You thought you had everything covered when it came to email marketing – and you may very well have all of the boxes checked – but today Orissa Feeney shares some great advice on how to use your email marketing tools to their fullest potential. These strategies are so simple and easy to implement, and may just be the difference between a gaining a new loyal follower/customer and not. Check out these three tools to help your email marketing! -Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump…
Before I tell you what you should be doing – because I know everyone loves to be told what else they’re not doing that they could be doing better – I wanted to share this statistic with you:
Email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter. (Source: McKinsey & Company 2014)
Ok, so email marketing is STILL not dead.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way and you’re already sending out newsletters to clients, then chances are you’re sitting on a little nest of features in your email marketing system that could be saving you time and getting you better clients.
I know, trust me I get it, your to-do list feels like more of a wish list than anything that could possibly be accomplished by a single human being in one lifetime. You’re probably scoffing at the thought of finding time to do three more things with your email marketing, let alone even get out your “regular” newsletter. But I’m going to make that newsletter thing easier, too…
So before you surf off to a Pinterest board or other online distraction, I wanted to share a quick story about one of my clients – who, like you, has little time for another email marketing “feature.”
She’s put these three email marketing tactics in place and her calendar now has more clients booking themselves in – plus she’s made it easier on herself to send out newsletters.
Jess is a health coach by night and a full-time employee by day. She’s been working hard over the last six months to turn her passion for helping people into a real business. She is craving the flexibility that running her own business would allow her. And it would make all these hours she invests each night in front of her laptop feel worthwhile.
Her number one priority at the moment has been getting better clients. The kind who are happy to pay for her coaching – not the ones looking to barter for a little design work, homegrown strawberries or use of her sister’s car.
So you can imagine that when I spoke to her excitedly about the extra features she could set up in her email marketing, she wasn’t sharing my enthusiasm.
But as we mapped it out and the pieces were all put into play, she realized that she was saving herself time in the long run and making it easier for her potential clients to book themselves in.
This is what we did…
1. Customize your ‘Just-get-on-my-list-already’ emails.
Before your subscribers ever start getting newsletters from you, they already have a taste of your personality.
The little email dance that goes back and forth from the second when they hit the “join list” button, to that beautiful moment when they are counted in your list of email subscribers, is a perfect opportunity to show some of your style.
What we did for Jess: Since Jess uses MailChimp, we were able to customize these via the sign-up forms area within MailChimp. We customized the following messages, emails and pages:
- Thank you for subscribing – check your inbox for the confirmation email
- Confirmation email
- Thank you for confirming page
- You’re on the list email
At each of these points in the dance, we customized by replacing the standard set-up with the words that Jess would use. We changed the wording on these messages from “you’re subscribed” to “you’re part of our community.”
The opportunity for brand personality and styling was also taken up at this point using Jess’s color palette, logo and gorgeous pictures of Jess.
And on the final “Thank you for confirming” page we also mentioned Jess’s book and provided a link to it as an easy up-sell point.
2. Set up RSS in Jess’s newsletter template.
Sometimes (ok, often) getting a newsletter out each week can feel like a chore.
If you’re writing a regular blog post, then it’s the perfect opportunity to repurpose this content without any extra work just by setting up RSS feeds in your newsletter template.
What we did for Jess: In the templates we pasted in some code to pull in a summary of the most recent blog posts Jess had written. The code is similar to short code that you may have used in WordPress to bring in a chunk of text or a form on your site.
For MailChimp users it looks like this:
*|FEEDBLOCK:URL| * *|FEEDITEMS:| * and *|END:FEEDITEMS| * *|END:FEEDBLOCK| *
See this MailChimp article for more how-to details.
Now Jess writes a brief email newsletter with a paragraph about what she has been up to and then she lets the RSS code populate out the rest of the email, pulling nicely formatted paragraphs summarizing her blog posts for the week.
3. Set up an auto-responder to follow up with her new subscribers.
When someone jumps on your list, their interest in what you do is piqued. It’s a great time to build out the relationship and make sure they haven’t missed the best of what you’re about.
Within every email marketing system there is the ability to send out a series of pre-written emails that get delivered according to a schedule you choose.
What we did for Jess: After pulling together the most popular blog posts of her site, we set up the auto-responders by repurposing this content. A series of emails that introduced Jess more and shared the content her readers loved most was sent out. There was also the all-important “work with me” pitch added to at least two of these emails. This alone increased her client bookings weekly.
See my Cheat Sheet for auto-responders for more help setting these up.
Customize and set up at least one of these three features within your email marketing system – you’ll be saving time in the long run, building your brand recognition and most importantly increasing the number of bookings on your calendar.
Are you using any of these already? What tricks have you found in your email marketing system that save time or get more clients?