But just one category continues to perform well year after year: email marketing. The reason is clear: For ten years in a row, email generates the highest ROI for marketers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI and gives marketers the broadest reach of all the channels available to them. Despite the plethora of tools available to marketers, email marketing is simply the best bet for business growth.
An eBook acts as a great incentive to get people to sign-up and provide you with their contact details and other useful information that you previously would not have access to. For instance, you could ask them to describe their biggest pain point and provide their mobile phone number in addition to their name and email address. Remember, website visitors are only willing to give up so much information, so the better the value offer, the more information they will give.
There is always room for improvement, and one of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to understand how your buyers feel. Ask your subscribers for feedback directly based on the proper context (e.g. after they book a trip from your website or 3-months into their software subscription). Since their feedback can be extensive, you may want to provide a CTA to a landing page to collect it. For example, after a game, the Arkansas Razerbacks send attendees an email thanking them for attending, recapping the scorecard, and directing them to click a link to take a survey about their experience.
“I recently had some white space in a newsletter I couldn’t get rid of. So I called customer support and they explained the image needed to be resized and the issue was cleared up immediately. A great thing about Constant Contact is if you’re having a problem, you can just pick up the phone and someone will solve your problem in a matter of minutes.”
Consumers like to do business with companies that they like and trust. Email gives you the opportunity to build this credibility with your audience by delivering useful and informative content that adds value for your readers. Many businesses will develop a monthly email newsletter to deliver valuable content to their readers on a regularly basis. By providing relevant and accurate information that consumers find helpful, these businesses work to build their credibility and establish themselves as a thought leader in their given industry.
Because prospective buyers won’t always end up at your website as they start their purchase journey, it’s important that you establish a presence where they may show up. A great way to deliver high-value content to the correct prospects is through content syndication – a content sharing strategy that can be used to promote your whitepapers, articles, news releases, etc. on other websites for greater reach and engagement. Through content syndication, your content appears on third-party sites and newsletters. And because most content syndicators deliver leads directly to your inbox, it’s a great way to keep leads coming in the door.
If you do use your own email provider, you will create your message and input the email addresses just as you do for your everyday email. This is the only way to send email for free forever, but it's also the least effective and can cause problems associated with spam email (see Resources). Take a look at the email broadcast software available as well. Email distribution software can be just as effective as a mass email program.
The toughest thing about investing in SEO is that it can take months or even years to see the fruits of your labour. This is where paid channels such as pay-per-click advertising on Google, LinkedIn or Facebook can come in handy. They essentially allow you to drive traffic to your landing page and see almost immediate results. Be wary though, the cost per lead can be high, especially in the early stages when you’ve not yet optimised your campaign.
High CTR: Recipients anticipate transactional emails because they help them complete an action. That is why they open them and click on them. Take advantage of this dynamic and include a highly customized call-to-action (maybe even as a P.S.) to leverage the fact that the subscriber is fresh and very actively engaged with your email communication. A 2008 Jupiter research showed that marketing content in transactional messages helped increased revenue and brand recognition.
Designing the look and feel of the email is an important but tricky process. The choice of images and text must reflect the demographic that is being marketed to. The email needs to grab the reader's attention and draw them into the details of the sales pitch as quickly and succinctly as possible. If the email is confusing or boring, readers are likely to delete it before reading too far into it. All of that effort is then wasted.
In fact, HTML emails tend to have lower open and click-through rates that correlate directly to how many HTML elements are included. This is likely due to email programs such as Gmail filtering promotional emails out of the main inbox and into a different tab where they may not be seen by users. Plainer emails can be great for event invitations, blog content, and survey or feedback requests.
What hesitations did your client have before they purchased? What did they experience after? How did they feel about the whole experience? Each section of the before-after-experience testimonial speaks to the hesitations of a potential buyer. The buyer can relate to the feeling a past customer had before they went through the process and relate to the hesitation. They’ll be able to relate to any hesitations a similar customer may have had.
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Campaign Monitor customer Rip Curl utilized segmentation and dynamic content to deliver the right message to the right person. For example, they know the gender of their subscribers and where they are located geographically, so they can ensure that females in the United States receive a promotion about bathing suits during the summer months and males in Australia receive an email about wetsuits during the winter months.
If a buyer subscribes to your newsletter, fills out a form, or registers for an event or webinar on your website, send them an email to confirm their action. This enhances the customer experience and sets the tone for building a trusting relationship. You can also use these emails as a double opt-in for subscribers to confirm their email address. Some businesses do this to confirm that subscribers enter valid email addressed, which is a great way to keep your database clean.
Amazon has a simple way of soliciting these reviews—they just ask upfront how many stars you’d rate the product. The presentation of the request is visual. At a glance, users understand what is being asked of them. Once you click the image to leave a star rating, you’ll be taken to a page that allows you to both leave a star rating and a written review.
Blogging can be done in three different ways, the first one being of course on your own website. Blog consistently and try to publish new posts on the same days. This way your audience gets to know your schedule and know when to return for fresh content. Traffic to your blog, however, is not the only thing, you need to convert those readers. Your readers are interested in the thing you write about, but they are most likely not on your email list yet. Try adding relevant call-to-actions to your blog posts!
Companies also need to map out the customer’s journey across their marketing funnel. It’s almost like leaving breadcrumbs for your customer—after they look at your services, where do you want them to go? Leave “breadcrumbs” like a downloadable piece of collateral or invite them to sign up for a newsletter. Once you figure out the ideal new customer journey, you can measure where users drop off and improve your site accordingly.
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Make a great first impression with a welcome email. When someone signs up to your mailing list, the first thing they should receive from you is a welcome email. By sending a welcome email, you are building your brand and credibility with your customer. Plus, this lets your customer know that you will be emailing them and gives them an opportunity to white-list your address. This email is easily automated, so no excuses. All email subscribers should receive your welcome email upon subscription.
As your email list grows bigger, it gets harder to manage it using a standard personal or business email account. A good ESP helps you assign subscribers to different lists so that you can use segmentation more effectively, and prevents the dreaded possibility of accidentally putting your whole list in the open CC field. It’s also far easier to comply with the CAN-SPAM law (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing law) that requires that you make it easy for people to unsubscribe and to process their request within 10 days. Email marketing services unsubscribe recipients immediately and automatically.