Are Your Customers Really Receiving Your Emails?

Are Your Customers Really Receiving Your Emails?

How many of your customers aren’t receiving your emails?

You go to the trouble of writing and sending great emails. Yet some of your customers aren’t receiving them. Why?

It’s called “deliverability,” and it’s an important part of your email plan. If you are sending 100 emails and only 60 are receiving them, there’s a problem.

Email deliverability is about the percentage of your readers who are receiving your emails. Keeping up with this includes monitoring your bounce rate. It also includes increasing the safety and authentication of your emails to ensure your emails aren’t getting rejected by your subscriber’s in box.

In 2003 the US Legislature  passed the “Can-Spam Act.” This is a law to prevent unsolicited porn and spam from bombarding your inbox. There are some hefty penalties for people who persist sending such material.

As a result, your email marketing provider is on high alert for marketers who are sending this unwelcome material. They can be fined or even closed down if their clients are sending such material.

One flag for the providers is “low deliverability.” That metric shows how much of the mail is probably going to spam. The spam folder means that the receiving email service rejected the email.

So in order to be more effective and to keep a good reputation with your email provider, here are some ways to improve your email deliverability

Have a Double Opt-in Process

Use double opt-in forms to ensure the information subscribers provide is correct. For example, an incorrect email address or typo can easily lead to your email being rejected. However, double opt-in forms require your readers to confirm their information, thus avoiding this altogether.

You know, that’s the “check your email and click on the confirmation link” response we see often when we sign up. Just be sure to make this requirement clear when signing up; otherwise, it can lead to further confusion.

The double opt-in confirmation means it’s not a robot and that the email address is real.

Establish a Proper Send Schedule

In other words, don’t spam your readers.

If you send too many emails, they won’t see you as trustworthy nor know the content as personalized and valuable. If your content gets marked as spam, eventually, their email service provider will reject you altogether.

And yours might also.

So how many would be too many? Many respected marketers send daily or two or three times a day. If the material is good, that’s fine.

Five times or more a day could seem excessive. It depends on what you are sending. Certainly don’t send that many with just sales pitches in them.

Enable Tools to Authenticate Your Emails

We know that hackers have become more of a problem to all of us. Some have been known to hack email sending addresses and spam clients with porn or predatory content. Obviously, this gives the sender a bad name. (Kind of like identity theft).

The techies have come to the rescue. There are tools available to authenticate and secure your sending ip address – thus stopping such predatory behavior.

A terrific site for such help is SparkPost.com. They have free tools available to help you secure your emails.

Add Easy Unsubscribe Options

This is imperative.

I remember when I had my first unsubscriber. It really hurt my feelings, but that was just being naive.

Since then, I have learned differently. While not something you want to see, it helps improve your deliverability. It keeps those truly interested in seeing your content on the list and screens out those who aren’t interested in your message.

You can “be yourself,” without having to placate those who aren’t really your people.

Implementing guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission, most email service providers require that you add an obvious way for subscribers to opt-out if they want to. This also further authenticates your emails.

To recap: the goal of proper email deliverability is to make sure your content ends up in the subscriber’s inbox in order to be seen and clicked open to be read. If your emails never make it or consistently end up in their spam folder, you won’t see any conversions. In the most extreme cases, you will have to start over – from scratch.

So take a deep breath and go check your email account. It requires mindfulness and a little work, but it’s so worth the effort!!

Four Tips for Creating Topnotch Email Sequences

Four Tips for Creating Topnotch Email Sequences

Email sequences can lend a major thrust to your business. So here are a few tips to make them topnotch.

When I say, “email sequence,” I’m referring to a set of emails with a certain subject matter which you send to a specific group of subscribers. Sometimes daily. Sometimes weekly or twice weekly. Sometimes over a longer period.

The most common type of these emails would be your welcome sequence. You might want to send several welcoming emails letting people know about your business and reaching out to them for a reply or some feedback.

Other sequences can be designed for a product launch or a free course signup. Or you could just create a sequence for certain subject matter you would like to share with your audience.

These sequences will be set up in your autoresponder and will go out automatically when your people trigger them. (Usually through a signup). These “triggers” can be “behaviors” in certain cases.

A couple  of the most common behaviors include the downloading of your content or purchase of your products. More sophisticated systems can even include the browsing history of your customer.

There can also be time-based triggers. You can set up your autoresponder to send a sequence a certain number of days after a purchase.Or in some instances, the subscriber’s birthday.

These criteria should be set depending on your niche and email marketing needs. However, the way you craft the material is vital to your overall success.

These tips will help you develop compelling email sequences:  

Set aside some time to Outline Your Purpose

First, you must know your goal, and in order to do that, you must know your audience, including the kinds of problems they are dealing with.

Second, what is the overall purpose of sending and creating the email sequence? Don’t just create an email sequence because you know it is the best marketing strategy. It helps if you have a clear goal and know what you want to accomplish.

Is your goal to educate your clients? To let them know that you are reliable and your emails will be useful to them? Is your goal to lead them into a special product launch?

Sometimes your email sequence will be part of a course they buy.

When you set up your autoresponder, you will be able to  signify the number of days between emails. This is very helpful when setting up courses or other sequences. 

Perfect Your Title and Subject Lines

We’ve talked about this before, but your subject lines and titles are very important.

Believe it or not, there was a day when people were excited to get an email! Any email!

Obviously, those days are long gone. So think about how you go down the list of emails you have received. What makes you open them? A catchy title. One that looks like it might have valuable information. Or one that could help you solve a problem.

So take this cue for your titles. If you want your people to open your emails, have titles that will stand out and grab their attention.

Then you can check your open rates. This metric allows you to keep track of how your content or emails are performing. If your open rate is not what you want it to be, it is likely due to your titles or subject lines.

Make sure they are relevant, short to the point, and have your most important keywords in the beginning. While they may be short, you don’t want them to be boring or crowded with too much information to look like a spam email.

If your subject lines look like they are spam, they will go t the spam folder. 

Always include a Call-To-Action

For every goal you set, there should be a separate call-to-action that helps you to achieve it. But, again, make sure it is easy to understand, complete and obvious to your reader.

The call-to-action (CTA) can be to sign up for or purchase something. However, it can be for something a simple as clicking on a blog post link.  

Be Specific, Clear, and Educational

Keep each email straight to the point, and don’t make it too long. Always use your email as an opportunity to educate and provide value to your customer.

The point is to exceed the expectations from the start to gain their trust and commitment. The more educational content you provide with accurate information that helps your subscribers, the more likely they will trust your authority and establish your credibility.

If your emails are long and rambling, very few people will read them. They just take too much time and effort. So respect your customers’ time and be as concise as possible.

Be sure your email sequences are worth your time and effort.

These tips should help you to craft effective email sequences. When done correctly and with some forethought, you will find these sequences to be a major part of your email marketing plan.

They will be well worth the trouble.

3 Reasons for Segmenting Your Emails

3 Reasons for Segmenting Your Emails

Do you segment your email lists? In other words, do you divide your lists into groups which are specifically appropriate for them?

Separating your email list subscribers into different segments of your audience is a practice which most marketers recommend.

For instance, if someone has signed up for a free ebook aimed at writing a book, they should be kept in a similar flow of content. You wouldn’t immediately start sending them material pertaining to weight loss.

When subscribers sign up to your email list, they will receive appropriate emails. Not the same emails as people who are in another targeted sequence. Thus, segmentation allows you to better market and communicate with your new potential customers and readers.

Most lists are organized based on three different factors: demographics, location, behavior, and interests.

Depending on your niche and marketing goals, you may need to organize them differently. However, the most popular way to figure your segmentation is to observe their online behavior.

Once they are opted-in to your campaign, readers are then divided based on how they interact with you and your content. Do they open more often than others? Do they click-through links frequently?

If so, it would be good to put them on a different path from those who are less likely to open or click-through your emails. They clearly are interested in your products and information.

There are three main reasons list segmentation is an important step in your email marketing process:  

Segmentation Allows You to Send More Targeted Information

Most businesses will have more than one buyer’s persona, which means not every email you send needs to go to every lead or customer on your list. It also means you likely have more than one goal in mind when it comes to email marketing.

Segmenting allows you to pick certain keywords or information in order to organize and better target your customers with different key pieces of content.

For example, readers who have bought your products are more likely to get content about the products they purchased or new products to try. On the other hand, new subscribers who have not purchased a product, will be reading content on why the products benefit their life. Or perhaps information about you and your business, getting to know you better.

By observing the behavior of these new customers, you can also get to know them better. Here you could add surveys or questions to increase your understanding of these new people.

Segmentation helps you to increase overall conversions

List segmentation better targets your readers, which allows you to communicate more effectively. When you understand which point of the buyers’ journey they are on, then you have a better chance of making sales.

Segmentation improves your engagement and your reputation

Understanding your audience and communicating with them appropriately are keys to increasing your conversions and running successful email campaigns. Better communication provides more value to your customers. As you send appropriate material, you are further building your reputation and improving your engagement—two important metrics for creating a sustainable business.

The bottom line is this: the reason for list segmentation is to ensure the right emails are being sent to the right people.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see that with segmentation you are setting yourself up for greater success in achieving your email marketing goals.

Though it can require some thought and action, segmentation is worth the extra effort.

You’ll be glad that you took the time.

How to Nurture Your Email List

How to Nurture Your Email List

Once you have people signed up to your list, you want to treat them with great respect. Let them know how much you appreciate them.

One way to do this is through lead nurturing email campaigns. These are personalized and automated emails sent to subscribers throughout their journey with your business.

These emails provide value to your customers – and at the same time, maximize the potential of your list and ensure its sustainability.

It’s about not neglecting the leads you worked so hard to get in the first place. Statistics show that it costs a lot more time and money to find new leads than to nurture those you already have.

Here are a few tips for creating lead nurturing email campaigns:

Start With a Welcome Email Series

The moment someone opts in, you should thank them and introduce yourself. This should provide a basic overview of your values and your business goals. You don’t want to start with a long, drawn-out email. This would overwhelm them.

This is also a great moment to encourage your customers to reply by asking them a few questions about themselves and what kind of problems they are dealing with. Make the readers feel like they made the right decision to opt-in. Let them know that you are interested in them and their success.

Create Weekly and Monthly Newsletters or Updates

Keep your readers up-to-date on trending topics, news, and updates within your business and industry.

Please don’t use these messages to sell. Instead, use them to educate and get your readers more engaged in other communities such as your Facebook Group. Tell your audience about new products or services you are working on and any additional valuable information they can use.

When you continue to provide value to your customers, they will want to stay in touch.

Send Segmented Promotional and Educational Campaigns

Use birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates and information to your advantage.

List segmentation allows you to send more personalized messages and education to those who care about your content. It also allows you to tailor and target your message better, as no two readers will be the same or on the same buyers’ journey.

This segmentation requires a little extra effort, but the time spent is worth it.

Always include a Follow-up and Way to Reply or Engage

Send emails that ask for some feedback and a way to engage further or reengage your subscribers.

Invite them to social media pages or tell them to reply to the email. The replies you get can ensure the content you create is valuable and solves their problem.

So there you have four tips for establishing your relationship with your list members.

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to have people sign up on their email list – and then either sell, sell, sell, or ignore them entirely.

Let’s make it our purpose to treat our list with respect. We want to give them something of value – on a continuing basis.

As we do that, these “names” become friends and many of them will become partners on our marketing journey.

17 Need-To-Know Terms for Email Marketers

17 Need-To-Know Terms for Email Marketers

I think back to when I first started online.

I had written my first book and “they” told me I needed a website and needed to be active online. So I got my first very amateurish site up, and thought I was doing great.

About this time, one of the marketers I had signed with sent an email advertising a Social Media Summit – where I could learn from the experts. It included 6 weeks of biweekly sessions with about 17 experts – and I mean, experts. Cocky at the moment, I thought, sure I’ll sign up for that.

It was great, and I did learn a lot.

However, it was like I had just mastered my Multiplication Tables and was thrown into an Advanced Calculus class. Everyone was throwing out terms and jargon which meant nothing to me. The others understood each other, and they would be talking back and forth, obviously learning from each other.

Much of the time, I had no idea what they were talking about.

I made a promise to myself. I was never going to “assume” that my people knew things about the internet. Or websites. Or writing. Or blogging. Or any of the things I wanted to share.

I was going to explain.

So here goes. Today I want to share some of the email marketing terms we throw around. Even if you know it all, you might want to have a refresher.

Email Marketing: This applies to the science – and art – of using email to market your products or yourself. As you send emails to people, they will get to know you. You want to provide good information – not just sell, sell, sell. Yet there can be some links for them to go to your blog or your offers. That’s how you sell.

Content: Content refers to written word, photos, videos, or speech which you provide to your audience. Your blog is content. So is your podcast. Or your YouTube offering. Also the messages you send in your emails are considered content. (And none other than Bill Gates said that Content is King).

Email List: Your email list is the group of people who have signed up  to receive emails from you. Many people say that your list is your most valuable business asset. It’s like they have raised their hand saying, “Yes. I want to hear from you.” Treat them well, and they will continue to be your friends. Note: It’s not a good idea to purchase a list. Reputable email providers require that your list be made up of people who have requested something from you. Otherwise, you could be accused of sending spam.

Email Provider: The company which handles your emails. There are some really great providers which allow you to send and schedule emails and segment your lists. Some even have a Landing Page service and Webinar option. I love GetResponse. I have tried several services and GetResponse is my favorite. They have lots of great services, super training, and unbeatable customer service.

List Segmentation: Some providers allow you to tag the names on your list so that they will receive only certain emails. But not others. This really helps to target your audience with what works for them.

Autoresponder: An autoresponder is an amazing tool. You can set up a series of emails and schedule them to go out on the time frame you choose. For instance, when they first sign up, there can be a welcoming email – and then a progression of emails sent out every day or two (as you set it up) automatically. This can run indefinitely, as you choose.

Funnel: The funnel is the complete system you set up to go out automatically. It’s on your autoresponder and goes out even when you sleep. From the signing up for your email to a few emails you may send and then finally for a purchase you have set up. You will have many funnels as you grow. For new customers and for each offer you set up.

Link: A link is a web address you put into your emails. When your readers click on this address, they are sent to your offer, a blog post, or such.

Opt-In: An opt-in is your signup form for email. You can have one designed by your provider, or you can design your own at your website. Often this will include a free offer in exchange for their email address.

Double Opt-in: A double opt-in means that when someone signs up for your email, the first email they receive is a confirmation that they really want to receive your emails. There is a link to click, verifying that they really want to sign up. (This option is to ensure that they aren’t receiving spam).

Landing Page: A landing page is an opt-in page or a product page which includes your signup form or a button to download a product. The way this works is you have a link from social media or  your website with an offer. An ebook, a tip sheet, or such. When they click the link, then they are sent to the signup page. (Landing pages work especially well with social media. You don’t have to pay for an ad; you just have a link).

Thank You Page: The thank you page is after the signup or click for an offer. You thank the customer and include the download button to access the offer.

Download: Most of your products and offers will be accessed as a download. Your offers will be housed on a cloud platform and the download button is set up with a link to that product. (I use Amazon cloud services. Aws.amazon.com. They do a great job, and it’s an inexpensive service unless your volume is huge).

Lead Generation: You want to find places to put your offer. Lead generation refers to the task of looking for prospects. You can put your offers on social media, in blogs, on business cards, or many other places.To grow your list, you need to find new leads.”

Open Rate: This refers to the percentage of people who open your emails when you send them. Don’t worry if your open rate seems low. When I first started, I was expecting a 95% open rate. That’s not realistic. many people say that 20% is a good rate. People are busy and they don’t open all of their emails.

Click-through Rate: This is a percentage of people who click on the links in your emails. This rate is much smaller tan those who open. 10%-15% is a super rate.

Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of people who actually buy, Usually a very small percent will actually purchase. That’s why you need a larger list.

These three percentages: open, click-through, and conversion are kept by your email provider. They are the metrics which you observe and try to improve to be more effective – and make more money.

Email Audit: An email audit is a good hard look at your email campaigns to see what is working and what isn’t. if nobody or only a few are signing up for an offer, then you will want to notice why. If people are opening and not clicking on your offers, ask yourself why.

This 30 Challenge we have been doing is to look at our emails and decide how to improve. How do we grow our list? How do we make better offers and put them in better places online? How do we improve our emails? The Topics? The Titles?

The goal is to end this 30 period with a much greater understanding of ur email marketing plan. And more effective email campaigns.

Remember, we an do this!

To sign up for the 30 Day Email Challenge, you can go Here.