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By: Ben Bauks
Email marketing works. It has the highest ROI of any inbound or outbound marketing strategy—4,300% according to the Direct Marketing Association—and 66% of consumers say they purchased a product or service after receiving an email marketing message.
There’s a reason: email marketing, unlike other strategies, is one-on-one communications happening in real time, and it provides an unparalleled opportunity to personalize communications. Armed with the right data, email marketers can target emails not only to the specific products or services in which leads are most interested, but also to precisely where they are in the buying process.
The Email Marketing Tsunami
Marketers know the power of email marketing to nurture leads and drive sales (60% of marketers report that their email marketing produces positive ROI, for example). As a result, they send a lot of marketing emails: in 2013, marketers pushed out 838 billion emails, 3 times the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.
That’s a tribute to the power of email marketing, but it also means that email marketers have a lot of competition. How can you ensure that your email marketing campaigns break through all that background noise and achieve their primary objective of increases sales?
One way is to carefully and thoughtfully nurture your leads.To do that, think of each email conversion campaign as 4 sub-campaigns, each with a specific goal. Here are the 4 sub-campaigns, recommended by Hubspot, to move email recipients from leads to buyers to loyal customers:
Campaign One: Welcome Them
The goal of your welcome campaign is to introduce yourself and tell new leads key facts about your business. New leads might be interested in the products and services you offer, but they don’t yet know very much about you or your business—so do what you would do in any other social situation—introduce yourself. First tell them who you are—the best way to do this is with personal stories and testimonials that humanize and burnish your brand—and how you’re different from/better than your competitors.
Next, tell them where they can go to find more information about your business and how to contact you. Give them some legitimate proof that your product or service can solve their problem (for example, customer satisfaction statistics). Finally, thank them by making a one-time offer, such as a discount on their first purchase, which entices them to opt-in to subsequent emails.
Campaign Two: Nurture Them
In this campaign, you want to provide content that moves leads to core offers. Step one is to send an email with the one-time offer you promised to get them to opt-in in your previous campaign. Use the “scarcity model,” reminding them that, for example, “time is limited” on this offer to incentivize action. Step two is to send emails with links to valuable (read customer-centric) content related to the problem they’re trying to solve. For example, if your target audience is people shopping for new televisions, send them articles which detail the key features of top models, or highlight the benefits of various smart TV models.
Campaign Three: Sell Them
Now that you’ve introduced the key differentiating points about your business and sent helpful content to establish trust, it’s time to sell. Keep in mind that at this point, prospective customers are at a critical inflection point in the buying process: they liked you enough to opt-in to your email series and receive offers and content from you, they’re interested in your products and services, but they need one final push which moves them to make the purchase.
You can give them that push by getting extremely specific about the problem they have, the ways your product will solve it, and the negative consequences of not taking action. Provide logical justifications for their purchase—for example, you could point out the 90% of customers have been extremely satisfied with this product. Finally, for those who still aren’t sold, ask them what other information you could provide to help them make a decision and give them contact information to obtain that information.
Campaign Four: Solidify Your Relationship Post-Purchase
The fact that your leads have made their first purchase provides new opportunities to solidify your relationship with them, including offering other, similar products in which they might be interested. First things first: thank them for their purchase, and give them advice on how to get the most out of the product they just bought. Invite them to complete a customer feedback survey about their purchase—this gives you valuable data and tells them you care about their experience—and to submit a review. Finally, use this opportunity to sell other products (think of the way Walmart and Amazon use features like “customers who bought this product also bought X or Y”).
The way you roll out your email marketing campaigns is about more than making a sale—it also informs customers and prospective customers about who you are and what you value. Every email you send—in fact, every time you touch customers through any marketing strategy—constitutes one piece of the relationship you’re building with them and the experience they have with your business. To learn more about the ways you can improve customer experience and use email marketing to nurture and convert your leads, get started with Act! today.