How to make email marketing easier for small businesses

Email Marketing

What is Email Marketing?

I personally love Email marketing. This is because this aspect of marketing still remains a highly effective digital marketing tactic.

You can convert the most sceptical of customers into loyal ones through this methodology. We will embark on this journey to ensure that you gaun the basics of email marketing. As a result, you will be able to start making an impact for your brand.

We must warn you... this blog isn't for the weak hearted! It is for the entrepreneurs that are the most commited...

My aims for this blog is to educate you about email marketing and how it can benefit your brand. By the end you should know:

  1. How to build an email list of targeted customers.
  2. How to optimise your emails for the highest open rates and click-through rates (CTR).
  3. How to automate the process of nurturing your leads and turning prospects into customers.

Sound perfect?

Good...

Then lets embark on the journey together throughout to most thorough email marketing guide within the world wide web.

The reason why Email Marketing is imperative

As social media marketing is becoming increasingly popular amongst businesses to further we dive into 2019. However, email marketing remains the most effective strategy when your goal is not nuture customers.

There is numerous reasons why email marketing should be high on your business agenda. Nevertheless, let me introduce you to the three most salient reasons...

1. Email is the #1 communication platform. I bet you did not know that 91% of consumers browse their emails on a daily basis? This vastly beats any other methodology of communicating with customers.

2. Your mailing list belongs to your brand. On your social media platform, your account (along with your followers) could be suspended or deleted at any time, for any reason, without notice. Thus, meaning you will lose that connection and communication with your loyal customers. However, with email marketing you own your email list. No one can take those leads away from you. Unless the customers want to unsubscribe although they are well within their rights under GDPR.

3. Email converts more effectively. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order valueof an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.

Email is simply the best way to make sales online. GRANTED!​​​​

So how do I get my email marketing campaign started?

As aforementioned, GDPR plays a key role in email marketing. The most imperative thing to note is that you need to obtain permission. 

Thus meaning, not scouring the internet to find email addresses and inserting them into your mailing list.

Another method that businesses often implement but something I would never recommend is buying email lists. BAD IDEA!

Something to note is that - adding people to your mailing list are not the people who will purchase from you! Your prospective customers will opt in to your email list. Therefore you'd end up wasting your time!

So lets dive in, firstly, you will need an opt in form and an email marketing service.

What you need in order to get started the right way is 1) an optin form and 2) an email marketing service.

The following are some of the most popular email marketing services:

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is arguably the most popular and biggest email marketing services on the marketplace to date. 

Constant Contact enables businesses and users to develop and curate professional emails with user-friendly editing tools. 

With this email marketing platform you can track your campaign performance with total ease.

Constant Contact can be accessed for free for 60 days then services are continual for in excess of £17 per month.

WPBeginner rates ConstantContact the best email marketing service of 2018.

SendinBlue

SendinBlue is another popular email platform that is utilised by business. However, it also provides a SMS marketing platform.

Similar to Constant Contact, it comes with an user friendly editing tool which enables marketers and business owners to curate beautiful and engaging emails.

SendInBlue additionally allows users to send 300 emails per day however it comes with a downside... it is filled with SendInBlue's branding.

You can get rid of this branding from at least £20 per month and the SMS marketing services come at an additional cost.

Mailchimp

Yet again, Mailchimp is another popular choice for marketers to utilise email marketing campaigns. 

Mailchimp is a great platform for the most novice of marketers as it is easy to develop and entails an intuitive user interface. 

Mailchimp offers a plan for free that allows marketers and business owners to wield up to 2,000 subscribers.

Nevertheless, you would have to naturally upgrade to a paid plan if you wished to use the autoresponders or other enhanced features.

These paid plans start from as little as £7 per month and then upwards.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is another email platform that marketers love to use. In honesty, this is my favourite to use.

Why?

Because it is heavily oriented towards marketing automation.

However, it is more costly than its competitors.

For example: 2,500 contacts plans can start at in excess of £35

So how do I grow my Email list?

When businesses and marketers want to build their email lists, they would implement an opt in form and pray to the wonders of god that they will just sign up!

Wrong!

This strategy is bad and I would never recommend this.

People are not going to willingly part with their email address as they do not want unwarranted sales emails and spam in their inbox.

So how do we acquire a valuable resource for businesses? We give our viewers a lead magnet.

What is a Lead Magnet?

A very good question that all ambitious business owners and marketers should be pondering.

Lead magnets are essentially an opt in bribe. You are giving your viewer something for free but they have to part with their emaill address in order to acquire it.

Lead magnets should cost you very little or even nothing to create. You can format lead magnets in the following ways: PDFs, MP3 audio files or videos. 

You can be expressive with your lead magnets and it can be anything you want as long as it provides value to your viewer.

Some popular lead magnet examples are…

  • eBooks
  • A cheat sheet of tips or resources
  • White papers or case studies
  • A webinar
  • Free trials or samples
  • A free quote or consultation
  • Quizzes or a self-assessment
  • A coupon

The possibilities are endless!

Take a look at my personal website below, here is an example of a lead magnet being used...

Email Marketing

What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?

Throughout email marketing, you want to ensure that lead magnets provide value for free. 

However, if you wish for your lead magnet to make a true impact on your viewer and be effective then here are 5 criteria that you should be following without fail:

  1. Easily consumed: Lead magnets are only effective when the audience uses them, so if you deliver a 300-page manifesto, you won’t gain traction.
  2. Actionable: Lead magnets need to provide a tool/skillset, or useful information that your audience can apply.
  3. Creates noticeable improvement: People continue to buy products and services if they work well. Your lead magnet will become successful if it’s as valuable as your products and services.
  4. Relevant: If you’ve done your homework about your prospects, you’ll have no trouble coming up with a lead magnet subject that solves problems.
  5. Immediately available: People love instant gratification, so give it to them right then and there.

Personalise your Email Marketing campaigns with list segmentation

I have come across clients that have hired marketers previously to oversee their email marketing operations but had no success.

My response and emotions are often the same: That I am not surprised.

This is because when I have gone into their email marketing platform and investigated. The main culprit behind this is that no segmentation has occured. 

This infuriates me as a marketer as it shows pure incompetency or total negligence and laziness.

Thus, email segmentation is a must to ensure your campaigns are fully effective.

What is Email List Segmentation?

The terminology 'Email list segmentation' represents the process of splitting your email subscribers into niche groups to adheres to set criteria. 

Segmentation is implemented to ensure that you can send your subscribers more personalised and emails that are more likely to convert.

This is in oppose to sending every single email to be accessible by the whole of your email list. 

Why Segment Your Email List?

By implementing this fundamental tactic, you will without doubt increase the open rates on your emails, boost your click rates and decrease unsubscriber rates.

This is the only rationale to why I opt to segment my clients' email lists.

When you have segmented your email list you can then send ultimate and powerful autorespoinders - which are emails that are sent out dependent on certain conditions. 

I shall be covering more about auto-responders in the next section.

Segmenting your email list ensure that you know which subject lines are going to be to most effective to convert. 

The main purpose of segmentation is to investigate how did the user get onto your list in the first place.

Did they purchase a product of yours? Visited a particular page? Or downloaded a lead magnet?

There are many different ways to slice and dice your list into segments. Here are a few ways to get you started:

  • New subscribers: send new subscribers a welcome email or a welcome series.
  • Preferences: subscribers who want to hear about blog posts vs. those who only want sale notifications.
  • Interests: subscribers who like classical music vs. those who like pop.
  • Location: notify subscribers who live in the area about your local event.
  • Open rate: reward your more engaged subscribers with a special offer just for them.
  • Inactivity: remind subscribers who haven’t engaged for a while of the next step you want them to take.
  • Lead magnet: send targeted emails based on the topic of the lead magnet that they opted in for.
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment: remind subscribers who put items in their cart that they haven’t checked out yet.

Make your life easier with Email Marketing Autoresponders

Congratulations on making it to our final section of this definitive guide! You’ve come a long way.

Autoresponders are easily a marketers most powerful weapon of mass destruction! It enables us to effectively engage with customers on the email lists, nuture relationships and turn propects into loyal customers.

So, What’s an Autoresponder?

An autoresponder is a sequence of emails that are automatically sent to a segment of people on your email list and is triggered by a specific event, such as joining your list, browsing behavior, cart abandonment, downloading a PDF, or buying a product.

The content of an email autoresponder series is created in advance and set up to send at the appropriate time with the help of your email marketing software.

Every online business needs an autoresponder series for two main reasons:

1. They nurture your leads by providing valuable information and insights, as well as teaching them how to make better decisions through an automated onboarding process.

2. They turn prospects into customers by helping you build “know, like, and trust” before you ask for the sale. Then you can make your pitch at the best possible moment, and you can do it without being overly “salesy” or pushy.

So, how do you create a highly effective autoresponder series? There are 4 basic steps. Let’s dive into them one by one.

Step 1: Choose a Goal for Your Autoresponder

There are many different goals you could have for your autoresponder, but here are the main four. Choose one (or a combination) of the below goals for your autoresponder series before you create it.

  • Send new subscribers a “welcome” sequence. This is the message that you send to people right after they subscribe to your email list. It could contain a link to your lead magnet for an easy download, a thank you for subscribing, or maybe a call-to-action to check out your most popular blog posts. Every email list needs a welcome series: don’t miss this chance to “woo” your new subscribers and turn them into loyal fans!
  • Use it as a lead magnet/free mini-course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini-course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is a high perceived value with a mini-course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
  • Make sales on autopilot. Creating a sales funnel out of an email autoresponder sequence is a widely adopted strategy used by information marketers, but it can also be used by software companies, eCommerce businesses, and service providers. For example, it could consist of a series of educational videos, a sales video, and follow-ups to sell your information products. Or, you could create a sequence of free educational emails, and then invite leads to a live or recorded webinar where you make an offer. For eCommerce businesses, your sales sequence could include promo offers for products your subscriber has just viewed on your website.
  • Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.

Step 2: Map Out Your Entire Sequence

In this step, you will draft an outline for your sequence. But first, you’ll need to figure out how long you want your sequence to be. How many days? How many emails?

There is no universal rule when it comes to exactly how many emails you need to have in your email sequence. Your sequence should be long enough to help you accomplish your goals, no more, no less. So its length should be determined by its purpose, your segments, subscriber’s preferences, etc.

Next, you’ll need to figure out how far apart each email will get sent.

It’s okay to send an email once every two days for educational emails, and three to four emails in a single day when you’re running a huge sale that’s about to end. It depends entirely on the goal for your sequence.

You need to find a healthy balance between your “value” emails and your “offer” (sales) email.

The exact number of emails you send doesn’t matter as long as you send more value emails than sales emails. This helps you keep your list from getting burnt out.

To simplify things, you can use the 80/20 rule: 80% of your emails should give value, while only 20% of your emails are about making a sale.

Next, write an outline of your sequence from start to finish, describing what topic(s) each email will cover and the call-to-action for each email. Your call-to-action could be to click on a link, share your blog post on social media, reply to your email, or buy your product.

Here’s an example of a sequence for launching an information product:

Email 1: Introduction and saying thanks for subscribing.

Email 2: Explain why specific topic/problem matters. This helps build the demand for your product.

Email 3: Explain what you need to do to solve the specific problem/accomplish a certain goal. This builds credibility, and you start helping people in advance.

Email 4: Explain how exactly to solve the problem in more details. Transition to the sale and mention you’re launching a new product/program in a few days.

Email 5: Launch your product. Tell your list that your product is live and can be purchased in the next few days. After that, you will close your cart and it won’t be available.

Email 6: Remind your subscribers about the product. Share how many people bought it so far, what other people think about it and how many seats are left.

Email 7: Last day before closing, first email. Tell your subscribers that there are 24 hours left and your product won’t be available after that. Remind them what they’re going to learn in your program and what the benefits are.

Email 8: Last day before closing, second email. Transition more into scarcity and that there are only a few hours left. After that, your product won’t be available.

Email 9: Two hours before closing. This is where you go full scarcity and focus on the change people want to make in their lives. How much do they really want to solve their problem/accomplish their goal?

Email 10: Cart closed. Send an email to explain to users the product is no longer available. Share figures about how many people got into your program. Thank everybody for their support.

Step 3: Write an Autoresponder Series that Converts

Writing the actual emails of your autoresponder series might be the hardest part of this job. You may even want to outsource it to a professional copywriter. However, if you still want to learn how to do it yourself, here’s what you should keep in mind…

  • Focus on the reader first. You should always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours. Offer ways to solve their problems, don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are. Ask yourself, what are the biggest pain points/struggles for my subscribers? How can I solve their current problem in this email?
  • Use personalisation. Personalising the content of your emails will make it so much more relevant and valuable to them. Personalisation goes beyond sticking your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
  • Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient. 

Step 4: Monitor and Improve

Although it is mostly hands-off, an email autoresponder series is not something that you should create one day and then completely forget about the next. To get the best results, you should be monitoring the performance of your emails to identify areas that need improvement. Then, A/B test some changes in order to make those improvements.

Here’s what you should pay attention to when you analyze your autoresponder campaigns:

  • Open rates. Is this autoresponder relevant to your list? Are your subject lines as good as they can be? Are you sending your emails at the best times?
  • Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is the copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?
  • Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually OK because those people probably would never have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails?

Now that you can automate and target each of your email marketing campaigns, you can turn those campaigns into a sales machine!

We are finished!

I hope that this email marketing guide will help to flourish your brand and you have learnt something new today!

I know it can be all confusing at first however we are available to discuss your email marketing strategies. Please visit here to contact us and we will embark on this journey together.

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