Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States – Data and Marketing Association
If your online business is dependant for its site traffic on search engine ranking, social media and advertising you could be at risk.
The future profits of your business are entirely in the hands of companies outside of your control.
Many profitable companies are lost thanks to an updated search engine algorithm, a change in social media or the increasing cost of advertising.
So, in this article we will look at a marketing medium that will always remain firmly under your control – email marketing.
“The best way to control your own destiny is to have direct communication with your customers and not depend on other platforms for your success.
For online marketing, the best way is to build and grow your own email list. Email Marketing gives you the most effective way to talk directly to all of your customers. ” Noah Kagan
You’ll find the best practices and ideas of how 15 really successful entrepreneurs/marketers are implementing their email marketing strategy.
We will be looking into the results of an in depth study of how thee marketers use email marketing to convert non-visitors into conversions.
You will learn exactly what it is they do best and will be able to implement these strategies to your own email marketing methods right away.
Analyzing what the most successful entrepreneurs and marketers do is the best way to learn. These guys know about email marketing, write about it, give a lot of importance to it, have large lists & do proper testing.
“A smart entrepreneur learns from his mistake. A smarter entrepreneur learns from someone else’s mistake. And the smartest entrepreneur learns from someone else’s SUCCESS.” Derek Halpern
- Get Targeted Traffic
- Get Subscribers
- From Subscriber to Reader
- Deliver Value
- Connect With Subscribers
Email Marketing Strategy #1 – Get Targeted Traffic
0 Traffic = 0 Subscribers = 0 Results
When it comes to acquiring traffic there is so much to go into. More than possible in just one section of an article.
There are hundreds of books, communities, blogs, courses and businesses that cater for delivering traffic.
I will outline some of the basics to set you off in the right direction.
Targeted traffic involves two things – targeted and traffic.
An effective email marketing strategy should begin by defining which users you want to attract to push the “Subscribe” button.
- Who is he?
- Where is he (online)?
- What is he interested in?
This defines everything you will be doing.
- What your newsletters will be about.
- What your lead magnets will be.
- Where and how you’ll find them.
You’ll need to attract targeted traffic to your site.
Some options are:
- Content Marketing: Publish content that attracts people to your website.
- SEO: Optimize your content and get links that push it up in search engines.
- Advertising / SEM: Advertise specific keywords or put ads on sites where your potential subscribers hang out.
- Social Media: Attract visitors from specific communities and social media sites they are part of.
- Email Data: Source out email data relevant to your niche and run acquisition email marketing campaigns
Later on, I’ll share some specific links, about building traffic.
Email Marketing Strategy #2 – Get Subscribers
Ask yourself –
“Do I want to receive more emails?”
Personally, i don’t
“Do too many websites ask for your email address?”
yes i think they do.
These days it’s getting harder and harder to grow and email list.
This section is separated into:
- How these entrepreneurs ask for the email (subscription form)
- What they offer to subscribe (lead magnet).
The home page is the most visited and the key point of reference to the full website.
That’s why it is the most important.
47% of entrepreneurs dedicate the best part of their home page to collect emails.
Take Mixergy’s for example. Their home page is one big subscribe form.
The same goes for Opportuntiy Building:
Devoting your homepage works well for collecting more email subscribers because….
Visitors that arrived their either typed in the URL or came via a link. More than likely they are familiar with the site or it was recommended to them.
They are much more likely to subscribe even if thee page doesn’t contain any content.
Whereas those visitors that come via the search engines are directed straight to the content.
Those that arrive through a search engine are sent directly to the content.
Neil Patel has a button which leads to a sign up form underneath an introduction video on his homepage:
Take a look at Maria Forleo’s homepage. She also has an email opt in form underneath the header on every page of her site.
There are many more examples like this.
All of these marketers are dedicating their homepages to collecting opt ins. Clearly email marketing plays a large part in their overall marketing strategy.
A subscription form in the top right of the sidebar will display on all website pages.
This is one of the first areas of a site that a visitor will see when they arrive.
47% of the marketers use them.
This is Nomadic Matt’s Travel Blog:
85% of our marketers have their sidebar opt in form above the fold.
So if your website has a sidebar, it’s one of the best locations to put a subscription form.
However, there is another school of thought. If your main goal is to get new email list subscribers, consider taking out the sidebar.
Bryan Harris undertook a study on the effectiveness of using a sidebar. Without, he managed to increase sign-ups by 26%.
Take a look at his split test data below. The blue shows his signups when the sidebar was in place, the orange without it:
Why did this happen?
Because he removed all of the distractions from his site’s pages. For him this is what converts his visitors into subscribers best.
Like the sidebar the footer can also display a subscription form on all of a site’s pages.
Although it is not as visible as a sign up form in the sidebar.
However, those that do see it are more interested as they have read all the way to the end of the page.
20% use it.
Here is an example from WPCurve (Dan Norris).
I know what you are thinking. I was just browsing through a really interesting article and then this annoying sign up form popped up.
You’re right pop ups are really annoying.
Yet the truth is they are a really effective way of building a list for email marketing.
A study by Conversion XL showed that Pop-Ups increased email sign ups by as much as 600%.
That’s not all.
This explains why 75% use them.
Out of our 15 marketers i saw 5 different types of pop sign up form:
- 7 have an exit intent pop-up
- 3 have a triggered box pop-up (appears in one of the corners)
- 2 have a footer pop-up
- 2 have time-triggered centered pop-up (pops up after X seconds)
- 1 has it in the header.
Three do not have any and three have two.
The most popular pop up sign up form was:
Exit Intent pop-up:
One of the reasons that this form is so effective is because t pops up at the perfect moment.
The visitor is not interrupted whilst reading through an article.
Plus they already have a good idea of what service the site is offering.
The visitor was going to leave anyways – so there is less risk of the pop up being annoying.
A study by Backlinko illustrates how an exit intent pop-up helped to double their opt-in rate.
47% use them.
I found the following 3 variations of exit intent pop-ups
This example is form ConversionXL’s site:
What’s also interesting is that 42% do not actually ask for the user to input their email right away.
Another strategy is to ask the visitor to answer a question or choose between two options.
In this example from Quicksprout’s subscription form, you can see how they encourage their visitors to take action:
In this example the question presents the site visitor with a seemingly obvious choice. On choosing the guide they are then asked for their email on the next page.
Here is another example of a pop up sign up form. This one is used by Nathalie Lussier. It’s a banner.
This one is great for creating an element of intrigue. When clicking on the banner the user is then directed to an email opt in form an an additional landing page.
Email Subscriber Form Best Practices:
Having established the benefits of email subscriber pop up forms here are a few examples of how best to use them:
Only Activate for Non Subscribers:
On here blog Nathalie Lussier only activates her pop up form for non subscribers. As you can see in the image below it can detect which visitors have already subscribed in the URL:
By setting the pop up activate for non-subscribers only Nathalie has improved the user experience without missing out on any additional sign ups.
Notice also how she refers to her subscribers –
Later we will look at a few more finishing touches that Nathalie uses.
Subscriber Form Within the Content:
By placing an email subscriber form within the content you guarantee that every user will be able to see it.
Strategically placed sign up forms can do wonders for your email sign up rates.
For instance, placing one at a point in you content when the reader is at a high.
You could also create a lead magnet that is unique to a particular piece of content.
Below are a few really effective places for putting a sign up form:
End of an article:
If a reader has got to the bottom of your article the chances are that they liked it.
Articles that deliver great content that provides over the top value are highly likely to get more subscribers when an opt in form is placed at the end of each article.
According to Social Triggers, not having a sign up form in this position is one of the biggest “leaks” that costs valuable subscribers.
73% of our marketers include an end of content sign up form.
Here is an example from Buffer:
And in this example from Brennan Dunn there is an option to follow his site on Twitter, and then sign up later:
A content upgrade is the cherry on top of the cake.
When a user is engaged in a particular article they are likely to want more.
So providing a content upgrade is one of the most effective ways to maximise your email list sign ups.
Take a look at this article from Backlinko by Brian Dean. Dean points out that by adding content upgrades to his articles he was able to increase his email opt ins by 785%.
47% of our marketers use content upgrades
Here is my example of a content upgrade. Simply follow the link to see how ti works:
Here is one of Brain Dean’s content upgrade links:
Here is another one from Noah Kagan:
Another tips for gathering subscribers is to add a few extra bonus tips that are only available with the content upgrade. Visitors that enjoy reading a specific article can then download the checklist and get access to the bonus information.
Andrew Warner of Mixergy takes the content upgrade a level further.
Mixergy, along with content, publishes interviews. These are available for free for 2-3 weeks after the interview is published.
A non-subscribed visitor can access the additional content by follow the link and opting in.
The debate over Single Opt-In and Double Opt-In Rages on.
The truth is that both email subscriptions options have their benefits and disadvantages.
I go into some of these in another article on Email List Building.
Here is what our Top 15 marketers do:
66% of these marketers asked only for email.
20% asked for name and email, and 13% had subscription forms of both types.
Should You Ask For the Email in Your Sign Up Form?
The most common approach is to place in email field in the sign up form.
That way the potential sign up has to go through as few steps as possible.
This is what 70% of our marketers do in their subscription forms:
The other 30% leave it out altogether.
Here is an example from Brian Dean:
In the second example when clicking on the button, the.visitor either
- See a pop-up that asks for their email address.
- They are sent to a landing page.
This second method has some advantages…
- Often site visitors are oblivious to subscription forms that include an email form.
- When a user sees a banner that does not include a sign up form, they may think that the free gift is only a click away. Then they are presented with more reasons to subscribe.
- It adds another step in the funnel which can be optimised further. For example, users that click on a banner and do not input their email address.
Actionable Tips/ Conclusions:
There is no one standout opt-in form. Each of the marketers in this example used on over 3 different types.
Here is the break down of the most popular:
Things to test:
- Split test opt-in forms with and without the email form in the banner.
- Split test opt in forms with and without the name form in the banner.
How to Convince Visitors to Become Email List Subscribers
Using an email subscribe form will encourage site visitors to become subscribers.
All that’s left to do now is convince them to leave their details.
The surefire way to do this is to provide content of outstanding value.
If you’re content hits the spot then you will already have the visitor poised to sign up.
49% of the sign up forms we examined do not offer any incentives to subscribe.
Here is an “incentive free” example from WPCurve (Dan Norris):
In this example no lead magnet is offered. Instead it relies purely on great content.
All the user needs to do is subscribe to get all the site updates.
Often site visitors may need some further encouragement..
This is why many internet marketers rely on lead magnets to attract extra sign ups.
A lead magnet should always work alongside great content. Furthermore it should be appealing enough to warrant a new user presenting their email address.
Out of the opt in forms that we looked at:
- 49% are “subscribe for site updates”
- 22% offer a Free eBook
- 14% offer a Free Course
- 8% offer a Checklist
- 6% offer a Resource/Tool Kit
Lead magnets that appear as content upgrades have not been included in this analysis. We will take a closer look at these a little later on.
To simplify we can separate lead magnets into two categories: High perceived value and tactical:
High Perceived Value:
The question to ask yourself here is – how much would you sell your email address for?
If you were offered $200 for it, would you give sell it to an individual?
What about if you were offered $5000 … would you sell it?
I think that when you consider that you can unsubscribe at any time, most of us would…
After “subscribe for site updates,” high perceived value lead magnets (eBooks and courses) are the most popular.
42% of the subscription forms offer these.
Neil Patel specifies the monetary value of the lead magnet on the subscription form.
In this example he is implying that he will pay the visitor $300 for their email address:
Or the user will receive the same value that others are getting for $5.000’s per hour:
However, in my experience 100-page eBooks or 30-day courses, despite being packed full of great content take a time commitment that puts many users off.
For this kind of site traffic it’s better to provide them with something bitesize that they can put into action right away.
Tactical/Actionable Tips (cheatsheet, swipe file)
Most of the time people want to learn how to do things the easy way.
That’s where an offer that requires a low level of commitment can prove to be more attractive.
Here is an example from Ryan Deiss:
Now take a look at this one from Lincoln Murphy:
When presented with this option what internet marketer would not want to engage their users 99% of the time?
What’s more it’s a quick hack that is tried and tested. It’s a no brainer and almost certain to increase opt-ins.
The equivalent “high value” giveaway would include a message along the lines of “Subscribe to our 60 day course on how to increase your email opt in rate.”
But this one gets right to the point. The subscriber can even begin employing the method to their own business immediately.
8% of the opt in forms we looked at offer a tactical lead magnet (excluding content upgrades).
Check out this video from Traffic Generation Cafe explaining how to double sign ups by concentrating on tactical lead magnets.
By adding content upgrades into the study we see that 60% of our marketers offered at least one tactical lead magnet.
Here is the breakdown:
- 5 offer only high-value lead magnets
- 4 offer only tactical lead magnets.
- 4 offer both… a high value and a tactical lead magnet
- 2 do not offer lead magnets
49% of the opt in forms do not offer lead magnets. Instead they offer site updates.
Interestingly enough this actually brings in the highest quality subscribers. Namely those that are the most interested in the content on offer and do not need any additional incentive to sign up.
What it boils down to is the more value provided and the better known the site is in terms of recommendations the less lead magnets are necessary.
When evaluating between giving a high-perceived value item (such as an eBook or course) and/or an actionable tips giveaway (checklist, etc.) there was no standout favourite.
The fact is that each one attracts a different kind of subscriber.
It would be advisable, therefore, to offer both kinds and see which brings the best results.
A suggestion would be to use the high-value item in the exit intent pop-up and the tactical in a content upgrade or at the end of an article.
Email Marketing Strategy #3 Turn Subscribers into Readers
Once a user subscribes to your list, he should start to read your emails.
A great subject line is what will make your email stand out above all of the others.
It is the first stage in the sales funnel.
Without a good subject line the email content will go unread and the landing page will never get seen.
Better make sure it’s a good one then!
33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.
In this section we will take a look at how our top marketers come up with their subject lines.
The average length of a good email subject line is 7/8 words and 45.2 characters.
More often subject lines were not personalised. Out of 440 subject lines from our top marketers that we looked at none of them were personalised.
Here is a chart of the most popular words used:
This numbers in the fourth column are the number of times the word appears, divided by the number of subject lines analyzed (440
This numbers in the fourth column are the number of times the word appears, divided by the number of subject lines analyzed (440
The words “You” and “Your” were used 129 times in total.
29% of the subject lines included one of these two words.
These results correspond to a study made by Noah Kagan where 1 million subject lines were analysed.
Here are some other interesting insights:
- 25% include a number
- 13% include a question mark.
- 7% include “[ ].” (See this article at Warrior Forum which explains why.)
- 8% include ”…”
- 3% include an exclamation mark
- 2% denote a real sense of urgency
When a newsletter shared a post, 42% used exactly the same subject line as the post.
Those who changed it…
1. Reduced its length…
Brian Dean reduced the length of his article title from:
Step-By-Step Case Study: How I Created a Post That’s Generated 113,817 Visitors and 2,000+ New Email Subscribers
113,817 visits and 2,000+ subscribers (new case study)
2. Converted it into a question
Nathalie Lussier changed:
How To Start The Right Business
Are you in the wrong business?
3. Made it more intriguing
Andrew Warner changed:
Master Class: Growth Hacking – with Dan McGaw
When to send newsletters?
Browsing on line to find the answer to this question will yield conflicting results.
But Experian suggest that sending newsletters on the weekend is better.
The truth is that the correct time to send a newsletter will vary depending on your audience.
The only solution is to test out what days work best for your subscribers.
To help shorten the learning curve a good idea would be to look at what other marketers in your niche are doing and copy them.
Out of the 440 analyzed newsletters here are the daily percentages:
- Sunday – 1%
- Monday – 14%
- Tuesday – 17%
- Wednesday – 25%
- Thursday – 25%
- Friday – 15%
- Saturday – 2%
The middle of the week (Wednesday and Thursday) were their preferred days, followed by Tuesday.
Looking at it individually… the most popular days are also Wednesday
|Dan Norris||43%||Marie Forleo||73%||Nathalie Lussier||73%|
|Neil Patel||33%||Brian Dean||30%||Vero||57%|
|Alex Turnbull||80%||Lincoln Murphy||53%|
Time of Day
What hour the email goes out is fairly important.
It will determine if and when a subscriber will read the newsletter.
If you send it…
- When he is busy, he will not read it.
- When he is tired, he will not read it.
- In the evening or early in the morning, he will read it on his mobile.
- When he is on holiday he may not read it
- During work hours, he will read it on his computer.
Trying to find answers online yields the following:
Mailchimp suggests mornings (10 am) because that’s when open rates will be the highest.
Experian suggests evenings to get responses.
Both studies make good points, but they are somewhat contradictory, although they make the important distinction between open rates and CTR.
It gets worse…
Time zones, send speed of your servers…..
Let’s take a look at how our top 15 marketers overcame this issue:
|Send times per hour blocks:||Most popular hours:|
|00-03 am:||2%||10-11 am:||16%|
|03-06 am:||2%||11-12 pm:||13%|
|06-09 am:||20%||8-9 am:||10%|
|09-12 pm:||38%||9-10 am:||8%|
|12-15 pm:||19%||12-13 pm:||8%|
|15-18 pm:||9%||7-8 am:||7%|
|18-21 pm:||7%||13-14 pm:||7%|
For the most part these marketers were aiming for their newsletters to be delivered very early in the morning PST, mid-morning EST, evening in the UK and late night in Australia.
These were the preferred “send times” per marketer:
|6 am-9 am:||9 am-12 pm:||12 pm-15 pm:|
|Noah Kagan 87%||Alex Turnbull 97%||Derek Halpern 50%|
|Buffer (87%)||Neil Patel (97%)||Chris Hexton (67%)|
|Brian Dean (75%)||Nathalie Lussier (67%)||Peep Laja (40%)|
|Ryan Deiss (50%)||15-18 pm: None|
|Andrew Warner (50%)||18 pm-21 pm:|
|Brennan Dunn (43%)||Dan Norris (47%)|
|Marie Forleo (37%)||Lincoln Murphy (37%)|
Who to Send the Email From
After analyzing the subject lines, times, and hours these marketers send their newsletters, I got the impression that they were not that optimized. Maybe a little, but I got the feeling that they spend little energy on this.
There is something much more important.
What really determines their open rates and (CTR’s) and will also determine yours is the value you provide and the relationship you build with your subscribers.
If you put your focus on subject lines and the best moment to send your newsletters, your open rates and CTR’s may be OK for the first 1-2 times, but then they will plummet.
If you send newsletters with un-optimized subject lines, the worst day and hour of the week, but you provide value and connect, your open rates and CTR’s will go through the roof.
What about this stat?
33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.
The fact is that most people open their emails having looked at the name of the sender first.
Ask yourself – which are the newsletters that you open the mist consistently?
The name of the sender is what gives the content of the email credibility.
Once I know that the internet marketer that I have subscribed to is going to provide me with great content I will always open their newsletters.
There are even some lists that I am subscribed to where the content provided is so good that I can implement some of the tasks recommended to may own business strategy straight away.
When I receive a Newsletter from these kind of marketers I literally stop what I am doing to read it. That’s because I know that I am going to learn something of enormous value by reading it.
If I don’t get this kind of value, then I stop opening the emails.
Some marketers think that reputation is sufficient but it’s not.
I have come across some great articles online and been inspired to sign up straight away. However, I have gone on to unsubscribe from so many later because the follow up emails just weren’t as good.
Reputation is everything. It’s what drives visitors to continually open emails and make repeat visits to websites.
Keeping that trust with the email subscribers is a massive part of a successful email marketing strategy.
Email Marketing Strategy #4 – Deliver Content of Amazing Value
Upon researching email marketing strategies most of the content out there puts the emphasis on how to increase your subscriber opt-ins.
Of course this is highly important – no subscribers = no business.
However, a marketer needs to connect with their subscribers. They must turn them from fans into customers.
This area of email marketing is much more difficult than setting up your opt-in forms and lead magnets.
It requires careful consideration and much work. But once done right will give an online business a bigger reach than the New York Times!
This is what happened to Marie Forleo:
Now to reach this level in your email marketing strategy you need to do two things –
- Provide content of amazing value
- Connect with your email list subscribers
It is important that we distinguish blog readers from email subscribers.
Blog readers tend to only skim through a site for a particular article.
Email subscribers are much more into what you have to say. They demonstrate this when they sign up to your list.
Initially they will have signed up because they want access to the lead magnet on offer. Or because they really took interest in one or more articles.
Whatever the reason, as an internet marketer you must work hard to keep them on your list.
In this section we will take a look at the added value provided by email newsletters. We will not be looking at the value in site content.
This section is primarily concerned with what a subscriber receives and what the blog reader does not.
Having examined 440 emails I will now divide the value on offer into two sections:
- Providing value with content from the site
- Delivering value (from outside the blog)
Providing value with content
Out of all the newsletters 70% of them were sharing content published on their blog.
Some marketers provided a summary whilst some put the content from the blog in the newsletter.
This is very beneficial to the subscriber for two reasons:
- Convenience: There is no need to keep checking in to see if new articles are published.
- Keep up to Date. With so much information on the web it’s important to keep up to speed. Article updates ensure that the subscriber never misses out on a valuable snippet of information.
9% of the newsletters shared a link/title to the post.
Take a look at this example from Buffer:
There are two benefits on offer here – How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client.
11% of our top marketers shared the entire post in the newsletter.
Often a subscriber may think that they have received this content just for being on the list. This will encourage them to value the site very positively.
In addition, if a site is not optimised well for mobile, receiving a full article in an email can be beneficial.
Conversely, however, receiving a long email can put users off. Moreover, an opportunity is missed to engage them in additional site content.
Provide a summary or intro to the article.
55% offer an article as a teaser.
Take a look at this excerpt by Andrew Warner:
Post summaries are effective as they allow the reader to decide if they are interested or not within a few seconds.
22% provide an excerpt as an introduction to the full article.
Here is an example from Neil Patel:
3% had an intro followed by the full article.
The introduction acts as teaser which explains to the reader why the article is going to be of interest. A link to the full article on the site follows, plus the full article below that.
Here is an example from Noah Kagan:
Share More Than One Article Update
For a user that is really interested in the content on offer from a particular site why not provide them with even more value?
Common sense would tell you that they would be even more satisfied with a link to another article.
By providing more articles per newsletter it is possible to cut down on the sending frequency.
For instance Peep Laja shares up to 4 articles in each newsletter.
Whilst logic suggests that the more on offer the better – the opposite may actually be true. Having too many articles to choose from can paralyse the reader.
Whilst being a prolific content provider is one thing the trick is to make sure that it all gets ready.
Back in 2014 Hubspot, for example, used to provide up to 21 article links in their newsletters:
These days however, their newsletters usually contain only 4-6 links to articles:
Provide Content For Subscribers Only
If you consider your customers to be important then it’s worth offering them content that shows it.
Providing them with content that is not available to visitors that are only blog readers will make them feel special.
Here is an example of how this is made clear in a subscription form from Brian Dean:
Here are a few pointers on how to do this:
Share Additional Content That You Have Posted Elsewhere
If you have written articles for other sites or there are high value articles that link mention your brand then share it with your subscribers.
The advantages of this are:
- You provide additional content of value to your users that they would not get by visiting your blog/website.
- You will send additional site traffic where the post appears.
- By showing your subscribers that you have contributed elsewhere you will boost your reputation as an authority.
Take a look at this example from Dan Norris:
Share Excellent Content From Other Writers in the Same Niche
Never be afraid to share additional great content from other writers covering the same topics.
With so much great information on the web it is possible to cement the reputation of a site by including additional content that would be of value to the site’s email subscribers.
There is nothing wrong with adding additional comments too.
Plus it will increase the conversation among the users in the niche community.
Provide Unique Content
In his site’s Newsletters Lincoln Murphy’s provides additional unique content that is not covered on his website..
He does this by writing detailed analyses of different topics that he keeps up to date regularly.
In so doing he keeps his newsletters light weight.
From these points he links back to articles that are featured on his own site.
This allows him to:
- Provide exclusive content to his subscribers.
- Keep linking back to previously posted content on his site.
- Keep his newsletters up to date even if there are no new articles on his site.
Share Specific Content Only With Subscribers
Here is something from Brennan that is free but only for his email subscribers’ list:
Promote Using the Newsletter
As an email marketing strategy this is the most effective way to build momentum and increase sales.
However, not all email subscribers are interested in this method and it’s not unusual for someone to unsubscribe if they receive too many promotional offers.
For that reason it’s important to strike a balance.
Even if a subscriber is not a purchaser now, they may be later on down the line.
Moreover, they can bring added benefits, such as commenting or sharing articles.
In June 2014, Neil Patel analyzed the engagement of visitors that came from search engines, direct, social media, and his email subscribers’ list.
His Email list was responsible for:
- 16,3% of the blog’s traffic
- 35,7% of the comments
- 34,3% of the social media shares
- 44% of the revenue
Not only that but 16% of site visitors were responsible for nearly 50% of all sales.
In short his email subscribers were more engaged in his content than the traffic that came from all of his other marketing mediums.
That’s why it is critical to strike a balance and maintain a low opt-out rate..
- Marketers need to promote.
- During a promotion, they may send 3-5 emails one day apart.
- The majority of their subscribers will not be interested or purchase.
Here are a few suggestions for keeping the unsusbcriber rates low without missing out on some great promotional opportunities:
Brennan explains to his subscribers that they will receive a number of promotional emails:
Andrew Warner segments his list. That way only subscribers interested in his offers will continue receiving those messages:
Another suggestion is to combine both content and promotion.
Groove, BufferApp, and Quicksprout sell a specific products and services. Often their newsletters will include a link or advert above the footer. Sometimes a newsletter can contain a advert with a link in the sidebar.
The main value of content appears in the body of the message, but there is always a reference to their product or service.
Here is one of Groove’s newsletters with a link at the end:
There are ways to be more aggressive in an email marketing strategy. For instance, if you would like to give a new product a bug push warn your subscribers beforehand, so they are understand what you are up to.
Otherwise segment your users based on what specific products or content they are interested in.
Another way to do this is use tags in your email sending application.
By tagging a user based upon their specific interests the smart email marketer then is able to market to them specific products based on those interests.
This can open up plenty of additional marketing opportunities, such as offering a discount that is unique to email list subscribers.
Email Marketing Strategy #5 – Connect With Subscribers
For a website to really connect with its email subscribers it’s important to connect on a human level.
The brain is composed of two parts; the logical and the emotional.
Whilst the content of a site is what attracts site traffic to become email lists subscribers connecting on this level requires much more.
Value feeds the logical part of the brain.
This section is about feeding the “emotional.”
“People do business with people they know, like, and trust” …
Know, like, and trust have much more to do with emotions than logic.
Derek describes the importance of connecting with his customers on this level:
Connecting with subscribers is about letting subscribers know better the real you as opposed to the ideal you.
Two actresses were selling a blender in a shopping mall to two similar groups of people.
They both performed exactly the same presentation.
However, the only difference was that actress A “forgot” to put the lid on the blender. As result when she turned it on everything spilled over her.
Actress B did everything fine. No mistakes.
Actress A (blender with no cap) sold many more blenders than Actress B.
Maybe the audience felt sorry for her, maybe they empathised with her.
Either way Actress A connected much better on an emotional level than Actress B, who carried out a presentation with no mistakes.
So how do internet marketers connect with their audience?
They talk like a friend…
All of our internet marketers talk in a casual tone.
Rather than lecturing their audience they write in a manner that makes the reader fell that the message was written specifically for them.
Nathalie Lussier writes her newsletters in a different tone and content than her blog.
See how she opens this newsletter:
The link in the message directs to here:
The user value is provided in the video in the content.
Notice how the newsletter is very personal. She speaks to the reader in the same way she would to a friend. There are personal stories, thoughts, and other things that help you really get to know her.
The content on here site has more facts, ideas and great value.
The result is that Nathalie connects much more with her subscribers than her blog readers. By subscribing to her list she is inviting the user into her circle thus making them feel more privileged.
In this section, we will take a look at how these marketers connect through their email newsletters, along with their site and content.
Start a Conversation and Let Your Subscribers Know More About You
Increased interaction with an audience will build connections.
Here are some examples of how these marketers open up a conversation –
This is Alex:
This is from Brian Dean:
Even if the subscribers don’t respond a connection is still established.
But when they do respond they supply valuable feedback.
This usually comes in the form of a particular problem that they need help to resolve.
Then the marketer can create content, products, and services the consumers will be unable to do without.
Take a look at this from Brennan Dunn:
And now this from Brian Dean:
Create a Buzz About What’s Coming Up
Brian Dean is connecting with his email subscribers list by creating excitement:
Tell a Story
A good story is a great way to connect with people as stories appeal to emotions.
Alex Turnbull ran an A/B test of two versions of the same article. Both delivered the exact same value but one began with a story while the other simply contained the facts.
Out of those that read the article with the good story, 300% more reached the end of the page whilst spending 520% more time on page.
” When we hear information-–for example, a/b test results—we activate the part of our brain responsible for processing language. All we’re doing is taking in the words and figuring out what they mean.
But when we hear stories, our brain acts as if we’re feeling the stories.”
Good stories work well all the time. They make facts and abstract ideas more relevant and appealing, plus they are also entertaining.
I love hearing their stories. I do my best to be open and transparent about my flaws and insecurities. People are comfortable with me because I’m not trying to be something other than I am.
Opening up to people doesn’t mean that you need to share your most intimate details.
Let’s take a look at some examples of simple but effective ways to open up and connect with your target audience:
1) Low Exposure: Share a poignant article and explain how it resonates with your own experience.
Here is an article by Chris Hexton explaining why some people are luckier than others:
Note that it doesn’t have to be something specific to the niche that you would normally write about.
Nevertheless, you get to know a little bit more about Chris.
Marie Forleo shares causes that she fights for and asks her subscribers to support them.
This helps here to connect with here subscribers and invites them to take part in a bigger goal:
2) Share more about you…
Effective engagement is inspired by the empathy that develops simply by being human
Don’t be afraid to be more personal.
Again it’s not necessary to go deep into your personal lifer, but sharing a few snippets will really help connect with your subscribers.
Here is another example from Maria Forleo:
Can a Big Company Open Up?
So far we have spoken mostly about individuals. Out of the fifteen people/companies that we took a look at fourteen send out marketing messages signed by the CEO/Founder.
Opening up in these instances when a company is a small business is relatively simple but are the bigger companies able to open up in the same way?
Would you be more engaged with Microsofts products if Bill Gates signed every newsletter that you receive from them?
If he shared some tips and resources based on his personal experiences I probably would find myself more engaged with Microsoft’s products.
If he shared valuable and helpful personal experiences and stories, would you become more engaged with Microsoft’s products?
Opening up can put a human face on even a faceless corporation like Microsoft or Google.
It can help people remember that there was a driving force behind these businesses and that it was usually an individual or small group of people.
If large companies like Google and Microsoft can do it, so can any other company.
For some companies, it will be easier than for others.
What’s great about email marketing is that it takes the same effort for a large company who could have millions of subscribers to “open up” and be personal.
Subscribing to other sites in my niche has helped me to get to know other marketers and entrepreneurs. It has also provided me with a whole range of information that has been enormously beneficial.
I have gone on to be customers to many of these businesses as they have all offered something that I have needed.
What’s most important is that I trust them which has led me to recommend them and share their information and products further.
Email marketing can provide any business with the ability to connect with its users in the same way and on a massive scale.
Invest time and resources in it and you will find it to be one of the most valuable mediums for your business.