Skilfully managed email marketing campaigns can contribute more to your total revenue than any other digital marketing channel. To realise these kinds of results, you first have to decide what you are trying to achieve.
Set Your Objectives
Email marketing can be used to attain an enormous array of objectives, such as:
- Driving traffic to your site
- Gathering additional subscriber information
- Increasing conversion rates of prospects
- Building trust, loyalty and maintaining relationships
- Promoting products, services and generating sales
What email marketing cannot do though, is achieve all of these things, with all of your subscribers, at the same time. Hence why segmentation is so crucial…
Segmenting Your Subscribers
The more targeted your subscriber segments, the easier it is to send them emails that they want to engage with. The challenge isn’t in actually segmenting your audience, but in selecting the right segmentation criteria. With a seemingly unlimited number of variables to choose from, it can appear to be a daunting task. So to simplify, we like to ask two questions:
- What product, service or topic are they interested in?
- Which stage of that marketing funnel are they in?
Question one – what does your subscriber actually care about? It’s so common that businesses simply send an email covering a general topic that, most of the time, is of no interest to large portions of their subscribers. Let’s be specific: if you want a pair of running shoes how successful would I be in sending you an email for leather dress shoes?
With question two, we determine how close your subscriber is to making a purchase decision. Are they toying with an idea and simply interested in gathering further information? Or, have they already decided they need a product / service and they are simply deciding whom to buy from?
Each of the two questions can be used to create either a small or a large number of segments. The number of segments will simply depend on how many offerings you have, the size of your list and how intelligently your list is built and maintained.
Now that you have your segments it’s time for us to plan the content you’ll be sending them…
Create Content That Converts
Using our segments above, we now know what product or service the subscriber is interested in and how close they are to making a purchase.
Developing content based on the product or service someone is interested in is pretty self-explanatory. Instead, let’s focus on how close they are to buying, commonly referred to as their position in the marketing funnel.
The general rule is that the further up the funnel or further a segment is from buying, the more informational and educational the email content must be. The closer they are to buying or further down the funnel they are the more product and service specific the content needs to be.
To give an example, let’s say someone has just subscribed to our email list on the topic of marketing emails. We’re able to determine the service they’re interested in and their probably position in the funnel (near the top), which gives us our segment. Because they’re near the top of the funnel we know they will respond best to educational emails, so we send them an email giving a step-by-step guide on how to convert subscribers into clients.
As subscribers interact with our educational emails we know they are progressing down the funnel and likely approaching the “evaluation stage”. Now is when we provide them with the ability to evaluate our service offering. One way to do this is to send them case studies of past clients evidencing the incredible results we’ve achieved. As subscribers continue to progress we prompt a sales call. Providing them with a powerful offer, that gives them significant value, directly relevant to their situation. During which time, we will have the opportunity to have a meaningful, one-on-one conversation with them.
You’ve now effectively segmented your audience and built compelling content that will successfully progress your subscribers towards a sale. Congratulations! But you’re not done, now comes the most crucial part of all, optimisation…
Monitor and Optimise For Performance
Discussing optimisation and analytics is usually a sure fire way to lose someone’s interest. And we get it; data analysis can be boring and confusing and seem like a mysterious black box, within which seemingly no one knows what happens. So let’s keep this simple. Below is a list of a few of the things we monitor and how it let’s us optimise your email marketing campaigns:
- Open rates – tells us who opened the email so we know if the segment cared about the topic and the subject line
- Click rates – tells us who clicked on links in the email so we can see what they were interested in and what they weren’t
- Heat and scroll maps on landing pages – allow us to determine what they were interested in when they got to your site
- Conversion rates – tells us how many people took the action we wanted them to, such as filling in a form, so we can understand if they valued what we offered
At the end of all the analytics, the one deciding measurement that trumps everything else we track is: “what was your return on investment?” As we said at the start, email marketing can contribute more to your bottom line than any other marketing channel. That’s why we focus so much on your optimisation, to make sure this happens.