With the recent hubbub around marketing automation companies getting funded or bought out, many companies are still wondering how to get more out of the software that they’re investing in.
In this article, I’ll cover three simple “plug and play” methodologies to immediate make more with your current email marketing systems. I’ll follow each tip will include a small case study example of it’s application.
Lets dive right in:
- Tactic #1: Early Segmentation
Targeted marketing works better, we all know that. However, many companies aren’t able to “target” their initial messaging because all they ask for is a name, phone number, and email. Add a drop-down menu to that small web form, and include 3-5 “categories” into which your customers could fit into. This could be the size of their company, their main desired benefit from your service, their industry, etc… The question to ask yourself is “What data point would give me the best ability to send them the most relevant messages and offers?”
When working with a crowdfunding consultancy in Texas, we recommend that instead of collecting just email addresses from their leads, they categorize them on the front-end into the major “buckets” that their prospects fall into: Entrepreneurs, Media Agencies, and Content Creators. Each automated sequence was then customized to speak to the benefits and value that those specific groups would receive.
- Tactic #2: Eliminate “Red Button” Broadcasts
We all know a “Red Button” broadcast when we see it. They’re called “Blasts,” and rightfully so. That’s when companies write a vanilla email – usually conveying little of value – and slam the “red button” to send it out to their entire email list all at once. Nobody appreciates this. Use a similar segmentation strategy to separate your broadcasts into various group.
The easiest method here would be separating customers and prospects, because – for the most part – the offers / “calls to action” for these groups will vary greatly, and should not overlap. However, if you have deeper data about the industries, size, or goals of organizations on your list, use that information to tailor multiple email broadcasts, each to the same group. Note that this can be essentially the same content, but tailored and “tweaked” to speak to this segment of your list. I’ve written frequently on this topic (such as this article in Direct Marketing News) because it’s so often made by early stage companies. Don’t fall into the “red button” trap as a habit of communicating with your list.
A T-shirt company wanted to start reaching out to and vetting out business from old customers, and wanted to use broadcast messaging to do so. They categorized their past accounts as: Sports teams, businesses, non-profits, and independent designers. By tailoring short broadcasts messages with stories / content related to each segment, they maintained a personal touch with a broad reach, and found new ways to bump revenue from old customers.
- Tactic #3: Lengthen Your Automated Sequences
Most companies use a remarkably small fraction of the functionality of the marketing solutions that they’re often paying so very much for. This is partially because companies often don’t have an in-house expert, and partially because the company hasn’t explored the additional functions available to them. Any company with automated email sequences usually implements a very short sequence to start out with, often it’s a single “thank you” email or a short, disjointed sequence of 3-6 emails before the prospects falls into the pit of getting nothing more that broadcast emails. Take a critical look at your opt-in or lead collection pages, and ask yourself: “If I could speak more to this targeted group, what else could I tell them? How else could I get them to a sale / appointment?”, and lengthen those sequences to take multiple “swings” at building relationships and making the sale.
An online music school wanted to increase revenues from it’s monthly piano learning program. The companies prospect sequence (intended to sell this program) was short and disjointed. We recommended that they focus each message on education, testimonials, and calls-to-action for this program, with an automated sequence lasting nearly a full month. With a more targeted and longer “yellow brick road” of initial communication, a greater sense of relationship can be built – and a higher likelihood that the prospect will see and convert from the sale page. For more on this topic, see my email marketing interview on the Entrepreneur’s Journey podcast here.
Implement even one of the strategies above to any degree of seriousness, and you’ll likely be doing more than 80% of the companies paying for marketing automation software.