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Stop dreaming and start being strategic about your email marketing


As email marketers, we all dream of easy, elegant, effortless email campaigns. But we need to look in the mirror and go beyond the “dream” and make sure we’re taking care of the fundamentals of email marketing.  We often hear about the outlier company that has a ton of resources to invest in the “dream” and they often have great success in their email efforts because of the vast amount of money spent.

For the rest of us, we need to be more strategic and think about what success looks like.

Before you send your next email…

All marketers, prior to jumping into a new email initiative, should ask themselves:

Are we sending one email to 100K subscribers or are we sending 100K different emails, unique to each subscriber?

If you’re going for individuality, and sending those unique emails, great job – you already have a more strategic email marketing approach than most organizations who still rely on “batch and blast”.

When your emails don’t deliver the results you want

To be successful, we should put ourselves in the shoes of our subscribers, and evaluate how we would like businesses and brands to communicate with us. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What drives you to open your personal emails?
  • What prompts you to click in an email?

Some people will engage with your emails based on how relevant they perceive the content to be. It’s important to note, it’s all about the subscribers’ perception of your message, rather than how relevant you think the content is. The best way to tell if your ideas match your subscribers’ perceptions is to analyze your click reports, and see what type of content your subscribers are clicking on most.

Make it a practice to review your results regularly, and make sure that delivering the right content is always one of your top priorities.

Find support in the technology

It sounds a bit daunting, but it shouldn’t. As you long as you have the data to support segmentation, and the relevant content in place, creating emails should be a breeze. Put some data filters in place, insert conditional content coding and the technology can help you make sure subscribers get exactly what they’re interested in.

If you don’t have the in-house knowledge or you don’t know how to set this up, ask your technology provider for help. It might take a little bit of setting up upfront, but it will be worth it when those engagement rates start rising.

Moral of the story:  Look at your subscribers’ behavior, and let the technology help you send relevant content. Both you and the subscriber will be glad you took the time.

About Skip

Skip O’Neill has over 15 years of experience in the email industry. He oversees the Adestra Global Partner Network, and gets fired up when helping organizations “see the light” when it comes to email-driven marketing communications. Follow him on Twitter @skiponeill

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