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By: Desiree Baughman on December 27th, 2012

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Countdown to Improving in 2013: Day 5 - Email Marketing

email marketingThe following is part of our six-part series counting down to the new year. We've included six ways to see improved results in 2013.

Email marketing can be one of the most powerful tools that you have in your inbound marketing belt – if you use it right.  The very first step to making sure that you're on the right path to having a successful email marketing campaign is to properly segment your list.  Emarketer proved just how important this was in a recent study that revealed that 39% of email marketers who bothered with list segmentation saw a higher open rate, and 28% saw a lower unsubscribe and opt-out rate (Emarketer, 2012).

Now we get into the basics of email marketing quite a bit in our eBook, “The Fast Track To Powerful Emails”, but we've still had a number of clients ask us for some additional tips and guidance on how they can even further improve their campaign.  So let's kick things off with your email list and talk about segmentation.

Dull Segmentation Criteria = Dull Email Marketing Messages

Yes, we know, we gave you a list of things that you should segment your list based on such as:

  • Geography

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Past Purchases

And while this information is all necessary and important, you can be doing a whole lot more with it.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure that you have the right tools on hand.  We prefer the HubSpot Email Marketing and Segmentation tool, since you can quickly and easily create focused and finite lists that are based on more than just demographic information, such as the lead's online behavior.

Let's say that there are leads visiting your product page, but not making a purchase.  Now what?  By having the tools on hand that can track their behavior after visiting your product page, you'll be able to start drawing conclusions as to why they went to that page in the first place.  Many leads are visiting that page of yours for price and product comparison, and you'll see them either come from or go to a competitor's product page immediately before or after visiting you.  If you see that being a trend, then you can send a message to those leads about why you're the better choice, and maybe even sweeten the deal with a promo code.

When your email message is interesting to the receiver, there's a significantly increased likelihood that they'll bother to look at it.  So if you have a pretty good idea of what they're looking for based on the in depth information that the HubSpot marketing tools can provide (i.e. a lead's web browsing history) and you craft a message that caters to that, they'll be far more likely to engage with your company.

Doing Personalization Right

You said “Dear Joe”.  You even threw his name into the email message a few times, but still your click through rate and open rates are low, while your opt out and unsubscribe rates are continuing to climb.  Why?  Because you're doing a bad job personalizing your emails.  So what if you know a name?  Everyone seems to these days.  You've got to step up your game and tailor your messages so that they suit the needs of the lead.

But how can you personalize every single email?  Unless you're just getting started and have only a handful of subscribers, going through each and every email is undoubtedly bound to be extremely tedious and, most likely, downright impossible.  This is why investing in a good quality email marketing software is in your best interest.  Scrap that “free” marketing software that only includes %FirstName% personalization.

If you want your emails to add value rather than be a nuisance to your leads, choose a software program that's going to give you the option to fully customize any field of you email based on the lead segmentation and sales funnel information available to you.  Extra points if you can find a software like HubSpot's that will actually link your email content to your CRM (this will save you a ton of time when creating great emails).

The Marketers Buyer Persona Kit

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