Email Marketing Campaign: Definition & Elements

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  • 0:04 What Is Email Marketing?
  • 0:43 How to Create an…
  • 3:17 Eight Key Essential Elements
  • 6:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Here we'll explain the elements of an effective email marketing campaign including setting goals, deciding on a target audience, and setting strategies. We'll also discuss the eight key drivers of an effective campaign.

What is an Email Marketing Campaign?

Tony owns a small pizzeria in a middle-sized town in New York. He's stopped offering direct mail flyers to customers and he's noticed his website traffic has slowed. Tony needs a new way to reach out to pizza lovers in his community, and he thinks an email campaign might just be the way to go.

Email marketing is the use of electronic mail to send a commercial message from a business to a group of subscribers. That message could include an advertisement, newsletter, or sales solicitation, but the purpose is typically always the same: to build awareness, loyalty, or create a sale.

How to Create an Effective Campaign

Developing successful email marketing messages is not as simple as typing a few words, inserting a photo and hitting send. However, building an effective email marketing campaign does not have to be a daunting task. With planning and understanding about the goals for your message and the audience you're trying to reach, you can create memorable email campaigns that will resonate with their recipients.

You can help ensure the success of your messaging by:

  • Establishing goals.
  • Narrowing your target audience
  • Choosing strategies to maximize impact

Let's take a closer look at each of these foundation building steps for creating an effective campaign:

First, begin by setting goals for your messaging. Or, the bigger question might be: What do you want your recipients to do? Is it to learn more about your brand? Are you trying to increase sales? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter?

Goals help you determine the direction of your email campaign by giving you a focused endpoint to achieve. Similarly, goals gives you an easy solution for a call-to-action button, which tells your reader exactly what step you want them to take next.

Next, focus on your target audience, the group that you are trying to reach with your advertising. You can't build a relevant email campaign without understanding what is considered relevant to your target audience. What needs do your customers have? What are they looking for or shopping for?

Paint a picture of your target audience using demographic data, which is data about a population's characteristics, such as age, race, gender, marital status, interests, and other analytics readily available to you through your website that will detail what your customers are browsing for and showing interest in.

Then, set strategies to enhance the impact of your email efforts. A proper strategy can help you reach your goals with messaging that is applicable to the right audience. Some popular strategies for email campaigns include:

  • Personalizing an email with the recipient's name
  • Creating short, engaging subject lines
  • Offering free giveaways or downloads
  • Optimizing your messages for clear viewing on mobile devices
  • Using a re-engagement campaign to win back drifting customers
  • Sending your message at the right time (this depends on your audience and testing delivery times)

Eight Key Essential Elements

If you're looking for essential elements that all campaigns must possess, consider these eight key drivers that will propel your message forward.

1. Email Address Acquisition: The greatest message in the world won't go far if you have no one to send it to. Use a variety of channels to acquire email addresses, including your website and social media platforms, in stores and even on customer service phone calls. Look for quality over quantity, because truly engaged email recipients will help you achieve your objectives more easily than a database of thousands who never bite on an offer.

2. Creative Copy: A properly designed email, using the right balance of text, colors, images and design, can make or break your message. Aim for creativity that will set your message apart from your competitors and enhance your brand or offer. Don't forget a smart subject line that will draw recipients in from the get-go.

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