The Five Step Process of Creating an Email Marketing Strategy
The Hustle is a poster child for email marketing. They have shown that an email-based marketing strategy is just as effective as other, more traditional methods. This five step process is similar to The Hustle’s example.
STEP 1: Decide Where Email Marketing Ranks in Your Overall Marketing Strategy
Before you get started with email marketing, you need to decide how much time and effort you want to put into it. If you’d like to know where it stands in The Hustle’s opinion, just check out their homepage:
The answer, of course, is front and center. The homepage of The Hustle has a newsletter CTA that is simple and immediate. The directness is reinforced by a large amount of white space, a mobile platform mock-up of the newsletter itself, a statement regarding their subscriber base (“Trusted by 1.5M_ readers…”), and a carousel of reviews by happy readers. The website is missing navigation at the header and footer.
Email marketing is a very important marketing methodology for The Hustle. Where does it rank in your overall marketing strategy?
To figure out where email marketing fits in your marketing priorities, just answer these questions:
- What marketing methods do you use?
- Give each of your marketing methods a rating from 1 to 10 (1 being the lowest importance and 10 being the highest)?
- How much time and money is spent on each method on a monthly basis?
- Does your ranking and resource spend on email marketing reflect your commitment to the method?
STEP 2: Set a Long Term Email Marketing Objective
Many business owners and marketing professionals focus more on short-term objectives when it comes to email marketing. You want “x” amount of new subscribers. You want “x” percentage of click-thrus. You want “x” conversion rate. While these goals are necessary for current operations, they cannot help develop a new email marketing strategy. They can only show whether the strategy is working.
Your long term marketing objective needs to be appealing and exciting for both your business and your target audience. You can get the essence of The Hustle’s objective by looking at the first line on their About page:
We provide people with the information they need to improve their lives.
This statement provides a general direction for an email marketing strategy. Let’s break down the statement into its component parts:
- Here at The Hustle – All-encompassing statement for the brand
- we tell people – Clear action phrase simply stating what they do
- (like you) – Qualifier and uplifter for the reader
- what they need to know. – Intriguing authority-building statement
If you wanted to create a successful email marketing strategy, what one statement would be most important to keep in mind? Here are some examples to get you started:
The Education Technology Company’s newsletter keeps families informed about important developments in education.
This ecommerce apparel company will be your go-to source for clothing items that you’ll want to add to your shopping cart every day.
Our restaurant will get you excited for lunchtime before you’ve even had breakfast!
STEP 3: Decide What Elements Your Primary Email Template Will Contain
You should have an overarching outline for your biggest email marketing list, even though you may have a variety of templates for specific email marketing functions. For most companies, that will be your general newsletter. After you establish your email’s overall tone, you can add or remove elements for segmentation while still maintaining a consistent feel.
If you look at The Hustle, their layout contains five primary section types:
- THE BIG IDEA
- ADDITIONAL TOPIC (1 OR MORE)
- “OF THE DAY” (Meme of the Day, Jacket of the Day, Stat of the Day, etc.)
- SHARE THE HUSTLE
If you keep your layout consistent, your readers will know what kind of information to expect and where it will be located. You should strive to create an email marketing campaign that is so successful and consistent that it becomes like McDonalds- a household name that is synonymous with quality and reliability.
To begin, aim to section off no more than five areas. To make your website interesting and engaging, you need to create sections that are both specific enough to be interesting, and broad enough to accommodate an infinite number of topics. List out every section you have or could have in a standard email campaign and categorize them into five groups. The following text provides the foundation for the sections you should be using.
STEP 4: Determine Your Overarching Design Theme
People often mistakenly lump design and layout into the same category, but they are two different things in terms of strategy. The design of your emails should reflect your overall marketing strategy, rather than being specific to any one email campaign.
If you want your email design to reflect your brand, make sure it is in line with your brand’s personality. For example, if your brand is quirky and fun, your email design should not be minimalistic and somber. Your email marketing objective should be something different than what is being talked about in the headlines on MSNBC, CNN, or FOX.
The design for The Hustle’s recent campaign combines a casual and cheeky voice with punchy graphics that feature bright colors, funny scenarios, and attention grabbing animations.
Viewers should be able to understand your email’s design theme within a few seconds of opening it. If there is any confusion about what this means, then you have not explained your design well. What are some questions you think you should be able to answer?
What three words encapsulate your overarching email marketing design?
What would be a single picture or graphic that could represent your entire strategy?
Who or what would your standard email campaign be if it were a character from a movie?
STEP 5: Commit to a Set Execution Period
You’ll need to give your email marketing strategy some time to get off the ground. Test it out and see what needs to be refined. It needs a minimum amount of time to do all of that. Giving yourself a time limit for a task will help you take it seriously and give you the motivation you need to do it properly.
Parr began with a list of just 300 subscribers in 2015, but relaunched the newsletter in 2016. By 2021, he had amassed a following of over 1.5 million subscribers. The company is adding an average of 300,000 new subscribers every year. This growth rate is exceptional, but it didn’t happen all at once. The current subscriber list is very impressive, but it’s not an impossible number of people.
If your company dedicated itself to an email marketing campaign, how could 10,000, 100,000, or 1 million subscribers improve your business? A tiny fraction of that could have a gigantic impact on your business.
We recommend that you commit to a minimum of ninety days to execute a new strategy. The Email Mastery Certification will tell you what you need to do to implement the changes, and it is recommended that you start with that.