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The Best Way to Organize an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

The Best Way to Organize an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

Managing email marketing successfully isn’t easy.

There are lots of moving pieces to consider:

  • Managing your list.
  • Overseeing email content creation workflows.
  • Scheduling delivery times.
  • A/B testing.
  • Analyzing results.

That’s just scratching the surface.

But, if you’re going to be successful, you need a well-planned email marketing strategy in place.

One that clearly establishes goals, and lays out the roadmap to achieve them.

Something that can guide your team toward success.

And that’s exactly what you’ll get from this post.

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Download Your Email Marketing Strategy Template …

Before you continue reading, download your email marketing strategy template. This easy to use PowerPoint will help you document your plan and give the rest of your email team something to refer back to when they have questions.

Get Your Free Email Marketing Strategy Template

Get Your Free Email Marketing Strategy Template



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... Then Manage Email Marketing With CoSchedule

If you're new to CoSchedule, it's an industry-leading marketing management platform.

And now, it integrates with popular email marketing services!

With Email Marketing from CoSchedule, you can:

  • Seamlessly integrate with your *favorite* email marketing platform. You already have a kick-a$$ email platform you know and love, so why give it up? With Email Marketing, you can easily connect your preferred email platform to CoSchedule with just a couple clicks.
  • Write click-worthy email subject lines...every time. With Email Marketing, you can use CoSchedule’s *exclusive* Email Subject Line Tester to optimize and perfect every subject line to drive more opens, more clicks, and more conversions.
  • Get full visibility into your ENTIRE marketing strategy. Say “buh-bye” to disjointed marketing content (and constantly jumping from screen to screen). With Email Marketing, it’s easy to see how your email campaigns relate to the rest of your marketing strategy and quickly make adjustments if necessary.

With Email Marketing, you can easily connect your preferred email platform (MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and ActiveCampaign) to CoSchedule with just a couple clicks.

See how it works here. Or, if you're ready to try it yourself, snag a free trial or schedule a demo.

Why Is Having An Email Marketing Strategy Important?

There are many reasons why a marketing team would choose to use an email marketing plan.

Some of the most common ones include:

  • The ability to plan your emails ahead of time allowing your team to see what’s coming next.
  • Being able to set goals and show the progress your email marketing team is making.
  • Choosing tactics that you’ll use to build your list instead of throwing things out to see what sticks.

Create Your Own Email Marketing Strategy in 11 Steps

Creating an email marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. The following eleven steps will help you plan your work and work your plan in no time.

Step One: Choose Your Tools

The first step to any great email marketing strategy finding the right tools. Email service providers can help you organize and send your emails at the drop of a hat.

Email Marketing Tools

Some common email marketing tools that you might consider using are:

This is a shortlist in a sea of other email tools you could use. Find the tool that fits your team based on what you want to accomplish with your email marketing.

Email Automation Tools

You might not want to stop at a simple email marketing tool. You may also consider adding an email automation tool to your list.

Email automation tools make it easy for you to follow up with customers and send the right email at the right time to subscribers based on how they are interacting with your website.

Potential automation tools to add to your list are:

  • Autopilot: Autopilot makes it easy to plan out journeys and triggers that send your subscribers emails based on how they interact with your website.
  • Userfox: Userfox is a small email-focused automation tool that sends emails to subscribers based on events that you put into the system. Userfox was bought by the Adroll Group in 2014.
  • HubSpot: Hubspot doesn’t have as much email automation functionality as the other two on this list, but it is suited for companies who want to control multiple aspects from one tool.

Once you have your tools, add them to the first slide in your email marketing strategy template:

Email Tool Selection

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Step Two: Identify Your Target Audience

Once you have your tools selected you to need to focus on building your email subscriber list.

The first step to build your email list is to identify your target audience.

As a refresher:

Your target audience is the ideal customer you want to attract to your product or service through your marketing efforts.

So how can you find your target audience?

First, answer the following questions:

  • Who are our current best customers?
  • What qualities do they have in common?
  • What problem are they experiencing that has our customers search for a solution like our product or service?
  • Why did they purchase our product or service?
  • What did we provide for our customers that our competition didn’t?

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Using those answers format, your target audience statement with the following template:

{Insert your company} creates content to attract {insert target audience} so they can {insert desired outcome} better.

Record your target audience demographics and statement in your template.

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Step Three: Create Tactics To Use To Get Your Audience To Opt-In To Your Email List

Now that you know who your target audience is you can begin to brainstorm tactics that will attract them and convince them to sign up and join your email list.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Give Them Something Valuable In Return

One of the most common ways to get your audience to join your email subscriber list is to gate content upgrades behind an opt-in form.

What is valuable to your customers?

A downloadable template or ebook that shows them how to solve a problem or answer a question they might be having.

If you gate something that doesn’t provide something of value you might end up losing that subscriber.

Example of an opt-in form.

Go For The Direct Ask

Another way to gain subscribers is to go for the direct ask. Explain to them why they should opt into your email list and entice them with personalized information like this pop up from Fargo 3D Printing.

Gathering information like this will also help you segment your list. (More on that in a bit):

Second example of an opt-in form

Use The Header And Footer Of Your Website

Another place you can put an email opt-in button is on your website’s header and footer.

Why not meet your audience halfway and make it easy to remind them that they can get more information about your products by joining your email list?

Take a look at this example from Ulta:

Opt in form example from Ulta

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How To Segment Your Email List

We mentioned earlier in this section that you can segment your email list. What does that mean and how can that help you?

Email segmentation is:

The process of grouping like individuals on an email list based on their behavior or characteristics to send specifically targeted emails that address that particular group of users needs or problems.

You can just blast out your emails to everyone on your list and hope that it resonates with someone and convince them to convert.

However, in today’s day in age, we can use data and information to go further and serve content to the right people at the right time to help guide them through your marketing funnel.

In fact, segmenting your list can have a positive effect on your email list. MailChimp conducted an internal study and found that segmented campaigns had:

  • 14.31% higher open rates.
  • 100.95% more clicks.
  • 9.37% lower unsubscribe rates than their non-segmented campaigns.

You can segment your list based on a variety of things, including:

  • Company size.
  • Location.
  • Activity on your website.
  • How long they’ve been on your email list.

In order to accurately segment your list, you need to gather this data about your customers when they first sign up. So add options for subscribers to choose from before they complete their sign up.

List potential ways your team will try and grow your email list in your template as well as your email list segments.

Email List Segments

Step Four: Choose The Types Of Emails To Send

There are many different types of email that you can send to your list. You can choose one or change it up based on the various segments you have in your list.

Here are three different types of emails to get started with.


Newsletters are a popular email format. They come to your subscriber’s inbox at the same time at recurring intervals. They allow you to show them a variety of content and information your subscribers might have missed if they haven’t visited your website lately.

According to Hubspot, successful email newsletters contain 90% educational content and 10% product or promotional content.

The same post from Hubspot says newsletters should contain a single theme or idea. That way you can prevent yourself from randomly throwing content into your newsletter just to get it out there.

You might even send out different newsletters on different topics based on who you’re sending each newsletter to on your list.

So what does an excellent newsletter look like? Take this example from The Skimm:

Example of an email newsletter

Photo from Hubspot

The Skimm newsletter is specific in the fact that it rounds up the latest news from the day before and quickly summarizes it for readers. It provides the benefit of not having to read long news stories and allows subscribers to quickly catch up on the news from the day before.

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Automated Drip Emails

Automated drip campaigns are emails that are sent to users based on their interactions with your website or content that is sent on a schedule to help move customers down your marketing funnel.

Once your subscriber takes action, emails are slowly dripped into their email inbox to help convince them to convert.

These emails change based on the action that your list members take. For example, say you had a subscriber who clicked on your product page, added things to their cart but didn’t make a purchase.

The automated emails could be sent to your subscriber that gently remind them to head back to their cart or learn more about their products.

Take a look at this example from DoggyLoot:

Email from Doggy Loot


This is a great example because of the sense of urgency the copy creates. If your customer doesn’t buy these items now, they might miss out on them all together.

This video shows how to create a drip campaign in MailChimp:


Seasonal And Promotional Emails

We all know the holiday emails that end up in our inboxes each year. They contain all those great deals so you can get your shopping done and out of the way.

Seasonal and promotional emails are timed emails that help entice your readers to purchase from your website.

Here’s a typical example of a holiday promotional email:

Example of a seasonal email

Image from Constant Contact:

Each email may vary and contain different, timely information that you want to get to your audience.

Choose which types of emails you want to send to your email list and record it in your template.

Types of email content

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Step Five: Determine How Often To Send Your Emails

By this point, your subscriber list is growing, and you’re ready to send out your emails. However, your audience gets a lot of emails over the course of one day.

How can you ensure that your emails are being seen?

By sending them out on the best days and best times for your audience.

According to ten different studies, the best times to send emails are:

The best times to send email are ...

Your best times will vary a bit depending on your subscribers, so experiment to see what times your audience is the most engaged.

You can’t just send your email at the best time; you also need to send it on the best day.

According to those same ten studies the best days to send email are:

The best days to send email are ...

Does this mean that these are the best days for your list? Not necessarily. Each audience is unique and may require a little testing to find your best day to send email.

To find your best times and days to send an email, try testing the following times:

Test email sending days and times.

Use your in-app analytics to determine what times work best for your audience. Then record those winning times in your template.

Document your email schedule.

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Step Six: Set Goals For Your Emails

Now that you know what types of email you’re sending you can move on to creating goals for each email that you send.

Why is goal setting critical for your email marketing program? Because each email you send has a specific purpose, whether that’s getting your readers to click on a link or purchase a product.

You should be able to show your boss and higher-ups in your organization that your email marketing strategy is having the right effect on your bottom line.

So how do you create a solid email marketing goal? By ensuring, they’re S.M.A.R.T or:

Setting SMART Goals

Each goal you create should be specific to your campaign and measurable, so you have a way to track your results. Make sure that you’re stretching yourself but don’t set goals that are so high they’re impossible to reach.

Every goal should be relevant to the campaign it’s created for, i.e., you don’t necessarily want to track the number of purchases for an email newsletter if it isn’t directly selling something.

Plus each goal needs to be time-bound, meaning you should meet your goal within a set time limit.

So what kind of goals can you set for your email marketing program?

  • Increasing click-through rates. Click through rates mean that your audience has read you email and follow through to click the link to your website which could increase your conversions.
  • Increasing your ROI. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you see on average, a $44 dollar return. You could set goals to help increase your average ROI.
  • Increasing your open rates: An unopened email is about as effective as an unsent one. Trying to increase your open rates is a solid goal to set for your email marketing strategy.
  • Increasing the number of subscribers: The more people you can reach with your emails the better. Set a series of goals that help increase your total subscribers.

Use the following template to create each one of your goals:

By {insert day, month, year}, the {insert your organization’s name} marketing team will reach {insert number} {insert metric} every {insert time frame}.

Enter those goals into your template:

Document your email marketing goals

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Step Seven: Determine How You’re Going To Craft Your Content

You have your email types selected, and your goals are complete, next you need to write email copy that encourages your reader to take action. The following categories will help ensure that your copywriters create content that makes your next email stand out.

What Writing Style Does Your Team Use

Emails can be written in all sorts of formats and styles. Depending on what type of email you’re creating you could have larger blocks of text or a list of links email readers can click on.

Take CoSchedule for example. We approach our email copy by writing single-sentence paragraphs:

This format makes skimming plain-text email easy.

Optimizing For Mobile Readers

Another essential part of crafting your email content is to make sure that it is optimized for viewing across multiple devices.

The fact is, 55% of emails are read on mobile devices, which means your copy should transfer easily from

According to CopyBlogger, there are ten ways you can ensure that your emails are mobile friendly. They are:

  1. Create short subject lines.
  2. Use a single column template.
  3. Keep your email under 600px wide.
  4. Use a large font size (between 13 to 14 pixels is recommended).
  5. Display small images.
  6. Provide a distinct call to action.
  7. Don’t make your CTA an image. If you do use an image add ALT text that tells a person what the image is if it doesn’t load.
  8. Avoid menu bars.
  9. Don’t stack links.
  10. Test on multiple devices.

Personalizing Your Email Content

Another way to create killer email copy is finding ways to personalize your emails to your subscribers. And yes that goes beyond just adding their name to the beginning of an email.

According to Campaign Monitor emails with personal subject lines receive 26% more opens then those that don’t.

Not to mention, according to DMA, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of revenue.

So what can you do to personalize your emails?

  1. Include their name in your subject line.
  2. Address them directly in your email.
  3. Add in previous purchase information or items they may have recently looked at.

Writing A Better Subject Line

Speaking of personalizing your subject lines, did you know that there’s a surefire way to write better subject lines?

CoSchedule's Email Subject Line Tester is so easy to use. First enter your subject line and click Score My Subject Line:

Try the Email Subject Line Tester

After that our tool will score your subject line on a variety of different factors and offer suggestions for improvement:

Keep trying different combinations until you find the perfect subject line for your next email.

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Step Eight: Set Up A/B Tests

A/B testing is an essential part of your email marketing strategy.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is a series of tests that allow email marketing teams to swap out different parts of their email, like a subject line, to see what kinds of copy performs best with their audience.

You can A/B test a lot of different parts of your email including:

  • Your subject line (this is probably the most popular option).
  • Calls to Action
  • Testimonials
  • Images
  • Headlines
  • Specific Offers

Depending on the type of email tool you’re using, you may be able to A/B test some aspects of your email over others. MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Hubspot are just a few of the programs that allow you to A/B test parts of your emails.

Decide which parts of your email you’d like to A/B test and record them in your template.

What will you A/B test?

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Step Nine: Record Your Results And Adjust According to Performance

The last step in your email marketing strategy will be to record your results and adjust based on the feedback you’ve gathered.

Each email marketing platform should contain its own set of analytics that you can gather your data from.

You can look for and record results on:

  • Email opens: How many emails were opened vs. the number of emails that were sent.
  • Email deliveries: How many emails from your send list were delivered.
  • Unsubscribers: How many people unsubscribed from your email list?
  • New subscribers: How many new subscribers have you gained?
  • Click through rates: How many people clicked on the links in your email?
  • A/B test results: What version of your A/B test won out?
  • ROI: How much revenue has your email generated compared to how much you’ve spent?
  • The time they spent with the email open: How long did a subscriber spend looking at your email?
  • Email bounces: How many emails reached an inbox but were bounced back unopened?

How To Manage Your Email With CoSchedule

Once you have your strategy in place, you can move on to your execution. However, you have a lot of work to do, which can quickly become disorganized.

Our new email integration allows you to plan, create and send your emails at the best times and days for your audience.

Managing your email schedule is easy. Follow these steps.

Step 1: Go to your Integrations settings page.

Step 2: Find your email service provider in the integrations catalog.

Email integrations in the catalog.

Step 3: Next, select a date on your calendar, and click Email Marketing.