The Truth About Email Marketing…

Do you know how effective email marketing works today?  Because, like many other things in the online marketing world, the game has changed!

The general approach to email marketing used to be to capture their email address through a form and then set about converting them from subscriber to buyer.  It worked pretty well up until about 2012 and then things started to change.

  • It became harder to get emails into Inboxes because of spam filters.
  • Domain blacklisting came into effect – basically alerting every server on the Internet that your root domain was untrustworthy, sending your emails into spam boxes or not even sending them at all!
  • Laws were passed in every major country about email ‘rules’ and protocol and heavy fines are levied against violators.
  • Webmail servers like Gmail and Yahoo got smart and sent all mass commercial mailings to the Promotions tab – most of these are ignored by the user.

Is email marketing dead?  Maybe it’s time to get back to the street and hand out company flyers or use good ol fashioned direct snail mail.

Or maybe we should embrace all of this because the smart marketing will float to the top and the spammers will get blocked.  Ha, ha!

Indeed, embrace it.  And here’s how.

Embrace the idea that if you don’t sell anything during your prospect’s first interaction on your website or landing page, you probably never will – even if they join your list.  They might open an email or two but most won’t because your emails will end up on the promotions tab, in the spam folder, or blocked by your list host (they don’t like sending emails to non-responsive subscribers).  That’s right!  After sending an untold number of emails that don’t get opened, they just stop emailing them.  Yes, blocking, and it’s not the only reason they block your email sends.  But don’t get me wrong – we’re aware of all the best practices to land in the Inbox and we do them all – SPF and DKIM records, domain reputation protection, initial open rates, spam words, spam flags, and industry specific challenges.  Yes, it’s true, Google doesn’t like certain industries.

I digress slightly.  The point is, don’t rely on your email marketing for the bulk of your sales.  That doesn’t work anymore.  Email marketing is a way for you to try snatch out of the air the few bills blowing around in the wind.  Of course, I’m generalizing, it depends on your ticket price and nature of your product or service but I can say with near certainty, most of your sales need to happen fast or they won’t happen at all.

Yes, I know, you have some stats to show me where people on your list convert after buying nothing for a whole year.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen – but that’s the exception and if it’s not, call me – we have to talk because to me that means you have a huge opportunity to sell more on the front end, instead of waiting for them to convert weeks or months down the road.

Am I making sense?  Let’s look at an example.  A visitor arrives at your website or one of your landing pages and they stay long enough because your free offer interests them.  They enter their name and email address to receive your freebie.  Is that success?  Heck, no. What’s wrong with this picture?  What’s wrong is you didn’t make them an offer.  By the way, having a bunch of products sitting in your Ecommerce store is not an offer.

Here’s the point: capturing their email address is the safety strategy – not the core strategy.  Your core strategy should be to get them to buy something in the shortest time possible.  Track this metric!  How long does it take buyers to buy from you?  Whatever it is, track it, and do testing to knock down that time… the less time it takes, the more money you make.  Why?  Because you are telling a more effective message and that will increase sales.

If you get them to pay almost any amount of money, you have a real live customer.  Wow, awesome – from there you can upsell, downsell, and/or set up a sales call, and, woohoo, because they are buyers, you get your emails to arrive in the hallowed ground of the almighty INBOX.  Next, you need to make sure those first five emails get opened because if they don’t get opened, the server might think the user doesn’t want your emails and then it goes back to spam or, more likely, never shows up at all.

Step 1 – Get them to buy.

Step 2 – Get them to engage.

Step 3 – Get them to buy more.

It used to be the other way round.  Engage then buy but new email send and receive protocols changed all that.

Granted if you take the time to make an awesome automated funnel, a kick-ass weekly newsletter, and every month launch an engaging campaign that isn’t spammy – you’ll pull a lot of money out of your list.  It’s certainly what you should strive for but you need both pieces: the powerful front end conversion to sales (that’s the priority) and the great backend, which is the gravy if you do it right.

We can help do both.  We know how much gasoline it takes to start the fire: a stunning landing page with applied psychology to convert + an irresistible offer … and then rich, high-value-driven content on the back end to spur opens, clickthroughs and engagement to deepen the relationship which correctly positions them for your BIG offer.

So, I ask you, how powerful is your front end marketing on your website/landing pages to trigger a sale?  It needs to be as powerful as you can make it because even hoards of new subscribers on your list doesn’t mean what it used to.  When someone tells me they have a list of 100K subscribers I shrug my shoulders, I’m sorry it doesn’t mean much these days.  Sure, you can and should try resurrection strategies but that’s just shaking out the last drops.  Don’t spend too much time on resurrection.  Put more of your resources into marketing that closes fast on the front end and, of course, new traffic generation.