7 simple steps for launching a successful email campaign
Building an email marketing strategy can seem daunting at first. But if you follow a few simple steps, it’s a lot easier than you think to design an effective campaign that spurs activity for your business.
(IMPORTANT: Before you send anything, review the FTC’s CAN-SPAM guidelines to be sure you’re in compliance with its guidelines for email marketing.)
Step 1: Make a goal
Whether you’re looking to entice new leads, build stronger relationships or inform customers of special offers, it’s important that you know why you’re sending the email before you start building a strategy for it.
Step 2: Craft your email
Think about how to build a campaign that helps you reach your goal (check out this article (link to “How to create emails…”) for email marketing best practices). Design an email from scratch or start with a ready-to-use email template, and then schedule a time and day to send your message.
Step 3: Select test variables
Every email is an opportunity to learn something new about what your audience likes in an email — from specific send times to subject line length to wording in a call to action.
To test a variable, split your audience into groups and craft two different emails. For example, you could send an email with a shorter subject line to group A, and one with a longer subject line to group B. When you gather results (Step 6), look for meaningful differences between each group’s behavior. These are clues about what your audience prefers.
Step 4: Send the email
It’s not uncommon to second-guess sending an email for one reason or another. But don’t let good opportunities pile up in your Drafts folder. Give it one final polish, and hit the send button.
Step 5: Allow time to pass
Take a breath, respond to other items on your to-do list, and let the campaign play out like you planned it. Resist the urge to make any split-second course corrections, and trust that all your preparation and hard work will pay off. If nothing else, remember that you’ll have plenty more chances in the future to do better if you didn’t quite get it right this time.
Step 6: Gather the results
Once the campaign has slowed, start collecting and synthesizing the data. Look at your open rate (the number of people who opened the email) and click rate (the number of people who clicked any button in the email) first. Then check out your conversion rate (the number of people who did what your email asked them to do, like sign up for your newsletter). Once you’ve got those, examine the variables you decided to test in Step 2 and compare the results to previous campaigns.
Step 7: Evaluate your performance
Use the data to analyze the effectiveness of your email and make informed decisions about how you’ll approach your next one. Keep your eye on the bigger picture and play for the long game. Use what you learn from the last message to make the next one even better.