Losing sight of your objectives usually happens when your timeline slips or when you don’t seem to be progressing toward the achievement of your objectives. In such cases, you can easily become focused on making changes to your objectives to agree with your e-mail content instead of altering your e-mail content to more closely resemble your objectives.
Before making changes to your objectives, make sure that you give your e-mail a fair chance to do its job. Delivering effective e-mail content inherently has a lot of variables that you can’t control, such as changes in your audience’s attitudes and unforeseen reactions to your content or frequency. Predicting exactly how long it takes to reach an objective isn’t an exact science, either. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to see substantial positive results from an e-mail strategy — especially if e-mail is new to your marketing mix and your audience isn’t used to receiving emails from you.
The following sections help ensure that your objectives and your e-mail content both have a fair chance to prove themselves.
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Write down your objectives
Objectives don’t need to be set in stone, but writing them down — in a notebook, in a calendar, or on a whiteboard — helps you see them in a concrete way. Writing your objectives also helps schedule content delivery and helps you to memorize your objectives so you can use them to guide the actions you take when you’re away from your notepad. Here are some tips for writing your objectives:
- Keep a calendar of planned e-mail marketing campaigns. You don’t want to hurt your objectives by mistiming important communications or sending too many communications too closely together.
- Refer to your objectives often. Make sure that your e-mail marketing decisions closely resemble the original objectives over time.
- Track your progress. Make sure that you’re moving closer to your objectives by measuring quantifiable data such as the increase in sales, number of Web site visitors, or hours of free time. Don’t rely solely on hunches.
- Plan your next step before you reach an objective. You can avoid being tempted to send random communications or leave your contacts in electronic silence between objectives.
Stick to your objectives
Sometimes, failing to reach your objectives is just a matter of giving up too early or getting distracted and not regaining your focus. Testing and fine-tuning content and objectives take time and attention to detail. Paying attention to all the fine details of your marketing strategy takes a certain amount of dedication and time blocking.
Here are some tips for pressing on when you feel confident that your objectives are sound and your attention is slipping:
- Share your objectives with someone you trust. Add this person to your e-mail list so she can let you know when your content seems to drift away from your original intentions.
- Periodically revisit your objectives. Review your progress by analyzing the responses to your e-mails to make sure your e-mails are moving you in the right directions.
- If you need to overhaul your e-mail content, make small changes. That way, you won’t shock your contacts with totally new message formats and themes.
- Consider outsourcing your e-mail strategy to a professional. When you don’t have the time to stick to your objectives, get help! These days, there are lots of people who are willing to help you with your e-mail marketing. Try a marketing agency or an E-Mail Marketing Provider (EMP).
Build from your objectives
Reaching your objectives isn’t solely dependent on your e-mail strategy. Your whole business has to operate in harmony with your objectives, or your e-mail strategy could be rendered ineffective. For example, if your e-mail strategy is to drive traffic to your Web site so that people will register for an event, your Web site should be built with the same objectives in mind.
Objectives help to make e-mail marketing decisions but make sure your other activities support your objectives as well. Here are some tips for making sure your business operations share the same objectives:
- See all outgoing marketing and sales messages as a whole unit and also time your communications to support one another.
- Make sure your employees and other business partners are aware of your objectives so that they can act accordingly when dealing with customers, suppliers, and the public.
- Delegate smaller objectives that will help reach larger or ongoing objectives.