Email marketing is a remarkable tool when used correctly. Unfortunately, a large majority of businesses get it horribly wrong and not only miss out on potential customers; they can also have their reputation damaged as few things anger modern consumers more than ‘spammers’. If your email marketing efforts are an unmitigated disaster, here are 5 things you are probably doing wrong.
1 – Bad Subject Line
You need a short and snappy subject line that piques the recipient’s interest and compels them to open the message. What you don’t want is a subject line with excessive exclamation marks (this comes off as very salesy), CAPS or misleading information. It is very irritating to open an email only to find the subject line is a complete lie.
2 – Boring The Customer
The best emails are typically in the 200-300 word range as this offers enough of an opportunity to get your point across without waffling. Don’t be afraid to try a fun introduction to your email and try to keep the tone jovial throughout. These types of emails habitually outperform sterile corporate drivel.
3 – Lack of Personalization
Few things scream ‘SPAM’ more than ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ which is almost as bad as getting the recipient’s name wrong. Always use first names when emailing your database; this might require you to invest in high quality marketing automation.
4 – You Regurgitate Information
Another great way to lose potential consumers is to keep sending them emails containing more or less the same information. Again, marketing automation can help you determine the interests of your audience which should enable you to create compelling emails that seem tailor-made for the recipients.
5 – You Ask For Cash Too Quickly
Looking for a purchase from your first email is another surefire way to trim your potential customer base. The whole purpose of email marketing is to build a relationship with your audience. You need to establish an element of trust before you try to pull the trigger on a sale.
Your emails should be filled with useful information which marks you out as an authority figure in your field. This will make it easier to complete the sale further down the funnel. When embarking on a lengthy email campaign, only start mentioning the price after several high quality informative emails.
If any of the above applies to your existing email marketing efforts, begin rectifying the situation immediately or watch as your prospects make their way into the arms of your rivals.
A surprising number of businesses have been taken in by the lure of social media marketing and believe it to be a superior to email marketing. In reality, customers prefer to be contacted via email when it comes to receiving permission-based promotional messages. The Direct Marketing Association has data which shows that email marketing’s ROI is over 4000%! That equates to $442.5 for every $10 you spend which is an incredible return no matter what way you look at it.
Email marketing has become increasingly sophisticated over the last few years which means you can no longer get away with old-fashioned methods which are ineffective and only practiced by lazy marketers. Below, we look at 4 different email marketing methods though not all will drive you to success.
1 – Batch & Broadcast Email
This is one of the aforementioned old-fashioned methods and is incredibly ineffective. Less than 5% of recipients of batch emails actually open them while the rest delete them or place your email address in their spam filters. Batch emails basically involve sending emails to everyone with no rhyme or reason. It is a pointless strategy in an era where personalization is everything.
2 – Triggered Email
This a more advanced form of email marketing as it takes into account customer behavior. Triggered emails combine user data with a custom template and a message is sent when a certain event occurs which ‘triggers’ the email. As a result, you can send these emails at precisely the right moment to the right person which should yield a significantly improved conversion rate.
3 – Template Email
As you should be able to ascertain from the name, template emails involve the use of a template which can be adjusted to suit the needs of the recipient. Designing an excellent template from scratch can be a time consuming process but is ultimately better than purchasing a cheap template which may not be flexible enough for your needs.
4 – Nurturing Email
This type of email marketing has a series of goals built in with the aim of pushing the recipient further down the sales funnel. These emails need to be focused on educating your target audience and providing genuine value. The most important thing here is to focus on the prospect and outline why your product/service is beneficial to them.
In the world of email marketing, the more sophisticated you are, the higher your conversion rate is likely to be. It is also important to note that around 65% of all emails are now opened on mobile devices first so be sure to optimize your emails for mobile recipients.
One of the biggest issues facing online marketers is that of syncing email marketing and website optimization strategies. It is common for businesses to oversimplify the process by deciding that email marketers write emails, conversion rate optimizers write landing pages and that’s that!
However, if you want the best possible conversion rate, you need website optimizers and email marketers to work side-by-side to develop dedicated landing pages for specified email marketing projects. Below, we look at 4 ways in which your email marketing can assist your site’s optimization strategy and vice versa.
1 – Validate Email Segmentation Data With Website Data
Audience segmentation is a popular pursuit in email marketing but most businesses make the mistake of treating website traffic segmentation as a separate entity. Instead, look to use data taken from your website to validate predefined segments for your email marketing efforts with the aid of a URL parameter. This allows you to discover if these segments behaved in the expected manner using data that monitors user behavior from when they arrive on a site to when they leave.
2 – Create an Improved Website Experience With Email Marketing
Thanks to the vastly improved technology at your fingertips, it is now possible to segment visitors who come from your email marketing strategy. With this information, you can discover their interests and create content tailored to their specific needs.
3 – Analyze Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Email Engagement
You can place an identifier in your email campaign’s URL; just make sure it is specifically created for an individual. Then you can match up this person to segments defined in the Customer Relationship Management file.
4 – Testing & Targeting
Test the content on the predefined email segments by sending them to a specific page on your website from your emails. Try optimizing your landing pages and emails in one test and combine the data to get a better overview of customer behavior. Since more emails are opened on mobile devices than desktops, it is a good idea to test your website’s mobile landing pages.
Not only is there a connection between email marketing and website optimization, utilizing this connection is critical if you wish to gain the most conversions. If you want a unified email marketing strategy, every campaign should have a dedicated landing page. In order to make the most of this approach, you need to segment your email lists in order to drive customers to the correct landing pages at the right moment.
The ‘sales funnel’ is a crucial weapon in your quest to boost your online customer base and you need to create one in order to get the most out of your website. It is effectively a marketing system that leads people through a specific process with the end goal being to make a sale. Here is a brief overview:
- Lead: This is someone who is aware of your business and you have elected to focus on them for a sale. There are different types of leads; for example, a ‘qualified lead’ is someone who is likely to be interested in your product/service. For instance, if you sell golfing equipment, a ‘qualified’ lead is an individual who actively plays golf.
- Prospect: Your goal is to turn a lead into a prospect who is someone that has shown an interest in your products or services. An example of this would be a subscriber to your email newsletter.
- Customer: You should know what a ‘customer’ is by now or else you’re in the wrong business! Again, there are different kinds of customer from someone who makes a single purchase to a repeat customer.
5 Ways To Build Your Sales Funnel
Your aim is to ‘push’ people down the sales funnel so they go through the full process of lead – prospect – customer. It doesn’t need to be a complicated process; simply follow the following 5 steps:
- Landing Page: This is your ‘first impression’ so make it count! A well designed landing page is likely to encourage visitors to at least subscribe to the site. As a result, you end up with the contact information of leads (most likely their email addresses) which is used to market to them.
- The Main Offer: This involves providing prospects with the option to purchase a product or service. In most cases, this means creating a sales page on your website which espouses the benefits of doing business with you.
- The Upsell: Give existing or potential customers the option to ‘upgrade’ a product/service. Fast food restaurants have the all-time classic upsell which is of course the ‘value meal’ where you get fries and a drink with your burger for what appears to be a discount price.
- The Downsize Option: Some of your customers may be on a budget so you need to offer a less expensive option to keep their custom.
- The Follow Up: Your work isn’t done once your prospects have become customers; you need to follow up to ensure they are happy with their purchase. Again, this can be in the form of an email where you ask for feedback. This is a good way to gain repeat customers.
In the end, there are many different ways to create a sales funnel to suit your business and your customer base. Just remember that leads are on top of the funnel and customers are at the bottom. Your goal is to make the journey from point A to point B as smooth and seamless as possible.
You have probably read a lot of articles that explain how to drive traffic to your website but how do you get visitors to land on the exact page you want them to? For most online businesses, this is the home page or landing page and these are the most crucial pages on any website as they provide visitors with a first impression of your business.
Below, we look at 5 simple ways to drive traffic to specific content which should hopefully increase leads, prospects and ultimately, sales.
1 – Add Calls to Action (CTAs)
Too many businesses make the mistake of cluttering their homepage with forms. A better strategy is to add a CTA which contains one of your best offers and quickly steers visitors to the right place. This is a good idea since your homepage is likely to be the most visited page on your entire website.
If your site has a blog (it should), its pages will be among the highest ranking in the search engines. Again, you should look to add CTAs to relevant offers on each blog post page. Finally, use Google Analytics to find out the most popular pages on your site and add CTAs to them as well.
2 – Email Marketing
If you are embarking on an email marketing campaign, make sure the links are to a targeted landing page and NOT your homepage. Email subscribers are already likely to be qualified leads and shouldn’t need a great deal of persuasion in order to convert.
3 – Thank You Page
If a customer has made a purchase, send out a ‘Thank You’ email with a related offer the recipient is likely to be interested in. This will appear to be a ‘helpful’ email rather than a nuisance one that’s trying to make more sales.
4 – Share on Social Media
Send out a link to the page(s) you want to be visited with a targeted message to ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. If it’s a good offer, it should receive a high number of ‘shares’ which could do wonders for a page’s traffic.
5 – Nurture Your Leads
Look to build relationships with leads by sending personalized emails tailored to the recipient’s location in the sales funnel. This is great for credibility and also reduces the time spent trying to qualify your leads.
Once you have adopted the above methods, be sure to track the traffic using tools such as Google Analytics and HubSpot. The data you will gather should help you drive the right people to specific pages on your website.
There is a profound difference between traditional marketing and inbound marketing. While the old method involved commercials, television and adverts designed for a mass audience, the overall return on investment is quite low. In contrast, inbound marketing involves targeted techniques such as social media and content creation. In fact, it is known to bring in a greater level of quality leads than traditional marketing at less than 40% of the cost.
Types Of Inbound Marketing
The entire process begins by creating valuable content that will attract visitors to your website and compel them to make a purchase. Content such as blog posts, images and videos are created to increase traffic. SEO techniques involving targeted keywords are also utilized while pay-per-click advertising is also used. Overall, inbound marketing is a great way to convert leads into customers and a well-managed campaign will appeal to people at every stage of the buying process.
Following Up With Email Marketing
Email marketing has the potential to be the most successful of all inbound marketing methods. When it comes to inbound marketing in general, creating informative content is vital and this is specifically the case when it comes to sending emails. Instead of launching a generic marketing campaign, you need to put more effort into being found by customers. While becoming known on social media is important and SEO helps your search engine ranking, email marketing is a quick and effective way to follow up on all your inbound marketing efforts.
This basically entails the sending of persuasive email messages in order to sell your product/service. You need to time these emails in order to get the greatest level of sales impact by using an auto responder service. It is also important to craft emails for every part of the lead spectrum from new subscribers looking to learn more about your company to those already familiar with what you offer and are on the verge of making a purchase.
An ezine or electronic newsletter is another effective tool because it involves compiling other people’s content rather than writing fresh new material of your own. You can combine this with the advertising of your own products for an effective sales technique.
In essence, following up with email marketing can be done in a number of ways, all of which can be effective when performed correctly. If you want to turn leads into customers and increase your sales, going through the inbound marketing motions is not nearly enough. You need to be determined enough to follow up and persuasive enough to make a compelling pitch. Email marketing is one of the least expensive ways of doing this and following up via email is known to increase revenue by up to 300%!
Landing pages are a fantastic method of capturing leads and customer data when written correctly. A landing page is easy to program and design because it is usually a single page only. Static landing pages are comprised of one set of data which performs a single action. Dynamic landing pages have an almost unlimited amount of data, copy and results. With a dynamic landing page, you can track the results and responses of your system.
Statistics show that most companies utilizing landing pages are lucky to have a 3% conversion rate. In order to increase that figure to 10%+, you need to create organized and concise pages with a clear call to action. This may involve a link to your website or else an online form which gets them to provide an email address. Then you can begin the process of email marketing in earnest.
Tailor Made Landing Pages
Having a single landing page is not good enough. You must have one for every campaign you run such as SEO, email, social media or banner ads. When visitors land on your site, you have to work fast in order to get them to act. The landing page must turn visitors into subscribers or customers or else it has failed. Well-optimized landing pages should be a prerequisite since they increase conversion rate by 700-800%. Have another landing page for visitors that convert in order to keep a strong relationship with the customer. A customer’s likely value increases the longer you keep him engaged with your website.
Whenever you make changes to your landing pages, be sure to test them. Testing tends to fall into four areas:
Strategic: Test your branding, messaging and segmentation strategies here.
Tactics: Testing the timing of the message, the feel and the tone.
Context: Does your message match? Who is the competition?
Miscellaneous: Testing colors, images, texts and layout. These are fairly easy things to test.
Even seemingly minor changes can have a huge impact. For example, DHL experienced a 25% increase in leads when they switched an image of a male with one of a female.
Focus On Pitch
Yes, you need to worry about the pitch even more than the content. Landing pages are designed to capture data, generate leads and make sales so forget about a long and boring press release type page. Begin with a strong headline and a value proposition. Make sure every part of the landing page supports your offer and delivers on what you promise. This is one of the keys to increasing your landing page conversion rate.
Forget about traditional landing page strategies. If you want to increase the rate of conversion, ignore ‘normal’ practice because this results in a derisory 3% conversion rate and your business will not thrive on that!
Frankly, we are surprised it has taken so long given the popularity of social media marketing but Facebook has finally released its call-to-action feature. It is an entirely new method of communicating with your page community and it offers seven action buttons:
- Book Now: If you have a webinar or event in the works and would like your community on Facebook to attend, you should add this button to your company page.
- Contact Us: Now your community has a quick and easy way to get in touch with your company in order to ask for more information or tell you their concerns about a product/service.
- Use App: Apps are incredibly popular so this button is invaluable as it allows your audience to try out any app you happen to have.
- Play Game: While most companies won’t need this button, it is handy for companies in the game development industry.
- Shop Now: If you have ever dreamed of getting your Facebook page members to the purchase page on your website then you will love this button.
- Sign Up: This is a great way to get customers to sign up to any email newsletter you may have.
- Watch Video: As video marketing is such a great way to communicate what you offer to customers, you can use this button to send visitors straight to the marketing video that’s on your website or YouTube page.
How To Make The New Call-To-Action Button A Success
This innovation is still in its infancy so we don’t yet know how companies will make the most of it. However, it really is a golden opportunity to increase sales. The trouble is, many customers will not even be aware of the button’s existence unless you make your page stand out. Here are some quick tips when it comes to creating noticeable Facebook cover photos:
- Make sure the cover photo is changed monthly to freshen things up.
- Be sure to share your newest marketing campaign with your community members.
- Add a description to your cover photo along a relevant link.
- Try to avoid being blatantly promotional.
The Dollar Shave Club is one of the first companies to report major success using these new Facebook buttons. Steve Kim, its director of acquisition, said that the Sign Up button increased the company’s conversion rate by 150% when compared to other comparable social placements. This success is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg so start using your Facebook CTA buttons today!
Getting customer feedback is critical not only for your marketing efforts but also for the future of your business. Understanding how your customer base views your brand, products and services not only enables you to increase the level of quality on offer, it also allows you to determine the products and services you need to introduce into the marketplace in order to keep customers happy.
In other words, the humble customer survey may well be the single best tool for collecting marketing data and we provide you with more crucial information on surveys below.
5 Reasons To Use Online Surveys
- Saves Time & Effort: You don’t need to lift a finger once you send out the emails since your customers provide the information.
- Easy Analysis: There is an abundance of software on the market that enables you to quickly and easily create charts and graphs to analyze the data.
- Honest Answers: As they are protected by the cloak of anonymity, customers can provide you with their true feelings about your company and what it offers (be prepared to learn some home truths).
- Company Value: Once you know what customers want, it is possible to confidently make changes to your business that places you ahead of your rivals.
- Marketing Strategy Information: Customer surveys give you all the data you could ever need when it comes to launching a brand new marketing strategy whether it involves content, social media or email marketing.
4 Ways To Improve Customer Surveys
- Responsive Design: Your survey emails must be responsive to all devices because at this moment in time, almost 20% of all surveys are opened on a mobile device; a number certain to increase.
- Choose The Right Template Design: There are countless great template designs available for surveys so pick the one that best suits your brand. It’s a good idea to choose a color/pattern that is close in appearance to your logo for brand consistency.
- Use A Drag & Drop Editor: This makes the entire creation process so much easier. An intuitive drag and drop editor is fun to use and saves a lot of time.
- Personalization: Personalized emails increase conversion rates by at least 10% so make sure you use an online survey that is integrated with your contact list. The feedback you receive can then be stored in your company’s email database. Then it is possible to create segments and personalize each email.
In order to provide customers with relevant email campaigns, you need to discover their needs, desires and concerns and personalize accordingly. There are few better ways to receive this information than through online customer surveys.
It’s a mistake to believe that your email marketing efforts end once you have converted visitors into paying customers. In fact, you should believe it is only the beginning because once you have customers; it is much easier and less expensive to retain them than to bring in new custom. In fact, it can cost 7 times more to bring in new customers than to keep old ones yet companies habitually shift their focus away from customer retention.
What Is Customer Retention?
This process isn’t just about keeping customers; it involves actively trying to keep them happy by ensuring they have a great experience which coerces them into spreading the word about how great your products/services are. When you focus on existing customers then bringing in new consumers almost takes care of itself.
This is where triggered email marketing comes in; it is a way to identity what is troubling these customers (pain points) and make a difference. Behavioral marketing involves the personalization of marketing based on the data you collect relating to the activity of users. Here are a few ways to use this strategy and retain a high percentage of your existing customers.
- Advocacy Program: Send an email to new customers inviting them to join and offer reward points for signing up. Make sure the advocacy program has expiry dates to ensure the recipients of the email take quick action.
- Promo Code: This classic strategy still works! Offer a thank you gift or special coupon code once customers have made a purchase. The gifts on offer depend on your business and what you can afford. If you sell something with an annual plan for example; you could offer 20% off.
- Holiday Gifts: Holiday marketing is extremely popular so offer a gift inside the email to make sure your company stands out from the rest. Corporate giants such as Amazon and Starbucks send e-gift cards to customers so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for everyone else!
- Market Research Survey: As well as gaining important insights into your company through customer input, these emails can be great ways to retain customers. Simply ask customers for their opinions in a short survey (shorter emails of this nature tend to have better response rates) and offer them a spot in a draw for a big prize like a $500 voucher or vacation in the Caribbean. This gets customers excited about your brand and may even cause them to spread the news about your generosity.
The above is just a handful of retention email strategies you can use to keep a loyal fan base and ensure you are forced to spend less on new customer marketing campaigns.