How to Develop an Email Marketing Strategy

How to Develop an Email Marketing Strategy

Aug 3rd 2021 Written by Ragan LaTour

An astonishing 4 billion people across the globe use email as a form of communication. With half the world’s population only a click away, email marketing is one of the most important tools in your toolbelt when developing a successful marketing strategy.

Through careful planning and the implementation of some of our tips and tools, dropping into their inbox with a friendly message, a reminder, or sneak-peak, can help develop a lasting relationship with your subscribers. In fact, over the last year digital communication has become a life-line for communication between businesses and customers, so much so that 88% of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to this year's events. It’s more important now than ever before to connect with customers on digital platforms.

We have developed a list of helpful tools and strategies to help get your email marketing campaign for your coffee shop or cafe up and ready to start driving engagement and sales!

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Define Your Goals:

Knowing your goals is the first step to creating a successful email marketing strategy. Begin by answering a few key questions that will help you build a clear and concise roadmap to success.

What are you trying to achieve?

Before you begin your campaign, you must identify a few key points.

  • Who is your audience?
  • What message are you wanting to convey to them
  • What is your ideal end result?

  • Email campaigns allow you can speak to your customers as friends and give them what they need by sending them friendly, personalized emails catered to their unique interests. Think about how you interact with customers in your cafe, you greet them, offer them up a delicious, warm cup of coffee, and engage with them at a personal level. This can be achieved similarly through email as well through exclusive promotions, cafe event announcements, or offering up a few tips and trips to step up their coffee game.

    Once you figure out what your goal is, you need to determine how to achieve it.

    What's your strategy?

    Much like your storefront, you want to be a notable presence in your subscriber’s inbox which means your emails need to be both eye-catching and consistent. Consistency can be achieved by determining how often your emails should be sent out. Is it a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly campaign?

    “You want your subscribers to notice your emails,
    but be careful not to saturate their inbox.”

    Things like this are important to determine ahead of time. You want your subscribers to notice your emails, but be careful not to saturate their inbox. Taking time to come up with a clear schedule ahead of time and a list of topics for each email will keep you on track with your goal, while ensuring that you are sharing quality content with your subscribers.

    Determine how to gauge the success of your campaign.

    Now that you have a better idea of your overall objective and how you plan to execute it, you need to figure out how to gauge the success of your campaign.

    This is where Key Performance Indicators, better known as KPIs, come into play. To know whether or not your emails are performing well or whether you need to work on optimizing them, we recommend tracking these KPIs:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

  • These numbers will help you to gauge how they’ve performed with real-time analytics. By reviewing this data you can better understand your audience, what they’re interested in, and how to improve your campaigns in the future. These reports include useful information such as conversion and opens rates and compares them against industry standards.

    Before you can start sending emails and gauging their success, you need someone to send the emails too. To do this, you need to build your list.

    Building Your List

    As we said earlier, there are nearly 4 billion active email users offering up an insane amount of possible subscribers, but it’s up to you to get them to hand over their email. A fully developed list can become one of your most valuable marketing tools, and with it, the opportunities are endless.

    Make sure signing up for your email list is easy! Provide an easy-to-locate sign up box on your website, have sign up cards in the shop, and consider incentivizing signing up too! Offering incentives such as a rewards program, coupons, exclusive content, or a freebie make people more likely to give you their email address if there’s something in it for them.

    Keep in mind, when it comes to subscribers quality is more important than quantity. You pay for your number of subscribers, so you don't want to kill your Return on Investment by having tons of inactive subscribers. Also, if you have a low open rate, lots of email service providers (gmail, yahoo, etc) will send your emails to the promotions folder or even worse — spam. It's important to regularly clean your inbox of people who are no longer opening your emails after giving one last effort to win them back.

    Hands and coffee

    Email Marketing Principles

    There are swarms of email marketing tools available online, so once you’ve determined your needs and budget, you can begin exploring your options. At their core, these tools allow you to design aesthetically pleasing designs, schedule out your emails, and measure metrics of your campaign which can provide you with necessary data to improve your email marketing strategy moving forward. These tools available at all price points depending on your needs.

    Here are a few providers to check out.

  • MailChimp - a simple and user-friendly option
  • Klaviyo - if you run an ecommerce store for your cafe this will give you some great retargeting and personalization options.
  • FloDesk - if the design is your most important factor, this provider has a ton of great options.
  • Segmentation

    The main goal of email marketing is to drive engagement and foster connection with your customers. Through the use of segmentation you can deliver relevant information to smaller groups of subscribers based on specific factors sending them down a carefully curated path to meet their unique needs, much like a conversation across the counter. Some of your customers may be interested in exclusive offers in the cafe, while others may be more likely to open an email about an event going on — sending content relevant to their interests has a higher proven success rate. According to Campaign Monitor segmented campaigns drive a 760% increase in revenue.


    Automation gives you the power to send the right personalized email at the right time. By building a personalized workflow of emails, your customers will receive emails relevant to the things they’re interested in at a time more likely to result in engagement. According to Mailchimp their customers see a 174% increase in click rates when using automated emails

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    Engaging Content

    Regardless of the method and tactics you use to send the emails, the content inside is the most important part. Make sure you're writing clear and engaging content for your subscribers. Below are a few suggestions that should be present in every email you send.

    Catchy Subject Lines

    The first thing someone sees of your email is the subject line. If that doesn’t catch their attention, they're probably not going to open it. According to Neil Patel, there are key words and phrases that are proven to better capture the attention of the recipient, such as “New,” “Sale,” “Daily,” or “Free.” Incorporating words and phrases such as these can improve open-rate, but be careful to not come off as spammy.

    Subject lines are a great place to build intrigue. A catchy subject line will ask a question or lead them to curiosity that makes them want to open the email and learn more about what you're talking about.

    Call To Action:

    Improve your email campaign by ensuring you’re sticking to the goal and encouraging your subscribers to act by including a call to action, or CTA. This will let the audience know exactly what you want them to do whether that be come in and try a new drink or attend an event going on at your shop. Make your CTA evident throughout the email by incorporating easy buttons and engaging language.

    Optimize Content

    Work to optimize your email to be as accessible and readable as possible. A whopping 48% of people open their emails on a mobile device. Ensuring your emails are optimized for mobile is incredibly important.

    Limiting long, wordy paragraphs and opting for shorter, easy to skim paragraphs or bullet points will hold the reader's attention for longer. Incorporate images and infographics to get your message across as well.

    “Keep it sweet, simple, and relevant,
    but remember to hook them with a captivating story.”

    Story Telling

    Last but not least, writing an engaging copy will always be a good strategy. Storytelling has always been a captivating medium, engaging the minds and thoughts of people for centuries. Not to mention, good coffee and a fascinating story pair together perfectly. Keep it sweet, simple, and relevant, but remember to hook them with a captivating story.

    Optimize Based on Analytics

    Once you’ve taken your first shot at email marketing you can start analyzing the KPIs. As we said earlier, these metrics can give you great information about what your customers want and provide a clear roadmap of how to get them there.

    According to Campaign Monitor your average email open rate should be between 15-25%, average click-through rate should be about 2.5% and your average click-to-open rate should be between 20-30%.

    Other KPIs to keep an eye on are your unsubscribe rate — the rate in which people are unsubscribing from your emails — and the conversion rate, or the rate in which people are performing the actions you want them to.

    A great way to determine how certain styles, copy, or subject lines perform is through A/B testing or split testing. This is the process of sending out 2 different, or partially different, email campaigns to your subscriber list and determining which one performs the best.

    Once you know how they’re performing, you can optimize emails based on the metrics you’ve recovered and send out engaging and successful campaigns every time! *Note about open rates and IOS 15 updates

    Now that you have the driving knowledge of how to develop an email marketing strategy, you’re ready to give it a try! Implementing the tips and tricks we’ve shared, you can begin engaging with your audience and build lasting relationships. If you'd like further assistance in planning your coffee shop, we'd love to help! Feel free to reach out to our commerical services team, and be sure to join the Prima Coffee Community Industry Pro Space for additional resources and join the conversation with other industry professionals.

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    Aug 3rd 2021 Ragan LaTour

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