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Developing Your Email Marketing Strategy

An effective email marketing campaign requires some serious thought, planning, and tweaking. Whether you’re just beginning or already have a campaign underway, take some time to look ahead and develop an email marketing plan to keep you focused and on track to meet your goals. Below are 5 things to consider when developing a strategy.

Goals. Are your goals new customer acquisition, customer retention, or producing repeat sales? Is your intention to provide helpful information to your customers, or are you trying to prompt a particular response? If your answer is all of the above, you should have separate plans to help you reach each goal, simply because your audience and your message will be different for each one.

Audience. Define who are your most important customers or clients. What motivates them and what do they want or expect from your business? Who are your most important prospects, and why? What is important to them? Make sure you know and understand each audience.

Message. What are you trying to say to your audience and how do you want them to perceive you? Defining your message will help you determine what type of campaign will be most effective, such as e-newsletters, holiday or seasonal promotions, preferred customer coupons, new product or service announcements, press releases, general business communications and more.

Define success. How will you know that your campaign is successful? Perhaps it’s a specific number of sales or leads, or maybe an increase in visits to your retail store, phone calls to your office, or new subscribers to your newsletter. Define the percentage increase you would like to achieve within a certain time period.

Resources. Evaluate your resources to determine who will be managing the campaign and developing content. Will you be able to give your campaign a unique design that’s customized to your audience’s tastes? You may need to hire a graphic designer or someone to develop content for your campaign. Hiring professional email marketers who are current on trends and tools can save you time and give your campaign a competitive edge.

Develop a strategy and stick to it for a few months. If you find that it’s not achieving your desired results, perhaps your plan needs a little tweaking. Examine the results of the emails you’ve delivered so far to see whether you notice a pattern or trend. What you learn about the interests of your audience may alter your strategy.

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