Having a heavenly email strategy is the stepping stone towards an email campaign.
Many companies have lost a humongous share of pie as a result of hasty email structuring! It is the brilliance of every pillar or step of execution that contributes towards the success of an email campaign. The following pillars go beyond just strategy into the must-haves of a well-structured email program:
1. Easy sign-ups – as simple as possible is the key
Sign-up form is the first stage where your customers willingly touch base with you and hence they should be designed with utmost care and precision. While filling out, it should not take a lot of their valuable time. If possible ask nothing more than email address. It is preferable to have minimum entries in the form followed by touch points asking for more, through emails, if at all required.
2. Preference centers – your best allies alive
Preference centers help you sync your provisions with the subscriber’s interests. Preference centers must constantly be updated and catered to with the responses obtained. Setting up flexible preference centers with multiple options to choose from reduces opt-outs. In order to ease out the process of updating, the preference centers can be integrated with your ESP using an API. This would reflect same records in both the website database & the user record in ESP.
3. Database enrichment – the more the merrier
Once you have captured the basic details of your subscribers, you may start focusing towards the process of data enrichment. This shall help you segment your subscribers well and thus deliver emails that are more relevant. Utilize the trending times of dynamic content and real time personalization effectively. Add more fields to customer level data, to receive a detailed profile. Data enrichment can be leveraged by providing incentives on filling out more details or at the order conformation page, if it’s a transactional website! Bigger the data, the merrier the segmentation.
4. Churn program – oxygen to barely breathing subscribers
List churn is a part of the package but there is still a lot that can be done under the churn program to reduce this number. Re-engagement campaigns can be set for subscribers who have been inactive for a while. It is important to know if the subscribers are really active or they are not responding only since a while. Set a time gap to mark a recipient as non-responder. While performing the exercise, also remove the obsolete addresses. Make sure the churn program is activated after ample amount of time is spent to re-engage the subscriber or recipient.
5. Automated workflows – there is one for every stage of the subscriber life cycle
Across the various stages of the subscriber life cycle they come across various automated email workflows like welcome series, educational emails, order status emails, cart abandonment emails, re-engagement emails, holiday emails, sale announcements, anniversary emails, recommendation emails, etc. It is a weighty decision as to which one would work best at what stage. If a subscriber has subscribed for promotional email, sending him offers is a good idea, but may be chasing him to share your content might not work out very well.
6. A functional unsubscribe – not just a legal necessity
A functional unsubscribe button is not merely a legal necessity but it reflects a good customer experience. Avoid long unsubscribe procedures! Replace those long feedback forms with one click unsubscribe. You can save subscriber from parting ways by quick multiple choice options as a feedback, but nothing more is advisable. Follow him up with a creative unsubscribe email, may be, “We will miss you at the dinner today.” or anything that is compelling enough, motivating to join your brand back. Let them go to a preference center and change the preferences if one click unsubscribe is not your policy.
7. Testing and Optimization – your bible to understand what works
Split testing your emails is a must! They decide the minimum success ratio of your campaign letting you know beforehand what aspects needs correction. Optimization starts at this stage where you may look for ways to evolve your email program by seeking feedback from a small test group, may be your own subscribers. Optimize the emails for maximizing the success ratio and get ready with the delivery checklist.
8. Reporting and Analysis – digging out the in-depth stats
The reports you receive after the campaign starts must be analyzed to notice the patterns and trends if any, pros and cons, etc. which would help you improve in the next campaign. Campaign reports (email metrics: open rate, click through rate, etc.) and ROI reports (Revenue based metrics: Conversion rate, average order value, etc.) can be analyzed to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. You can create reports weekly, monthly or quarterly depending upon the frequency of your campaigns.
These are the overall steps or pillars which when built well, you will achieve a grand success on your email marketing program. Hurray!