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Email Marketing Strategy and Planning

Email Marketing Strategy and Planning

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Published by m shariz abdullah

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Published by: m shariz abdullah on Dec 10, 2009
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09/25/2010

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Email Marketing Strategy & Planning - Copyright © 1997-2007 Doctor Net Ltd
 
Executive Summary
Having been involved in email marketingprovision for over 5 years, I have noticed a trendwhen speaking to potential customers. This trendconcerns those people who understand thebenefits of email marketing and would like tostart running campaigns for their company, yet
don’t feel they have enough material to send
regular campaigns or how to use email to helpsupport your customer acquisition and retention.This is a worry for many people. It isunderstandable, if you are paying for somethingthen you want to make sure you are using it. Anymarketing channel needs to be utilised to itsmaximum and email is no different. The fact thatit is cheaper and faster than sending direct mail
is irrelevant if you don’t
know what to send.We have written this white paper to show youthe numerous campaigns you can run, no matterwhat size your database is or how often you feelyou have newsworthy information or offers.Before doing this though, we need to look atputting a sensible email marketing plan in place.A simple plan will ensure your emails areconsistent and hitting the right spot with yourrecipients. Without a plan, your campaigns cansuffer as you may be sending them tooinfrequently or worse still, not at all.
Developing a plan
 – 
the basics
As with other marketing channels, there are twomain reasons people use email marketing;1.
 
Customer Retention
 – 
building a strongrelationship with customers2.
 
Customer Acquisition
 – 
generating newbusinessIt is important to cover both of the above angleswithin your marketing plan.
It is often quoted that it’s far more costly to
acquire a new customer than keep an existingone so you must ensure that retention is high onyour thoughts when planning email campaigns.To grow as a company though, acquisition is justas important and your plan must cover strategiesin generating new business via email.
Developing a plan & setting objectivesfor Retention
You can determine the strength of your
company’s r 
etention strategy by asking yourexisting customers whether they wouldrecommend your company or not.Your relationship with existing customers is avery valuable asset and looking after them isvital. When planned correctly, email marketingis an excellent tool to help with customerretention.When developing your plan for retention, it isimportant to know what outcome you want fromyour marketing efforts. This can be hierarchal.For example, when we carry out email marketingcampaigns to existing customers we have anoverall objective, followed by smaller objectives
 
 
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Email Marketing Strategy & Planning - Copyright © 1997-2007 Doctor Net Ltd
 
 Top LevelObjective
RetainCustomerEnsurecustomer knowsthat help andsupportchannels areavailable as andProvidecustomer withgood value formoney backed with highcustomerKeep at front of mind of customer so
they don’t
forget aboutyou
which work towards achieving this top levelgoal;When planning your campaigns, it is importantto keep things simple. At the start of each month,brainstorm with your colleagues and decide whatinformation is newsworthy and likely to addvalue to your customers. For example, do youhave a new service that will make animprovement to their current package? Do youhave new features that will enhance a productthat they have bought from you?As far as frequency is concerned, unless youhave a major press release that concerns yourexisting customers, then 1 or 2 emails eachmonth is more than enough within a B2Bmarket. B2C emails can be sent more frequentlyas long as they are relevant. Tesco achieve highlevels of success through their email marketingcampaigns and they often send more than 3 perweek.Finally, write down your plan and stick to it.Have a certain day of the month that you sendyour campaigns and let your customers knowwhen that will be. That way your customers areexpecting it and if your emails are informativeand entertaining then your customers will morethan likely be looking forward to it and lesslikely to unsubscribe.
Developing a plan & setting objectivesfor Acquisition
Targeting is a critical component of your emailmarketing success. Attracting and retainingprofitable customers and turning potentialcustomers into actual customers is a hugechallenge. Whether it's business-to-businessemail marketing or business-to-consumer emailmarketing, you need to know your customers. Byunderstanding the demographic characteristics,lifestyle behaviours and purchase preferencesthat drive your audience's decisions, you cansuccessfully tailor your marketing strategies toreach those most likely to purchase your productor service.With this in mind, planning your acquisitioncampaigns is arguably more important thatretention.Again, as with retention, setting an objective foryour campaigns is where you should begin. Withacquisition, this is quite simple
 – 
the end goal isgenerate new business.Your plan however should be based upon thestages that lead to generating new business suchas building brand awareness through consistentinformative emails, providing value to prospectsthrough offering free white papers or throughoffering a free mini-course delivered via ascheduled series of emails. Therefore, set arealistic objective of achieving smaller goalsover a period of time such as the following;
 
Building trust through consistent,informative emails
 
Offering prospects value through freewhite papers / mini course
 
Understanding more about yourprospects through surveys andquestionnairesAchieving these smaller objectives will help youbuild toward
s the ultimate goal. It’s important toremember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and
that in order for a prospect to be comfortable in

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