How to Easily Re-Start Your Email Marketing Plan
Has it been awhile? We understand. Re-starting an email marketing plan is daunting, and you might not know exactly where to start. Here are a few easy steps that should cover everything you need to lay the foundation for a sustainable, email marketing plan.
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IS FIRST:
1: Clean & Update Your Email List.
Did you know that after only one year, 15% of an email list could already be outdated? Your business contacts may have moved on to another company. Consumers change email addresses frequently for a variety of reasons such as when their cable provider changes. Using an outdated list can even have dangerous consequences. Dormant email addresses are vulnerable to get hijacked without its owner watching the inbox for signs of it being hacked.
What to do: Export your existing email list and add any new contacts you may have been collecting. Submit your file to an email verification service – it’s not as expensive as you might think; for 1,000 cleaned contacts is will cost less than $10.
What can happen if you don’t clean your list: Before you even get your foot (back) in the door, your recipients’ email servers will send you right to spam, quarantine, or bounce your email if it sees you’re mailing to a large amount of contacts that no longer exist. This will negatively impact your sender score. Continuing to send to these bad email addresses will cause other servers to flag your campaigns as spam. This snowball effect is very damaging, and recovery is difficult.
2. Establish Basic Goals.
If you have a modest-size marketing department (even if that department is just you!), a simple goal could be to increase general traffic to your website. Whatever you decide, be conservative when setting goals. You can always become more adventurous once you succeed with these basic goals. Another perfectly acceptable goal, when getting restarted, is to stick to a consistent email schedule.
3. Determine Email Frequency – And Don’t Be Too Ambitious.
Choose a very easy-to-maintain schedule. Take into consideration how easy or difficult it will be to pull together content, product images, promo codes, etc. before committing to how often you are going to send campaigns.
Plan out your content schedule beforehand, so you’re not scrambling at the end of each month and throwing together a newsletter that is not helpful to you or your contacts. (Check out this handy spreadsheet we’ve already created for you. ) It’s divided into three sections: Planning, Testing, and Reporting to help you plan and track each campaign’s status and results.
Allow your team to have enough time to analyze each campaign’s results and apply them to the next one. Anticipate this and make it a part of your frequency/schedule.
Tip: When it comes to content & timing, think of your contacts first. What’s most important to them? What kind of products generally sell well, or which topics are trending in your industry? What events are happening during the upcoming year that are important to them (not you), and how you can help them prepare for those events?
4. Choose a Simple Template that Fits Your Goals.
Many email platforms have pre-made templates that are responsive and look fantastic on mobile phones. Use one of these! It’ll save you a ton of time. OpenMoves includes pre-made templates in your account that are fully customizable. You can add/delete blocks you don’t need, change all the colors & font styles to match your branding, etc. Make sure you have your postal mailing address somewhere in the footer and a visible unsubscribe link. Both are needed to be CAN-SPAM compliant.
And that’s it! Keep it simple. And, clean your email list!!!
5. BONUS (Level: Easy):
Check the replies a week after every email campaign is sent. You can find all replies to a campaign in its campaign report (and respond to them if you need to). Unsubscribing or updating contacts’ email addresses based on the auto-replies is another way to keep your email list healthy and email servers happy.