52 Ways to Increase ROI Using Email Marketing

ROI

Do you have the right personality for email marketing? Maybe you feel you need to be more creative. Or more analytical. Or need better people skills. Stop worrying! You don’t need a new personality. You can develop an email marketing style that fits your real personality, shows off your strengths, and puts money in your pocket. Here’s how.

The problem with email marketing is not that the software is hard to use. It’s quite user-friendly. The problem is that there’s an incredible number things you can do with email marketing.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed. So it’s time to get focused. Here’s how the features break down by personality type.

 

Are you a nervous newbie?

If you’re new to email marketing, start by going for easy wins. Use techniques that need little time and effort. User-friendly software guides you through all the basics.

  1. Get permission – You can get into a world of trouble spamming people who’ve never heard of you.  Reputable email service providers (ESP) handle the confirmation chore by default.
  2. Grab a template – If you have an important job interview, you dress your best, right?  Email works the same way. Templates make it easier than ever to look the part of an Internet-marketing pro.
  3. Provide an online view – Some subscribers may be using out-of-date email programs. So provide a link to view your email online in a browser. You’ll find that some readers prefer browser viewing.
  4. Offer plain text – Some subscribers configure their email program for text only. So a plain-text version enables more people to read your emails. More read-throughs mean more chances for conversion and ROI.
  5. Time your delivery – Your best shot is to get subscribers to open, read and act now. Deliver your email on the day and local time they’re most likely to open it.
  6. Encourage social sharing – For real networking power, social media sites are hard to beat. Social media buttons make social sharing easy and automatic.  And every click means a wider reach for your offers.
  7. Seek support – If you get stuck, help is just a phone call or a click away. So take advantage of free resources. They save you time and increase your chances of email marketing success.

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Are you a creative free spirit?

If you’ve got the soul of an artist and an eye for design, you’ll be right at home in email marketing. Use your strong visual sense to wow readers and convert them into customers.

  1. Get visual – The right image grabs reader attention and provokes curiosity. Make sure each photo includes a license for business use. This reduces the risk of a copyright-infringement lawsuit.
  2. Customize your look – You’ll enjoy customizing colors, importing visual assets, and creating a special look. Readers will look forward to each newsletter. They’ll enjoy seeing what you come up with next.
  3. Start from scratch – Got HTML chops? You may not need them. Start with a blank canvas then use drag-and-drop to add design elements. Develop a memorable design to match your unique flair.
  4. Check the view – Your gorgeous newsletter has to look great when it reaches subscriber inboxes. So check your design in different combinations of email programs and browsers.
  5. Showcase your talent – Use the archive to create an online catalog of your best work. Or organize a set of emails that are examples of what you do well.

 

Are you a super-brainiac?

Analytical types make exceptional email marketers. There are dozens of ways to test and make small improvements. Over time, you’ll optimize your messages and achieve big gains in ROI.

  1. Perform A/B testing – Smart marketers are willing to admit they can’t outguess the market. So they test language, calls to action, subject lines… you name it. Then they go with the winners.
  2. Analyze results – Your goal is to analyze patterns of performance. If “email opens” decrease, write more compelling subject lines. If “click-through” ratios lag, maybe your offer needs tweaking.
  3. Segment your list – Identify subscribers who open and click an email. Send them similar content and offers. Then target those who ignored your email, giving them a special offer that’s too good to pass up.
  4. Snoop on subscribers – Over a period of time you’ll develop a scientist’s understanding of your subscribers. You’ll know what they love and what leaves them cold. Knowledge is power… and profit.
  5. Find profitable niches – Some subscribers will prefer one aspect of your business. Email lets you cater to their special interests. These super-fans may become your most profitable customers.
  6. Track website conversions – Integrate your website analytics with email analytics. When you’ve got the whole picture, you know which actions bring in the most sales.
  7. Tweak autoresponder cycles – Analyze message cycles too. You may need to spice up certain automatic emails. But when you get them right, they can yield profits forever.
  8. Customize your timing – When subscribers show interest, what do they need next? Your responses turn into automated marketing. Your customers will thing you designed your business just for them.

 

Are you a sales superstar?

Your sales skills have helped you excel in face-to-face selling. Now imagine what you could do in unlimited markets. Here’s how to take your skills online and generate even more sales.

  1. Automate your pipeline – Sales pros have a process. They craft the right approach for each step. Email marketing gives you the tools to automate those steps to generate profits even while you sleep.
  2. Take prospects off-road – In person, you’d invite a hot prospects to a private meeting. Use email to invite prospects to a dedicated landing page. That gives you enough room for your complete sales message.
  3. Be ready for quick decisions – Hot buyers may not need the landing page. So give them an opportunity to buy inside your email. And those who need more info can click to your landing page to learn about the offer.
  4. Make a deal – People love insider deals not available to the public. Email marketing lets you protect your pricing structure while giving targeted readers a memorable deal.
  5. Sell ‘em more stuff – Your most loyal customers look to you for ideas about improving their life or their business. An attractive add-on offered as a follow-up may be your easiest sale.
  6. Upsell to better value – Do you offer a no-frills version of your product or service? Your best prospects want more… and they’re willing to pay a premium. It never hurts to suggest a more expensive product or service.
  7. Inspire loyalty – Reward your best customers with special values you create just for them. People love having a friend in the business. If you position yourself as an insider, you’ve got a customer for life.
  8. Conquer new networks – A great salesperson doesn’t stop until she gets a handful of referrals. Your online customers can recommend you too. And it’s easy, thanks to email and social media.

 

The social butterfly

The intimacy of email makes it perfect for turning acquaintances into friends, prospects into clients, and customers in raving fans. Put your natural social skills to work using email marketing.

  1. Grab new subscribers – Place sign-up forms on your websites. Choose seasonal themes to reflect the mood of your audience. Test which industry themes resonate best with those you want to attract.
  2. Seek social sign-ups – Facebook fans can develop a special feeling of community. So use a Facebook app to display any of your sign-up forms inside a tab on your Facebook page.
  3. Get to know them – Your subscribers know a lot about you. So they’ll love sharing themselves with you. Use the online survey tool to gather facts, opinions, and preferences.
  4. Look for “birds of a feather” – As you accumulate subscriber data, you’ll be able to identify subgroups with special interests. Figure out how to serve each group, and you’ll create profitable niche markets.
  5. Enjoy the seasons – As your online community grows, you become part of their lives. Use seasonal newsletter templates to help them enjoy cultural holidays and changing seasons.
  6. Get personal – People like to do business with friends. You wouldn’t start a personal email with Dear occupant, would you? For better response, personalize your newsletters to establish a friendlier atmosphere.
  7. Encourage feedback – Remind subscribers that your email newsletter is a real email. Invite them to click the reply button and share reactions with you. If possible, respond to every email with a personal note.
  8. Celebrate anniversaries – Any special date is an opportunity for a special message. Send a birthday greeting automatically. Celebrate their anniversary as a customer with a special offer or discount.
  9. Put your face in the placeVideos are ideal inside email newsletters. Make them brief and put your special personality into them. Your customers will feel they know you as friend.
  10. Repurpose your content – Your email marketing account includes a multi-media studio where you can store images and videos. If you make a short video for one customer, all your subscribers might enjoy it too.
  11. Follow the social trail – Encourage subscribers to share your emails. This lets you identify social sites where your message is welcome. Then you can introduce yourself. Make friends. And turn them into fans.

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Are you a master networker?

For you, it’s all about making connections. Your strengths lie in meeting new people and forging business relationships. Email marketing puts helpful tools at your fingertips. Use them to build your network and create a lasting business.

  1. Share your expertise – Your blog may be filled with thought-leadership gems. But don’t rely on your readers to return to it on schedule. Instead distribute new content using RSS-to-email.
  2. Market on the go – Mobile apps enable you to review message drafts on your smartphone or tablet then click to send. Real-time stats feed to your mobile devices, so you can check subscriber activity and responses.
  3. Respond on the go – Use your mobile device to compose a plain-text email and broadcast it to a segment or your entire list. And if a subscriber replies with a comment or question, you can reply on the spot.
  4. Snag new subscribers – At trade shows and networking events, there’s no need to collect business cards. Instead, capture contact information on your tablet and continue the marketing conversation by email.
  5. Surveys your readers – The initial connection is just the first step. Send surveys and polls to gather opinions and market data. Share results with readers to help them stay current with the market.
  6. Take in-person contacts online – Don’t worry, in-person contacts won’t get lost in your subscriber list. Create a subgroup of your closest relationships. Then distribute messages geared exclusively for them.
  7. Consolidate your contacts – You gather contacts from multiple sources: LinkedIn, Facebook, Gmail, Google Docs, Salesforce, and more. Consolidate them onto your email marketing list to keep in touch.

 

Are you a hands-off delegator?

If you try to do everything yourself, you risk running out of time, energy and resources. So your strategy is to leverage the expertise of others. These techniques are nearly impossible without email marketing software.

  1. Integrate your systems – Give power to your people. Set up API integrations with programs your team already uses for CRM, CMS, social, e-commerce, and more.
  2. Acquire technology – Email service providers (ESP) turn to specialists such as Return Path, Litmus, Port 25, SpamHaus and SpamAssassin. Their technology solves the thorniest email problems.
  3. Get friendly with key players – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL and Thunderbird work to protect their users from spam. Email marketing services stay on top of their requirements and get your emails delivered.
  4. Dodge the blockers – Spam blockers have grown in sophistication. Now their complex algorithms may block your legitimate emails. Rely on your email marketing service to steer you clear of spam problems.
  5. Stay up-to-date – Choose an ESP that supports email industry organizations, such as MAAWG, EEC, OTA, ESPC and SuretyMail. These organizations promote industry standards and best practices.
  6. Keep your list clean – This is the most important item on the list. A clean email list is the core of Internet-marketing. Your email service provider can help safeguard your reputation with subscribers.

Hey wait a minute… I came up with 52 tips, and there are 52 weeks in a year. Careful planning or dumb luck? I’ll let you wonder ;)

 

Go with your strengths first

There’s no need to feel overwhelmed with all the features. Start simple. Get good at techniques that complement your personality. Then explore areas outside your comfort zone. Try just one new idea each week.

Soon your email marketing campaigns will become richer and more powerful. You’ll generate more subscriber engagement, more profits, and better ROI.

In just 52 weeks (or a lot less) you’ll be an email marketing pro. And you can take that to the bank.