The Comprehensive Guide to Email Marketing – Part 3: Marketing Plan

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Email Marketing
Architect Marketing Solutions has summarized approximately 250 pages of e-books, pdf articles and blog posts from the authoritative companies* in the email marketing industry to provide a comprehensive yet manageable guide to help you understand the value of and the tactics to complete an email marketing campaign.

This Architect Marketing Solutions guide to email marketing is brought to you in five parts, on 21 topics. Unless you have a membership with these companies, as we do, and unless you have the time to read 250 pages, AMS is bringing this extensive report to you, as with all of the others, free.

The five parts are:

  • Part 1: The Foundation
    • Glossary
    • Why Use Email Marketing
    • Great ROI
    • Anatomy of an email
  • Part 2: The Creative Message
    • Creative Writing
    • Subject Lines
    • Lead magnet and offers
    • How to build a sign up form

Marketing

MarketingDefinition: An email marketing campaign is a coordinated set of email marketing messages delivered at intervals and designed to influence subscriber action to buy, subscribe, download, etc.

Purpose: It is 6 – 7 times more expensive to find a new customer than keeping an existing one. Your marketing plan needs to focus concentrating on existing customers’ possible expanding needs and to turn them into repeat buyers.

The Pareto principle says 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your current customers. Focusing on your 20% will be the be use of your time and efforts and produce then best results.

Whether towards existing customers, or to seek new customers, there are five email campaign formats can create a productive email campaign.

  1. Welcome Campaign
    The goal of the welcome campaign is self-explanatory, but the text, tone and approach will be different for an existing or new prospect. But the ‘welcome’ email is the first of what should be a series of connected emails. The objective is, of course, to welcome them either to ‘come back’ or as an introduction to your company.
  2. Drip campaign
    A series of emails scheduled to send out in a specific order. The objective is to move from a general opening email through a series of educational emails leading to an ask for purchase, contact or other conversion.
  3. Onboarding ‘How-To’ Campaign:
    An onboarding campaign is a great way to introduce and educate your readers about your company, products or services so that they can use your product effectively, and make an informed decision to purchase.
  4. Product or Service Announcement Campaign
    If you are going to launch a new, or updated service or product, you can send an introductory announcement campaign that centers on the benefits more so than the product itself. Center on WHY you are launching it based on improved service, product benefits that will provide a greater value than in the past. The focus is on NEW.
  5. Sales Campaign
    A sales campaign does not necessarily mean new product sales, but to increase action from current customers, and to have a distinctive goal for each one:

    • Early repeat rate: this is an approach to generate and track the percentage of customers that make a second purchase within a targeted date (60 days after first purchase)
    • Win-Back rate: this campaign’s goal is to motivate customers who haven’t been inactive for a while. The objective is to create a campaign to win them back.
    • Loyalty program: customers that are generally actively engaged with a brand and their loyalty program make 90% more frequent purchases, spend 60% more in each transaction and are five times more likely to choose that brand again in the future than the addition of new customers.

Target Audience Segmentation

SegmentationDefinition: segmentation is the process of separating your subscriber list into smaller, organized subgroups (called Tribes) based on their interest, decision and purchasing behaviors and beliefs that form their decision making. The Direct Marketing Association confirmed in November 2018 that targeted emails towards a defined Tribe, drive 77% of your email ROI and deliver the highest
ROI of any marketing effort.

Why Should I Segment?

When you segment your specific Tribe and send a segmented topic solely to them, they will identify the personalization, relevance, and will lead to significantly higher open and click thru rates. In addition, you will have virtually 0 unsubscribes, better deliverability and more conversions than non-segmented lists.

Does Segmenting My List Mean People Will Miss Out on my Content?

Yes, but with segmentation, you don’t send generic messages to your full email list and cross your fingers that some subscribers will be interested. With segmentation, you can craft the right content for the right customers, at the right time, that allows you to be ready to service them.

Think of your subscribers as a rainbow. If you send a blue message to someone who prefers red, you will not only not convert them, but will increase your unsubscribes list because they think you obviously are not talking to them. This not only hurts your revenue generation, but worse, you hurt your brand.

How Does Segmentation Help Grow My List?

By separating your list, you get to know and understand your customers. You can track a group’s click-thru and open rates, learn what subjects a segment likes or not, and figure out the best CTA’s that lead to a purchase. All of this personalization will lead to referrals, recommendations and the opportunity to expand into that subscriber’s friends.

What Information Should I Use to Segment My List?

  • You want to segment your master list based on key aspects that automatically create sub-groups, such as:
  • Demographics (age, hometown location, job, gender, titles)
  • Behaviors (purchase history, opens, click-thru, website visits or activity)
  • Interests: (hobbies, causes, opinions)
  • Entry point: (sign-up form, lead magnet, social media, website)
  • Email preferences: (message time and frequency; mobile or desktop)
  • Skill level: (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Marketing funnel location: (new customer, current but longer time period, repeat customer)

Can I Use Segmentation To See Who is Engaging With My Content?

Yes, you can automatically tag people if they click on a link in a message, open an email or visit an order page. You then build segments based off tags or automatically deliver automated campaigns to subscribers with specific tag. This lets you send targeted content to people based on where they are in your sales funnel.

Segmentation is also a way to see who is not engaging with your content. You can segment out your subscribers who haven’t opened an email in say, six months, with an automation tool. Then you can try to win them back by triggering a re-engagement campaign.

What Differentiation Segmentation Approaches Can I Use?

  1. Create an educational drip campaign. Segment your subscribers by their stated skill level: beginner, intermediate, advanced. Then each email is directed to, and be welcomed by, their specific level. That is a relevant way to segment. Then, once they ‘graduate’, you move them into the next higher level. That creates a loyal customer base.
  2. Send an email or campaign with an incentive based on birth month. Learned from your sign-up form, contact page, or action, you have a welcome purpose for contacting them.
  3. Send an email based on your customers’ interests. That content can be about you, but if you know their specific likes, it can easily be on an industry, or personal topic, which improves your brand.
  4. Send contextual welcome campaigns based on different incentives and sign-up forms: you can A/B test which incentive works, even within a Tribe. It helps you to further segment your content based on specific likes.
  5. Send webinar emails to subscribers based on their interests,which automatically allows you to reach out to them with a day/hour remaining, and then a ‘thank you’ after the webinar.
  6. Send a second email to subscribers who didn’t open it the first time. Try a different message than the first, or put conditions on responding this time.
  7. Send a second email to subscribers who didn’t click a link in the first email. If you have a low click-thru rate within a segment, create a specific message to them on the value that they missed.
  8. Send a reminder email on the incentive they did click on. Perhaps there is an up-sell item, or ‘added value’ service to the original purchase.
  9. Send emails with relevant content based on a segment’s geographic location. Perhaps there is a local value with a follow up specifically to that geographic location.
  10. Launch a win-back campaign for unengaged subscribers. If they haven’t opened an email in a long time, send a ‘we miss you’ email with a special offer only to that tribe.

Strategy and Goal

Definition: An email strategy is the big picture showing the long-term vision and future direction of your email marketing activities.

How Do I Create A Basic Email Marketing Strategy?

Developing a strategy is a defined action-based approach to achieving your targeted goals, which has eight key elements:

  1. Key long-term objectives
    Decide on what you want to achieve for the long run. They should be metric-based in order to measure them, to determine if that campaign was successful. Some could be: increase the number of subscribers by 20%, by the end of the year; increase ROI from promotional campaigns by 10% by the end of the year.
  2. Target Audience
    Who are the people, or organizations, most likely to become your next customer? The more you know about their specific needs, preferences, and pain points as to why they need you, the more effective your content will be, and results that you generate.
  3. Competitive Advantages and Key USPs (unique selling proposition):
    Do you know what yours is? That’s the critical first step. Do you know your competitive advantages? Both of those separate you from your competition. Your USP should answer the question, ‘ Why Us and not them?’ Analyze yourself, and your competitors, and see if you match what your Tribes are looking for. Ask them. Learn from the customers themselves.
  4. Resources
    Define the resources you need to make your email program a success. Think of the people you need (email marketing specialist, content specialist, etc) and the tools (email marketing platform, project management tool, customer relations management) that will help you to plan and execute your strategy.
  5. Metrics and KPIs( Key Performance Indicators)
    You need to tie these metrics and KPIs to your business goals, such as: open or conversion rate, and revenue generated by each tribe to understand that tribe’s ROI .
  6. Customer Journey
    You should be looking at the lifecycle of the prospect as they are interacting with your business and figure out how you can provide reminders to encourage them to move to the next step. And keep in mind, have you ever ‘not wanted’ a product today, but in a week, you bought it because ‘the time was right’? Your customers think that way too. So, follow up and your timing may be perfect.
  7. Relevance
    You want your subscribers to open your emails, click the links, and follow the call-to-actions and that is driven by the relevance you offer to meet their needs. If you know those needs, your email content will be more successful because you are answering their specific need, at perhaps the right time.
  8. User-friendly Design
    The design of your web forms, emails and landing pages are viewed on different devices and screen sizes which has a significant impact on the overall perception, and reception, of your message.

Video

Definition: video email is the term for the use of emails to send videos such that the recipient feels the video is being watched inside the email. This is differentiated from a video file as an attachment or a hyperlink to a video elsewhere on the internet. In contrast to text emails, videos improve non-verbal communication through ‘visual identification’ which is 55% of all communication.

  • Most video emails do not include the actual video file as an attachment to the email due to attachment size limits. The most common approach is to send it to a video host like You Tube or Vimeo.
  • The video hosting service often encodes the video in multiple formats to permit efficient display on a variety of devices like desktops, tablets or mobile phones.
  • The hosting service will then allow for entering the recipient email addresses, email title, text before and after the email, and signature. It then sends the email on your behalf to look like you sent it.
  • A video can provide a wide range of tone, details, graphics and content that may not be possible with a text message.

How to Grow Your Email List

Grow your email list

Definition: the value of your email list is the list itself. Growing your list improves your chance of growing your revenue.

  1. Membership program: create one and to acquire their email address offer an exclusive value such as an e-book, white paper, how-to video or special pin number to access key instructional articles.
  2. Signup form: create on your website, blog, or social media platforms, a different signup form/number for each one to identify where your contact is coming from.
  3. E-Commerce: include it as part of your check-out or cart page.
  4. Thank-you page on your website: after they competed the action you wanted: purchased, download, etc, ask for their address to contact them at a later date.
  5. Website CTA button: put an attention getting click icon button to drive action to your sign-up form.
  6. Offline options: event sign up sheets, business cards, add a QR code on printed materials, SMS ( short-message service from tweets ), ask when taking an order at your store, customer service asks after a service call, run a contest and ask if they would be interested in another contest.
  7. Website: put an attention-getting email collector at the top of your site near the menu bar.
  8. Pop-up: put one in an exit-model format; that is, when a cursor is heading to move to exit, have a concierge bot ask for their address before they leave, and provide an inducement of value.
  9. Pop-in: a less intrusive way to gain that address is with a slide-in form.
  10. Blog post page: at the end of your blog, ask for the reader’s email address and offer to send your next blog to them personally.
  11. Website ‘about us’ page: after they learn about your ability, ask for the address to help you contact them later.
  12. Newsletter: when they sign up for your newsletter, ask for their address in order to send it digitally.
  13. Opt-in: when you visitor opts-in for a value offer, make the address a condition of receiving it.
  14. Webinars: host one and gain an email to send the video or text write-up or slides from the seminar.
  15. Contest: host a contest on social, blog, or website and invite friends who only receive the results.
  16. You Tube video: tag your video and offer to send your next video directly to the viewer.
  17. Surveys: when you ask for responses on social, blog or website, ask for their address to send the results.
  18. Quiz: offer a quiz on a key industry or viewer-interest topic (from keyword searches) and ask for their address to provide a direct to them results.
  19. Trade Show: call members in the association and ask if you can send a value incentive to their email address.
  20. Social Twitter: pin a lead generation card to your profile.
  21. Facebook: add a CTA sign up button to your business page; or a link to your website sign up form.
  22. Instagram: create a link to your website in your bio.
  23. PPC ads: ask for their email address for add-on value to the original offer.

Architect Marketing Solutions can be your partner to help you better understand and use email marketing to improve your business. Give us a call at 331-303-0959, or email us at info@architectmarketingsolution.com to learn how we can make you more successful.

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