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Seven Steps to Start an Effective Email Marketing Program

Updated: Feb 28

Keeping in touch with customers is vital to your business. Consumers today are doing more research into the products they buy than ever before. By providing the right amount of communication at the right time, you can keep customers thinking of you when they are ready to make a purchase decision.

Here are seven steps to help you create an effective email marketing program.

1) Determine the Right Frequency for Your Email Messages.

Depending on your content, customers and resources, you need to determine if your email should be sent daily, weekly, monthly, etc. You may have several different types of messages that are sent at a different frequency such as a Daily News Update and a Monthly Product Special. The key is to maintain consistent frequency with quality content. If you are a small organization with limited staff, it is better to send quality email messages less frequently, than to burn out and have low quality or have inconsistent delivery.

2) Create an Editorial Calendar.

The editorial calendar will reflect the frequency and types of messages you’ve decided to send out. It should include the date you want to send the email, a topic for the email, the email’s writer or subject matter expert and the due dates for your draft copy and review process. If you have multiple writers it is important to assign them specific email messages and topics. Distribute the editorial calendar or have it available in a file sharing system so that everyone knows what their responsibilities are.

3) Select an Email Platform.

The software platform you use to send your email messages is as important as the email messages to help you maintain adherence to email marketing best practices. There are many email systems to choose from including services that are available through your website hosting or your CRM system to complex marketing automation. Each class category, from simple email marketing to full marketing automation, offers different levels of control and feature areas of expertise. The email platform you need is determined by the size of your list, features you need, level of expertise to oversee your email marketing program, and your overall budget. Read this article for more information about selecting the right email marketing automation platform for your organization.

4) Write Your Email Content.

It is important to write good content that is informative to your audience so that they want to read it. This will drive them to work further with you and take action based on what you’ve told them. There are many resources to help with writing email content; but if you want to do it yourself it is important to remember to convey your message clearly.

5) Write a good subject line.

Your subject line is your first chance to entice people to open and read your email message. The subject line should be short so that it can be seen in preview mode and say something about what is in the email content. It should also be interesting enough to get someone’s attention in a full inbox or be recognizable for something like a regular newsletter.

6) Go Mobile.

Many people are now first reading their email on their mobile device. The email message should be dynamic so that it can adjust for mobile devices and desktops. Most email platforms offer this as a standard feature. For added benefit, the web page your email goes to should also be mobile-friendly so that your readers can access your message right from their phone.

7) Be Actionable.

Your email message should be helpful and informative, but it also needs to provide a call to action. What is the next action you want your reader to take that will help lead them down the path to being a customer? Depending on your industry, product, or service it may not always be a “buy now” call to action. Think about your customer’s purchase decision process and the message in your email to determine the best action step.

Following these seven steps will help guide your email marketing strategy to effectively communicate with your customers and potential customers. The ultimate goal of your strategy is to engage with prospects and customers by providing information they want to read and will lead to generating more revenue for your organization.

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