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Unraveling the Mystery of Effective Email Marketing – Part 2

In Part 1 of Unraveling the Mystery of Effective Email Marketing, I gave you some background information about how I created a profitable email marketing campaign. Before I tell you how I did it and how I got such an unexpected response and profitable conversion rates, I want to share the following with you.

Here’s a quote from McKinsey & Company regarding email.

Why marketers should keep sending you e-mails
McKinesy & Company Insights
January 2014
By Nora Aufreiter, Julien Boudet, and Vivian Weng

“There’s a reason your inbox always seems jam-packed: e-mail marketing works. But companies can get smarter about ensuring every message counts.

If you’re wondering why marketers seem intent on e-mailing you more and more, there’s a simple explanation: it works. E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined (exhibit). That’s because 91 percent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily, and the rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher.”

I’m generally skeptical of research that reports such dramatic statistics. My skepticism was diminished after I read the above.

How did I do it? Based on the feedback from the workshop, participants told me they wanted to learn more about certain marketing topics. This information was all I needed to move forward with my email campaign. My approach was straightforward.

  1. I included at least one practical marketing tip in each email
  2. I limited each email to approximately 325 words
  3. If I used information from an outside source, I’d include a link to that source
  4. I did not promote my book in the body of the email. However, on the right column of the email was a box that had a link to my book’s website.
  5. Since I was known to all of the recipients of the email, I did not have to establish my credibility each time I sent an email, I could just jump in and share content
  6. I used an informal style of writing and always wrote in the second person
  7. I did not include any unnecessary graphics or pictures

I broke my rule of just presenting tips in one email. I used a testimonial from a past workshop participant. This participant appreciated the help I gave her in our individual coaching sessions. I had a hunch this approach would add a personal touch to my email campaign.

Every time I sent an email, I would get at least one person requesting and signing up for one-on-one coaching.

Watch for the final episode of Unraveling the Mystery of Effective Email Marketing.

Unraveling the Mystery of Effective Email Marketing – Part 1

This is the first thrilling episode of a story about my experience using email to generate sales (or in my case, generating clients). I’m going to present the facts and of course, throw in my opinions.

My message to you is: mail marketing works

The goal of my email campaign was to sell my one-on-one business advising and marketing services.

Facts:

  • I used a list of participants who, over the past two years, attended my Marketing Professional & Personal Services Workshops
  • I started with 124 names and increased list to 169 names over two years.
  • I sent 13 emails to these participants over a 2 year period
  • I changed the body copy and headline (SUBJECT) for each email

You might think that 169 names is a tiny number of potential customers/clients. Remember, all of these people attended my workshop and knew me. I also have segmented lists of other types of potential clients (for example, purchasers of my self-help book Critical Connections – a Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing).

Every month for one year after attending the workshop, participants received an email from me called Marketing Tip of the Month. These emails contained tips, tactics, and ideas. At the bottom of every email, I would say, in one brief sentence that I was available for one-on-one coaching.

Quick history lesson: In the days before the Internet and social media, personal and professional service providers and small business owners never gave anything away. The customer had to pay for anything tangible you gave them. This practice did not include time spent in a selling mode. Seasoned professionals told me, “My time is valuable, and I am the subject matter expert. I’m not giving anything away”.

There was one caveat. If you published or were quoted in a newspaper or magazine article, clip the article and send it to everyone. If you came across a news article of interest to your customers, do the same. This was not seen as giving something away. It was another way to stay connected to your customers.

Nowadays, we’re seeing a shift from ‘don’t give it away’ to you gotta give stuff (content) away.

Back to today: Approximately every two weeks I sent emails to the all of the participants. Within a week of sending out the emails, I’d get at least one response. All of these responses converted into paying clients. 13 emails – thirteen new clients over a one year period.

How did I do it?

Watch for Part 2 of Unraveling the Mystery of Effective Email Marketing.