Email marketing is one of the most powerful components to a small business’ digital marketing strategy. More than likely you’ve heard statistics like the one Campaign Monitor put out this year: “For every one dollar spent on email marketing, it returned $44 in ROI.” While that sounds exciting, the reality is that to do email marketing the right way—the sustainable way—you have to have a solid understanding of the basic strategies that can make email marketing a profitable endeavor.
That’s why Infusionsoft and StoryBrand teamed up to bring you this video short course on email marketing. Donald Miller, CEO of StoryBrand, knows the power of email marketing done right. He started as an Infusionsoft customer. In 3 years, StoryBrand went from a $250,000 company to over $5 million. And they owe it all to email marketing.
In this course, we’ll show you how to attract more customers, build trust with them, and create more sales opportunities.
Sales is relational. Email marketing lets you build relationships at the pace they naturally occur. That way, you can make your sales offer at the time your lead is actually ready to buy.
To do that, you have to set up a strategy that nurtures the relationship with each contact over time and have a system in place that makes it clear when they’re ready to make a purchase. You can do this manually, but as your list grows, this approach will quickly become unwieldy.
Automation, like Infusionsoft, makes it much easier by ensuring that every single contact gets a personalized sequence of messages automatically, so you don’t have to worry about missing anyone.
Email marketing won’t work without landing pages. Simply put, a landing page is just a web page that is intended to take a relational step with your customer.
Whether it’s the main page on your website or just a single step in the journey, every landing page fits in as part of a campaign. You’ll drive traffic to it via social or email. Some landing pages grow your email list, and some sell your products and services.
What makes landing pages unique from the average web page is that they are designed to have a single purpose. For that reason, the overall design is important. Here are the five main aspects of landing page design that Donald talks about in the video:
This is everything “above the fold.” In other words, it’s the dominant real estate that will be seen right away. Here is where the first impression is made, and it’s your one opportunity to get your visitors’ attention.
In fact, pretty much anyone should be able to look at the page for about 5 seconds and tell you A) what’s being offered, B) how it will make their life better, and C) how they can buy it. If those points aren’t clear, you’re likely missing opportunities with the page.
The call to action (CTA) is literally the thing you want your visitor to do from the page. Whether it’s “Buy now,” “Sign up,” or “Claim offer,” your CTA button or link should be obvious to tap or click. It should be prominent and appear frequently enough on the page that they have multiple opportunities to take action.
Seems obvious, but you know what? Businesses miss out on this all the time.
The problem is what attracts people to your products or services. You need to clearly define this problem and offer to solve it. Demonstrate what life will look like if they don’t buy your product or service. This is the moment you say, “If you don’t click the CTA button or link, this is what life will look like.”
Of course, the benefit promise clarifies what your product or service will do for them. You’ll want to show what life will look like when the pain is solved.
They’re in a risk-free relationship with you thus far. But you introduce risk when you ask for money. So, lift the fog. Show them there is actually less risk than they feel in the moment. Do this by breaking down the sales process in easy-to-understand terms. This is useful even when the process seems obvious.
For example, if you sell coffee beans online, state that once they place an order, you’ll package the coffee and ship it to them so that they have fresh ground beans in their mailbox within three days of ordering. This helps make it very clear what your customer can expect when they put their money down, and in turn makes the process less risky.
Landing pages are critical components to your email marketing strategy. Keep in mind that you aren’t limited in how many landing pages you can use. For this reason, you’ll want to use a landing page builder tool that integrates directly in your marketing automation platform and offers the ease of drag and drop along with a library of high-quality stock photos. This way you can quickly build or modify landing pages as needed.
The lead generator (also known as a lead magnet: here are some ideas to get you started) is, simply put, a useful piece of content that your audience wants and are willing to trade for their email address.
If you do it right, it’s the best way to build your list and begin a relationship with your new contacts.
Think about it: why would someone actually want to give you their email address?
If you don’t offer something they want, there is likely very little reason for someone to give you their email address otherwise.
That’s because an email address has worth. Not only to you, but also to them. Donald Miller likes to say that the average person gives an unconscious value of ten dollars. For them to give up their email, it’s as if they pulled a $10 bill out of their pocket. They’ll only give that up if they know they’ll be getting some value for it.
People will offer their email in order to:
Solve a problem. You have the answer they’re looking for.
Satisfy their curiosity. You have something that they want to know more about.
Organize their thinking: You’ll help them become more educated on a subject.
Lead generators are great tools to help your potential customers begin solving their pains; moreover, lead generators will establish you as a trustworthy solution to their problem.
Email marketing is great because it’s measurable. As you track email activity, you’ll learn how email performance directly impacts your business. Predictive analysis allows you to change course and make adjustments—which translates to better business decisions—ahead of time.
In fact, as your adjustments bring about success, the work of optimization starts to take on a new level of excitement, even to the point of feeling gamified!
In this video, Donald talks about two key types of email campaigns that work together to create a journey from first contact to the point of sale.
The basic framework and content of these two campaigns can be modified and enhanced for your business as you learn what works best with your audience.
The welcome email is special. It’s the first communication your new contact will receive after they’ve given you their email address. Of all the emails they’ll ever receive from you, this is the one that sets the tone for all other correspondence to come.
It’s your opportunity to ensure that they look forward to seeing your emails in their inboxes.
This means you’ve got to get the welcome email just right.
The nurture campaign positions you as the guide. This campaign should be set up to drip useful content to your audience over a long period of time.
How often should you send nurture emails? As often as possible. The key with nurturing is to keep your brand top of mind, so don’t let them forget about you.
In order to ensure that you have content that can sustain a long-term nurture campaign, it’s best to build out an arsenal of emails in advance that you can drip out over time. That way you don’t have to worry about constantly writing fresh nurture emails.
With marketing automation, like Infusionsoft, you can set up automated campaigns that drip personalized emails without you having to worry about it. Any new contacts will get automatically entered into the right campaign, every time. And, automated campaigns respond with the right follow-up based on specific interactions.
For example, if a contact downloads your ebook, they get focused email follow-up.
Generally, nurturing campaigns tend to fit into these three large buckets:
Announcements (new content is available: new blog posts, podcasts, video, etc.)
Tips (create value by showing how to do things I’m an expert on)
Notifications (What’s happening in the company, what’s new, opportunities to buy, such as discounts and special offers)
This helps your contacts fit into your story: you help solve that problem they feel every day.
The nurture campaign is about building trust. You want them to trust you to be the one to solve their problem. This means that after they’ve responded to your nurture emails, they should be ready for targeted sales emails.
After someone’s shown interest, it’s time to take them out of the nurture campaign and drop them into a sales campaign.
A sales campaign is where you introduce direct sales language. To do this, your sales emails should follow these talking points:
Your lead has responded to your nurture campaign, so you know something about the pain that is influencing them. Call that pain out. A story of how you solved this same problem for one of your other clients can add dimension to the problem and further build trust.
For every sales pitch, there’s a knee-jerk resistance. What is the main reason leads refuse to buy? That’s the dominant resistance. Head that off at the pass by addressing it before they can bring it up themselves.
Urgency, fear of missing out (FOMO), and exclusivity are some of the most powerful factors that influence a sale. Find a way to work urgency into the equation.
You can mix and match these tactics between an email series or include them all in a single sales email. Keep in mind that, generally, long emails don’t do as well as concise ones. Test a variety of approaches and measure which ones work the best.
Email marketing is a powerful way to grow your business online.
The more you understand how to make email work for your business, the more leads you’ll see come in. Of course, that means more sales, too. With every adjustment you make, you’ll see the impact on your performance. So, like a game, you’ll actually have fun optimizing your campaigns for the best results.
Without a powerful marketing automation tool, however, email marketing is actually a chore. As Donald Miller describes, the way to make email marketing work is to have a consistent series of emails reach every one of your contacts, and then drop them into a sales campaign when they’ve shown their ready. The more customized that message is to their interactions, the better.
Manually keeping up with anything more than a few contacts at a time is nearly impossible. You’ll inevitably miss out on follow up opportunities, or accidentally add someone to the wrong campaign, or follow up too late. This means dropped leads and missed sales.
Marketing automation helps you keep up with each and every customer throughout the nurture, and will make sure they move into a sales campaign the moment their ready.
If you’re tired of slow sales, get the book that makes marketing easy. With Donald Miller’s latest bestseller, Building a StoryBrand, you’ll get clear on your message so you can connect with customers and grow your business.
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