Email Marketing for Beginners:
Your Online Guide to Success - Part 4

Email Marketing for Beginners

Email Marketing for Beginners Online Guide

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Success Step 8
Tips for the content you send

You now have an overview of:

  • what email marketing is
  • it's definitions
  • choosing an email marketing service
  • how to capture an email address and maximize sign ups
  • how to build trust with subscribers from the start
  • how often to send to them
  • when to send
  • and what to send

Next, I want to share with you my best tips for the content you send to your subscribers.

Personalize your message

The first is to personalize your message.

The easiest way to do this is to use your subscriber’s first name when you send to them.

One of the most powerful words in any language is our name and it is one of the words that grabs our attention most when reading any type of text.

Email Marketing for Beginners

When you set up a form to capture email addresses you should be given options to modify how many fields appear on it. 

Always include a field for "First Name".

When you have a subscribers first name:

  • Use it in the subject line
  • Use it in your greeting
  • Use it the body copy...

...just don’t use it in all three places at once, and DON’T overuse it!

Reader’s usually know when they are being mass emailed to, so using their name too much in the emails you send is the equivalent to crying wolf and can lose the power it has to get their attention.

Another great way to personalize your message to your reader is knowing their birthday, gender, and/or clothing sizes.

Sending a special birthday email to your subscribers will be an unexpected treat and build rapport with your subscriber.

Email Marketing for Beginners

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Send to your subscribers based on location

My email marketing service has the ability to send to subscribers within a radius of a certain zip code which is perfect for targeting based on any local area.

If you are sending an email to subscribers in San Francisco, find a way to mention it in the email body copy.

The same goes for images. Include a picture of the San Francisco skyline or a well known landmark in San Francisco.

Email Marketing for Beginners
Email Marketing for Beginners

Send to subscribers based on their time zone

In Step 7 we discussed the importance on sending at the best days and times.

If you find out through testing that Saturdays at 8 a.m. is the best time to send, be sure it is reaching your subscribers all over the world at that time.

If half of your list is on the East Coast in the U.S. and the other half is on the West Coast in the U.S., half of your subscribers are getting your email at 8 a.m. and the other half are getting it at 5 a.m. which will dramatically decrease your engagement.

When I found out about and implement this one simple change I saw 10-30% increases in open rates and 10-20% increase in click through rates.

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Know what products subscribers have bought

Continually asking customers to buy a product they have already bought:

  • will NOT make them feel like you know them
  • is NOT personal
  • and is a great way to get them to unsubscribe and complain

Your email marketing service should have a way to connect to your product sales and allow you to automatically tag customers as a customer of a specific product.

That way when you send future product promotions for that product in the future you can exclude customers who already bought

You might be wondering “Why would I promote the same product over and over?”

You should and I’ll discuss that more below in the “Resend Your Content” section. 

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*NOTE: The following strategies only apply if you currently sell a few products (or more), so if you don’t, feel free to skip to the next section on segmenting your readers.

Abandon cart emails

The purpose behind abandon cart emails is to remind a subscriber to complete their purchase.

These emails are conditional however, because you can only send them if a customer makes it to the checkout page, types in their email, but doesn’t complete their purchase.

Our lives are busy and technology often causes interruptions and distractions.

By sending a would be customer a reminder that they were ready to checkout and didn’t, you’re helping them solve their problem by buying your product or service.

Abandon cart emails are highly personal and effective.

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Product recommendations

Product recommendation emails are similar to abandon cart emails for the same reasons.

These types of emails are usually sent to your customer after they have made a purchase in order to upsell them or cross sell them on another product.

If you have tracking, advanced skills, software, employees, and a variety of products, you can also send product recommendations to your subscribers based on what pages/products they looked at.

Home Depot and Amazon are very good at this.

I’ll be honest I don’t have a lot of experience doing this because it is beyond my skill set, plus I don’t sell that many products.

But the principle is effective since people typically purchase the products that they look at and research online.

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Product review emails

Asking for product reviews is a perfect way to feed two birds with one seed (vs. the more violent alternative of killing two birds with one stone).

Product reviews are essential to selling more of your product(s) because they build trust through social proof.

By sending these types of emails you:

  • build the ratings and reviews potential customers will see (which will increase sales)
  • show that you care about their opinion in helping improve your product(s)
  • can showcase additional products and/or offer an upsell).

They are highly personalized and keep your subscriber tied into your brand.

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Segment Your Readers / Know Your Tribe

Facebook has taught us that we are a diverse bunch of people with an even more diverse bunch of interests that all differ in varying degrees from each other.

For example:

If someone asked me if I like playing video games, my answer would be yes.

And while that is true, I only play them on rare occasions.

In contrast, you could ask the same question to another person who would also say yes…

…but that person:

  • has pictures of Pro Gamers pinned up on their walls
  • watches gaming livestreams 20+ hours a week
  • and buys tickets to go watch those gamers play in a stadium
Email Marketing for Beginners

Both of us may be on your list, but which one of us will be most likely to consume your gaming content and buy products from you?

Aaaaaand which one of us would be least likely to buy, stay subscribed, and possibly complain to EMSs and ESPs about getting too many emails from you about gaming?

This is why it becomes essential to segment your readers.

You do this by separating your readers into “buckets” (through tags) of interest and engagement.

The easiest way to do this is to set up an automation that will tag a reader when they click a specific link in your email.

My email marketing service makes doing this really easy.

Email Marketing for Beginners
Email Marketing for Beginners

Knowing the difference between a reader who has opened, read, and clicked to see more information about something in your email vs. one who has only opened is invaluable information to have.

Most email service providers have capabilities that can help you do this automatically and if you ever plan to sell anything to your readers…

…I highly recommend finding a service with these capabilities.

You will save yourself countless hours doing so. 

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Get attention with subject lines

Great subject lines are short (6-10) words and are provocative, controversial, relevant, or a combination of all three.

Subject lines should have at least 1 of 7 elements:

  • Direct benefit
  • Curiosity
  • Scarcity
  • News
  • Social proof
  • Story
  • Humanity

In this article I share a bunch of examples to properly use subject lines to increase open rates.

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Resend content

I completely under-utilized this for years.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.

When I began making content, I had this false belief that once I had written, created, recorded, or produced a piece of content and promoted it once, everyone saw it, and it was now old.

I felt like I needed to create something new before ever sending again.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’ll give you a great analogy I thought of that helped cement this concept into my brain.

The next time you are in an elevator, retail store, or restaurant, listen for the music that is playing.

Do you recognize it? Have you heard it before? 

The song that I heard and gave me my epiphany was “Jail House Rock” by Elvis Presley. That song was released over 65 years ago (circa 1957)!

That’s when it hit me.

Though I will never be as famous as Elvis Presley, like him, the content I create should, in theory, be relevant for years to come.

Of course, if you develop content for daily or weekly news show this isn’t entirely true because people want to know about news when it happens. 

Email Marketing for Beginners

The point I’m trying to make is how crucial it is to reuse and resend your content to your subscribers.

If you send a new article you write to 1,000 people and get a 30% open rate, pat yourself on the back, that’s really good!

BUT, what’s more important to understand is that 70% of the people you sent the article to, never even knew it existed!

One of the features that exists with my email marketing service is a “Resend to Unopens” button. After sending a broadcast to my subscribers, I can resend the same broadcast again 7-10 days later by clicking one button.

It’s genius!

I also resend the same content again every 6 months or so because it can be used over and over again and my subscriber may have forgot about it in that time.

So, do yourself a favor and resend your content.

Both you and your readers will be glad you do.

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A/B split test subject lines

Split testing subject lines will greatly impact your open rates.

Testing two different subjects will help you better understand what your subscribers respond to.

Most email marketing services will have this feature built in to their software which will allow you to split test subject lines quickly and effectively.

Email Marketing for Beginners

Some considerations for split testing include:

  • Pick only one variable to test at a time (e.x. subject line, CTA)
  • Choose your goal (higher opens, more clicks)
  • Split your email list equally and randomly
  • Decide how significant your results have to be
  • Run the test long enough to get substantial results

The ability to split test should definitely be on your list of required features if you are comparing email marketing services.

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Tell Subscribers What You Want Them To Do

It is easier than ever to access information in our world today.

And while it’s true that people have become much smarter, it's still your job to lead them along the path you want them to take.

I’m not saying talk down to your subscribers or treat them like they’re dumb, you can of course if you want a subscriber list of 0.

What I am saying is don’t assume they know what you want them to do.

To do this make sure you have a clear CTA or call(s) to action.

Design your content to take them where they need to go and make it dead simple for them to:

  • subscribe
  • make a purchase
  • complete the action you want them to take

If you don’t make it easy for them to find and acquire a solution to their problem, they will look for it somewhere else.

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Always use P.S.

The P.S. is one of the most critical elements of your email body copy.

According to Professor Siegfried Vogele a renown researcher of direct mail, “No matter how much or how little people read in your email, 90% of people read the P.S. (Voegele, Handbook of Direct Mail, p 202)!"

“No matter how much or how little people read in your email, 90% of people read the P.S.!"

- Siegfried Vogele

A P.S. acts as a last attempt to get your readers attention, a “if you didn’t read anything in this email…READ THIS” if you will.

With it you can alert subscribers attention to watch for more coming from you, remind them of a promotion, event, or piece of content, book a call, or join you on a social media channel.

My personal favorite P.S. to use is “If you feel this email will benefit someone you know, please forward it to them.”

Talk about broadening your reach!

If you have 1000 subscribers on your list, 500 of them open your email and 10% of those forward it to someone else, that’s 50 potential visits to your website, new subscribers, and/or new customers.

Email Marketing for Beginners

Have you heard of the term Social Proof before?

It comes in many forms of testimonials from readers, subscribers, and customers reviewing your content or products.

Having your subscribers forward your email to someone they know who has never heard of you before is one of the best forms of social proof available and gives you instant credibility from the referrer.

Asking subscribers to forward your email is a simple but powerful way to increase your subscribers, reach, brand awareness, and sales.

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