June 20, 2017

Email Marketing – Using A Strategy-First Approach

Kelsey Bedore, Account Manager

In my eight years of experience in email marketing, I’ve worked on a range of campaigns—from e-commerce campaigns with SkyMall, to database clean-up to retention-based monthly newsletters. These projects have run from straightforward to complicated, however they all started the same: with a strategy.

As we look at the industry, there is plenty of demand for email, which doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

According to the Radicati Group, email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. And, perhaps surprisingly, Statista says 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily (!).

It’s very easy to see the demand and want to dive in head first to capture your share. However, email marketing has a lot of moving pieces. It is not a “set it and forget it” tool. It requires time and attention, but if set up correctly, your investment will return a profit.

Still interested? Here are a few things to get you started:

1. There are rules to email marketing

Within the email world you have to be CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) compliant.

“The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.”

What this means to you:

  • You must have a clear way for people to stop receiving communications from you, i.e., an opt out.
  • Provide a physical address within the email so they can contact you.
  • Don’t use a misleading subject line.
  • If the email recipient hasn’t given permission to receive communications (filled out a form, checked a box to allow for the receipt of marketing communications), then you must clearly disclose that the contents of the message are an advertisement. This would be if you purchased or rented an email list.

CAN-SPAM is the reason why your email footer will typically look like this:

2. There has to be value for the subscriber

Remember: The subscriber holds the power. They have given you the ability to openly contact them on an ongoing basis about your company—so don’t abuse that! The content has to be relevant, the offers must be compelling and the overall email needs to provide value or you will lose them.

Relevancy also plays into frequency. Just because you have an email program doesn’t mean you have to send daily, weekly or even monthly. Send your message when it will be most relevant.

For example, what type of communication would you prefer?

An email from a flower shop sent every week.


An email from a flower shop reminding you that you purchased flowers one year ago (say, for an anniversary) and asking you to make the purchase again. Plus, they provided a photo of the bouquet from last year as reference.

For email, relevancy will always win.

3. ROI

Lastly, email marketing will be an investment, so it’s crucial to make sure your efforts are producing results. Before you build your email program, sit back and think, what’s in it for you? In other words, in six months, how will you measure the success of the email program? These points will be what every email send should be measured against.

These are just a few quick tips. If you are thinking about starting an email program, not seeing success with your current program, or ready to take things to the next level, we here at Blakely + Company, a full-service advertising agency in Colorado Springs, would be happy to help you!