Email marketing is not just a matter of sending out occasional emails promoting your latest show. In order to extract real value out of email as an online marketing tool, it is important to take the time to think and plan strategially about your use of email.

Here are some of the elements that should be included and considered in an email marketing strategy:

Data acquisition
Setting targets and developing tactics for growing your email list. Storage and maintenance of data within the UEMA (Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act) is also an important element.

Which email management system or solution you will use to deploy your emails. There are different models and pricing structures, so it is important to find the right solution for your situation. Using Microsoft Outlook is not an option for mass emails!

Style/type of communication
Are you going to send out e-flyers, e-newsletters and/or use email for other purposes such as research, fundraising or customer service?

Email ‘Publications’
Your regular email communications should be treated as publications, and as such you need to determine frequency, content, structure, design, tone of voice and editorial policies.

Monitoring and Tracking
Measuring your results and ensuring this data feeds into an improvement programme.

Deciding how your email programme will integrate with all other elements of your online strategy, if you have one (website, social media, web analytics etc) and your offline promotion; and how you can you use synergy between them all to increase the effectiveness across the board.