A golden oldie, but still one of the most effective components of your digital strategy, email campaigns still outperform many more modern channels. With expert leverage, an effective email marketing strategy is a great tool for selling products and services. Unlike social media followers, email marketing lists are assets that are easy to control and monitor.

Here are some of the main advantages of an email marketing strategy:

  • Easy planning: it’s simple to schedule message releases to specific market segments whenever required, with instant tracking of recipient reactions;
  • Cost-effective: easy to share and with an extensive reach, email messages are still the best way of generating leads online;
  • Generous returns on investments: top-ranked among digital channels, every dollar invested in email marketing has an amazing ROI of $42.
  • Email marketing journey relationships: through one-on-one communications, companies can develop long-term connections that turn prospects into customers.

Here’s what marketers need to know about leveraging email into a crucial factor in any marketing strategy, in just a few easy steps:

Outline Your Email Marketing Strategy

There’s some amazing email management software out there, but – without knowing if a specific app really responds to your needs – it makes little sense to invest in state-of-the-art technology. So before picking an email platform, it’s important to define target audiences and set specific (but achievable) goals within reasonable timeframes. Then decide what kind of brand-enhancing campaigns will showcase your products, allocating budget funding by priority.

Defining a robust email marketing strategy (with milestones) and establishing key metrics is a sensible way of avoiding expensive mistakes when making decisions. Once each of these steps has been approved, it’s time to pick the most suitable email management platform.

Creating Content That Drives Engagement

With a clear email marketing strategy in place, it’s time to focus on content and calls to action (CTAs). Both the subject line and body text of every marketing email are crucial elements for audience engagement. First, the subject line must entice recipients to open the message; then the body copy must induce them to engage even more through further actions.

Modern email marketing apps can track every time an email is opened, how long the recipient spends reading it, whether they scrolled through, and even identify hover points. In Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook, algorithms clock every click, which results in rankings that affect inbox positioning.

Don’t forget to factor in social media here, as content with plenty of likes, shares and retweets feeds usefully into an email marketing content strategy. And that works both ways: high-engagement email marketing content should be cross-fed into social media marketing plans.

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Welcome New Subscribers To Their Email Marketing Journeys

Offering newcomers a warm welcome is an easy way of firming up relationships, just like greeting people walking into a store. In your ‘thank you for signing up’ message, tell them what to expect, describe how your product or business can make their lives better, and spotlight a unique selling proposition that caters to their needs.

However, it’s important not to oversell your wares, so three or four marketing emails (all focused on aspects relevant to the recipient) are quite enough to firm up your position at this early stage. After all, you don’t want to wear out your welcome and get tagged as spam!

Explore Recipient Needs And Preferences

These welcome marketing emails open up great opportunities to learn more about new subscribers. This is where multiple-choice questions (Which of these products interests you the most?) provide priceless insights that should be fed into your email marketing database, for personalizing subsequent messages. This allows you to start segmenting your audience, building individual profiles for each marketing email subscriber.

As recipient information builds up, the welcome journey should be reviewed, checking subject lines and body copy against outcomes. Different subject lines should be tested, with variations in the preference questions as well.

The first marketing email should be sent (preferably automated) as soon as the subscriber is verified. This is also the perfect time for a double opt-in message, reconfirming that a new subscriber still wants to be added to your list. The next marketing email is generally sent a week later for B2B contacts, and perhaps a little sooner for individual consumers.

Prune Your Email Marketing List Regularly

It’s easy for email marketing databases to balloon with invalid and inactive accounts. This is why regular marketing mailing list hygiene is important, preferably at least once a year. Email marketing lists that are left to Grow unchecked are likely to include names that are no longer valid and might even be spam traps. This can harm your inbox reputation, causing deliverability issues when marketing messages don’t enter the inbox, or they might even be blocked completely by Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook.

An efficient way of keeping email marketing lists trim and up to date is to check when subscribers signed up, and see when they last engaged with a marketing message. If names have been on your list for two years or more but haven’t opened any marketing emails in the last twelve months, it’s time to take a good look at their validity.

Remember, most email service providers charge by list size or number of sends. So working with a clean email marketing list not only keeps your reputation impeccable with those mysterious algorithms, it can also save money!

Keep Pace With Email Marketing Trends

Evolving at a slower rate than social marketing, email marketing is nevertheless becoming more interactive through accelerated mobile pages technology. Similar to website AMP, this innovative approach allows recipients to select products from a marketing email, add them to their baskets, key in the details and submit their orders, with no need to visit a website to complete their transactions.

Ultra-convenient for consumers, this is a great way to tap into impulse buying. Now available on both Google and Yahoo!, it seems likely that this inbox marketing technology will follow in the footsteps of AMP for websites, featuring more frequently in email marketing campaigns.
Twenty years and still going strong!

Despite the dynamic pace of the cutting-edge tech world, marketing emails have been holding their own as useful marketing tools for over two decades. Indeed, email marketing techniques have progressed significantly from the early days, when scattershot campaigns were fired off at random to unverified bulk mailing lists purchased by the thousand from dubious suppliers.

No longer irrelevant irritations auto-tagged for the spam box, marketing emails are now welcome arrivals, providing detailed information responding to recipients’ needs. With higher paybacks than any other internet channel, this digital ‘grandpa’ is still a vital component in any online marketing strategy.

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About the Author: Jeremy Mays

Is the Founder and CEO of Transmyt Marketing. He's an accomplished, award winning marketer, responsible for guiding companies though the complex challenges of navigating and succeeding in today's digital economy. To get in touch, you can email him at jeremy@transmyt.com

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