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Your Email Marketing Is Destined to Fail Without These 3 Essentials

Don't underestimate the power of a well-crafted email-marketing strategy; it can make or break your business.

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Think email marketing is all spam? Think again! In a world where marketing pitches come at us from all angles and on every device, email marketing has held steady as the favored channel for consumers. When used well, this platform can help you attract, convert, close and delight your buyers. Don’t underestimate it — your company's email strategy can make or break you.

When it comes to building a successful email-marketing strategy, there are three specific elements that will help you achieve your business goals or move you further away from them, depending on how well you use them.

Let's take a closer look at each of them. 

1. Frequency

Nobody wants to get ten emails a day from a subscription. It doesn’t matter if the content is brilliant, useful or undeniably accurate. Your leads will get annoyed if you send them too much information. Even though they might read it (with some luck), at some point, they’ll feel bothered and eventually click the unsubscribe button.

Avoid losing contacts by not only asking their desired frequency to get your emails, but also by relying on your metrics. Don’t pay too much attention to your open rate alone — look closely at your click-through rate too. This will indicate how interested your leads are and how often they take action to prove it.

While every industry and situation is different, a good place to start with email-marketing cadence is about once per week. This establishes a relationship with your subscribers that can turn into a habit-forming routine. Being too timid about frequency can lead to a sporadic cadence that will end up irritating recipients. If you wait too long between emails, even opt-in subscribers may report you for spam — simply because you've let them forget all about you!

Related: 5 Tips for Better Email Marketing Performance

2. Relevance

While subscribers may certainly become frustrated by the frequency of your emails, they are more likely to become annoyed if your content is not relevant to their interests and needs.

Relevance is a tricky concept because it depends on many factors like the consumer’s knowledge level, his or her stage in the buyer’s journey and good timing. You must know your audience in order to understand what type of content they want.

Specifically, you need to know what they want from you, which is often dictated by where they are in the buyer’s journey. Are they ready to buy? Are they trying to get valuable information? Are they looking to solve a problem? Are you able to solve that problem?

In every industry, there are two types of buyers: "now" buyers, who are progressing down the purchase funnel, and future buyers, who have no interest in or need for your product currently, but may down the road. For future buyers, the relevance of your content is what's most important to them; it's what builds the brand trust that will bring them back to you when they are ready to buy.

Finally, timing is everything. Relevance is about getting the right content to the right person at the right time.

Related: 4 Strategies for Better Email Marketing

3. Action

We receive emails basically everywhere — at home, work and while on the go. When receiving an email, we may take a look at it immediately, but sometimes it requires further action like submitting a form, watching a video or visiting a website. Try to reduce or streamline required actions in order to make it easy for contacts to follow through at any time of day.

First and foremost, make your offers simple. Your buyers don't like to be given too many choices; when they are, they often won't buy anything at all. Even in the physical world, this is the case. In the famous "jam study" by Columbia Business School Professor Sheena Iyengar, for example, she set out two tasting booths for a brand of jam. One table offered six flavors to choose from; the other offered 24.

While the tasting booth with 24 flavors attracted more people, the booth with six flavors sold much more jam — 30% of those who stopped at the booth bought a jar, compared to just 3% of those who stopped at the table with 24 varieties. These visitors were too confused and overwhelmed to make a purchase decision.

The difference between stopping at a booth and buying from a booth is similar to the difference between opening an email and clicking through to an offer. Your email campaigns must be able to achieve both to be successful. The more personalized and concise you can be in your offers, the simpler the choice will be for your email subscribers.

Related: Why Email Marketing Is Better for Your Business Than Social Media

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Scott Baradell is CEO of Idea Grove, a unified PR and marketing agency. Idea Grove has ranked three times as an Inc. 5000 company and was named 2020 Small Agency of the Year by the Dallas PRSA. Prior to Idea Grove, he served as the senior communications executive for two Fortune 1000 companies.