Minimal risk: Some top marketers expect to burn through $10,000 of advertising budget before even knowing if they can make a campaign profitable. (Nope, that’s not an exaggeration. But I’d usually aim for a few hundred dollars—not thousands.) With email marketing, the costs are much, much lower. A simple email marketing software like AWeber is very affordable even if your business isn’t a huge success, yet. And even if you go with something advanced like Infusionsoft, you’re still far away from the kinds of investments many other marketing tactics require. Sure, email marketing and advertising aren’t directly comparable (advertising is mainly used to reach new prospects). But you get the point.
The success of daily deal email illustrates this. Customers gain value from a ‘daily deal' email and will come to anticipate the email in their inbox every morning. Tagging links in ‘daily deal’ emails will tell you a lot about the journeys within a given customer profile, as well as about preferences and behaviours. The ultimate sell is not important – what you are doing with ‘daily deal' (or ‘weekly tips') email content is building a relationship with your customers and learning more about how journeys within your brand work. All this information is important and can be put to use on later campaigns.
Emails triggered by milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails, in particular, is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders. Plus, the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.
Remember, data collection is a two-way street. People won't give you their data for anything. So, think about how you are managing your subscribers' expectations. How clear is it to new recipient what they are going to be receiving from you? Try and get a good a feel for the experience of the person receiving your data collection methods as you can at this point.
When a new contact is added to my CRM system, add the new contact to a list in my email marketing system – This zap enables you to automatically add new contacts from your CRM into your chosen list in your email marketing tool. Then, using automation you can send them welcome emails, lead nurturing emails and more. It works with a number of CRM systems, including Salesforce, Highrise, Zoho, Batchbook, Capsule, SugarCRM, Nimble, Pipedrive & more.
Newsletters are long-haul engagement. They serve as check-ins with your subscribers, as well as offering generalised engagement points. Newsletters are a way of both driving and maintaining engagement – at worst they serve as a reminder of the relationship the recipient has with a brand, but usually, they do a lot more. Provide as many engagement points/links as you can within your newsletters, and you'll be surprised at what crops up!
When a new customer is added to my accounting program, add the customer to a list in my email marketing tool – This zap enables you to automatically add new customers from your accounting tool into your email marketing system. From there, you can send them appointment reminder emails, product usage emails and more. It works with a number of billing & accounting applications, including Xero, Quickbooks, PayPal, Freshbooks, Stripe, WHMCS, Chargify, Recurly, Harvest, Zuora and more.
Will people understand what you’re trying to say? It’s usually better to avoid topics (or opinions) that are complex if many people are extremely passionate about them. For example, sharing almost any opinion about immigration policy is usually a bad move, unless your audience is unusually homogenous. You could agree 99% with someone and still piss them off by using the wrong term just because they have such a strong “either you agree 100% with us, or you’re our enemy” mentality. I once pointed out that I think it’s unacceptable to capture and torture people for years—especially if they aren’t charged with any crime, there’s no evidence they’ve done anything wrong, and they’re children. I got several emails back from people saying, “you have no idea what you’re talking about” or “you should stick to marketing and leave politics to people who understand it.” They took it as commentary on geo-politics. I just said I’m not okay with pointless torture of children. I thought we’d all agree on that.
The case study email – A case study on how one of your customers uses your product. Make sure to outline what problems it solves for them (tied to the problems outlined in the first email) and what benefits it brings them (tied to the benefits outlined in the second email). Include a testimonial from a customer and a call to action to signup for your free trial/free plan in this email.
"Why aren't millennials moving?" The subject line of this email campaign reads before citing interesting data about relocation trends in the U.S. Trulia doesn't benefit from people who choose not to move, but the company does benefit from having its fingers on the pulse of the industry -- and showing it cares which way the real estate winds are blowing.
Awareness (formerly the top of the funnel): In email marketing for full-funnel campaigns, the purpose of this phase is to educate and build trust with the customer, delivering engaging content rather than pushing sales. This is the stage where customers first learn about your products, so make sure to keep it informative and relevant, rather than driving to free trials, discounts, or other special offers designed to drive conversions.
Personas provide a multi-dimensional method of targeting. They’re based, as the name suggests, on a projected persona for each customer ‘type’. Get it right, and personas can help you enormously in both predicting behaviour and personalising your communications. Personas are a powerful technique, and they’re increasingly used to improve the usability and customer centricity of communications.
Location: Businesses that offer local service, such as a lawn service company, obviously need to target local customers, but regional, national, and global companies can also benefit from location-based personalization. Consider running special campaigns for customers in a specified location based on regional events or what’s happening at your local office.
People tend to think of evaluation as something you do at the end of a campaign. In fairness, doing a full evaluation at the end is a massively important part of any campaign strategy. But it’s also helpful to evaluate as you're going along. Lots of brands make the mistake of closing their ears to ongoing issues and save any feedback for the end of campaign evaluation.
Use a call to action button – We ran some tests recently and found that including a call to action button (as opposed to just text links) increased our conversions by 28%. So when creating your automated email campaign, make sure to include a call to action button to increase your chances of people clicking through and taking your desired conversion action. It’s also important to optimize your call to action buttons, and this post provides a 3 part framework for creating the perfect CTA button.
Bloggers are the most obvious example of focusing on this email marketing strategy almost exclusively. SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses are another group that typically heavily emphasize content emails. Of course, bloggers, SaaS businesses, and everyone else can send content emails while also using the other email marketing strategies. And you should do it, too.
When a new person registers for my event or webinar, add the person to a list in my email marketing tool – This zap enables you to automatically add new registrants from your event management tool into your email marketing system. From there, you can send them automated reminder emails in the lead up to the event and follow-up emails after it. It works with a number of event management & webinar tools, including Eventbrite, Meetup & GoToWebinar.
Remember, the precise metrics you use, segments you choose, and journeys you map will vary greatly depending on your customers, brand message, and business model. That’s why it’s so important to put in that early work to define your marketing status and objectives. There’s no one-size-fits-all guide to strategizing but hope this guide has given you a good grounding in the direction your thinking should be going.
This kind of initial research and analysis is incredibly important. If you include anything which you haven’t subjected to research, analysis, insights, experience, and expert opinion, it simply won’t fly. This is important. Everything these days has to be tailored very specifically to your brand and your personal customer experience. Your competitor might have an amazingly successful marketing strategy (and it's good to learn things from what they're doing!), but that doesn’t mean that the same kind of thing would be as successful for your brand.
Alternatively, at least, an eye-catching design. It’s worth letting a proper designer have a go at prettifying your emails. Customers are often opening emails on the go, so you need to work hard to grab their attention. Making your emails nice to look at is a brilliant way to hold their eye. Netflix put time and effort into making their emails stand out, personally and visually – and it pays off for them!
Advocacy: The old adage of “word of mouth is your best marketing” is still true today. When a customer loves your company or products, they tell others about it. Social media and online reviews are some of the strongest purchase influencers. To capitalize on the advocacy stage, identify your happiest customers and see if they’ll spread the word with a review or testimonial. If you have a referral program where you offer discounts or other rewards for bringing in new business, make sure this program is a big part of your email marketing strategy for devoted customers.
When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form, to purchasing a product, to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that marketers set and forget.
It’s true that your customers do want to hear from you. The fact you have a regular email marketing campaign is one of the magic elements boosting your ROI. But there’s such a thing as overkill. Once you come off a great campaign it’s tempting to run the same campaign again in an attempt to get the same results. The chances are you’re going to get diminishing returns.
Everyone's busy and their inbox is already full. Why add to the problem with a longwinded email? People generally like short, concise emails better than long ones because concise emails have an obvious focus. Plus, when your users are scanning through all their emails in a short amount of time, they're more likely to find the overall message before deciding to take any action.