You already know the basics of email marketing.
You have an email marketing service provider, such as MailChimp or ConvertKit. You’ve started building up your email list with the help of your lead magnet. You’ve even sent out a few email newsletters.
But you can’t escape the feeling that you could be doing more with your email list.
You’ve heard that the money’s in the list, but nothing’s happening yet. Your list isn’t generating any sales. In fact, only a small percentage of your subscribers are opening your emails. And of that percentage, an even smaller number of subscribers are following your calls to action (i.e. clicking on the links in your email).
Is there a way to increase email opens and click-throughs? You bet. In this post, we’ll discuss how to improve your email marketing strategy so that you engage more of your subscribers. Let’s get started.
1. Segment Your Email List
You have one email list, but in fact, you need several.
If you have more than one customer type (and most businesses do), you need more than one marketing message. That’s not just for ads and landing pages, that’s also for your email list, too. If you’re trying to reach different customer types, it doesn’t make much sense to send the same message to them.
Not sure what I mean about customer types? Learn all about customer types/ personas and how to create them here.
There’s no way that you can address the unique challenges of each customer persona if you’re just sending one generic email to everyone on your list.Personalize your marketing message at scale by dividing your subscribers based on these factors: Click To Tweet
But you can divide your subscribers in several ways, not just by customer persona. One of the best ways to personalize your marketing message at scale is to divide your subscribers based on their demographics or behavior. Here are a few segmentation ideas:
Lead magnet – Which lead magnet did they subscribe to receive? This gives you insight into what type of content they’d like to receive in the future.
Open rate – How often does your subscriber open your email? This subscriber is highly engaged and should receive special offers.
Purchase history – Has this subscriber purchased a product/ service from you before? If so, what do they purchase and how often? You can use these answers to decide when to send “it’s time to re-purchase” reminder emails.
2. Personalize Your Emails
Going hand in hand with segmentation is personalization. After you’ve separated your email list based on customer type (whether that’s by persona, age, gender, location, buying habits, email open behavior, etc.), it’s time to personalize.
You can go about personalization in several different ways, including:
- Use the recipient’s name in the subject line
- Include the recipient’s name in the body of the email, too
- Create emails that automatically respond to a customer’s behavior (such as cart abandonment or not opening a specific email)
- Send out emails to celebrate a special event (such as the customer’s anniversary with your company)
- Share product recommendations based on previous purchases
- Send emails based on location (for example, create special holiday messages for different countries like Boxing Day in Canada or Fourth of July in America)
3. Create a Series of Welcome Emails
Are you only creating one welcome email for your new subscribers? You’re missing out on an opportunity to create highly engaged subscribers.
When you send a series of three or more welcome emails, you can:
- Set expectations for how often you’ll be in touch
- Share your “best of” content (or send them to your resources page)
- Properly introduce them to your brand
In addition to all of those benefits, you’ll also accomplish a huge win: You’ll cause your new subscriber to get accustomed to opening your emails. This is perhaps the biggest reason to go with several welcome emails, instead of just one. Remember to make each welcome email in your series valuable and relevant to your new subscriber.
4. Give Opt-Out Options
Unsubscribes happen, but not everyone who unsubscribes wants to opt out of everything. If you haven’t already segmented your email list, your subscribers may receive a large number of emails that aren’t relevant to their needs. Over time, your subscribers will get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of irrelevant emails and decide to unsubscribe.
But that’s not to say that they don’t find some of your emails valuable.
This makes the case for both segmentation and a preference center.
When a subscriber initiates the process to unsubscribe, send them to an email preference center. Here, they have the option to segment themselves by deciding exactly what type of emails they’d like to receive. They can set send frequency, too. There’s also the option to unsubscribe from all emails.
Don’t just wait until your subscriber decides to unsubscribe before you offer the option to update email preferences. You can add this option as a permanent link at the bottom of every email that you send. Position this link right next to your unsubscribe link.
5. Keep Your Emails Short
With all this talk about optimizing your email marketing strategy, you may think that you should write longer emails. Not so. You can, and should, keep your emails short.
According to Hubspot, the ideal email length is between 50 to 125 words. In case you’re wondering, that’s basically five sentences. The inbox is no place for an ebook. Shorten your message and increase the likelihood that your subscriber will complete the call to action.
6. Delete Inactive Subscribers
Does the idea of deleting email subscribers make you gasp in horror?
That’s understandable. After all, you’ve put a lot of effort into trying to build up your email list. Why would you want to delete the email addresses that you’ve worked so hard to get?
Deliverability, that’s why.
Did you know that the behavior of your subscribers can determine whether your emails are sent to the inbox or the spam folder? Not sure how that works? Here’s an example:
Let’s say you have 100 people on your email list. Out of that 100, only 25 people open your emails regularly and another 25 open your emails some of the time. But then you have 50 people who never open up your emails.
That’s a problem because it reduces your open percentage. Your email open percentage is one of the signals that inbox services, like Google, use to decide whether your emails are valuable or not. If a large number of your email subscribers aren’t even opening your emails, it negatively impacts your reputation with the inbox service. They’ll automatically mark your emails as spam and your subscribers may not even see them.
To avoid this eventuality, commit to deleting inactive email addresses from your list periodically (at least once a year). But, before you do a delete sweep, give your inactive subscribers a chance to stay on your list. You may be surprised what an email with a direct appeal will do.
7. Reward Engagement
Finally, focus on your top subscribers—those who consistently open up your emails and click on your calls to action. They need to be recognized because they’re truly engaged.
Reward their engagement by providing them with exclusive content, such as super secret discounts. But don’t just upgrade them in secret. Let this special group of subscribers know that they’re receiving exclusive content because of their engagement.
Before you go, check out these related posts: