The first is a welcome email with 3 key tasks you can accomplish in the software. Three days later, there’s another email asking what you need to get done and encouraging you to start using the product. Two days later, there’s an email talking about the Asana dashboard. The series ends with an email two days later, which highlights the calendar view.
The takeaway here is that if you are to use personalization as an email strategy, do so in a meaningful way. It takes little knowledge or relationship to place someone’s name in your greeting. It shows far greater care to send personalized email that is specific to a recipient’s needs and history. Again, an example from my inbox, this email from Rdio dispenses with the formalities and simply provides an update on music I actually listen to.

Presentation is everything, or so they say. With this old adage in mind, we’ve compiled our best tips for anyone who wants to send emails that subscribers click into a handy email design guide. We cover each facet of design: content, templates, identity, color, images, layout, fonts, and calls to action. Design is as much science as it is art, and we take the guesswork out of what can seem like the most challenging part of sending good emails.
Advocacy: The old adage of “word of mouth is your best marketing” is still true today. When a customer loves your company or products, they tell others about it. Social media and online reviews are some of the strongest purchase influencers. To capitalize on the advocacy stage, identify your happiest customers and see if they’ll spread the word with a review or testimonial. If you have a referral program where you offer discounts or other rewards for bringing in new business, make sure this program is a big part of your email marketing strategy for devoted customers.
Digital customer personas summarise the characteristics, needs, motivations and platform preferences of different groups of users. There’s no sure-fire way of creating an entirely accurate customer persona, but it helps if you can encourage customers to describe their own personas. This is possible by offering tools like customer preference centres.
To make sure you're only sending emails to the people who want to read them, clean up your email list so that it excludes recipients who haven't opened a certain amount of emails in the campaign's recent history. This makes sure your emails' open and clickthrough rates reflect only your most interested readers, allowing you to collect more effective data on what is and isn't working in each email you send.
Will people understand what you’re trying to say? It’s usually better to avoid topics (or opinions) that are complex if many people are extremely passionate about them. For example, sharing almost any opinion about immigration policy is usually a bad move, unless your audience is unusually homogenous. You could agree 99% with someone and still piss them off by using the wrong term just because they have such a strong “either you agree 100% with us, or you’re our enemy” mentality. I once pointed out that I think it’s unacceptable to capture and torture people for years—especially if they aren’t charged with any crime, there’s no evidence they’ve done anything wrong, and they’re children. I got several emails back from people saying, “you have no idea what you’re talking about” or “you should stick to marketing and leave politics to people who understand it.” They took it as commentary on geo-politics. I just said I’m not okay with pointless torture of children. I thought we’d all agree on that.
When you're using email as a marketing tool, you're working on a pretty personal basis. This isn't ‘drive-by' stuff -you're directly targeting customers from their inboxes. There's a huge amount of potential which comes with this kind of marketing... but you'll only reap that potential if you REALLY understand both the marketplace you're operating from, and the audience you're talking to.
Part of the problem is that people are confused about the difference between ‘strategy' and ‘tactics'. It's essential not to get these two confused. They are related – tactics are a vital part of what makes a strategy work – but they’re not the "be all and end all." Too many people neglect a full and comprehensive strategy in favour of a bunch of loosely-connected tactics. So, to recap:

Technology has a significant impact on consumers’ expectations, and those expectations impact how subscribers engage with your email marketing. Brands need to continually demonstrate that they know their customer, which can make it a challenge to stay on top of the evolving context of marketing. An email strategy can make all the difference between building a relationship with your customers and sinking without trace.
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