Email Marketing: The 13 Things You Need to Know
Step 1. Why You Should Be Using Email Marketing
Email marketing is a key part of the marketing mix for pretty much every business these days. It’s easy, fast, inexpensive and, in many cases, yields the highest ROI (Return on Investment) – which is brilliant, providing you do it properly.
However, most business owners have absolutely no idea how to use email marketing effectively and, as a result, they are losing out on thousands of pounds of revenue.
Have You Got Email Addresses?
Most business owners have a stash of emails that they’re sitting on. Maybe this is a list of:
- Existing Customers
- Past Customers
- Bought Data
How To Get Email Addresses
- One of the easiest way to get emails is from business cards. You go to a networking event, collect a load of cards and put their details into your list.
- You can also (and should) collate your existing customers email addresses and put them into a list.
- You can buy email addresses in bulk niched down to the type of audience you want to appeal to.
- Another great way is to put a lead magnet on your website. This is when you offer your website visitor something for free in exchange for their email address. 95% of website visitors leave without taking any action, so put something in place to capture their email address.
Step 2. Chop ‘Em Up
If you send everything to everybody on your list then it’s likely that you are committing one of the greatest sins in email marketing – sending people emails that they don’t want to receive and which are not relevant to them.
You need your emails to jump off of the computer screen and hit your prospects right on the nose. You want them to be really interested in the content and you want the email to speak directly to them. You need to segment the list.
How To Segment
For you to segment properly, as well as knowing the name and email address of everyone on your list, you really should be gathering information on:
- Marital Status
- Career/Job/Business Name
- Products/Services bought from you
- Past/Current/Prospective Customers
Step 3. What System Should I Use
What Is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and a CRM system is a great way of managing that. A CRM system allows you to do store customers information and at the same time sends emails, analyses customer interaction, sends autoresponder emails and can deal with payments and invoicing.
A simpler version would be an Email Management System that just deals with the email side of things.
There’s a wide choice of technical solutions for sending your email campaigns, all with different levels of sophistication.
They usually give free access to new users, either with a 30-day limit or limit on email sends – they’re banking on you not switching CRM once you’ve loaded your emails in and got it all working.
We use a system called Keap as our main CRM system which we also sell and train our clients in. If Keap isn't for you right now, a good place to get started would be to look at systems such as Intouch, Aweber, Constant Contact, Salesforce and MailChimp.
Step 4. The Goal
Before I start any email I do think about the following things and so should you:
- What do you want the campaign to achieve? – Sales? Referrals? Good Will?
- What do you want them to do when they read this email?
- Who, exactly is it going to? – you should picture then sat at their desk reading it
- What is your offer?
- What have you done that’s worked before on stuff like this?
Step 5. From
Your emails should always come from a person, preferably you.
Sending emails from “info@” or “ABC Company” just looks salesy and impersonal. Names matter!
Step 6. The Subject Line
The biggest challenge that you face with this email marketing is actually getting them to open it up in the first place. Just think about all of the emails that you receive every day. Look at the subject lines. Do they inspire you to open it up?
Where to start though? The end. Seriously, to come up with a subject line that is relevant to the content and will inspire people to open up, write your subject line when you have finished writing the email. Get your email content in place and finished and then scour it for subject lines. There will be loads right there for you to use. Don't forget to personalise it too, that will drastically improve your open rates.
Need some help getting started? Here are 11 types of subject line:
- Offer a Benefit
- Asking Questions
- Urgency and Scarcity
- Unusual Numbers and Percentages
- Self-interest & Personalisation
- Using Stories
- Celebrity Pull
- Use News Articles
- [VID] Videos
Step 7. Getting More Opens
Here's a basic checklist to ensure you're doing everything you can to get your emails opened.
- Timing - don't send your email in an 'inbox surge' - when people usually check their emails to delete them, like early in the morning when waking up. Of course it will depend on your industry and your audience but we find the best times to send emails are between 8:30am - 10:00am, 2:30pm - 3:30pm or 8:00pm - Midnight.
- ~Contact.Firstname~ - One great way to get your emails opened is to personalise the subject line with the readers first name.
- Add Symbols - stand out! Emoji's are new (to the business world that is) and different.
Step 8. Getting More Clicks
Right, so now your emails been opened on to the next job... Getting the click. Whatever you want your email to do, whether that's taking the reader to a blog post, a sales video, a landing page, a survey etc. The job of the email copy is to get them to click. So let's look at some great little tricks you can deploy to boost your Click Through Rate in your emails.
- Using Video - Even in today's modern word we still can't play video directly in someones inbox. The next best thing? is simple: An image of the thumbnail with the link below.
- Using Surveys and Polls - this will only work for certain campaigns, but if you're in the business for it make sure you don't make your poll complex, and indicate that the poll your customer is being taken too won't waste their time.
- Using GIFs - GIFs are essentially a bridge between images and video. They look like a video but can be embedded in your emails!
Step 9. Interesting And Relevant Content
Like any media, make sure that you provide your readers with the information they want. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you can get away with crappy content. So here's some clues below on how to master the content:
- Long or Short - Typically shorter emails perform better on click-through rates. Sometimes though you may want to explain something in greater detail, and that’s fine too, but my advice would be not to make all of your emails long. Just the odd one.
- Images - Images break the email up and people like pictures.
- Tone - Keep the emails conversational and light to reveal your great personality. You’re building a relationship with your customer too remember; pressurising language is more likely to steer them away from your business.
- Make it personal - Put the readers name into the copy of the email in different places.
- Call to Action - Make sure that your email spells out exactly what you want the reader to do. Sometimes your email maybe just a value piece and sometimes you will want them to take action, to call, click on something or to buy. You need to tell them.
- Plain Text - HTML emails look great, but they’re more easily blocked by the recipient’s email system. Plain text, although not as pleasing to the eye, is rarely blocked and most senders allow you to easily create a plain text version of any HTML email before you hit send.
Step 10. Repeat Email Communication
Whatever you do, don’t just send one email. We use autoresponders in our business. Autoresponders are emails that are scheduled to be sent at a certain time intervals after someone has joined one of our mailing lists. Autoresponders are a great way to automatically follow up with your subscribers or provide them with more information on your products or services. There are different types of auto-responders:
- Out of office messages
- Reminders (appointments, ending memberships, annual events)
- Paid for training courses
- Subscription follow-ups
- Purchase confirmations
Step 11. Use Multi Media With Your Emails
Let me tell you, email marketing works. It’s the single biggest source of all sales coming into our business. But it’s NOT a silver bullet. You need to do other forms of marketing as well.
Here are a few of the best:
- Direct Mail Letters
- Text Messaging
- Phone Calls
- Video Brochures
- Lumpy Mail – Gifts in the Post
Step 12. Statistics And Tracking
Most popular email marketing systems provide really good statistics so you can monitor the performance of your email marketing.
There’s no excuse here. If you’re taking email marketing at all seriously, then you’ll be looking at the reports for each email and testing to see how you can drive up your open rates and click through rates.
Don’t be too quick to unsubscribe bounced addresses. There are loads of reasons why emails can bounce, so wait until it’s happened 3 or 4 times before taking it off your list.
What You Should Be Tracking
Your email reporting system can tell you a lot about the performance.
You should track:
- Open Rates
- Click Through Rate
- Most Popular Time Opened
- Amount of Unsubscribes
- Amount of Completed Deliveries
- Amount of Bounces
Step 13. Testing
What To Test
First thing to test is the subject line. When you look at your reports and tracking for open rates, you can track different subject lines against one another to see which performs best. Be sure to test on small numbers, so 100 people tops.
We call this an A/B Split Test.
Click Through Rate
If you are wanting the reader to click on a link to somewhere then you need to test the best way to do this. Don’t put the click right at the end of the email. We put our links in the email 4 or 5 times throughout it. We tested this and it showed a higher click through rate. But we only found this out by testing different versions. We test between “Click Here to Watch the Video” between when you “watch the video”. Telling them to actually “Click Through” performed better.
You need to analyse the length of time people watch the video you put in your emails. Usually shorter is better, and converts more, but this is industry specific. You only know what works for your business when you test.
Interested in tracking your email with Keap?
If you like the sound of using a CRM software to create your email campaigns and make them run automatically, as well as using a tool to track and test, give us a call now to hear all about Keap.