What Is Email Marketing and How Does It Work?
everything you need to know to get started with email marketing.
This guide is an in-depth guide into email marketing and I make no apologies. The word count for this post may be in the league with Neil Patel’s in depth posts on SEO. I don’t tell you this to deter you from reading, I tell you that to illustrate how much detail has gone into creating this guide.
I could have gone a lot deeper but this guide is for you if you know about email marketing but you don’t quite understand it. If you’re looking for someone to help all the pieces make sense, then this is it.
If you want to use email marketing to help take your business to a place where you feel confident that you are attracting and marketing to the right people all the time, then you want to read this guide in full.
No matter what business you're in, email marketing should be the centre of your business. Social media is a good way to attract new customers to your business, joint ventures are a great way for you to attract an existent audience to your business, but email marketing is the greatest way to turn subscribers into paying customers. It’s also a great way to create a loyal tribe.
This just goes to show that if you're creating a list with the intention of turning your subscribers into paying customers, that you need to pay close attention to how you set up and manage your list.
Here’s another thing, you can lose your social media channel at anytime. All it takes, is for someone to report you maliciously, a social network to shut down or a social network to change their algorithms to reduce your reach and it’s game over.
By having an email list, you control this list, it’s yours. No one is taking it away from you. With social media or SEO, or Paid Advertising, it’s not your audience, it’s controlled to some degree. If and when social media networks are long gone, you’ll still have your list and it’s your to do whatever you want with it.
So let’s get you started….
I have made many mistakes whilst growing my list to my first 1000, and the bigger my list grew, the more important it was to ensure that I wasn't making small mistakes that could cost me a fortune.
The main thing you should be focusing on when growing your list, is the quality of the subscribers you are attracting. Many gurus impress you by showing you how fast they're growing their list, but very few grow a list of targeted people. When I say targeted people, I mean people who are actually interested in what you have to say and what you have to offer. People who are likely to take action on your advice and pay for your expertise.
The easy part is actually getting these people to sign up to your list, the hardest part is ensuring that these people remain interested in what you have to say. If you want to do email marketing right, there are several things that you have to take into consideration.
This is why I have created this guide to give you an in-depth overview of what it takes to start an email list and ensure that you maintain high open rates and engaged readers.
Whilst this guide may seem long to some, I don't do things half hearted. I have created links that allow you to quickly jump to the important sections and ignore the things that are not relevant to you.
In this post I am going to cover:
How to find out why you want to use email marketing
What you can offer readers in exchange for an email address
How to optimize your site for list building
The tools you need to get started with list building
How to increase engagement on emails
The importance of email design
Additional Email Marketing Hacks
How to measure the success of an email marketing campaign
How to optimize your site for better open rates
Why Do You Want To Use Email Marketing To Grow Your Business (establish your goals)
I know, this may be a stupid question you, but you really have to clear on exactly why you are doing this. Everyone wants to grow an email list. Everybody wants 10,000+ subscribers, but exactly how is a list contributing to your business goals?
I already know you want to grow a list of people who want to buy from you, but you need to get more specific than that.
When you started your business, you had goals (well, I’m hoping you did). So what were these goals?
Sell 50 spots to your $1000 course?
Sell 12 spots for your annual coaching package?
Create a loyal tribe of affiliates for your products/service?
What exactly did you have in mind? The reason why it’s important to understand this now, is because your goals will define how you engage with your list, and exactly how you attract your followers to be to join your list.
How Do You Optimise Your Site for List Building?
One thing I see on many websites are sign up boxes for people to enter the email addresses in order to get the latest information from the business. The only problem with this is, not many people are willing to part with their email addresses for something they feel has value.
Don’t do this!
To be honest, signing up for the latest information isn’t that exciting, is it? Do I really want this? Do I really need this?
An email address these days is more important to some than most things. I even heard a client say that they rather hand over their debit card details than an list because it’s easier to cancel a card and get a new one than it is to unsubscribe from a list.
The reason people say this is because once a company has your email address, they have the right to email you whenever they feel like it (until you unsubscribe of course). Some misuse this trust and do things such as sell your details, and others respect it.
Let's face it, it can be very difficult to unsubscribe to multiple emails from different companies. You often find yourself moving the unwanted emails to another folder, because it’s easier to do that than unsubscribe from each email.
There are services like Unroll.me that make the process a little easier, or you can use filters in Google so that emails do not pile up in your inbox. This does not get rid of the problem of a high number of emails, but it makes your inbox less overwhelming.
How Can I Make Readers Part With Their Email Address?
No one is willing to part with their email addresses lightly, which means that you have a lot of work to do to ensure that a potential subscriber trusts you enough to provide you with this very sensitive information. In order to do this, you have to provide the reader with something of value (something they want or need).
This will involve understanding your audience, the problems they may be facing, the solutions they may be looking for, and the solutions you can offer them. Once you understand how to do this, you can then begin optimising your website or online presence for list building.
Offer Your Readers Something of Value
Do you have something that could benefit anyone interacting with your content? Maybe an answer to a burning question. Or maybe an assessment to help someone understand exactly what they may need from you.
There are several ways you can present your content to readers. Sometimes you may have to test different types of content to see which one your audience engages with the most, but here are a few examples of the type of content you can create.
- Video Trainings
- White Paper
- Exclusive Content
- Resource Guides
Make It Easy For People to Sign Up To Your Email List
So now you’ve decided what your audience wants, how are you going to deliver it to them in exchange for an email address? How are you going to present the offer?
There are several ways you can do this and I am going to list a few below;
1 | CREATING A LANDING PAGE
This landing page was created by Hot Rich Love Your Life B****
You’ll see from the landing page that there is no header or footer. There is only information about the offer and a signup option at the top and the bottom. Some landing pages will have less information and some can quite possibly have more.
2 | CREATING AN OFFER ON YOUR SIDEBAR OR BLOG
People often say that sidebars are a distraction. I mean, it could be but I personally feel that it depends on what is in the sidebar.
You’ll see in this sidebar by Create Your Laptop Life, they have included a rather compelling offer of over 250+ tools to grow your business.
Julie knows that her audience are individuals who wants to become digital marketers. Running an online business is made easier with specific tools that most people do not know about so she knows this guide will be valuable.
Having it at the top of the sidebar, ensures it’s in a prominent place and increases the chance of signups.
3 | ADDING SIGNUPS IN BETWEEN YOUR BLOG POSTS OR PAGE CONTENT
Another great way to get people to sign up to your list is by adding a resource that complements a piece of content that you are sharing with them. For example, I have written an in depth guide on SEO for Beginners which explains what exactly SEO is, and what is involved in ensuring your content is optimized.
With the blog post, I created a free checklist for people to download that will help them check off SEO tasks when creating a blog post. Having the opt-in there and there, promotes immediate action.
4 | ADDING SIGN UP OPTIONS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
You can add a CTA to your Pinterest profile. If somebody clicks on your Pinterest Profile, they can view your name, call to action and URL that takes them directly to the call to action.
You can also use Pinterest to create pins on Pinterest and drive traffic directly to landing pages and blog posts that will help generate leads for your business.
Facebook also allow you to create apps with WooBox. Here is CanDo Kiddo who has added a signup option to the tab on her Facebook page. When people click on this page, they are taken directly to a signup page for an offer.
5 | COLLECTING EMAIL ADDRESSES VIA LIVE EVENTS
If you are a regular visitor to live event, you couldn’t be in front of a better audience. Vendors attend these events to meet buyers and customers attend live events to get something they want. It doesn’t matter if it’s a concert to meet their celebrity crush or a beauty event to find the latest beauty products. No matter the audience, there is a potential for you to find prospects.
I don’t know if have or not, but I used to go out to nightclubs. At the end of the night there were people promoting other similar events. If it sounded interesting, they got my email address if I purchased a ticket. Clever really!
Now imagine you are a service provider for businesses. Maybe you’re like me and you help them make more sales online. Imagine how elated a business would feel if you told them that the same $2000 they paid for a booth at the event they are vending at, could give them a better ROI through your services? I’m sure they would want to know more if you made such brilliant recommendations.
All you need is your tablet with a landing page and an internet connection and that’s it!
6 | COLLECTING EMAIL ADDRESSES AFTER A PURCHASE
eCommerce stores automatically collect emails but are you using these emails? When someone makes a purchase, add them to an automation sequence to segment them and send them regular emails. If they have bought from you once, they will buy from you again (as long as you treated them right the first time).
7 | CREATING INTERACTIVE CONTENT
Interactive content is a great way to create content that speaks directly to a specific group of people. When would you use something like this?
Maybe you want to offer a service to people who have either Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced understanding of your topic. You can create a quiz to help segment those people into the most appropriate group and you can feel more confident you are delivering the right content to the right type of people.
Below is an example of a quiz I did to help assess how much people understood about Pinterest and it worked very well.
8 | ADDING A SIGNUP TO THE SITE HEADER
When people are looking to navigate your website, they tend to look at the menu bar at the top. What better way that to add a call to action at the top of your site for everyone to see? I recommend using a bright color that stands out so that it is hard to miss.
You want to attract the attention of your readers. If the signup blends in, not many people will pay attention to it.
9 | USING A POPUP
Popups are a great way to capture leads. You can set the popup to show up just as someone is about to leave, when someone clicks on something on a page or when a person hovers over a certain section of your website.
If you are going to use a popup that is triggered when someone is about to leave your website or someone lands on your website, you need to make sure that you are aware of how this affects people who are viewing your website from mobile.
So What Do I Need To Get Started with email marketing?
The most powerful way to collect leads is by using a landing page. A landing page is purposely used in order to make readers take one action. This means all distractions are taken away from the page (i.e. navigation, social media links, footer), and all the reader sees is the offer and the sign-up button or sign up fields. Because there are no distractions, sign ups tend to be higher on landing pages.
There are several tools that make building landing pages easy. Three services that I have used and can recommend are;
- Leadpages (from $29 a month)
- Clickfunnels (from $97 a month billed monthly but it’s much more than a landing page builder, you can build complete funnels with Clickfunnels).
- Instapage (from $68 a month billed annually or $76 a month billed monthly)
Note: They all come with 14 day free trials
Another I haven’t tried but have heard rave reviews on is Optimizepress and this is a WordPress Plugin. I talk more about WordPress Plugins as a choice below:
Whilst these services tend to be popular amongst the majority, I find that if you have a WordPress or Squarespace website, you can easily create beautiful landing pages without the added expense.
The main reason I would recommend using a landing page builder over WordPress or Squarespace is due to the data they provide you with. Generally speaking, landing pages should be converting at at least 20%. Landing page builders make it easy to find this information and makes it easy to assess whether you’re landing page is working really well, or if improvements need to be made.
If you are using WordPress or Squarespace, it’s not as simple to find this information. You will have to use Google Analytics to calculate this information. To calculate this information, you would divide the number of ‘unique’ people who have visited the page, by the number of people who have signed up, and this should give you your opt-in rate. For people who find that math is not their strength or something that they don’t want to deal with, this can be cumbersome (hence the preference of a landing page application).
EXAMPLE RESULTS PAGE FROM LEADPAGES
As you can see from this email. Leadpages had 3 columns which show the amount of unique views, the number of opt-in rates and the conversion rate. Leadpages will automatically work this out for you.
If you are using WordPress, there are additional plugins or themes that you can purchase for a one-off fee so you do not have to pay an annual fee and you can make as many landing pages as you want. The one I highly recommend and use myself is called Beaver Builder. It's an easy drag and drop plugin, that makes creating landing pages easy and does not slow down your WordPress website as much as other plugins.
Most of these options have free trials, so I recommend testing them out before investing in any of them to make sure that you find the most suitable product for you.
To Increase the chances of people signing up to your mailing list, you should have three things;
- An engaging title
- A brief description
- The option to sign up (kind of super important)
Remember, I said that the landing page should not be too distracting. A great example of a simple yet effective landing page, is by Melyssa Griffin.
The landing page is just one piece of the puzzle. Once you have set up a landing page, you will need an email service provider to help store these emails and send emails to the people who have just joined your list. There are so many tools out there that you can use for email marketing but there are three that I have tried and tested and highly recommend.
If you are a beginner and you have a small budget. I recommend starting with MailChimp. MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers and also has the option for you to automate your emails so that you don't have to send them manually every time.
Mailchimp: From Free
If you are an intermediate user or if you have outgrown MailChimp (maybe because the number of people on your list has surpassed 2000), I would recommend moving to ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign.
ConvertKit starts at $29 a month for under $1000 subscribers. ConvertKit also allows you to create landing pages without needing anything else but they also integrate with all the landing page builders and WordPress plugins I mentioned above.
Active Campaign pricing starts at $9 a month for up to 500 subscribers
The reason I recommend these two is because they allow you to do more technical automation than MailChimp. This means if you need to do things like segment your list in order to cater to people with different interests, active campaign and MailChimp are created especially for this.
As you list grows and as your business grows, you will find that everybody that joins your list may not have the same need or may not need the same thing at the same time.
This means, the way you communicate with them will be different. Segmentation is something that you should consider right from the start and if your business does not have the need for segmentation, then this is fine but I recommend reading up on it so that you are prepared when the time comes. To be honest, I think every business needs segmentation.
Once you have your landing page and your email service provider setup what do you do?
Now you've done the easy part even though it may have seemed hard. You now have to ensure that you deliver and you deliver consistently. The first thing that I would do for anyone who has just joined your list, is send them a welcome email.
A welcome email allows you to introduce yourself to the new subscriber and also allows you the opportunity to ask the new subscriber to introduce themselves to you. Building a relationship with your list allows the opportunity for them to tell you what they want to see and hear from you. If a subscriber feels that they can talk to you, they will be more likely to respond whenever you send an email.
In my top performing welcome email, I touched on the following things;
- Who I am
- What I do
- Why I do what I do
- Who I want to help
- What they can expect from me
- and I ended with a question by asking them what they are struggling with the most
The length of the welcome email is irrelevant. It’s the content of the email that's important. If somebody is interested in what you have to say, they will not care how long the email is, as they are going to read it regardless.
Your welcome email may take some tweaking, it took me three attempts before I got an email that worked well. Once I figured it out, people were responding to my emails and we were engaging better than I had expected.
How can I increase engagement on my emails?
There is a very long answer to this question and I hope you don't hate me for answering it. I cannot possibly answer this question in a couple of sentences or a couple of paragraphs. I am going to answer this question as thoroughly as possible, so you are not left with more questions.
1 | WORK EXTRA HARD ON CREATING A GOOD HEADLINE
The first thing that I will say is that your subject line is important. When your email enters somebody's inbox, they do not know the contents of that email, so at that point, the content is irrelevant. The first thing they will see is the name of the sender and the subject line (which is why I recommend spending as much time as possible creating the ultimate subject line).
If you’re like me and end up sitting down for hours trying to figure out the best combination of words to wow your readers, there are tools that I recommend that can help speed up the process.
There are headline analysers and generators that help you create powerful headlines. These headlines tools can be used for blog posts as well as emails. Here are a few headline generators that I recommend;
- Internet Marketing Institute Free Headline Generator
- AMI Institute Headline Analyzer
- HubSpot Blog Topic Generator
- Portent Title Maker
Another fancy tool that I like to use is the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. It works by assessing the type of words that you use that are likely to trigger an emotion thus provoking action. You are designated a score and it will help you determine how likely readers are to read on.
In order to ensure that your headline has ultimate impact, not only would I use these headline analysers, but I would ensure that my subject line is personal as well as relevant. Some people use ‘clickbait’ to get people to open their emails. This involves writing a subject line that has completely nothing to do with the content. Do not do this. Not only will it increase the number of unhappy clients, but if they report your emails as spam, this can cause you issues with future email deliverability.
Sometimes figuring out which headline to use can be difficult, which is why email service providers like, ConvertKit allows you to split test headlines. If you enter two headlines into the split test, ConvertKit will send the email to 15% of your list and the headline that gets the most open rates will be sent to the rest of your list. This is a great way of testing two headlines if you cannot decide which one your audience will engage with the most.
Also, ensure that the length of a headline is optimised for the preview window for email clients. This means when you open your inbox on your phone or your desktop, you want to ensure that the reader can see as much of the headline as possible.
Notice how you can see the subject line in most of the emails above. I’m much more likely to open these emails over very long headlines.
Personalisation should not only occur in the header. You can personalize emails by segmenting and adding the name within the email content. Don't overdo it, you want the email to sound as natural as possible. The point of personalisation is to ensure the reader actually feels like a person, like you are talking directly to them. If a subscriber does not feel like this, the chances of them opening future emails or engaging with your future content is very very low.
2 | SEGMENT YOUR LIST
Okay, so we’re talking about engagement. The important task I recommend everyone should do is to segment their list. The reason for this is that not everyone will be looking for the same outcome and making people may be looking at the same topic but they want different things from it.
If you send one message to everyone, because you’re not targeting anyone, the likelihood of it resonating with any one person is low. You want to be able to hone in on their specific problem and your message needs to feel like you are talking to one person. That’s impossible if everyone has something different going on.
I am going to give you 3 example of what segmentation would look like for 3 different businesses.
EXAMPLE 1 - Parenting Website
This is an interesting example because you can segment your list in more than one way. When you begin to understand segmentation a little better, you could even do multi-level segmentation.
So here’s how I would segment a parenting website;
- Soon to be mum (trying)
- Mum to be (pregnant)
- New mum (just had a baby)
You see from this example, you would not email a new mum, the same thing you would email to a mum to be, would you? By segmenting your list this way, you can ensure the most relevant information is going to the relevant person.
Now, maybe the mum to be segment is a little bit too broad, so how could I segment this further? I would do this:
- First Trimester
- Second Trimester
- Third Trimester
If you’re a mum and you’re reading this, I think we can both agree that some of the things your experience in the first trimester, is not the same as the third trimester, correct?
Sending the right information at the right time is crucial to maintaining and engaged list.
EXAMPLE 2 - Online Marketing Website
Here’s another example. Online Marketing consists of so many things. To keep things simple, let’s assume that we want to segment based on how people like to learn. You want to establish how to marketing to people so that you are online offering something that they are most likely to buy.
In this example, here is one possible way that I would segment:
- Self Learner (prefers a course to study by themselves)
- Done for you Client (someone who prefers for you to do the work)
- Consulting Client (someone who rather pay you for a 1:1 consult specific to their business so that they can implement your custom strategy)
In this example, I have segmented based on how people prefer to work with me. If I know someone is not a self learner, I may not pitch a self study course to them. I may however offer the same solution but customised for my consulting clients. If they were all in one list, maybe I wouldn’t be able to sell anything because the email would not be personalised to their specific circumstances.
EXAMPLE 3 - Photographer
I am going to use one of my previous photographers as an example here. Imagine a photographer only specialises in pregnancy photos and newborn photos. How could they segment their list?
- Past Clients
Initially when she targeted me, I was pregnant. At the time, I had no newborn but I wanted a pregnancy shoot. I started on her list for pregnancy related shoots. Once I booked the shoot, she then upsold me a package that involved a pregnancy shoot and a newborn shoot.
Had she not upsold me, if she had amazing segmenting that could determine around the time I would be giving birth (which is possible), she could send me a nurture sequence to book a newborn shoot.
Once I have purchased a product from her. She will add me to her past client list. Knowing very well that I was willing to invest in a pregnancy shoot and a newborn shoot, I am the perfect target for someone who wants to do an annual shoot with the family.
So now you know how the targeting works, how are you going to use segmenting in your business?
3 | DECIDE HOW OFTEN YOU ARE GOING TO EMAIL YOUR LIST
It’s always a good idea to set a frequency for emailing your list. What tends to happen often is people build their lists, go silent for six months, send a couple of emails and then go silent for another three months. When this happens, you subscribers may forget you.
When your subscribers forget you, they may be unlikely to open further emails from you because they have forgotten who you are. Your open rates will reduce and you may see unsubscribe rates go up.
Set a frequency in the beginning, let your subscribers know when they can expect to hear from you. They’ll know how often to see you pop into their inbox and they will welcome your email will open arms.
One thing I like to do is create a content strategy so that I always make sure that I plan my messages in advance, I ensure they make sense for my business and because I planned in advance what i need to do, I remain consistent.
The Importance of Email Design
HTML VS RAW
It's funny because readers often state that they prefer emails with images and styled text but in reality the emails that get the highest open rates are emails with raw text (i.e. no images or HTML).
Hubspot actually state that as more images are added to an email, the click through rate of the email tends to decrease. You can add images to your email if you want, but I recommend you ensure that each image in that email serves an important purpose.
OPTIMISING FOR MOBILE
Most emails are opened via your mobile or tablet, so it is important to ensure that your email is designed to be read by mobile viewers.
According to sarv.com it is stated that by 2018, 8 out of 10 of email users are expected to access their email accounts on mobile devices. Also, according to blue hornet, 80% of recipients delete emails that are not optimised for mobile.
You can ensure that your emails are compatible with mobile users by testing your email before you send it to your list. One thing that I do often is send my email to my email address and also view it in the browser before sending. This way, I can correct any errors before any of my readers set eyes on the email.
Sometimes, when sending emails with images and links, email providers such as Google, Hotmail and Yahoo can a flag your email as spam. There is a way you can test your emails before sending to ensure that they don't flag any spam filters, increasing your chances of successful delivery.
The two websites I recommend are;
The website will tell you how likely email providers are to mark your message as spam.
BRAND YOUR EMAILS
Now you know my note about not using images unless you have to? The only type of image I really like using is headers. I found that my clickthrough rate increased when I started using header. Why? To be honest, I am not sure, but I guess knowing what is going to be in the email, encouraged them to read more. It’s not a big header, here is an example of the headers below.
Try experimenting with your emails to add a personal touch.
Make Sure You Format Your From Name
Add your name to the from field. It’s much better than a reader seeing email@example.com and a little more personal than Company ABC.
So that people know who I am and where I am from, I changed from from field to:
Rose | Rosie Does Digital
Some Additional Email Marketing Hacks
Now I have already shared with you why email marketing is important, how to ensure your new subscribers feel welcomed when they join your list and design hacks that can increase your open rate and click through rate. Now I want to share with you some hacks that I use to see how engaged my email list is will my existing content.
When I send emails to my list, sometimes I may include links to information or offers, with links back to my website. Not only do I want to know the number of visitors my website receives in a month, but I also want to see where some of these readers are coming from. New customers are important, but I like to know that people are coming back to my website because they find my content useful.
So how do you track how many visitors from your email list has clicked through to come back to your website? Simple. I use Google UTM codes.
Google UTM codes allows me to add some additional characters at the end of a URL so when I go into Google Analytics, I can see how many people have visited a specific page, the source of which visitors came from and then I can also see how many people came from my email list and if I'm smart enough I can actually see which email these visitors came from.
(video: how to use Google UTM codes)
When you are sending emails to your list, it is important that you take these analytics into consideration, because it can help you establish, which content your email list are most engaged with, and what they are not engaging with at all.
Another thing I like to add to emails are social media links. Emails with social media links influence shares and likes. I want my subscribers to follow me on social media and engage with me. I give them this opportunity in each email that I sent them.
One more thing that I am also going to suggest is using buttons for your call to actions. The only thing I would recommend that you do if you are going to use a button is to ensure that the button is big enough to be clicked on mobile and also adding a text option for the button in case it doesn't show up on the subscriber's' screen.
How Do I Know How Well My Email Has Done Once I Press Send?
Good question. What is judged as good? There are industry averages of what your opt-in rates should be. The rates vary greatly dependant on your industry.
Smart Insights produced a very detailed table that is up to date for 2017. It illustrates the standard open rate, click through rate, softbounce rate, hard bounce rate, abuse rate and unsubscribe rate for each industry. If you’re not sure what those terms mean, here is a quick breakdown:
- Open Rate - This is how many people have opened your email
- Click Through Rate - This is how many people have clicked a link in your email that led to a page on a website
- Soft bounce Rate - This is the inability to deliver an email due to temporary issues (i.e. Full inbox, oversized attachment etc)
- Hard bounce Rate - This is the inability to deliver an email due to someone either giving an incorrect email or intentionally providing a fake email
- Abuse Rate - This is the rate of people who have marked your email as spam
- Unsubscribe Rate - This is the amount of people who have selected to no longer receive emails from you any longer.
You can check out the table below which is accurate as of February 2017. As long as your rates are at least within these figures, you’re off to a great start!
Here Is What I Look For When I Have Sent An Email Campaign
How many open rates
How many people have opened my emails? The minimum open rate anyone should be expecting is 20%. If it’s lower than 20%, I know I may have to go back to the drawing board and have a look at my subject line. If the subject line is not engaging, no one will open my emails.
How many click through rates
How many people have clicked through to links that I have added in the email? You will notice from the table above that the clickthrough averages are dependant on your industry. If the rate is extremely low, I will have a look at the call to action. Was it clear what I asked them to do? If I included a button, was it easy for people on mobile devices to click on?
Analytics are crucial to your business so it's a good idea to get into a habit of recording them regularly.
How Do I Know How Much of My Website Traffic and Sales Came From My Email List?
I am all about measuring. I want to know how my existing audience are engaging with my free or paid content vs an audience that have never heard of me. Here are a few methods that I have used to track these stats.
Google UTM Codes
Google UT codes allow you to track exactly which source brought traffic to your website. Generally, when looking at Google Analytics, it will break down which general traffic source brought traffic to your website (i.e. Pinterest, Facebook, Facebook, Search Traffic, Referral etc).
What UTM codes allow you to do is determine is exactly which particular content brought traffic. You can find out ‘which’ email brought in traffic, ‘which’ Facebook ad brought in traffic, ‘which’ blog post on a referrers site brought in traffic to a specific page.
Do you see how powerful this can be?
Special Discount Rate
Another simpler way to track sales from email subscribers is by offering a special discount code exclusively for people on your email list. You can track how many of your sales used this specific tracking code vs. how many were made without it.
Maybe a discount is not an option for people on your email list, but this could potentially be an option for you if you are looking for a simple way to track sales from your email list.
URL Just For Subscribers
Another great way to track sales from your email list is by creating a special URL that you only share with people on your email list and create a different page for the general public. It’s pretty easy to set up and doesn’t require a lot of time to create.
HOW CAN I OPTIMISE MY EMAILS FOR BETTER OPEN RATES?
Build A Relationship With A Welcome Sequence
When people join my list, the first thing I want people to do is get to know me and what I can help them with. The first thing I don't want to do when someone joins my list is sell to them. I want them to know that they can trust me and approach me for help with no strings attached. I can't stress how important it is that you create a welcome sequence as soon as possible.
Your welcome sequence does not have to be long, so don't be afraid of creating a sequence.
Split Test Subject Lines
Remember, I mentioned split testing subject lines? Do this often. If you use a email marketing tool like Convertkit, the option to do this is built in. If not, you may have to do this manually.
Here is a quick 3 minute video by Abby Herman that gives some great guidelines on writing better subject lines to increase open rates.
Segment For Better Personalisation
Not everyone on your email list will be at the same point in their journey. You need to be aware of this. A blanket message is not as good as a personalised one. Take a moment to segment your list based on their needs and your messages become more personalised and open rates improve as people can relate to your content a lot better.
Test Dates and Times
There are recommended dates and times that other sources have recommended for suggested days and times to send emails. Whilst I feel this is a good place to start, this is not always the case for every single business.
I recommend testing different days and times until you find a combination that works well for your list!
Purge Your Email List Often
Your open rates are calculated by dividing the total amount of people who opened your emails by the total amount of people on your list.
If you are sending emails to people who never engage with your content, there is no point having them on your list. You want to build a list of people who engage with you often.
Every so often, send an email to ask people if they would like to remain on your list. If they don’t, this is not a bad thing. Make room for those who really want to hear from you.
Remember, Copy Is Key
Here is a video about copywriting videos.
Remember, people sign up to email lists all the time. It doesn't mean they will continue to read your emails unless you give them a reason to. Being yourself is the best way to do that. You do not want somebody to read your emails and think 'this is the same old stuff, over and over again'. Give them a reason to stay.
Make Sure Your Email is Mobile Optimised
As you know from my email above, many people will use their mobile to view their emails. Make sure that your emails are optimized for view from a mobile device, otherwise, you will find it hard to get people to take action.
So here are my tricks on setting up your email marketing strategy, what’s been your biggest takeaway and what questions do you have?