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January 2013
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Planning Your Marketing Efforts for the Year

January is a time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. It’s also a great time to plan and organize your upcoming marketing efforts.

Your marketing plan may be the most important document your company possesses. It should include an overview of your company’s mission, a description of your market demographics, an outline of your products or services and how they fill a need in your market, and an analysis of your competition. A marketing plan should also set specific goals and objectives that you wish to achieve in the coming year.

An efficient way to create a marketing plan is by taking a look at the marketing campaigns you ran in the past. And the best way to do that is to review your email marketing performance metrics. The information the metrics hold will help you design your marketing plan for the upcoming year.

First, which campaign had the highest open rate?

This is a good indication of successful subject lines. A subject line is an important clue to what kind of information is most important to your market. Do they respond to teasers? Or do they open emails when the subject line is direct? If you don’t know, make sure you run A/B testing of subject lines this year to find out.

Which campaigns had the highest click-through rate?

This is a good indicator of the topics your customers are most interested in. Also, if your newsletter has multiple clicks, measure which type of link is the best call to action. For example, do your customers respond to links to informative blog posts? Do they click through links that lead to a special offer? Or perhaps your customers react best to solutions for their most common dilemmas? By analyzing the topics that generate the most clicks, you can plan future email marketing content and special offers.

Which had the lowest open rate or the highest unsubscribe rate?

Reviewing this data can help you plan better email marketing campaigns. The top two reasons people unsubscribe from email marketing lists are that the emails are too frequent or they are irrelevant. Did these campaigns fit this bill? You should consider your delivery schedule and make sure you’re sticking to it. Also survey your subscribers to make sure you are delivering the type of content at the frequency they most desire.

Finally, who opens your emails?

Your performance metrics will tell which clients open your emails on a regular basis. Consider these to be the most loyal members of your list. They trust you and look forward to engaging with you. Be sure to design your marketing plan by targeting this group, and reward them with special campaigns.

By looking at these key metrics, you can design a strong marketing plan for 2013 and best serve your clients … and isn’t that the reason you’re in business?

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