The majority of digital marketers agree that having an email marketing strategy is one of the most important pieces of your marketing mix.
It allows us to talk directly to a potential customer in a one to one environment. Not only that, but it’s often someone who has opted in to your email list and therefore has a heightened level of interest when compared to a cold lead through another marketing channel.
As such developing a strong email marketing strategy for your small business is crucial,
and here’s what you need to know…
The objectives of an email marketing strategy
A comprehensive email marketing strategy works to achieve all of the following:
- Email list building
- Subscriber conversion
- Customer development
Building your email list
Your email marketing will be for nothing if there’s no-one on your list. So building your list should be priority number one. The only way to build your list is to provide potential subscribers with a level of value that they feel is worth sharing their email with you.
That level depends on many factors. I’ll talk about some strategies for list building later in the article.
Converting your subscribers
Once you have subscribers in your email list you want to develop them into paying customers. This may happen in one email or require multiple campaigns to finally convert your subscribers.
The best way to turn your subscribers into paying customers, is to once again provide value that is worth paying for.
This typically takes a little time, as you want to develop your subscribers trust and confirm that buying from you will help them with a problem they have. You don’t necessarily have to solve the problem. But you do have to help in a way that justifies the purchase.
Developing your customers
Now that you have customers who are paying for your product or service, you want to keep them engaged. You also want to make sure that they are happy with their purchase and that they not only come back for more, but spread the word among their friends.
And… the best way to achieve converting your subscribers into happy customers through email is…
Drip email marketing
Before we get into the different types of email marketing strategies that are available,
let’s discuss drip email marketing.
Drip email marketing is the act of sending multiple emails, usually in an automated fashion, to develop your subscriber into performing a desired action.
That action can be anything from signing up to another drip campaign, purchase a product, complete a course, and so on.
The premise behind drip email marketing is that you’re developing trust with your subscriber in an effort to convert them into a customer. This is done by providing value before attempting to sell a product/service.
Developing trust with your subscribers
The benefit to executing a drip email marketing strategy is to develop your subscribers trust in you and your product.
Here’s a quick rundown on a theory I use to developing that trust.
- Email 1 – Welcome and thanks
- Email 2 – Some value (educational in nature)
- Email 3 – More value (more education)
- Email 4 – More value + soft sell on product
- Email 5 – More value (more education)
- Email 6 – Hard Sell (it’s time to buy)
- Email 7 – Why not (question as to why they didn’t buy – politely of course)
Let’s look at several email marketing strategy types to sum everything up.
Community building email marketing strategy
Community building, or a general list, is the idea of building up your email list to distribute general update style emails. An example of this strategy is delivering a monthly newsletter to all your subscribers. This is the type of email marketing that most small businesses begin with (and maybe end with).
Typically, this is a “sign up to receive our newsletter” call to action. It can be effective but has become slightly less effective due to the development of the following strategies.
Contests and giveaways
Through your website you can provide a way for visitors to enter a contest or giveaway by entering their email for a chance to win. So long as what is going to be given away is related to your business product, or service, people will enter and happily provide you their email to do so. This is a great way to build your list.
But know that follow up emails not related to the contest will garner less traction than other email marketing strategies.
An effective way to build an audience and develop your personal brand or business brand as an authority in a certain industry is to run “challenges”. For example, a Facebook followers challenge, or a new online sales challenge.
But where does email come into play…
Well through email you can promote your thinking and way of doing things as the way to be successful in the challenge. Sending out daily or weekly emails through a drip campaign. Example of this would be delivering the ways in which you’ve built your Facebook followers during a Facebook followers challenge.
One of the most effective ways to build your list and develop trust with potential customers is to build an email course.
An email course is essentially a drip email marketing campaign that walks the subscriber through a particular course. Not only does the course build your list, but by virtue of the course continually delivering value and building on the previous email, your subscribers are more likely to hang around until the last email and finish the course.
Those who finish your course are much more likely to stay on your list and buy product or services from you.
You can see an example of an email course by taking the FREE Strategy Crash course I’ve developed – Click here to find out more.
Lead magnet conversion strategy
We’re moving into content marketing a little bit with the use of lead magnets.
Lead magnets are used to build on your content and entice your website visitors to provide their email in exchange for additional value through a downloadable piece of content. Lead magnets are also referred to as content upgrades and should relate to the specific page they are on to maximize their effectiveness.
You’ll see lead magnets throughout AMP. Such as the marketing strategy template download. I developed this lead magnet as it helps you walk through the steps of creating a marketing strategy and relates to much of the content on the site.
Once you get subscriber through a lead magnet signup form, your email program should kick in and deliver the content in an email right way. Then to optimize the retention and value of that content, start a sequence or mini drip campaign to deliver even more value to that subscriber.
In doing so, you’ll begin to build more trust with your subscriber and have the ability to offer more lead magnets and value. Eventually leading into a purchase of related products or services on your website.
How to get started
In order to implement an email marketing strategy, you’ll need to choose an email platform to help automate and deliver these emails. I like to use ConvertKit, as it’s simple to use and powerful. But there are many tools on the market for you to try out.
To get you started, check out the “lead magnet” below to setup your first email marketing automation for a generic email list. It’s a diagram that outlines the flow and some additional notes on what sort of content to develop or each email in the sequence.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Automation Setup Guide
Enter your name and email to get instant access to the Basic Email Automation Setup Guide. Treat your new subscribers the right way!