How to get more leads part 5 – Email Marketing
Email is still a primary lead source for many businesses and it is only getting bigger in its potential. Email has the largest adoption rate of any technology, I honestly can’t think of anyone I know that doesn’t use it. Many of us have two or three email addresses – personal and work as a minimum.
So how do you get the most from your email campaigns and ensure you can deliver positive ROI time and time again?
Don’t go small
Small email campaigns rarely work, just sending out 100 unqualified/untargeted emails to old and unknown contacts rarely generates much interest.
Actively capture emails
Have an email sign-up form on your site that captures first name, last name and email address. Quick and simple – you can segment them further at a later date.
Learn to segment your data
Data segmentation is an essential skill in today’s world and is often much easier than you realise. Most email platforms allow you to slice and dice your data appropriately based on open rates, delivery success, previous interests and so on.
An example of this maybe as simple as sending two emails – the first email offers blue widgets the second email offers red widgets. You will be able to build a number of segments based around those who showed interest in only blue, those who were interested in red, those who were interested in both and finally, those who didn’t open either.
Add a profile page
Profile pages are a great way to learn more about your user and email base. Start learning about all the great additional information you can use to define and refine your messaging further such as gender, hobbies, interests, age, marital status etc. Users will often give you this information as it benefits them in the long term. Just don’t abuse that trust.
Promote your USP/offer
You have 50% off or are offering a 30-day free trial with full access – whatever it may be, ensure that it is the focus of the email: from subject line, to content, to landing page. Don’t leave it to chance, don’t try to reinvent the wheel, be obvious.
Use a strong CTA
Having clearly defined your USP, follow it up with a positive and clear call to action. If you want them to call you then add your phone number. If you want them to email say that and if you want them to click through to a landing page or product, again, make that clear.
Test your email for every device
Make sure your email is compatible with desktop, tablet and mobile, use a responsive design. Responsive is not a buzzword marketing term, it should be ingrained at the heart of your digital strategy. For example, many road-based sales consultants will have access to their email via both their phones and laptops. The mobile might be where it is opened first and a decision made as to whether it should be deleted or not. Many consumers with a Gmail or Hotmail address may well be opening them on their phones whilst watching TV.
We can see that the opening of email on mobile devices has outstripped that of desktop and did so three years ago!
A/B test everything
Never assume anything and test everything. Try sending out two versions of your email with different subject lines and then analyse to see which got the best open rate and so on. The experiments can be simple or complicated, but only ever test what you can efficiently test and report on.
Integrate with analytics
Make sure you integrate emails with your analytics package by tagging the links with campaign data. This will make post-click analysis easier. For example, Google Analytics allows you to do that via the URL builder tool. This means that all your email campaigns will appear inside the campaigns section under acquisition and if you have set up your goal tracking and ecommerce correctly you will be able to see what sales were generated and how your email traffic interacted with your web content.
Use active/fresh data
We are not saying you should or shouldn’t go out and buy a huge amount of data – that is entirely up to you and your business/marketing strategy. However, what we are advocating is keeping your data sources fresh, making sure they are active and accurate and definitely, if nothing else, relevant! Don’t go using two-year-old solar installation data for an IT and computer hardware campaign, it won’t get you very far except for being delivered into every spam folder.
We just mentioned keeping your data fresh and accurate but that isn’t always all that easy and you don’t want to discover how accurate your database of 5,000 records is after you have hit send! Data cleansing is essentially where you call all the contacts on the list and try to verify the accuracy of the data you have and where possible update it. A long job but one that could pay off…
Develop a lead nurturing strategy
This can be an exceptionally daunting prospect, the planning and resources required for a nurturing campaign can appear to be quite large. However, if you approach it from a logical and methodical process it will evolve quite naturally.
Investing in a marketing automation suite is often the first time many will start to deliver on such campaigns but many email platforms also offer a workflow system that will allow you to run simplified multi-email campaigns that will deliver a similar process to the prospect.
As with anything, take the time to way up all the pros and cons to understand what is right for you and your company.
Send at the right time
There are more than enough articles on the internet on this topic with some promising the keys to the heavens and others just debunking all of it as mythology. The truth lies somewhere in between and there is certainly an ideal time to send your emails, but that will be unique to you and your customer base. Test, test and test again. Try different messaging and offers on different days and see what resonates well with your audience. Also apply some logic to it and look at your scheduling calendar. If you are offering a free trial of some sort maybe consider sending that email earlier in the week so the prospect can maximise the trial time. If you do send it out on a Friday then change the message to make the following week the focus.
Personalise your email
You have some great data on your prospect and with technology today there is no excuse for not personalising your email experience, include their name and address in the email to them.
Nothing says “trust me” like making it easy to opt out of the email subscription. If someone opts out then honour it and don’t keep sending them email.
When you are adding links to your email, take the time to consider the path they will take the user on, don’t send everyone to the home page. For example, if you are offering a free white paper download then send them straight to the download, don’t send them to another page and hope they will find their way there.
Ultimately, email, like most channels and strategies, is about delivering the right message at the right time to the right person. By taking the time to do the planning and preparation you can increase your chances of this being the case and in turn boosting your open rates, click through rates and finally your enquiries.