A New Year for Email: Building a Behavior-Based Strategy for Success
As featured on Bronto Blog.
It’s time to get your marketing priorities for the new year in order, and number one on your list should be your email marketing strategy. Why? Because email is still a big deal, and it’s still being underutilized.
According to the Radicati Group, there are nearly five billion email accounts in the universe, and that number is predicted to reach a whopping 5.59 billion by 2019. And eMarketer has found the median ROI for email to be 122% higher than alternative marketing channels.
So how do you capitalize on this trend and ensure that 2017 becomes the year you maximize your return from email? It all boils down to how you use it. Email is more than just a means for passing along offers; it’s the key to acquiring new customers and keeping them engaged with your brand. But to be successful with it, you need to adopt a behaviorally-driven strategy that offers real value to your prospects and customers alike.
Email list growth is a favorite topic of conversation for marketers. There are so many articles, blog posts, books and webinars that all revolve around the different strategies businesses can implement to increase their email submission rates and grow their audience. But having a large email list isn’t enough.
Sure, you can entice website visitors with a 15% off coupon in exchange for an email address. I’m sure your submission rate will skyrocket – but so will your unsubscribe rate. Think about it. You’re growing your list with shoppers that you bribed into giving you their email address. Will they really stick around? In the long run, your email list – and your margin – will actually suffer.
But imagine a world where you could grow your email list with people who are clearly interested in your brand. Your email engagement increases, your overall and long-term email list health improves, and your ROI soars. It’s simply a matter of targeting the right individuals.
To find them, map out your business’s conversion journey from start to finish, and answer the following questions:
- What actions do my website visitors take that indicate their conversion intent? (Do they make it to a product page? Read X number of articles? Look at pricing?)
- What are the drop-off points? Where do my visitors abandon and why? (Is their size unavailable? Do they hit a subscription gate? Is the price point too high?)
Once you’ve identified those areas of friction, you can create email experiences that not only alleviate the pain points but simultaneously add value to the customer’s current journey.
- If their size is missing, offer to email them when it’s back in stock.
- If they’ve hit a subscription gate, offer to add them to an exclusive email list through which they’ll receive all the latest on their favorite category.
- If the price point is too high, now’s the time to offer them that little something to push them over the hump. It could be as simple as free shipping.
With behavior-based email that creates value for the customer, you’ll not only build a more productive email list, but you’ll create a more engaging shopping and buying journey and see a higher number of conversions.
So you’ve worked to create personalized engagement with the people on your list. Now what about your emails?
Forget the generic “batch-and-blast” messages. Even the welcome email you send after obtaining a quality email address should be a message based on the experience the user just had on your website.
Sure, you can still thank them for signing up, but then build on the same value that captured their attention and made them give you their email address. Provide them with more articles of interest based on what they were browsing, offer recommendations for similar items in their size, offer free shipping on their favorite items. Be creative and create offers that speak to your subscribers’ preferences.
But it shouldn’t end there. Consider implementing a welcome series that nurtures your prospects’ interests and continues to add value to your brand. And as they begin to engage with your emails, use these same tactics in your other messaging to build on that engagement. Maybe she read two articles on a topic but then left the site. Or maybe she searched for a particular product but abandoned when she didn’t find what she was looking for. Email her about it!
It’s a lot like dating. You can’t go out with someone, say nothing, and then expect another date to manifest itself out of thin air. You have to follow up and make plans. Apply that same strategy to your email marketing. Monitor your website visitors and follow up with them. Nurture their interest in your brand and your product until you’ve convinced them to convert.
Just because someone makes a purchase doesn’t mean you are guaranteed they will return. Established customers should be nurtured as well. As with prospects, keep customers on your behavioral radar. While they may require a different promotional strategy or alternate content when it comes to the actual emails you send, the actions they take while browsing your website are still very important and valuable to your bottom line.
Here’s to a behaviorally-driven and highly profitable new year!