Email marketing campaigns follow a simple and very straightforward funnel shaped design. This funnels wide end starts when you first build a website, promote it and attract general visitors. From there, it narrows down through to percentage of visitors who subscribe to your email list, percentage who read your emails, percentage who click on the link inside them to visit your sales page and finally, the number of people who ultimately buy your products or services.
The email marketing funnel acts as a filter and guide, leading the most interested buyers steadily forward through trust building on your part until they reach your buying page and are convinced enough to make a purchase.
Throughout this whole process and before it even begins, there are key steps and measurements you can take to guarantee success. Let’s first start with some of these preliminary steps and from there move on to the most important measurements you need to focus on.
1. Build an Alluring Website
The website on which you base all of your content, materials and email marketing landing pages is the single most important part of your whole email marketing campaign after your emails themselves. Obviously then, you need to make this website as good as possible.
Make sure it’s glitch free, that the content is easy to read, the site easy to navigate and make sure that all of your copy is well written and completely engrossing to the readers in your target market. Your campaign or business website doesn’t have to be fancy, and in fact will probably be more successful if it’s simply designed, but it does need to be clear, presentable and problem free.
2. Narrow Down and Define your Target Audience
You can’t be a seller to everybody, you’ll never get all their interests catered to properly and your sales conversions will plummet. Instead, find yourself a specific target audience for your email campaign and get to know their needs as intimately as possible. If this means conducting a fair bit of market research, then so be it; also look at how your competitors are managing their own campaign. The better you know and have defined your target audience, the more enticing copy you can write. This translates directly into higher sales conversions off your emails.
3. Promote Yourself Thoroughly
Your email campaign first starts with random visitors to your website, people who found you through other means. The email list gets build like this and email directed visits will only come because you got your list of email subscribers in the first place by advertising in other ways.
Obviously then, you can’t just set up your website, place your email opt-in box and wait for people to find your page. Instead, you’ll need to build promotional relationships with other sites, develop your site’s search engine optimization, create social networking campaigns and even buy advertising with Google or other search engines (mainly Google though) as a promotional tool. This initial ramping up of promotion will pay large email list growth dividends if you’ve organized and targeted it well.
4. Research the right Keywords
Since our last tip covered advertising and SEO as initial tools of generating traffic to your opt in list, we now need to mention keywords. Both your advertising and optimization strategy will be largely based on the search keywords your potential clients use to make their inquiries in the search engines. Because of this, you need to research these keywords thoroughly and find the right combinations of words and phrases that most reflect the search patterns of your target customers. These are what you’ll pepper throughout your marketing site’s content and in your advertisements.
By researching the right words and combinations, you’ll attract the kind of people most likely to subscribe to your list and later buy what you offer.
5. Create a Juicy Email Lure
You’ve got your main website set up and you’ve promoted yourself thoroughly. Now, what you absolutely need in addition to your highly informative and interesting page content is your email collecting lure; something you offer for free -via email– in exchange for your readers’ email addresses.
This has to be an extra that goes above and beyond whatever you’re giving up on your base web pages and it has to be something that really promises a genuine product for free delivery. You’ll also have to deliver on that promise, because if you don’t, your email subscribers will quickly lose confidence in everything else you have to offer.
Now on to real measurement metrics and how to read them.
6. Keep an Eye on Your Email List Size and Growth Rate
Of the two, the much more important since a large list doesn’t necessarily mean higher sales if you haven’t targeted the right people. Furthermore, a smaller list that converts well into sales can also be better than a large list that barely gets you sales down the road. However, ideal list size should follow certain reasonable percentage based on number of overall page visitors and if you see that this percentage is low, it probably means you’re setting something up wrong on your page.
Email list growth is the far more important factor in your email marketing campaign, you need to maintain a strong promotional campaign to keep your list growing at a steady rate. If your list is growing too slowly, either you’re not attracting enough visitors or (if you see that your visitor volume is high) you’re not making your opt in interesting enough.
Also, while you should always take advantage of an opportunity to create more subscribers, it’s also good to have a certain predetermined number of list subscribers in mind, so you know when to stop worrying about focusing on list growth.
7. Work for a High Email Open Rate
This is where effective subject titling comes into play. Eventually, your email subscribers will get used to seeing your messages appear in their inbox; if they’re like most typical email list subscribing web users, your messages will be competing for attention with other marketers email promotions.
In order to stick out, you need to title them in the most eye catching way possible. Work toward crafting shocking, surprising or curiosity inducing titles that are personalized as possible -meaning that they include each subscribers name as they reach them. Your email Open rate needs to have a high percentage for anything else in your email marketing campaign to function, so experiment with different subject headlines until you get a result that seems to work well; try to aim for at least a respectable open rate of 30%.
8. Quality Email Content for High Click Through Rates
If you’re getting a large percentage of your email subscriber list to actually open your messages because you’ve caught their interest, your next hurdle will be keeping a high click through rate. This is the percentage of your readers that actually click through the link inside your email message that takes them to a landing page where the sales funnel continues.
Make sure your email content is written so that it builds curiosity about knowing more; make sure that the link itself actually works well and loads quickly, and, of course, do not make the mistake of accidentally hiding your inbox link where it won’t be clearly and easily visible, interestingly titles and a natural extension of your message content.
9. Set up an Effective Landing Page to Avoid a High Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the number of people that click through your email message based link and then almost immediately leave the page they’ve arrived on. With bounce rate, the aim is to reduce it as much as possible and if you’ve done this and reduced it to below 5% then you’re doing an excellent job of running your email campaign (assuming your open rate and click through rate are high)
Do this by making sure that the landing page that your clients land on was honestly represented in your email message; tricking your viewers is a very bad idea and will destroy future trust. Additionally, deliver quality inside your landing page; it should contain something of value to your readers and only lead them on to a purchase after delivering on quality of its own. Remember that your landing page is the last major step before getting a sale, and you don’t want it to mess up its job when you’re so close.
10. Sales Conversion is Key
Finally we arrive at the most important metric of all, sales conversion rate. Your sales conversion is the prime cut of meat in your email marketing campaigns success menu. If everything else is doing poorly but your sales conversion is very high, you’re better off than a competitor who has a large list, high click through rate and no sales.
For this reason, your sales conversion rate needs to be kept as high as possible; as a percentage of total site visitors at the start of your email marketing campaign and as a percentage of landing page visitors.