The saying goes – “People do not plan to fail…..they fail to plan“. Get 2008 off to a great start with an Email Communications Plan.
Like any other communications plan – we start by using the 4 x ‘w’s and 1 x ‘h’ (what, why, who, when and how) to create the written ‘plan of action’ for communicating with your business network with professionally presented emails.
Who do you want to reach?
Consider the various groups in your business network namely your ‘prospects, clients, suppliers and referrers’ and create an email communications plan for each group. How often do you need to communicate with each group? Create a 12 month mail out plan – in advance. You can always mail out more often on a ad hoc basis. These plans will provide the minimum requirement of communication that will assist you with growing your business.
What are your marketing objectives for each group? What type of Communication do you want to share with each group?
What are your expectations for the communication? What do you want to achieve? What type of communication do you want to share with each group. You may want to ensure you deliver a variety of messages over the months so you are sharing information, running promotions, introducing your team, company, new services or products. As the saying goes “variety is the spice of life” and email messages can get monotonous too.
When do you want to send the email messages?
When do you want the groups in your business network to receive your messages? It is time to create the schedule. What actions (if any) will you take after each message has been delivered?
How will you create and deliver the messages?
You may assign a team member to create all or some of the message content. The email presentation and testing may be assigned to your ESP (email service provider) or you may do it in-house. We suggest you deliver your messages via an ESP so you can get feedback with statistics to provide measurement for your marketing effort.
Other Considerations for your Email Communications Plan
Your communications plan will need to present the associated costs for creating, presenting and delivering your emails. You will need to identify the budget, costs and where the money is coming from for your email marketing. Other resources may also be required for the presentation of your email message including digital images. You may need to consider who will create the images for you.
To get the most productivity from your marketing campaigns we suggest you keep a careful eye on your growth of mailings lists.
Here is a brief example of an Email Communications Plan:
Who to Reach? People that refer business to me – namely my ‘Referrers Group’
How often do I want to communicate with them (as a group)? Once a month commencing this month
What information do I want to be sharing? A market update newsletter that contains either a promotion, team member bio or a relevant humour piece to keep the message fresh
What are my expectations – objectives? To be viewed as an Industry Expert. Get my brand visible with my business referrers. Provide value to my referrers with special offers that make them look good.
Who will create the content and presentation of my messages? I will personally create the content, seeking market updates from external sources. My ESP will create the presentation and deliver the messages to my referrers mailing list.
What are the expected Costs? $255 + GST per month
Right now you may all be thinking – “Hey, there’s no ‘why’”.
Why am I communicating with email to share my information and market my business?
Email is time efficient and achieves a high response. Email is also very cost effective for regular communication: “Average costs of 3 to 10 cents per email, versus $2.00 for direct mail and up to $3.00 for tele-marketing. “[source: McKinsey & Company]