By Hâfi Martinsdóttir
Estimated reading time: 17 minutes | 3424 words
In this post I am going to share with you why email marketing is so important when it comes to staying top of mind with your customers. I’m going to share with you exactly how to capture the emails of your site visitors and what to do with those emails once you have them.
I will walk you through, step by step, how to set up your first email marketing funnel to build trust with your email list precisely where your competitors can’t get to them; in their inbox!
When a person gives you their email address, that is a vote of confidence from them in you. They are trusting in you to add value to their lives in some way and it’s important that we continue to earn that trust and nurture those subscribers who will hopefully become repeat customers.
The difference between not having an effective email marketing strategy in place and having one is the difference between a 0.58% engagement rate through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and seizing the opportunities that come with a 22.86% engagement and a 3.71% click through rate of email marketing. These statistics cannot be ignored and proves that email is here to stay and dominate.
When you purchase a product or service from a company and that company continues to send you relevant weekly emails adding value to your life you are more likely to remember them, purchase from them again and recommend them to others who might benefit from their services. Compare that to a company who sells products but who have no email marketing strategy, they have tons of potential emails of previous customers but they don’t know how to utilise this list to their advantage. So the customer forgets about them over time, no longer considers what other products they have to offer and certainly doesn’t recommend them simply because they can’t remember the name of the business anymore.
Regular value-add emails to your subscriber list is crucial when it comes to staying top of mind, so that the next time your customers are browsing online or recommending a brand to a friend, it’s YOUR company that pops into their minds.
People who purchased from you once, are 27% more likely to purchase again and that number increases with each transaction. If you can retain that customer for a 3rd or 4th sale that number leaps up to 60-70%!
So staying in regular touch with them is crucial otherwise they will likely slip away and as customer acquisition costs more than customer retention, this will end up seriously costing your business.
Customers become more and more comfortable with your brand after each purchase, which translates to them referring your brand to others more frequently and positively. As word-of-mouth recommendations are more trusted and powerful than advertising then customer service and retention are vital to the health of your business.
Okay, now we know WHY we need to be utilising the power of email marketing in our business strategy, let’s get stuck into the how. In a previous post (6 Key Ways to Grow Your Business Online) I touched on the topic of content marketing which is where you generate highly valuable FREE content (blog posts, infographics, videos) for your audience, adding great value to your community and then at some point during the blog post (at the end, in the middle, throughout, depends on the length of post and it’s always good to experiment to see what works for your readers) you say “if you’re serious about achieving X (insert benefit) then you’ll love Y (insert highly valuable content that you’re offering for free in exchange for their email address)”. It can be a checklist, cheatsheet, video series, tutorial, whatever your readers would find most valuable and the key is in making it directly relevant to the blog post it’s featured on.
Bring your audience to your blog with excellent quality, relevant content. Place a reason for them to give you their email address at the bottom of the post (example in the screenshot below) then present them with what they signed up for via an automated email.
You can easily create a PDF document as a lead magnet using Canva, inDesign or by hiring a graphic designer. Or perhaps your offer is a valuable video tutorial in which case it would be placed on a hidden page on your site with a unique link that a new subscriber receives. There are multiple options when it comes to creating a lead magnet/offer and I will cover this in more detail in a future post. But for now..
Connect the lead magnet form to your email marketing software of choice, such as Mailchimp, Mailerlite, or I use (and highly recommend) ActiveCampaign. So that when someone enters their email they will automatically receive an email containing a link to the thing they signed up for (a PDF, video, etc).
In the first email briefly welcome your new subscriber (the proper welcome comes later), state why they are receiving this email “because you want to learn X”, people are busy and will often sign up to more than one website and might check their inbox an hour or two later and have completely forgotten they signed up to your website. So remind them why they signed up, keep it brief and say “here’s a link to XYZ as promised”.
That link then needs to link back to another page on your website where you deliver the promised item. Then below the promised item have a related and relevant product or service on offer.
Say your audience is reading your blog post on “how to transform your kitchen style on a budget”, a relevant lead magnet might be “a step by step on how to DIY renovate your pantry shelves”. Then when they receive the email containing the link, it brings them back to another page on your site to receive the promised offer and below that is a related offer of “receive a free home styling consultation call with one of our interior designers”. Or to several affordable home styling products. The key is to make it relevant. By signing up to your lead magnet, your reader has expressed interest in “DIY” and “budget home styling” suggestions. So make sure whatever you are offering beneath the promised result is something that can help them, ie. don’t make it a super expensive home refurbishment offer because super expensive is not what they were looking for.
Below is a lead magnet funnel example:
Automation is the key here, you can’t be monitoring your website 24/7 and people expect to receive their email containing the promised link straight away. So ensure this email is automated to be sent to your new subscriber immediately.
Set a second email to be sent out 1 hour after the first email. This email is all about saying thank you to your new subscriber for joining your tribe and welcoming them. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and give more of an insight into your brand. If you own the business, perhaps have a picture of yourself in there so they can feel more of a connection to you and your company.
It’s also important to let them know what to expect from you from now on as a subscriber. If you plan to send them weekly emails and make monthly webinars, let them know. Help your subscribers understand how your relationship with them will be. Feel free to have a conversation, reach out and ask them what it is they’d like help with, what are they looking for from you. This isn’t about making sales, it’s about talking, having conversations with your readers, learning how you can serve them best by adding value and showing you care.
Over the next week send several more emails adding more value in the topic relevant to what your subscribers initially expressed interest in.
This might mean that over time you grow to having more than one funnel as readers express interest in learning more on different topics, you might have one lead magnet about “DIY home furnishing” and a relevant funnel as well as an “organic gardening” lead magnet and gardening funnel. But just start with one for now until you’re comfortable with how this all works.
It is vital that these emails add value to your subscribers, by sharing tips, tricks, insider secrets, helpful and actionable “how-tos”.
People don’t just want “fluff”, they want steps that they can implement to make changes immediately, they want valuable and informative content.
There’s enough noise out there so make sure your content is well received simply by getting clear on what your audience wants and delivering it.
If you’re worried that you don’t know what to say in these emails to offer value then my advice to you is to continue learning more on your business’ niche topic. If it’s DIY home improvement, then continue to learn more about this topic and share those findings with your audience. Your posts don’t need to be long and winding, they can be brief, helpful, to the point and easily digestible with a checklist at the end to help people implement your suggested steps. The more you read up on your topic, the more you’ll have to share and the more you’ll realise you knew all along. It’s about valuing your knowledge and wisdom and helping others who need your insights.
I personally am reading constantly on my chosen areas of expertise, recurring revenue, customer retention and online marketing (websites and emails) so that I am better equipped to help my clients. I currently read 2 books per month on these topics and read several articles per day and I love nothing more than to share these findings with you.
I would recommend sending about 3 – 5 of these emails, not selling anything, simply adding value. So many people make the mistake of trying to sell too soon. Give your subscribers time to warm up to you. You wouldn’t go to a bar, start talking to someone then suddenly ask them to marry you would you? You’d first go on a few dates, add value through your relationship, show you care, help them, get them to like you and trust you, it’s the same with your subscribers.
The next email after these value-add emails (about a week or so after they first sign up) you can present them with an offer. Your subscribers are accustomed to hearing from you and are impressed with just how much value you have given them so far. At this stage they would be considered “warm” leads.
Some people make the mistake of jumping right in and presenting their “core offer” at this point. This tends to be the main money making product or service that their business sells and its cost might be considerable. Don’t do this.
Your subscribers are not yet ready to make this leap and purchase something bigger or more expensive from you. First let them try you out with a safer, cheaper product. This is often called a “tripwire” offer. It essentially transitions the subscriber into a customer.
What we want to do is make the gap, the jump, from subscriber to customer as small, easy and painless as possible for them. More of a baby step.
This could mean presenting them with a $19.99 product. Something of high value to them but cheap, so their risk is minimal. They get to test you out. Once a customer has already purchased from you and experienced how great your services or products are (they should be) then it makes it easier for them to purchase from you again. As we have already seen, an existing customer is 60 – 70% more likely to be a repeat customer, so this tripwire offer warms them up for your bigger offer: your “core offer”. It’s normal to not make any money or profit on your tripwire offer, so don’t worry as long as it does the job of converting subscribers to customers, that’s the hard part.
Note: In this example above I am offering a middle-tier $497 product rather than an entry-level product. This is only done in my Website Care funnel because it is my highest converting offer to encourage people with existing websites to enter into an ongoing Website Maintenance + Care plan with me as they have expressed the need for help in this area. So this is the best way that I can serve these particular subscribers.
In my other funnels I offer much cheaper, entry-level products including a free 45 minute online business strategy session (with no obligations) to help subscribers set their businesses on the right track for growth. Even though it’s a free consultation, I have a very high success rate of those I’ve spoken to converting into long-term customers as I ensure the value of this meeting is very high and, as always, I over-deliver.
Over delivery is an important part of retaining customers. If you’re struggling with customer retention take a look at your customer service. If you’re out of touch with who you serve then this should be the first area of your business to focus on and improve.
Now, a few days after you’ve presented the tripwire offer and hopefully they’ve purchased from you, reach out and ask how the enjoyed their new purchase, do they need any help with it, do they have any questions? Don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback, your customers are the most valuable sounding board for your business, utilise this. Next you want to say something like “if you liked that, then you’re going to love this..” and present your next offer. This can be priced higher (as long as it provides more value) and by this point your new customer has warmed up to the idea of buying from you.
Perhaps you are running a course and that is your core offer. In this email you could present what is known as a “splinter product” of that core product/service. It’s where you splinter off a piece of your course and present it to them to purchase separately. This then gives your customer an opportunity to get a taste of your course before committing to the much bigger purchase of your full course.
Using the home interior design example from earlier, perhaps your course is a 7 week online course on “how to refurbish your entire home in the boho-chic style”. Perhaps this course is made up of 7 hour long videos presented each week. You might consider selling 1 of those hour long videos separately (usually the first video in the series) as a cheaper offer to entice people into trying you out. If they enjoy this video then they are more likely to see the value in taking the entire course. You can of course then offer the money back from that first 1 video purchase against the value of the full 7 week course when they sign up so that it’s a clear win-win, again reducing the risk for the customer.
It’s important to make it as easy as possible for people to say yes to buying from you. If you leap right into offering them a $5000 product (if that’s one of your high end products) then you’ll leave them feeling cold. They won’t trust you because you’ve proven you can’t understand where they are at in the buyer journey and trust is something we need to be working hard to build not diminish.
Whether they purchased from you or not during your tripwire, splinter or core offer, continue to offer them great value as they may well purchase from you down the line. Continue to build and nurture that relationship with regular helpful emails, have conversations in their inboxes, reach out, talk to them.
I would suggest weekly emails over monthly, but if you can’t do weekly right now then monthly is better than nothing. I have signed up with many companies before and received a welcome email and that’s it, nothing. They have no email marketing strategy in place and as such I can’t even remember their business name or why I even signed up with them in the first place. Don’t let this be you.
If you send out regular emails to your subscribers and customers they will grow to trust you. Trust is made through consistency. If you’re consistent with your emails and adding value, then they correctly assume that the quality of your services must be consistent too. If you send out 3 emails in 1 month, and no emails for the next 2, that’s seen as flaky and won’t inspire trust.
It is a lot of work, I know that. But growing a connected and interested email list is honestly the holy grail of business in the modern world (along with recurring revenue). If social media crashes and Instagram and Facebook go down, you have lost all of those business connections on there that you worked so hard to forge. The email list is something that is truly yours. Facebook don’t own it, you do. You are in control. So many influencers and businesses on social media see that they have tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers and assume that they’ve “made it”. But if Instagram crashes, or your page gets reported and shut down. Everything is gone, it’s enough to give you the chills. Emails and getting privileged access to people’s inboxes is the safest and smartest way to go, that’s where the real money, power and growth lies.
I find that by writing weekly blog posts I am able to easily write a quick weekly newsletter to my subscribers. I essentially share the blog post in my newsletter and because my blog is full of high quality content I know it will help them and will drive more traffic to my post, which in turn boosts SEO and as a result shares my post with a wider audience.
Create an email template so that you’re not having to spend time building one from scratch each time, use the same one. Remember, consistency breeds trust and that includes visual consistency.
Don’t feel the need to be the only one writing your blog posts or creating your videos and infographics, you can invite other writers, vloggers and designers to share their work with your audience. As long as first and foremost their content provides relevant and great value to your audience, feel free to bring in other people to guest post on your blog and in turn you can guest post on theirs which is a great way to introduce yourself and your work to a whole new audience of people. Network with people who share knowledge in the same area that you do, who have a different take on things, or are knowledgeable about a certain topic that you have gaps in, bring them in to educate you and your audience, add value and your audience will love you for it.
Take a look at this post (The Winning Process for Writing Successful Blog Posts) to help guide your writing. The more you write the easier and faster the process becomes.
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Hello, I’m Hâfi!
I specialise in helping small business owners generate recurring revenue to provide them with the financial freedom they need to live their ideal lifestyle and have less stress.
My clients are professionals who aren’t afraid of investing in quality services to see their business advance.
I will get back to you as soon as possible