Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series about email marketing. Check out Part One from Oct. 19.
In our earlier post, we examined four components of effective email marketing to drive revenue: the Subject Line and Pre-header, the From Name, the Send Time, and the Call to Action. Let’s look at the final five components…
Component #5) Content:
In this case, we’re talking about how your content renders (looks like) in the email. What will your customer see, or not see when they open it?
Bottom line: Plain, black and white text renders (is readable) on pretty much every email platform. Once you introduce code like HTML/CSS, images, video, dynamic code, even links, the reliability of what your customer sees and experiences can vary greatly among email platforms.
The cause has to do with your customer accepting or not accepting HTML coded email, the email platform they use, the age of their platform, whether or not it’s up to date, do they block images, and software updates by either the email platform or the device or both.
The good news is that as long as you keep up with all the rapid changes in email marketing, test your emails, and clean them up before you send them, you can give the majority of your customers a great experience.
Component #6) Segment:
Even if you are brand new, you should be looking to segment your list. This gives you the ability to tailor the right message to the right customer at the right time.
An easy example, if you sell women’s and men’s clothes. Segment your list into men and women. But what if your business isn’t this simple to segment? Give it some thought. There’s is much power in creating the right message for the right market.
For example, while selling insurance I segmented prospects by business owners, professionals (i.e. dentists, lawyer), young family, blue collar, and net worths over $10 Million. Same product but different messages used to get the sale.
Segment your customers and create specific and unique copy that appeals to them and gets them to respond.
Component #7) Survey:
What do your customers want? Ask them.
There are plenty of survey tools out there. Survey Monkey or Typeform are popular platforms you can start with. Listening to your customer is also a proven method to learn what they want.
What do they say about you in your store or at the industry Expo? What do they say online? What do they say to your customer service reps? How do they respond to your marketing and sales offers? Use this information to not only improve your products or services, but also tailor your emails.
Component #8) Offers:
You hear a lot about creating brands and creating a brand image. That’s great for companies like Coke or Apple that can spend billions on marketing, advertising, and public relations each year.
But did you know that you can create a powerful brand with a powerful offer, too?
- The classic example is Domino’s Pizza. “Hot, Fresh Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less, Guaranteed.” They left their competitors in the dust.
- Another powerful offer that helped create a brand? “When it Absolutely, Positively, Has to Be There Overnight” from FedEx.
- Vegas World/The Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas got its start, and was self-financed, with an offer called the “Vegas Vacation Club.” For about $300 you bought a Vegas vacation package that included hotel room, shows, and meals. Plus, you’d get your money back in gambling vouchers. And if you won, they paid you in cash.
Spend some time developing offers and use them in your email. It can pay off big time.
Component #9) Follow up:
The money is in the follow-up. Emailing your customer list is cheap, quick, and profitable.
For instance, I have one client who sold out of their primary product. Luckily, they had two other items that are essentially accessories, which they keep in the back of the shop and never think about. Instead of calling it quits until the new inventory arrived, we put together a simple email for the two accessories and they made a quick $2,300.
Here’s one thing to beware of when you follow-up with email. Do not turn all your emails into “pitch” emails. If all your emails are sales, discount, or promotion related messages, your readers quickly learn to ignore you and ignore your emails.
Instead, find a way to add content to your email mix. Provide useful, entertaining, or helpful emails that engage your customers, builds trust, and encourages reciprocity. It may be challenging to do this in some industries, but it can be done. You just have to come up with a few ideas and try a couple of them to see what works.
You don’t need to have all nine components of email marketing thought out and running if you’re just starting out. Just get the easier ones done first and add in the others when the time is right.