How to Start an Email Marketing Campaign For Your Business

You’ve got mail! Remember that? Now we simply hear a ‘ding’ or a ‘pop’ whenever we get a new email. Just as the sounds have evolved, email has grown as a method of communication. According to a 2018 Radicati Group study, there will be more than 3.8 billion email users before the start of 2019, over 100 million more than the previous year. In other words, over half of the entire planet uses email right now. That’s a huge marketing opportunity many businesses are taking advantage of.

Your business needs to partake in email marketing because:

  • It’s Cheap: Whether you do it yourself, or through an email marketing agency, marketing to hundreds of consumers via email is going to cost you pennies compared to other channels of advertising.
  • High Success: Emails can be targeted specifically to the ideal consumer. With this concept in mind, along with email cost-effectiveness, it’s no wonder that email marketing ROI often blows other direct marketing strategies out of the water.
  • Measurability and Flexibility: With the analytics available today it’s easy to track responses to your emails exactly, in order to work out what parts of your campaign are working and what parts aren’t. With this knowledge, you can then react instantly to modify your campaign strategy if need be.

Convinced email marketing is something your business should pick up? Not sure how to even start building a campaign? Not to worry. We’ll walk you step-by-step through how to develop a successful email marketing campaign.

Step 1: Get Permission

No email campaign was ever built without getting permission to get started, so first, we’ll need to focus on building a sizable email list. There are many ways you can do this. Some prefer to give something away for free while others simply offer a newsletter or product updates.

Regardless of what method you choose, it’s important to have a clear purpose when asking for an address. Ask yourself:

  • What do I get when I give you my email address?
  • Are you going to spam me?
  • How often will you email me?
  • Will I get discounts?
  • Will I get a first crack at your beta?
  • Will you send me relevant offers or more junk?

Step 2: Manage expectation and promises

Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them. If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a positive campaign. However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t’ deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that case too.

This is why the first follow-up email is so crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder sequence, and it’s imperative that you take advantage of it.

The initial follow-up email should be sent immediately as a way to introduce yourself and detail what you plan on doing with your new subscriber’s email address. It’s better to be long-winded and detailed than it is to be quick and unobtrusive, but if you can pull off quick and concise then more power to you.

Step 3: Segmentation

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, segmentation is the practice of splitting up your email list into more targeted groups.

For example, the following are ways to segment a larger, more unified list:

  • Customer List (in comparison to leads)
  • Product Updates (in comparison to a customer list)
  • Newsletter
  • Daily Email List (in comparison to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc)
  • HTML (yes, some people prefer the option for text)

In dividing your list in this manner, you give yourself the ability to send more targeted communication. Some customers want both product and sales updates, while others might only want to hear about new versions. If you don’t give them the chance to choose, you risk losing them all together. Since customers make the best buyers, it’s fairly obvious why you want to keep them subscribed to your customer email list.

With segmentation, you can send a broadcast only to those that didn’t open your last message (ask them why), or to those that showed interest (a second pitch). You can also split test messaging among different groups in order to refine your best practices.

Step 4: Analysis

Every service provider provides complimentary analytics. Though they’re all important, the three most important ones are open rate, click through rate (CTR), and unsubscribes.

Your open rate will tell you how well you’ve built your relationship; if the number is low, it means that people have started to delete upon receipt, which means you need to work harder on providing value and/or managing expectations.

If your CTR is low, it means that your message is either not targeted enough, or simply not getting through. In this case, focus on improving your copy.

If your unsubscription rate is high in relation to your opt-in rate, then you’ve passed the point of building value and writing good copy…you’ve got some serious work to do. If this is you, try to examine when people are leaving and take action based on those leaks.

If they’re leaving after a certain autoresponder email, then re-work it. If they’re leaving after marketing messages, then re-work the way you present offers. If they’re leaving early on in your funnel, then you need to fix your original call to action so that it’s in harmony with what you’re sending.

Step 5: Choose an email marketing automation tool

There are tons of email marketing automation tools out there. From entry-level tools like MailChimp and Campayn to more “robust” systems like Eloqua and Marketo, and those in between like Silverpop, HubSpot, Pardot, And Manticore, there’s a lot to choose from. But when it comes to answering “which email automation tool should I choose?” the answer is simple: the one that fits your strategy (and budget.) These are the questions you need to ask yourself before you sit and strategize about your email automation tool decision:

  • Do you need to educate the market before they purchase?
  • How many emails do you estimate would take to engage in a conversation?
  • How long is your sales cycle?
  • How much are you willing to spend on each lead?
  • How many Digital Marketing formats will you use?
  • How long are you willing to wait before your first email goes out?
  • How big is your company and your pockets?

Once you have your answers, you’ll be prepared to select a solution tier.

Feel free to reach out to us for any help needed in building your email marketing strategy. We’d love to help you.

3 Website A/B Testing Tools

A/B testing is becoming more and more common as teams realize how important it is for a website’s success.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Web is a huge, competitive marketplace with very few (if any) untapped markets, meaning that being successful by offering something unique is rare. Much more common is that you’re competing for the business of your customers with several other websites, so attempting to convert every visitor into a customer or upselling/cross-selling your services better could make all the difference to your bottom line.

Due to this, the market for A/B testing tools and CRO (conversion rate optimization) tools is growing exponentially. But choosing one can be quite a time-consuming challenge, so in this article, I’ll compare the best A/B testing tools to help you decide which is most suitable for you or your team.

A/B testing is about experimenting with visual and content changes to see which results in more conversions.A/B testing often follows usability testing as a means of testing a solution to a flaw in the user experience identified using metrics like bounce rate in an analytics tool like Google Analytics, and thanks to the depth and quality of A/B testing tools available now, A/B testing is accessible to designers as well as marketers and developers.

 

1. Optimizely

Optimizely is one of the leading — if not the leading — A/B testing and CRO tools on the market today. It offers analytics tools to suit users of all levels and a multitude of A/B testing tools. (You could think of it as the Google Analytics of A/B testing, with a much simpler user interface.)

Consider this scenario: You have an eCommerce store built with Magento. You’re aware that in certain cases it may benefit stores to add a one-step checkout solution instead of the standard multi-page checkout, but you’re not sure if your store fits that use case. You need to test both options and compare the results with/without the one-step checkout experience. You know that running two versions of the checkout simultaneously requires changes to the code, which is a complex matter.

With Optimizely, you can send a certain amount of your users to a totally separate checkout experience to collect conversion data. If the experiment yields negative results, you delete the experiment and the original checkout web page still exists and works fine. No harm was done.

With their Web Experimentation tool, which offers an easy-to-use visual editor to create A/B tests without requiring a developer (optional), the ability to target specific user types and segments, and create experiments on any device, Optimizely has all your bases covered.

Although you can run A/B tests without a developer, your variations can be more targeted (for example, your variations can go beyond color, layout and content changes) if you have the skills and/or resources to develop custom experiments with code. By integrating your A/B tests into your code, you can serve different logic and test major changes before pushing them live.

Also, if your product extends beyond the web, Optimizely works with iOS, tvOS and Android apps. Optimizely’s Full Stack integrations make it possible to integrate A/B tests into virtually any codebase, including Python, Java, Ruby, Node, PHP, C#, Swift, and Android.

2. Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a free, easy-to-use tool that integrates directly with your Google Analytics Events and Goals to make A/B testing quick and easy! It’s ideal for traditional A/B testing, focusing on comparing different CTA (call to action) elements, colors, and content.

Developers aren’t required for implementing Google Optimize since it’s as simple as adding a line of JavaScript to your website and then customizing your layout with the visual editor. With this, you can change the content, layout, colors, classes, and HTML of any element within your page.

It’s not as sophisticated as Optimizely, since it doesn’t allow you to create custom experiments with code/developers, but it’s free. It’s great for those starting out with A/B testing. For each Google Optimize experiment, you’ll need to specify which Google Analytics Goals or Events will be the baseline for your A/B tests. For example, if you were A/B testing a product page, you could use an “Add To Basket” event that you’ve defined in Google Analytics to evaluate which of your variations converts the best. The Google Analytics report then gives you a clear indication of which variation converts best. It’s ideal for those on a low budget!

Just don’t get carried away, as Google famously once did, by testing 40 different shades of blue to see which converted best!

3. Unbounce

Unbounce focuses on landing pages and convertible tools. Convertible tools use triggers, scenario-based overlays and sticky bars to A/B test offers and messages to learn when, where and why your visitors convert. An example? If a user tries to leave your site, they’re shown a discount code in a modal or a sticky header, and a test will determine which is more effective.

Landing pages can be an amazing way to validate your ideas, build excitement around a new product, and/or re-engage dormant customers. The problem with them is that they can result in false positives. If you get very few conversions you may feel like your idea is invalidated or demand for the new product doesn’t exist, when in reality users were just unimpressed and/or unconvinced by the landing. Unbounce helps you to determine what your landing is missing.

While you can choose from over 100 responsive templates designed for many markets, goals, and scenarios, and then customize it with your own content using their drag and drop UI, you can also integrate Unbounce with your own design, making a terrific solution for designers and marketers who need to collaborate. Unbounce also works with Zapier and Mailchimp, so data can be transferred across the other apps and tools that marketers use.

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Author: Jamie Murphy
Source: sitepoint.com

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