Website owners have a tough gig when it comes to choosing their marketing channels. Every year more platforms hit the scene and everyone involved in marketing wants to make them sounds as exciting as possible. This is why we get so much hype surrounding every development in the industry – from chatbots to voice search and every other non-event in between.
Then we have email marketing, the most classic of all digital marketing channels – and still the most effective, despite sporting a few wrinkles. This is important, too. Because, aside from your clients’ website itself, email is the only modern marketing channel they actually own themselves. Every other channel is gobbled up by Google, Facebook and other corporations who dictate who they can interact with people (and how much they should pay for the privilege).
Google even wants to gobble up our websites now with AMP, the greedy little git. But that’s another story.
In celebration of timeless marketing strategies that still get results, here are 10 email marketing strategies you can design and your clients will love.
#1: Price/availability updates
If your client owns a site where product prices or availability can change quickly, offering updates isn’t just a great way to build email lists, it can also boost conversion rates and help maximize sales, too.
This also works for any instance where users fill out a search for to refine products. Consider a used car retailer where users select vehicles by brand, model, age, number of seats, price and whatever else. Now is a good time to ask if they want updates on new models that come in, meeting their search criteria.
#2: Divide those blog posts up with CTAs
On the one hand, I want to say I don’t see this enough on blog pages. But, when I do, the designs are normally pretty awful. Most sites either default to using popups because they can’t think of any alternative or they completely fail when it comes to designing CTAs.
Why slap a popup in front of someone’s face while they’re half way through reading your first paragraph when you can insert non-intrusive CTA sections throughout your blog post?
#3: Create dynamic CTAs to match the category of each blog post
Taking our last tip once step further, the key to maximizing blog post conversions is relevance. Once a user has clicked through to an article, they instantly show an interest in that topic. And each of these topics slots nicely under one of the categories on your clients’ blog.
So you can create resources for each of these categories – eBooks, targeted newsletters, free downloads, etc. – and then design your CTAs for each of them. The magic happens with the help of dome dynamic PHP coding and this works perfectly well for both custom-build and WordPress sites.
Store each blog category as a variable and then run a conditional statement that essentially says “If the blog category is this, this, this or this, insert this CTA”. Which means each user is targeted with CTAs and resources relevant to the interest they’ve already shown on your clients’ sites.
#4: Create a free download section
Yes, we all know creating free downloads is a great email marketing strategy but the build it and they will come philosophy doesn’t cut it in the game. We’ve already covered two ways to promote these resources and they get us off to a good start. Many of your clients will be able to go a lot further than this, though.
If free downloads are a major part of your client’s content, email and lead generation strategy, then create a dedicated free resource page on their site. Get your clients to build its organic search ranking, promote it via social media and turn it into a focal part of their site.
#5: Turn Twitter into email signups
Speaking of social, Twitter remains one of the best tools for building a following fast. This is especially true for B2B brands who are very active on the content marketing side of things. However, your clients can also use the network to bulk out their email lists and get those users into the one marketing channel they actually own.
— Why in Italy (@whyinitaly) June 30, 2017
Aside from promoting every blog post, get your clients to Tweet specific CTAs for email signups and those free resources you’ve helped them design.
#6: Create a LinkedIn group
If you’ve ever created a LinkedIn group yourself, you’ll know that you have the option to create a custom welcome page that people see once they join. These welcome pages give you space to add a CTA and link for people to sign up to newsletters, updates and anything else your client thinks might convince them to join their email list.
The key thing here is creating a group that’s unique, relevant and popular enough to generate qualified email signups in good volume. As with all the strategies we’re looking at today, it’s about building quality leads over quantity.
#7: Break your free downloads into smaller blog posts
Again, this is a common content marketing trick but it’s normally used to stop you running out of ideas for fresh content. We’re going to put a different spin on this technique for email marketing, though.
By breaking down eBooks, guides and your clients’ best long-form content into smaller chunks, users get a taste of what’s on offer without even needing to sign up. The thing is, by breaking these up into multiple parts, readers have to wait to get the full story. Unless they click your CTA offering the full resource, right now, in a matter of clicks.
#8: Use exit popups strategically
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of popups but there are times when exit popups can work. For example, the price/availability alerts we looked at earlier are ideal for this. Users are done with their but they haven’t quite found what they’re looking for and exit popups can provide an option to stay in the game.
This is a far cry from slapping popups over homepages, expecting people to sign up to newsletters when they couldn’t find a single reason to stick around or click through to another page.
The key to exit popups is implementing them in a way that serves a function in the sales process. Another example is using them to reduce cart abandonment by offering a discount for people who buy instead of quitting the session. Or offering to save their list if they quickly create an account – something that genuinely makes the buying process easier for them.
#9: Multi-step forms
Leadformly‘s multi-step forms don’t look like forms at all
Multi-step forms are great for a number of reasons. First, you can design them to look nothing like forms at all, instantly reducing user reluctance to fill them out. Better yet, you get away with asking for more information and remove the need for typing (vital for mobile). All of which creates a more engaging experience in the signup process.
Crucially, though, by requesting more info from users, your multi-step forms can find out more about why people sign up and your clients can use this to target them with more effective, relevant emails. Once again, quality over quantity.
#10: Get personal, not creepy
Personalisation is made easy with Optimizely X
Personalization is crucial to getting the most from email marketing, but getting too personal can creep people out. There’s no need for calling people out by name and targeting people on their birthdays can be a bit of a gamble, too. It might work, it might not.
However, targeting people based on their interests, previous purchases, location, demographics and professional info is fair game. None of this will send alarm bells ringing but it will make all the difference in getting emails opened and turning them into happy customers.
Helping your clients design email marketing strategies
There’s far more to designing email marketing campaigns than creating a few templates. Without an email list of highly qualified leads, your clients are off to a non-starter, yet this is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle. Thankfully, you can help your clients get out of the email marketing rut by designing more intricate solutions than the all-too-obvious newsletter popups.
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