Did you know that more than 306.4 billion emails are sent every day? And it keeps going up. In fact, by the end of 2023, that number is expected to hit 347.3 billion. With so many emails flying around, it's important to have the right email marketing strategy so your emails are the ones getting noticed. And that's exactly why we put together this email marketing strategy guide!
Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies around. When your well-written and timely emails land in the inboxes of your target audience, you're able to leverage a one-on-one connection that other marketing tactics just can't touch. That's probably why email marketing has an ROI of 4200%. That's a potential $42 for every $1 you invest in email marketing.
But to get those results, it's important to have a solid email marketing strategy behind your efforts. In this email marketing strategy guide, we'll share exactly what you need to do to make sure that your email marketing hits its mark.
The Ultimate Email Marketing Strategy Guide:
- 1. Set Email Marketing Goals
- 2. Find the Right Email Marketing Tools
- 3. Focus on Your Target Audience
- 4. Grow Your Email List
- 5. Segment Your Email List
- 6. Personalize Your Emails
- 7. Create Compelling Subject Lines
- 8. Design Eye-Catching Emails
- 9. Craft Powerful Calls to Action
- 10. Provide Value to Your Subscribers
- 11. Create Mobile-Friendly Emails
- 12. Re-engage Inactive Subscribers
- 13. Share User-Generated Content
- 14. Automate Your Emails With Trigger-Based Campaigns
- 15. Send Emails at the Right Time
- 16. A/B Test and Split Test
- 17. Monitor Your Email Campaign Performance
17 Email Marketing Strategies You Need
While email marketing is one of the marketing tactics that continues to provide an amazing ROI, it's important to have the right tactics behind it. You can't just write an email without any thought to your subject line, the email copy, or who you're sending it to and expect it to do well. You need a well-planned strategy if you want to get the best return on your email marketing investment.
Fortunately, we've got you covered.
Here, we're sharing 17 email marketing strategies that will help you achieve your goals. Starting with one of the most important tactics in our entire email marketing strategy guide: setting email marketing goals.
1. Set Email Marketing Goals
What is it you hope to accomplish with your email marketing campaigns? You can use email marketing to nurture leads, maximize ROI, increase engagement and loyalty, and any number of other things. These goals might focus on any number of email marketing benchmarks like open rate, click-through rate, list growth, and conversion rate but you don't need to limit yourself to goals that are tied to a number. You could also set a goal of building brand awareness or building customer relationships. While those goals are hard to measure, they're still pretty important.
The important thing is to consider what you want to achieve with your email marketing. It's also important to understand that your goals could change over time or even from one email marketing campaign to the next.
2. Find the Right Email Marketing Tools
At their core, email marketing services should do one thing really well: send emails. However, there are many different features and functionalities you might need in your email marketing service, depending on what you're hoping to accomplish. If you're just looking to write, organize, and send emails, you could probably use just about anything. But if you're planning to send a welcome email series or create advanced subscriber segments, you'll want an email marketing tool that does that well.
3. Focus on Your Target Audience
Next up in our email marketing strategy guide is figuring out who your target audience is. Like your email marketing goals, your target audience can change depending on the email marketing campaign you're working on. Of course, your target audience for your business isn't likely to change unless you change your product offering but chances are you're going to have more than one type of customer. Your job for your email marketing campaigns then, is to build each campaign around the specific segment you're targeting for that marketing message.
4. Grow Your Email List
Did you know that email lists decline by about 25% every year? This means that it's vital to continue growing your email list so you always have a list of interested and engaged subscribers. Some email marketing services include opt-in forms that you can use on your website to keep getting new subscribers. In addition, there are opt-in services like Leadpages, ConvertFlow, Unbounce, and others that are devoted to generating leads.
5. Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your email list is one of the best ways to ensure that your emails are targeted and relevant. You can segment based on a number of factors like interests, behavior, demographics, and pretty much anything you can think of. When you use smart segments, your email marketing is more likely to get a better return because your email campaigns are created with a specific audience in mind.
While you can segment your email list at any time, we really love the idea of segmenting up front, right when the user is signing up. You don't want to add too many fields to your opt-in forms but if there's information you can use to create better email campaigns right away, ask for it!
6. Personalize Your Emails
Segmenting your email list makes it a lot easier to personalize your campaigns. And personalization makes a huge difference. In fact, personalized email campaigns receive 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates than non-personalized emails (Pardot). Not only that, Aberdeen found that personalized emails improve conversion rates by 10%. Could you use a 10% increase in conversion rates?
7. Create Compelling Subject Lines
Your email subject line is the first thing subscribers see and what makes them decide if they're going to open your email, delete it, or even report it as spam. The email marketing strategy we just talked about, personalization, can help with this since people love seeing their own names in subject lines. However, there's a lot more you can do to craft a subject line that will inspire clicks:
- Keep your subject lines short (6–10 words)
- Include action words
- Use numbers
- Pique the reader's curiosity
- Inspire FOMO using urgency or scarcity
8. Design Eye-Catching Emails
Once you get readers to open your email, you need to keep them reading. To do that, you can use email marketing templates to make sure you're using visually appealing fonts, images, colors, and other design elements. When you use a template, you can ensure a cohesive look to each of your email marketing campaigns, boosting brand awareness. Most email marketing services include easy-to-use email builders that make designing great looking emails a breeze.
9. Craft Powerful Calls to Action
The right call to action can have an enormous impact on the conversion rates and click-through rates for your email marketing campaigns. While your subject line is what gets readers to open your email, the CTA you use is what makes them do what you want them to do. We recommend using a combination of text and visual CTAs like buttons and images as well as making sure that you're using powerful words that inspire action. Try using powerful action words like "buy" or "shop" combined with an offer that makes it impossible for your subscribers to say no.
10. Provide Value to Your Subscribers
Between your subject line and your call to action is where you provide value to your subscribers. When you provide value in your emails, your subscribers come to enjoy seeing your emails pop up in their inboxes—even when they know you're going to be selling to them. You can either make it a point to include value even in your sales emails or limit your promotional emails to a 1:3 ratio, with three value-only emails for every one sales email you send. If you're planning on sending a five-email promotional series, for example, you'd be sure to send 15 value-only emails around the series.
11. Create Mobile-Friendly Emails
These days, more than 60% of emails are opened and read on mobile devices. And that number is only going to keep going up. Because of that, it's important to make sure that your emails are mobile-friendly. This could mean using an appropriate text size, optimizing your images, and making sure that your calls to action are clickable with just a thumb tap. Mobile-friendly emails are also great for your revenue. According to research by Yesmail, the average revenue per mobile email is more than four times that of desktop emails.
Here are a few tips to make your emails mobile-friendly:
- Use a responsive email template
- Add a single call to action
- Keep subject lines short
- Format for easy skimming
- Space buttons and links to make them clickable
12. Re-engage Inactive Subscribers
Remember that email marketing statistic we shared earlier about how email lists decline every single year? Because of that, it's important to keep your email list clean. But before you remove any inactive subscribers, we recommend that you send a winback email campaign to try to bring them back into the fold.
A winback campaign is just what it sounds like: you send an email marketing series to your inactive subscribers, encouraging them to start engaging again. You can use your winback campaign as an opportunity to get inactive subscribers excited about your brand again. This can also be a great chance to encourage lapsed customers to purchase from you again.
13. Share User-Generated Content
User-generated content is an amazing marketing tactic. Combined with email marketing, you really can't lose. We recommend incorporating user-generated content like photos, stories, videos, reviews, and more into your email marketing campaigns. When you can show subscribers that you have customers enjoying your products, your subscribers are going to want to learn more about how they can get in on the fun. And, user-generated content can increase click-through rates up to 73%.
14. Automate Your Emails With Trigger-Based Campaigns
One of the easiest ways to incorporate automation into your email marketing strategy is through trigger-based campaigns. Trigger-based emails are emails that are sent out automatically based on user behavior. This could be anything from sending an automated welcome email series after a user signs up to transactional emails like order and shipping confirmations.
What makes trigger-based emails an important part of our email marketing strategy guide is their performance. According to Epsilon, trigger-based emails have open rates that are 95% higher than open rates for traditional emails. Not only that, but the average click-through rate for trigger-based emails is more than double the CTR of traditional emails. And, according to research by Forrester, trigger-based email marketing campaigns generate up to four times the revenue and 18 times the profits.
15. Send Emails at the Right Time
When you send your emails is just as important as the content of your emails. Of course, there's no one size fits all approach to the best time to send emails. Your email marketing service will have the reporting you need to figure out when your subscribers typically open your emails. You can also experiment with sending emails at different times to figure out what works best for your audience. Once you've found the best time to send your emails, create and stick to a schedule.
16. A/B Test and Split Test
A/B testing and split testing is one of the best things you can do to create email marketing campaigns that work, so we had to include it in our email marketing strategy guide. There's no limit to what you can test in your email marketing campaigns, from testing subject lines to send times to CTAs. You can even test your email content to find the right kind of content to resonate with your subscribers. To get the most of your split testing, here are a few questions to ask before you start:
- What variable are you testing?
- Why are you testing that variable?
- What do you hope to learn?
- What does this particular variable mean to your email's performance?
17. Monitor Your Email Campaign Performance
The last tactic in our email marketing strategy guide is to keep an eye on your email campaign performance. Monitoring your email marketing benchmarks is the only way you're going to be able to use the data you collect to figure out which email marketing tactics are working and which need to be reconsidered.
Email marketing may continue to evolve over time but it continues to be one of the best-performing marketing strategies around. While it's important to continue getting leads and sales from your email marketing strategy, it's even more important to create an email marketing program that gets your subscribers engaged and connected to your brand. In this email marketing strategy guide, we've included tons of email marketing tactics you can use to not only increase conversions but build brand awareness, improve and nurture your relationships, and keep your subscribers eager to hear more from your brand.