In late 2016, I decided to experiment with a new type of content: emails. Not quite sure how else to describe them, other than to say they are like digital letters that you send to people who have already shown interest in your product or service. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be a sales email, where you’re promoting a particular product but also including some helpful tips on how to purchase it. That’s essentially what you’ll find in most of the emails I sent out. But instead of focusing on selling a product, I opted to focus on sharing useful information that I hope would help the reader achieve some success.
Here’s the kicker: I spent almost no money on these emails. In fact, I spent less than $5 total on subject lines, email design, and a handful of blog posts. So what did I do? I used a free tool to build custom emails with a fun, engaging tone that would hopefully resonate with my audience. Then I segmented that audience based on a free tool called HubSpot. Within a week, I had 20 new leads which, considering I had only built the campaign for marketing purposes, was pretty spectacular.
Why Are Companies Emailing Potential Customers?
In the last few years, we’ve seen consumer brands experiment with various types of content, from text-based articles to videos, to take advantage of these larger-than-life platforms and gain more engagement with their audience.
But with that growth has come complexity. Companies now have more channels than ever to reach customers — and with that, the need to further segment and customize each message to have the greatest impact.
How Do I Make An Email Marketing Campaign Work For Me?
So how do I make an email marketing campaign work for me? Let’s take a look. First off, I’ll focus on segmenting my audience, since that’s probably the biggest key to making email marketing work. It’s all about targeting the right audience with the right content, at the right time, through the right channel.
I use HubSpot, which is a marketing automation tool. It allows me to build email campaigns that are highly segmented and allows me to target the right audience with the right content, at the right time, through the right channel. The nice thing about HubSpot is that it allows me to test different tactics quickly and easily. So I can try out different headlines, offers, and subject lines to see which ones perform best.
1. Interest-Based (LIKES⇒DISLIKES) versus Need-Based (NEEDS⇒NANCY) Segmentation
When you’ve got a product that you think could help a lot of people, it’s natural to want to segment your audience so that you can target the right person with the right content at the right time. Remember, with any marketing campaign, you’re trying to gain as much interest as possible within your target audience so that you can convert them into paying customers. So it’s essential that you find the right balance between creating interest and satisfying the need.
While it’s great to aim for both, in most cases, you’ll find that segmenting your audience into two distinct groups — those who have shown interest in your product and those who haven’t — is enough to satisfy the need of your target audience. To do this, you’ll want to use an analytical tool like Google Analytics to gain some insight into the types of people who have visited your website and the kinds of content they’ve interacted with, either positively or negatively.
2. Find The Tropes That Work
In most cases, we’re all aware that headlines work better for some articles and videos than others. But aside from the obvious fact that photos of cats are more likely to attract animal lovers than investors, we sometimes struggle to find the right tone and content for our emails. As a business owner, you’re under a lot of pressure to come up with a compelling offer and interesting content, and sometimes this means sacrificing appropriate tone, language, and engagement with the reader.
When you find the right email template that you think will help your company the most, it’s essential to test it out to see if it works. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to find a new offer or content that would resonate more with your audience.
3. Customize Email Content Based On User Behavior
Once you’ve found the right offer, headline, and template, the next logical step is to personalize the content. In my case, I found myself in a bit of a pickle. I already had a fairly generic email template that I thought would work with a product that provides employees with a daily schedule and helpful alerts, so I tried to find content that would be of interest to at least some of my audience.
But what if my product wasn’t quite as helpful as I’d hoped? Would the content inside that email still hold value for my readers? As a test, I split my initial email list into two groups: those who had expressed some interest in my product and those who hadn’t. Then, I modified the content of my emails to each group to figure out which bits worked best.
To find interest-based triggers, I looked at the previous clicks and interactions on my website. With a few simple questions, I was able to pinpoint key moments when someone had decided to interact with my content. For example, maybe they’d visited a specific blog post, gotten an insight from an online video, or checked out a helpful guide. When I found these triggers, I was able to craft a content strategy, determine the main offer for my product, and build an email marketing plan.
4. Measure The Effectiveness Of Your Campaign
Now that you have an idea of your target audience and have personalized the content, you can determine whether or not this was a success. Fortunately, you don’t need a complex tool to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. For business owners, marketers, and content creators, Google Analytics offers a free plug-in that can help you determine the impact of your efforts. Simply visit your GA account and look for the “Open Rates” section. This is where you’ll find information about the open rates — or the percentage of emails that were actually opened — for each of your campaign variations.
You can find this information for all of your campaigns and get a clear picture of the success of each individual campaign, eliminating the need for random guesswork, endless back-and-forth, and trial and error. Armed with this data, you can make informed decisions about whether or not to keep pursuing a particular marketing tactic.
So how do I make an email marketing campaign work for me? Interest-based segmentation, targeting the right audience with the right content at the right time, through the right channel, and measuring the results of your efforts. As the old saying goes, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” With that in mind, it’s time to stop guessing and start measuring. And when you do, you’ll discover that there is a method to the madness.