The magic of email marketing, and what it can do for your marketing strategy, doesn’t happen all on its own.

While we all know that it’s important to create drip campaigns that cater to your audiences’ needs and provide them with resources that will help them navigate toward a decision, content is only one piece of the puzzle. When it comes to your email campaign management, it’s to strategize beyond the basics, optimizing not just your content but the ways that you manage your campaigns from the inside out.

To get the results you’re looking for, you’ve got to start with the foundation of your email marketing strategy. Here’s how to maintain success and facilitate appropriate campaign management so you can connect, engage, and convert.

Set Leads Up For Success

The backbone of your email marketing campaigns isn’t your template or your content strategy — it’s your contacts.

When building your email list, make sure that you make it as easy as possible to sign up for your email campaigns. This includes adding forms to your website that capture leads as they interact with your existing content and creating gated assets that encourage sign-ups from interested prospects.

Equally key to your email marketing campaigns is to ask the right questions when you bring on a new contact. Make sure you ask things like name, email, industry, job title, company name and size, marketing budget, and anything else that will help you segment and qualify your leads more effectively.

Segment Your Email Lists

Speaking of segmentation, breaking up your leads into distinct groups is crucial for efficient targeting. This means segmenting contacts based on where they are in the buyer’s journey so that you can send them content specifically geared to take them to the next step, instead of just sending everything to everyone at once.

Use a marketing automation tool to automatically segment your email list for you. This ensures that the right leads are placed in the right segments, and eliminates the need for guesswork when it comes to who goes where.

Optimize Your Use of Content

All content is not created equal. Go through the content you’ve created and see what would be the right fuel for your email campaigns. This will usually be content that already has a high level of engagement through downloads, views, and conversions. Decide where these pieces of content fit in the buyer’s journey, which campaigns they make the most sense for, and then fill in any leftover gaps with new content. You’ll have all your bases covered and hopefully get a lot of dual-purpose out of previous pieces you’ve already published.

Establish a Cadence

There should be a good rhythm to your campaigns, meaning emails go out often enough to keep your brand top of mind and build trust without going out so often that your audience feels like they’re being inundated.

As you strategize, decide how often you want your emails to be sent. And from there, plan to track key conversions regularly so that you can tweak your cadence as needed. With a little bit of back and forth, you should be able to find a sweet spot that works best for both your purposes and the attention span of your readers.

Make Your CTAs Clear

The point of an email is to take action, so don’t bury your CTA or make it difficult to pin down. If you want your subscribers to set up a demo, download another piece of content, or set up a call with one of your sales reps, let them know! By making the call-to-action clear as day (both in terms of copy and design), you increase the likelihood that more of your readers actually follow through.

If you’re using an email template, make sure the layout makes your CTA front and center. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your email template includes buttons or icons, which are eye-catching and can help increase your click-through-rate.

Initiate Your Campaigns and Track Results

Constant tracking is integral to email campaign success. Before you put your campaigns into motion, make sure you’ve set appropriate benchmarks for your campaigns to reach. Then, track various email marketing metrics each week to determine their progress. Examine their click-through rate, how often they are leading to sales calls, and whether or not they are being opened in the first place.

Be ready to make based on what you find. If you notice any negative patterns — such as your open rate decreasing, a lack of conversions, increased unsubscribes, or your deliverability is suffering — it’s a clear indication that something needs to change.

Analyze your email marketing metrics with ease by downloading our Email Marketing Metrics Handbook.

Audit Consistently

Automate your campaigns and do a complete audit at least once a year. This helps ensure that you’re not sending out stale content and that you’re adapting if and when there are changes in your standard buyer’s journey.

When you audit, look for any dated content that you can replace with newer, more evergreen pieces. You may be able to just update the existing piece, though in some cases, you might find that it’s better to just start from scratch and create something new. Look broadly at the campaign itself to see if any emails should be omitted or switched up.

Each of the steps above will get you one step closer to a killer campaign. Do them all, and you should have no trouble hitting your performance goals.