Many think that email marketing is dead. Didn’t all of that get overtaken by social media and other digital platforms? Definitely not! Email is still probably the most important foundation of your online marketing strategy. And most of what you do in social media relates directly back to a healthy email list.

In a recent survey, 41% percent say integrating social media in email is effective. This conflicts with a finding in Adestra’s 2016 Consumer Adoption & Usage Study, which found 52% of all email users don’t share email content in social. Only 5% say they are “very likely” to share to social.

So, here are six tips on developing a stronger email strategy:

Set aside planning time:

You should set aside time in the work year to strategic planning – to take a day to review and plan for the overarching strategies that will lead them to success, not just the day-to-day tactics. We’re all good at creating emails or coming up with subject lines, but we need the big picture, too.

Track your competition:

Subscribe to the email programs of your closest competitors using at least two different email addresses. If a company is using segmentation, you might see different messages sent to different accounts based on activity from those accounts. Use one account to view email and another to act on them. Click links, order merchandise, download products or engage services. Or, register online with one address and use in-store sign-ups to see how mailings might vary. Fill out preference forms with different names, genders, income levels, locations, number of children, interests and other data. Track how mailings differ.

Get more personal:

Elevate your personalization strategy beyond basic first name or location in the subject line or copy. Doing personalization the right way means you’re adding content that appeals to each individual recipient. The presence and availability of data from other departments in your organization can lead you to better targeting. If you don’t know your customer’s age, number of children in the home, income, or location, then your segmentation will not be as complete or as accurate as it could be. The presence of this information is key to driving better personalization. Think about the kinds of data you need and where you have to go to get it? Does some internal department have what you need? Can you ask your customers for it? Do you have to buy it from a third-party provider? Establishing what you hope to achieve from this data, will also help you know what data points to ask for. Remember, quality over quantity is key.

Email can help build brand awareness too:

Unless you’re about to enter a major brand restructuring program, you probably don’t need to spend much time on awareness beyond making sure your emails’ look and function fit in with your brand and reflect any changes or updates. However, you can build brand awareness without overtly selling anything by incorporating “macro” events throughout the year, such as the holidays, summer vacation, or back to school. These events, all common to large segments of your customer base, allow you to stay in contact more frequently than just sending promotional (“buy this”) email.

Segment by shopping habits

Look at your own shopping habits. You have items that you purchase right away as soon as you need or want them without needing an incentive to push you to action. Other items – cars, luxury purchases, vacations – will take time to research and discuss with perhaps at least one other person. This is why you should study your segments and break them into sub-groups. Which buyers always need a discount to act? Who will buy without needing that little push? You could find you’re pushing incentives – and thus sacrificing margin – to customers who don’t really need them. Factoring in your sales cycle can affect your ability to achieve innovation with new programs – adding cart-recovery or onboarding emails, for example. Once again, it’s helpful to view innovation as an incremental process. Establish a basic version of your new program first, and then adjust and build on it as you adapt it to your email reality.

Think “mobile first” with your email design.

You have to be mobile first to stay competitive. Another finding from a 2016 Consumer Adoption & Usage Study says around three-quarters of your readers will delete your emails if they look bad or don’t function on mobile. With mobile access well above 50% between smartphones and tablets, it’s far more likely today that your customers are looking at your email on a mobile device.

Source: Adestra : Email Strategies for Success report 2018