Email marketing has quickly grown into one of the most effective tools you can use for your sales initiatives. It’s a great way to stay connected with your customers and turn them into loyal patrons.
The key is knowing how to grow your email list, which can be done in a number of ways. For instance, using magnets, such as free e-books, apps and trials that drive people to sign up to your e-newsletter. Then once you’ve generated a sizable list, you have to make sure you use it (but don’t abuse it).
Keeping your list of readers happy is important if you want them to stick around for the long haul. After all, this is how you can increase your revenue. The value of each subscriber varies, depending on your products or services and rates.
But one way to find out is to use this formula (Monthly revenue from subscribers/number of email subscribers). This will give you an approximate value for each person on your list. As you’ll find out, the more people you have, the higher this will grow.
Understanding how to manage your email subscribers or even start one is crucial to the success of your campaigns. So let’s review some of the ways you can handle your email database and get the best results possible.
1. Start Segmenting Your Email Database as Soon as Possible
Segmenting your email lists from the start will make it easier to create unique campaigns. Personalization is everything to consumers today, who want to have a special connection with brands and products.
In 2015, about 77% of email marketing ROI was derived from campaigns that were targeted, triggered and segmented. That tells you how powerful personalization is.
Just look at how many marketers are using it – about 74% of marketers say customer engagement is increased by targeted personalization.
There are a number of ways you can get creative with your segmented lists. If you have customer profiles or personas created for each segment, you can try angles that will appeal to that market.
For example, if you know one segment loves basketball, you can go with basketball themed emails during the playoffs. Or even throughout the entire season, if it relates to your product or service. Even if it doesn’t, try to get creative with making it relate to your brand.
One example would be to create a contest with basketball themes, such as having a final four and finals with the last remaining participants.
If you need help coming up with ideas for your email database segments, you can always work with a digital marketing professional.
2. Learn All You Can About Your Subscribers
This will be helpful when you begin developing personalized campaigns based on your email database. There are different key data you want to collect about your audience to determine how to best serve them.
Let’s review the different types of personal data you should be collecting from the subscribers in your email database.
Now, this is important to know for different reasons. For one, you can use this info to identify language barriers. And two, you can use it to find out how close they are to one of your brick-and-mortar businesses.
In this case, you should try segmenting by zip code. This would work if you have a national franchise.
Equally important is your customer’s age. You have to respect that the younger and older generations are a bit different in how they speak, their interests and views, and so on.
So the email you send to a college kid would be different than the one you send to a retiree.
And the same applies here – the messaging for teenage girls would be unique to those sent to a retired male. And the type of products you promote would also be different.
For instance, if you have a lot of different products, you can segment these based on gender, age and other demographic details.
Although hard data is crucial, it’s not the only thing you should be looking at. Personas take this further by looking into how your customers act and react.
For instance, what makes them tick? What solutions are they looking for? What problems do they have?
You can use templates for the personas, so you collect similar data across segments. This will all give you an idea of what value propositions and needs to address in your emails.
The more you stick to writing towards these personas, the better your click-through and conversion rates will be.
Types of Organizations
Maybe you’re a B2B company that focuses on franchises, not-for-profits or e-commerce businesses. Or maybe you cater to them all. Segment the organizations within your email database just as you would individuals.
Type of Employment
Your list likely includes a mix of job functions carried out by your subscribers. Some may be office personnel, consultants, salespeople, customer service, developers, accountants, managers and so on.
If you have products or services that cater to certain job functions, you can segment your emails based on this. But only do this if it makes sense to your business and email campaigns. And adds value to your subscriber list.
Rather than assuming all of your customers are college grads, consider some may be high school dropouts. Do the research to find out.
Why is this important to know? Because of language.
For instance, if you’re using words that are industry-based or of a higher-level could, you could turn off those who don’t understand. In this case, the safe route would be to speak on a basic level, so everyone can understand. Some even say to keep it at a 5th-grade level.
But in the case of segmentation, you can create campaigns for your audience with the lower level education from the college graduates.
3. Look at the Purchase History of Your Subscribers
Every customer who has purchased from your brand should be recorded and tracked.
You can segment this group using personalized emails based on the products they purchased. The emails should relate to the interests the group has shown and cross-promoting or up-selling products based on those interests.
For instance, if the subscriber purchased a mattress from you, you could promote blankets, sheets and pillows.
The purchase patterns of a customer can also help predict future purchases. You can sometimes guide them to this next purchase if you understand their persona well enough.
It’s also good to know how often these customers are making purchases. Are they buying the same items or something else? If the same item, consider offering this group coupons for bulk purchases.
Also, pay attention to the time of month or year they make purchases, so you can offer discounts and deals right before.
You want to reward frequent buyers to thank them for their loyalty.
4. Choosing the Right Topics
Once you begin writing content for your email campaigns, you will find that some perform better than others. Pay close attention to this, so you can focus more on creating content your audience enjoys.
You may find one segment likes specific content topics. It’s also important to try different content formats to see which they prefer. You can try the usual articles, but also tie in infographics, audio, and videos.
By now, you should know how popular videos are on YouTube. It seems as though some people prefer to watch a video than read. When a study was done analyzing two billion emails, it showed 47.4% of emails with Vimeo videos were opened, while 31.9% of emails with YouTube videos were clicked on.
And about 12.5% of the Vimeo videos were watched and 5.6% of the YouTube videos were watched.
But this isn’t the case for everyone in your email database, so you’ll need to find the right content format for your segmented groups.
5. Track Content Engagement and Interest Levels
If you already are, have you noticed an increase or decrease in how long leads are looking at your content? The amount of time a user spends on your content indicates their level of interest. So the more engagement, the better.
There are different ways subscribers can engage with your content. For example, opening the email, clicking on links, watching embedded videos, downloading attachments and so on.
If you notice engagement is dwindling, then you need to do something to spark their interest once again. Host a contest, offer a discount or share some news or information that’s relevant and valuable to them.
Another way to determine the interest is to continue watching their buying behavior. If purchasing frequency decreases, this is a sign of less interest. You want to show these patrons a little extra love. Consider building a lead nurturing campaign just for them.
6. Send Welcome Emails to New Subscribers
It’s a good idea to have a welcome email for all of your new subscribers. These individuals won’t be segmented right away, so the email can be generic. In this email, thank them for their subscription and let them know to add your email to their contacts for secure delivery of future emails.
Let them know what to expect from their subscription to your newsletter. This includes the content you’ll provide and the frequency of emails. If there are issues, give them a contact number or email to use.
There should also be an unsubscribe option at the bottom of each email you send.
7. Allow Users to Manage their Subscription
This can help drive down the number of unsubscribers you see in the future. If a user thinks the frequency of emails is too high, allow them to lower it. Give them the option to choose how frequent they want to be updated with new emails.
And if you have different types of emails, such as breaking news, trending, product reviews, etc, allow them to select which type of messages they want to receive.
8. Clean Up Your Email Database Regularly
Every now and then, you need to perform proper list hygiene. What this means is you need to eliminate emails from your list that are no longer active. If you see some emails are bouncing back because they’re not valid or no longer in use, then delete them.
People switch emails when they relocate to a new job or simply want to create a new personal email. You don’t want a beefed up subscriber list that’s filled with dead emails.
Just look for those with hard bounces and eliminate them. If you notice recurring soft bounces, these too should be removed from the list. Not removing them can actually negatively impact your campaign.
It will make the email provider think you’re a spammer, which will make it hard for your emails to make it to the inboxes of the valid emails. So consider doing list hygiene every week, month or after each major campaign.
9. Develop Re-Engagement Campaigns
Now, it’s time for alleviating your email list of those who simply aren’t engaged. These are contacts with valid email addresses, but simply don’t open or click on your emails for a long time.
Although they haven’t chosen to unsubscribe, they have withdrawn from your newsletter emotionally. So they’re either ignoring or deleting your emails. These users will only hurt your campaigns, since it will drive down your click-through and open rates.
Before you eliminate them, try to re-engage them. First step is to identify which users haven’t engaged with your emails within the last six to 12 months. Send these individuals an email asking if they are still interested and give them the opportunity to opt-in again.
This will allow you to re-engage interested users and purge the ones from your email database who aren’t.
10. Choose Quality Over Quantity
As a rule of thumb, you always want to focus on quality. Again, having a long list of subscribers in your email database doesn’t count for much if they aren’t engaging. It’s better to have a shorter list of highly engaged users than an extensive list of unengaged subscribers.
To make sure you’re getting quality subscribers, you have to focus on making targeted list magnets. Try to attract users you know will be interested in your email campaigns.
In order to do this, you have to really know your audience, so keep tracking, analyzing and testing.
Improve Your Email Database with an Email Marketing Audit
At Kurnol, we have digital marketing experts who specialize in email marketing. If you’re worried your email database isn’t effective or is lacking, we can help. We offer a variety of services that can help.
For instance, we can ensure your email database is connected to your e-commerce store and that your segmentation and automation are working properly. We will complete a full audit of your email database to ensure you’re getting the most out of it.
Contact us to find out how you can improve your email database today.