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Creating an Email Marketing Strategy in 2023

Email Marketing • Nov 8, 2022 12:46:58 PM • Written by: Carly Zimbone

So you’ve decided to pursue email marketing as a strategy - great! But you don’t know where to start - no worries! This blog will highlight all the necessary steps to creating an effective marketing strategy that you can execute with emails your audience will actually read.

If you’re totally new to email marketing though - as in no idea what this is and how this works, I have a great beginner’s guide to email marketing for you to check out here.

But for those who already know what email marketing is and want to learn more about strategizing for this campaign, then you’re in the right place! These items will have smaller actionable steps that will build a robust game plan for you to grow your audience and rake in those leads but those steps will have to be specific to your niche. Think of the following steps as a high-level outline that will guide your overall strategy.

Define your audience

Like in any marketing strategy, you need to have an understanding of your buyer persona. What does your target audience want and how should you tailor your content into their needs? An email relevant to their wants and needs is an effective email and you need to consistently offer content that is of value to your ideal audience.

Set up your goals

Just like in any other business niche, your goals and performance indicators are not going to be the same as any other business. Here’s a great resource for industry benchmarks you’ll need to keep track of to help set the goals that are specific to you and your target market. Having an understanding of your base target numbers can help you set realistic expectations around the performance and execution of any strategy and be able to make accurate benchmark comparisons compared to your competitors.

Set up your goals

Just like in any other business niche, your goals and performance indicators are not going to be the same as any other business. Here’s a great resource for industry benchmarks you’ll need to keep track of to help set the goals that are specific to you and your target market. Having an understanding of your base target numbers can help you set realistic expectations around the performance and execution of any strategy and be able to make accurate benchmark comparisons compared to your competitors.

Build your email list

Your email list should include addresses of people who willingly subscribe to seeing more of your content. To create this list, there are several ways you can convert a passive audience into subscribed readers, but even if you only have a handful of people on your list to start, that’s totally okay! Treat every single one of them like they’re the most precious thing in the world (because they are) and how you manage these individuals will improve your credibility and help your audience grow organically over time.

Choose your specific email campaign type

Email campaign types usually differentiate between newsletters, product announcements, blog post lists, and so on - all with varying recommended frequencies of sending them. The right answer to how often you should send any of those types out is dependent on your industry - does your niche benefit from personalized weekly newsletters, limited-time product promotions or thorough digests of the most relevant content from thought leaders in your field? Whichever type you fall under, an effective email strategy will include different types of emails while allowing your readers to choose which types they prefer to see the most from you.

Create a schedule

When you’ve decided on what type of emails you should be sending out, you’ll also need to strategically space them out and loop in your audience on the frequency they should be visiting their inbox for your content. This way, they’ll know when to expect you and the consistency should help you to avoid their spam folders while fostering your credibility.

Measure the results

Of course, you’ll need to figure out some kind of measure and performance milestones to help you be informed about how your strategy is performing. Being meticulous with your metrics is a proactive way of growing your audience. Having a measuring system in place allows you to be able to isolate certain elements and test them in controlled environments, helping to inform the direction of how you’re creating and structuring your email marketing campaign and most importantly, where you need to improve.

With this blueprint, creating a marketing strategy specific to your business should be much easier than before you started reading this blog. But while those steps highlight what you need to do as an overhead guide, you still need to know about certain rules that email in general operates on and how this affects a marketing strategy.

What are email regulations?

With data now being one of the most important things consumers own, there are systems in place that help to protect them from all kinds of cyberthreats. Email regulations are what protects you and your audience as email users through safety practices, and these regulations help to guide marketing strategies while being able to give what your audience and potential customers want. Some of the most important email compliance rules include the following:

CAN-SPAM Compliance

CAN-SPAM is an acronym for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing” because unfortunately, those two go together. What this regulation does in practice though is mainly to protect subscribers’ right to only receive emails that they’ve requested.

Passed in 2013, this regulation applies to any commercial emails used for business purposes. To ensure that the emails you send out are CAN-SPAM compliant, check that:

  • Your company name and address is included in every email
  • Unsubscribe links are visible within the emails
  • You’re using real email addresses in the “From” and “Reply to” fields
  • Your subject lines properly indicate the contents of the email

For more information, you can check out the FTC’s site for legal information regarding CAN-SPAM laws.

GDPR Compliance

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and this compliance rule focuses on giving your customers the right to choose. They choose to hear from you, they choose to receive your emails, and they choose your products - essentially, inbound marketing.

Something specific to note about GDPR is that it actually only applies to businesses that operate in the European Union and businesses that market to EU citizens. Noncompliance results in steep fees and even if you don’t technically fall into the mentioned EU-related categories, ensuring that your emails are also GDPR compliant is just being smart about being safe than sorry. Here’s a general overview on how to stay GDPR Compliant:

  • Use clear language when requesting for consent to store personal information
  • Only collect data that is necessary and relevant to your business
  • Store contact data in a secure manner and use only for the agreed-upon purpose
  • Delete contact data on request
  • Retain data for justifiable business purposes only
  • Make it easy for your clients to unsubscribe from your list or update their preferences
  • Keep company records to prove GDPR compliance

Follow these compliance guidelines and plan your email marketing strategy around them to stay safe.

How to Avoid Spam Filters

With a lot of cyber-safety measures in place, the possibility of a well-crafted and remain regulation compliant email to end up in a receiver’s spam folder is never zero. There are ways to avoid being deduced to spam by:

Getting whitelisted

As the opposite of a blacklist, a whitelist is a list of approved senders that are allowed to reach the subscriber’s inbox. The way to do this is to have your new subscriber add your email address to their address book by highlighting the instructions on your welcome email.

Minding your copy

Spam filters are usually automated and programmed to pick up certain elements of copy. Text that uses all caps, multiple exclamation points and spam trigger words are one of the few ways that Internet Service Providers mark your emails as spam. Some sample spam trigger words include, “opt in”, “click below”, and “order” so, mind your copy and research frequently for any new additions to those triggers.

Using a reliable email service provider

Stick to well-known and established email provider companies. Their reputation extends to your business so choosing a good one can help you leap into whitelists.

Implementing a double opt-in

Think of this as enforcing a two-factor authentication safety measure that protects you and your subscriber. Once someone opts in to your email list, send a follow up email to confirm their decision. This not only ensures that your subscriber is genuinely interested to hear more from you, but increases the likelihood of getting engagement and decreases your odds of landing in the spam folder.

Remember, you’ll want to avoid landing in the spam folder because:

  • It hurts your deliverability rates
  • Your clients will miss your emails - maybe even all of them
  • This skews your metrics for measuring your email marketing effectiveness
  • In general this skews your analytics

And that’s pretty much it!

Email marketing is a tried and true strategy of increasing your engagement while helping to foster ROIs in your existing products and content. While all of this can be overwhelming to keep track of in creating your first email strategy, don’t be discouraged! You can delegate this task to our team of experts that will create a strategy specific to your needs while staying on top of the changing trends and being in-the-know of any compliance rules to execute a successful email marketing strategy. Hop into a call with Carly here to get started!

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Carly Zimbone