Email Design – Setting your objectives
Without doubt, the number-one objective of your e-mail marketing strategy is to make money, which is almost certainly the number one objective of your business. Making money and saving time are two objectives for almost every business, and smart strategic marketers use those objectives to devise and refine their plans for all aspects of their business.
How do you define your campaign goals?
When it comes down to setting goals, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What actions do you want your subscribers/prospects to take?
- Why should your subscribers/prospects care?
- Who are you sending the campaign to?
- How will you measure success?
The answers to these questions will define the creation of your email campaign.
Here’s a list of the top objectives used in email marketing today.
What’s the primary purpose of the email?
- Increased Sales?
- New product launch?
- Event registration?
Understanding this key goal will help you to decide what you want your subscribers/prospects to do. Essentially we are defining the call-to-action (CTA) for the campaign, and whether that’s sales, a new product, or an event registration then this is your primary goal (CTA).
The main goal should be very clear, and easy for subscribers to take action on. Let’s be clear, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have other links within the campaign, however, the main content and primary focus of the email should be towards this single goal.
Once you’ve defined the action, put it in context with your subscribers. Which of your subscribers does it make sense to send the campaign to? For example, you wouldn’t send a registration email to someone who already registered, nor would you send a free trial coupon to someone who’s already paying for your service. Segment your lists appropriately.
You’ll also need to understand how and where your subscribers will be reading your campaign, as that will help guide design efforts. For example, if your list has a heavy mobile audience, you may want to consider using a responsive design. The CTA, content, and design all must be relevant to your subscribers.
If your subscribers take the intended action, you know what the benefit to you as the sender will be (increased sales, brand awareness, etc.). But what is often overlooked are the benefits to the subscriber? In order to create a relationship with your subscribers, you need to think about them, too.
Put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes and ask, “What’s in it for me?” If they purchase one of your products, will it make their job easier? If they register for one of your events, will they get to network and learn from others? If they read an article, will it increase their knowledge of that topic?
Answering this question will help write the content of the campaign. Clearly state the benefit of taking the intended action, and use relatable, positive language.
You’ve defined the actions you want your subscribers to take, and the goals you want to achieve if they take those actions. Now it’s time to determine which metrics go toward achieving that goal.
Open rates and click rates are two of the most popular ways of measuring email campaign success, but they don’t paint the whole picture. They don’t show whether a goal was reached. So for example, whilst you may have had lower than average opens and clicks, you could well have achieved your sales target! If that was the primary CTA, then you’ve achieved your goal, equally there may be other unanticipated benefits like the collection of additional data via a secondary CTA via phone.
Once you’ve defined your goals and carefully crafted your campaign, it’s time to make sure your housekeeping is in order. Are your links working? Is tracking in place?
- Identify all campaign goals and objectives.
- Design the email campaign(s) – there may be more than one stage.
- Ensure that landing pages have been created for your campaign, and that all campaign hyperlinks are functional.
- Create UTM’s (Urchin Traffic Monitors) so that you can track the campaign on your website.
- Test and ensure that phone numbers, email addresses etc, are all active and functional.
- Perform a test send of each email campaign prior to go live.
- Agree a broadcast schedules for each campaign stage.
- Report back with full campaign analytics.