Email marketing is by far my favourite form of marketing. It is low cost, low effort, direct to your target market, is measurable and delivers a consistently high ROI. Plus you can schedule your emails so all the work can be done in advance!
However, people still struggle with email marketing and I consistently hear stories from frustrated firms who say that they have been sending out an email newsletter to their clients for the past year or so and haven’t got any business from it.
There are some things that they are all doing wrong in taking email marketing and turning it into a conversion marketing machine! Here are the things they are doing wrong and how to fix them.
- Email is all about the numbers
Often they are simply not emailing to enough people. Emailing, while effective is a numbers game. While quality is important (we’ll get to this later), the simple fact is the more people you are talking to, the more return you’ll get. I speak to a number of firms who might only be emailing to 200-500 people that are existing clients or past clients and business contacts.
You need to be adding fresh blood into your email list, and this is where a plan for your marketing via email is critical. How are you going to add more people in? You might have a lead magnet (something of value that the person is willing to give you their email address in return for, such as a free video, training, white paper, template, or checklist). You can set this up on a landing page and then it is up to you the extent to which you promote this. You can do organic promotion via your social media, your website and referral partners or you can use paid advertising such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram ads to get a wider reach faster.
You should also make sure that anyone that enquires with you, gets a quote or becomes part of your network is added to the list also.
2. Segmentation is key with email
One of the arguments that people often make when it comes to email marketing is that they don’t want to bother people or harass them via email. The key here is to ensure that you are segmenting your database. People don’t mind getting emails if they are relevant to them, and we do this through segmenting. Every email marketing software is set up now to help you to segment your database. You might send people emails based on their location, job title, or current services that they use. For example an accountant might segment those that are business owners vs individuals or those that have a SMSF and those that don’t.
Sending a specific and relevant email to a segment of your database will have a better result than sending something generic to everyone. For example a commercial lawyer might write a very informative article about a particular issue that affects those in the building industry. You would then only send this to those that are in the building industry as this will be really relevant and helpful to them. For those that aren’t in the building industry then the email isn’t going to hit the mark, so don’t send it to them.
3. Content is king
The content that you send is key. Make sure that the content is adding value for the reader and is engaging. You can email blogs, videos, links to lead magnets or invitations to an event. Content should be focused on one of four areas of the buyer stages, to drive a specific outcome that you want the email to achieve.
a. Awareness – you want to create content that makes your read aware of you as a provider or of a particular service that you offer. (Remember that so many times we have clients that come to us for one service, and don’t realise all the other services that we provide). So for this you want to create content that showcases another service you offer.
b. Consideration – This is where people are aware of your products and services, but now we want them to get closer to making the decision to purchase. This might be a booking link to have a free initial chat with you. An example of this would be where you run a free webinar on a topic of interest. You email out the invitation (awareness) and then people book. After the event you send another email, this time a segmented email only to those that booked the event and this email is focused on consideration. We invite this group of people who we know are interested in this topic to have a free initial consultation with us. Pushing them through the sales funnel.
c. Decision – if we use the above example of an event where we then follow up with an email for a free chat. A percentage of those that booked the free chat will convert to new business, however, what do we do with those leads that didn’t convert straight away. There are two groups here, one that booked the event, but didn’t book the free chat, and those that booked the free chat but didn’t convert to a sale. In this case we might do a follow up with these ones with another email, but this time the content might be to persuade through social proof. You could send a video testimonial or a video case study with a client demonstrating the value of the service you are offering and how you helped them. People trust other people’s opinions of you more than what you say so these can be really powerful.
d. Retention – it isn’t all about getting new business. Sometimes it is much better to proactively email clients with helpful information and resources to ensure their ongoing loyalty. You can also occasionally ask this group of people for testimonials and referrals that help provide you with leads and content for the other areas of the buyer stages.
4. Call to action
When clients tell me they have been emailing for a year and haven’t got any sales from it, the first thing I ask……’have you asked for the business?’ Your emails need to have a strong call to action. You need to tell people what you want them to do next. ‘Book this meeting’, ‘Watch this video’, ‘Download this template’, ‘sign up for this training’. Whatever it is that you want them to do make it very clear and ensure there is a button. People are busy and while it might seem obvious to you when you send out an email to business owners about the importance of trademarks that this should prompt them into action and they will call you immediately to take action. The reality is that they have 1000 balls in the air and even though what you have written has been compelling they will ‘think’ on it unless you direct them otherwise.
A call to action is not ‘if you have any questions about this, contact us’. If I am reading your email at 10pm on a Saturday night I can’t call you. So I might have diarise it to call you on Monday and then I have to go to your website and find your phone number and then hopefully for you I remember to do this. We want to make it as EASY as possible for people to contact you. I personally really like using a calendar software that allows them to book an appointment directly into your diary. I use calendly.com, but there are a number of softwares out there and they are all pretty similar. You can create multiple booking types for example I have a 15min one, 30min and 60min that are all free and I send these out at different times and in different situations. I also have a paid 60min one for those using my coaching services and this allows them to pay for the coaching session directly in Calendly and then book the appointment. I also have this connected to my zoom account so when someone books an appointment it automatically creates a zoom meeting and sends them the details to connect. This removes all administration tasks for me and makes it very efficient. I also have these links on my website and people regularly go to my website, see the link and the first contact I have with them is when I see a message pop up to say they have booked a call with me.
5. Strategy & Content Calendar
You need to be mapping this out on a monthly basis. You need to look at the different segments of people that you want to be emailing and map out what content you are sending them and what outcome you want from the email. You can then go back at the end of each month and look at the results, and adjust your campaigns for the next month. This will help you see what is working and what isn’t and also help you see smaller milestones rather than just revenue results.
6. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater
If you didn’t get the result you wanted on a particular email then don’t ditch it just yet. There are a number of variables that go into your email and often we don’t know what it is that didn’t resonate with people. It might be the topic, the format of the content, the call to action or that you were sending to the wrong people – ie you were trying to get people into the consideration category when they weren’t really past the awareness stage yet.
You can do AB testing in most email software, and this allows you to have two versions of something, send each to a sample of your list and then the one that has the best response is the one that the remained of the recipients will receive. You do need to have a fairly large email database in order for this to work (around the 5,000 mark). Make sure you only test one variable at a time, for instance you might have two different email subject lines and you are testing what has the highest open rate. Or you might be testing two different button colours inside the email to see which one has a larger click through rate.
Email is a fine art, there are multiple areas that work together to deliver a ripper marketing tool that will outperform most others in your marketing tool box. Of course, if you need help with creating an email strategy you can contact us! Haha just kidding – book in a free 30 min chat with me here to see if we would be a good fit to work together.