HOW TO GET YOUR CUSTOMERS COMING BACK FOR MORE

Lightbulb Business Formula:
Increase the Frequency of Your Customer Visits with Amazing Email Marketing.

How to get your customers coming back more frequently.Brace yourself. Epic article alert.
Grab another cup of coffee and some more cupcakes if required.

You may have already absorbed some pretty meaty stuff in this series of articles on The Lightbulb Business Formula .
But now we’re moving into to the really juicy and clever stuff.

Over the last two articles, we’ve discussed – at pretty epic length – a whole feast of tips and pointers on how to get more customers.

 

Now we’re seriously going to get those figures rising in another area on your Growth Analysis Calculator.

We’re going to take a look at how to get these new customers to come straight back instead of forgetting all about you after their very first visit.

In particular, we’re going to be looking at how you can get your customers to frequently return again and again by building amazing email marketing campaigns.

Don’t Marketing Emails just get ignored?
Which Email Marketing Software do I need to use?
What do I write about in these emails?
Nailing the Subject Line
Graphics and Design
Composing the elements of your Email.
Create a compelling Call-to-Action.
The Power of the Post Script.
How to stay out of the Spam Bins.
Eek! The Unsubscribe Option.
How often do I send out Marketing Emails?
Split-Testing Different Ideas.
Analysing the Juicy Stats.

 

Hang on! All my happy customers love my business. Isn’t that enough?
Get your customers to visit your business on a more frequent basis in the future.Well, it’s certainly a good start.

A brilliant business will hopefully already be pulling in new customers.
(If you’re still struggling on this front, check out the last two articles in this series for a wealth of epic tips on how to get more customers every year.)

By all means, keep up the fabulous work and keep up the excellent customer service.
But even if you run the most brilliant business in the world, it’s still very easy to get largely forgotten about for the rest of the week, month, year, or decade.
Maybe even forever.

This is why you need to step up regular communication, keep your customers in the loop with news and updates, and essentially just remind your customers that you exist.

Getting new customers should only ever be regarded as the first step in a potentially long-term relationship.
Now is not the time to sit back and feel happy that you got one sale.
Now is the time to build on this initial step and turn it into something truly fruitful for your business.

This is where regular Email Marketing – and other types of smart marketing – come into play.

 

What’s so great about Email Marketing?
I just ignore most marketing emails.

Build customer frequency with amazing email marketing campaigns.

We’re actually striking two different types of targets here with only one turnip. (Note to self: Check with Old Bert that some of his recommended metaphors definitely work, I’m not entirely convinced by this one.)

Remember the article in which we discussed the importance of growing your mailing list?

Now we’re going to use this ever-growing mailing list to your potentially huge long-term advantage with regular email marketing.

But the beauty of email marketing is that we won’t just be communicating again with happy existing customers to try and prompt them into making a return visit.

We should also be communicating with those leads who chose to sign up to your enticing opt-in.
So, in a double whammy, we’ll also be seeking to convert these leads into new customers with the same email.

Here’s a quick reality check:

Yes, it’s true that the overwhelming majority of people on your mailing list won’t even bother opening your marketing email, let alone read it.

Furthermore, a small chunk of your mailing list is highly likely to ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘opt-out’ with every single email that you send.

I’ll come back to this in more detail in just a second, but don’t let this put you off at all.

The whole idea is that we can still achieve a great deal every single time by striking gold with the minority of people who do engage with your emails.

And in just a moment, I’ll be revealing plenty of tips and pointers on how to heavily increase the chances of getting your emails opened and acted upon without getting consigned to the trash or spam bins.

 

Technical Bit Alert!
Will I need to use Email Marketing Software?

Which email marketing software should you use?Once your mailing list has grown to a reasonable size – say, you’ve gone well beyond your next-door neighbour, his pet dog, and that happy customer from last year – you’ll definitely need to use some sort of Email Marketing Service.

Quite aside from the fact that trying to send out thousands of emails manually would almost certainly send you potty, a good Email Marketing Platform will also come packaged with tons of useful benefits.

You’ll have to freedom to create stylish and highly personalised emails with speed and ease, any bounces or unsubscribes can be automatically handled on your behalf, you’ll be able to view all the crucial analytics for every campaign, and you’ll get oodles of other valuable stuff too.

It’s a good idea to shop around for the platform that best suits your needs, though.

MailChimp is a popular option but it can get very pricey for a smaller business that only needs to send out occasional emails.

I’d recommend taking a look at Sendy which is a self-hosted newsletter application that sends emails via Amazon Simple Email Service (SES).

(If all this sounds like a massive headache, bear in mind that I can help you set everything up and take care of all your future entire email marketing campaigns.
We can even compose and design the amazing emails that you’ll be sending out to your mailing list.
Simply visit our website or drop me an email at martin@martinprint.com.au get the ball rolling.)

 

Wait, what do I actually say in all these emails?

Even a simple email can act as a quick prompt for your customers to get back in touch.Well, it’s first worth considering that not every single email needs to be a super-critical announcement that is going to change the world.

Even a very simple, friendly, and basic email can often just serve as a useful prompt for customers and leads to get in touch with you about something entirely unrelated to the topic.

As a quick example, we recently sent out an email which simply introduced a new member of staff on the Martin Print team.

There’s nothing too earth-shattering there, but we generated a huge wave of responses from clients and leads who were reminded about an idea they had brewing for their next spectacular print & design order and were prompted to act upon it.

We also recently sent out a mass email to tens of thousands of clients which promoted new Custom Coffee Cups  – a pretty specialist product which is only likely to be of any interest to a tiny fraction of the names on our mailing list.
Waste of time?
Not a bit of it.
We again received a healthy big dollop of responses from clients who had been reminded to get in touch with us about other products and services totally unrelated to paper coffee cups.

Sometimes, an email of any kind can just act as a quick and simple prompt that puts your business right back in the forefront of your customer’s minds.

But of course, to stand a much better chance of success and engagement, an amazing series of email marketing campaigns should strive to contain genuinely valuable content.

You might be tempted to go with a regular Newsletter or Bulletin, crammed full of all the latest updates from your business.

If your business doesn’t really generate enough ‘news’ to warrant a regular Bulletin, you could also consider;

  • Details of new product/service launches.
  • Special offers or discounts.
  • Useful tips, pointers, and extra info relating to your services.
  • Links to new Blog articles or other items of interest.
  • Entertaining or witty emails simply designed to raise a smile.

The list goes on and on, and the choice is entirely yours.

The general idea is that you’ll be keeping your business top of mind with useful or interesting information sent out to both your existing happy customers and potential new ones.

 

Ok, let’s compose a great marketing email!

A perfect email subject line can make a big difference to your open rates.Nailing the Subject Line.

After you’ve chosen a suitable topic, it’s time to get started on putting the email together.
And where better place to start than the Subject Line?

As I said earlier, the majority of your marketing emails are not even likely to get opened by your recipients.
This is honestly not something to get depressed about. It’s a fact of life that a lot of people will just instinctively dismiss marketing emails of any kind.

But you can still make a massive difference to your open rates with a great Subject Line.

This is your one and only chance to get your email read in the first place.

You may well be sending out the most amazing email ever to be composed in the history of the universe.
But if you burden it with a completely boring or spammy Subject Line, the sad truth is that this amazing email is unlikely to get read by anyone at all before it gets consigned straight to the trash bins.

A perfect Subject Line is a tricky balancing act to get right, and there are a number of different approaches to consider.

  • Ideally, it should be intriguing enough to entice your recipients into exploring further.
    So it could potentially be witty, surprising, quirky, or unusual. Think about the kind of creative subject line that last enticed you into opening a marketing email.
  • Much more importantly, it should stick broadly to the point and give your customers at least a small clue of what to expect. So don’t get too cryptic with the intrigue!
  • It should also be fairly short and snappy, ideally less than 70 characters in length.
    Anything longer than this may get chopped off from some inbox screens which is obviously going to dampen the impact of your killer subject line.
  • Personalising your subject lines is now a popular option.
    A subject line which contains the individual’s first name, business name, or any other personal data that you’re collecting on your mailing list is much more likely to stand out and grab attention in the inbox.

Don't try to cram too many things into your subject line.Of course, you don’t need to cram in all these ingredients every single time.
It’s very hard to be utterly intriguing, completely to-the-point, and highly personable whilst trying to be short and snappy and less than 70 characters long.

It’s usually better to prioritise being direct and communicating the key message at all times, with the option of adding intrigue and personal data wherever it fits.

But experiment and find the formula that generates the most open rates for your business.

Here’s a subject line taken from one of the very few marketing emails I opened last week.

“Psst, Martin! Claim 20% off this new essential tool for Martin Print!”

It gave me a broad idea that this email contained something which may be of genuine value whilst still being quite intriguing.
It included my personal name and business name, it stood out quite prominently in my inbox, and all in less than 70 characters.

Sadly, the actual email was trying to sell me a novelty pencil sharpener in the shape of a giraffe which looked absolutely rubbish.
But still, they got me to open it which would have been a promising start for their business if the rest of the email had been up to scratch.

DON’T appear too excitable, spammy, or over the top in your subject line.
You may well feel like shouting your message in capital letters with loads of exclamation marks but the manic hard sell is an instant turn-off for most people.

DON’T make false promises in your subject line that you can’t keep.
Only promise what you can actually deliver, otherwise your readers are going to get disappointed and annoyed with your business.
You might attract a higher-open rate the first time you do it, but those disappointed readers will probably consign all your future marketing emails to the spam bin.

 

Graphics and Design.

A professional design or template will make a memorable impression with your email readers.If you’re not using professional graphic artists to design your email templates, you’re probably better off keeping things as simple and basic as possible.

Even a simple text email with perhaps a few well-chosen graphics can often pull in decent results, particularly if it looks and feels almost like a ‘real’ email that you personally sent to the customer instead of an automated mass marketing email.

However, for a really amazing email marketing campaign, it’s usually better to invest in a professional graphic design that is much more likely to blow your customer’s socks away.

One smart idea is to invest in a beautiful new theme or template which can be used again and again in your future email marketing campaigns.

As well as looking delicious, there’s also a handy and functional side to using a stylish theme. The same template can include all your contact details, website URLs, and Social Media links, all wrapped up in one elegant design.
So your background details are always ready to go every time, you just need to slap the fresh content on top.

Try to avoid using ‘stock’ images or cheap/free graphics sourced from the internet.
Ideally, your email design should look like a wholly original and fresh creation, and not like every other boring marketing email that sends recipients to sleep.

Dare to be different and distinctive if you really want to hook genuine interest.

DON’T FORGET: With more and more people reading emails directly from their Smartphones, it’s important to ensure that your design and layout is optimised for the smaller screen as well as the bigger screen.

Your beautiful email theme may look deeply wonderful on a desktop PC, but your Smartphone users are going to get grumpy if all they can see is an indecipherable mess with lots of empty boxes and strange blobby bits.

 

One Thing Leads to Another.

Every segment of your email should gently nudge the reader into exploring the next segment.When composing your marketing email, a good rule of thumb to remember is that one thing should always lead to another.
Or to put it another way, every segment of the email should gently nudge the reader into exploring the next segment.

Your killer Subject Line should already have encouraged readers to click and open your email.

Now your readers should be greeted by an enticing image or slice of graphic design which encourages them to check out the Headline.

The Headline and possible Sub-Headline should expand a little on the info you’ve already given in the Subject Line, and push the customer into reading the opening chunk of main copy.

This opening chunk of main copy should expand and intrigue a little more, whilst coaxing the reader into exploring the next chunk of copy, the next image, or the next segment of your email.

And so on and so on, until the reader has absorbed everything they need to know and is fully-primed for your compelling Call-to-Action.

There should be no dead wood of any kind.

Think of it this way;

Most of your readers will have other things to do. They’re likely to be in ‘skim’ mode when examining your email, and will almost instinctively be looking for a reason to exit.
Don’t provide this reason on a plate with all the trimmings!

Keep that momentum going from the first glimpse of the Subject Line to the final Call-to-Action.
Every image, phrase, and even word should mean something and add value to the overall email.

This is why shorter and snappier emails tend to generate the best results.
There’s far less scope for the reader to lose interest and run away when you start waffling on about how your new product was once endorsed by the hair-stylist of the wife of the guy who once cleaned the windows for the Emperor of Peru.

Be ruthless in your editing. When you’re concentrating on crafting a small, perfectly-formed email, you should be prepared to trim away the excess fat, the boredom triggers, the danger spots, and the potential exit points!

 

Start thinking NOW to create your compelling Call-to-Action.

How to write a compelling call to action.After your readers have finished absorbing your key messages, you need to give them somewhere to go. A course of action to take. A decision to make in which the only sensible choice is clearly Yes.

Your concluding Call-to-Action is one of the most important elements of your whole email.

Don’t finish with a vague whimper.
This grand finale should lead directly into the next stage of the process, and should persuade your readers that immediate action is required.

If it fails to do this, there’s every chance that even a fairly interested reader will close the email down then and forget about it forever.
Not good.

Here’s how to get them to act quickly whilst you’re still holding their attention.


Urgent! Read this bit of advice in the next 5 seconds!
A brilliant Call-to-Action needs a sense of genuine urgency.
Something to wake up your reader from a potential slumber and get them to take positive action before it’s too late.

For example, one winning strategy here is to introduce a strict timeframe in which they can act.
A flash sale, a 24-hour deal etc.
The general idea is simply to make it feel as if the reader will be missing out if they don’t move forward immediately.

 

A good Call-to-Action needs action words which describe exactly what your readers need to do.Use Action Words.
A huge number of great Calls to Action kick off with a clear Action Verb which explains exactly what your customer needs to do.

Depending on the nature of your business and the idea behind your marketing email, your readers should be strongly encouraged to click your link, call your telephone number, reply to your email, or visit your store.

It’s equally important to ensure that these Action Words are always backed up with the most direct path to follow.

So, for example, if you’re enticing your reader into clicking a website link, make sure it’s a direct link which takes them exactly where they expected to be – the next natural step of the process.

Don’t make anybody wade through a labyrinth of website pages on a quest to try and hunt down more details on what you were happily banging on about so loudly in the email.

Your potential customers should never have to work too hard to figure out what you’re asking them to do.
If your Call-to-Action is not as clear as crystal, you’ve just created another major danger spot and exit point.

 

DON’T GO OVER THE TOP!!!!
It’s very easy to get a bit carried away with creating a dramatic sense of urgency;

HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! CLAIM THIS CRAZY OFFER NOW BEFORE YOUR HEAD EXPLODES! AAAAARGH!

But the truth is that nobody likes the hysterical hard-sell.
If your Call to Action is just a furious demand crammed with capital letters and excessive exclamation marks, a big chunk of your readers are going to be instinctively switched off by such aggressive marketing.

It’s all about striking the right balance and the right tone.
You’re naturally trying to communicate the urgency and importance of your key message, but you can do this without screaming into any faces and reeking of sheer desperation.

Try to be calm, confident, friendly, and essentially a bit more human.

 

P.S   A Final Thought on the Bottom of Your Email.

A good Post Script (or P.S) can also generate surprisingly high responses.Here’s a little marketing secret which often gets overlooked or forgotten in marketing emails;

A good Post Script (or P.S) can also generate surprisingly high responses.

Only a relatively small chunk of your readers will even get that far.
Ideally, our Call-to-Action worked a treat and we’ve already prompted them to move onto the next step of positive action.

But other readers will just very quickly scroll through your email and see if anything of interest pops out at them.
And a dynamite Post Script or P.S positioned right at the very bottom of your email can often be one of those stand-out attractions.

It’s right up there (or should that be right down there?) with your subject line, headlines, and images.

It’s also your very last chance to capture the attention of those awkward buggers who skimmed past most of your key messages or just didn’t find anything of immediate interest.

So let’s use this final chance as wisely as we can…

 

P.S. In a Nutshell.

You could use your Post Script to very quickly recap one or two of your biggest key points, and reinforce the sense of urgency for those who missed your earlier attempts.
This could potentially encourage your skim-readers to go back and read the whole of your email properly.

 

Surprise your readers with an extra bonus in your email post script.P.S.  Surprise! Surprise!

 

Deliver an extra little slice of bonus information which wasn’t mentioned in the main content.

If your email is offering a whole bunch of valuable benefits, saving a real corker until the very end can be a good way of splitting them up into tasty chunks and avoiding information overload.

 

 

P.S. You Can Trust Us.

Some of your readers might just be seeking one last persuasive dollop of healthy reassurance.
They already get what you’re promoting. They might even be tempted. But who are you again?

Your P.S. could dish up details of a money-back guarantee, a link to testimonials from happy customers, a prompt to check out your popular Social Media pages or authoritative Blog, or just about any extra snippet of useful information which is going to help boost your credibility and raise confidence in the reader.

 

P.S. By the Way…

Here’s one of my favourite ideas, though;
A Post Script that highlights something else of value with no direct connection to your main email.

For example;

I recently sent out an email from Martin Print which promoted luxury special effects on Business Cards.

This was Post Script that I went with;

P.S. By the way, have you ever considered custom-designed Fridge Magnets? They’re the magnetic alternative to Business Cards which get seen loads of times every single day. Get yours here.

This simple little Post Script ended up becoming one of the top 5 highest-performing segments of the whole email marketing campaign.
Not bad for a couple lines way down at the very bottom, just before the privacy policy.

Some people just won’t be particularly interested in your main key message for whatever reason. They may just have no need for that product or service right now.
But this type of Post-Script can give those readers somewhere else to go and something else of value to act upon.

 

Stay Out of The Spam Bin!

Once your emails have been identified and labelled as Spam, all your future communications to this customer could also be assigned the same fate.One of the biggest problems with email marketing campaigns is the high risk of ending up in the saddest place of all – the dreaded Spam Bin of Doom.

All that effort and work and blood and sweat and tears and turnips has just been ruthlessly consigned straight to the dump without even being read.

And it won’t just be that one brilliant email that receives this one-way ticket to oblivion.
Once your emails have been identified and labelled as Spam, all your future communications to this customer could also be assigned the same fate.

Even the most valuable and good-natured email sent out with the very best of intentions can often end up getting mistakenly marked as Spam.

In some cases, you may have accidentally triggered a Spam Filter which has automatically sent your email to the Spam Folder without your potential reader even knowing about it.

In other cases, there just may have been something about your email which instinctively provoked a previously happy customer to make a conscious decision to hit the Spam button.

The following quick tips should help your emails decrease the risk of taking up permanent residence in the Spam Bin…

 

Instead of slapping our readers in the face with endless identical emails, we should be trying harder to truly engage with themDon’t Smell Like Spam.

Let’s kick off with a bit of fairly obvious common sense;
If you don’t want to be seen as Spam, then don’t look like bloody Spam!

Everybody hates Spam.
You hate Spam. I hate Spam. Even Old Bert claims to hate Spam, although I’m not entirely convinced that we’re talking about the same thing.

Spam comes in all shapes and sizes and styles, but the thing that really rubs people up the wrong way is when they feel as if they’re being bombarded constantly with aggressive and repetitive messages which are of no relevance whatsoever.

It’s exactly the sort of alienating behaviour that compels the recipient to delete the sender forever.
Instead of slapping our readers in the face with endless identical emails, we should be trying harder to truly engage with them.

 

From Me to You.

Who exactly is your email from?
You? A member of your business team?
Or is it from a cold, mechanical marketing robot that doesn’t even really exist?

If possible, try to use a familiar From Name and From Email Address, as this can help to deliver a warm, friendly touch and convince your audience that they’re dealing with real human beings.

Avoid just using words like ‘sales’ and ‘info’ in your Email Address names (e.g sales@myamazingtrousers.com), as this impersonal approach could persuade either the recipient or the spam filter that your message belongs in the junk.

It’s also a very bad idea to use ‘Do Not Reply’ in your Email Address name (e.g donotreply@musicalcuckoocages.com).
This always sounds quite rude and ignorant and deeply unhelpful to most people.
It gives the impression that your email is quite happy to broadcast your marketing messages, but can’t be bothered to listen to your replies.

 

Danger words and phrases can trigger the Spam Filters.Beware The ‘Danger Words’.

Some words and phrases are likely to arouse the suspicion of the Spam Filter and trigger a Red Alert, particularly when featured in your subject line or just used far too many times.

On the whole, these tend to be quite sales-y words which are sometimes perceived to be a bit dodgy.

Words and phrases such as;
Free
Win
Increase Your
Double Your
Sign Up Now
Click Here
Trial Offer
This isn’t Spam

(That last one is serious, by the way! The word ‘Spam’ is itself a Spam Trigger. So all those companies desperately trying to convince you that their emails definitely aren’t Spam are actually triggering the filters by trying to explain this to you over and over again.)

As the owner of a design & print company which likes to promote very special offers from time to time, I completely get how tricky it can be to share exciting details on a free offer without banging on about the fact that’s it’s, erm, free.

Don’t get too paranoid about it, just try not to use these danger words repetitively throughout the content of your email, and keep them to an absolute bare minimum in your subject line.

“Free! Free! Free! Click here now to win free money in our free offer. It’s definitely not spam and it’s free!”

That example is probably not going to make it past the filters.

 

Spam Filters don't like spelling mistakes.Cheque Yaw Speling.

We all know people who zoom in on a spelling error and are very quick to point out your mistake.

To be honest, the Martin Print team is full of them – including me! – but forgive us, it’s in our blood. We’re instinctively programmed to proofread every design that we’re working on to ensure that any potential errors are rectified before the order is sent to press.

But the Spam Filters don’t like spelling mistakes, either.
A few small errors could trigger the filters and end up spelling ‘disaster’ for your whole email marketing campaign.

It’s very easy and quick to check your content with a Spellchecker, so don’t forget this small but crucial step.

 

DON’T USE ALL CAPITALS!
Finally, another big trigger for the Spam Filters is the use of words composed entirely in capital letters.

The risk becomes even greater if you really start playing with fire and use all-capital letters for Danger Words.

Nobody really likes words presented in all-capital letters anyway. It’s seen as aggressive, annoying, and it gives me a blinding headache.
SO PLEASE DON’T DO IT! EVER!!

 

Make it Easy to Unsubscribe.

A clear and easy Unsubscribe option at the bottom of your email is an essential feature of your campaign.Let’s get this unpleasant thought out of the way.
Some people will want to opt-out of your communications for a myriad of different reasons. It’s not a nice feeling, but it’s going to happen.

As long as you’re taking all the right steps to ensure that they’re not unsubscribing because of silly avoidable mistakes in your email marketing strategy, you shouldn’t get too down about it.
This is why we have to keep working hard on attracting new leads to replace the ones that we will naturally lose over time.

A clear and easy Unsubscribe option at the bottom of your email is an essential feature of your campaign.

If some of your recipients have made the firm decision to opt-out, it’s no good making life difficult for them.
They’ll only get even more annoyed with your business if they can’t figure out how to unsubscribe.

And here’s a slightly cheerier thought;

A big friendly Unsubscribe button might actually persuade some of your wavering recipients to stick around for a little while longer, fully confident that the option to opt-out is there if needed.

 

How often should I send out new Emails?

How frequently should you send out new emails to your mailing list?A smart business should tread very carefully here.

Every great email you send has the potential power to convert new leads and attract new sales.
Hooray!
It’s tempting to just spit them out as frequently as you can and hopefully reap the rewards from all these constant communications.

But you have to weigh this carefully against the risk of losing leads completely.
Because every email you send also has the potential power to attract a big chunk of Unsubscribers, and this number is likely to grow bigger if your recipients are getting fed up with hearing from you far too often.
You could end up seriously depleting your Mailing List in no time if you get too trigger-happy with the emails.

There’s no catch-all answer here.
The frequency of your emails should be shaped by the nature of your business and the typical content of your emails.

For example;

I’m very happy to receive daily emails from certain companies. Some of them even send me more than one a day.
These are the types of companies who have something new and valuable to tell me on a very regular basis – another new product, another new service, another special offer or flash sale.

Yet I have chosen to opt-out of receiving emails from other companies who didn’t even send them very often at all.
I just found that each of those emails was very similar to the last one and wasn’t telling me anything new of interest.

As a general rule of thumb, I would say it’s better to be sensibly cautious than recklessly over-zealous.
I can’t imagine that too many small businesses would have any great burning need to send a new email every day.

At Martin Print, we often have a lot to report but we usually limit our emails to one or two a week at the most.
Other types of business may prefer to only send an email once or twice a month.

Think quality more than quantity.
One amazing email a week is likely to generate a bigger response, fewer opt-outs and stronger overall results than five bland emails a week.

Don’t forget to consider the schedule of your marketing campaigns, too.

Is your target audience more likely to read your email on a weekday morning or a weekend evening?

Sending emails in the middle of the night can be a bad idea, as they may get lost in the avalanche of morning emails which are quickly deleted by a half-asleep recipient!

Try different days and times if you’re not sure and get an idea of which schedules seem to attract the highest open rates for your target audience.

 

Testing Testing…

My final and probably most important point on Email Marketing is about improving your future campaigns with split-testing, deep analysis of all the crucial stats, and continuous tweaking.

 

A bad email can do more harm than good.Check for Cock-Ups.

But whilst we’re on the subject of testing, let’s first just give a little consideration to the testing of your current campaign.
Well, actually, you should give a lot of consideration to this, so that any glaring mistakes are corrected before you press the big ‘SEND’ button on your campaign.

Check every single element thoroughly, ideally with accurate preview emails sent to your own address.
Every word. Every image. Every link.

Never forget that a bad or broken email can end up doing a heap more harm than good.

A good friend of mine who is usually spot on with his email marketing campaigns recently had a rare lapse in concentration.
He ended up sending out tens of thousands of emails which excitedly promoted a strictly limited deal…with a link that didn’t work.

The end result from this kind of silly mistake is no sales, no conversions, several complaints, and a whole stack of Unsubscribers.

 

Split-Testing.

It can often be difficult to make your final choice about every element of your email.
Especially if you’re as indecisive as me. It takes me at least 40 minutes to reach a final decision on what I’m going to have for breakfast in the morning.

But there are times when you won’t really know for sure if a certain element works or not until it’s been tried and tested to some degree.

Maybe you’ve got two potentially exciting Subject Lines but you’re not quite sure which one hits the right tone?

Or perhaps you’re undecided as to whether your light-hearted and fun version of the email is going to pull in better results than the super-snappy and simple version?

Most good email marketing platforms now give you the option to split-test two versions of the same email.Most good email marketing platforms now give you the option to split-test two versions of the same email.

Split-testing – or A/B Testing – will deliver different versions of the email to a small chunk of your mailing list to identify which version is generating the most opens or clicks.
It will then send the ‘winning’ version to the remainder of your mailing list.

It’s an incredibly useful way of figuring out exactly the best approach for your content without wasting an entire campaign on something that didn’t quite work.

You can consider split-testing your subject line, headline, layout, call-to-action, image selection, personalisation techniques (Mr Doe or just plain old John?) or practically any element of your email.

A very important word of warning, though.
Only ever split-test one element at a time.

If you split-test utterly different versions of your email, you’ll be struggling to identify exactly which elements were largely responsible for success or failure.

 

Analyse the Stats.

Gain a deeper insight into your email marketing campaigns by closely analysing the stats.After your campaign has been sent, you should quite quickly get a broad idea of whether it has fundamentally worked or not.

If your inbox is flooded with responses, your telephones are buzzing, and your website traffic has broken the internet, it’s fair to say that it did quite well.

If the only communication you’ve received since then is some bloke trying to sell you pet goldfish insurance, you might need to re-think your strategy.

But you can gain much deeper insight into the performance of every campaign by taking a good nosy at all the stats and data provided by good email marketing platforms, along with advanced measuring from Google Analytics.

Low open rates?
Your subject line may not have been up to scratch, or you may have sent it at completely the wrong time.

High open rates but low clicks?
Your subject line hit the spot but was let down by something in the content.

High unsubscribe rates?
Whilst you should accept that a reasonable chunk of your mailing list will unsubscribe with every email you send – often for reasons you can’t change – if one of your emails attracts a particularly high unsubscribe rate, there may have been something within that really annoyed your audience.

No engagement from opens on Mobile and Tablets?
There could be a compatibility issue with the layout and design of your email on the smaller screen.

High open rates and high clicks?
Well, the problem here is that…
Oh, wait, there is no problem.
Jackpot!

 

Take the time to study all the data you have at your disposal and act upon the findings.
It’s the smart way to getting an even better response from your next email marketing campaign.

 

Ok! Email Marketing sorted.
So what else can I do with my growing Mailing List?

How much more revenue would your business generate if we could get these customers to spend more on every visit?Plenty!
And in an upcoming article, I’ll be taking a look at how you can use your mailing list to increase the Overall Life Cycle of your Customers.
So they don’t just come back a little more frequently.
They come back and stay around for far longer.

But first…

It’s time to rapidly accelerate another crucial key area of your business growth.

We’re attracting new leads and customers.
We’re getting them to visit our business more frequently.
Now, how much more revenue would your business generate if we could get these customers to spend more on every visit?

Quick answer – loads!
Have another little play with your Growth Analysis Calculator to see how much more overall revenue you could gain by making even just a small improvement in this area.
The results may well surprise you.

But how can we get these customers to spend more on every visit?

Quick answer – easily!
Find out exactly how in the very next instalment of the Lightbulb Business Formula… 

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