy focusing on customer acquisition would be different in a fast-growing industry compared to a mature industry. Similarly, a process of continuous improvement, including analysis of past campaigns and the flexibility to adjust your campaigns to changing circumstances, should also underpin your email marketing strategy.

ii.            Segmentation:

Successful email messages are relevant to the user, well-timed to coincide with the customer-experience life-cycle, and personalised so as to build a direct relationship and long-term loyalty. Segmenting your list will ensure that the right message gets to the right recipient at the right time.

iii.            Layout and Content:

Best practice shows that the performance of emails mainly depends on the layout and the content. Ideally, layout and content are tailored to specific customer segments, and are consistent with the broader programme around long-term customer engagement. Your content and layout will evolve and change as the customer's engagement with your company evolves and changes.

iv.            List Growth and List Management:

A smart investment in the right methods of list growth will continually grow the ROI of your Email programmes. Similarly, regular and detailed analysis of lists will help focus your resources on those customers with the potential to deliver ROI, while removing those that add cost to the programme. Don't be afraid to remove the "deadwood" from your list!

v.            Automation and Efficiency:

As your email marketing programme grows, your list will grow. Therefore it will become necessary at some point to consider automated, intelligent email programmes (like drip marketing in Sage E-marketing for Sage CRM). Campaigns will be enabled with triggers that will activate different email marketing elements depending on customer choice.

vi.            Analysis:

In order to grow the ROI of Email programmes, these need to be analysed and tested on a continuous basis. Your analysis will allow you to adapt and change your programme in line with your company's overall strategy.

As you can see, designing a programme requires a bit of thought - but once the building blocks are put in place, you will begin to see the real value in email marketing.

Good luck!