If this year has proved anything to email marketers, it’s understanding flexibility.
This year has changed things. Many marketers were quickly swept from office cubicles to a work-from-home environment without the time to develop a game plan. However, months into the COVID-19 pandemic, remote teams are finding a way to connect from home and effectively collaborate.
It’s estimated that 77% of employees will want to work remotely after the pandemic is over. Businesses from varying industries – corporate, nonprofits, health, etc. – are beginning to hire permanent work-from-home personnel to cast a wider recruitment net and slash their office overhead.
Email marketing professionals are no longer bound by geographic locations and can specialize in more specific roles that contribute to the email workflow. With clearly defined guidelines and strategies in place, email marketers can continue driving impressive results for customer acquisition from home.
Of course, remote teams face their fair share of challenges. How can you keep your team connected and secure? What new processes need to be in place? Is company culture still important?
If you’re managing a remote email team or looking to increase productivity within your organization, follow along for best practices to stay connected while working from home.
While marketers are battling unchartered territory when it comes to brand awareness and conversions, email remains the top digital marketing channel to drive customer loyalty. Close to 75% of senior-level marketers believe email marketing is a core strategy that strengthens the customer journey.
With over 3.8 billion email users throughout the world, it’s the only platform that allows you to create personalized relationships with individual leads and customers. Unlike social media platforms or paid search, email is something almost everyone uses, so you can reach a broader audience and build more long-lasting relationships.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, email marketing software helps to:
Send timely and thoughtful responses about new updates
Thank your customers for their business and support
Give subscribers updates about virtual events or promotions
Develop inspirational messaging that connects to your mission statement
Provide resources for your brand advocates
Overall, email marketing is powerful. As the platform grows, it’s more important than ever for remote teams to keep abreast of current trends and developments to continue seeing increased return on investment (ROI).
Source: Really Good Emails
To develop and manage an email marketing team that drives real results, you need to have the right employees, technology, and processes in place. How can you keep your remote team connected and productive during the pandemic? Let’s discover new ways you can pivot the way your team handles email marketing.
When working with a remote team, you don’t have the flexibility to meet face-to-face to hash out a creative brief or upcoming promotions. From the start, make sure you have employees in place who are motivated, independent, and creative problem solvers.
What are your business needs? While many businesses pride themselves on wearing multiple hats, you’ll want to consider what key roles and skill sets your organization needs to meet objectives now that the environment has changed.
Since becoming remote, you may need to add a few additional roles to your team, such as:
The strategist: Makes sure you’re meeting marketing goals and developing strategies to further push the agenda. This could include researching target audiences, developing new sales cycle automation, or analyzing metrics.
The project manager: Focuses on executing specific tasks within the strategy and ensures deadlines are met. The project manager also verifies that emails adhere to brand guidelines, compliance, and quality standards.
The creatives: Including writers and graphic designers, creatives are responsible for bringing your email vision to life. They should understand email design best practices and possess skills to combine text and imagery.
Once you have your email marketing dream team, you need to set clear expectations and responsibilities for everyone. Now that email marketing teams must work without direct supervision, it’s essential to create key metrics around your marketing, employee, and team performance.
Communication is at the forefront of any marketing team. When working remotely, executing a successful email marketing campaign depends on collaboration, so a transparent and regular communication platform is crucial.
Depending on your needs, you may need to leverage multiple communication platforms to keep your remote teams connected and on track. Potential services to consider include:
Video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Skype
Messaging platforms like Microsoft Teams or Slack
Project management tools to track progress, like Trello or ProofHub
Collaboration tools, like Zoho Projects or Wrike
Email marketing automation platforms like Emma or Campaign Monitor
With any remote technology, you must train all employees on workflows and ensure systems are only accessible via a virtual private network (VPN) to mitigate security risks.
As email marketing teams pivot toward remote work, you will need to revisit any existing processes or strategies and update where needed. Things are changing almost daily, and it’s challenging to stay ahead. Taking a closer look at your process ensures you’re adapting to current needs and staying on top of ongoing updates.
You need to focus on how the work is getting done on your team. When updating outdated processes, keep the following in mind:
Team meetings: How do you plan on communicating with your team about product launches, campaign ideas, or creative briefs? What about culture-building exercises to keep morale high? Develop a daily check-in schedule with your team along with a weekly strategy meeting to keep your team updated and engaged.
Testing strategy: How will you regulate email testing to ensure quality control? Develop a process around testing emails to ensure each email delivers exceptional customer experience.
Reviewing and approving: Which key stakeholders need to approve the email before you hit “send?” How do you plan on getting approval on the final proof? Whether you’re emailing back and forth or using a project management platform, work through the reviewing and approval process so the email goes through the official channels before going live.
Whether you need to completely revamp your processes or make minor updates, making sure everyone is on the same page will enable your team to perform more effectively.
COVID-19 has forced many marketers to reconsider the tried-and-true email best practices. You need to evaluate your content for relevancy and execution, along with segmentation strategies that have been disrupted with the current climate.
While the pandemic has increased the value of email communication, consumers are also quicker not to tolerate content that wastes their time or isn’t relevant to their needs. Before setting up your next campaign, consider the following areas:
Frequency: Many of your subscribers are feeling nervous or anxious around the current environment. Sending out too many emails conveys you’re also worried about losing their business. Instead, send fewer emails with more meaningful messages.
Oversaturation: Your customers can’t get away from reading, hearing, and talking about COVID-19. Unless you have new updates, focus your emails on your customer’s needs.
Audience segmentation: Your past segmented audiences may not all share the same opinion or experience anymore. Reevaluate your audiences to remain sensitive to each of their unique circumstances.
Email marketing is more valued today than ever before. To keep engaging with your subscribers, have your remote team conduct a full audit for all future email marketing campaigns.
What’s the connection between engaging with customers and connecting with your team? Transparency and relevancy.
When it’s time to send out a new email campaign, adapt your messaging to current trends and moods. After all, while you need to be empathetic toward your customers, you also need to drive conversions and brand awareness for your business. This means creating an email impactful enough to be clicked on.
As you start developing your emails, include the following practices:
Consider your subscriber’s current situation and write with a reassuring tone
Provide helpful information for online alternatives to help those navigating a new lifestyle
Continue directing subscribers to your website for more information
Focus on sending impactful content that’s image- and video-rich to help subscribers experience a moment of escapism
Your emails are some of the best representations of your brand and will help you build a trustworthy reputation in your customer’s eyes. Within your remote team, distribute style and tone guidelines so everyone understands the new content direction.
Source: Really Good Emails
The future of the job market for email marketers will remain mostly remote for the foreseeable future. While many industries struggle in the face of the pandemic, email professionals have the unique ability to adapt to this new normal.
To keep your remote team connected, engaged, and effective with each campaign, consider the following best practices:
Hire the right positions to set your team up for success
Invest in communication tools that keep everyone updated
Analyze and update ongoing processes so nothing flies under the radar
Update any email marketing tactics that lack sensitivity
Send meaningful emails that connect with your subscribers
If you’re ready to streamline your remote email marketing team, request a free demo with Emma today.