Thursday, July 27, 2017

5 Truths About Email Marketing Your Boss Will Want to Know

An email marketing strategy always needs approval from the boss to ensure it is in line with the company's overall strategy, delivers on key objectives, and is in line with the marketing budget. While these are the obvious factors you have to address, there are some other key things that your boss will want to know about the email marketing campaign you have planned. You need consider and adopt these five necessary thing about your email marketing strategy:

1. The Audience is Correct 

Nearly a third of all contacts on your email contact list or database will change every year in terms of their interest and contact information, so your boss will want to know how you ensured that the current email list is accurate. After all, resources are limited and should not be wasted on sending emails to the wrong person or email address. At the same time, your boss will also want to see that the list is growing with the best targets for what you offer.

To ensure your boss that your email marketing list is accurate and growing, you need to create frictionless signup opportunities through all channels so it's easy to join the list of prospects. This means keeping the signup form basic with just the minimal information you need to contact them with an email marketing campaign. You can also consider incentivizing them with a discount or something else that will convince them to sign up.

Consider using automated contact update software that integrates with your contact list so that if there is a change of information or someone unsubscribes this is automatically updated. MailChimp, Zapier, and Constant Contact are three examples of automation tools for ensuring a current email subscriber list.

2. The Format Must Be Engaging

Your boss will want to know why the email marketing format you selected will truly engage your audience so be prepared to offer the rationale. This may involve explaining why you have chosen a certain email format for the email campaign, including the need to create an authentic, trustworthy message for recipients in light of fake email marketing campaigns that some retailers have experienced.

The format needs to be easy to read on all devices as well as intuitive so it knows what device the recipient is using to read the email. You will also want the email marketing to reflect a consistent look, feel, and message to the rest of your marketing communications.

Other formatting aspects are important to note in case your boss is not sure why you are using the following: white space, text size, balance in color selection, and a CTA button for your call to action. You will also need to consider optimizing the email for those who might be viewing it with images turned off. While the use of images is typically one of the most engaging factors in an email, not everyone prefers to view them. If that's the case, your email marketing content will need to engage these audience members.

3. Optimization and Segmentation Are Crucial

While you are not optimizing the content for a search engine, your boss needs to know how you are creating the content in a way that works specifically for inbox delivery and the expectations of your segmented audience. To help your boss understand how you will achieve optimization and segmentation, you will need to provide specific examples that show how various content and different types of mediums look. For example, your content will be different for an email campaign that shares new video content. This might include an embedded clip versus an email that touts a newly published white paper with visuals of certain pages or charts.

Just like optimizing content for search engines, illustrate to your boss how you have addressed the details of an email that can also impact upon conversion rates, including the subject line, headlines in the content, preheader text, and the call to action (CTA) content. For example, an iPhone will only show 32 characters of a subject line so make sure those characters count. You'll also need to point out how you have personalized and segmented the email list and accompany email content for those groups to illustrate that you realize the value of doing this over just sending out the same content to everyone.

You'll also need to point out how you have personalized and segmented the email list and accompanied email content for those groups to illustrate that you realize the value of doing this rather than just sending out the same content to everyone. This segmentation can be done by age, location, purchase behavior, or place in the customer lifecycle. Just ensure that you have reasons as to why you have segmented the list this way and how the relevant content has been optimized for the needs and interests of that particular segment. Don't forget to also include optimizing the timing and frequency of the email campaigns also tied to the segmentation, that you have developed.

4. Focusing On the Bigger Picture Is Key

Your boss will always want to know how your work within the email marketing campaign relates to the bigger picture of the overall marketing strategy. Your cross-marketing efforts are vital to your company's leadership because they have to ensure that all the marketing tactics are working together to create a greater return on the investment that's being made.

You'll want to work with other members of your marketing team to see what they are doing and on what channel to see if you can coordinate efforts. You don't want to send out an email marketing campaign when every other channel has the same information being broadcast. It's better to spread out the messaging across channels at a designated time to create a flow rather than a flood.

5. Specific Metrics Prove the Return

Be prepared to give your boss specific metrics that illustrate how the email marketing program has done in providing that return. The best metrics to focus on for email marketing campaigns include a clickthrough rate, to see how many recipients clicked on a link within that email; the conversion rate, that shows how many recipients clicked on a link and completed a specific action like buying a product or filling in a form; and the bounce rate, to see how many emails did not make it to the intended inbox.

Other email marketing metrics that are good to share with your boss include email list growth, email sharing/forwarding rate, and the overall return on investment. All of these email marketing metrics deliver a picture of the effectiveness of the campaign and the ability to engage with recipients in a way that delivers on how many marketing dollars were spent to achieve those results.

Deliver the Goods

This information delivered to the boss can help you continue to get approval to generate more email marketing campaigns because you have proven your worth in developing and executing marketing tactics that engage and convert.

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