15 questions and tips for successful email marketing

  •  30.05.2018
  •  Sebrus Berchtenbreiter
  •   Marketing Automation

You wish to conduct email marketing in your company? In the following we answer the most important questions you should ask yourself.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is part of online marketing and more precisely of direct marketing. As a company, you can use email marketing to inform customers about your offers, new products or services. Moreover, email marketing builds and/or strengthens customer loyalty. There are two different types of email marketing:

  • In one-to-one communication, the company or authority specifically addresses a customer (recipient).
  • In one-to-many communication, the email is addressed to several recipients (email addresses), for example when you send out your newsletter or create product offers for a large number of recipients.

One-to-many communication usually consists of automated emails. Email clients and recipients can quickly label this as SPAM. Recipients quickly perceive SPAM as annoying. The consequences are often complaints and even the loss of customers. In any case, set up a feedback loop and keep an eye on your responses in order to react quickly to campaigns that threaten to fail.

Feedback Loop und Response

A so-called feedback loop is a technical service offered by mailbox providers (email providers) that reports spam clicks from email recipients back to the sender. This feedback loop function is activated once a recipient clicks on the "spam button" in his email account interface.

Apart from the feedback loop, you should also monitor the response, i.e. the reactions of the email recipients, and optimize the emails strictly according to the feedback received. The kind of reaction can sometimes be quite different. There are certain situations in which the response is a straight answer. The click on a link or the opening of an email is usually counted as a response.

Where am I at with my email marketing activities?

For years, email marketing has had a permanent place in the marketing mix of almost every company. In the course of daily work, however, goals and strategy are often neglected. It is essential for the success of your activities to have a strategic positioning and to question and constantly optimize this positioning with respect to previously clearly defined goals.

Do you know to what extent your email campaigns today contribute to the achievement of overall marketing or sales goals? If the following goals are on your agenda, the email channel is an excellent way to achieve them:

  • Boost the sale of your products or services
  • Acquiring new customers
  • Strengthen and expand your relationships with existing customers
  • Make your brand or product better known
  • Support processes and relieve resources

What strategy do you use to achieve your targets?

For successful email marketing it is important to have the right strategy. However, this should not only be based on the previously defined goals, but should also include the observation of your competitors and the market. Developing a strategy or optimizing an existing one is easy and quick to implement. Ask yourself a few basic questions:

  1. Which target groups do you want to address with your mailings?
  2. Do you compose advertising emails or informative emails?
  3. Which data do you currently use and are there other possible uses?
  4. To which email addresses do you send your emails and are the email addresses and recipients in your list useful?
  5. Essential in times of the DSGVO (General Data Protection Regulation): How do you collect data and is everything in compliance with data protection regulations?
  6. What types of mailings do you send out, and can they be linked to another aspect of the Customer Journey?
  7. Are your email design and structure of the mailings still modern and up-to-date?
  8. What content do you convey and does it offer real added value?
  9. How often do you dispatch and do you choose the best time for dispatch?
  10. Do you make full use of all personalization and automation potentials?
  11. Do you properly link your campaigns with other marketing and sales activities?
  12. What email marketing activities do your competitors run?
  13. Are there any trends in the current market that you can include?
  14. Are you using the right email marketing tools and email programs that fit your needs?
  15. Do you observe your feedback loop and response?

Were you able to answer all 15 questions to the greatest extent possible? If not, team up and work together on a strategy for your email marketing activities, which in the end will result in a reliable answer to all questions. It is often advisable to elaborate the procedure, for example in a workshop with a consultant or expert. Many email marketing software providers offer this service to their customers and support them in developing a strategy.

How can I measure success? 

Once you have defined your goals and established a strategy to achieve them, the only question that remains is how best to measure and optimize your actions and their performance.

The answer: Set KPI's and test your campaigns!

The ability to comprehensively measure your activities using a variety of metrics provides you with a simple overview and is one of the strengths of email marketing. You will gain information about goal achievement and optimization possibilities. The most important metrics that you should know and measure in any case are:

  • Opening rate
  • Delivery rate
  • Click rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Click-Through-Rate
  • Unsubscription and complaint rate
  • Number of Feedback Loop and Response

Test your mailings by sending out A/B test campaigns and letting different subject lines, content, images or call-to-action buttons compete against each other. With the use of such A/B tests you can find out much faster which visual and content design your target group prefers in your newsletters, marketing emails and other general mailings.

Now it's your turn!

Set precise goals, measure their accomplishment and question your email marketing strategy. Optimized campaigns generate better performance in the long run, which will help you reach your marketing and sales goals!