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If you’re investing time and money into email marketing, then it doesn’t make sense to send messages and hope something works. Instead, you need to be confident that the email campaigns you send have the best chance of driving the results you want.
Like any other part of your business, you need a strategy and a plan to make the strategy come to life, so before the year ends, you should have a 2021 email marketing strategy defined and an email marketing plan in place.
Before we go any further, let’s get some confusion around semantics out of the way by defining three terms – strategy, plan, and tactics.
An email marketing strategy identifies your goals and your target market(s) of consumers (who). It provides a clear picture of where your brand stands in the marketplace compared to your competitors and documents the marketing messages you need to communicate in order to move your business closer to achieving its goals. An email marketing strategy explains what you’re going to achieve through your marketing efforts and why you want to achieve it.
On the other hand, an email marketing plan explains how, when, and where you’re going to fulfill your email marketing strategy by outlining a complete roadmap of tactics that when implemented, will lead to the achievement of your strategic goals.
Finally, email marketing tactics are the specific actions and investments identified in your plan that you’ll use to execute the plan.
Think of it this way. If your email marketing strategy identifies one of the things (i.e., the what) that you’re going to achieve as a specific increase in demos for your cannabis-related software platform, then your email marketing plan could include a blog calendar filled with monthly tactical campaigns (i.e., the how, when and where). These campaigns can include special promotions, free content, webinar invitations, and more.
Documenting your 2021 email marketing strategy doesn’t have to feel like an overwhelming task. Start by answering these important questions:
The first question in the previous section can often be an obstacle if you’re not a seasoned email marketing professional and don’t have such a person on your team – either as an employee or a vendor/contractor.
To help you get started, here is a list of some areas to focus on as you develop your own email marketing strategic goals for the next 12 months:
Once you have clear, specific, measurable, and achievable goals written up, you can fill in the rest of your marketing strategy. This includes competitor research and defining your target audience, which is another area that can be frustrating. Follow the link to learn how to create buyer personas, and defining your target audience will be much easier.
Once your 2021 email marketing strategy is defined, you can create a tactic-filled email marketing plan. Plot everything on a calendar keeping in mind how important it is to send a consistent volume of messages on a consistent schedule to stay out of the spam folder!
Your email marketing calendar will tell you what you’re going to send, to whom, and when, so you never have to sit down at your computer and try to think about what message to send to prospects. Without a plan, you won’t get the results you need or reach your goals.
Think about your different target audiences and create quarterly plans to move them through the marketing funnel and buyer journey. It can be easier to think in 3-month intervals than an entire year, so go ahead and break the year into smaller chunks if it helps. This also allows you to do a complete analysis every quarter to see if you’re on track to reach your strategic goals or need to make some changes along the way.
At a minimum, your email marketing calendar should include the following information for every campaign:
After a campaign is sent, you can add KPI metrics directly to the calendar (e.g., open rate, click rate, and so on) or you can create a separate document to track results if you prefer.
Keep in mind, simply sending one generic sales message after another to large lists won’t help you reach your goals. In fact, that strategy is usually a recipe for ruining your sender reputation with mailbox providers, which means your messages will end up going to spam rather than inboxes in the future.
For your email marketing strategy to be successful, you need to send highly-relevant messages to hyper-targeted lists of people. By creating a comprehensive content calendar as part of your email marketing plan, you can map out exactly how you’re going to use email campaigns to move your audience to take the necessary actions so you’ll hit your strategic goals.
Want to take your email marketing to verified cannabis license holders to the next level in 2021? Schedule a demo of the Cannabiz Media License Database to see how it can help your business grow in the coming year and beyond.