The size of the internet is tremendous. Compared to two decades ago, it can seem almost infinitely bigger. Of course, the internet has changed a lot of the past 20 years, and so have a lot of the marketing techniques that came along with it. A lot of older marketing techniques are being replaced by new, robust methods that make the marketing experts of 20 years ago look silly. There is, however, one method of internet marketing and audience engagement that has not only stood the test of time, but grows exponentially every year: email marketing. Email marketing is a term that almost seems archaic, but time has shown that is one of the most reliable and efficient means of spending your marketing dollars.
“44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email”1
According to a study done by the Redacti Group, the number of email addresses as of 2013 totaled 3.6 billion, and is expected to reach 4.3 billion by 20162. With that in mind, how can we make sure our email marketing efforts aren’t being wasted? Well, everything we do in this game is for conversions, so I am going to share you with my top 5 tips for increasing email conversions!
1. Consistency – Consistency is a very touchy, and arguably one of the more important factors when it comes to setting up an email marketing campaign. Should I email three times a week? Should I email once a week? Once a month? These are all very good questions and rely entirely on your market and demographics. For example, with an information based product or site, I would send newsletters (in the form of informational articles) every 3 days like clockwork. If you provide an expensive B2B service or product, you might want to limit the emails to once a week. As a general rule of thumb, unless you are running a special promotion, I would not email more than three times per week, and hardly ever should you email on back-to-back days. As long as people are enjoying the content, an email every 2-3 days will hardly ever feel like spam. It is also important to note that once you reach a certain consistency, it’s important to stick with it – your audience will grow to expect those emails and missing a few newsletters can be all it takes for them to lose interest.
2. Focus – Not focusing your email newsletter is one of the biggest issues with email marketers today. This issue manifests its self in several ways; sometimes it can be way too many calls to action, too many calls to action on separate (and even unrelated) products and services, or by not just having a central message to the email. You do not want your newsletter to look like the front cover of a pop culture magazine, with unrelated tags laid over each other just to grab the attention of those passing by. Your readers are already engaged with you and already want to hear what you have to say — so give them what they want!
3. Dedicated Landing Pages – Another major mistake that the average email marketer is guilty of is not having dedicated landing pages. It is extremely common for businesses to use call to actions contained within their newsletters as just ways to promote their websites home page. An even better idea, would be to link your viewer to the specific page of what you are specifically talking about. So if you are talking about a range of a few new products, each one should have a link directly to its own page. An even better idea still would be to go the extra mile and create newsletter specific landing pages, so people who click and use that link within that newsletter will access a special part of your site that would be otherwise inaccessible. Here, you could give a promotional code or a special offer to even further increase your conversion rates.
4. Segmentation – While you and the business you represent have an average demographic, it’s important to remember that you are emailing individuals who are completely different from one another. For example; instead of a major clothing company emailing the entirety of their list about an upcoming clothing sale promotion, they could perhaps send a special newsletter highlighting women’s sales items to women and have a separate newsletter highlighting men’s sale items to men, or perhaps you sale industrial equipment and one region of your sales area could benefit from a completely different set of accessories over another. The more you can target your newsletter, the better your conversions are going to be.
5. Experimentation – Not experimenting with your newsletters is, in my opinion, the biggest mistake one can make with operating a newsletter marketing campaign. People, especially those in business, tend to find a place where they are profitable and are doing well and then coast on that for as long as they can. It’s important to try new stuff, to see what works and what doesn’t, and to test and track your efforts along the way. For example, segment an email marketing newsletter, and then write a different subject line for each half of the total list you are emailing, or you could change the way you present your information entirely – the opportunities are endless. Experimenting and trying out new things is how we overcome sales plateaus and how we innovate and invigorate our businesses, so I can assure you that if you aren’t experimenting – your competition is.
Email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping-it-simple is one of the best techniques you can follow in operating a successful email marketing campaign. And even though it is one of the more archaic forms of marketing on the internet to date, a high quality and well done email marketing campaign can be an incredibly fruitful source of residual cash flow to your business!