7 Tools To Make Automated Email Marketing Incredibly Easy

Emails result in sales. In fact, 72% of shoppers say they prefer email as their means of communication with companies they like to do business with.

This means they want to see your emails.

With more than 4.35 billion email accounts worldwide, it’s safe to say email is alive and well. Which is exactly why you should be using email marketing to drive customers and sales to your website.

If you’re currently sending promotions and newsletters to your customers through email, it’s time to uncover the benefits of automated email marketing.

In this article, we’re going to look at 7 tools to make automated email marketing incredibly easy. First, let’s discuss the process of automated email marketing.

Defining Email Automation

Automated emails are super effective because they are timely (usually sent in response to an action taken on your website), and they are incredibly relevant to your customer.

Automated emails usually have higher open and click-thru rates because you’ve given your customer something they value.

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How To Use Automated Email Series To Increase Customer RetentionDid you know it costs you more to obtain a new customer than it does to retain a current customer?

In fact, 70% of businesses in one study say it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one. They also say they get a better return on investment when they do the leg work to build a relationship with their customers.

You’ve probably heard the term “low hanging fruit.” This is a thing or person that can be won, obtained, or persuaded with little effort.

The low hanging fruit, or customer, is the place to start when it comes to increasing customer retention. It is much easier to create and nurture loyal customers than it is to get a brand new one.

In this article, we look at how to use automated email series to increase customer retention. First, let’s talk a bit about retention.

What is Customer Retention?

For your business, customer retention means the number of customers that come back and purchase from you again and again. Its direct opposite is customer churn – this is the number of customers who don’t buy from you consistently.

Customer retention hinges on several key factors:

  • It’s important to attract the “right” customers. This is your target customer – your ideal. The right customer has more potential to stick around.
  • The first activation is integral. By this, we mean encouraging your customer to take the desired action on your landing pages. Initially this may not mean they actually purchase something from you. It is simply the first action they take with your business. This activates them on their buying journey.
  • Follow up is also key to retaining customers. This is where lead nurturing and automated email is at its best. You want to do your best to spend time building a relationship with your customers to maximize retention.

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How To Tell If You’re Driving Your Customers Crazy With Too Many Emails

How many more times can you send your customers an email before they deem your presence in their inbox unnecessary? This is a question we hear many times a day – how many emails are too many?

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to tell if you’re driving your customers crazy with too many emails.

One of the toughest questions any email marketer has to ask is, “How often should I send an email?” Many businesses want to know if there is an ideal frequency for sending emails.

The answer is “it depends.” It depends on the industry and the time of year. It depends on what you promised your subscribers.  Later in this article, though, we will discuss some “general” recommendations for email frequency.

It pays to remember that the subscription to your email list is always your customer’s choice. You hopefully told them how many times per month you’d email them and what to expect. Now, it’s your job to keep them on your list by providing relevant content at the right frequency.

Clues That You’re Sending Too Many

If you look at your email statistics over a period of time, you can glean some important information as to whether you’re driving your customers crazy. Here are some things to look for: (more…)

Your email marketing materials must stand out – not just in a user’s inbox, but once the email is opened too. In the past, email marketing campaigns that encouraged click-throughs typically did so by inspiring users. Read on to find out four ways that you can ensure your email marketing stands out from a crowded inbox and gets the message across.

Give It Personal Appeal

Nothing is more compelling than an email in which the President of the United States calls you by name. President Obama’s Change email campaign understood this exact approach. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be our nation’s leader to take advantage of it.

Email macros make it easy to include a personalized touch, but how you use a person’s name is just as important. The best emails feel personal.  And they are. So, address the customer, but also reach out like an old friend. (more…)

An email marketing campaign is one of your greatest marketing assets. However, it can also easily become your biggest folly. These campaigns walk a fine line, and it’s important to understand the things you can do to completely ruin your marketing campaign so you don’t make these fatal mistakes.

1. Generic Forms

One of the worst things you can do with your marketing campaign happens before you even have anyone to send emails to. If you have a generic email capture form, your website users won’t get excited. People see dozens of web forms every day asking them to sign up now or submit information. When these look the same, say the same things, and don’t have anything interesting, people tend to glance over them as if they weren’t even there.

You need to do something great with your email capture form. It needs to catch your visitors’ attention. Otherwise, they’ll likely look at the form, and not even process that it’s there. Along with this, you need to make sure that your form is in an easy-to-see spot. If your visitors don’t see it, they won’t be filling it out. (more…)

Have you noticed a drop in the number of email captures you get? Sometimes you need to change things up with your email opt-in process to increase this number. When you’re considering your email captures, there are a few things you can change on your landing page to help ensure you get a better email capture conversion.

1. Registration During Purchase


Image via Flickr by Rob Enslin

One of the most effective ways to ensure email capture is to ask visitors to register when they purchase something from your website. The customer is already engaged in your site and product, and will usually fill out the registration form. In fact, one study shows that registration during purchase has a 58 percent effectiveness for those who use it. Whether you require registration to buy, or it’s just an option, you’re going to get more email addresses with a registration form at this point. Make sure to test a checkout process with vs without registration so you know this doesn’t have a negative overall effect! (more…)

A new CNN article suggests that “Merry Christmas” still rings brighter over “Happy Holidays”

The demographics breakdown

Overall poll results for Americans:

  • 64% prefer “Merry Christmas”
  • 31% prefer “Happy Holidays”
  • 5% are unsure

 

Ok. So now you’ve got some data from a obscure poll that says solid majority of Americans prefer you to say “Merry Christmas”. The question is what do you do with that? Do you put “Merry Christmas” on every page? Maybe on banner ads? What about emails? Or should you say it at all?

Well, since we are into testing, we cajoled one of our clients to let us test Merry Christmas v. Happy Holiday a couple Christmases ago. The client allowed us to test this with specific email campaigns, and below are results: (from a prior post.)

We wanted to know if using “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” in an email campaign to a small segment of customers  would impact conversion rates?

We were able to randomly select a group of 100,000 customers for a client and tested these subject lines:


A few notes on the test:

  • The client is a large retailer, their customers mirror a general sample of the USA.
  • The email mirrored the subject line’s message; all other elements were the same.
  • We sent the email on the 21st of December.

The results showed a HUGE difference . . .

As you can clearly see, “Merry Christmas” killed it, nearly doubling the click through rate of the other subject lines.

Although we’re not allowed to share the “buy” data, it was just as impressive. Nearly doubling the number of transactions by changing an email subject line shows just how important it is to test and try new things. If you’re not constantly testing, you’re throwing money away!

 

Have any of you tested MC vs. HH and seen a difference? Do tell us. We wish you a Happy Holiday season! ;-P

If you’re like the other gazillion websites trying to get people to sign up for an email newsletter, then you probably have an opt-in email popup form. You know, it’s that annoying lay-over popup box that asks new visitors to opt-in with their name and emails.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were landing page optimization best practices for designing these? Then your opt-in popups could grab many more subscribers right out of the gate. At the very least, it would be good to know which elements are worth focusing on in testing.

Since we thought it would help a LOT of people to get some straight answers on popup opt-in forms, we got Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker on the phone (Conversion Voodoo is very lucky to work with the best of the best in online marketing). We had an idea for him:

“Whaddya think about us running some tests on the opt-in popup for your newsletter?” Jeremy’s reply was about as easy as they come, “Have at it!” So we did.

Not only that, but Jeremy requested that we post the results for his audience. All we could say was “absolutely!” We rarely get to publish results because 99% of our clients want to remain anonymous — so this was sweet!

Our goal was to test the “default” settings on the popup to see if there were the better ways to convert visitors into subscribers. We hoped to find some best practices to share with you for your website that may not have a horde of visitors every month like the Shoemoney blog. Although we counted more than 30 different elements in opt-in popups, we whittled that number down to the most relevant (i.e. the ones you should care about), which you’ll see in the tests below.
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The Wall Street journal suggests that “Merry Christmas” still reigns in popularity as a season’s greeting over “Happy Holidays”

So how does emailing customers with one or the other impact conversion rates?

We selected a 100,000 customer list for a client who tested these subject lines:


A few additional notes on the test:

  • The client is a large retailer, their customers mirror a general sample of the USA.
  • The email mirrored the subject line’s message; all other elements were the same.
  • We sent the email on the 21st of December.

The results show a HUGE difference . . .

As you can see the “Merry Christmas” subject line drove nearly double the click through rate of the other subject lines.

While we haven’t included the “buy rate” in the chart above due to client confidentiality, the results were similarly impressive.

Nearly doubling the number of transactions by changing an email subject line fairly well illustrates why if you’re not rigorously testing every facet of your online business (or letting us do it for you!), you’re throwing money away.

More fun with email testing:

P.S. – Contact us today to increase your conversion rate . . .

We work on a performance basis and charge nothing up front.

If you want to drastically improve your conversion rate contact us today.

Building on our last post about optimizing your email conversion rate, the 10th eMail Marketing Metrics Report came out and contains many points that you can use to help increase your conversion rate and optimize your email campaigns.

But beware, there are some traps in their data that can lead your conversion rate astray – let’s start by looking at a few of their key points:

Personalization can work against your conversion rate . . . (more…)