Is Email Marketing Dead?

email marketingYou may have read that email marketing is dying. Guess what – it’s not true. According to Email Marketing Is Not Dead, there are many stats that prove their point. They collect stats about email marketing and they’re quite interesting. Let’s take a look at a few.

Why Email Marketing is Not Dead!

People Prefer Email for Communication with Businesses – This is a huge one. When you realize that people prefer to email with you than talk to you, or talk to you on social media, then you’ll know how important it is to maintain email marketing connections.

You Own Your List – Even if people don’t check email as often as they should, they actually do, but on their mobile. So if you’re not getting traction, ensure your email and website are mobile friendly.

B2B Email Marketing Rocks – If you’re promoting to businesses and business owners then you’re in luck, because 55% more sales are attributed to email marketing messages and email communication.

Client Acquisition – Email is 40 times better at converting a prospect into a customer than social media. This is enough for most people to realize that they need to build their email lists and market to their customers via email.

ROI Is Amazing – When done right, email marketing has an amazing ROI – usually about 24 times of cost. So if you spend a dollar on email marketing, chances are you’ll get 24 dollars back for your efforts.

The Young Still Use Email – One argument against email of late is that millennials don’t use email. This is false. Email usage has stayed the same. Pretty much every site, bank, and bill asks for an email address and uses email to communicate with everyone. If anything, millennials don’t like paper mail, but they do like email and they keep it right near them with their expensive mobile devices.

Social Is an Addition Not a Replacement – When you realize that you don’t own social media networks, or your followers, and that anything can happen, you realize how important email addresses are. Use the new ways to connect to your audience, but never let go of email – at least not yet.

Your Competitors Are Doing It – This is one of the most important things to remember. Your competition is using email, and they’re using it successfully. It may seem like a lot of work to build your list and create email series, and do email marketing correctly. However, it’s more effective than social, and that’s a fact, or larger companies would stop doing it. In fact, even spammers would stop using email if their campaigns did not work.

If you want to be successful online, you don’t have to use email. But, if you want to maintain a long-term business and be successful long term no matter what happens to the free services of social media, then you’ll work hard to build your email list. And as you do it and start marketing to it, you’ll soon discover the power of email marketing and why it’s still important.

Episode 004: What Email Campaign Types Should I Be Sending?

You know you should be sending out certain types of emails, but which ones should definitely be on your list?

In today’s episode we explore 3 types of email campaigns you need to be sending:

  1. The Welcome Email
  2. The Straight-On Promo Email
  3. The Invitation Email

You’ll find out when you should be using these emails and exactly what should be included in them as well. Please share your comments and feedback in the comments section below.

8 Things Email Analytics Can Tell You About Your Business

email analyticsUsing email analytics to learn about your own business is a great way to not only learn a lot, but also to put into action strategies to make your business even better. When you can determine why things are happening, you can stop it, repeat it, or improve upon it. Here are eight things that email analytics can tell you.

 

Email Analytics Can Tell You:

1. Who Reads the Emails – If you check to see who opens your emails and even move the people who most open them to their own segment, you can improve conversions exponentially. Conversely, you can move those who don’t open as much to another list where you can test different methods.

2. What Information Your Subscribers Like – By noticing what they read and engage with, you’ll know what they like more. That way you can do more of what they like, which will improve conversions.

3. What Technology Your Audience Uses – You can find out what technology they use to read your website and interact with you. If a lot of your audience is using mobile, you can then know that marketing on mobile is an imperative for you.

4. What You Can Improve – If you have a sales funnel (and you should), you can use Google Analytics along with your email analytics to learn how to improve your funnels. By improving your sales funnel, you can improve your business.

5. What Channels Are Working – Using analytics, you can figure out which social media channels are working best to send traffic to your website that you can convert to leads. If, for example, you’re not getting any traffic from a particular channel, you can either work harder on that or drop it to save yourself the work.

6. What Type of Content Is Working – Analytics can tell you whether or not the content you’re publishing is working. If you have content that gets a lot of clicks and comments, plus action such as buying or signing up for newsletters, then you should make more of that type of content.

7. How Well Your Branding Is Working – If you’re running branding-focused advertising, messages, or information, you can use analytics to find out if it’s working. If you’re getting more sign-ups and conversions, it is a sign it’s working.

8. How Good You Are at Converting Leads – This is an obvious one because you can not only see how many subscribers you get but using analytics right, but you can also tell exactly what sent them to you, what they did before they subscribed, and more.

You may think that you know everything about your own business, but you really don’t if you don’t set up your analytics correctly, then actually dig deep into them. You can boost your business more than you  ever thought possible if you use analytics to learn more about it.

How to Create Targeted Email Messages

targeted email messagesIt is so important that the messages you send to people who are in your database are targeted email messages. Why is it so important? So many people who sign up to get email marketing messages end up regretting that they did. They end up feeling like all they get is spam and even get to the point that they eventually stop opening the emails.  When they finally do open them, it’s only to unsubscribe. Here’s how to stop this happening to your messages.

Tips for Creating Targeted Email Messages

Study Your Audience – Never think that you know enough about your audience. You’ll need to know as much as you can know about them. If you really want to send targeted email messages to your audience, you have to know them!  Send surveys, study the particular demographic and get to know them as fully as you can so that you can better develop messages that mean something to your audience.

Segment Your Audience –- It helps if you niche down the audience into different segments to assist with writing more targeted messages. You can segment by behavior and demographics. The more niched down your segments are, the easier it will be to craft the messages, and the more targeted email messages will be to that particular group of people.

Ask the Audience What They Need – Use your email list to ask the audience directly what they need from you to make them open your emails. When you give them a say in that, they will feel more connected to you, and it will be easier to write messages because you will be sure of what they really want.

Watch and Engage with Your Audience on Social Media – Observe the interactions your audience have on social media. Watch their conversations, notice their questions, and try to give them what they need based on that interaction. Any single question can turn into a blog post, an email message, or even an information product.  Respond to them as well, because targeted email messages can also come from their responses to what you post!

Personalize Each Message with Names The software that you use to send out autoresponder messages comes with personalization features. If you get your audience to fill out their information and provide names as well as email addresses, then use it. Studies show that personalization gets more conversions.  The more connected they feel to you, the less likely they will end up dropping you. Also, instead of a business name or a cute name as the return address, use your own personal name. It will make the audience feel even more connected and trusting of you.  In addition to names, also use personal pronouns so they really feel like you are talking directly to them in your message.

Email marketing messages are important to help guide your audience to make smart purchases for themselves. Don’t be shy about sharing the benefits and the awesomeness of your products and services.  Just make sure you are hitting the target!

How Not to Annoy Your Audience – the Key to Effective Email Marketing

email marketingEmail marketing might not be as easy as it sounds.  Once you get someone on your email list, it’s important to keep them there, and keep them happy. If you send them misleading messages, too many messages, or the wrong type of messages, they’ll leave the list, and they might even report you for spam.  If your messages become an annoyance, people won’t care what you have to say or offer.  There are really good ways to avoid annoying your audience, and all it takes is being very aware of these factors in your messages. Its all has to do with the frequency and type of emails that you choose to send them.

Tips to To Make Your Email Marketing Work:

Don’t Use Clickbait Subject Lines –- Create subject lines that really mean something to your audience. Instead of trying to trick people into clicking, make the subject line be something that meets a need or serves a purpose to them. Misleading subject lines don’t work and just make readers upset. Instead, use subject lines that actually represent what you’ll be saying in the email message.

Don’t Send Too Many Email Messages – If your email marketing frequency is too much, you’ll just irritate your audience. They’ll feel as if you’re sending them spam and you don’t want that. Each email message needs to have a purpose, and it has to provide something authentic and useful to your audience.

Don’t Ignore Them for Months – On the other hand, if your email marketing isn’t providing contact regularly, that won’t work either.  You don’t want to ignore your subscribers for too long. They’ll forget that you exist, and, once again, they may end up thinking that your information is spam. You want to find a happy medium between too many emails and not enough.

Provide Great Value to Them, Not Just Offers – Sometimes you need to send emails that are simply informational in nature. Let them know about a new blog post, or tell them something interesting. Ask for their opinion about something.  Anything that communicates to them that they are important to you, and that you will provide great information to them, not just sell to them.

Keep Your Email Offers Simple – When you do send a promotional email, it’s important not to send too many offers in one email. You want to give them a clear choice of how to act and not confuse the issues by overwhelming them with options.

Grammar COUNTS, Even in Emails – Good grammar is as important in email marketing as it is in a blog post or any other publication.  Even in email messages, the grammar you use is communicates your competence and attention to detail.  It says that your standard of quality and excellence is something you value, even in your personal communication. You don’t have to use perfect English teacher grammar, but you do need to avoid obvious oversights that give the impression that you don’t check your work.

Keep Your Emails Brief –- Many times people are reading emails on their smartphones or other mobile devices. Reading a long, drawn-out email can be draining on the eyes and mind, and hard to read on a phone. Short, sweet, and to the point is best when it comes to email messages.

Don’t Forget to Check the Links -– When you send the test message to yourself, take the time to click through to the links to ensure that they work as you expect. Broken links can destroy a marketing campaign, forcing you to resend messages.

Preview Your Emails – Finally, remember to preview your emails before they go out.  Send a test email to yourself.  Does it look right visually, especially in terms of any graphics?  Does it look as good on a mobile device as is does on a desktop?  Many people use smartphones to check emails, so making sure it looks good on a smartphone is a MUST.

Email marketing is an essential piece of your marketing strategy, but be mindful of these tips when composing your emails.  It can mean the difference between, “Hey I love this…it’s good stuff!” and being unsubscribed and reported as SPAM.

 

An Email List is Essential To Your Marketing Plan

email listIn today’s business world, having an email list is an absolutely essential piece to any healthy marketing plan. You can think of your email subscribers list as your personalized client pool, full of potential buyers for the future. That email list can be instrumental in your business success. There are a variety of ways to grow that list, depending upon the type of business you have. Customers can directly share their email addresses with you when they make purchases, potential prospects may fill out a form to receive your messages, or they may give you their email in exchange for a free offer you make to them. These email addresses are then collected into a database that allows you to easily send out messages both immediately and automated to all the people on your list, or specific ones that you choose.

Remember these helpful tips when utilizing email lists:

Email Is a Professional Way to Contact Customers – Today most consumers are accustomed to giving their email address to a business entity, or they realize that when they make a purchase the business will have their email address. This is a common way to communicate and contact customers, and it has become acceptable by most people.

Email Software Offers Simple Automation – A really special function that you can do with email marketing software is to automate some parts of your email messages to your customers, leads, and prospects. This means that messages that are educational, standard (like thank you messages), and they only have to be created once and sent to each person when appropriate, based on how you set up your autoresponder software.

Email Enables You to Add Value to Your Subscribers’ Lives – When you use email to contact people who have signed up to receive your messages, you are connected to them 24/7 in a very intimate way. This affords you the opportunity, if you plan for it, to add extreme value to your customers’ lives by sending them information that solves their problems, thereby increasing their engagement with you.

Email Marketing Increases Conversion Rates – There is no denying that email marketing is one of the most, if not the most, effective forms of marketing that has ever existed. By using email to teach prospects about your business and offerings, you can increase conversions.

Email Marketing Creates Repeat Customers – Your best bet for increasing sales is to always keep your customers happy so that they become repeat customers. Repeat customers offer you the ability to increase your income exponentially. You simply need to use the customer list to tell them about other offerings that may be of interest to them.

Email Allows You to Get to Know Your Audience Better – Email is your opportunity to speak one-on-one with someone. This allows you to use email to send out polls to find out information about your audience. Some email software will let you know things about your audience simply based on the information they can get from the person’s email address and the files on record with Google and other email address providers.

Email Keeps You Super Close to Your Customers – Thanks to smartphones, you’re always with your customers at any time of the day. It doesn’t even matter if the message is automatic; you can contact them 24/7 easily with just a click of a button, and you are as close as the palm of their hand.

Email Allows You to Educate Your Audience – A really awesome feature of having an email address for leads, prospects, or clients is that you can send them information that educates them about their problems and then introduces them to the solutions, without browbeating or having to make cold calls.

Having an email list means that you may spend some time up front collecting email addresses from leads, prospects and customers. But the countless uses for email marketing and the contact it allows with your audience pays off in the end. It allows customers to hear you out on their own time, which is preferable to most prospects, so email marketing is a win-win for everyone involved.

How to Develop an Email Course

Wemail coursee’ve all seen them before, right? You arrive at a website for the first time and while you are looking around you are invited to sign up for an email course, something like the image to the right from www.marketingtechblog.com. Email courses are effective ways to connect with prospective clients and really show them who you are and what you have to offer. In fact, they are an essential part of any marketing campaign that attempts to communicate their value by getting people to Know, Like and Trust them. See our post, “Creating Your Prospect to Client Experience through the Marketing Hourglass” for more on this topic.

So how do you do it for your website? Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to do. An email course is usually delivered in “drip” mode. This means that whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, part of the course is delivered to those who signed up for it via their email, through an autoresponder service. An autoresponder service like Activecampaign.com, Convertkit.com or Mailchimp.com, can get the job done delivering an email course.

7 Steps to Building Your Very Own Email Course

1. Determine What the Purpose of the Course Is? Is this a free or paid course? Is the purpose of the course to encourage your audience to buy something from you when the course ends? If it’s a free course, what will the offer be at the end of the course? If it’s a paid course, how can you deliver exceptional value to your audience and make them feel as if they got their money’s worth?

2. Decide What to Teach. Teach your audience about or how to do something that is unclear, frustrating or hard to do for your audience. If you’re not sure what this could be, look be ask your audience for the answers. You can ask them directly, or you can find groups where they ask questions. Any question is a likely a good choice for an email course.

3. Organize the Subject. Choose your topic or question to answer so that you can now organize the subject into subtopics. You’ll want to pick one focused subtopic for each part of the email course. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information at one time. Instead, think of it like teaching one point of a problem at a time in a logical order.

4. Choose How Long You Want the Course to Be. Usually an email course consists of five to seven emails for free courses, but sometimes a topic will require a lot more than that – especially if it’s a paid course. Decide how long, but more than six to eight weeks might be too long. It’s important to consider your audience so that you know how they’ll deal with shorter or longer courses. Making it too long might mean a lot of people don’t finish, but you do want to give enough information that they learn the material.

5. Tell the Subscriber What to Expect. Before and after the subscriber signs up for the course, you should let them know what to expect. Be explicit about what is in the course so that they’ll know what’s coming and know what to look for. How many emails will be in the course? How often will they come? Will you send other emails and information to them? Let them know what to do if there is a problem. Probably the best place to do this is on the sales page, plus on the thank you page, plus in the first email.

6. Format Each Email Similarly. You want each email to look like part of the same course by branding it the same. Use the same fonts, images, colors, intro and exit. Always tell them what you have already told them, and then after the body of the email tell them what to expect for the next part of the course. This will help hone their expectations in a way that keeps them interested and involved.

7. Make Each Email Simple and To the Point. Once you’ve created a template for your course, it will be simple to fill in the details for the course. Give them one strong lesson each email, and keep the emails on the short side – no more than 700 to 1500 words per email. Otherwise it will be too overwhelming.

8. Craft Subject Lines They’ll Recognize and Open. The subject line is important because it will be key to ensuring that your subscribers know to open the email. You probably want to put the name of the course and the lesson name inside so that they know.

9. Give your audience a way to report problems and ask questions. You can do that via a special course email address or by making a private and closed Facebook group only for people who have signed up for the course.

Once yo have all this information sorted out, all that remains is to setup the technology and plug it in to your site. Here’s a great article from Convertkit.com that shows you exactly how to set this up using their automation tool – http://kb.convertkit.com/article/understanding-email-courses-convertkit. Let me know if yo have any questions and please feel free to leave your comments below.

Tell Your Story – How to Setup Your Lead Generation Funnel – Part 2 – Strategix Video Tip

In the second of our 5 part series on building a lead generation funnel on your website we focus on developing a drip email campaign to send your prospects after they have signed up for your signature eBook. We will walk you through exactly what you should say in every email, so watch as we help yo tell your story!

[Tweet “Tell your story and build your lead generation funnel. #leadgeneration”]

How to Get Prospects and Customers to Want More From You!

message-580300_640When you have prospects and customers, it’s important to stay in touch as often as possible. Get them on your email lists, segmented according to where they are in the buying cycle so that you can target your messages accordingly.

8 ways to keep ’em coming back for more:

1. Tell Them What to Expect – When someone buys from you or signs up for one of your email lists, send a thank you note with an explanation of what to expect from you in the future. How often will they hear from you? Make some promises and assurances to them.

2. Do What You Say You’ll Do – It’s very important that you do whatever you said you’d do. For example, if you say you will send them a newsletter every Friday, send them a newsletter every single Friday. If you skip days or switch the days, they may be confused. A lot of people actually forget they signed up for a list and when you don’t stay active they will report you for spamming them.

3. Remind Them of What You Said – Periodically, within other messages, be sure to remind your prospects and customers about your previous promises and assurances. This will help them remember who you are, and what you said. It will build more trust.

4. Let Them Know When You Follow Through – When you do something you said you would do, tell them. “I told you I would send you an update on my xyz product, as promised, here it is.” This again, reinforces the point that you stick to your word and can be trusted.

5. Ask Them for Input and Opinions – Once in a while invite your prospects and customers to submit their ideas and input. If you have a new product idea, tell them about it. Ask them what they think. Ask them what they’d pay for such a product or service. Ask them if they would like to see something from you that you’ve not delivered.

6. Tease Them about New Products – Never pass up an opportunity to give them some hints and small bits of information about a new product, service or event. As you hint about it, make them really want it by explaining what’s in it for them.

7. Thank Them for Buying – When someone buys something from you (or answers any call to action), be sure to thank them. The thank you is always a nice thing to do, plus it gives you just that little bit more real estate to give them more information about you and your products and/or services.

8. Follow Up Regularly – Even after someone has purchased, and you’ve thanked them, it’s not over. It costs a lot less to create a repeat buyer than to turn a lead into a buyer. Cultivate your relationship with buyers even more consistently than you do leads and prospects.

Using the pattern of telling them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them will do wonders for all your marketing. Most people need to hear things multiple times before it sinks in. The more you stick to your word and the more value you can provide your audience, the more they’ll look forward to whatever you offer them.

10 Lead Nurturing Tips

lead-nurturing-processA lead is someone who has in some way expressed interest in something you have to offer to sale. If you put everything in a funnel with the wide side up, it would look like this:

Leads > Prospects > Customers

You’re going to have many more leads than prospects, and many more prospects than customers. When you get a lead your goal is to qualify them, turning them into a real prospect and then converting the prospect into a customer.

In order to do that, you need to nurture your leads from day one. There are many ways to do this, start with these: ten most important ways to nurture leads and work from there.

Ten most important ways to nurture leads and work from there.

1. Start with a Goal – Do you want to increase sales, educate prospects, get people to download your free trial, or do you want to accomplish something else? It’s important to know what your intentions are from the start so that you can design your lead nurturing campaign to fit in with the goal.

2. Edit, Edit, Edit – Every bit of content that you want to be consumed by your leads needs to be edited for grammar, clarity, and format. You want the information you send them free to represent the type of products and services you offer. If you make silly mistakes, they will notice and yes, they will judge you for it.

3. Outsource – If you are unsure about how to set up a lead nurturing campaign, seek out the help of a professional. There are many professionals that can take a look at your goals and help guide you through the process of what type of information you should push out to your leads.

4. Remember the Drip – Don’t send everything all at once to your leads. Instead, practice the drip system of sending just a little bit of information at a time. Tease them, heighten their desires, and make them want what you have to offer before you give it to them.

5. Consistency Wins the Day – Like with the drip, you need to send out messages and information to your leads on a regular and consistent basis. If someone signs up for your email list, they are expecting to get regular, if not daily messages from you. If you make them short, to the point, and informative, they’ll be happy to get the messages.

6. Use Your Blog – Don’t forget about your blog, too. While you will use your email list to send information out to leads, you can also use your blog, and use the blog update feature within your email marketing system to notify leads of new blog posts. Write some of your blog posts directly to leads as the audience.

7. Know the Buy Cycle – Every audience has a buy cycle according to the products and/or services that a seller is promoting. You should have information going out to leads at every stage of the buying cycle in order to qualify them and ultimately convert them.

8. Understand Your Audience – Nurturing a lead is different from talking to someone who has already purchased from you. Ensure that you separate leads from interested parties and from actual prospects or customers. In this way, you’ll be able to target your messages correctly for the audience.

9. Know Your Products – It should go without saying that you need to know your products and services backwards and forwards. Know how a product or service impacts your audience. Also, remember if you outsource some of this work you’ll need to help your contractors understand your products and services too.

10. Study Your Metrics – As they say, nothing is done without the paperwork. It’s very true about lead nurturing. If you want to be certain that what you’re doing is working, go by the numbers. Before you even start, determine what metrics you’ll study to determine success or failure.

When you embark on a lead nurturing campaign, slow and steady wins the race. Deliver informative and engaging information to your leads on a regular and consistent basis and over time you will convert very happy buyers. Tell us how you are nurturing your leads by adding a comment below.