Top 6 Steps to Planning an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing is a valuable digital marketing strategy that can bring exponential results if done right. The first right step is effective planning which we will discuss in detail below. Strategic planning, using tools like email marketing software, and smart execution are the key ingredients of a thriving digital business.

High-quality email marketing will not let your expenses go into waste because you get an ROI of $38 for every dollar you spend. This high ROI results from several factors.  One is that clients who purchase through email spend 138% higher compared to their counterparts who do not get email offers.

an effective email marketing strategy

Here are the top 6 steps on how to plan your email marketing strategy:

1. Set clear goals

Clear goals serve as the compass for your succeeding actions. Without goals, it will be impossible to measure if you have succeeded or not. Make one big goal and break it down into smaller objectives. For example, your main goal can be “to gain a $50,000 net profit on your first year”. Then your monthly objectives can be “increase 10,000 email subscribers every month, sell $10,000 worth of products every month, etc”.

After clarifying your goal, don’t forget to write it down.  A study by Dr. Gail Matthews reveals that you have 42% more chance to reach your goals by just writing them down regularly.

2. Identify your audience

Who is your audience exactly? You need to be very specific. It’s better to aim to serve an audience of one then end up with many than try to sell to everyone but pleasing no one.

Define who your buyer persona is. Here’s an example:

Stacy is a 25 y/o digital entrepreneur who has just started her e-commerce store.

After defining your persona, identify the potential problems and pain she is currently having. Then recognize how your product can solve her struggles. Every time you launch a marketing campaign, remember that it should fit your persona.

3. Know your metrics

According to Peter Drucker, “If it cannot be measured, it cannot be managed”. Tracking your metrics is valuable to serve as your guide for your next move. If you don’t know the numbers, you won’t know if your efforts are working or not.

It’s best to start measuring from day one so you can accurately measure your growth. The most important metrics you should track are the delivery rate, bounce rate, open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and overall ROI.

metrics email marketing

4. Follow a content guideline

You need to continuously produce content that is coherent and high-quality. This can be achieved with a ready-made content guideline. At the beginning of the year, create a list of all the articles, videos, graphics, short blogs, e-books, etc. that you need to produce.

After making a list, schedule the posting time for each. There should be a separate list for content to be sent or shown based on triggers and another list of regular content to be sent and posted. The content for emails, website, and social media can be similar but in a different format.

Here’s an example of a regular content plan:

  • Monday: Newsletter
  • Tuesday: Testimonial Videos
  • Wednesday: Q&A
  • Thursday: Throwback pictures or videos
  • Friday: Promotional Offers
  • Saturday: Funny Content
  • Sunday: Inspirational or Motivational content

5. Test and optimize

There is always a better way to do something that is why testing and optimization is important. You can do A/B testing on any part of email marketing. You can test for content, format, and timing. Adjust the content guideline that you have created based on the results.

Remember to test one component at a time to get more meaningful results. Change the part you want to test and retain the rest. Then use the version with the more favorable outcome.

test and optimize email marketing

6. Use an advanced email marketing software

All the guidelines mentioned above can be more easily and effectively achieved with advanced email marketing software. With this powerful software, you can track your metrics, post content, and perform testing automatically.

A great email marketing software should have these capabilities:

  • Ready-made templates
  • Timed email delivery
  • Social media and marketing software integration
  • Advanced data analytics
  • Lead generation tools
  • Autoresponders
  • A/B Testing


Having a well-made plan means you are already halfway successful with your email marketing. All you need to do is to follow through. Remember to start with a clear goal, specify your user persona, identify your metrics, create a content plan, test and optimize, and use an advanced email marketing software.

Do not be tempted to overlook planning. It might take some time to create a great plan but it will save you plenty of time in the long run. It will avoid unnecessary mistakes and allows you to start your email campaign on a high note.