Welcome to PART 1 of my guide to Email Marketing for your business!
Email marketing as a subject is not getting much love these days. Everywhere you look it’s all about social, social, social, but, it’s true that email marketing is still a power player. It may not be as sexy and cool as social media for most digital marketers to really focus on, yet, email is 40 times more effective at generating new customers than Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s some more numbers that hopefully will make you excited about email from two reports:
- In the US, the AV. ROI of email marketing is 4,300%
- For every $1 invested in email an organisation can generate $44.25
In this FREE learning guide I will take you through the steps needed to ensure YOUR email marketing efforts deliver the highest ROI possible by showing you how to:
- Seize more (capture more data)
- Segment more effectively
- Send more campaigns without shedding subscribers (and without being ‘spammy’)
- SELL MORE
I sincerely hope you enjoy this guide and it can help you achieve your goals. (Access PART 2 via the Opt-In Form at the end of PART 1).
Email marketing = POWER!
I think we shall start off with some information about how diverse email marketing is and how much you can achieve with it when done right.
Your competitors probably do not fully understand this and think it’s just about blasting out links to products. Here’s a brief overview of email marketing in general can help you achieve.
- Direct Sales
Email is an activity where understanding the customer journey is probably the most vital part.
Email marketing, if done right, can lead a prospect from basic awareness, to purchase, to re-purchase, to actually actively promoting your brand on their social media feeds in one of the most beautiful ways possible.
The Customer Journey
Email marketing should be fully optimised to seamlessly move a customer through the stages of their journey.
In order to move a customer along their journey, you’ll need to use the full mix of email types.
- Transactional – You’ve probably received plenty of emails of this type yourself over the years. Ex: Order confirmations, Receipts, Account creation notifications, Unsubscription confirmations etc. As you can tell these are the type of email that confirms a ‘transaction’ of some kind has taken place
- Relational – As the name suggests, these are emails that build, nurture or maintain a relationship with the subscriber. Ex: New subscriber welcome (indoctrination email), news letters, blog content, review/feedback requests, follow up emails
- Promotional – These would be the basic ‘marketing’ type email campaigns. Ex: Event/product announcement, trial offers, flash sales etc
Of course these types will see some crossover here and there, you should try to mix up promotional email campaigns by making them more personal and relational in tone rather than blunt force sales messages. However, at least this gives you an idea of what you’re going to want to work on.
Now when sending emails there’s two way to do it:
- Broadcasting – This is where you put together a campaign and send (broadcast) it to your list. Ex: Newsletter, flash sale, new product announcement
- Action Triggered – As the name suggests, these emails are sent when a subscriber completes/fails to complete a specific action. Ex: Order confirmation, cart abandonment, subscriber welcome
Getting Started With Design
And, finally, before we dive into the strategy side of email marketing, let’s look at some basic tips.
- Create a clean, crisp design congruent with your brand
- Take time planning and testing your subjects lines
- Use the second subject line to give a tad more insight into the value your email offers
- Have clear calls-to-action; make it ridiculously obvious what you want the subscriber to do next and how they do it
- If you’re opt-in forms capture names, use these in your emails – subject line, opening welcome and thank you sign-off
More on Design, Personalisation and Calls-to-Action in Part 2.
PRO TIP: Subject Lines – Leverage Scarcity and Urgency
Fear of loss or missing out remains a powerful primal instinct to tap into.
No one likes feeling that they missed the best deals, the exclusive access or they’re the last to know. Leverage this in your subject lines and email body.
For example, the subject line, “Hi Steve, SAVE 25% OFF RED HATS [ENDS AT MIDNIGHT]”, will inspire more opens than simply stating there’s “25% OFF RED HATS”. Adding a time constraint stimulates the fear of missing out and activates the subscriber; if there’s no time constraint, why would they be compelled to open the email right away and not leave it, subsequently forgetting about it?
This can be further leveraged in the body of the email campaign by adding a graphical representation of this time constraint, such as a striking image or a countdown timer. This method allows for a series campaign to be created.
You could send 3 emails forcing the point across, sent over a space of 48-hours. Ex: Email #1 – “48-hour sale”, Email #2 – “Only 24-hours left” and Email #3 – “Last Chance, Offers Ends at Midnight”.
Remember, you’re not harassing or hard-selling your subscriber; you are simply looking out for them! You value them so much you don’t want them to miss the best deals – after all that’s why they subscribed in the first place. This should have been laid out in your indoctrination email, whereby you explained how much you value their subscription and will ensure they are always alerted to the best deals you offer first.
This also works for putting a limit on the number of items available. You can start with say, 100 RED HATS, and then progressively reduce this number over a 48-hour period leveraging scarcity.
Ex: Email #1 – “[Exclusive/VIP Stock] 100 RED HATS”, Email #2 – “ONLY 57 Exclusive RED HATS LEFT!” and Email #3 – “Less than 10 LIMITED EDITION RED HATS LEFT – HURRY!”
Once again, you’re not harassing your subscriber, after all (see #1) they opted-in via a ‘RED HAT’ Lead Magnet, so you’re ensuring they don’t miss out on something they are truly interested in; also, if you’re not helping them discover new ‘RED HATS’, what was the point in them signing up to your list?
PRO TIP: Using the Second Subject Line
There’s a lot of pressure to get your subject line perfect if you’re going to stand-out in an inbox and stimulate that open.
However, quite a few campaigns continue to leave the second subject line field blank. This is a secondary opportunity to convince a subscriber to open the email, so it’s missing a trick not to use it. An improved inbox standing will lead to better open rates and get your started on seeing a higher email marketing ROI than before.
Seize more (capture more data)
The TWO mistakes that will guarantee your campaigns fail and you shed subscribers are:
- Failing to correctly indoctrinate and engage with a new subscriber so that let your emails pile up in their spam folder or just plain forgotten who you are. (these subs are the most excited to be part of your list, they’ve just subscribed for a reason and are the lowest hanging fruit).
- Your brand sending the exact same email campaign to their full list regardless of the reasons they signed up or behaviour they’ve exhibited.
These mistakes are very common. I find that whenever I suggest sending an email campaign to promote a product the first question is always, “how big is the list?” If we dig a little deeper, it’s not the size of the list that’s going to win you extra sales, it’s the quality of the subscribers, their engagement levels (open rates and click-through-rates) and their interests.
It’s not going to do much good sending an email to 1000 subscribers who:
- Have not opened (if they do not open the definitely haven’t clicked-through to a sales page) an email in months
- Have not been indoctrinated correctly and let your emails pile up in their spam folder or just plain forgotten who you are and why they opted in
- Are completely the wrong target demographic for what you’re offering
You would be far better sending a promotional campaign to 100 subs who are engaged (they have recently opened one of your emails) and have shown, through campaign or purchase behaviour, they are interested in the contents of the email campaign.
All that said, you do want to grow your list, here’s some simple ways to do it:
A little about ‘Lead Magnets’
Lead magnets are opt-in forms that give you access to gated (premium) content in exchange for an email subscription. Lead magnets are sometimes referred to as ‘Content Upgrade Offers’.
In fact you will see a classic lead magnet example at the bottom of this learning guide. I will go into far greater detail on lead magnets in the PRO section as these are critical to list growth and sales and so many firms get them wrong.
The graphic above provides a smooth segue into the next section…
Segment more effectively
As you can see in the ‘Seize more’ graphic above there’s plenty of ways to gather the data and thanks to platforms such as MailChimp, each new subscriber can be added to a niche list.
Let me give you an example:
Imagine you are a shopkeeper ...
... A new customer comes to your sales counter with a red hat ...
... You engage with them in a friendly manner and during the sale process you offer to send them their receipt via email so they don’t have to worry about losing it.
We all know how frustrating is it when you have to return an item and then spend an hour searching every pocket, of every coat you own and fail to find it? Well, save your customer from that stress by emailing it to them, well done, what amazing service, you’re such a good person, or are you? Well of course you are, but you’ve also managed to capture their data. The customer is happy you’ve removed potential stress, you’ve got new data, win, win. Now you can add that email address into a list for ‘RED ITEMS’ or ‘HATS’.
That’s a very simplified example, but, your customer has done something to suggest a preference and that means you should recognise that and add them to the most appropriate niche list you have (you don’t need to have a list for every tiny, little interest).
Ways to segment
- Purchase Behaviour – Add subs to a list based on what they have bought from you
- Lead Magnet Based – Add subs to a list based on the theme/topic/category of the lead magnet they opted-in via
- Campaign Behaviour – When using EXPLICIT email subject lines, such as, ‘New Red Hats in Stock Now!’ you can infer interest in ‘red hats’ if the subscriber opens the email and add them to either a new list or a Segment of your main list
How does this help? Subscribers will see your list as being of greater value to their lives than your competitor’s list as you are showing that you understand them, treating them like individuals and approaching them with RELEVANT emails rather than ‘spam’.
Try these tactics, get segmenting and see the difference it makes to your list growth, open rates, click-throughs and unsubscribe rates.
Thank you for reading. I truly hope this guide so far will be able to help your business in some way. Please feel free to share this knowledge.