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Email Marketing: The Ultimate Strategy & Implementation Guide
  • Contest Factory
  • July 6, 2022

eMail marketing strategy

Why You Need World Class Email Marketing

Email Marketing is one of the fastest ways to grow your business. Once you have a prospect or customer’s email, it’s practically free to market to them.  You need to decide with honor how you will handle this immense responsibility because if you abuse it, you most likely will lose it. Our friendly partners at HubSpot note that for every $ spent on email marketing, you will earn $42 in return.  In fact, while not everyone is on social media, most everyone in the modern world must have an email to do business these days; there are an astounding 4 billion daily email users and 5.6 billion active email addresses.  And if that’s not enough, the global email marketing industry is being valued at $7.5 billion and is projected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027, according to Statista.

Through decades of testing, optimizing, benchmarking, and researching, the marketing industry at large has learned that this is the single most effective method of marketing, should you be limited in options by budget or manpower.  Email marketing helps you move from the awareness part of the funnel down to the purchase point – now this is not out-of-box functionality; this requires you learn how to segment customers and build campaigns that address customers in your funnel at the right time, so you are delivering the right message.

Email Marketing Glossary of Terms

Let’s start with some basic email marketing terminology to get you started looking like a pro with your Email marketing strategy:

Subscriber: Anyone who has opted into your email marketing list.  This references the induvial subscribing to your marketing.

Subscriber List: Your email marketing subscriber list is the list of all your customers and prospects that have signed up to receive your newsletter, service, support, or discounted specials.

Healthy Subscriber List:  This means you clean your list and ensure everyone on your list has opted in and engages.  Removing folks who have never opened an email helps you focus on real people, as often bots will register for an email and these fake accounts and numbers detract from your real success.  With these in your list, you do not know your true success as your numbers will always appear lower.

Subject Line: The subject line is your one chance to grab the subscriber’s attention to get them to see your message. It needs to be catchy and should not be longer than 60 characters; though this varies by industry and enthusiast-level of your subscriber list.

Expanded Text:  This is the preview text you see in your email before you open it – it’s a longer sentence with more details, another chance to snag the attention of your reader or remind them how they got on your list (e.g. County fair subscriber at the booth – we love your fair show!)

Open Rate (OR%):  This is the percentage of your subscribers from your subscriber list that open your email. The industry average changes across different industries, however a standard across industries is 15% OR.  There is a distinct OR% where you find out how many users opened the email and then there is your cumulative OR% showing you how many folks opened and includes multiple opens.

Preview Pane:  The preview pane in many email inboxes are now considered open and therefore diminishing our ability to see real opens.  Testing of new technology needs to be done here in an effort to support the industry using this as a priority metric – as it really is a very important metric if not the most important.  If it is not opened, no one has the chance to click or buy.

Click-Through Rate (CTR):  This is the number of individuals from your subscriber list that click through from your email to your website to see your content.

Conversion Rate:  This is the number of individual subscribers who not only click through your email but also convert; this may be an eCommerce transaction, a free trial, a subscription, or an appointment request.  You determine what your conversion action is and measure based on the success of that metric.

Bounce:  This is an email that does not make it into a subscriber’s inbox; there are two kinds of bounces, soft bounce which means they may be out of office or that their email box is full and there is the hard bounce indicating this email box no longer exists and typically happens when an employee leaves a company.

Bounce Rate: This is your total amount of bounces combined; you should have less than 1% bounce if you have a healthy subscriber list.

Email Service Provider (ESP):  Your email service provider is the company you use to send your email marketing broadcasts.  Each provider has different service features and benefits that you will need to consider before selecting one.

See our blog on Email Platform Selection: What’s the Right Size?

Building Your Subscriber List

Now that you have the basics down, you want to attract as many qualified subscribers as possible; you don’t want just anyone on your list as this will contaminate your list with unqualified users that dirty your data.  You want people that genuinely are interested in your product or services.  Of course, you want to put your newsletter sign-up form on your website – that’s just the basic and not going to catapult a new brand into subscribers’ overload anytime soon.  To grow your list at an accelerated pace, you will want to create few different types of lead magnets.  This means creating a valuable offer for your prospects and convince them to provide their email address in exchange for this offer.

The following are examples of lead magnets that have shown success in thousands of brands worldwide:

Free consultation

Free self-assessment or quiz

Free webinar

Free whitepaper or case study

Free trials or Free samples

Free eBook

Coupon for Discount off 1st purchase

What makes a good Lead Magnet?

Relevance:  Your lead magnet should be interesting to your target market, if not intriguing and must-have information. Typically this includes information or tips and tricks native to your market.

Actionable: Your audience should be able to use your content and engage with the lead magnet content as to further interact with your brand and find value from the lead magnet.

Immediately available:  We all love instant gratification, just think of slot machines!  Give your prospective subscribers what they want immediately.  Sure you can email them the information, but you also can have it readily available after hitting submit.  Tada!

Easily consumed:  You want to be sure the information is not overwhelming or it will not be consumed or used.  Make it concise, easy to digest, and easy to implement.

How to Create an Opt-in Subscriber Form that Delivers Subscribers

Catchy headline:  You need to interrupt the scroll.  Test and optimize has shown that numbers produce interest – if you are able to include an interesting stat, then you will earn some interest and potentially some trust.

Digestible copy:  You need to make sure your lead magnet is attractive and that your words are read.  You want to use bullets to expand on your headline with clear and concise value statements about what the prospective subscriber will get when subscribing to your newsletter.

Visual aids:  You want this to interrupt the scroll, so again, something that looks like it has value. If you are offering an e-book then you should have an image of a book with the title of your e-book on it.  If you have any social proof such as, as seen on a podcast, a publication, or any awards you may have earned are great to place in this visual.

lead magnet social proof

Keep it simple:  Only ask for the email address and first name – further than that and you will scare away your potential subscriber.  You can get to know your subscriber later on after you have gained more trust.  Depending on your Email Service Provider, you often can load a form with hidden fields and collect more data down the road.

Compelling CTA:  You want to be sure to have your subscribe button be a contrasting color with the proper copy.  You want to test your CTA buttons as well; you may find one works significantly better than the other.  Get my e-book to lose weight now!

Segmenting your subscriber list

Remember that you do not want to send the same message to everyone as everyone is not in the same stage of the buying process.  Consider the person that just subscribed to get your free offer today versus one that has been on your list for months and not purchased versus your active customer and loyal evangelist; these all need to be unique messages.

You may also consider different ways to segment your audience, such as which lead magnet did they respond to – does this give you insight into their specific interests which may be valuable when considering how to market to them. You may also attend events where you collect email subscribers and want to note that on their subscriber source.  You also want to save all the data points you have on your customer in your CRM so that you may segment on several different variables.

You may offer different types of products and services that may also have you considering segmenting your customers in alternate ways.  And you can segment differently for different purposes – these are fluid segments and not necessarily where the customer lives forever.  For a flash sale at a kitchen retailer, you may consider dynamic content so that the subscribers that read about baked goods get bakeware and those that read about dinners and meats may get the knife sale.

There are no real limits with segmentation.  You want your basic drip campaigns set up for every subscriber based on how and where they subscribed.  This is your set of pre-canned emails that will go out weekly or bi-weekly to keep your subscriber engaged with your brand front of mind.

With this guide, you are well on your way to generating revenue with email marketing.  Simply lay out your strategy and start developing your assets to deploy an email marketing machine.

 

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