Tag Archives: email marketing

Email Subscribers Need to Automatically Receive Your Blog Posts

Email Subscribers Need to Automatically Receive Your Blog Posts  Every business craves a higher return on their online investment; more email subscribers, more readers, more conversions, and ultimately more revenue. Email marketing can be an asset towards accomplishing this goal. We’ll find out how, shortly. But first, three powerful stats;

    1. Email marketing has a Return on Investment (ROI) of $32 for every $1. PPC, in comparison, returns a paltry $2 for every $1 spent.
    2. Up to 81% of SMBs depend on email for customer acquisition. Another 80% consider email their primary retention tool.
    3. Up to 81% of SMBs depend on email for customer acquisition. Another 80% consider email their primary retention tool.

These stats tell us one thing – any serious digital marketer cannot overlook email marketing. Not only does it promise a huge market but that ROI is simply incredible.

Email Marketing Promises Even Greater Value to Bloggers

It’s not just the market and average ROI. Particularly for bloggers, email marketing promises a lot more.

You own the email subscribers

Not many digital marketing platforms give you control over your contacts. Social media networks, for instance, go as far as to control what posts you can share and the fraction of your followers you can reach. On Facebook, for example, you can only reach about 12% of your followers and your posts can be deleted if deemed “inappropriate.” Email marketing gives you complete control.

Email marketing generates plenty of traffic

According to a 2018 report by Constant Contest Knowledge Base, the average email open rate (fraction of recipients that open the emails they receive) is an impressive 41.96% on mobile and 58.04% on desktop. The average CTR, meanwhile, is 7.06%. That’s 7 in every 100 contacts clicking through to view your blog! Even paid ads struggle to deliver this CTR.

Email personalization drives even more traffic

Bloggers often turn to buyer personas to meet personalization needs. Unfortunately, even the best buyer persona can’t fully meet personalization needs. The good news is – email personalization can! You can craft your emails in a way that specifically addresses the needs of that individual recipient. And guess what, such deep personalization boosts CTR by up to 50%!

It’s easy to track and measure

Measurement is the key to sustained business growth and there isn’t an easier marketing channel to measure than email. You can track pretty much every metric; from delivery rates to open rates and CTR to conversions.

How to Use Email Marketing to Grow Your Blog

Every blogging campaign is different. But, there are a few basic rules to email marketing success;

  1. Find the right email platform: There are several email marketing platforms to choose from. Three that stand out are AWeber, Get Response, and MailChimp. Picking any of these three would be a great start.
  2. Develop your drip campaign: Customers go through an entire journey before making a purchase. It’s important to map out this journey beforehand and send emails in accordance with the journey.
  3. Optimize your emails: Work on your subject lines, email length, sending times, personalization, and CTAs to get the most from your emails. Also, don’t forget to A/B test your campaign.
  4. Optimize your opt-in forms: Also known as lead capture forms, your opt-in forms must be great both aesthetically and functionally. Use a catchy headline, include a compelling CTA, and design to impress.

Now, You Know What To Do

If you’ve not been using email to grow your blogging campaign, now is the time to begin. If you’re already on the bandwagon, use the four tips above to extract more value from your campaign.

How to Write an Autoresponder Series

How to Write an Autoresponder Series

An email autoresponder is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and build a relationship with them. Essentially a series of emails sent to subscribers in a pre-determined order and frequency. The strategy is very efficient and very cost-effective.

The question is – how do you create a winning email autoresponder series? Here are 6 steps that experts at Opt-In Monster, Crazy Egg, and QuickSprout recommend.

Step #1: Establish Goals for your Autoresponder Series

There are 3 common purposes of email autoresponder campaigns.

  1. Send new subscribers a “welcome” sequence.
  2. Make sales on autopilot.
  3. Promote up-sells and cross-sells.

Whatever your reason is, remember to follow the SMART goals mantra.

Step #2: Segment Your Email List

Segmentation is breaking down your email list into smaller groups of contacts who share certain characteristics. For instance, you can categorize your contacts based on demographics, interests, personas, or stage in the sales cycle. According to one study by MailChimp, email list segmentation results in a 14.4% increase in open rates, a 62.83% increase in click-through rates, and an 8.54% reduction in unsubscribe rates.

Step#3: Select the Right Email Marketing Provider

Fortunately, there are several quality options to pick from. These include MailChimp, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, and InfusionSoft. If you’re new to email marketing software and don’t know much about these services, just pick either MailChimp or AWeber.

They are the two most popular options used by nearly 90% of beginners thanks to their reliability, support, and a wide range of features.

Step #4: Map Out the Autoresponder Sequence

How long do you want the campaign to last? How many days, weeks, or months? Also, how many emails do you intend to send over that period? There are no universal rules in both cases. But a good rule of thumb is that your autoresponder series should last as long as your sales cycle. The important thing is to send enough emails to accomplish your goals.

Next, decide on a sending frequency. After how long will you be sending the next email? Again, there are no universal rules here so choose what works. With that covered, sit down and decide the message you want to convey in each of the emails.

Step #5: Write the Actual Emails

This can be the hardest part of the process. Consider hiring a professional copywriter to write the emails on your behalf.

  1. The emails must focus on the subscribers’ needs, not yours.
  2. Every email must be personalized to make it relevant and valuable to the recipient.
  3. Subject lines are critical to high open and click-through rates.

Reread the emails to make sure these requirements are met and, if possible, test the series with close friends or workers to gauge their effectiveness.

Step #6: Monitor and Improve

Perfection comes with practice. After you roll out the autoresponder campaign, don’t just sit and wait. Instead, track the performance of your emails and see where you need to improve. Keep a close eye on open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates.

If you can follow all these six steps, rest assured you’ll have an email autoresponder campaign that’s guaranteed to consistently earn your leads and help you close sales.  An autoresponder is a key part of the digital marketing funnel sequence so important to your business marketing today.

Why People Open Emails

Why People Open Emails  Though email is a product of the modern digital age, it’s almost old-fashioned compared to social media. And yet, email looks like it will stick around for a long time. According to the Q4 2016 Email Benchmark Report by global information services group Experian, 56% of total email opens happened on smartphones or tablets in Q4 2016. This illustrates the fact that email has made the transition from desktop to mobile use.

The same report also states that quarter-to-quarter revenue per email increased from 6 cents in Q3 2016 to 8 cents in Q4 2016. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering emails can be sent out to a whole subscriber list with only one click, a jump in revenue is a per subscriber stat.

For entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity you can’t miss. When you have a subscriber list, you have the ability to reach out to people quickly and easily via email. And if you do it right, your messages will be read.

But what makes people open emails? Several factors are influential here:

Timing

Emails are likely to be read within the first hour of being delivered. In the following hours, the chances are lower. After 24 hours, the odds are no longer in your favor

The day you choose to send an email has a direct impact. If you want to have a higher success rate, pick Tuesdays or Saturdays. Tuesday has an average open rate of 18%, the highest among all weekdays. But among all days of the week, Saturday has the highest open rate at 18.3%. Evenings after 8 pm fare the best, followed by afternoons from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Reputation

Who you are and what your business does plays a key role in your emails getting opened and read. So building an image as a trusted authority in your niche is critical. If your previous emails didn’t offer much, or if your website and social media pages lack substance, people will think your emails follow suit. It takes a while to establish a good reputation, but it’s well worth the effort.

After sender name, the subject line, offer, intro paragraph, and expected length (in that order) influence the chances of getting your email read.

Personalization

Let’s say your name is Alex and your email handle is alex101. You receive 2 emails, one with “Alex, here are great deals for you!” or “alex101, here are some great deals for you!” The chances are that you will regard the second email as spam and send it to trash without even a glance. An email handle used as a greeting is a dead giveaway that the email is auto-generated. Most people suspect that emails are auto-generated, but it helps if it doesn’t look like one.

Most online marketers currently want to focus on social media and other forms of digital marketing, but email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so step up your email game.

The Formula for Brilliant Email Subject Lines

The Formula for Brilliant Email Subject Lines

Anyone who’s used email has found themselves in this predicament. How to grab the attention of the email recipient, yet, not be wordy or salesy? If you don’t do well with the subject line, the email will get tossed in the electronic trash bin before it’s even opened!

Sometimes you get the feeling that you’re obsessing over it too much, but you’re right to feel the pressure. Approximately 35% of those surveyed by Convince & Convert admitted they decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. If that isn’t bad enough, 69% in the same study indicated they report email as spam based just on the feel they get from the subject line.

So let’s dive into some tips for brilliant email subject lines:

Get Personal in your Subject Line

If recipients are going to base their decision to open your email on the subject line, then you need to make an immediate impact. You need to go beyond just the simple second-person pronouns or incorporating their name into the subject line.

Geo-location can make an email subject line feel personalized. Seeing their community mentioned adds legitimacy and is a sure sign that what’s inside the email isn’t just some generic message.

Time For Some Action

Draw in your potential customer through action-oriented verbs. Just like any term paper you ever had to write, action verbs make the text more enticing and exciting to the reader. Using action verbs in your email subject lines is a no-brainer. You’ve got limited space to make an impact.

If possible, lead your subject line with the action verb, like “Dine with local sports hero.” Subject lines like that have an immediate significance.

Don’t Get Left Out

As humans, we have an inherent fear of being left out. Whether it’s not getting picked for the kickball team in 4th grade or missing out on that big party in college, we have a need to be included. Leverage that instinct in your readers by creating a sense of urgency in your subject lines.

Include phrases like “today only” or “24 hours left” urges your recipients to open the email immediately. Thus avoiding the ability to put off reading it until it’s forgotten. Scarcity can also increase click-throughs by giving the impression that there’s only a limited number of opportunities.

Make Your Point

Some companies, in an effort to convey as much of their message as possible in the subject line, go way overboard. While it’s true, you only have the subject line to hook them into opening the email. It’s also true that a subject line that’s too long is going to bore the potential customer.

Keep it snappy and to the point. You only have a small space, and try to communicate your message in 45 characters or less.

Know Your Audience

You can read any number of guides on how to craft the best emails. The one thing that can make your digital communication most effective is to learn what motivates your readers. Craft multiple emails with different subject line strategies, and then monitor which email is most effective. Running a simple A/B test can give you insight into what drives your customers.

Once you’ve found the sweet spot, run with it. By creating an impactful subject line, you’re creating future customers that will be on the lookout for your next email.

It all needs to fit together!  Capture leads on your website, then nurture those leads. Nurturing your leads requires getting the emails opened, which means writing good subject lines!  See how it all works together?

Create an Email Series for Lead Generation

Create an Email Series for Lead Generation

In the past, one tried-and-true marketing method always included email, which was sent to the most people possible, in case some of that huge audience would buy. This strategy isn’t very effective. The overwhelming majority of recipients had no interest and either deleted the email or unsubscribed.  It was a scattershot approach. In effect, shoot broad and hopefully hit something. Today a narrow or more targeted approach is needed and is possible.

The more focused approach is to send out a series of emails.  Sent your emails based on an event or trigger. A recipient will appreciate a personalized birthday note. Or a ‘thank you’ note when someone registers for a particular event or makes a purchase. The important element of this strategy is that the emails are focused and purposeful, rather than broad, generic, and hopeful.

How to optimize your campaign

  • Establish goals and objectives – This is essential for planning your campaign, and coordinating team effort to achieve the desired outcome. Decide what the email message should be, whether it’s a new promotion, a suggestion to buyers about similar products, a friendly greeting to a new subscriber, coupons or discounts on products, or an announcement about your event or activity.
  • Categorize your email lists – Don’t use the same list for every email. Not all recipients will be interested in every type of email. Thus categorize your email lists by interest type, geographic location, birthday month, purchased products, or follow-up. Categorization should occur at the moment a new subscriber signs up, so they are placed in the most relevant group. By mailing to specific groups of individuals, you’ll get a much better ROI on your automated emails.
  • Make effective use of email software – There are lots of automated email service providers. Therefore, you should use the one best suited to the strategies you use in your marketing efforts. All of them track the open rate of your emails, gather demographic information about recipients, and monitor link clicks. Many of these email software companies have free versions.

Planning your campaigns

  • Plan for the long term – Many recipients won’t respond to the initial email. Plan follow-up messages and schedule them at regular intervals to achieve the results you want. These will serve as reminders and reinforcements of your original message.
  • Prepare emails in advance – Write your emails ahead of time. They need to have a consistent tone and language. Your subject line should grab their attention. Hence, your email content should clearly communicate that only your products can solve their problem and make their life better.
  • Be persistentNurturing email leads is not a one-time deal. You’ll need multiple emails, and each one should be better than the last. Now you have more specific information about your recipients so you can zoom right in on their pain points. Don’t be afraid to tinker with the subject and the message to see what works best and gets you the responses you want.

That’s a wrap on improving your online sales through a more strategic email lead generation series.  Remember first capture, then segment, based on actions they take to give them relevant emails.  Email works, make it specific and personalized.

How to Grow Your Email List for the Holidays

How to Grow Your Email List for the Holidays

For most retailers, the holiday season is extremely important. In many cases, the uptick in sales may be the difference between success and failure for the entire year.  Is your online marketing ready?  Here are a few key ideas to help you improve this holiday season.

Expanding Your eMail List for the Holiday Season

Finding ways to add potential customers to your email list is a practical and relatively inexpensive way to reach customers with your targeted message. According to Hubspot.com, email lists tend to degrade by about 22.5% each year as people move, change email addresses or opt out. With this degree of attrition, you’ll need to increase your list by 50% annually to increase your outreach.

So, with this in mind, your objective should be to increase your holiday email list and improve customer retention by planning interesting content to hold their attention.

Strategies to Gain Prospective Clients Through Email

Each new email customer opens the door to a new sale and the potential for long-term profitable engagement. Targeted emails allow you to focus your message to specific groups to entice them to visit your website or your brick-and-mortar store. But learning where you need to focus does require some interaction. Ways to attract email addresses and specific information about the prospect may come from a number of activities.

Trade Shows

Face-to-face is the best way to gather information. Encourage all potential customers to fill out a very short info form that includes an email address and a simple check of specific areas of interest.

Offer Giveaways

Conduct an online or in-store drawing to win a valuable gift. The customer fills in their email address and a bit of information regarding their preferences that allows for better targeting.

Frequent Buyer Program

Offer a discount on the next visit after the buyer has reached a certain threshold of spending. Application for the frequent buyer program should include an email address and information about specific interests.

Holiday Season Sign-up

Around mid-October, ask customers to sign up for your Holiday Special that gives them a percentage discount for all products purchased between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This signup should include email and other pertinent information.

New Products Roll-out

Offer discounts to the first 50 people who purchase a new product or service. You should sign these buyers into the Frequent Buyer Program for future information.

How to Retain Current and Future eMail Lists

Dress Up Your Website

Interactivity is the key to developing new business through your website. Any activity which causes the consumer to visit your website and remain is positive. Consider developing an ongoing educational blog for your visitors. It will provide useful information and entice a return visit, and a well-written article will demonstrate your depth of knowledge of the products or industry you represent. Blog posts should include an embedded email subscription form.

Online Contests

Include a contest on your website or social media. Each time an entrant wishes to participate, an email address must be given for the vote to count.

Webinars

Identify and develop webinar events to demonstrate specific products and services. An email address should be exchanged for a webinar “ticket”.

Joint Promotions

Establishing a joint promotion with a nearby company can improve your image and produce additional email addresses.

eBooks

If you are feeling particularly creative, a useful and practical eBook offering tips regarding your industry or products can draw interest. For example, if you own a pet store, an eBook about puppy training would be a great incentive.

With the holiday season impacting a business’s bottom line so heavily, it’s always a good idea to step up your email marketing to bring people through the doors.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Email List

The Importance of Cleaning Your Email List

Maintaining a clean email list is often overlooked but important.  After you’ve setup your email marketing with a list of addresses and a smooth unsubscribe and opt-out process, make sure you’re maintaining your email marketing. One of the most important steps to keep your email marketing strong is keeping your email list clean. You don’t need to waste your resources or injure your email reputation by sending to addresses that aren’t giving you an ROI!

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of cleaning your email list.

Managing Bounces

Even the best email lists will lose some quality over time, no matter how much you monitor them. Bad addresses can end up on your list because users close their email accounts, or they switch jobs. Sometimes email accounts are abandoned or fill up so they can’t accept messages.

Emails sent to these addresses register as “bounces.” Bounces have a negative impact on your sender reputation. The more bounces you get, the more likely your emails will be filtered out as spam. Spammers don’t usually clean their email lists, which is why email service providers monitor bounces as part of determining what spam is. This is one of the most important reasons to keep your email list clean. You don’t want your emails to be marked as spam!

The best practice for determining which addresses are bad is to set a threshold for the number of bounces each email address registers. You shouldn’t remove an address after just one bounce. The user might have been away on vacation, and his email filled up, or maybe his server was experiencing technical difficulties. A good threshold number for bounces is three to five.  Beyond that many bounces to one address, it’s best to clean your list of that address to maintain a good email reputation.

Inactive Users

There isn’t any extra cost for sending emails to users who don’t open them, but there is a good reason to clean the inactive users on your list. Many email service providers also monitor email activity. If emails aren’t opened over a long period of time, future emails might end up in the spam folder.

It takes a judgment call to determine who your “inactive users” might be. Because there isn’t any way of knowing what email providers consider “low activity.”

A good way to test the waters is to email the inactive email accounts and ask them if they’re interested in getting emails from you. If the user remains inactive, hang on to their address and put it on a secondary list. Email this list occasionally.
Remind your subscribers that the best way to make sure your emails land in their inboxes is to add your email address to their contacts.

Quality Counts

Maintaining a clean email list is important for keeping a good sender reputation with email providers. It takes a bit of an effort to keep an email list clean, but it’s a good way to boost the ROI of your email marketing.

How about yours?  When was the last time you cleaned your email list?