Five Ways to Automate Your Emails

Five Ways to Automate Your Emails

Email automation. What a gift!

With automation, we can set up emails to go out when we are sleeping – or on vacation. And we can set  up as many as we want to go out when people sign up for different products  or offers.

These are often referred to as automation flows or autoresponder flows. Sets of emails sent automatically to subscribers to streamline and enhance our email marketing process. Automation can be set based on time or on a certain set of events – such as signing up for a newsletter.

Automation can send them a welcome email. It will also ensure they receive the other emails in the series consistently.

What’s more, automation can better segment our lists to target and refine our communication. Thus, better results and better conversions.

Automation can do what would be impossible for us to do.

Let’s look at five common email flows you should implement in your email marketing plan:

Welcome Email Series

First, establish each new connection with a welcome email. If someone subscribes to your list, you should never neglect the opportunity to say hello and thank you for joining the community. They need to know at first contact what to expect and when to expect it. 

Abandoned Cart Email Series

When a possible customer starts to purchase and then doesn’t follow through, an email series can be quite effective. That person was interested, but decided for some reason not to buy.

This is a straightforward reminder crucial for e-commerce businesses. This email reminds the customer  that they left items in their cart to purchase.

Often times this is a great opportunity to offer a small discount and help your customer follow through with the purchase. 

Personalized Discounts

Some marketers ask for a birthday, anniversary, or other personal information when a customer signs up. Then when the customer’s birthday or anniversary comes around, they can be recognized, making them feel special. 

Post-Purchase Series

This is a set of emails sent after a subscriber makes a purchase or follows a certain call to action. This shows that you appreciate their business and hope to continue to provide value to them. It also ensures they use the products or services correctly to maximize their usefulness.

This is a great time to ask questions and give feedback to establish your trustworthiness and credibility.

This series can be a tremendous boost to your business.

Educational Email Series

Also known as lead nurturing content, this is a very valuable series of emails. This series can build a connection with your subscribers to keep their interest and understanding about your business, products, or services.

The more education and value you provide your subscribers, the more likely they are to become loyal customers.

Remember, automation is there to keep you consistent and help reduce tedious and mundane work.

Never approach this as something you can set up and ignore completely.

If you want to crush your email marketing goals, always keep track of the results and test new automated series. Design and tweak your automation to get the best results.

Your customers will love you for it!

5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Today we want to talk about 5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes.  Avoiding these can make a huge difference in your email marketing success.

While email marketing may be the best way to engage and increase sales, you can easily make mistakes. The email marketing process requires preparation, review, and evaluation to keep it running smoothly and successfully.

Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are doing, you can fall into some common poor habits that result in a poor return on investment.

So let’ take a look at what to avoid.

Avoid: Only Using Emails to Make a Sale

If the only emails you send are promotional and full of sales links, you are already doing a disservice to yourself. Many of the people will unsubscribe – or stop opening your emails.

Nobody likes the sell, sell, sell type of emails.

Instead, use email to teach your readers something you want them to know, and even better, make sure it solves a common issue or problem for them.

Then add other smaller promotional sequences throughout you campaigns.

Avoid: Ignoring Your Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate means that your email list is defective.

Where are you getting your email addresses? If you are getting them from optins, at your website or other places, probably most of your addresses are good.

However, purchasing lists or using third-party addresses like Google and Microsoft can signal spam warnings.

Check often to make sure that your list is a good, operative one.

Avoid: Not Understanding Your Audience

Take some time to understand your audience. What are their needs? What are their goals?

By taking this time and initiative, you will be able to better send material which will benefit them.

By not taking the time to understand your audience you run the risk of poor communication and poor quality material you are sending.

Email marketing is powerful because subscribers view it as more personal – providing you the opportunity to form a deeper connection and understanding through personalized content.

Avoid: Disregarding the Devices your Subscribers Use

In other words, avoid ignoring the device your readers use the most to read and engage with your content.

This is crucial. Today 30%-40% of people read their email from their smartphone. (Not me, because I prefer my laptop).

However, smartphones are far more available to people than computers, so many people choose that method.

It could be that most of your subscribers  read your emails and other content on their phones. Therefore, you must ensure your content is optimized to view and click-through for mobile phones.

How do you optimize for smartphones? Shorter paragraphs and sentences. Lots of white space.

Also, make sure that your email provider optimizes for phones. Not all of them do.

Phones are here to stay – and even increase in use – so remember to present emails which are readable on these devices.

Avoid: Having Poor Calls-To-Action or None at All

Don’t just sell, sell, sell, but having a good call-to-action is important.

First, when you get your readers to click, they are nodding that they like your material. Then when they get another email from you, they are more likely to read it.

Just human nature.

So every email should have a clear goal. There should be an easy-to-use and understand call-to-action (an option to click).

When they click on your call-to-action, your readers should find something of value – whether it’s a purchase or a freebie. You are helping them solve their problems – and helping yourself secure a loyal customer.

It’s a win-win!

There you have it. Five very common mistakes in email marketing. If you check your marketing frequently, you will see if any of these mistakes are cropping up. If so, you’ll be able to fix them – and move on to greater success in your campaigns.

Remember: No campaign is perfect. We are all works in progress. If these crop up, don’t be discouraged. Just fix them, and move on.

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.

3 Keys to Optimizing Your Emails

3 Keys to Optimizing Your Emails

Let’s look at three Keys to optimizing your email content.

We know that effectively communicating to your audience is required today to be successful in business. Most people agree on that.

But what are some keys to effective communication?

Good, quality content is essential. Without good content to engage with your audience, your emails will not be effective. So what makes for good content?

The following are the three key elements for optimizing your email marketing funnels.

Your content should be Value-Driven

Always be looking for ways to educate and add value to your subscribers’ life. Education is the best way to establish friends – and eventually persuade them to make a purchase.

It’s a big “no-no” to constantly be selling to them. In fact, if the title looks like an obvious sales pitch, they are unlikely to open. (Your emails might even go to their spam folder).

Only about one out of every four sales emails is opened.

However, if your readers know that they will gain value every single time they open your emails, they will want to open them more often. Your customers understand that you need to sell products or services to see a return on investment. If they find value in your content, then your sales will  come around.

In a nutshell, don’t make sales your only point of focus.

Your Content Should be Engaging and Personable

All content should be engaging and personable. This means your readers feel like they are talking to a human and are forming a deep connection. It inspires or drives them to take action and makes them feel more involved or important while reading your email.

The more interactive and humanized the content, the more trust, and credibility you establish with your readers. You will find that your audience and your conversions will grow as a result.

Your Emails Should Be Personalized

You may feel like you can’t write. But the truth is if you simply write as if you are talking to a friend or loved one, you’ll do better. Write how you speak and edit later.

A natural conversation with automated personalized features like adding their name goes a long way. Not making an effort to use personalization will be obvious to your subscribers.

When you don’t personalize, you make your readers feel unimportant. It seems like you are only there to get something from them instead of providing value in return.

Personalization shows you value them as an individual and strengthens the customer experience and relationship.

Be sure to follow these three keys to optimizing your email content. Your success in opens, clicks and sales will all depend on sending out emails which bring benefit to your customers.

Commit to always getting to know your audience, tracking your metrics, and asking for feedback to improve your content and increase your email marketing success.

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.