One of my favorite subjects: eMail messaging and marketing! This is the MOST EFFECTIVE single tactic available. Absolutely every single person you want to do business with has an email address and uses it – possible exception would be hospice care. An email address is a unique identifier and 1 to 1 relationship to every consumer in the market. Not everyone watches TV, not everyone participates in social media, terrestrial radio is now only a portion of the radio media market and yet everyone needs an email to transact life these days.
Our previous blog eMail Marketing: The Silver Bullet reminds us that companies that excel at lead nurturing can generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% of the cost. Something that cannot be ignored, so let’s go learn about the types of emails we should be using to leverage what we know about our customers to turn it into sales.
eMail marketing is a strong tool for acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers to help your business succeed. In this article we’ll describe four types of email messaging. Also remember our golden rule for Inbound Marketing; 80% relevant content and 20% selling material.
- Email Newsletters
- Acquisition Emails
- Retention Emails
- Promotional Emails.
eMail Newsletters are some of the most common and popular ways to engage your target persona with email messaging. We recommend using email newsletters to provide your subscribers with timely, expected, and helpful content from your company (whether you provide a service or product). Make the content informational or how-to’s, announcements about your product or service, a behind the “scenes” look into your business, or any other engaging content that adds value to your existing customers. Not only should your content be valuable but how you present it should also be engaging. Switch up your content format to keep your audience interested. Each piece of content can be turned into one of the following:
Lists Quiz Contest Slide Show
Video Quotes Shout Outs Fill-in-the-blanks
FAQ Fun Facts Press Release Infographic
Memes Pictures Blog Did You Know?
Keeping the above as a check-list can help you when building your content calendar – all email messaging is a companion and vehicle to get your customers to your content that resides on your website or social.
Effective email newsletters help you:
- Build trust in relationships with subscribers
- Build rapport with customers
- Increase retention and engagement
- Strengthen subscriber loyalty
- and recommendations from your subscribers
Use Marketing Campaigns’ Unsubscribe Groups to honor the subscription preferences of your users…and CANSPAM.
Use acquisition emails for signups among those who have opted into your emails but haven’t yet converted. Send compelling offers or information to show them the value of becoming a paid or active customer and add value to your brand as an authoritative figure in your specific market or industry. A popular tool for acquisition emails is the tripwire where you give an offer to your customer that is practically undeniable: DIY – How to Clean Years of BBQ Grime off your BBQ in 5 minutes. Find out now for 99 cents. Of course your offer has to be relevant and on target for your customers. This last offer would have had to come from a BBQ company or outdoor company.
Acquisition emails are a good way to:
- Move leads through the conversion funnel faster
- Focus your acquisition efforts on users who have shown interest in what you offer (lead scoring)
- Grow your business and drive revenue
Create a custom field for “Customer Segment” in Marketing Campaigns so you can easily segment your customers; New to File, Engaged, Not Engaged, Buyer, Multi-buyer, Loyal, Reactivation
You will need to create rules for each of these segments to keep them valid in your database. For example, all customers that have been added to the email list in 30 days get designated as “New to file” until a subsequent action overrides this. Change customer to engaged once they have opened an email and clicked through or opened 3 eMails and clicked through once in the last 30 days or engaged with our brand in any social media in the last 30 days. Once the customer makes a purchase, the status changes from any lower status to Buyer. Once the customer buys more than 1 product in 1 year, this makes them a Multi-buyer and on their way to loyalty. Customers get moved into Loyalty by having 3+ purchases. These customers should be leveraged to bring their friends on board. There are 2 buckets that need special attention; Not Engaged (Failure to launch) and Reactivation where a customer purchased once over 12 months ago.
These segments now enable you to speak to your customers intelligently for where they are in your customer file and behavior.
These are the eMails you send to subscribers that have not made a purchase in 12 months. Retention emails are a powerful way to keep customers active. Send a special message to subscribers who haven’t opened an email from you lately, maybe include a special offer or request feedback.
An example of this type of email program: Office Depot developed a regression equation in the late 90s to predict when a customer would defect by lapse in orders during anticipated buying cycle. Once the identification was done, an email asking, “What have we done wrong and Can we make it up to you?” – There was an 88% accuracy in identifying true issues / defects and 76% ability to retain the client through this messaging. Much easier to keep a customer than to but a new one – point in case.
Retention emails help you:
- Proactively reach out to at-risk users
- Increase retention and purchases
- Prove to your customers you value their business
Make promotional emails that drive sales or new signups. You can also announce a new offering or a special sale that will engage your audience. Promotional offers are also a great way to encourage existing customers to try something new that you currently offer.
Promotional emails should be scheduled just like your entire email campaign strategy so that you have an even balance and control on your selling versus value emails. Customers also get used to, expect and look out for certain promotions once you have branded them well. For example, Black Friday sales – folks look for these. Partnerships make great promotional email opportunities as well – find an affinity brand and swap promotions to get in front of a new audience and offer a great new product/value to your audience.
High-impact promotional emails are a great tool to:
- Reward loyal subscribers with special offers
- Drive new product or services
- Cross-sell existing products into your customer base
Use A/B testing to optimize engagement and conversion. This means everything is identical with the exception of 1 item. Subject line testing is one of the most popular A/B testing there is. The subject line directly impacts open rate, which is your ability to sell. If the email does not get opened, it did not do its job. Here is an example of A/B subject line testing:
- 5 Proven Ways to get BBQ out of White
- 5 Winning Ways to get BBQ Stains Out
What is the most successful email tactic you have used?