According to the Direct Marketing Association, in 2013, 66% of consumers made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message. Are you seeing these kinds of results? If you’re not, you might be leaving money on the table.

Email marketing is based on cold, hard science. When done right, there is no guesswork when it comes to email marketing; and Best-in-Class performers know this better than anyone else.

Knowing that you have a great email means asking yourself the following questions: is my email delivering a targeted message? Is it being delivered at the right time, and is it personalised? If you aren’t inspired to take action from your own email, would you expect your customers to?

Let’s get you started on the basics of email marketing.

Setting goals and starting small

What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to keep in touch with subscribers through newsletters? Are you creating a drip campaign?  Are you focusing on lead generation? Whatever your goal, you have to keep it in mind in order to see the bigger picture. From this point forward, work backwards to determine what kind of campaign you need to create.

Start small. No need to hit the ground running by blasting an email to your entire list without knowing what works. The approach should be targeted. Avoid batch and blast emails. You also have to deliver on your promises. If you tell your audience that they will be receiving an email on a weekly basis – deliver on it. You don’t want to compromise your credibility and reputation.

Basic types of emails

Educational emails. These types of emails provide education. They work to provide answers based on the customer’s needs. A good way to achieve this is to highlight new content on your website or share an interesting white paper or blog.

Promotional emails. These types of emails deliver an offer based on the needs of the subscriber. A good example would be to announce a current promotion.

Transactional emails. Transactional emails are triggered events that are sent to inform the subscriber that a business deal has been completed. Receipt of purchase is a good example of a transactional email.

Lead nurturing emails. Lead nurturing emails help to move prospects down the sales funnel. By examining prospect behaviors on your website or landing pages, you can trigger emails that provide more information to drive prospects to take action.

Cross-sell emails. With past customer histories, you can inform customers that there are other products that may be of interest to them.

Testing emails and defining metrics

When it comes to email campaigns, it’s important to measure up one campaign against another to see which yields the best results. Testing things like subject lines, the success of a call-to-action, or overall creative like graphics and content, means measuring campaigns before launch.  This is key. The more optimized your email campaign the better are your chances that it will work with your subscribers.

What does your email marketing strategy look like? Do you have a goal in mind when it comes to crafting your perfect email?