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With so much daily development in content marketing and social media, it’s easy to overlook the relationship-building opportunities of email. Email may seem old and outdated, but it remains integral to well-optimized sales conversions.
Email allows for the person-to-person communication needed to nurture leads, develop trust, and ultimately get the sale. In this article I’ll outline 10 steps, from lead generation to sales conversion, for your email marketing campaigns.
1. Lead Generation through Social Media
Optimizing sales conversions begins with lead generation. Recent surveys indicate that businesses are increasingly generating leads through social media. Social media provides an amazing method to make initial customer contact and draw people into your sale-nurturing cycle.
3 tips for generating leads through social media:
- Post links on social media platforms to email-gated landing pages
- Run email-gated social contests or coupons
- Promote email-gated content such as ebooks and webinars
2. Segmenting your Email Leads
Sending out email blasts (using the same email for each of your leads) is a blunt method of nurturing your customer. Studies show that segmented emails result in 50% more click throughs than non-segmented emails.
Your business industry and objectives will drive your segmentation categories. You could, for example, segment your emails by:
- Contest participation
- Source of lead
- Sales funnel drop off
3 tips for segmenting your email leads:
- Collect segmentation information at the time of lead generation
- Create email-gated landing pages, and implement an email form pop-up
- Use third-party contest apps to gain access to participants’ Facebook data
3. Personalize your Emails
It may seem like a small detail, but personalizing your subject line increases engagement by 22 percent.
Include your recipients name in both your subject line and the body of your email to deepen your nurturing and increase trust. Take it a step further by adding your own name and/or your company name in the subject line too.
Your email brings an immediate familiarity. This familiarity is conducive to consumer trust, which leads to further interaction and, ultimately, a sale.
3 tips for personalizing your emails:
- Use email marketing tools such as MailChimp, Salesforce or Wishpond (disclaimer: I work for Wishpond) to personalize your subject lines and email body
- Send out personalized automated emails for each lead-generating contest you run
- Include recipients names in the subject line, and in the body text of your email
4. Make your Emails Personal
Write your email text using plain language. Think about your customer as you write, and treat them with friendly familiarity. Use the pronoun “you” a lot in your messages, to deepen the connection with your potential customer.
Your “from” line should be personal too. Instead of sending emails from your corporate account, send them from the email of your sales team members, your content manager, or even your CEO.
Include your first name, too, as you close off the email.
3 tips for making your emails personal:
- Deepen your customer relationships by writing emails about “you, you, you”
- Send emails from individuals, so that the “from” line looks more friendly, and the reader instantly recognizes you
- Make your email “skimmable”, with headers, lists and images
5. Include Simple and Clear Call to Actions
You need clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs) in your message. Be specific about what action you want your reader to take.
If you’re sending out emails to promote a single offer (such as a contest, or campaign), keep the CTA clear, independent and prominent.
Contrast the colour of your CTA button to make it visually distinct and stand out. The simpler and clearer you make your ask, the more click throughs you’ll get.
Keep the look and feel of your CTA consistent with your optimized landing page. This will keep your ask clear and lead to higher conversions.
Optimizing your CTA achieves results. According to Marketing Sherpa, 41% of marketers rank CTA optimization as very valuable.
3 tips for specific and clear Call to Actions:
- Have one prominent CTA in your email to focus readers on your ask
- Keep your CTA above the fold in your email
- Make sure your CTA is optimized with your landing page for higher conversions
6. Email Automation from Landing Page
Nurtured email leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales versus non-nurtured leads. Automated emails can nurture your new leads from landing page sign-ups.
When an interested person has signed up for anything on your website landing pages, you need to follow up immediately! Now’s the time that person is most interested in what you do.
Send out an automated, personalized email with a CTA. The more touchpoints you have with your potential consumer, the closer you are to converting.
3 tips for automating emails from landing pages:
- Use email automation software such as Marketo, Infusionsoft, Genius or Wishpond to automate your email process
- Make your triggered email’s personal, by including names of you new sign-ups
- Nurture your leads to convert them into customers
7. Consistent and Frequent Emails
You can’t just send one email and expect results. Develop your customer relationships through regular contact. Consumers need seven touch-points with you and your business to gain trust – let alone remember your name.
Send out segmented, personalized emails on a periodic basis. Your industry may vary, but weekly updates have proven results as an effective frequency for emails. You should be keeping in touch at a minimum of once a month, and no more than two or three times a week.
Add variety to your messages by connecting with:
- exclusive offers
3 tips for sending consistent and frequent emails:
- Increase consumer touchpoints with periodic, regular emails
- Make a deadline schedule for your content and/or sales team to deliver
- Send out a variety of email types, to develop trust and increase your company familiarity with nurtured leads
8. A/B Testing
A/B test your subject lines and your email body text. Send out your campaign subject lines to two (or more) segments in your email subscriber list. Check your view rates, opens, and clickthroughs. Use the subject lines that get you the best conversion rates.
A/B test your email body copy too.
Split testing gives you knowledge about what wording and visuals work best for nurturing and converting customers. Every business will get different results for the most effective email conversions. Test yours to refine your messages and generate more sales.
3 tips for A/B testing your emails:
- Increase email conversion rates by A/B testing subject lines and body copy
- A/B test with two or more database list segments
- Use the highest converting emails to send out to your segmented subscriber lists
9. Track your Results
Use a tracking system to measure the results of your email campaigns. Keep track of your conversion rates over a period of time to analyze each of your mailouts and your overall email strategies.
Track your results for Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) such as:
- delivery rate
- view rate
- open rate
- click-through rate
- sales conversion
Ask questions such as:
- When is the best time and day to send sales emails/newsletters?
- What subject lines received the most subscriber opt-outs/conversions?
- What segments respond best to which CTA’s?
Measuring your metrics and analyzing your results will optimize your conversion rates going forward. Use your research to continuously improve your profits.
3 tips for tracking results:
- Measure the results of each email campaign you run
- Use a decent CRM to analyze delivery rates, open rate, click through rates and sales conversions
- Analyze your results to optimize your conversion rates and continuously improve
Nurture your email subscriber lists.
Continue to generate new leads through social media and other methods.
Keep in touch with your contacts on a regular schedule, by sending out segmented, personalized emails. Develop your relationships through increased interaction and Call to Actions to drive new leads to your website.
Test your campaigns to produce the most profitable.
Convert your new leads into sales. Turn your current customers into repeat revenue sources.
Have you been successful in your email marketing campaigns? How did you develop your lists, deepen your relationships and convert your leads to sales?
*This is a guest article by Krista Bunskoek*