Introduction

You have customers and they want your products. How are you going to get it to them? Email.

“95% of companies using marketing automation are taking advantage of email marketing.” 

– Regalix

Key takeaways

  • Email marketing is KEY to automated sales
  • It’s way easier than you think
  • Shiny widget syndrome; don’t get confused by all the tools

“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.” 

– David Newman

It’s more than simply ‘growing your email list’

Yes, it is important to grow your list of email addresses and leads. But it’s important to realise that’s only part of the solution; it’s not the be all and end all. Just because your email list is large doesn’t mean the money will start rolling in. Thinking like that is only going to lead to disappointment. So whilst there is truth in the common internet marketer statement “There’s money in the list”, it’s more about the looking after and nurturing of that list. It’s not about the size of the list, but about your relationship with the people in that list.

Email marketing is far from dead, emails are the way to talk to your leads and customers. People look at SEO, social and PPC as the three most powerful ways to find customers. But the concern there is that every one of those platforms is owned by somebody else. If all your marketing eggs are in the Facebook basket, you’re in trouble if Facebook turns around tomorrow and totally change how businesses can promote on Facebook.

With an email list you have and own the database, and you have and own your list of leads and customers. You can talk and communicate with them whichever way suits you. Software like MailChimp and ActiveCampaign means you can easily automate how often you talk to customers and convert them into sales.

“A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.” 

 Ramsay Leimenstoll @gluedtoapost

Remember, customers do actually read emails. If you’re worried about spam, remember what spam actually is. It’s unwarranted, unwanted, unhelpful and invasive emails. That’s not your game plan. That is, you’re not planning on sending those types of emails, right? Of course not.

Think of it this way. If you got an email every hour and every time you opened it, you made $1, you would literally BEG for those emails to come through. On the other hand, if you got an email every month and it was just trying to sell you something, you’d get bored and probably unsubscribe. It’s not about the quantity of the emails you send. If they’re all valuable to the recipient, then they will not get upset receiving them, no matter how often you send them (within reason, of course). If you can, hand on heart, say that emails you send are worth (at least) $1 in value to the recipient, then that’s not spam. No matter how often you send them.

So, think about how much value you want to send to your list and simply deliver that.

“Email marketing offers the best return on investment ever.”

– Aaron Agius

What usually goes wrong?

Not building new leads

Building fresh leads is the key to email marketing. Your strategy to building email marketing must have an email and lead capture process.

It’s so important to find and capture more leads and emails because it gives you a better idea of what people want. For example, some of our lead magnets just don’t convert traffic into leads. Whereas others capture emails like mad. We then have proof that people are looking for certain solutions or messaging that connects with them.

“Focus on growing your list all of the time as newer subscribers are more engaged adding to healthier open rates and ROI.”

– Karl Murray

Fear to start

The most common problem with email marketing is when people have a small list (say just 4 or 5 people) and they don’t want to start marketing to such a small number. For some reason they think it’s embarrassing or a waste of time.

In fact, the opposite is true, you need to start early and get your message out there as soon as you can. If you don’t, two things are going to happen.

  1. Your list is going to forget who you are. If you decide to email them when you’ve got 100 people, the original subscribers will have long forgotten about you. When you do email them, you’re never going to get a return from them.
  2. The reasons to start are never going to be compelling enough and you’ll never start. Is 100 people enough? 1000? If you’re unsure of what to do now, why would you be any better in 96 subscribers time?

Bite the bullet and start talking to your list now. Learn from your mistakes early and grow your database before emailing larger lists. Your list doesn’t know they’re only 1 of 4 people. Start talking to them now and get used to the process.

Sending dull emails

Without a doubt, the worst offence you can commit with email marketing is boring emails. Truly, nothing gets people to unsubscribe, forget or plain hate you than a dull email.

Stay away from standard subject lines and email headers. Say interesting things, be different and make it REALLY clear who you are and who is sending the emails.

If you honestly don’t think your emails are worth a $1 in value – don’t send them. You’d be better off writing an open letter to your list, telling them what you’ve done this week and the blog articles you’ve read, than just sending blog posts via email for the sake of it.

“For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.” 

– Experian

So how do we crush email marketing?

Value stack emails

Givers get. It really is that simple. If you give as much interesting and useful content away as you can – you’ll be rewarded in kind. If you want more sales, show people how to make sales.

Value stack emails are a method of layering up or ‘stacking’ the value that your subscribers get. If they sign up to a guide on flower arranging, then make sure the following emails that they get are based around flower arranging.

Send blogs, videos, articles, curated content letters etc. The more varied the better. It’s a safe bet that if someone wants information on Cup Cakes then sending them more content on Cup Cakes will do you well.

Eventually, you’ll want to move them into other silos. Ask them what they want to look at next or think about the next logical step. For example, people interested in Cup Cakes are also likely interested in making confectionery, baking, kitchenware etc. So reach out to them and see what they want help with next.

These are free, easily accessible pieces of content. No sales made yet, we’re just trying to show how useful and helpful we are.

Sales emails

Sales emails sounds like a tacky 80’s term. But all we’re really asking is “look, you’ve consumed all this free content. If you’re serious about THIS TOPIC then you need to check out THAT PRODUCT.”

We just look at the next sensible step that a customer could take and offer them that step. If they’ve downloaded and read a lot of posts on cleaning your car, offering them some car cleaning products are the next thing.

People get wound up with sales emails, they think that they’re hard to create. If you sent an email with a massive button saying BUY NOW and a price, you’ll still generate some sales. The problem is that you’d need to have a larger list to make it worthwhile. What we want is more sales from a smaller list.

That’s when smarter sales emails come into play. We use the messaging of “if you’re serious about THIS TOPIC then you need to check out THAT PRODUCT.” After a period of time when we’ve been sending value stack emails, we then send a sales email asking they want to take it to the next level.

Next stage emails

Your email list are going to be at multiple stages. Some are new leads, others have subscribed for a while. Some are customers, others have just bought one product.

How do you move people to a more profitable customer status? If they’re all at different stages, surely an email newsletter once a week isn’t going to cover it all?

Well you’re right and the way to remedy all these different stages is automation. MailChimp has great automation and if you’re looking at more complex products, they’re all about offering epic automation. InfusionSoft, Active Campaign, Marketo etc.

Let’s take a core product customer for example. They’ve just bought a product and you want to grow that relationship. A great way to start is with the cross-sell. For example, if we take someone buying a flat-screen HD TV. Once they’ve bought it, you’ve got a range of options to help them “get the same results”. Items like insurance coverage, wall mounts, HDMI cables etc.

My favourite example of a cross-sell done right was our accountant. After I got them to take a look at our tax returns for the year, they asked us “if this was a real headache for you, why don’t you sign up to our cloud accounting software? It’ll take care of everything on automation”. We signed up immediately because I understood what the benefit was and had a good relationship with my accountant.

Amazon shows this automation off best with their recomended products. They have an automation trigger set up that sends customers an email with products in the same categories. Or, with similar purchasing habits.

Summary

Without a doubt one of our favourite emails is the sales email. There’s something really exciting about writing and crafting an email that could automatically generate sales. We’re often asked, “what if we don’t have a list?”. Well that’s fine, but we’ve found that usually they DO have a list, just not all in one place AND it’s never too late to start. Every business started wit a tiny list.

Takeaway

If your serious about growth with email marketing (and I’m guessing it is if you got this far) then you need to check out our email marketing major do’s and don’ts download. It’s got some great pointers regarding automating and marketing with emails to customers. Sign up below.

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