Email Marketing Optimisation

Over the last four years we have built up a contact base of around 10,000 of our potential customers. We’re not massive email campaigners but we have built up quite a lot of inhouse knowledge over this time.

With our product now ready to be used more widely, and for us to move from early adopters into the mainstream of our industry, I am now about to attempt to monetise our newsletter contacts by reaching out to people and attempt to turn people who have shown an interest in our concepts into paying customers.

My aim is to first of all remind people about the benefits of using our free resource then continue to engage them further by giving them new tools to use to keep them returning. Once our website is part of their working practise, i will encourage them to become paying members. By the time I ask them to do this however, they will love our brand and the newsletter I send them will be something they look forward to. Well, in theory.

In order for them not to delete you or block you, you need to add value to the user and not annoy them. It is a tricky balance to remain in their awareness and not be frustrating. This is the art of email marketing. However, it is half art and half science – do not under estimate the science!

This is how to do it:

First things first, set yourself up with a free and easy way to collect and send emails so that everything is automatic. Also, make a button on as many pages as possible on your website that says ‘newsletter’ loud and clear.

I tried to increase sales once by changing the newsletter button to say ‘special offer’ and when people went to the page it told them that if they signed up to the newsletter they would get a special offer. But it didn’t work. I changed it back and our steady flow of contact details continues.

The easiest way (as i mentioned in my ultimate guide to bootstrapping a web business post) to collect email addresses is through Wufoo. You can customise the form really easily, embed it in your website and go. Via the settings on the Wufoo site you can make the information in the form go directly through to your mailchimp account so you can send people a newsletter. They both have good free plans that will suffice until you grow a bit bigger and get a premium plan.

Ok so now you are set up to collect potential customer information. Now you have to send them good emails.

You only have 2 objectives when writing an email: 1) to get the user to open the email, and 2) to do something as a result of reading the text. Mailchimp lets you monitor the open rates and click through rates of all your campaigns which is gold for marketing

Other than the ‘from’ details, by far the most common reason that people will open your email is the header.

Email Headers are key to a good campaign and the rule of thumb is not to try and sell anything in the email, but to tell people what to expect from the email. Test out a message and stick loads of different headers in the title. See if some of them get more opens than others.

There is a famous example of a campaign that got a huge open rate when testing Merry Christmas against happy Christmas. A single word can make a huge difference. Test as much as your sample group will let you. If you only have a small email group, test over a period of time. Send weekly emails and mix it up.

The message
The way to effective marketing to large lists is to get the message right. This persuades users to do something. You can write your most creative, witty, persuasive email and get only a small number of opens. Of course its good to interesting but you want actions, which is why you should test your email out on a small number of customers first before rolling it out to the larger numbers.

Once you have tested out which email title is going to get your target audience to open an email. Test out different messages. Try and measure 2 emails against each other and use the most popular one to test another one against. Make a clear thing to test each time.

The style of your email should be conversational, using a consultation selling approach and only covering one topic per email.

And you should stick to the AIDA principal of Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

There are 5 messages to advertise:
– price
That by being part of the list will guarantee them the best price
– benefit
That they need this service for their life
– ask an interesting question
Do you know this method of increasing your email marketing performance by 60%?
– emotions
A personal story goes a long way
– humour
at least if they hate you, you will make them smile

Do not make announcements. They are ok sometimes but if you tell people everytime you make a product update they might get annoyed unless it alters the benefit significantly.

I hope this has helped and as I go on I will show you some messages i have tested and how it evolves into my bulk message.

I think my next blog will be some SEO tips. I have a really really good outbound emailing tip!


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