I’m going to be straight with you. The title of this post is not accurate.
But I’ll tell you why later.
If you do it right, email marketing is the most powerful tool in your sales armoury.
Once someone has gobbled up your fantastic lead generation report in exchange for their email address, they are open to a continual warming up via email.
The sole purpose of your follow-up email marketing campaign is to reinforce the message in your lead generation report, reminding your prospect of the problem they face and building the feeling in their mind that you are the solution to that problem.
So your email marketing campaign must be absolutely spot-on. This means considering some key components very carefully. The decisions you make around these areas will be the difference between success or failure in skyrocketing your conversion rate.
1. Frequency of delivery.
The Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, can be applied in many situations. In online marketing, it means that 80% of your profit will be generated by 20% of your customers.
This principle is important when considering the frequency with which you email your prospects.
The “safe” frequency often advised is three times per week. Others will recommend twice per week, still others will say just once per week.
Then there are those who say email your prospects every single day.
So what frequency should you actually be using?
Ultimately that will depend on you and the testing you do. However there is one important consideration to bear in mind which relates to the Pareto principle.
If you’re trying to be safe, minimising the amount of people who unsubscribe, you could be harming your conversion rate in favour of maintaining a higher subscription rate.
Let’s look at hitting them with a daily email. Yes a lot of people will unsubscribe. Not everyone will like your style or your content, nor ultimately want what you have to offer.
But by ruthlessly weeding out those who are not ever going to be committed to the sale, you leave yourself with a massively motivated list of people. This will allow you to speak directly at those people, through highly targeted language which you know stands a good chance of working, rather than using a broader brush to try and encompass everyone.
Alternatively, you could decide a long slow warm up could convert people who at the time of subscribing had no intention of buying from you.
Frequency is a big issue. Consider it carefully and test, test, test.
2. Captivating subject lines.
A subject line telling people you are running a “20% off special offer for three days only” the day they download your free report will usually turn them off. People hate being marketed to directly these days, especially hard and fast.
You need to “hook” people in. This means using a captivating statement or question, to make them click to open and read your email, then take action to learn more and build desire.
Obviously this subject line will be closely tied to the content within the email and the outcome you want from the reader.
3. Linking the theme throughout.
For an auto responder follow-up sequence, a tight topical link between each email is essential.
If your subjects bounce all over the place, people will get confused and lose their focus.
At all times look at why that person read your lead generation report. Keep in mind what they are looking for and make sure your emails weave together an ongoing theme or story, as well as making an individual point within each one.
Let’s use the cheesy old example of Star Wars.
Although each film is a self-contained story, there is a larger story which runs through all of the films. That story is about the Skywalker family and the twists and turns of the battle within it.
This is the approach you need to take with your follow-up email sequence. Look at each email as a self-contained piece, a post in your fence, but ensure there is a bigger story that is ongoing, the linked chain.
4. Length of each email.
Just like frequency of sending, this is a topic around which you will find much debate and no clear answers.
Some people will tell you long copy works, some people tell you short copy works. There is a lot of research out there however which suggests anything more than 300 words will be skimmed over.
So ultimately it’s your call. But it should be your call taken solely on information you see through your subscription, read and unsubscribe rates.
Should you personalise each email? The answer has to be yes…if you can and if you feel it’s important.
You see, it mostlt depends on if you have that information the first place. Ultimately, there is a trade-off between making subscription as quick as possible, against information you gather during that process.
A lot of marketing landing pages literally just ask for an email address, making it impossible to address someone by name anyway.
Consider your audience. Are they likely to supply a real name? Is getting a name more important than them thinking “long form, bye bye.” and clicking away?
6. How should you structure each email?
As well as making each one a self-contained piece, with the ongoing major story running through it, you need to think about the format of each email.
There are many ways you construct your emails, but my advice would be to mix things up to keep it fresh.
For example, a question and answer email can be great. Using a popular appeal story to hook people in can work, using motivational quotes or videos is great. A provocative question or seeking answers can work.
However you structure your campaign, the aim has to be to keep people interested, engaged and increasing momentum towards a purchase.
Okay, now it’s time for me to tell you why the title of this post is not accurate.
There are only six key things you must include in your follow-up email marketing campaign.
Sorry about that. But there is a seventh thing you need to consider and it’s the most important.
7. Do not ever directly sell in an email.
Yes, that’s right, the seventh key thing is a don’t ever do.
And it really is that simple. Making blatant pitch after pitch in your emails will drive people away from you, not towards you.
You are warming people up, provoking them to make their own decision, increasing their desire to solve the problem, making them feel valued and in control.
The better you do this, the more you will sell to them, more often.
So have I missed anything? I’d love to hear about the successes and failures you had with your own email marketing campaigns, so let’s talk in the comments.
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