Craft an Email Marketing Strategy

Use email promotions a a critical part of a retailer's marketing strategy

On any given day, most of our email inboxes are flooded with a barrage of automated email newsletters that do little else besides giving us another task to do on our commutes to work, namely, marking them all as unread without reading or unsubscribing altogether.

It may not seem like a good idea to add to all the noise. However, according to industry research, the average return on investment for email marketing is $38 for every $1 spent. Needless to say, email is an essential part of a store's marketing strategy, and its success relies largely on how well you craft your email campaigns.

   

What is an email marketing campaign?

An email marketing campaign consists of planned content distributed via email with the goal of accomplishing a specific goal for the organization. It's important that an email campaign's recipients have opted in to receive this content and that each piece offers something valuable.

Here are some examples of different purposes your email campaign may set out to accomplish:

  • Generating store visits: Email can be an effective promotional channel to increase foot traffic and get customers back into your store.
  • Awareness: Not everyone on your email list is ready to buy. You can use email marketing to stay top of mind while providing educational content that is relevant to them.
  • Education: Sharing valuable information about the products your customers have purchased with them fosters a sense of loyalty and trust, and sets you up as the local expert on the products you offer.
  • And much more. The options for effective email marketing are endless.

Ready to take a deeper dive? Effective email marketing campaigns need to be cleverly written to attract attention in busy inboxes. Let's get into how to create an effective email marketing campaign of your own.

How to Create an Email Campaign

1. Understand who you're emailing.

Have you ever heard the saying, "When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one"? What Hill is getting at here is that if you're watering down your message to apply to your entire audience, you're leaving an opportunity on the table, an opportunity for creating high-value, specific, relevant content that speaks directly to the recipient.

With this in mind, the key to a great email marketing campaign is identifying your audience and using email segmentation to ensure you're delivering to the right people at the right time. If you can accomplish this and build it into your strategy, you can get more creative and specific with your messaging.

2. Create a goal for the campaign.

Even with email marketing being a relatively low-risk and high-reward activity, you don't want to send emails for emails' sake. In other words, you won't be successful simply because you marked it from your to-do list.

Instead, you should be intentional about what you want to get from your emails because that will help you target the right audience and build the right emails. For example, if you know you want to nurture leads from MQL to SQL, you can create a segment of MQLs and create content that is educational and persuasive enough to move them closer to a buying decision.

3. Outline the email or emails that will be included in the campaign.

Once you know who you're emailing and why, it's time to strategize how to move them from A (where they are) to B (where you want them to be, the goal of the campaign).

Keep in mind that you can't expect a single email to do everything. Your email campaign can be made up of multiple emails, so consider taking your email recipients on a journey with each email serving a single purpose. This will increase the odds of each email being successful in its role toward reaching your goal. After all, "A confused mind says no."

For example, if you're doing a lead nurturing campaign, you might have a few educational emails to take them from the awareness stage to the consideration stage before providing more conversion-focused content.

The longer the buying process and sales cycle, the more emails you'll need.

4. Spend time on the subject lines.

No one gets to the body content of your email unless they first click the subject line. That's why it's so important to consider your subject lines carefully: They're like gatekeepers for the rest of your information.

5. Write copy that's suited for them.

Once you know the purpose of each email you're sending and you have the subject lines, write the copy that will engage your list. Consider where your audience is in their buying journey and provide the type of content that they'll find useful. For example, it doesn't make sense to promote products if you're emailing a segment of subscribers who are largely in the awareness stage of the buying journey.

6. Use a comprehensive email builder.

Once you've written the copy for your emails, you'll want to build them out in our marketing tool, where you can create, optimize, and personalize your own email campaigns without needing any technical or graphic design experience.

7. Leverage merge codes for personalization and graphics for interest.

For higher engagement, marketing emails should be personalized to the reader. No one wants to read an email that addresses them as "Dear Sir/Madam", as opposed to their actual name.

RTK's Marketing tool allows you to include their name, as well as transaction info that will result in an email they're more likely to read.

Additionally, customers don't want to read an email that simply gives them a wall of text. Graphics help your recipients quickly understand the point of the email.

8. Include calls-to-action where appropriate.

If you're taking up your audience's time and inbox space with another email, your message must have a point to it. Consider what you want your customers to take away from the email.

In most cases, you'll want to add a call-to-action (CTA) for them to take further action.

The goal of your CTA may vary depending on the audience's buyer's journey stage and what you want to accomplish with your email campaign. For example, you may want to engage them further with another piece of content, or you might want them to make a purchase.

Regardless of what it is, you should follow CTA best practices such as making the ask with clear language and emphasizing it with contrasting design elements.

9. Test your emails and make sure they work on all devices.

Once your emails are built out, check them over before hitting the send button. Effective email marketing campaigns are designed for all devices on which users can read their emails -- desktop, tablet, and mobile. Consider sending them as a test to a colleague and checking them across multiple devices and email clients.

Is this more than you'd like to tackle on your own? Our marketing services team can help you create high-performing email campaigns for a fraction of the cost of a consultant or designer. Reach out to learn more.