Jumping into the world of email marketing without a well-thought-out plan is business suicide. Regardless of how good your products and services are, if you fail to get them in front of your target audience, you won’t generate any profit.
A lot of time, money, and effort goes into developing a business. It’s safe to say that you’d want to start seeing results as soon as possible. If you’re taking a stab in the dark with your email marketing campaigns and improving everything along the way, it might take years before you start generating a decent return on your investment.
The far better approach is to develop a detailed email marketing plan beforehand. By knowing exactly what marketing message to send to whom, and at what time, you’ll ensure that your email marketing campaigns drive conversions and generate sales.
Every business is different, and the approach you’ll need to take is heavily influenced by the industry you’re in, as well as your target audience. That said, there are a few steps every email marketer should take if they want to ensure the success of their email marketing efforts.
Here is a six-step email marketing strategy template that you can utilize to create high-converting campaigns and maximize your email marketing revenue:
Grow your mailing list
Set your campaign goals
Map out the entire sequence
Segment and personalize
Optimize your open rates
Monitor the performance of your campaign
Even a perfect strategy won’t do you any good if you have no one to send the emails to. The first step, before you start fleshing out your campaign, is developing mechanisms to grow your email list quickly and reliably.
There are plenty of absolutely amazing businesses out there, with excellent offers and no clue how to get them in front of their target audience. Just slapping an email newsletter opt-in form in the footer of your site won’t do the trick. In exchange for their contact information, you need to give your website visitors a lot more than a simple promise of sending them emails about new offers and deals.
You need to create a compelling free offer that will provide a ton of value to your target audience, making it worthwhile for them to agree to receive promotional emails from your business. That offer is called a lead magnet.
Anything can be a lead magnet, so long as it’s free, relevant, and valuable to your target audience. The idea behind a lead magnet is to provide value to your potential customers before asking them to commit to a purchase.
The type of lead magnet you’ll be offering largely depends on the industry you’re in and your audience’s wants and needs.
Here are a few of popular lead magnet ideas:
eBooks, whitepapers, or PDF reports
Free consultation calls
Quizzes and surveys
Regardless of what you choose for your lead magnet, it needs to meet the following criteria:
It’s easy to consume — Nobody wants to spend half an hour going through your lead magnet. You don’t want them to waste time on the “opt-in bribe,” either. Avoid 30-page PDF reports — keep the lead magnet short and to the point.
It’s relevant and actionable — Make sure the lead magnet covers a topic that’s relevant for your audience. Provide them with actionable steps that can help them solve a problem or get closer to fulfilling a goal.
It’s immediately available — Don’t make them wait 15 minutes to receive the lead magnet via email. Give them instant access as soon as they click the “submit’ or “download” button.
Keep in mind that your goal isn’t for the person to digest the lead magnet and never interact with your business again. While the lead magnet needs to provide actionable information, it shouldn’t attempt to solve all of your audience’s problems for good. You want the lead magnet to explain what they need to do, but have your product or service be the how.
Here’s an example — say you’re in the weight loss niche. You don’t want the lead magnet to be a 30-day exercise video course. The lead magnet should be something along the lines of “Three foods that fast-track your weight loss.” It’s relevant, actionable, and helpful, but it doesn’t solve all the issues they’re facing. It’s just enough to pique their interest and make them more receptive to your offer — say a paleo recipe book or a customized diet plan.
When you have a decent amount of email subscribers, you can move on to thinking about the different types of campaigns you’ll be running. The end goal of an email marketing campaign doesn’t necessarily have to be converting a subscriber into a customer. Often, you’ll have a subscriber go through two or three different campaigns before they’re ready to make a buying decision.
The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t start selling right off the bat. You want to dedicate the first few emails to strengthening your relationship with the subscribers, building brand awareness, and providing them with value.
This process is called lead nurturing. The idea is to build credibility, showcase to your subscribers that you’re an expert on the topic, and earn their trust by clearly demonstrating that you genuinely want to help them rather than just sell them a bunch of products.
After they develop the habit of opening your emails and interacting with your business, they will be much more receptive to your offers, and it will be easier to convert them into paying customers.
If your goal is to nurture the leads, you should create a welcome email series that features a ton of valuable content — links to relevant blog posts, stats and graphs, industry news and updates, etc. You want to avoid hard-selling in this campaign. Instead, use CTAs that will get the subscribers to visit your website or blog and prompt them to interact with your business more often.
The goal of your email marketing campaign should be aligned with the subscribers’ current position in your marketing funnel. Someone who just joined your mailing list likely won’t be ready to click that “buy now” button. Likewise, a subscriber that’s at the bottom of the funnel and has already clicked a bunch of CTAs and engaged with your business is one step away from buying. They’re expecting to receive enticing offers that will facilitate the buying process.
Here are a few types of email marketing campaigns you should implement into your business:
Standard promotional campaign
Cart abandonment sequence
Post-purchase drip campaign
It’s important to realize that you shouldn’t stop sending emails after you get the conversion. If anything, it’s easier to generate repeat business than to acquire a new customer.
Some time after the purchase, you want to re-engage your customers and introduce them to other offers and complementary products they might be interested in. This is the best way to maximize your email marketing ROI and skyrocket your profits.
Before you sit down and start writing the emails, you need to figure out what your sequence will look like. This involves everything from the number of emails in the sequence and the sending times to the goal and the CTA of every single email.
There is no universal rule you can follow here — it all depends on the goal of your campaign, your niche, your target audience’s preferences, the amount of content you can share via email, the number of different products and services you want to promote, etc.
To map out the email sequence, you need to sit down and ask yourself the following questions:
How long should my sequence be?
What is the purpose of this email campaign?
Which segment of my audience am I going to be targeting?
What CTAs will my audience respond to the best?
How often should I send the emails?
Every email in the sequence needs to have a purpose, and it has to be logically connected to the previous one. The campaign needs to have a cohesive story, whether it’s:
Educational — covering the audience’s problems, pain points, wants, and needs
Promotional — talking about a specific product/service or a line of products
You don’t want to jump between a dozen different topics in one sequence. Every email needs to be a logical continuation of the conversation between you and the subscriber that’s taking place in their inbox.
While there is no uniform way to map out an email sequence, there are a couple of things you want to avoid at all costs.
You want to avoid flooding subscribers’ inboxes with promotional messages. While there is no consensus regarding the email campaign timeline, it’s an unwritten rule that you shouldn’t email your list every day. For educational sequences, it’s alright to send an email every other day — as long as they’re packed with relevant content.
For promotional campaigns, it’s best to go with one email every three days, unless you’re running a time-limited sale. Seasonal campaigns, such as the ones you’d send during Black Friday, bend the rules a bit and provide the best results when there is no “downtime” between the messages.
The point is, the length of the sequence and the sending time depend on a variety of factors. Still, as long as you mix-and-match value and promotional emails, avoid coming off as a spammer, and don’t force the sales, you will see the results.
Most people will tell you that consumers today expect content and promotional offers to be personalized according to their interests.
This is only technically true. People opt-in to your mailing list because they’re interested in the topic your business covers. They expect to receive promotional emails related to that topic. It would be a bit weird to start promoting women’s dresses to men who have subscribed to your mailing list by downloading your “Top 10 used cars you can buy for under $1,500” lead magnet.
Personalization and segmentation don’t stem from what your customers expect. These two practices have come to the forefront with the advancement of email marketing software. Marketers use them simply because it makes sense to offer people what they’re most likely interested in.
Advanced email marketing software can track how each of your subscribers engages with your emails, as well as monitor their online behavior — what pages of your site they visit, what ads they click, how much time they spend on consuming each piece of content, etc.
You can — and should — use these parameters to your advantage and customize your campaign using specific events and triggers. This is where segmentation and personalization come into play.
You don’t want to send dull, generic emails to every single subscriber. There’s no need for someone to receive all 15 emails in your welcome sequence if they’ve already clicked on three CTAs, clearly showing that they’re interested in learning more about your product.
You should define which actions signify the transition from one stage of your marketing funnel to the next and have the email software move the subscribers that meet the criteria to a different email sequence.
Here’s how segmentation would work in practice, using an example of an e-commerce store:
You send a welcome email that provides the subscriber with a discount they opted-in for
You keep sending promotional emails
If they don’t open three emails in a row, you move them to sequence B
If they do open the emails, keep them in the current sequence (sequence A)
If they open the emails and click the CTAs, move them to sequence C
If they visit a specific product page, move them to sequence D that promotes that particular line of products
If they reach checkout, but fail to complete the purchase, move them to a cart abandonment sequence
We understand that this might sound a bit complicated, but with the right email tool, you just need to define these triggers that will move people between different sequences, and the tool will handle the rest.
Even though it will take a bit more time to write a dozen different sequences, your efforts will pay off big time in the long run. When you send the right message to the right person at the right time, the chances of converting them into a paying customer will skyrocket.
When it comes to maximizing the profits you generate from your email marketing campaigns, there are no shortcuts. You will need to take full advantage of segmentation and personalization and get the right offers in front of every segment of your target audience.
In order to maximize the ROI of your email marketing, you need to do everything in your power to ensure that your emails actually get opened and read.
There are multiple factors that can impact your email open rate, including:
Every ESP (Email Service Provider) has a built-in spam filter that helps ensure unwanted emails end up in the spam folder, rather than in the inbox. Naturally, you want to avoid this at all costs.
Here are the best practices you should follow to optimize your deliverability:
Send emails only to people who have opted-in to your mailing list
Send from a verified domain and a good IP address (one that hasn’t been used to spam people in the past)
Avoid spam words in your subject lines — free, discount, act now, buy, call, order now, click here, don’t delete, etc.
Refrain from using deceptive subject lines
Show your subscribers how to whitelist your emails
Include an unsubscribe button in all your email communications
There’s no point in sending emails to people who will never open them. If someone hasn’t clicked on at least one of the fifteen emails you’ve sent them, chances are you’re never going to convert them into a customer. There’s no reason to keep sending them promotional emails, then.
It’s always a good idea to remove inactive subscribers from your email lists. You can determine the time frame yourself, but generally, if someone hasn’t engaged with your emails in three months, it’s safe to say label them as inactive.
While deleting inactive subscribers won’t directly increase the number of email opens, it will improve your email open rate percentage-wise. The higher your open rate, the better. A high open rate signals to your ESP that your subscribers actually engage with your emails, which results in a higher sender score.
When you’re perceived as a reputable sender and not a spammer, more of your emails will reach the subscribers’ inbox.
You should also experiment with different subject lines and times of day to figure out what works best for your audience and what drives the most engagement. Another thing to keep in mind is that your emails need to be well-optimized, meaning that the messages should adjust to fit the screen size of the device the subscriber is using.
When choosing an email automation tool, always go for one with advanced reporting and analytics capabilities. It’s paramount that you keep an eye on the performance of your campaign and tweak it along the way.
There’s no reason to wait until the end of the campaign to figure out whether a certain approach works. Tracking your open, bounce, and click-through rates in real-time will let you know exactly which emails the audience responds to the best.
You can also leverage A/B testing alongside tracking to try out different CTAs, visuals, email copy, and subject lines and see what gets the most engagement.
Testing different approaches and monitoring your campaigns’ performance will provide you with invaluable insights that will help you optimize your email marketing efforts and maximize your conversions.
For someone who’s new to the email marketing world, the process of planning out and setting up a successful campaign can look extremely complicated. But it doesn’t have to be!
With the right tools at your fingertips, you can create high-converting email campaigns in minutes. Our email sequence creator features an intuitive UI and an easy-to-use email builder, allowing you to craft visually stunning, compelling HTML emails with next-to-no effort.
Unlike most autoresponders out there, the Sell SaaS software allows you to send unlimited emails to your subscribers. The tool also features segmentation and personalization options and automatically tracks bounce, open, and click-through rates.
The best part about our software is the fact that it’s fully white-label. This means you can both use and resell it! Just add your company name, logo, and colors to the software, and you can start reselling it right away under your own brand.
Not only will you be able to craft compelling emails in minutes with our software, but you’ll also be able to leverage it to create an additional revenue stream and skyrocket your profits!
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