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It’s very easy to get caught up in the minutiae surrounding email marketing – what buttons work best, what subject lines engage the most, or even how many segments to split your database into. While these aspects are undoubtedly important, it’s still worth taking a step back every so often and asking yourself, what’s my plan here?

You don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture, so you need a strategy to guide the types of emails you send, how frequently you send them and to whom they are sent. In this article, we’ll guide you through setting up that strategy and making sure your email marketing stays on top of the game.

1 – Have a Mission Statement

What is your mission

The starting point for any successful strategy is to have a mission statement. This mission statement should cover the fundamental purpose of your email marketing. All you need to do is answer the following question: why are we doing email marketing?

Are you doing your email marketing to increase your sales? Are you trying to nurture prospects or retain existing customers? Are you out to educate your subscribers? Whatever your reason, you need to be clear on what the purpose of your email marketing is.

2 – Get SMART


If you’ve never heard of the SMART goals, the acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. SMART goals are usually applied to business strategies, but it comes in very handy when applied to your email marketing strategy as well.

Now that you have declared your mission statement, use SMART to line up your objectives with that statement. That way, you can set up ways to measure performance against these objectives and make sure your mission statement is coming to fruition.

SMART will also make sure that you don’t focus solely on the email marketing metrics like open rates and click through rates. While these are definitely important, you also have to remember to factor in business oriented metrics like conversions, sales and leads generated, and average order value.

3 – Make a Contact Plan

Content Plan

Before you go rushing head first into your email marketing, you need to stop and think about your contact plan first. Think of the types of emails you want to send, and make a flow-chart mapping out the consecutive order of these emails, as well as the sending frequency and database segmentation.

Too often, marketers don’t think about the full lifecycle of their subscribers, so they end up treating everyone the same. This could lead to customers getting irrelevant content, which is going to increase your unsubscribe rate. Depending on where your contacts are in the sales cycle should mean that they’re getting tailored content.

If your mission statement is the “why”, your contact plan is your “who”, “what” and “where”. Start at the beginning of your sales funnel and map out the processes that your customers go through (bearing in mind that you could have a few different funnels for your different types of products and customers) and start to define who you’re creating content for, what’s going to add the most value and where you’re going to add that value for your customers.

In Conclusion

Your current email marketing might be working just fine for now, but that won’t always stay the same. Having an identifiable strategy means that you won’t fall behind, instead you’ll find that you’re constantly tweaking and evolving your processes to stay within your strategy, leading to more reward.

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