The best email marketing is highly personal, value-driven, and exceptionally relevant to each individual who receives each message.
High performance email aims to build relationship with relevance and only the basis o that relationship should email aim to promote your products.
Email marketing must be done to bond with your prospect, build your credibility, and then sell your product.
- Segmentation based on behavioural criteria defined with your marketing automation platform.
- Testing different types of messaging and sequences to optimize engagement and bring that prospect from cold to piping hot so they make the purchase... and then come back again and again.
Myth of the Big List
Are big email broadcast lists necessary for success with modern online marketing?
A big email marketing list with low response rate isn’t worth very much.
As Head of Marketing for an email service provider I saw first hand how big brands mail millions of emails yet hit only 8% or less open rates, and thus click through rates were only a tiny portion compared to the overall list size.
Marketing legend Jay Abraham taught me a long time ago that before we should focus on selling, we should focus on providing value and building a relationship.
Thus, the size of your list combined with the relationship you have with it combined with the influence that you actually have on it will create the level of responsiveness and thus the lists profitability.
Consider the stream of logic:
- Before they buy, you need influence.
- To influence we must develop relationships.
- Relationships are built through engagement (multiple engagements or touch points possibly through various mediums).
- Engagement comes from gaining permission (which means subscribing to you in some way, such as podcasts, RSS, or email subscriptions).
- And they can’t give you permission until you have gotten their attention.
Email Open Rates
Question on LinkedIn:
Do you have any secrets that you can share to improve the open rates of your email campaigns or newsletters?
As previous head of marketing for an email service provider I'd like to offer a couple of more uncommon suggestions. Mail more often. And mail your unopens.
IF (and you should be) you are mailing relevance to segmented lists, then where is there left to go?
Mailing more often.
And then extract the addresses of those that have not opened within say 3 days, and mail those addresses again, possibly with a different subject line. You will most likely see a bump in overall open rates.
In its simplest form, Marketing Automation is when a visitor requests information and receives it automatically by email.
Today, visitors request can lead into behavior-triggered email follow-up and off-site ad re-targeting that delivers specific content based on the visitors exact behavior (i.e. which pages he visited revealing both his interests and stage of the buying process).
Example Automation Workflows
This small piece of an automation workflow gives a glimpse into the possibilities with automation.
Or how about this more detailed example showing a number of conditional triggers in part of an automation workflow:
At first glance that may seem utterly confusing.
Yet, Marketing Funnel Automation is now vital to compete with the degree of personalization and the varied campaign approaches used by large businesses and increasingly by SMEs.
If you’ve previously been scared off by high fees for Marketing Automation projects you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what Cyclic Media can offer for optimizing contact frequency and message relevance for a better customer experience that brings the greatest ROI.
Here’s a basic customer journey example:
- Mary sees one of your ads and lands on your ecommerce page for handbags but does not buy.
- Later that day she accesses her Facebook account and low-and-behold sees a nice photo of several gorgeous handbags similar to the one she was looking at earlier.
- The advert gives her a compelling reason to click and she visits your page a 2nd time (at a cost to you of just a few cents).
- She sees an offer for interesting information about your handbag selection and decides to opt-in with her email address.
- This begins an automated process of nurture and offer emails that are scheduled based on whether she actually opens the emails, clicks particular and browses specific pages of the site.
- If she adds a handbag to the cart by way of ‘window shopping’, we can then automatically send her information about that particular handbag, nurturing her trust in the brand, keeping front-of-mind, and helping to close the sale.
It's amazing what can be done with Automation
Marketing Automation acts as a filter for multiple conversion funnels that converge and diverge into various segmentations based on each contacts behavior.
Sometimes customers just need a gentle reminder or two before they buy, along with a little extra information that endears them to your brand, and overcomes their hesitation to buy from you.
But delivering that 'little extra info' at the right time is a science and art.
Marketing Automation provides the tools to make that happen completely hands-free once we’ve set it all up. And it doesn’t have to be a major project to get things started and see a clear and positive ROI.
When planning email campaigns, think along these two style types, and blend them accordingly for your audience:
- The first option is based on "story and relationship."
- The second is "strategy and results."
Send 1 mesage per day for the first 4 days (to establish the relationship and awareness)... then move to sending 1 email every 3 days... Make 90 days worth of messages (= 10 emails), each independent from the other.
Over time, track the open rates, and click through rates for each, and swap the order so that the best performing emails come earlier in the sequence.
In fact, if your emails are so valuable and useful, prospects will return to them a number of times, which can mean that your open-rates and click-through rates can exceed 100% of your sent rate. Here's a diagram from one of our own email campaigns:
Email Campaign Development
The 3 stages of effective Email Marketing Campaign Management
Stage 1 - Email Marketing Campaign Clarity
Your first goal for any email marketing is to develop the campaign platform - the identification of your message to market match.
That is, who are you targetting, with what product, and where is the connection between the two. That is the first point of clarity in stage 1 of email marketing campaign management.
Stage 2 - Email Marketing Campaign Preparation
Email Marketing List Selection
The clarity achieved in Stage 1 allows your list selection criteria:
If the list you are mailing to does not consist of precisely the right target audience, then your conversion rates will be low. This may requires customer profiling, data cleaning and suppression? The whole 9 yards.
Email Marketing Design
Remember, the most important thing for a sale is a compelling offer delivered in a 'message to market match'. If your creative genius (or wacko) wants to add in a funky picture or use a funky font, ask him to validate the option by showing you where and how that is similarly used elsewhere in a marketing campaign to your specific target audience. If in doubt, keep it out.
Email Marketing Copy
Copy is king. And email marketing lends itself to a climactic symphony over an extending time. Each email in the sequence having a new effect.
First you need to build anticipation and high perceived value in your offering. You also need to build credibility and trust? establish a relationship with the audience. Even interact with the audience by doing surveys or inviting people to comment on a blog or just to reply to your email with their thoughts or questions. Ferret out the top objections that your audience may have to your product offering. Gather market intelligence and prospect insight as part of your early email marketing campaign sequence.
Once you have engaged your audience, identified objections, built credibility, and more? Then you are ready for the launch sequence of your product. Take away offers. Scarcity. Bonuses.
Email marketing campaigns are far more involved than cutesy pictures with short copy. They are a replacement of a face to face sales interaction. Respect your audiences intelligence and time. Put your self in their place and ask what would I want to know about this product that would make me buy it.
Email Marketing Testing
Every single mailing you send out should ideally be a split test. Even just testing different subject lines to monitor differences in open rates is a truly excellent start to email marketing campaign testing.
Stage 3 - Email Marketing Campaign Execution
Email Marketing Analysis
Don't just mail once and expect a flood of sales. In fact, often times the first few mailings to a list should not be a product offer of any kind at all.
Email Marketing Feedback
What are the metrics for the campaign. List size. Average order size. Open rate. Click through rate. Campaign costs. ROI. Etc. And what split test variants worked best. How can they be improved or retested for the next campaign phase.