By James Barnes, PR & Content Services, Essential

Email marketing can often boil down to a battle between creativity and practicality.

When starting out, it’s likely you will have a plethora of ideas, from topics to email templates, from imagery to alt tags. But the reality of building, maintaining and evaluating your emails can often put the brakes on creative thinking and add a level of monotony to the process.

Your audience will be savvy enough to spot a half-hearted approach, so think carefully about how you want to be perceived and the content you want to deliver.

If you take a step back, it can seem overwhelming. Well here’s the secret: it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re planning an email marketing project or if you’ve already embarked on one, above all else you have to ask yourself if you’re going to make an IMPACT.

  • Cover the basics and make intelligent choices with your email marketing. Think about your business objectives. How does your email help you achieve those goals? Who are you targeting? Is your database up to date? Is your copy relevant to your audience? Do you need different emails to send to different segments of your database?
  • Your email marketing must be Whatever stage you’re at, you can always improve. Experiment to find out what works and what doesn’t. There’s no secret recipe, but by gradually adding in new ideas you often get a feel for what ticks your viewers’ boxes.
  • Have a powerful message at the heart of your email. No matter how pretty or well-written your email, it’s likely that the majority of your audience will do little more than skim through it. Make it easy to scan read so that a viewer can understand your key messages in a glance.
  • Design achievable targets and stick to them. By having priorities you can make sure that you direct your energy where it’s needed most to meet your business objectives.
  • Always make time to be creative. Churning out old content to fill your email is unlikely to turn any heads and it could even lead to a mass of unsubscribes. An exciting blog post, new product update or an article tied to a current trend can all spice up an email and help you engage with your audience.
  • Always consider your timing. The week, day and even time that you distribute can all make a difference to how well received your emails are. Plan well in advance to cover any holidays, special events or important days to your company.
Finding the right balance in an email marketing campaign can be tricky. So challenge yourself and your colleagues to define your business goals and then discuss creative ways of achieving them through email. This will undoubtedly supply some ammunition for your campaign. Most importantly, don’t be overwhelmed. Email marketing is a powerful tool and by giving it the attention it deserves you will be making an IMPACT in no time.