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 persistent – Nurturing 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.
Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite .
Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact.
Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.