Let’s be honest – we all know why businesses create “newsletters”. We know that they’re going to use them to eventually ask us to do something or buy something.
But your email marketing efforts really should focus on nurturing a lead into a prospect and ultimately a prospect into a sale. In short, you want to lead the horse to water and make him drink!
So how do you do that? Well in case you haven’t heard – the money is still in the list and in this post I’d like to share with you some email marketing strategies that will help you get more traction out of your campaigns and start closing more sales.
Strive to Be Consistent & Deliver What You Promised
You want to keep your emails focused on providing value to the subscriber. Ideally content they can use right away. Strive to be a resource for them to refer back to time and time again. This begins with the very copy you use on your website to get them to sign-up for your list in the first place. Make sure that you deliver what you promised them and do it consistently.
Slow & Steady Wins the Race
I can’t tell you how many times I have signed-up to receive updates from a business and their newsletter is essentially an electronic sales circular. Seriously – they’re not that different from the circulars you see in the Sunday paper or in a grocery store. “Emails” like this are not really providing content that the subscriber can use and will almost guaranty high unsubscribe rates.
Unfortunately there are those out there that use a “churn and burn” approach towards their email lists. Some people will do things like buy a copy of the “attendee lists” from a trade show or expo. They’ll use the sheer number of attendees and a standard conversion rate of 2% – 5% as a barometer for how many on the list will convert. These are not targeted sales.
It’s a lot of work that may, in the beginning, provide what appears to be high conversions, but they rarely lead to lasting relationships. Remember this is not about the cold, hard sale. It’s about educating and nurturing your leads about your product (or service) and gently pulling them through your sales funnel.
Don’t clobber them over the head with one “Crazy Eddie” sales pitch after the other. It’s like the old adage – slow and steady wins the race.
Don’t Short-Change Yourself with Deep Discounts
Constantly giving your subscribers coupons and deep discounts, to drive sales can inadvertently “teach” your subscribers to value the monetary relationship they have with you instead of your valuable knowledge and experience. The very same valuable knowledge and experience that you’re offering through your free content, products and services on a regular basis.
If you happen to have a product or service that, by default, has a “low price point” or “barrier of entry” use that as a vehicle to “upsell” your other products and services. You can do this in the form of a credit or by promoting exclusive offers, that they can only receive as a subscriber to your list.
Understand The Difference Between Engagement & Conversion
Your email list will mean nothing to you if you don’t take the time to track what’s happening. A great feature that most email service providers, like MailChimp and AWeber provide is that you can see exactly who is opening and responding to your content and “calls-to-action”.
While a high open and click-thru rates are good indicators of subscriber engagement, that does not mean that your emails are leading to conversions or sales.
In the end we ultimately want conversions, but typically in order for you to really drive sales you not only want to have ideal, well-targeted prospects on your email list. You want the people on that list to engage with you and your content on a regular basis otherwise they may never give you a sale.
Just think for a moment. Have you ever signed-up to get a newsletter, followed it for years, clicked on all the posts, but never bought anything from that person or business for whatever reason? That’s a perfect example of how you can have a subscriber with lots of engagement, but they never convert to a sale.
High engagement is great but remember, you are using your list to “filter-out” leads from “prospects”. It is ultimately the prospects that you want to keep building a relationship with and “close the sale”. If you find yourself in this situation you may want to consider changing your messaging or sales copy.
Don’t know how? Then reach out to your contacts, networking groups and peers and find yourself a content strategist or just a good old-fashioned copywriter.
For years, content marketers have been following what has often been referred to as the “freemium” model or you may have heard the phrase “Free, free, free then fee!”. The premise is, that you keep dripping your leads and prospects, digestible chunks of FREE content, to keep you “top of mind”. Then slowly over time, you pepper them with some well thought-out sales copy to close the sale.
Email out of all of your marketing channels, has proven to be the most effective vehicle to use to do this and for a small business owner it is well within reach. It doesn’t happen over night. It will take persistence and time, but in the end it will be worth it.
Question: Have you moved your contact list or database to an email service provider? If not, then who are all those people on your list and how do you stay in touch with your prospects and existing customers? Share your comments below.
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This post was updated on May 16, 2020.