In the last chapter we discussed how to segment your database and categorize people based on their interests in your email campaign topics – it’s just like the process you used when creating the guest list for your baby shower.

Once your email recipient lists are built and segmented, you are ready to build your email campaigns. Focus your message around those targeted audiences, the more relevant your email campaign is to their industry, job title, or needs, the more likely they are to engage.

So, sticking with our ever developed metaphor, building your email campaign is like planning your baby shower. You have to pick a date far enough in the future to gather everything you need, like a location, a theme, supplies and favors. Guests have to be notified and, inevitably, changes will be made along the way.

The same goes for building and executing an email campaign. Before the design process begins you must established:

Choosing an email subject is like choosing the theme for the baby shower – if you include too many ideas they all lose the impact they could have achieved if presented individually. You wouldn’t send out invitations with jungle animals, serve an airplane cake and send guests home with firetruck favors. Pick one topic to center your message around and stick to it.

The overarching goal of any email campaign is recipient interaction. Whether your audience is just learning about your company, are hot leads, or have been customers for years, we want to present them exciting and relevant information, spark their interest and stay on the opt-in list. Increase engagement through:

Your response rates and engagement levels will increase if you have the ability to send different types of email campaigns – bulk, one-off emails are great if your message doesn’t require any response or action from the recipients, like a monthly newsletter or a schedule of holiday hours.

The problem with one-off emails is that they don’t allow you to nurture email recipients and turn leads into customers.

Nurture email campaigns are a marketers paradise complete with workflows, logic, assets, and triggers. You can even map out every stage of the process before the first email is activated. For example, if an email recipient opened, but didn’t click email one, they’ll receive a subject swap five days later, giving them another chance to engage your content. Once they’ve clicked and completed a call to action they can be further nurtured through a series of trigger, or autoresponder, emails.

Designing an email campaign, like planning a baby shower, is where creativity shines. So don’t be afraid to have fun with it. However, pay attention to your open and click statistics, because it is your insight into reader’s opinions. The hot pink lunch and learn invitation you deployed at 11pm had a low open rate and a high unsubscribe rate? Maybe try a different color and send date next time.