Building on my previous blog entry, let's take a look at what the steps in your email marketing programme mean in a little more detail.
A consistent & long-term strategy is essential for successful email marketing. After all, if there is no overall plan as to the WHY & WHAT, then you can't really manage it effectively. Therefore your strategy should be in line with the company's overall goals, taking into account its application in your industry & competitive context. By way of example, an email marketing strategy focusing on customer acquisition would be different in a fast-growing industry compared to a mature industry.
You should also operate a process of continuous improvement - e.g. an analysis of past campaigns, adjusting campaigns to changing circumstances, etc. - should also underpin your email marketing strategy.
Successful email messages are relevant to the user, well-timed to coincide with the customer-experience life-cycle and personalised to build a direct relationship & long-term loyalty. Segmenting your list will ensure that the right message gets to the right recipient at the right time.
Layout and Content
Best practice shows that the performance of emails mainly depends on the layout & content. Ideally, these are tailored to specific customer segments & consistent with the broader programme (long-term customer engagement). Your content & layout should evolve & change as the customer's engagement with your company evolves & changes.
List Growth and List Management
Investment in the right methods of list growth should grow the ROI of your email program. Similarly, regular & detailed analysis of lists allows you to focus on those customers ROI potential, while removing those that add cost to the programme. Don't be afraid to remove the non-responders from your list - this is particularly relevant in times of compliance with data protection regulations.
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 (e.g. drip marketing within Sage CRM). Campaigns will be enabled with triggers (typically based on time or data-changes) that will activate different email marketing elements for different customers.
In order to grow your ROI, you need to analyse & test regularly - your analysis will allow you to adapt your program in line with your company's overall strategy.
As you can see, designing programs requires investments in time & thinking but, once the building blocks are put in place, you will begin to see the real value in email marketing.