Email Marketing: One Ridiculously Easy Way To Grow Your Business
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that uses personalized, mass emails to educate and convince a lead to take a specific action, like making a purchase.
Why Email Marketing is Important
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We’ve covered the biggest question, what is email marketing, but haven’t gotten into why email marketing is so very important for your business. Let’s talk about that now.
Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam email (which is never a good marketing strategy, by the way), email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and boost customer loyalty.
There are many reasons you should make email marketing one of your top priorities, but here are the top 3:
1. Email is the #1 communication channel. Did you know that at least 99% of consumers check their email on a daily basis?
2. You own your list. On any social media platform, your account (along with all your fans and posts) 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.
3. Email just converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI (returns on investment) of 4400%. 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. Now that you know the importance of email marketing, let’s learn the best ways to go about it.
The bottom line is that you can’t send out email marketing campaigns if you have no one to send them to. And the other thing to remember is that email marketing won’t work if you don’t have the right people on your list.
What most people do when they want to build an email list is to put an opt-in 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 opt-in bribe) is something awesome that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. It 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.
Personalized Email Marketing with 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 blasting every email to your entire email list, segmentation lets you send certain emails only to those subscribers you think will be the most interested in that content, resulting in higher conversions.
Why Segment Your Email Marketing List?
Segmenting your list is proven to increase your email open rates, boost your click-through rates, and decrease your unsubscribe rates. That’s why smart email 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, a 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.
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.
1. Avoid Spam Filters
Probably the most obvious problem is when your email gets sent to the subscriber’s spam folder. Since you’ve already gotten permission to send emails you’re off to a great start.
Here are some email marketing best practices to keep your emails from falling into spam folders:
- Make sure all recipients have actually opted-in to receiving your emails.
- 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 whitelist your emails, and ask them to add you to their address book.
- Avoid 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.
2. 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. Even then, over time, email subscribers 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.
3. Perfect Your Timing
Timing can have a huge effect on whether or not your subscribers open your emails and on your conversion rate, so think carefully about what time and day you send your emails out.
In a study by GetResponse, they found that Tuesdays have the highest open and click-through rates.
However, a study from Yes Marketing found that Saturdays are the best days for conversions.
4. 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 the best email marketing subject lines:
- Entice curiosity, 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.
- Include numbers. There is something about numbers that draw the eye.
- Use a friendly and conversational tone.
- Speak in the language and style that your subscribers use themselves, especially when talking with their friends.
5. Write to Just One Person
When you draft your subject line and message content, it’s natural to think of the thousands of people who are about to receive it.
However, it’s far more effective to write as if speaking to an individual person, with a personal subject line and a personalized message.
6. Write Like a Friend
When writing your emails, put your corporate hat to the side and write like a friend. This is the only way to really appeal to your subscribers and get them to open and click your emails.
For example, a corporate phrase like, “We’re offering savings to our customers!” comes off as distant and stuffy.
A more friendly alternative could be something like, “you’ve gotta check out this deal…”
That makes the email seem a whole lot more personal and makes it less likely that your recipients will simply delete your message and move on.
7. Write Amazing Content, Every Time
You may be thinking that when a subscriber opens your email, you’ve essentially won the battle. However, the actual content of your email also plays an important role in your open rate.
Here’s why: if your subscribers are happy with your content, they are more likely to open your emails in the future. They may even begin to eagerly anticipate your emails. Conversely, if a subscriber is displeased with what they got in your email, they probably aren’t going to open your emails again, and they may even unsubscribe.
So how do you make sure your subscribers are happy with your email content? Simple: make it awesome.
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