Email marketing is not dead. It’s getting stronger by the day. But, you must understand how to use it to drive revenue; you have to get the email marketing mix right.
Yes, there is a science to doubling your sales with email marketing. The key is to be intentional, calculated, and purposeful. This obviously goes against conventional wisdom (of keeping up with the Joneses), but, trust me, this approach works. Like charm; like forever. Long after traditional wisdom has gone belly-up.
So, What Does Intentional Email Marketing Look Like?
What does it mean to double your sales with email marketing? Is that goal even possible? Is email marketing as effective as it used to be?
Suffice to say, email marketing works and you’re better off becoming intentional at it.
Some quick questions before I move on:
* Are you a small business owner who wants to double your sales with email marketing?
* Are you currently frustrated with your email marketing results? Having a bad hair day because of this?
* Do you often think there is a better way to do email marketing but just don’t know where to begin?
I’ll urge you to continue reading if any of the questions apply to you. You’ll find help in this article.
5 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Results
1) Use Emotional Stories
I have known Terry Dean for close to a decade and a half. I consider him as one of the pioneers in the Internet Marketing arena. One of the lessons I learned from him, just when I was getting started, was to engage my audience with emails that tell stories.
He believes storytelling makes email marketing campaigns work. And that stories provide a strong foundation for effective communication.
For email, he says, “the easiest type of story to get started with is a case study. Contact some of your happy customers and find out how they found your product and what results they have from it. Is anyone using what you sell in a unique way? Those are obvious stories to start with and perfect for proving both the problem your product solves and the promises you make.”
You can read more about his views on email storytelling in this interview.
Stories that connect follow the challenge, struggle, and resolution plots. It usually starts with a protagonist who’s got a challenge (it could be poverty, lack of good food, clothes, relationship, just about anything). The protagonist then struggles with the challenge, searches desperately for a solution, goes through the depths of despair and hopelessness but refuses to give up. This then leads to a resolution (a brand that provides clothes for big people, sells healthy food, or ethically matches shy people up in relationships).
We all love such stories; we connect with them; we easily remember them. They aptly describe the human experience (which we are all subject to).
Want more examples of storytelling in emails? ReferralCandy has 24 examples worth considering here.
2) Be Worth Reading
Be interesting. People joined your email list to connect with you as a person. So, let your personality shine through your communication. Your emails don’t have to be full of ‘corporate mumbo-jumbo.’ Adopt a laissez-faire attitude. Make room for spontaneity. Let your hair down and be a real human being (depending on how far you’ve predetermined your brand can go).
You definitely don’t want to sound boring; you want subscribers to read your emails, you even want them to look forward to your emails, so, inject some personality into them.
People buy from people they trust but an emotional connection precedes any form of trust. Use interesting emails to build that connection. This applies whether you’re a B2B or B2C retailer.
Want some proof? John Sherer, a director at Appcues, a user experience software, is living proof. He shares his thoughts in this post on how adding personality boosted his email response rate by 50 percent.
Trust is essential in email marketing. Let’s just say it’s the currency that dominates the world of email-powered transactions. One effective way to maintain the trust reposed in you by subscribers is to provide content that meets their needs, preferences, and interests. Try to meet the aspirations that prompted their subscription.
As a subscriber, I’d sure be frustrated if a marketer continually sends emails that just don’t speak to me (in a deep and satisfying way).
Segmenting your email list enables you to serve subscribers excellently. It enables you to provide just what they need in terms of content. It enables you to send the right message at the right time to your targeted market or segment. It improves the chances of subscribers moving further along the conversion path.
Dave Chaffey is a veteran in the digital marketing space. He discusses 6 traditional segmentation approaches in this post. He says retailers can segment their lists along the following lines:
- Customer profile characteristics (demographics)
- Customer value – current and future
- Customer lifecycle groups
- Customer behavior in response and purchase (observed and predicted)
- Customer multi-channel behavior (channel preference)
- Customer personas including psychographics
When done right, email list segmentation is powerful. Here are 10 case studies to prove this.
This goes beyond using basic information like the customer’s first and last names. Personalization, alias one-to-one-marketing, works. It boosts your sales by six times. Here are some more statistics to prove this.
Interestingly, marketers don’t often use personalization. It could be due to fears that they’ll have to restructure their entire database, when, in reality, a few changes could go a long way. It might also be due to a little confusion surrounding the implementation of personalization techniques.
But, you can choose to be different. This post is after all about intentional email marketing. You can decide to personalize and get the support of your team. Improve your sign up forms to ask questions that are more relevant (though you might not want to go overboard with this). It’s important to strike a balance between being personal and creepy.
You can now personalize emails by using time and location, buyer personas, as well as behavioral emails (with the right technology). Subscribers would appreciate such as they are more likely to meet their needs and lead to brand advocacy.
5) Focus on One Result Per Email
Experts say humans are not very good at multitasking. Arthur Markman is a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He says, “dividing attention across multiple activities is taxing on the brain, and can often come at the expense of real productivity.”
I’ve found the same to be true in my life. I tend to perform better when I’m solely focused on one task per time.
It’s the same when it comes to email marketing. Having a single focus per email is important. You definitely don’t want to send an email that requires a subscriber to do five different things! Now, that’s an overkill. You’re better off with a single focus. One result. One task. One call-to-action. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Georgiana Laudi, Vice President of Marketing at Unbounce, concurs in this post.
She says, “marketers often try to do too much in one campaign email (presumably because they don’t want to have to send more than necessary in fear of unsubscribes). Trying to accomplish too much in an email is asking readers to do too much work to decipher if your email is relevant or not to them. One CTA linking to one landing page (too, with one CTA) clarifies your offer and makes it easier to convert.”
So, which of these hacks are you going to start with? To avoid overwhelm, I suggest you pick one at a time and work them for effective results. Don’t try to do too much at a time. The trick is to stay consistent. You can then explode your sales intentionally.