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Structuring Email Campaigns

How to Start Email Marketing

Unfortunately, an alarming number of email marketing programs have absolutely no chance of producing desirable results. This is usually because they have no structure. The business owner or campaign manager fails to consider how aspects such as time, personnel and resources come into play. In short, they jump into the murky waters without a strategy that suits the business.

Let's have a look at some numbers showing the costly mistakes email marketers are making with their campaigns. The following statistics were obtained from the Benchmark Your Email Organizations report, a document published by research company Forrester that involves data from more than 250 million global email marketers:

21% of email marketers do not have a strategy to manage frequency.
40% of email marketers have no documented strategy or any formal plan to adhere to.
Only 39% of email marketers measure their return on investment.

These numbers reveal one common trend: many email marketers are failing because they are not prepared to launch effective email campaigns. Success requires structure and sound strategy. The following three steps will help to assure that your campaigns are ultra-focused:

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

Identifying your objectives is the first step in creating structure within your email campaigns. These objectives are dependent on your business and may include:

Driving traffic to your website
Promoting products or services
Brand awareness and reputation building
Generating leads
Step 2: Define Campaign Objectives

Email marketing is so versatile in its ability to accomplish a broad range of goals that it becomes easy to fall off track and try to conquer the world in a single campaign. Since this is nothing short of impossible, it is best to be realistic and only attempt to accomplish a small number of goals for each campaign. Maybe one campaign could be designed to increase subscriptions to your membership site, while another might be geared to build your following on social networks. It is all about staying focused and as relevant as possible.

Step 3: Allocate Your Budget

With your strategy all drawn up, the only thing left to do is to consider your costs. Email marketing may be a low cost venture but it does require a budget. Additionally, there are aspects you often have to consider outside of a service provider or software solution. Perhaps you need a designer to customize the presentation of your emails, or a writer to produce captivating copy. Getting a budget together will help you determine what needs to be invested, and hopefully give you the motivation to track the return on that investment.