The typical chain of an email marketing campaign can be basically divided into the following eight steps:

Step 1: Planning of the marketing strategy

Firstly, the global targets and milestones that are intended to be achieved with email marketing have to be defined. If such goals are not defined properly and only pure activism dominates, email marketing campaigns most probably won’t succeed. Email marketing is not a sprint but a marathon and therefore the path and the goal must be defined clearly so that the provider does not drift off the track.

Step 2: Collecting target group data

Once the overall objectives are determined, it should be clear which target group to address as well. So. the email addresses of the members of these target groups must be collected or rented. In addition, it would be good to obtain their permission to send them emails.

Step 3: Setting up the database

The data of the target groups, such as email addresses and any other information (e.g. first name, last name, gender, desired email format etc.) must be stored in a database that will personalize the emails accordingly. If additional profile information from email recipients is asked, in order to be able to customize the content of the emails for instance, it’s stored in the database, too.

Step 4: Defining the emailing concept

In the next step the actual concept of the emailing broadcasts is determined, which means the tactical objectives and the deriving communication frequency for instance (a single action, a regular newsletter, or a multi-stage campaign), or the tonality (of genuine style and discreet design, up to uncouth language and hip layout.

Step 5: Producing the contents

For every email campaign appropriate content for the target group and concept has to be produced. These consist of editorial and / or advertising texts and emails in HTML format, in addition of photos, graphics and any other visual elements.

Step 6: Emailing set-up

After defining the concept and the content for the message, the email has finally to be set up. So has, for instance, the order of the texts to be classified and variable or optional text blocks have to be specified in addition to the decision which audiences will receive the corresponding text block. Finally, there are the headers and footers, as well as the information for the email headers (e.g. sender address, subject line).

Step 7: Email blast

A personal email for each recipient has to be compiled and sent, when sending an email. During the compilation the appropriate email format has to be taken into consideration for e.g. the format the recipient prefers (e.g. text, HTML, Flash, PDF), the appropriate salutation, and possibly variable or optional text blocks. Emails that bounce back as undeliverable have to be processed accordingly, depending on the reason of non-deliverability. Set-up a test account  with the major providers to figure out if the emails have been delivered properly or which one are filtered out as spam mail.

Step 8: Evaluate Results

Finally, the results of the emailing broadcasts, such as the rate of undeliverable or opened email, the quantity and distribution of link clicks, the number and the revenue of orders and sales, as well as other responses are captured and analyzed.





With the evaluation in step 8 however an email marketing campaign shouldn’t be over yet. Rather the findings should be gathered during the assessment and included in the concept of the next email campaign or the next stage of the campaign, creating in that way a continuous dialogue marketing process.

The aim of this self-governing control loop, known as well as closed-loop marketing is to improve the effect of the email marketing activities continuously and to increase the return rates and the resulting global objectives steadily.

Source: Martin Aschoff: Email-Marketing im Marketing-Mix (translated by Daniela La Marca)