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Marketing Vision / Goals:
Make specific goal #1: Devote at least one hour per day to marketing direction and strategy
Make specific goal #2: Devote at least one hour per day to marketing activities
Implement a customer loyalty program
Implement customer feedback system
Define market position and focus. This allows campaigns to always point in the correct direction.
Not understanding the CAN-SPAM Act law
Assuming people want to hear from you
Sending to a stale list
Confusing transactional emails with email marketing
Not knowing your audience
Ignoring your campaign reports
Sending a mass email comes with a handful of delivery considerations. For instance, if you send from your own server, your ISP may throttle your outgoing emails or shut down your account if you send too much too fast or exceed your monthly bandwidth limit.
Lots of email marketing newbies make the mistake of setting up forwarding lists, or CC’ing copies of a message to all of their customers. This causes all kinds of problems—especially when a recipient clicks “reply-all.”
First of all, there’s no way to track analytics or personalize content for a big group like that. Plus, when recipients can see the entire list of recipients, the email may come off as unprofessional or impersonal. And exposing all of those email addresses can raise privacy concerns.
2. CAN-SPAM Act
Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.
When you use opt-in lists for email marketing, you avoid being called a spammer. An opt-in list is a list of people’s email addresses who have given their consent to receive marketing messages and promotions through email by signing-up, or submitting their information during some point of the consumer experience. This method will increase communication with your customers, as well as safeguarding that you are in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.
4. Define Audience
If you are a retailer, subscribers will want to know about your new products, sale items or how they can better use what they've already purchased from you. Perhaps you're an author or a blogger. In that case, your subscribers are going to be interested in your written content. If you're somewhere in between, your audience is likely made up of enthusiasts of your work or your brand.
Before you start designing, writing, and sending campaigns, you should define your audience. Once you get a grasp on the people who will be reading your emails, it will be much easier to decide what to say to them.
If you already have subscribers on your list, their signup method can be used to help identify them. For example, if they subscribed during the checkout process through your online store, they're customers. If they emailed you with a question regarding your products or services, they would be classified as more of a general audience, or an “interested party”.
In the long run, you want to stay in communication with your present customers, and entice those “interested parties” to try your product or service. Having these audiences defined and separate will help you send the right offer to the right customer at the right time.
5. Building a List
The best way to keep your consumer base is to make them happy. And the easiest way to do this is to get to know who they are, what they like, and make it available to them. Until you know who your customers are, you can’t communicate with them.
There are a number of platforms that can help you build a customer email list, just make sure that you have their consent to send.
6. Determine Content
Now that you know who you're talking to, it's time to think about what you're going to say to them. "What you say" is your content. Think about why this audience signed up for your emails in the first place, then focus on delivering that to them. Outline general content groups that you want to include in each email campaign. Later, as you're putting together your newsletter (message), you can refer to this outline to make sure you're staying on point.
Here are some examples of general groups that can help with content creation for your newsletter:
Specials / Promotions / Coupons
Upcoming events / Holidays
Tips from your industry
Popular posts on Facebook, Twitter, blog
Summary and photos from an event that just ended
Customer feedback / engagement
Your customers will learn to look for their favorite sections, and you will have a much easier time staying on track and keeping up with creating current, enticing content for your message.
7. Determine Frequency
Not all sending frequencies are created equal. Some users send on a daily basis, others send only on Fridays, and others will send just once a month. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what works best for you and your subscribers. We recommend that you email at least once a month, but don't feel the need to commit to that immediately.
Remember, quality content first. Feel free to skip a month if you don't have anything truly useful to say. No message is better than an ineffective message. Not sure you can produce enough content for a monthly newsletter? Try it quarterly. You can always increase the frequency later. One of the most important things to remember is: the future. Look ahead, and plan accordingly for holidays or special events.
8. Outline Your Goals
From here, decide what you'd like to get out of your email marketing. Are you looking to direct readers to your website? Help promote sales? Increase traffic at events? Set goals like these for your campaigns, to keep track of your progress over time.
9. Make A Schedule
Not everyone is going to send on a regular schedule, but for a lot of senders, having a timeline is helpful. Timelines give writers, designers, and managers a deadline to work toward.
Your email marketing schedule will depend on your industry, type of content, sending frequency, and so on.
10. Measuring Results
As many of the key personal, marketing, strategic, and tactical goals as possible should be tracked. When milestones and key marketing metrics are monitored, the actual results can be measured against the goals outlined.