Email Marketing: The 7 Pillars for Success in 2023 with Komal Helyer (episode 145)

by April Buencamino-dy

Komal Helyer knows email marketing inside out from working to grow email marketing platforms for the last 15 years. She’s also a brand ambassador for the Women in Tech forum, and Chair of the Email Council at the DMA.

Komal Helyer Fractional CMO Email Marketing

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1 Strategy

From a more holistic perspective, be strategic with your email and think of how it works in the context of your business objectives.

During this time of recession, you have to go back to the basics and really work on making email a part of your overall strategy.

2 Data

Use the data you have to adapt to your customer’s preferences, make sure you’re being transparent, and use your customers’ data the right way.

Be smart with what you do with the data, and that doesn’t mean sending out more emails. Rather, it means using the data to have more segmented and targeted campaigns.

Take advantage of customer data platforms, or CDPs, and use them to hyper-personalise and have better control over your data. In doing this, you’ll have a better view of your customers from all angles.

3 Design

Komal says make the inbox a little more exciting, but be smart with your design.

Currently, the standard is that emails should be designed for dark mode. The next thing marketers should be thinking about is interactive email.

There are ways to improve the user experience and make email a more exciting channel.

4 Personalisation and Content

Customers expect you to know who they are, which means they expect their emails to be personalised.

Think about the words you’re using in your emails, and remember to be empathetic.

5 AI

There’s a lot happening around this area, especially since this is available to more marketers now. Brands are already testing AI-generated email content and subject lines, but Komal says that if you’re going to experiment, start with smaller segments.

There are other ways marketers use AI, but using it in this area of creative content is going to be interesting.

6 Automation

To work smarter, automation is the key.

Automate as much as you can in areas such as data flows and campaigns. This will help you deliver more in a way that’s efficient and strategic.

So do your automation, test them, and review them regularly. Doing so will ensure that your emails remain on brand.

7 Deliverability and Security

Deliverability is key for email marketing, and Komal says good deliverability is about best practices.

Get your data right, keep it up-to-date and clean, and look at different levels of engagement. Drive people to open the emails you send. All of this is important for deliverability and keeping your customers subscribed to your emails.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with email marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

There are so many different layers to email, so if you’re new to email, understand what your strengths are. Know how the tech works, and understand and maintain your data.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve email marketing performance?

Just keep testing and thinking about your customer’s experience.

Remember that email is not just about selling, but also taking and supporting your customer through whatever stage they’re at on their buying journey with you.

If someone listening wants to learn more about email marketing is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

Marketing technology providers produce a lot of content, so sign up for their newsletters, listen to their webinars, and attend their events. Just make sure you know what your challenges are and what you’re trying to achieve to identify which martech provider is right for you.

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in email marketing?

First is data legislation. There are going to be changes to the understanding of GDPR, consent, and how data can be handled.

Second, marketers need to get better at data and technology and how they come together operationally. This is going to be crucial to a business’ success.

Interview Links

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