I was on Quora weeks ago, browsing through the questions in my notification box, and one of the questions caught my attention—not because I found the question insightful, rather, it was the wrong conjecture the question hinted at that did.
The question was, “What is the secret of email marketing and its importance?”, and here was my response.
So here is my first strategy for you: Get past this “secret” mentality—if you have one.
It is not going to help you succeed. It going to keep you down; keep you going round and round in a circle. Why?
You will never find a secret!
To succeed with a strategy, then you have to be willing to devote the time, energy, and effort to the strategy from start to finish—you must follow through, you can’t give up half way through.
So as you read this article, keep an open mind and let the strategies sink in. Then, pull out a sheet and map out how you plan to implement these strategies for your brand or business.
But don’t fret, okay—it isn’t that tough
Perhaps, you are wondering if huge cost is involved, then let me dispel this right here and now: most of the strategies, as you would discover, don’t require huge financial commitment upfront.
All they demand is your willingness, discipline, and determination to use them to drive your marketing campaigns and build your brand awareness and loyalty.
The strategies are good for achieving both your short and long-termed business objectives.
So below are the evergreen strategies of email marketing that would always work.
Are you ready?
Then jump right in, and learn what they are.
5 Evergreen Email Marketing Strategies That Always Work
Give, give, give; then ask
Your prospects are most likely to click your sales CTA if you’ve delivered enough free value prior your sales emails. They aren’t going to click the CTA if you are always selling them!
Make them feel they are getting more in value from you than they are giving to you. That’s the only way to make them read your sales emails.
Here, you have to get comfortable with email marketing as a medium for establishing valuable relationships with your customers.
You want to send your customers free guides and cheat-sheets that provides them with tactics to navigate through their marketing campaigns; discounts, freebies and gifts that gives them more value for their purchase, or regular newsletters that inform them of the outlook of their industry.
This way you proves to your customers your value in their business journey. You inform them you are there to help them succeed, not to sell them. You make them think of your products as a means for growing their business—as against just selling them!
A quick tip: Make your free guides and eBook relevant to your prospects. A free guide that addresses none of their needs is as good as having not send any at all.
Make your sales emails conversational
They aren’t going to click the CTA button if they think they are being sold—just like they won’t if you are always selling them!
Steven Slaunwhite, a copywriting trainer, in an email he sent to me, wrote, “When a prospect feel they’re being pitched, arm-twisted, technique’d, etc, a protective wall goes up—no matter how many features and benefits you pile on. They stop listening; they stop reading; they stop viewing—your email, your products.”
You don’t want that!
You don’t want your email joining their list of unread emails—or worse, the list of emails they’ve unsubscribed from.
Here you want to strike up a conversation that makes your customers relax as they read your email; toning your email copy to sound intentional about getting your prospects’ needs met and their problems solved. You want to avoid the stereotypical sales-speak.
One way to do this is by reversing your approach to solving their problems. That is, instead of thinking from your product to meeting their needs, think first of their problems, then how your product meet their needs.
This was your approach to meeting their needs would be more customer-centric.
The benefit of this practice is that it get your prospects away from default “you-are-selling-me-something” zone to a relaxed zone where they feel they are being cared for—that is, they feel you are together with them in the challenge they are facing.
Steven Slaunwhite said something else in the email he sent me.
When your marketing copy is conversational, the [protective] wall crumbles or doesn’t go up in the first place—and this is the goal you want to achieve with every email you send out. Don’t forget!
Learn, learn, learn
You can never know enough about your customers.
The more about them you know, the more direction and clarity you get on how to help them.
Knowledge about your prospects help you know how further down they are in your sales funnels.
Data from your prospects that informs on the segment they belong help you know prospects likely to convert to paying customers. That is, you get to know which of your leads require more nurturing and how much nurturing is needed before they can be converted to paying customers.
Secondly, knowledge of the needs of your prospects helps you identify how your products meet their needs. This provides an opportunity for carving out unique value propositions that speaks to specific needs.
In the end, this would help you offer value offerings your customers would appreciate, which would serve to reinforce their trust in your brand.
So here, you want to take out time to learn more about their needs. You can start this practice by requesting feedbacks in your emails:
- Direct Feedback: Ask them to click the reply button requesting they narrate their needs and problems—just as Jay Schwedelson did in the email he sent me—above.
- Send out surveys: Sending out surveys occasionally is a vital feedback in the customer journey with your brand. This help you identify areas for improvement in your product offerings. A best practice here is to add incentives—raffle draw for instance—to boost response rate.
- Track and take note of their purchase history: This would help you send similar products offering that is more likely to pick their interest. You don’t want to send random offers!
- Watch and monitor their web behavior on your website: A knowledge of your webpages getting the highest traction informs you on the content your prospects are actively engaging with which will serve to inform the focus of your value propositions.
- Send them emails that ask for feedbacks on their last purchase: Are they making the best of their subscription to your digital product? Here, you could setup a customer onboarding journey that help them make use of your digital product to meet their business needs.
Always segment your prospects into separate lists; don’t just dump them into one single bucket.
Customer segmentation serves to achieve the ultimate goals of helping you channel the right content and product offerings to the right prospects and customers.
Customer segmentation helps you unveil facts about your prospects that can open up new opportunities for delivering value through your product to your customers—it helps you discover unique value propositions you never thought of!
Here, you want to segment your customers into different buckets using key metrics such as demographics, psychometrics, geography, needs, and values. For instance, you can decide to segment your customers by needs—in this case, you put customers having similar needs in a single bucket.
A customer segmentation strategy could also be such that you combine different metrics together in order to segment your audience.
That is, you can segment your customers along demographic, psychometric and value lines all at once.
The more segmentation, the better. It demonstrates the depth of your knowledge of your prospects—which consequently feeds into more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
Test, test, test
Assume nothing; test everything.
If you are not testing your email copy, you are doing something wrong that is affecting your conversion rate!
Here, you want your marketing strategy to be data-driven. The advantage of this far outweighs an intuition based marketing practice.
Here, you want to run A/B test on your emails, ranging from the body copy, to the design and layout of the copy, images used in your emails, email subject line, headline of the email content, colour of various elements (text, CTA button, and background) of your emails, to the CTAs.
A/B test is carried out on a test audience in a randomization process where two versions of the same variable—in this case, the email copy—is sent to different prospects in the test audience to determine which of the versions have the maximum engagement—which is measured by key conversion metrics (open rate and click-through rate, for instance) suited for your business objective at any point in time.
The test audience is a segment of your email list. It is best to ensure the two versions of the email copy is sent to two equal portions of the test audience for accurate results.
Secondly, it is best to test only one element of the email copy at a time. For instance, for the two versions, a test to check which subject line is more engaging would require you keep every other part of the email copy constant varying only the subject line.
By cultivating a practice of testing your email copy, you develop your brand to better match the “language” of your target audience. You increase your understanding of your target audience which will then help inform your overall marketing strategy for better outcomes.
So there they are, the evergreen email marketing strategies.
So as you draft out your next marketing campaign, or as you set out to build your brand image, you want to remember first to offer enough free value upfront. You don’t want your customers think you are always selling them.
You also want to remember to be intentional about meeting needs of your prospects. You want to employ the usage of email copies that have a conversational tone that doesn’t make your prospects think you are trying to sell them. You want them to feel you truly care about their needs.
Then you want to ensure to constantly be learning about your customers—their needs, problems and interests.
You want to continue to remain relevant to them. You want them to continue to think you as a go-to for all their business needs.
Then, you should never commit the mistake of throwing all you prospects into one bucket—segment them.
And lastly, always test your emails before sending them out—you will be cheating yourself of valuable conversions and insights if you don’t.
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