There is little disagreement.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build a business.
Whether you’re filling up an event, building a relationship with your leads or your selling products and services directly, email marketing can do it all.
What marketers disagree on is how to increase email marketing results
One day, an article says a long subject line works the best. The next day, another article says shorter ones work best. One day a marketing guru tells you images in your email get higher clicks. Others day, another guru says plain HTML emails get more clicks.
What’s the real answer?
Well, for anyone who’s done any testing, you know.
The problem is there is never a one-size fits all solution.
If you’re a marketer or a business owner who cares about email marketing, you’ve probably tested endless number of…
- Subject lines to get more opens
- Call to actions to get higher click-throughs
- Email formats and content to get higher click-throughs
- Landing pages to increase sales
In the long-run, I can bet your email metrics generally stay the same.
Instead of focusing on these metrics, here’s the strategy I’ll propose.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your email list is or what industry you’re in, this will work for you.
If you want improve your email results, this is first email marketing solution to consider
The first strategy any business should consider is email segmentation.
The more segmented your email list is, the more personal and targeted your emails can be.
The more targeted and personalized your emails are, the higher conversions you will get across the board.
Do this consistently over time, and your email ROI will get better and better.
When you’re able to segment, you’re able to give the right segment what they want – without annoying the folks who care little or don’t care at all about your offer.
The great news is when you’re selling a great product, all you have to do is find the right people in your list to sell to and your email results will multiply – without you doing anything fancy.
Don’t take my word for it.
Let’s take a look at a specific case study by MailChimp, one of the world’s most popular email services and what they uncovered about segmentation.
MailChimp did a study on 2,000 heavy MailChimp users. These users were sent 11,000 segmented campaigns to about 9 million recipients.
Here’s what the results showed…
This data shows email-segmentation pays off in nearly every way you can measure it.
If you’re a business owner, this is great news.
Now, here’s the challenge.
While we know that email segmentation is important, how to do it is not always clear.
That’s what we’ll dive deep into discovering today.
Here’s a few ways to segment your leads (use as many of these as possible) - #2 has a template you can copy and paste:
You have 3 ways to do it.
- Segment before someone opts-in
- Segment immediately after someone opts-in
- Segment when they’re on your list already
1) Segment your audience before they opt-in
How you want to do this is by offering a highly targeted offer for specific segment of your audience.
We’ll be studying Ramit Sethi’s segmentation strategy.
In case you don’t know Ramit Sethi, Ramit is a New York Times Best Seller, one of the top internet marketers in the world right now and a regular guest on the Tim Ferris show.
He’s another one of those guys who deserves to be more famous because of the tremendous value he has to share with the world.
Let’s look at his product page at: http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/products/
I’ve highlighted the section I want you to pay attention to.
Do you notice how you can choose from 5 different product categories?
Because Ramit’s following is so large, he has no choice but to segment.
On his products page, he offers 18 different products.
Some are paid.
Some are free.
(In your case, no matter what audience size you have, you want to offer paid and free offers as well to see which do better).
What happens when he offers specific products by categories?
- Business training
- Find your dream job
- Optimize your psychology
- Personal finance
On Ramit’s site, as soon as you click on any of his products, you’re taken to a separate landing page that will put you into a specific email list.
The advantage of this strategy is that you won’t need to do any additional work and your audience will segment themselves for you.
It works especially well when you have a targeted list or you’re running very targeted paid campaigns.
For emails, all you do is create specific campaigns and it’s almost a guarantee you will have a higher open rates and click-throughs compared to when you send the same emails to everyone in your list.
So what if you’re not selling a specific offer in your ads and you’re getting traffic from all over the place?
Here’s the solution…
2) Start segmenting as soon as someone opts into a general list – as soon as in the first email
Sometimes, you don’t want to segment too soon because you will be potentially pushing prospects away from you and your business.
In these cases, and it makes sense to gather leads and add them to a “general list”.
When do you do start segmenting after someone’s opted-into a general list?
You want segment as soon as they get onto the list.
I’ll show you a real life example of this that gets very good results.
The exact email below has an amazing track record.
- Open rate: 71.6%
- Click-through-rate: 40.2%.
You can use this as a template:
You might be just starting out, or maybe you've have been in business for a while. Maybe you have a podcast, or maybe you don't.
That's why I'm going to learn about you as we go, but you're going to have to help me out. Sometimes I may ask you to reply to an email, and you can choose to do that if you wish, but most importantly, I need you to click on links that matter to you in the emails I send.
If something is of interest to you or aligns with where you're at, click on that link.
If not, don't click.
Over time, I'll be able to better understand what you like and dislike, and serve up content that makes sense for you.
And it starts right here...
In order for me to send you emails that make sense for you, I need you to start by clicking on the ONE answer to the following question that best suits you:
Which of the following best describes your online business activity?
Click on the ONE answer that best describes you:
I don't have an online business yet. I have an online business, but I'm stuck between $0-$500 per month. I have an online business that is generating more than $500 per month.
What you want to do is send this email immediately confirmation link is clicked.
Here’s a back-up strategy…
If the visitor doesn’t click on anything in Email 1, or doesn’t open your first email, you use the same strategy in the rest of your introduction email sequence.
In email 2 and 3, you talk about things in a different way but getting people to answer the question:
“Which one of the following 3 are you?”
What you do is you want to create a trigger with your email automation software to automatically add that user into another list where you can send them more information based on what they’ve clicked on.
To see the whole email campaign, you want to head over to http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ and get onto Patt Flynn’s email list.
He’s got a great podcast for SME business owners and for people who want to make money online.
The last situation you might face is this…
3) You have a list already, but it isn’t segmented
There are a few ways to segment when you’re in this situation.
Here are a few strategies…
a) Create a separate landing page and get your audience to re-optin
Why I like this strategy is because it’s just easy and gets you what you want.
You don’t need to create a bunch of automated tricks with your email software.
The key is to offer something valuable to your audience that will clearly separate one group from another.
This was an email I received from JV insider Circle.
As you can tell, I was already a part of their list.
That’s why I received the email in the first place.
So after I clicked on the “download” link, I was taken to a separate download page like this where I had to re-optin.
After clicking on the download my copy now button, a grayed-out optin pop-up comes up:
After I answered the segmentation question, here’s where I re-opted in.
Just like that, you have another list that’s created in your email service provider.
A) Create a quiz or a survey
The idea is to segment your email readers based on their answers to your list.
For a great resource on this, I’d suggest a book called “Ask” by Ryan Levesque.
He’s one hell of a marketer.
In his book, he’s goes into detail on all of the ways you can segment based on asking a few simple questions to your general list.
Here are a few best practices for your quiz:
- You can combine it with an ethical bribe / white paper that they get for participating
- The progress bar gives people security.
- Keep it short and show an estimated time it takes to finish (ideally 2 minutes or less)
B) Just ask people to reply to your email or click on a link
This is also one of Ryan Levesque’s ask-method.
It’s a good strategy if you know you want to segment, but you don’t know what your segments are.
Rather than guessing, simply just ask your email list.
What are you interested in learning more about?
It’s a great way to get a better understanding of what your categories should.
What you’ll find is that there are common answers that come up.
Those answers are a great way to segment.
C) The good old JSTDT Strategy
I’m a fan of simplicity.
Doberman Dan, a popular direct-response copywriter, has a saying it’s called:
He calls it the JSTDT strategy.
It stands for: “Just sell the damn thing.”
To save time, instead of walking on eggshells with your list, you just sell whatever it is you’re selling.
As long as you’re not offering the wrong products to the wrong audience every day, then you’re okay.
Your user engagement won’t go down.
After you have a list of buyers for a particular offer you are making, you know exactly what type of offering that they would be interested in the future.
To wrap, here’s what to remember.
Before you spend money to hire an email marketer, ask yourself, how can I segment my email list and match better content and offers to each segmented list?
To get a personalized email marketing strategy session, click here to go to our contact page.