📧 5 principles that make up great email marketing strategies according to Clara Toombs
Read time: 4 minutes
Clara Toombs has spent a lot of time writing email marketing strategies. She was once the Head of CRM at Photobox and then later, at Moneysupermarket.
She’s recently made the switch to the email marketing consultancy life so she can work with a whole host of great companies, as well as taking up a NED position at Be the Business.
In this week’s session, Clara shared the 5 principles she believes every great email marketing strategy should focus on. We’d love to hear what you think. If you find any of Clara’s tips useful or inspire you into action – go and let her know on Linkedin. Link to the full webinar session here. Enjoy!
🖇️ Fundamentally, email marketing is about building relationships and establishing a connection with your audience
Done well, it should support each stage of your buyer journey.
👍 Clara shares the 5 key principles that makeup ‘doing email well’
- Get super clear on your goals
- Leverage insights that already exist
- Get personal with your audience
- Segment and serve your audience
- Innovate through a test and learn strategy
Let’s dive into each of those principles in detail.
What are your business goals for the next 12 months? When you come to write your email marketing strategy, start with those, and apply them to your email plan.
As with writing a strategy for any marketing activity, it is imperative that you acknowledge where you’re currently at with the channel, what it has previously done for you, and what you want it to achieve in the future. You’ve got to determine what success looks like before you begin, or you risk confusing and ultimately, losing prospective customers.
What do you already know about your audience? And how much of that knowledge is currently informing your email content and distribution plans?
When you get to know who your audience are and what they’re interested in, you can;
- Provide a more compelling and personalised customer experience
- Increase engagement and repeat sales
- Better solve your audience’s pain points
So, start to build a picture of who your audience are, get help from data/tech experts to pull these insights together into a single customer view, and then identify the gaps in the data and turn them into opportunities.
Great email personalisation should be so much more than just including a name in the subject line. Generally speaking, personalised emails deliver 6x higher revenue per email. Pair that fact with the stat that 70% of brands aren’t personalising their email marketing, and you’ll see that there are so many opportunities to win by personalising yours.
Start small and look at your existing data to start the personalisation ball rolling.
Clara shared a basic segmentation framework to get your started with very few resources.
She suggests creating segments based on your customers’ engagement behaviours.
- Your high value segment are your brand advocates, the people that keep coming back to buy your products.
- Your active segment are customers who need to be inspired – they’ve purchased from you a couple of times, but they need encouragement to make future purchases.
- The lapsing/lapsed segment are people who are losing interest in your brand.
Each of these different segments requires very different content. Once you have identified some commonalities, you can create content that solves their specific challenges, sparks curiosity, drives relevancy, and inspires action.
Clara believes in testing, learning and iterating. View your email marketing as a science experiment to see what works and what doesn’t. Start by A/B testing your subject lines to increase your open rate, or switching up your content length to improve your click through rate.
👑 Content is king
With more and more content out there and attention spans decreasing, it’s important to create content that’s actually helpful, engaging and inspiring to your customers.
Don’t know where to start? Think about the questions your customers always ask you and use them as a starting point for your content. And make a note of emails and content that grab your attention. This will help you to interrogate what makes good content ‘good’, and create some of your own.
Clara shared a handful of useful resources during the session
- Reallygoodemails.com for content inspiration
- The ICO for data and GDPR information
- Answer the public for a really good way to get a sense for what people are searching
Watch the full session back and let us know what you’re going to be implementing in your own email marketing strategy!