Here’s how to prepare your email marketing strategy for 2021

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If you are investing the time and money in email marketing, there is no point sending messages and hoping something will work. Instead, you need to be sure that the email campaigns you send have the best chance of getting the results you want.

As in any other part of your business, you need a strategy and a plan to bring the strategy to life. Therefore, before the end of the year, you should define an email marketing strategy for 2021 and create an email marketing plan.

Email Marketing Strategy vs. Plan vs. Tactic – What’s the Difference?

Before we go any further, let’s get some semantic ambiguity out of the way by defining three terms – strategy, plan, and tactic.

A Email Marketing Strategy identifies your goals and your target group (s) of consumers (WHO). It provides a clear picture of where your brand stands in comparison to your competitors and documents the marketing messages you need to communicate in order to get your company closer to achieving its goals. An email marketing strategy explained What You will reach and through your marketing efforts Why you want to achieve it.

On the other one Email Marketing Plan explained How, when, and Where You will accomplish your email marketing strategy by outlining a complete roadmap of tactics that will lead to your strategic goals when implemented.

In the end, Email Marketing Tactic are the specific measures and investments stated in your plan with which you are executing the plan.

Think about it like this. If your email marketing strategy identifies one of the things (i.e. the what) that you will achieve as a specific demos increase for your cannabis-related software platform, your email marketing plan could include a blog calendar that is filled with monthly dates filled is tactical campaigns (ie how, when and where). These campaigns can include specials, free content, webinar invitations, and more.

Questions to answer in your 2021 email marketing strategy

Documenting your 2021 email marketing strategy doesn’t have to feel like an overwhelming task. First, answer these important questions:

  • What are your goals for your email marketing investments in 2021?
  • What email marketing campaigns are your competitors sending and investing in? How often do you send messages?
  • Who is your target audience? How do you find them to connect with them via email?
  • What are the email marketing challenges you face in 2021? Do you have the right tools and resources to realistically achieve the goals of your email marketing strategy?
  • In terms of email marketing, what did you do in 2020? What worked What has to change?
  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you be tracking to determine if you are achieving your goals?
  • How are you going to integrate your email marketing with your other marketing investments?

Define your strategic goals for email marketing

The first question in the previous section can often be an obstacle if you are not a seasoned email marketing professional and do not have such a person on your team – either as an employee or as a seller / contractor.

To get you started, here is a list of a few areas to focus on as you develop your own strategic email marketing goals for the next 12 months:

  • Increase website traffic
  • Grow and share audiences on social media
  • Build brand awareness and trust
  • Build and strengthen relationships
  • Clarify and share information
  • Become known as a trusted expert
  • Generate media inquiries and advertising
  • Upgrade demos or trials
  • Move people through the marketing funnel and buyer journey
  • Increase customer inquiries (online forms, email replies, phone calls)
  • Close sales

Once you’ve set clear, specific, measurable, and achievable goals, you’re ready to fill in the rest of your marketing strategy. This includes researching competitors and defining your target audience. This is another area that can be frustrating. Follow the link to learn how to create buyer personalities. Defining your target audience will be a lot easier.

Bring your email marketing strategy to life with an email marketing plan

Once your email marketing strategy for 2021 is defined, it’s time to create a tactical email marketing plan. Draw everything on a calendar and remember the importance of sending a consistent volume of messages on a consistent schedule to avoid getting into the spam folder!

Your email marketing calendar tells you what you will be sending, when and to whom. So you never have to sit down at your computer and think about what message to send to potential customers. Without a plan, you won’t get the results you need or achieve your goals.

Think about your different audiences and create quarterly plans to guide them through the marketing funnel and buyer journey. It can be easier to think in three month intervals than in a whole year. So break the year down into smaller parts if this helps. This is also a great way to do a full quarterly analysis to see if you are on track to meet your strategic goals or if you need to make some changes along the way.

Your email marketing calendar should include at least the following information for each campaign:

  • Send date
  • target group
  • List segmentation criteria
  • List size (or sizes for multiple lists)
  • Type of campaign (e.g. education, announcement, sale, etc.)
  • News topic
  • Subject
  • Call to Action (CTA)
  • CTA url destination
  • UTM codes (if you use UTM codes to keep track of what people do after they click a link in your campaign)
  • A / B test element
  • A / B test result

After submitting a campaign, you can add KPI metrics directly to the calendar (e.g. open rate, click rate, etc) or create a separate document to track the results if you prefer.

Key takeaways on email marketing strategy

Remember, simply sending one general sale message at a time to large lists will not help you achieve your goals. In fact, this strategy is usually a recipe for ruining your sender’s reputation with mailbox providers. This means that in the future, your messages will be more likely to spam than inboxes.

For your email marketing strategy to be successful, you need to send highly relevant messages to hyper-targeted lists of people. By creating a comprehensive content calendar as part of your email marketing plan, you can fine-tune how you use email campaigns to get your target audience to take the necessary action to help you achieve your strategic goals.

Are you looking to take your verified cannabis license holder email marketing to the next level in 2021? Schedule a demo of the Cannabiz Media License Database to see how your business can grow in the year ahead and beyond.

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