This kind of initial research and analysis is incredibly important. If you include anything which you haven’t subjected to research, analysis, insights, experience, and expert opinion, it simply won’t fly. This is important. Everything these days has to be tailored very specifically to your brand and your personal customer experience. Your competitor might have an amazingly successful marketing strategy (and it's good to learn things from what they're doing!), but that doesn’t mean that the same kind of thing would be as successful for your brand.
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At worst, you might think I’m a bit weird for caring so much about sound quality. Or you might think I’m really weird if you knew that my loudspeakers are computer calibrated to my room. Or you might question my priorities if you knew I set up my office, so that my desk is nearly in the middle of it… mainly to be able to enjoy music better. But we’re all weird in some ways (and I’ll let you think this is the weirdest thing about me).
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.
What does your current email marketing performance look like? Analyse the performance of key metrics such as Open Rate, Click-through-Rate (CTR), Deliverability Rate, Unsubscribe Rate, ROI. What is working well and what isn’t. This can also be internally focused – for example, maybe it is taking a long time to create email content, or the creation process is inefficient.
Full-funnel campaigns also take into consideration how the marketing funnel has morphed over the years. The old school of thought had a top, middle, and bottom part of a funnel, where customers went in at the top and left it after making a purchase. The funnel has evolved into a customer lifecycle that includes those pre- and post-purchase phases mentioned earlier.
Purchased lists are ineffective, and they impact everyone else who uses Mailchimp, too. If you send emails to a list of people whose contact info you bought, many of the emails will get identified as spam. Some spam filters will flag a campaign if anyone with the same IP has sent spam in the past. When you use Mailchimp, your email is delivered through our servers, so if one person sends spam, it could prevent other users’ emails from reaching inboxes. But by forbidding Mailchimp users from using purchased lists, we increase deliverability for everyone.
Another way to extend the clicks on your email beyond its shelf life is to prompt your audience to forward the offer. The folks at Litmus found that the most forwarded emails were 13X more likely than the typical email to include “Share With Your Network” calls-to-action. By including forward-to-a-friend (or social sharing links, as we discussed above), you put it in recipients' minds to share.
Remember, the precise metrics you use, segments you choose, and journeys you map will vary greatly depending on your customers, brand message, and business model. That’s why it’s so important to put in that early work to define your marketing status and objectives. There’s no one-size-fits-all guide to strategizing but hope this guide has given you a good grounding in the direction your thinking should be going.
Retention/Loyalty and Growth: At this stage, the customer purchased a product, used it, and keeps coming back. As the customer gets to know the product, your email marketing campaigns should focus on ways to maximize the value of the product, find new ways to use it, and potentially add on other related products or services. Customer loyalty is a key part of company success, but growth goes hand-in-hand; your email marketing should support a strong cross-selling and upselling strategy. When you identify complementary products for customers, you continue to provide increased value. These full-funnel campaign emails can have a slightly stronger sales lead than in first-time engagement, but keep it gentle if you’re trying to sell a product that’s new to the customer. Also, keep in mind that customer loyalty isn’t as strong in B2B as it is in B2C, so continue to remind customers of how your products or services save them time, money, and resources.
Location: Businesses that offer local service, such as a lawn service company, obviously need to target local customers, but regional, national, and global companies can also benefit from location-based personalization. Consider running special campaigns for customers in a specified location based on regional events or what’s happening at your local office.
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If you're doing something right, and it's making an impact, your competitors will pick up on it. If your competitors start changing their own strategies and tactics, and if it seems like they might be doing this in response to your campaign, it's worth looking into. Identify your main competitors and analyse how their own email messaging has changed (if at all) during your campaign.
Make it shareable. Send content that people want to share, and make it easy for them to do it. Sure, subscribers can forward your campaign to friends, but that's a lot to ask. Include a public link to the web version of your campaign so people can read it outside of their email programs, and consider adding Twitter and Facebook links to your newsletter, so readers can share your content where they're already active. When their friends start sharing and subscribing, you'll know it's working.
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.
Customers demonstrate the potential to become more valuable customers. These are profitable when assessed in terms of lifetime value, but the number of product holdings or current value is relatively low compared with the group above. Recommendations about relevant products based on their purchasing and browser behaviour can be an effective approach with this segment.
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