If you are after a high ROI, then email marketing is still one of the best platforms. A forever increasing number of businesses are continuing to improve and refine their email marketing so the challenge then becomes to capture and engage your contacts. The key to crafting a genuine, long-lasting relationship with them is to build trust, but this is often overlooked. This results in unengaging, unpersonlised content at the wrong stage of the funnel.
Connecting with people through strategic techniques is your ultimate goal for email marketing campaigns. Building, strengthening and nurturing relationships will ultimately help grow your customer base, when done right. In saying that, you cannot rely solely on emails to grow your business; everything needs to integrate with your wider strategy to make sure you are creating the right touchpoints with careful branding and messaging. Understanding the fundamentals of a good email marketing campaign will help not only convert potential clients, but allow current ones to become strong and loyal brand advocates.
Implementation of the correct software will have a dramatic difference on your tracking abilities, including understanding behaviours, qualities and detailed segmentation of each of your audiences. Those contacts you have are not just reading your emails, they are also engaging your other channels – such as blogs, social media and your website.
It has never been so important to deliver them the right messaging at the right time, allowing for optimal conversion. The more relevant the message is, the more engaged your audience will be. Setting goals for each step of your nurture streams will help you understand the success path of your strategy. It will also help you to determine whether you need to take a few steps back and redefine.
Not only is it important to send accurate, targeted messages at the right time, it also helps to not send the wrong message at the wrong time. I’m sure you have all had an experience where you have received an email asking you to take action on something you have already signed up to. Not only just this make the consumer lose trust in the brand, your consumers will most likely not recommend your brand to others in their network. So, how do you segment your database into the right stages?
- Create an organised and clean database - include the contact, properties and their company.
- Collect both explicit (contact/company information) and implicit (user behaviour) data.
- Ensure you have the correct permissions to send out messages to your database
Lifecycle: where along the funnel are your consumers? Are they just subscribers, pure leads or current customers? Understanding this stage will help send the correct message to the correct audience. For example, if you create an offer specific to new clients, you don't want to be sending it to your current client database.
Buyer Persona: these are great foundational segments you can build. For example, if you’re in a large scale organisation your sales department could be divided up into location, product and/or company size.
Health status: this couldn't be more important. This level of segmentation will help you to prevent sending the wrong nurture to the wrong customer. Segment those who have unsubscribed, unopened or hard bounced.
Create high performing emails
For every dollar you spend on your email campaigns, studies have shown that you could potentially gain a $38 ROI, but this is certainly not guaranteed by drafting an email and pressing ‘send’. You need to provide value, personalisation and genuine conversation promoting your service or product without too much of a hard sell. What does an impactful email look like and how do you strategise for this?
- SMART Goals - this is certainly not the first time you have ever seen these words - but used in the right context - this strategic style of goal setting should be reflected along each stage and each email you create reflects the goals that you set.
- Right person, right time - I’m saying it again, but only because it’s critical.
- Optimisation - opens and clicks - learn how to craft an optimal email from the subject line to the headline, providing value from the initial touchpoint in the inbox will transfer across the entire stage of the click process.
- Personalisation will be the key to including their name, location or specific tagging that captures their interest, ultimately allowing you to create rapport with your consumer.
Along each stage of your nurture stream, there should be different styles, tone and messaging and a different template to reflect this. Majority of the time, clean, simplistic and straight to the point will get the job done. Strong CTAs without being too ‘sales-ey’ will leave the recipient feeling like they have gained some kind of special interaction specifically to them.
So, with all these implementations, how do you actually devise a solid strategy that will see a deepened relationship with your consumers, in a timely manner? Lead nurturing campaigns will help you earn your prospects' business when they have the intent to follow through with the conversion.
Throughout each stage of your nurture stream, you should have clearly devised goals intertwined for the direct reason you’re sending them. For example, if a lead has interacted with a certain topic on one of your other platforms, give them another form of content that will help them expand their knowledge of that topic. This could be either an eBook, a whitepaper, or a link to a video that will help educate them further on that topic.
When you are creating your call to action, make sure it is direct and to the point. You could encourage your readers to book a demo at the end of their video content or whitepaper you have sent them.
Knowing whether your email has made it into their inbox is another crucial element in the nurturing process. Adding permission check boxing to your streams to make sure your contacts know they can opt-out at any time, or pause communication will also help build their trust with your brand. Monitor all forms of communication, including unsubscribes and hard bounces and analyse the data – what do these consumers have in common and what is their consistent reasoning from wanting to cut communications with you?
Also, make sure you are reengaging with those that you have lost over time; targeting their previous pain points with a warming CTA may be one way of getting them back in the nurturing funnel.
If after all your efforts you cannot win back your contacts, potentially give it a rest (for the time being). You both are not providing value to each other at this stage and you do not want to hard your brand by spamming them with invaluable content.
So, after all this, don't forget to measure, analyse and optimise everything. Making consistent tweaks to your campaigns will allow you to keep on top of market trends, consumer trends and understanding exactly what is it your contacts are resonating with. As your brand continues to grow, so will your contact list. Without the evolution of your strategy, you will lose track of what your customers actually want from your brand. One thing that will remain the same is the need for your brand to continue to build trust, personalisation and fostering those long-term relationships.