How to Increase Sales Even with Tiny List
There is no secret that each email marketer is aimed at growing his subscriber base. More subscribers, more sales. It’s true to some degree. But you should not forget that you will pay more to your email service provider as far as your list is growing.
With that in mind, what you should focus on is trying to make more sales from your existing list. Try to get more profit from your current leads instead of relying on new subscribers. I do not want to tell that you should not grow your list at all. Yes, you should, and it’s good if your subscriber base is expanding. I just want to tell that it should not be the priority. The priority is to maximize the profit from your existing email list.
Below are 10 email marketing practices you can utilize to increase sales even with a tiny list:
1. Be Relevant.
The first step towards sales is the retention of the subscriber’s attention. If the subscribers do not open and do not read your emails, then how will they know about your product and buy from you? Thus, the first thing you should concentrate on is how not to lose the subscriber’s attention.
Attention is not something that is supposed to exist. Even if people read each of 5 emails sent by you, you can’t be sure they will pay the same attention to the 6th or 7th email.
Attention is earned and maintained over time. And it can literally disappear overnight if you abuse the trust you have earned. There is an invisible trust metric which starts at zero or near zero, depending on how you got them onto your list.
When you send a relevant email, that invisible trust metric increases by a few points. You send another relevant email; you get a few points more to your asset. The next relevant email increases their trust even more. After a series of relevant emails (say ten emails in total), their trust towards you could be at 40-50 points, for example.
Then you send something that cuts across their expectations, a promotion for example. And here you are — your trust metric gets 20 points off. You have to start over as you might have lost the trust and attention of the subscriber. Trust and attention are so fragile. That’s why you need to be careful about what you send to your leads.
How to measure their trust and attention? Monitor your email open rate over time. If it’s unusually low for a particular message, check the message you sent before. There should be something that cut down their trust for you.
If you are not using an email tracking service yet, it’s time to start. You can signup for G-Lock Analytics email tracking service for free and monitor your open rate and click rate for each message you sent. Plus, G-Lock Analytics will show you the email clients your subscribers use to read your emails. It will help you focus on designing your messages primarily for mostly used applications.
2. Make It Interesting.
It’s all about the subscriber’s attention. Interesting and relevant content is the key to a high open rate.
Being interesting is an art. It is the art of being relevant, remarkable, intriguing, flirty and valuable. People should feel that there is something else, even better, behind the curtain.
For this purpose, storytelling, case studies, your personal experience work very well.
More than 40% of users said that each of the following make for the most valuable newsletters.
– Informs of work-related news or company actions (mentioned by two-thirds of users)
– Reports prices/sales
– Informs about personal interests/hobbies
– Informs about events/deadlines/important dates
– Nielsen Norman Group “Email Newsletter Usability” (2011)
As you probably know, most people don’t read emails. They scan them. That’s why make your email easy to scan and understand. Break it into paragraphs of 2-3 sentences, use bullets and bold to highlight the most important information.
If you want the subscriber to do something (download PDF, click the link or order button), tell that clearly to eliminate the guess play.
Always include your contact information in case people want to reach you when they have any queries for you. And do not forget about the unsubscribe link. It’s a must-have in each newsletter.
3. Make Them Crave for More
Nothing holds the attention better than the desire to know what will happen next. Tease and flirt with your readers. It builds attraction and makes them read your email till the end. This tactic is called an open loop.
When you are running an online business, your list is the best and truest asset you have. When you need to make some money, your list is where you go. It’s the number one thing you need when you setup your business.
I’ll explain why list building is so important shortly.
But first, here is the link to download our “Email Marketing Secret #1” pdf guide if you didn’t grab your copy yet:
The open loop is marked by bold. It’s a very basic one. It is simply telling the reader that I’ll finish up that story thread a bit later, but it keeps their attention.
The next teaser is more skilled:
Basically there are two types of lists: email and other. The email list is your prospect list (people who are interested in your emails and gave you the permission to email them) and client list (people who have already bought from you). The client list always generates xx times more money than the prospect list.
You may not take it for my word and run a split test yourself. And I may share with you the whole experiment we conducted in our organization if you’re interested.
But I digress…
So, definitely, the money is in the relationship.
Do you see what this open loop did? It builds up the desire to learn about our little experiment. It’s very subtle. It’s a “by the way” kind of thing. And then the story just moves on as if nothing happened. I didn’t return to the experiment in that email.
Another good thing is to add a teaser in a P.S to make them wait and read your next email.
“P.S You won’t succeed in email marketing unless you do this… You’ll find the answer in my next email…”
You should tease your subscribers all the time through the subject, content, and P.S.
4. Segment Your List.
This is not optional if you gave people the ability to choose what email list to opt-in to and what type of email newsletters to receive.
For example, I want to receive tips, tricks and solutions to problems. I want to receive only promotions. I want to receive only offers and coupons. I want to receive only free stuff…
They may also subscribe to multiple lists. So, to send relevant emails to each subscriber, you always have to group (segment) people within the email service you use.
If you are using an email service provider like AWeber, MailChimp, iContact, GetResponse, Constant Contact, etc., then you have to create new lists for each group of people. Infusionsoft, Ontraport, and Mailfluence handle this task using tags.
In-house email software EasyMail7 allows you to create a segment within the main group and send the message to the segment.
No matter how you will segment people on your list (using new lists, tags or segments), you need to do it. It’s important. It’s impossible always to send relevant emails without constantly segmenting your list. Relevance is achieved through segmentation too.
5. Never Promote Crappy Products
Believe it or not but any commission is not worth “burning” your list. The subscriber’s trust is as fragile as the thinnest ice. Do not ruin it with sending them crappy things. Even if it seems to be working, do not recommend a product or service until you test it yourself and make sure it’s good and can be beneficial to your subscribers.
You have to be the most trusted adviser to your subscribers to foster a relationship of confidence. Thus, you are not allowed to promote a product or service that does not fit their needs, wants or desires, that cannot help them achieve their goals or that simply does not work. If you do that, it negatively affects their trust level towards you.
Over 40% of the respondents cited “a good offer or deal” as the most important factor in their decision to make an online purchase.
– Endai Worldwide (2007)
So, if you decide to promote something to your list, choose a product or service that you would buy yourself. It’s a smart approach which is the only way to go if you want to be in business for a long time.
6. Do Not Sell Hard
There’s really no need to “sell hard” when you know that the product works and fits their needs. Your task is to simply let them know that such a product exists and explain why it suits them perfectly.
After that introduction, build desire to buy the product naturally by telling them about your experience.
Tell them how easy it had worked for you. Make a short video, include screenshots demonstrating the result you achieved. Then desire to get that product will happen automatically.
7. Ask for One Action
This is simple, yet many marketers don’t do that. Have each email to be focused on one thing only. And ask people to do one thing only. Don’t ask the subscriber to do many different things. They almost never do that.
Stick to one thing and one call-to-action. Many calls-to-action are usually confusing for most readers.
Remember, attention is precious. Respect that.
8. Add [Part 1] and [Part 2] to the Subject
When you prepare a series of linked emails, it’s a good idea to add [Part 1], [Part 2] to the subject line to set the expectation for more emails to come. For example:
Email Marketing Guide [Part 1]
Email Marketing Guide [Part 2]
Email Marketing Guide [Part 3]
10 Email Marketing Practices [Email 1 of 10]
10 Email Marketing Practices [Email 2 of 10]
10 Email Marketing Practices [Email 3 of 10]
10 Email Marketing Practices [Email 4 of 10]
Have you ever been asked by anyone of your subscribers to re-send them the newsletter? People don’t like to miss anything and if they know that you will send them more emails with valuable information, they will do their best to not miss your messages.
To help them receive all your emails, give them the instructions how to add your email address to their safe sender list or whitelist. You probably did that on the “thank you” page after subscription or in the welcome message but it’s never too much.
9. Use Autoresponders
The advantages of sending a follow-up (autoresponder) series of emails are:
1. it’s automated;
2. it’s sent to all subscribers, not only to your current list;
3. emails are linked to each other;
4. it frees you from a lot of manual work;
5. it allows to engage subscribers well.
A follow-up series can consist of 3, 5, 10 and how many you want emails. The main goal of an autoresponder series is to engage the subscriber, nurture them, bring their attention to you and your business and build trust.
Marketers who take advantage of automation — which includes everything from cart abandonment programs to birthday emails — have seen conversion rates as high as 50%.
– eMarketer “Email Marketing Benchmarks: Key Data, Trends and Metrics” (2013)
Email service providers allow you to use autoresponders in email marketing. If you prefer in-house email sending software, the EasyMail7 supports autoresponders and lets you quickly setup a drip email campaign for your subscribers.
After the subscriber receives a certain number of follow-up emails, for example, 10 emails, they can be considered as “nurtured” or “warmed up” and they are open to receive manual email broadcasts.
You can send manual broadcasts for promotions, notifications about events or if you have some hot news or information for your subscribers.
10. Do Not Be Afraid to Send Much
Many marketers stick to a particular frequency, for example, 1 email per week, 1 email per month etc. and never deviate from the given course. They are right to some degree because consistency also contributes to the reader’s attention. The subscriber gets used to receive the email from that particular sender on Mondays or Wednesdays for example, and checks his mail on these days more carefully.
In addition, consistency plays a role with forming your sender reputation with your ISP or email service provider. More consistent in email sending you are, more points to your reputation are added.
With that in mind, can you break your sending tradition and send more emails than you used to or send at different days? For example, you have some hot news to tell to your subscribers, or you have a time-limited offer for an affiliate product, or you found a bug in the product you had recommended them and need them to download an update or whatever the case may be when you need to contact your subscribers urgently.
On our opinion, you can send emails to your list whenever you need and as often as you want as far as your emails give them the relevant information. As far as your emails are relevant, do not afraid to send a lot. But again, monitor your open rate and unsubscribe rate. If your open rate is too low and the unsubscribe rate is too high, you overdo. Then, slow down.
If your open rate is normal and the unsubscribe rate is usual, you can continue. Will it hurt your sender reputation? As far as your unsubscribe, bounce and spam complaint rate is low, it won’t. As long as the subscribers want to receive your emails, open them and read them no matter how often you send, it won’t hurt your reputation.
As you see, there are different practices and strategies that are worth trying to see how you can benefit from email marketing and from your email list.
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An effective email marketing system should include the following tools:
- Automated email sequences that drip on your contacts over time to build trust and convert your subscribers into active and happy customers.
- An email scheduler for planning your announcements, newsletters, and special occasion emails weeks or even months in advance.
- A simple way for you to create sign-up forms so you can connect your marketing efforts to auto-populate your contact lists (we provide WPNewsman plugin for WordPress for free).
- A professional collection of quality responsive HTML email templates that you can install and use for your newsletters on the fly.
- An automated way of processing bounce and unsubscribe emails to be in compliance with the CAN-SPAM law in various countries.
- Training and support from those who have years of experience in email marketing systems, management and success.
With G-Lock EasyMail7 you have the right email marketing system to help you maintain and grow your business.
I have used several versions of EasyMail and recently upgraded my version to 7.0 and we bought several copies for the company I work for as well. The cost is very reasonable and the tech support is prompt. Updates arrive frequently.
I love the fact that my mass emails can be highly personalized and still look like regular emails, vs. emails from Constant Contact etc. I can also go into the HTML code and tweak things if they are not right. We use Amazon Web Service SES which is very affordable. A great product for those who have reasonable computer skills to set everything up.
Thank you G-Lock!
President at singles2couples.org
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