If you thought email marketing is dead, I’m here to tell you it’s not! But what you should consider is that things have changed… a lot! A good email marketing strategy looks very different from what it did just 10 years ago. And I’m talking to Yael Keon to find what it takes these days to nail the email thing.
Has it crossed your mind lately that you spend all this time crafting a well-thought out monthly newsletter for your 500 subscribers, with …zilch result to show for?
Let me tell you… I feel you!
BUT WHAT IF I TOLD YOU MAY AS WELL QUIT THAT CRAFTY NEWSLETTER?
What if I told you newsletters are dinosaurs? A thing of the past. Not a living soul bothers to open them, let alone read from top to bottom. No wonder it feels like you’re forever pouring into a leaky bucket.
BUT what if I told you there is a way to send out 500 emails that come back with 10 identified hot leads that are ready for the picking?
Email Marketing Is Alive And Kicking!
Sounds too good to be true?
That would have been my thought exactly just a few days ago.
But then I had a conversation with Yael Keon, an email marketing specialist.
Let’s just say I took some notes.
Is email marketing dead?
Ask any marketing guru and they’ll all tell you it’s very much alive. Many will choose it over Social Media marketing. BUT how we use it has changed… a lot!
SO… IF NOT NEWSLETTERS, THEN WHAT TYPE OF EMAILS SHOULD WE SEND?
It all comes back to WHY we should send emails in the first place. According to Yael, emails have a dual purpose: nurturing the relationship with your audience (Tick!), and gathering data… like who’s the hot lead that’s ready for the picking?!
I knew about the first ‘why’. The latter, however, is a bit of a conundrum… So I started firing off the questions.
The Emails You Should Send That Aren’t Newsletters
Yael has a list of emails you should send that aren’t newsletters.
- Short email with a single focus point that your reader wants to know about. Think TikTok but in email form. It can just be a short snippet that clarifies a point. Or an email that educates on something that gives your reader an easy win, or something motivational or inspirational.
- An onboarding email sequel, composed of your best tips, answers to questions you get asked all the time, recap on what to expect, etc.
- Off-boarding emails, asking for feedback, referrals, upselling, etc.
- Emails letting your subscribers know you have just released a new podcast or blog.
- Lead magnet emails, exchanging contact details for some sort of valuable content (such as a whitepaper or an e-book). Include a couple of strategically placed questions with links to click. You can also ask little interactive questions like: What is your biggest challenge? Or include polls. Everybody loves a poll.
- Other strategic emails that go on a fishing expedition for valuable data, a.k.a. email data extraction.
There Are Emails, And Then There Are EMAILS!
You may have noticed the words ‘strategic’ and ‘valuable data’. This is where the treasure lies.
It takes us back to my question ‘What if there was a way to send out 500 emails and subsequently identify your top 10 boiling hot leads?’
It also ties back to the WHY of sending emails.
I mentioned ‘data collection’. Sometimes it’s called ‘data mining’. In this case, it’s ‘email data mining’.
See… these days you DON’T just send an email and let it sit in somebody’s inbox waiting for it to be opened,… who then acts on it….hopefully…
These days we send targeted emails that feel personal. Then we TRACK who opens what, clicks on what, downloads what. It feeds you back the valuable information you were looking for, and TADAA… there are the top 10 hottest leads.
The best part is that a good email system will do this for you. So does a good CRM because… emails aren’t just sent from your email system. The take-away is that when done well, you won’t need to spend hours puzzling it all together.
Of course, you can collect data on a variety of other valuable insights (other than your top 10 hot leads) that help your agency forward. Knowledge is power, so whatever information helps you goes.
We all want to know the answer to the next question: HOW?????
Which brings us to the topic of email segmentation strategies.
What Is Email Segmentation?
Picking up from where we left it off, …
You have measured up your audience; your email system spat out the data you wanted.
From now on, rather than sending a generic mass email to all readers, you can start targeting them specifically (and strategically).
This doesn’t mean that from this point onwards, you need to send personal emails (although it can be a good idea in some situations). Often, your next email can be mass created. It just can’t look mass created.
For starters, you need to personalise your emails. (You know, address your reader by name etc.)
But also, different readers need different content. Nobody wants to be bombarded with email that is not relevant to them. It’s the best way for your audience to feel disconnected. You want your audience to feel spoken to; send them content they consider valuable.
SO, what’s needed is a bucket system that groups similar audiences into the same group so you can reach them with content that is relevant to them.
The way to do that is with email market segmentation.
How To Segment Your Email List?
You can do this in different ways.
- Imagine your lead clicks on a link and then clicks on something else that takes them deeper into the topic. This tells you they’re clearly interested. This double click triggers a tag to be added. You then search for who's got this tag and you create this list of people who clearly have spent some time checking this topic out.
- But you can take it a step further and get super fancy with lead scoring. This means you’re tracking everybody's actions, but also weigh these actions and add them up. For instance, an e-book download is scored higher than a blog click. The result is visible on a dashboard.
- And of course, you can cookie your website visitors.
Yael recommends keeping the email marketing segmentation down to a few core themes that are meaningful to you, so you don’t start confusing yourself. Also, she advises be consistent with the tags for the same reason.
Easy Does It In the world of Email Marketing Strategy
It probably doesn’t need much explaining to realise that this can get complex quickly. (I mean, your head is probably already spinning. I know mine was.)
But that shouldn’t scare you off.
Yael’s biggest advice is to tackle your email marketing strategy with baby steps.
She often tells her new clients to start with one strategic email in the first month. In that first email data extraction session, the focus is on pinpointing who the ‘hottest people’ are at that moment.
But while it’s a game-changer, it’s also important to remember that email marketing strategy and email marketing automation are never ‘done’. There's always going to be a new toy, so don't think you have to find a mountain of time to do this.
Point in case, Yael herself still has a list of a 100 different things she wants to do to her email list and email marketing automation.
Yael says it's too big a beast to do it all, so just do one thing at a time and slowly start adding a welcome email or a sequence of emails. Look for that next little thing that you can do that will move you forward.
Me… I off checking what my email system can do that I didn’t have the faintest idea about!
Connect With Yael Keon
It’s clear there’s only so much Yael can share in a single email marketing strategy podcast, so if you want to get in touch with her to data mine some more information (see what I did there?) about the ins and outs of email marketing, you should get in touch with her.
But to start you off, Yael has her ‘Fill In The Blank Style’ free resource. It gives you no less than 80 ideas for your next email that isn’t a newsletter!