Email marketing may have been around for a while now, but it’s still the most effective way of building a trust relationship with prospects.
I recently worked with a B2B company that provides professional services and training to leaders. When she contacted us, the owner was at her wit’s end. Over the previous months, she had offered trips and other high-dollar incentives to her list of 1,676 email addresses, trying to entice someone to sign up for her valuable training. She had gotten dismal results, and the revenue she had made was compromised by the pricey incentives. She was convinced it was a dead list.
We designed a couple of free webinars — 60 minutes of awesomeness — and sent an invitation out to her “dead” list. Rather than incessant sales pitches, each webinar offered substantial training to the more than 320 attendees. After the event, we sent out an email that offered a limited number of promotionally-priced training programs for a 48-hour period. After that, we told the attendees the program would be released to her list of 2,180 people, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Within eight weeks, we helped this business owner make $147,000 from a “dead” email list.
Email Marketing — Still?
Email marketing is still the only medium to move prospects through what John Jantsch, in his book “Duct Tape Marketing,” called “the know, like, and trust funnel.” At the bottom of the funnel are repeat sales and brand evangelism.
By giving and giving and giving to your fans through content distribution, you create well-prepared prospects. Then, when you offer something great, like a discounted training program for a limited time, you get immediate and intense conversions for huge revenue.
The Four Stats You Need to Watch
As you launch your email campaign, keep these four measurements in mind:
- Bounce rate: How many emails bounced versus how many went to good addresses? Cleanse your list, and bring in more subscribers to replace the bad ones. If you create a high-value offer, like a webinar or fact-filled report, 6 to 13 percent of daily visitors will opt in if the value exchange is good enough.
- Open rate: This is actually a measurement of the quality of your subject lines, which get readers to open your emails. Evaluate the first two words — that’s where you grab their attention.
- Click-through rate: How motivated are people to click on the links you place in your content? If this number is too low, evaluate the link choices. For example, we helped an automotive parts company convert a blog post about an engine problem, which was solved with a performance part, into an email containing the same content. We made the product phrase a link to the company’s sales page; because it was positioned as the solution to a common problem, it resulted in a 700 percent increase in conversions for that product that day. If we had linked “gasket” while telling the reader he needed the performance part instead, we wouldn’t have gotten the same results.
- Conversions: How does email affect the sales, revenue, registrations, or other opportunities you’re evaluating? You should see a measured increase. Sending an email after prospects have downloaded your free offer or participated in your free webinar gives them the feeling of being VIPs or members of a select group that is seeing something before everyone else. It’s a highly effective method of increasing conversions.
Remember that you don’t have to spend a fortune on an email marketing campaign. Using a system like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Instant Customer will give you everything you need for less than $100 a month. For 90 percent of business owners, employing big data or paying for massive software is overkill — like taking the Concord to the grocery store. If you focus your email marketing efforts, you can find success and sales with this tried-and-true strategy.