What’s the most important thing when it comes to running a marathon? Maybe it’s because we’re marketers, but we’d say having a plan to guide your training and executing it would be #1 on the list.

Visualizing success

Whether you’re planning on running a marathon or starting an email marketing campaign, it’s normal for people to first think of the end results. Even though these come way later, visualizing the benefits is what draws us in in the first place.

With proper planning, email marketing can be incredibly effective. This Business 2 Community article gives some insight into its potential ROI:

“Reports have suggested that email marketing can yield as much as 3,800% ROI (Return-On-Investment) for businesses. This is not a figure to ignore, but it does allow us to answer the question of ‘why is it so effective’? Enewsletters are highly personalized and are supplying the customer with relevant information. If the customer has been thinking about buying and the email comes at the perfect time, they are more likely to make a purchase.”

This assumes, however, that you have a good plan in place.

What happens when you don’t have a plan

Take a random guy with a slightly inflated ego off the street and tell him to run a marathon. Most likely, he’ll try to keep up with more advanced runners and burn out well before he could have lasted had he run a slower place.

Likewise, if you don’t have a solid email marketing strategy, you’ll never cover any ground. You’ll just spin your wheels, never really engaging subscribers or converting leads.

Planning your strategy

Coming up with a good strategy is half the battle. You have to understand your business, your target audience, and the platform, just like runners have to understand their bodies, their current fitness level, and the conditions in which they’ll be running in.

Testing your plan

After designing your strategy, the next most important step is to test it.  In the case of the marathon runner, this is when he would slowly build up his times by doing 5Ks, 10Ks, and then eventually half marathons.

In the context of email marketing, there are a million things to test. This Marketing Land article, for example, says that the average read time is 11 seconds, so you should optimize your emails according to the fact:

“Don’t overload your emails with endless walls of text. Given the average read time for an email is 11 seconds, you’ll lose your reader if you overload them with copy. Instead, create short, concise emails that whet the appetite of the reader and focus on one topic. Include all the details on the landing page that the reader will see after they click.”

In your testing, you have to see how long it takes for people to scan your message. If it’s over 11 seconds, then you need to condense your email. Otherwise, most users will just click away.

Putting your plan into practice

Eventually, the time comes to either run the race or start your email campaign. Although some would think this is the hardest step, it’s actually the easiest. You already have a bona fide strategy thanks to your planning and testing. Now you just have to put it into practice.

The aftermath

The aftermath takes us right back to where we got started. Except now you’re not visualizing any success, now you’re crossing the line and soaking the moment in.

Everything is easier once you have a good email marketing campaign. Converting leads, increasing revenue, and advancing consumers through the buying process are all covered by your campaign. And just like preparing for a marathon is easier the second time around since you understand the process, running a second email campaign is a breeze.

To talk more about email marketing, or anything else, contact us today.

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