By: Mary Bier

Date: February 5, 2015

If you’re like most small companies, where employees wear numerous hats and juggle multiple tasks at the same time, carving out the time to not only establish an email marketing strategy, but to then also implement it, can be tough.

One of the first things you can do is ask yourself, “What problem could email help solve? What questions could email help answer?”.

Finding answers to these questions can help steer the direction of your email marketing program. In this three-part series, we’ll share several different tactics to help you get an email marketing program started, aimed at helping to make your life as an email marketer easier, more automated, and ultimately more engaging for your brand’s audience.

Common Issue #1:

“We don’t have an organized email marketing program and don’t know where to start.”

Solution:

The first step is figuring out the general messaging that you want to share with your audience. Do you want them to recongize you as a brand, your products, or both? Does one have a higher priority than the other, or does this change at certain times of the year? The answers to these questions will help determine the cadence in which emails could be sent.

Suggested Tactics:

Here are some common, tactical programs to consider when creating your email marketing strategy.

Welcome Email Series

This series of automated emails introduces new email recipients to your brand, your company, and your products in an authentic way. If you are just beginning with a formal email marketing plan, this is the single most important program to implement first, as email is one of the only mediums in which a consumer has given you express approval to correspond directly with them.

You have one chance to set the tone for your brand, share what they can expect from your emails in the future, and give them a reason to stay on your list. While this sort of series may have been an optional email program in the past, it has quickly become a must-have for most brands. So, put your best foot forward early on in the email relationship and win over your consumers from the very beginning.

Many brands also choose to incorporate a welcome email series as a follow up to a first-time online purchase, like Fishpeople Seafood.

Fishpeople-Welcome-Email-Series

Email Preference Center

Something that goes hand-in-hand with a welcome email series is an email preference center. This landing page has quickly become a non-negotiable for most brands, and is oftentimes referenced in the welcome email series. (e.g. “Thanks for signing up! Love your inbox and set your email preferences.”)
Use this page to encourage consumers to tell you — the brand — what they care about and what they want to hear more about.

Once you begin collecting information from your audience and learning their preferences, you’ll be be able to send them customized content based on their preferences over time.

Gerber Email Preference Center

Holiday Email Campaign

Strengthen your brand with your customers, be top of mind, and create an impactful touchpoint with your audience though a compelling email series or campaign. This may or may not be tied to any other promotional (e.g. deals-related) emails being sent.

Gerber_Tradition_v1 Gerber_Family_v1 Gerber_Legacy_v1

Yearly Events & Product Launches

Focus on important events and product launches within your company, and use this content to drive communications with your audience. For example, if you launch new products twice yearly, planning out an email strategy for each is a great way to begin.

Gerber-ghostrike-series-consumer

Need help getting started with an email marketing strategy? Or, want to learn more ways to engage with your audience through email? Drop us a line and we’ll be in touch.