Tag Archives: email marketing

Drive Your Business Forward With Drip Marketing

Have you ever put a bucket under a leaky faucet or pipe?  If you have, you know how fast that bucket can fill up.  That’s the principle behind drip marketing.  A powerful sequence of automated emails can do many different positive things for your online business.

Would you like 18 times the revenue that you are currently making?  According to the email marketing firm Emma, relevant targeted emails get 18 times more revenue than non-targeted broadcast emails.  That’s what’s behind the power of drip marketing.  Drip campaigns have delivered a 119% increase in click-through rates, and you know that high click-through rates generally mean high revenue.

So, what is a drip campaign?  It’s an automated series of emails that you send out to your email list.   What advantages does a drip campaign offer you?

  • It’s an automated way to welcome new subscribers.
  • It gives you an opportunity to orient your new subscribers to your list and business.
  • It’s a great way to nurture new leads.
  • It’s a great way to build engagement with your business.
  • It will cut down your unsubscribes because you have given your new subscribers a good taste of what they will receive from you.
  • It can help you reactivate portions of your list that haven’t been responding.

Here’s a helpful infographic on drip marketing from Pardot:

Drip campaigns to not have to be as complicated as the process above suggests.  Here’s a simple drip campaign that you can set up right away:

How to Set Up a Drip Campaign

  1. Get crystal clear on the objective of your drip campaign.  What is it that you want to accomplish?
  2. Identify your target audience.
  3. Focus on how you can build your relationship with your target audience through your drip campaign.  One of the best ways to do this is to create great content that meets a need for them.
  4. Create a message for your target audience.
  5. As with all emails and content, create great headlines that compel your audience to read what you’ve written for them.
  6. Sequence a series of messages into an automated campaign using your autoresponder.

When can drip marketing be most beneficial for your business?  Here are some drip campaigns that you can do:

As you can see, drip campaigns can be used at many different points in the customer lifecycle. 

One of the best uses of drip marketing is to new subscribers.  If new subscribers are immediately thrown into your email list without any orientation to what you’re doing for your list, it can be disorienting.  It’s like coming into a conversation that’s been going on for a while before you arrived.  They’re coming in midstream without any direction from you as to what you’re talking about.   What you need to orient your new subscribers is a drip campaign.

Drip Marketing To New Subscribers

Drip campaigns can be used with new subscribers and segmented audiences of your existing email lists.  Here’s how to do drip marketing for new subscribers.

  1. Send a welcome email is immediately after a new subscriber joins your list.  Provide a link to the lead magnet that enticed them to sign up.  This confirms their email address and gives them what they asked for.  In this email, it’s good to explain what your business is about and request that they whitelist you so that your emails don’t end up in their spam folder.
  2. Send your second email to your subscriber one to three days later.
  3. Send a third email to your subscriber one to three days later.
  4. Continue to send emails to your list on a regular basis for as long as your list is responsive.  You can determine this by watching the open rate of your drip campaign.  If there’s a big falloff or a number of unsubscribed after one particular email, it’s time to either rework that email, drop it from your drip sequence, or stop your drip campaign before that failing email.

7 Tips For What Not To Do With Your Drip Campaigns

The following is true for all your emails, but is particularly important for your drip campaigns since your drip marketing efforts can otherwise be so beneficial.

  1. Poor subject lines will kill any campaign.  If you open rate is low, it’s time to rewrite your subject lines.
  2. Make sure that your campaign is about your audience and not you.  They are the people that you have to please, so make sure that your content meets their needs.
  3. Stay on message.  Every drip campaign should have a theme based on the desired outcome of the campaign.  Stay laser-focused on that theme and don’t deviate from it.  You lose the objective when you confuse your readers with content that’s off your theme.
  4. Avoid using words or phrases that trigger spam filters.  Hubspot offers this helpful list:

Email Spam Words to Avoid

Commerce

As seen onBuyBuy direct
Buying judgmentsClearanceOrder
Order statusOrders shipped byshopper

Personal

Dig up dirt on friendsMeet singlesScore with babes

Employment

Additional IncomeBe your own bossCompete for your business
Double yourEarn $Earn extra cash
Earn per weekExpect to earnExtra income
Home basedHome employmentHomebased business
Income from homeMake $Make money
Money makingOnline biz opportunityOnline degree
OpportunityPotential earningsUniversity diplomas
While you sleepWork at homeWork from home

Financial – General

$$$AffordableBargain
BeneficiaryBest priceBig bucks
CashCash bonusCashcashcash
Cents on the dollarCheapCheck
ClaimsCollectCompare rates
CostCreditCredit bureaus
DiscountEarnEasy terms
F r e eFast cashFor just $XXX
Hidden assetshidden chargesIncome
Incredible dealInsuranceInvestment
LoansLowest priceMillion dollars
MoneyMoney backMortgage
Mortgage ratesNo costNo fees
One hundred percent freeOnly $Pennies a day
PriceProfitsPure profit
QuoteRefinanceSave $
Save big moneySave up toSerious cash
Subject to creditThey keep your money — no refund!Unsecured credit
Unsecured debtUS dollarsWhy pay more?

Financial – Business

Accept Credit CardsCards acceptedCheck or money order
Credit card offersExplode your businessFull refund
Investment decisionNo credit checkNo hidden Costs
No investmentRequires initial investmentSent in compliance
Stock alertStock disclaimer statementStock pick

Financial – Personal

Avoid bankruptcyCalling creditorsCollect child support
Consolidate debt and creditConsolidate your debtEliminate bad credit
Eliminate debtFinancially independentGet out of debt
Get paidLower interest rateLower monthly payment
Lower your mortgage rateLowest insurance ratesPre-approved
Refinance homeSocial security numberYour income

General

AcceptanceAccordinglyAvoid
ChanceDormantFreedom
HereHiddenHome
LeaveLifetimeLose
MaintainedMediumMiracle
NeverPasswordsProblem
RemoveReversesSample
SatisfactionSolutionStop
SuccessTeenWife

Greetings

Dear [email/friend/somebody]FriendHello

Marketing

AdAuto email removalBulk email
ClickClick belowClick here
Click to removeDirect emailDirect marketing
Email harvestEmail marketingForm
Increase salesIncrease trafficIncrease your sales
Internet marketInternet marketingMarketing
Marketing solutionsMass emailMember
Month trial offerMore Internet TrafficMulti level marketing
NotspamOne time mailingOnline marketing
OpenOpt inPerformance
Removal instructionsSaleSales
Search engine listingsSearch enginesSubscribe
The following formThis isn’t junkThis isn’t spam
Undisclosed recipientUnsubscribeVisit our website
We hate spamWeb trafficWill not believe your eyes

Medical

Cures baldnessDiagnosticsFast Viagra delivery
Human growth hormoneLife InsuranceLose weight
Lose weight spamMedicineNo medical exams
Online pharmacyRemoves wrinklesReverses aging
Stop snoringValiumViagra
VicodinWeight lossXanax

Numbers

#1100% free100% Satisfied
4U50% offBillion
Billion dollarsJoin millionsJoin millions of Americans
MillionOne hundred percent guaranteedThousands

Offers

Being a memberBilling addressCall
Cannot be combined with any other offerConfidentially on all ordersDeal
Financial freedomGift certificateGiving away
GuaranteeHave you been turned down?If only it were that easy
Important information regardingIn accordance with lawsLong distance phone offer
Mail in order formMessage containsName brand
NigerianNo age restrictionsNo catch
No claim formsNo disappointmentNo experience
No gimmickNo inventoryNo middleman
No obligationNo purchase necessaryNo questions asked
No sellingNo strings attachedNo-obligation
Not intendedObligationOff shore
OfferPer dayPer week
Priority mailPrizePrizes
Produced and sent outReserves the rightShopping spree
Stuff on saleTerms and conditionsThe best rates
They’re just giving it awayTrialunlimited
UnsolicitedVacationVacation offers
WarrantyWe honor allWeekend getaway
What are you waiting for?Who really wins?Win
WinnerWinningwon
You are a winner!You have been selectedYou’re a Winner!

Calls-to-Action

Cancel at any timeCompareCopy accurately
GetGive it awayPrint form signature
Print out and faxSee for yourselfSign up free today

Free

FreeFree accessFree cell phone
Free consultationFree DVDFree gift
Free grant moneyFree hostingFree installation
Free InstantFree investmentFree leads
Free membershipFree moneyFree offer
Free previewFree priority mailFree quote
Free sampleFree trialFree website


Descriptions/Adjectives

All naturalAll newAmazing
CertifiedCongratulationsDrastically reduced
Fantastic dealFor freeGuaranteed
It’s effectiveOutstanding valuesPromise you
Real thingRisk freeSatisfaction guaranteed

Sense of Urgency

AccessAct Now!Apply now
Apply OnlineCall freeCall now
Can’t live withoutDo it todayDon’t delete
Don’t hesitateFor instant accessFor Only
For youGet it nowGet started now
Great offerInfo you requestedInformation you requested
Instantlimited timeNew customers only
NowNow onlyOffer expires
Once in lifetimeOne timeOnly
Order nowOrder todayPlease read
Special promotionSupplies are limitedTake action now
Time limitedUrgentWhile supplies last

Nouns

Addresses on CDBeverageBonus
Brand new pagerCable converterCasino
CelebrityCopy DVDsLaser printer
LegalLuxury carNew domain extensions
PhoneRolexStainless steel

That’s quite a list, and I don’t understand all of the words and phrases, but it gives you a good idea about what to avoid.

5. Do not EVER use ALL CAPS.  It is ANNOYING to read, and this is also a spam trigger.
6. Create and maintain the right frequency of emails for your campaign.  One of the benefits of a drip campaign is staying top of mind with your list.  Finding the right frequency for your campaign emails will help you stay top of mind without annoying your list with too frequent emails or too many emails.
7. As with all your content, proofread until you’re sure that what you’ve found and corrected your mistakes.  Misspellings and grammatical errors can hurt your reputation with those who you are interested in reaching for your business.  (I hope that I adequately proofread this!)

If you are already doing drip campaigns, what has worked best for you?

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

Why Are You Losing So Many Email Subscribers?

 

People really don’t generally enjoy buying from complete strangers, especially online.  Who can they trust, anyway?  Email marketing is a way to help others know, like and trust you.  There’s no better way to market online than using email.

But you can work hard to build  your email list only to see it shrink as subscribers opt out.  What can you do?

First, the good news.

  • My favorite stat: for every dollar spent on email marketing, there is an average of $44 dollar return on investment. (Source: Campaign Monitor, 2016)
  • One reason that the ROI on email is so high is that email marketing is so cost-effective.  Once built your list, you can send any number of emails to your subscribers for the single cost of maintaining your account with the company providing your autoresponder.
  • Plus, email marketing is measurable.  After each email is sent, you receive the numbers: how many opens, how many click-throughs, and how many sales.  Tie your email campaigns to Google Analytics and you have an even deeper array of statistics.
  • Worldwide email use continues to climb.  According to Statiista, the number of e-mail users worldwide is expected to grow to 2.9 billion users by 2019. (Source: Statista, 2016)
  • Gmail alone has over 1.2 billion active users.  Gmail alone is a huge marketplace.
  • There are more emails and email users than ever, and open rates have increased on a year-over-year basis (up from 31% to 34.1%).
  • 91% of Americans use email every day.  72% of adults in the U.S. say that they prefer emails from companies that they do business with.  Consumer email accounts made up the majority of US email accounts in 2016, representing 79% of US mailboxes. (Source: Radicati , 2016)
  • Of the 35% of US retail email list subscribers who are customers of the retailer they received an email from, 15% made multiple purchases. (Source: eMarketer, 2016)

Why is email marketing so powerful?  Because it is a direct connection to prospects and buyers.  Through email marketing you have direct access to those who have expressed some level of interest in what you have to sell.  They may have responded to your lead magnet, your website, or your social media presence, whatever way they found you,  they have self-selected to be in direct connection with you.

Now, some bad news.

  • Click through rates have declined (from 3.5% to 3.1%) according to a Q3 2016 review of benchmarks by Epsilon. (Source: Epsilon, 2017)
  • I picked this up from Inc.com: “According to a recent study from Campaigner, nearly half (49 percent) of consumers say they receive too many emails from business owners and marketers. In fact, according to the survey results, many consumers would like to receive far fewer emails than what marketers send on average. The Campaigner researchers found that about three in 10 consumers (29 percent) would like to hear from a brand once per month or less.”  We’ll delve into this shortly.

Let’s start here…

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Losing Subscribers

  1. The reality is that if Ernest Hemingway were doing email marketing, he would lose subscribers.  It’s a natural part of the business, so don’t obsess about it.  Instead, keep producing great content that will build your subscriber base.
  2. People sign up to your list for a variety of reasons.  They may decide at some point that you are not a good fit for them for whatever reason.  Don’t worry about it.  Instead, focus on the subscribers who are still with you.  How can you meet their needs?
  3. Some subscribers are tire kickers and lookie-loos.  They were never interested in buying anything from you anyway.  They grabbed your freebie, and now they’ve off to get someone else’s freebie.  There’s nothing you can do for them than what you’ve already done.  It’s not you, it’s them.

On the other hand…

What can you do?

  1. Determine the right frequency of emails.  I generally email twice a week, some email five or more times a week.  What frequency is best for you?  If you email too little, you’re leaving money on the table.  Your subscribers may forget who you are.  🙁 If you email too often, you can annoy your subscribers, get spam complaints and unsubscribed.  Find the right frequency and your email marketing can be extremely effective.
  2. Use your unsubscribers as a means to better understand your list.  Did you get an unusual number of unsubscribes after a particular email?  Maybe what you sent just didn’t appeal to your list.  You can’t know for sure unless you ask them, but you can get a feel for your list by how they respond to your emails.
  3. Going along with #2 is this: are you meeting the expectations of your subscribers?  They signed up for your list for a reason.  If you’re not meeting their expectations, they will leave.  One way to disappoint your readers is to create blog content that doesn’t meet their needs.  Why did they sign up with you in the first place?  Are you staying true to why they signed up to your list?
  4. Write better subject lines!  Subject lines are significant for your open rates.  Boring, trite, cliche, common subject lines can kill your open rates.  If you don’t have it yet, get my free headlines report for help with this.
  5. Poor copy is another reason for unsubscribes.  Once you’ve got them to open your emails, how good is the writing inside?  Are you giving your subscribers sufficient value to keep them coming back to you?  Or are you pushing them away with mediocre or bad copy?
  6. Are you selling too much in your emails?  if you are constantly haranguing your subscribers to get the sale and they’re not ready to buy from you, their response may be to unsubscribe.  When they’ve done that, you’ve lost your opportunity to ever sell to them again.  They may come back, but don’t count on it.
  7. If you aren’t providing sufficient value to your subscribers in your emails, blog posts, and other means, subscribers will leave.  Give them good solid content in your emails and at your website and subscribers will be more likely to stay with you.  Make Mention gives three essentials for content marketing: Relevance – your content must interest your readers, Applicability – your content needs to give them something they can use, and Originality – your content mustn’t be repetitive; make it fresh and interesting.  Take the time to produce a new take on something of value for them.
  8. Long emails will frustrate some subscribers.  If your long emails are not sufficiently interesting, some won’t bother to read them and others may choose to unsubscribe because of them.
  9. Consider what makes your emails stand out from the other hundreds of emails that land in your subscriber’s box.   Seth Godin talks about The Purple Cow.  He takes something boring (a cow) and spices it up with an unusual color (purple), and it stands out.  What can you do that makes a positive impression on your subscribers and keeps them opening your emails?
  10. Are your emails mobile-friendly.  More and more content is being consumed on mobile devices.  If your emails aren’t easily read on cellphones and tablets, you’re losing out to competitors whose content is mobile-friendly.
  11. Are you using images in your emails.  I’ll admit, I don’t do this a lot, but I have used GIFs (animated images) on occasion.  You can  boost interest in your content with images.
  12. Do your emails have an easily understood reason for being?  Will your readers quickly pick up the reason that you are emailing them?  If your emails meander around rather than get to your point, you will lose readers.
  13. Always, always, always include a call to action.  What action do you want your readers to take once they’ve read your email?

Those are my best tips for holding onto the subscibers who have joined your list.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

Who Are You Trying to Reach?

 

In today’s post, we are designing an integrated marketing strategy using two of the best ways to connect with prospects and customers on the internet, social media and email.  The goal is to present a consistent and engaging digital presence for customers and prospective customers.

One of the essential steps for creating a profitable business is identifying your best target audience.  A second step is figuring out how to reach them.  Social media can be an effective avenue for reaching your target audience.  Campaign Monitor offers a quick and easy snapshot of users for five of the most popular social media platforms.   As they say, teaming up social media with email marketing can be one of the best ways to achieve success in digital marketing.

Social Media Targeting

Let’s start with identifying who we can best reach using the best social media for our target audience.

From Campaign Monitor:

Facebook: Users are of all ages, income, and education levels.

Instagram: Most popular with college-educated women, 18-29-year-olds.

Pinterest: Most popular with women age 18-49 with varied education and income.

Twitter: Most popular with college-educated 18-29-year-olds that make $75,000+.

LinkedIn: Most popular with highly-educated 18-49-year-olds making $75,000+.

Which social media platform will best reach the best target audience for your products and services?  One or more of them might jump out at you right now based on the short snippets above about their users.  Otherwise, it will take some experimentation on your part.  As you use social media for your business, which one or ones give you the best response?

Consider this: according to Statista, an estimated 2.77 billion people will be using social media by 2019.  The Radicati Group estimates that there will be 2.9 billion people using email by that same date.  Linking the two provides you with an incredibly big potential audience,and pool of prospects.  With social media, you can broadcast your message to billions of people, and with email you have the opportunity to present your message over and over again to a subscriber base that has chosen to receive your message.

What actions do we want to encourage using social media?  Number one is getting people to sign up to your email list.  If you haven’t already done so, add a sign-up page to your business’ Facebook page.  If you don’t have a business Facebook page, get one and post to it regularly.

Another platform for grabbing email subscibers is Twitter.   Here’s a great infographic from SocialQuant that shows you how:

Let’s go throught the steps in the process.

  1. Tweet your lead magnet offer.  If you’re not sure what a lead magnet is, go here.  In your tweet, offer your lead magnet and provide an url to a landing page for your lead magnet.
  2. On your landing page, have a place for responders to enter their email address in exchange for your lead magnet.
  3. Provide value for your lead magnet is what you do before you offer it to anyone!  Make sure that your lead magnet is valuable enough to spur interest in your business.
  4. Once you have secured email addresses, email your leads with great offers.
  5. Use regular emails to your subscribers to turn them into customers.  How?  See below.

This process will work with any social media that allows you to send prospects to a landing page.  For more help with this, go here.

Adding Email To Your Marketing Mix

Once we’ve found our best prospects, how can we best market to them?  This is where email marketing comes in.  I’ve said it before – email marketing is king over all other marketing methods, delivering a 3800% return on investment.  That’s a $38 return for every dollar invested, according to VentureBeat.   Here’s another important stat for you: email is 40 times more effective for acquiring new customers than social media, according to management consulting firm McKinsey and Company.  When you combine social media with email, you’ve broadened your reach significantly.

Delivering the right message at the right time to the right people is the way to succeed in marketing, and using email to deliver that right message is your best option.  This is why building a list with an automated service like AWeber is so important.  The more on your list, the more money you will make, if you are doing email marketing correctly.  How do you do email marketing correctly?  Let’s look at three types of emails to send to prospects and customers.

  1. We’ll start with transactional emails.   A transactional email is an automated email that is sent when someone does something, like provide their email address on a landing page.  Their action triggers an automated email response from you.Transactional emails get opened eight times more often than other emails.  These automated responses could be from someone requesting your lead magnet, or making a purchase.  There are a variety of actions that can trigger an automated email response.  Your work at this point is to have your automated email responses ready to go and ensuring that those responses are written to build your reputation and future engagement with you.
  2. Second, create an automated sequence of follow up emails for your new subscribers.  In this sequence, introduce yourself and your business.  Best practices call for at least two different sequences – one for prospects and another for customers.  Have a clear idea of what you want your follow up emails to do.  Here are a few ideas from Active Campaign:Your follow up sequence is evergreen content.  The follow ups will go to your new subscribers and customers and the information inside will not go stale over time.  This is much different than broadcast emails.
  3. After your follow up sequence is completed, send broadcast emails out on a regular basis to your subscribers.  Regular means different things to different internet marketers.  Some send out every day, others once a week or less.  Find a frequency that works for you and your subscribers.  If you get a lot of unsubscribes, that could be an indication that you are emailing too frequently or not enough.What are broadcast emails?  They are emails that you send to your entire list, or a segment of a list, for time-sensitive promotions, newsletters, or perhaps a digest of recent blog posts and/or promotions.  The key to broadcast emails is that they demand immediate action.

That’s it.  Combine social media and email marketing to achieve great results.  If you’re already doing so, tell us how it’s working for you in the comments section.  If you need help using social media for your business, click here.

I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

 

How To Maximize Your Sales With Confirmation Pages and Emails

According to digital strategist Aviva Pinchas, “confirmation emails may be the least developed customer touch point.”  Most confirmation emails are about exciting as the receipt you’re handed when you buy something at your usual bricks and mortar store, which is not exciting at all.  Text-only confirmations are boring and miss one of the best opportunities you have to invite additional purchases.

Experian Marketing Services reports that “transaction-related emails, triggered by customers’ buying behavior, can provide marketers with great opportunity for improving customer service, gaining repeat sales and deepening customer engagement.”  Isn’t that what you want for your business?  If so, read on.

If you are looking for exceptionally high open and click-through rates, your confirmation emails are where you will find them.  According to Experian, open rates for transactional emails, that is those related to purchases, shipping, return, or exchange are incredibly higher than for your typical broadcast emails.  Look at these stats from magemail:

Your confirmation email will be read, so why not leverage this opportunity by putting something in it about products and services related to your customer’s purchase?  It’s the perfect place for cross-selling, so why not strike while the iron is hot?  As with all your marketing, the goal is to make your confirmation emails memorable.  Here are 12 tips to get the most bang out of your confirmations.

12 Tips for Maximizing Your Confirmation Pages and Emails

  1. Don’t forget to say thank you for the order.  Do this at the top of the page as Gilt does in the following example.
  2. Consider where the transaction fits into your sales process.  Is it an opt-in to your email list, a registration to a webinar or other event, a request for product information, a sign-up for a trial, or a purchase?  Use your confirmation to set the terms of your relationship and clarify expectations.  Tailor each confirmation to the specific action that your prospects or customers have taken and the actions that you’d like them to take in the future.
  3. If the confirmation is following a purchase, make sure that order information, including shipping information, is prominent.  This is what your customers are expecting and this is a bad place to disappoint them.   Website navigation buttons are also a welcome part of a good confirmation email.  Did you notice how Gilt did that in the confirmation page above?  The following email example includes all kinds of great information including sidebar product suggestions along with shipping information.
  4. Experian offers a caution on placing offers in your confirmation emails – the Can-Spam Act in America forbids including the offer in the subject line or in a priority position in the email.
  5. Make your confirmation page or email highly visual.  It shouldn’t look like a receipt from your local hardware store.  It should be visually engaging, like the following example.
  6. If a customer is not yet on your email subscriber list, include a link so that they can opt in.
  7. Include links to your social media pages.  Did you know that 46% of online users rely on social media when making purchase decisions?  Social media is another great way to strengthen your connection with your customers.  Here’s how Pottery Barn encourages social media engagement AND promotes a sale:
  8. Getting a new customer can cost as much as seven times more than gaining repeat business from an existing customer.  Plus, new customers spend less than half as much as existing customers.  Use your confirmation page or email to upsell or downsell.  If you are going to use a recommended products sidebar, eCommerce consultant Blue Stout recommends featuring no more than five products.  Notice how many products are in Wal-Mart’s sidebar in the next example.
  9. Share useful content in your confirmation pertaining to the purchase.  Add a call to action like, “Get Started,” “See How,” or “Learn More.”
  10. One of the best ways to encourage repeat business from your customers is to offer a discount.  10% off is a powerful incentive for many buyers.  For a limited time offer, a bigger discount coupled with the time pressure can be a strong incentive to buy.
  11. Reward your customer base with incentives to spread the word about your business, products, and services.  Testimonials and referrals are powerful social proof that will help you build your business.  The New York Times reports that 65% of new business comes from referrals.  Neilson reports that in one survey they conducted, 92% trust referrals from someone they know.   Notice how Dollar Shave Club solicits referrals in the following confirmation.
  12. Product reviews can also be influential in the buying process.  Consider this:

    Here’s a great example of how to ask for a product review:

Those are my 12 best tips for maximizing the potential of your confirmation pages and emails.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

3 Ways to Connect with Your List

Your email list is the most valuable part of your online business, and the connection that you make with your list is what determines how valuable your list is to you.  But how do you build relationships with those who have joined your list?

The problem we have to overcome is that world we live in is inundated with an overwhelming amount of advertising messages. Just by taking a walk down to your nearest coffee place, you’ll be greeted with adverts at the bus shelter, promotional signs displayed in shop windows, and don’t forget the ads on your cell phone when you’re browsing web content or using apps.

Too many businesses are competing for a share of your time and attention, and your prospects and customers are not different.  Emails can become just one more part of the avalanche of messages that descends on our subscribers.  The cold truth is that most potential customers do not listen to us if we fail to get their attention in a meaningful way.

There are a number of ways to break through the avalanche and ride above it.  Here are three of the most powerful ways:

1. Be useful or be amazing

Say you’re in business selling pencils. Well, pencils are useful so it shouldn’t be too hard to reach out to your target audience, right? But consider pens, markers and other pencil sellers that make up your  competition.

How are you going to make your pencils stand out among all those other businesses? The key is making a strong connection with your potential customers so that you are the one that they prefer to deal with.   Good branding means that you are front of mind when someone is looking for what you’re selling.

Good branding comes from good products coupled to good marketing.  Take for example, soft drinks.  What comes to mind when I ask what would you like to drink?  Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, or Dr. Pepper?  There’s a fancy marketing term for this – it’s called an “evoked set.”

What it means is the group of brands in a product category that consumers remember at the time when making a purchase.  Being in an evoked set is crucial to building brand loyalty in the long run.  When your products are useful or amazing, or both, and your marketing matches the quality of your products, your email list will be your best asset for finding buyers.

2. Take Time to Connect

The best step to take to connect with your potential customers is to build your relationship with them through regularly offering them valuable content.

These days, utilizing social media is one of the most powerful ways of communicating and this popular choice can help you make the positive connection that will build your business.

Because of its 24/7 accessibility, plus the reasonable cost factor (free to economical), social media can be a great part of your marketing mix.  I believe that all online businesses should use social media extensively to establish and grow an online presence beyond a basic website. But this requires a consistent investment of time as you build traction initially, and keep that momentum going through regular messages.

3. Lock Your Brand into Front of Mind

To be found online by your best target audience, it’s important that you develop and share content that is popular with members of your target market.  Different demographics exhibit different behaviors and have different interests in your published content – harness this to your advantage by segmenting your traffic and capitalizing on what content is popular with each segment.

We covered some of this by talking about evoked sets above, and as you grow your following, let’s consider how to keep your brand in the minds of your list.  One way is by simply observing what interests them and creating more content around their interests.  This is can be simply done by noting what topics generate the most email opens.  The more that you can help your list by creating valuable content that matches their interests, the more you will become a front of mind brand.

Collecting prospect data to gain insights on how  your products and services are viewed can give you helpful  insights for your marketing efforts. To get this data, you need a way to discover who is visiting your site, how they’re getting there, what they’re interested in, etc. to maximize performance of marketing efforts as well as make the necessary improvements to your products and services.

If you’ve built a WordPress site, much of this information can be gleened by plug-ins like Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.  But beware that passive data collection, although fast and convenient, can alienate customers and potential customers.

Passive data collection is when you capture user preferences and usage behavior without involving any consumer interaction, like cookies to capture internet browsing history. For those who regularly review and delete cookies, your passive data collection may not be appreciated.

Fortunately there are other ways to get this information, but unfortunately, your prospects and customers must be willing to cooperate with you by providing it.  You can involve them and provide transparency in your methods to learn more about them by using quizzes, polls and surveys with an email to follow up on the improvements you plan to make in time to come. When your customers feel like they’re being heard and that their opinions matter, you can be sure of their loyalty.

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.