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5 Steps to Running a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

While there is some truth to the idea that most great products and services market themselves, it still takes a few additional behind-the-scenes marketing tactics to get it there. And by far the most effective marketing strategy to use, that boasts a higher success rate than social media, is email marketing.

Over 90% of people check their emails on a daily basis. Based on that statistic, there’s a pretty good chance that your email marketing campaigns will be read (or at least viewed) by your target audience. To create messages that truly resonate with your audience, here are 5 steps you need to follow to run an effective email marketing campaign:

1. Ask Permission
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Imagine having unsolicited flyers stuffed into your mailbox on a daily basis. The probability that you will read any of them, let alone keep them, is rather small. The same is true for emails — all too often, people forget their manners and do not ask whether it’s okay to send someone an email. Because it is so easy to collect email addresses (and even buy them, though that’s not recommended), many businesses may think that sending an email campaign to random recipients is acceptable. However, the best email marketing campaigns are the ones that people have opted in to receive.

Ask permission from your audience by using opt-in forms on your landing pages, because then you’ll know that customers are open to receiving emails and believe they will benefit from the content that you’re offering. They’ll will probably even look forward to your emails! ConvertKit is good tool for gaining those opt-in emails, as well as tracking your conversions once you’ve been welcomed into their inbox.

2. Verify Your Email List
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Email marketing as a whole is hard work and not a lot of people are willing to put in the effort. To shorten the number of tasks on their list, many businesses skip an important step: email verification.

Verifying your email list can give your business a leg up! Taking the time to verify the emails you have upfront will end up reducing the amount of time you spend on each task further down the email marketing line. When you verify emails, you’re making sure your targets are active so each time you send a campaign you’ll get some form of return. Too often, businesses that skip the email verification process waste precious time, effort, and resources crafting campaigns only to find out they’ve bounced because of inactivity or a full inbox. Email verification can also help to identify micro-mistakes like misspelled emails and incorrect domains. Make it a habit to verify your email list to keep your lists fresh, active, and engaged.

Simply put, effective email verification means a higher campaign open rate, a smaller number of unsent emails, and a more engaged market – which may eventually lead to converted sales!

3. Segment Your List
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Now that you have the email addresses of people who want to receive information about your product or service and you have confirmed that they provided real, active email addresses, it’s time to segment your list.

Whittling your email list down into segments helps increase your email click-throughs simply because the content your customer is receiving is customized and tailored to them. And, what could be more enticing that something you can relate to?

Email marketing campaign sites like MailChimp make it easy for beginners to pre-segment their audiences into New Subscribers, Active or Inactive Subscribers, Potential Customers, Recent Customers, First-Time Customers, Repeat Customers, and Lapsed Customers. Of course, you can also create your own segments unique to your campaign requirements. Just remember to consider what made your audience opt-in in the first place! Think about what their interests are, what their skill level is, and so on. This can help you more easily segment your list and send out customized content that will resonate with each group.

Bonus Tip: Periodically check to see if your segments are still relevant. This includes trimming away any of the subscribers that have been inactive or have lapsed, as well as cleaning out any customers who have unsubscribed.

Read next: What it Takes to Build a Marketing Data Strategy

4. Make Content King
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The actual content that you are creating and providing to your subscribers plays a huge role in the success of an email marketing campaign. You can have a multi-faceted, multi-layered email marketing campaign with several individual emails spread out over a number of weeks, but if one email misses a beat and disinterests your customer, they just might just click on the unsubscribe button.

Ensure that your content stays fresh and relevant to your audience. Keep track of which content is the highest performing. You will want to send out emails that your audience is opening, clicking, and engaging with. If someone is not opening or clicking on your email, then they won’t be making a purchase from your website. Once you notice that click-through rates are going down and your email list is slowly going stale, you’ll know it’s time to reevaluate your email content strategy.

Bonus Tip: Do not be afraid to invest in stellar content! It’s how you build trust amongst your audience, and that is one of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign (not just email marketing).

5. Monitor Email Performance Data
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Now that you’ve created your email list and developed custom messaging for your various audience segments, you need to collect as much data as possible. You’ll want to analyze and ask questions of your data to better understand how you can optimize and improve your email marketing in the future, such as:

  • How many people open your emails?
  • When do people open your emails?
  • How many times do they open your email?
  • What percentage of those people click on a link in your email?
  • Which link had the largest number of clicks?
  • What is the average unsubscribe rate?
  • How much money did you spend on this campaign?
  • How many conversions did you receive?
  • Which segment had the highest open rate, click rate, engagement rate, etc.?

The best way to track and analyze all of your audience and email data is through an email performance dashboard. With the help of a dashboarding tool, you can convert raw data into intuitive and visually-appealing charts and graphs. That way, you have all of the information you need in one easy-to-understand view.