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Preparing Your Email Marketing for Success in 2024

This year, email marketing remains a pivotal strategy that you shouldn’t neglect – one that allows you to directly connect with customers at a low cost, drive sales, and build customer relationships. 

In this article, we’ll focus on the first step toward enjoying the benefits of email marketing’s broad reach and high ROI in 2024. 

Whether your end goal is to make sales, increase brand awareness, or nurture or generate leads, the success of your campaign rests on the shoulders of careful preparation. 

From cleverly setting objectives and choosing the right software, to collecting data and effectively segmenting your target audience, here’s what you need to know.

Defining Goals with the SMART Approach

email-marketing

First things first: You must know exactly what you aim to achieve. This may sound simple, but a structured approach is invaluable for an effective email marketing strategy, as it helps you articulate clear and attainable goals. 

For this purpose, setting objectives that are SMART is the cornerstone of successful plans. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Let’s go over each of these adjectives.

Specific

Specificity eliminates ambiguity and provides a clear direction for the marketing team. 

For example, rather than vaguely aiming to “increase brand awareness” you could specify you actually want to “enhance brand recognition by achieving a 30% increase in email forwarding rates over the next 3 months.”

This kind of clarity enhances team alignment and efficiency, as everyone understands exactly what they need to pull off.

Measurable

By setting concrete metrics and benchmarks, you create a system for objective assessment.

To do so effectively, identify which KPIs will be used to track progress. This includes metrics like email open, click-through, and conversion rates. 

For a benchmark, you need a clear target that indicates success and that boosting KPIs like the click-through rate works toward, i.e. “grow the number of qualified leads from our monthly product newsletter by 40%”.

Achievable Email Marketing

Your objectives must be realistic and within your team’s capacity to reach. This involves carefully assessing your resources, capabilities, as well as the external business environment.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have the necessary budget, team, and tools?
  2. What have similar, benchmark campaigns achieved in the past?
  3. Are there market trends or seasonal factors that could influence your success?

Relevant

To ensure relevance, your goals must be aligned with your company’s broader business objectives and contribute to a larger company mission.

As an example, if your company is focused on expanding into new markets, having a goal to increase brand awareness in those markets would be highly relevant.

This supports the overall business strategy, meets a current business need, and is done at an opportune time.

Time-Bound

This serves to help in planning and prioritization by setting a clear timeline. Moreover, it creates a sense of urgency, which keeps the team focused and on track.

The goal you set needs to be realistic and allow for planning, execution, and analysis.

Break it into milestones with their own deadlines to monitor progress, but be prepared to be flexible. You may need to adjust timelines depending on progress and unforeseen challenges, without ever losing sight of the ultimate deadline.

Choosing the Right Email Marketing Tool

While email marketing software tools are not necessary for setting smart goals, you’ll be using them every step of the way to achieve those goals.

There are numerous tools designed to assist your email marketing efforts. However, two have stood out for quite a while and it’s no different in 2024. These are Mailchimp and Hubspot.

So, let’s briefly examine Mailchimp and Hubspot to help you choose the right fit for you:

Mailchimp

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If you’re just starting with email marketing or your company is small or medium-sized having a limited budget, consider using Mailchimp. The tool offers affordable pricing and a generous free plan.

Moreover, Mailchimp allows you to create effective campaigns without a steep learning curve, thanks to automation, personalization, and analytics capabilities with enough functionality to create campaigns that can grow with your business needs.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a more costly solution that’s geared toward medium to large businesses or those planning to scale.

Choose it if you’re looking for a more comprehensive marketing tool that aligns marketing, sales, and service departments. That’s because HubSpot spans not just email but also CRM, content management, and other inbound marketing efforts.

Know Your Audience with Email Marketing

To engage your audience with the right content, you must first understand it. This allows you to segment your audience and focus efforts on targeted strategies that yield better results. 

If the audience feels understood, they’re likely to develop a personal connection and become just the customers you need – loyal brand advocates.

Obtaining Audience Data for Email Marketing

Harnessing External Data Sources

Having direct interactions with your audience is not an obligatory step toward getting essential data. Here is how to gather it through other means:

  • Industry reports provide essential demographic, psychographic, and behavioral insights into your target audience. Obtain them via market research firms (e.g., Nielsen, Gartner, Forrester), trade associations, or government databases.
  • Use Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or other SEO strategy tools to identify the topics your target audience is searching for online.
  • Look at your competitors’ marketing efforts, including their public content, customer reviews, and social media activity. These all offer clues about your shared audience.
  • You can also purchase audience data from specialized data providers. Check reviews and participate in forums or industry groups to get recommendations.

Leveraging Data from Existing Interactions

Once you’ve established communication channels with your audience, you may use them for data collection purposes:

  • Analyze KPIs about how people interact with your emails and website (including time spent and the kind of pages they visit), as well as their purchase history.
  • Social media analytics tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics allow you to learn about your followers’ demographics and interests. Monitor which types of posts generate the most engagement from a certain audience group.
  • Use surveys, polls, or feedback forms to directly ask folks about the kind of content they’re interested in. To encourage participants, offer discounts or free content. Moreover, if you’re unsure about how to phrase these messages effectively to get people’s feedback, use a free AI email writer tool to help you brainstorm ideas.

Segmenting Your Audience

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Armed with the insights you’ve obtained, you can now provide tailored content, offers, and promotions that appeal to various customer groups.

For best results, leverage the four key segmentation techniques. The first two are more basic, while the latter two are part of an ongoing trend in 2024 toward more sophisticated segmentation:

  • Demographic segmentation: A simple form that differentiates between groups based on age, gender, income, education level, marital status, occupation, or family size.
  • Geographic segmentation: Potential customers are divided according to country, state, city, or even specific neighborhoods, which allows your marketing to fit the cultural, climatic, and economic conditions of a particular area.
  • Behavioral segmentation: This is based on users’ purchase history, website navigation patterns, email engagement, and other metrics of behavior.
  • Psychographic segmentation: Division according to people’s values, interests, lifestyle choices, and personality traits.

A word of warning though: there’s a risk of segmenting your audience so finely that your messages become too niche, or you create too many segments and the whole process becomes unmanageable.

So, strive for a balance that allows for personalization without sacrificing the efficiency of your campaigns.

Setting the Stage for Email Marketing Mastery

By setting SMART goals, leveraging audience data, and effectively segmenting your audience, you lay the groundwork for personalized, impactful email campaigns in 2024.

If you do this right, you’ll be able to effectively engage your target audience with just the right content later on. But that’s the topic for another article that we’ll explore on our blog. Meanwhile, that perfect email campaign won’t prepare itself, so get cracking!

small business coach