Win the Attention of Undecided Prospects

Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels to nurture prospects due to its low cost, and the willingness of buyers to receive email from companies with whom they already have some kind of relationship. According to DemandGen Report, nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. The following lead nurturing best practices will help you build relationships with your prospects:

  • Get their permission. Before sending marketing messages to your prospects, be sure to ask for their explicit permission, preferably via double opt-in, so they do not see it as unsolicited email or spam. This shows respect by giving your prospects a choice, which will set the tone for relationship building and partnership. The success of your email marketing campaign depends on this more than anything else.
  • Automate your lead nurture strategy. Implement automatically triggered campaigns (a series of automated emails called a “drip” campaign) that deliver consistent brand messages at specified time intervals and when leads reach certain milestones. Drip marketing is a strategy that will help you keep your company fresh in your recipients’ minds until they’re ready to buy. Over time, as prospects respond, you’ll learn more about their needs and interests.

Differentiate customers, not just products

The managing of customers in your database is of equal if not greater importance than the management of the products and services you generate. Careful monitoring and review of the relationship fostered between you and your customers plays a critical role in retaining their business. Consider how wants and needs might differ among them, and how those differences might influence their purchasing patterns and behaviors. Over time, it becomes apparent that some customers are more valuable than others and purchase more often and make larger purchases (and by that same logic, it may be revealed that other customers may not be worth quite as much as the attention they have been receiving thus far). So it’s important for companies to understand the needs of customers within different profitability tiers and adjust their service levels accordingly.

Thoughts on HTML Email Design, Segmentation and Best Practices

In a recent HTML overview presentation I led, an interesting question came up. While I was knee-deep in indicating the various challenges faced in HTML email design because of the many platforms that email can be read on, someone had essentially asked if we needed to bother ourselves with those difficulties anymore. Given that we have the email marketing tools to segment our mailing lists based on a number of criteria, could it be theoretically possible to eschew the many platform dependent limitations that HTML email often has? Couldn’t we just set up targets based on email client and send mailings that were tailored for that?

At first blush, I would have to say that this is a great idea. Why? Because designing for email is pretty annoying. As a web designer, you have to keep up with changes in browser technology, design conventions and updates to the very code we use to make our web creations. That’s just standard practice. However, despite the fact that we may be producing assets in 2013, when it comes to email, unfortunately, you find yourself having to code things as if it were 1997.

Harness customer data to improve relevancy

Moving into the New Year, marketers will need to make better use of customer data to engage and drive more relevant communications. By gathering insight about customers, marketers can begin to have more meaningful interactions through rich and deep customer intelligence.

Business intelligence data offers immense opportunity to better serve and engage customers. Expanding the customer profile with a combination of transactional and behavioral interaction data collected across multiple channels, empowers marketers to create highly targeted automated messaging. Start by tracking behavioral interactions, such as purchase history, clicks in your emails, and website activity. Use this data to segment your list and create actionable offers that are more integrated, personalized, and relevant across all your marketing activities.

Don’t Mistarget Your Marketing Efforts

To be successful, marketers need to send the right message to the right customer at the right time. According to a 2011 study by Blue Research, if you personalize the experience between you and your subscribers, they are 50 percent more likely to return to your site, and 40 percent more likely to recommend you to others.

Tap into rich subscriber data to deliver unique customer experience.

Tapping your subscriber data is a key component of an effective email marketing program. Subscriber data can come from a variety of sources—observed web behavior, purchase data, stated preferences, CRM notes, social, email, surveys and more. Analyze this information and use insights gleaned (e.g., sentiment, demographics, individual influence, behavior) to create engaging customer experiences that build stronger, more intimate relationships and foster long-term loyalty.

Infographic: 4 Simple Rules for Email Marketing Segmentation

Segmenting your email marketing campaigns doesn’t need to be a daunting task. We’ve simplified the process of dividing your email list into groups of likeminded individuals and sending personalized messaging into 4 simple rules. These rules will allow you to send targeted and personalized messages to groups of people who share similar characteristics. Although segmenting your list takes more time and effort, it gets your email to the people who want it the most, increasing the probability of recipients opening, reading and, ultimately, doing business with you. Segmenting at its most basic—using data you already have—will result in significantly higher conversion rates than one-off email blasts.

Follow the 4 Simple Rules for Email Marketing Segmentation illustrated in the infographic below to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns:

4 Simple Rules for Email Marketing Segmentation

Meet Your Consumers: Browsing Bob, Maybe Mike, and No-way Ned

Meet Your Consumers: Browsing Bob, Maybe Mike, and No-way NedThere are three types of consumers: those who want to buy your product, those who might want to buy your product, and those who definitely don’t want to buy your product. For simplicity’s sake, let’s refer to these types of consumers as Browsing Bob, Maybe Mike, and No-way Ned, respectively. These consumers often times end up on your email marketing list. To keep your email marketing relevant to your subscribers you should know what type of consumers are receiving your emails.

Browsing Bob is “in the market,” as they say, actively searching for something specific to buy. Maybe Mike, while he might not be seeking you out, will be responsive if he sees a relevant advertisement that catches his eye. No-way Ned, even if he does see an advertisement, has no interest in whatever you’re selling.

Maximize Your Advertising Spend

Segmentation is a question of determining the common attributes and characteristics found in a group of buyers that enable you to look at them, and market to them, in a similar fashion.

Start by capturing vital data about who your users, purchasers and influencers are and what interests them. By profiling and segmenting consumers based upon demographics, lifestyle preferences and behaviors, you can maximize your advertising spend and target the audience which will be the most responsive to your messaging. The more information you can collect about them, the more innovative you can make your targeting strategies. The more segments you have, the more focused you can be about selecting one or more groups to target with a distinct marketing message.

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