One of the biggest mistakes that you can make with your email marketing is to simply throw it at people and say, “Hey, you know what? You should totally subscribe to my email list because…” Well, you get the idea.
What you want to do is improve the conversion rate of your list. In other words, you want to get people to convert from a passive collection of email addresses to a motivated group of people who are interested in what your offering, and want to hear from you, the marketer.
To get started, you need to ask yourself the tough questions. What is my goal? What actions can I take to get there? What do I want my subscribers to do after they sign up?
Once you have an idea of the answer to these questions, you can move on to the next step, which is analyzing your existing email marketing.
Existing Email List
Before you begin your email list building process, you should have already started from step one, and developed a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve. Now, you’re going to take that idea and you’re going to execute it. For this step, you want to look at what has already occurred, and figure out how you can improve on it.
Here is where you get into trouble, because a lot of businesses, particularly those who are just getting started, don’t understand the importance of looking at things from a data point of view. They will look at their list, and go through it top down, telling themselves that they need to send messages to their most engaged audience. But what they really need to do is look at the data and see which of their offers their audience is responding to or engaging with the most. This type of analysis is the key to getting a high quality list.
To make this easier to understand, let’s take a common example: say, you decide to become a makeup artist/spa owner. You have a few products that you feel are perfect for the niche, and so you create a few demos, and send them to your email list, along with a few offers for a free consultation or a 15% off promo code.
After you’ve done that, you’ll have a couple hundred subscribers, and you’ll feel great about what you’ve built. But, did you really improve your odds of success with that list? Did you really increase your revenue? Did you really expand your customer base?
If you looked at that list, and you said, “Great! I sent out a couple hundred emails to my subscribers, and I feel like I’m hitting the nail on the head, because I got a few sales, and a few people asked for information about the services that I offer.”, then you would be wrong. Because, at that point, you’re essentially doing the same thing you did in step one, and you haven’t improved your conversion rate at all. You’ve just increased your open rate, which is a fancy way of saying, “I sent a lot of emails, and a lot of people saw them.” If anything, what you’ve done is weakened your position.
What you want to do instead is look at your list, and see what you can learn from it. You want to find the common themes, find the patterns, and use this to your advantage. For example, if you find that a significant amount of people on your list are interested in skincare, you might decide to create a series of email courses on the topic, using an autoresponder to build credibility and trust with your audience. Or, if you notice that a lot of your subscribers are based in the UK, and you’re an American-based business, you might want to consider testing various pricing structures to see which ones perform the best in attracting and retaining an audience.
Once you have that list, you can begin to segment it, and find the common themes. For example, you might decide that young women are your primary audience, and you can create a dedicated list for them, with customized offers, based on their specific interests.
What Interests My Subscribers?
Just because your subscribers have an email address doesn’t mean that they have the same interests as you. To find out what interests your subscribers, you want to look at what is going into your email templates, and what you’re using to qualify an email address for subscription. There are three ways to do this:
- Demographics: Is the person subscribing based on their gender, age, or location?
- Psychographics: Based on their interests, hobbies, or lifestyle
- Behavioral: Based on previous purchases, or the pattern of their behavior
For example, if you notice that a significant number of your subscribers are located in Asia, and you’re an Australian business, you might want to consider adapting your offers, and creating content specifically for them, such as an e-book on the topic of doing business in Asia, or creating a special-edition podcast for them, that focuses on what they want, need, and how you can help them.
These are just a few examples, of how you can begin to tailor your content, based on what you learn about your audience, and what they want, need, and how you can help them. This is a big key to effectively using customer analytics, and improving your conversion rate.
How Do I Want My Subscribers to Act After They Subscribe?
Once you have a clear idea of your goal, and you segmented your existing email list, based on what you learned about their interests, you can create a clear plan for the rest of the conversion funnel. This is crucial, because if you’re not careful, going from a successful launch to a quiet success can turn into a total failure, when you don’t continue to develop and tweak your strategy, based on what you learn about your audience, along the way.
To find out how you want your subscribers to act after they subscribe, you want to look at the last thing that you did, before they signed up for your email list. This is typically the first thing that people do once they see your offer, whether it’s a free trial, or a discounted rate. So, if you’re considering a free trial for your product, you want to make sure that you have a clear plan in place for how you will engage with them along the way, and convert them into paying customers.
For example, if you have a free trial, and you want to up-sale the product after they’ve tried it out, you can use a tool like GetMoreVisitors, to get them to the next stage of the conversion funnel. Or, if you notice that people are struggling with the idea of purchasing your product, perhaps you can create a more immersive experience for them, by sending them a personal email, or an in-app message, with a bit more information about the product, along with a unique voucher, that they can use to get the full experience.
How Can I Measure the Success of My Email Marketing?
Just because you have a large, and potentially profitable, email list, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to see significant results, right away. Just because you can measure something, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to improve. To see significant results from your email marketing, you need to look at the small stuff, along with the large.
To measure the success of your email marketing, you want to look at three things:
- Open Rates: The percentage of mailboxes, out of all the mailboxes, that you are able to successfully reach, with your marketing.
- Click-Through Rates: The percentage of times, out of all the times that your email was opened by a recipient, that you were able to induce them to click-through to a particular link, or download a particular file. This is commonly measured by placing a simple tracking pixel, or small text file, on a page, that is either linked to a sign up form, or a download.
- Conversion Rates: The percentage of people, out of all the people who you’re sending messages to, that you’re able to convert into paying customers.
If you’re looking to expand your email marketing efforts, but don’t know where to start, try out this simple beginner’s guide, to get you started.