Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message typically to a group of people, using email In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust and brand awareness. Marketing emails can be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.
Since this is a long and detailed process, we have broken it down into different sections that you can navigate to by using the navigation below:
- Why email marketing
- Getting started
- Growing your email list
- Email list segmentation
- Email open rates
- Email automation
Introduction: The importance of email marketing
Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam (which is never a good marketing strategy, by the way), email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers. Although there are many reasons you should make email marketing one of your top priorities, here are the 3 main ones…
- Email is the #1 communication channe Did you know that at least 90% of customers check their email on a daily basis? That can’t be said of any other communication channel.
- You own your list. On any social media platform, your account (with all your fans) could be suspended or deleted at any time, for any reason, without notice. However, you own your email list. No one can take those leads away from you.
- Email converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 140% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 3800% That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media. Email is simply the best way to make sales online.
- How to get started: The first and most important thing you need is permission to email your prospects and customers.
While buying email lists may sound like a great shortcut, we never recommend it. We also do not recommend adding emails from people’s business cards that you collected at conferences. Unless you have express permission to send them your email newsletters, your emails are technically spam. And it doesn’t serve your business anyway. People who don’t opt in specifically for your email list are not the people who will buy from you. Sending them anything at all would be a complete waste of your time and money. What you need in order to get started the right way is 1) an option form and 2) an email marketing service.
- Growing Your Email List: What most people do when they want to build an email list is to put an option form on their website and hope that people sign up. Unfortunately, this strategy usually doesn’t work very well. To grow your email list, you need to attract people with a compelling offer. You need a lead magnet.
What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an option bribe) is something amazing that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This doesn’t have to cost you anything to create; most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value to your visitors for free.
Some popular lead magnet examples are…
- A cheat sheet of tips or resources
- White papers or case studies
- A webinar
- Free trials or samples
- A free quote or consultation
- Quizzes or a self-assessment
- A coupon
The possibilities are endless!
What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?
We already know that a lead magnet needs to provide value for free. But if you want your lead magnet to be highly effective, here are 5 criteria for you to consider:
- Easily consumed: Lead magnets are only effective when the audience uses them, so if you deliver a 300-page manifesto, you won’t gain traction.
- Actionable: Lead magnets need to provide a tool/skill set, or useful information that your audience can apply.
- Creates noticeable improvement: People continue to buy products and services if they work well. Your lead magnet will become successful if it’s as valuable as your products and services.
- Immediately available: People love instant gratification, so give it to them right then and there.
Now that you know what a lead magnet is and how to create a highly-effective one, you’ll need to create your option form.
How to Create an Optin Form that Converts
The purpose of your optin form is to convey the big benefit of your lead magnet, so your website visitors subscribe to your email newsletters in exchange for getting the lead magnet.
To create an optin form that converts, it needs to have the following components:
- Enticing headline: Make sure your headline clearly describes the big benefit of your lead magnet
- Helpful description: Is your description brief, clear and to the point? Use bullet points to help the reader’s eye quickly scan what they will get.
- Attractive visuals: Include an image of the lead magnet if you can (e.g. a mockup of your eBook). A photo of a person looking towards the optin form is also a great way to boost conversions.
- Compelling subscribe button: Make sure to use a contrasting color for your subscribe button, so that it really pops out on the page. Also, use non-generic copy that compels people to click right away
Once you’ve created your optin form, you’ll need to install it on your site. There are 14 high-converting places to put your optin form
- Splash page
- Welcome gate
- Floating bar
- Your site’s header
- Blog archive page
- Within your blog posts
- Your sidebar
- In a timed lightbox popup
- In a scroll box
- Your footer
- Your About page
- Resource pages
- On a designated sign-up page
- In an exit-intent popup
One of these is absolutely mandatory if you want to get as many subscribers as possible That’s the exit-intent popup: you should add these on every page of your site. An exit-intent popup shows up at the precise moment the user is about to leave your website. This popup doesn’t interrupt the reading experience and only triggers when the user is leaving. This is the perfect time for asking them to subscribe because likely they’ve read your content and found your site helpful.
Using an exit popup works amazingly well, and in fact, our customers consistently see significant results using exit-intent. ,
Personalized Marketing with Email List Segmentation
Most marketing experts will tell you to build an email list. But what they don’t tell you is that your email list will not be as effective without proper segmentation.
What is Email List Segmentation?
Email list segmentation is the process of breaking your subscribers into smaller groups based on specific criteria so that you can send them more personalized and relevant emails.
Rather than allowing every single email you send to be broadcast to your entire email list, segmentation allows you to send each email only to those subscribers who you think will be the most interested in the content, thus resulting in higher conversions.
Why Segment Your List?
Segmenting your list is proven to increase your email open rates, boost your click rates, and decrease your unsubscribe rates. That’s why smart marketers use segmentation to drastically improve the effectiveness of their email campaigns.
Once you’ve “tagged” your subscribers into different segments, you’ll be able to send really powerful autoresponders–which are series of emails that get sent out automatically based on certain conditions–that you can use to nurture your leads and make sales.
Segments make it so much easier to know what subject lines and messages to write that will entice the users to open and engage with your email campaigns.
The goal with segmentation should be to find out how did the user get on your email list in the first place?
There are many different ways to slice and dice your list into segments. Here are a few ways to get you started:
- New subscribers: send new subscribers a welcome email or a welcome series.
- Preferences: subscribers who want to hear about blog posts vs. those who only want sale notifications.
- Interests: subscribers who like classical music vs. those who like pop.
- Location: notify subscribers who live in the area about your local event.
- Open rate: reward your more engaged subscribers with a special offer just for them.
- Inactivity: remind subscribers who haven’t engaged for a while of the next step you want them to take.
- Lead magnet: send targeted emails based on the topic of the lead magnet that they opted in for.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment: remind subscribers who put items in their cart that they haven’t checked out yet.
These ideas just scratch the surface of what you can do with email list segmentation.
Improving Your Email Open Rates
This chapter is important because even with all of the hard work you’ve done to grow your email list and segment it, you won’t benefit from any of it unless your emails actually get opened.
There are several factors which play a role in whether or not your emails get opened. Let’s dive into them, one by one…
- Avoid Spam Filters : The first and most obvious problem is when your email gets sent to the subscriber’s spam folder. Here are some best practices to keep your emails from falling into spam folders: Make sure all recipients have actually opted-in to receiving your emails. (We can’t emphasize this point enough!)
- Send your email campaign from a good IP address; that is, an IP address that hasn’t been used by someone else who has sent spam in the past.
- Send emails through verified domains.
- Keep your email template code clean.
- Use merge tags to personalize the “To:” field of your email campaign.
- Show subscribers how to white list your emails, and ask them to add you to their address book.
- Avoid the excessive use of “salesy ” language (these are spam trigger words like “buy”, “clearance”, “discount”, or “cash”).
- Don’t “bait-and-switch” by using deceptive subject lines.
- Include your location.
- Include an easy way for subscribers to opt-out of your emails.
Almost all of this is handled when you choose a reputable email marketing service.
- Remove Inactive Subscribers to Keep Your List Fresh:- It’s important to email your subscribers on a consistent basis, so your list doesn’t go stale. That being said, over time, email subscribers can still go stale. Some people may have changed email accounts, or maybe they just aren’t interested in your brand anymore. So to keep your list fresh and filled with engaged subscribers, it’s a good idea to periodically remove inactive subscribers. An inactive subscriber could be anyone who has not engaged with any email in the past 6 months or more. But before you get rid of them, try sending a last-ditch-effort email to try to re-engage your inactive subscribers.
Another way to keep your list fresh is by checking in with your subscribers every once in a while to ask if they would like to update their information and their preferences. This way, they are reminded that they can take control of how they want to engage with you.
- Perfect Your Timing :- Timing can have a huge effect on whether or not your subscribers open and click your emails, so think carefully about what time and day you send your emails out.
- Make Your Subject Line Stand Out:- When it comes to email open and click rates, your subject lines are everything. Your job is to make your subject lines stand out.
Here are some tips for crafting creative subject lines:
- Entice curosity, but don’t be too clever. You want to make them curious enough to open and click, but without being so cryptic that the subscriber hasn’t a clue as to what you’re talking about.
- Insert numbers. There is something about numbers that draw the eye.
- Use a fun, joking, or conversational tone.
- Speak in the language and style that your subscribers use themselves, especially when talking with their friends.
- Make sure your email is mobile-friendly, with responsive formatting and loadable media. Also consider the fact that mobile screens are smaller, so long subject lines won’t be view able on mobile devices.
- Here are some more tips for appealing to mobile users:
- Keep the formatting simple (single-column), under 600px wide.
- Use a larger font. Small fonts are difficult to read on mobile.
- Don’t assume images are being displayed (Android turns images off by default). Make sure it looks good without them.
- Use smaller images to reduce load time.
- Use a large call-to-action button. Larger buttons are easier to tap with a thumb.
- Don’t place two links next to, or on top of one another. That way, the user won’t tap the wrong one by accident.
All of these tips can help any campaign get better open rates, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a turnaround right away.
Email marketing is an art and science, so give yourself some wiggle room to experiment and find what tactics work best for your business and your subscribers.
Automating Your Email Marketing with Autoresponders
The auto responder series is arguably an online marketer’s most powerful tool for making sales. It helps you to successfully engage your email list, build relationships, and turn prospects into buyers.
The best part is, once you’ve created it, your work is done, so you can focus on the important aspects of your business.
So, What’s an Auto responder ?
An autoresponder is a sequence of emails that are automatically sent to a segment of people on your email list and is triggered by a specific event, such as joining your list, browsing behavior, cart abandonment, downloading a PDF, or buying a product. The content of an email autoresponder series is created in advance and set up to send at the appropriate time with the help of your email marketing software.
Every online business needs an autoresponder series for two main reasons:
- They nurture your leads by providing valuable information and insights, as well as teaching them how to make better decisions through an automated onboarding process.
- They turn prospects into customers by helping you build “know, like, and trust” before you ask for the sale. Then you can make your pitch at the best possible moment, and you can do it without being overly “salesy” or pushy.