At 2017 Summer NAMM, Inbound Audio Video CEO and MI industry marketing expert Peter Malick presented a roadmap to email marketing. He shared that email marketing can be one of the most beneficial places to spend your advertising dollars. “What’s so powerful and unique about email marketing is that you own your list,” Malick said. “It has its own value.”
He then stated that email marketing is not a zero-sum game. “Your competitors are working this in one way or another. If you really want to be effective, it’s something you should take a look at.”
Here are six email-marketing steps designed to increase your revenue. Each step is more powerful than the previous one, according to Malick. (Watch the video for the complete session.)
1. Do the basics.
• Formatting. Your emails must be mobile-formatted. More than 50 percent of emails get opened on mobile.
• Responsiveness. Check your email to make sure it looks right on mobile and desktop.
• Make sure your email passes a spam check. Get your spam score on the free site http://spamcheck.postmarkapp.com.
2. Keep your list fresh.
• Be a perpetually proactive prospector. You have to keep adding to your email list and updating it. Email lists degrade at about 20 percent per year. One thousand names in 2013 is reduced to 410 names by 2017.
• Talk to customers directly.
• Put a pop-up on your site. If you do it right, pop-ups can be effective in building your email list. Use best practices for pop-ups. For example, only have one pop-up per site visit. Also, be aware of your mobile presence—the appearance of pop-ups on mobile can present a problem, and Google will ding you for it. And, of course, follow through. If you get people to sign up to your email list, you’ll want to welcome them and plan for what they’re going to receive during the next few months and long-term.
3. Segment your list.
• Not everyone on your list should get every email you send. Your email has to go to the right audience. Email subscribers will eventually click unsubscribe if they receive too many emails or emails that aren’t relevant to them.
• Use plug-ins to help segment your list. Malick shared an example of a WordPress plug-in that generates an email to customers asking if they missed a sales promotion. Even if they missed the sale period, they’re given the opportunity to participate if they answer a two-question quiz.
4. Be informative!
• Avoid the slippery sales slope, and be of service.
• The 80/20 rule. This states that 20 percent of the work you do or focus on brings 80 percent of the results. You’ll want your email marketing to be 80 percent informative and 20 percent sales.
• Always have a call to action and button in your emails to take someone to a place where they can buy.
5. Learn more about your customers. This is where you start to blur the lines between strict email marketing and something a little bigger.
• Gather data. There are different ways to do this. Still, the reality is that if you really want to compete, email alone is not enough. Traditional emails can be sent through such platforms as MailChimp, Constant Contact or Mad Mimi. These platforms keep developing capabilities, but they don’t have a way to connect to what’s on your site.
• Look into marketing automation platforms or inbound marketing. Compare platforms, such as HubSpot versus AWeber and MailChimp versus ActiveCampaign. Decide what works for you and helps you learn more about your customers.
• Add other layers to your traditional email marketing campaigns. Tailor everything to your specific customers and brand.
• Go beyond email by knowing your customers and building relationships.
6. Build your sales engine.
• Create automations. You have the ability to set up alerts for site visitors who browse specific products, so you can follow up with them with an offer via email or phone. It’s very powerful because it targets exactly what visitors to your site are looking for.
• The virtuous cycle (getting better with age). Take your best guess and plan forward, then test. Use the test results to refine your automation. Sell. Rinse. Repeat. Pass on the things that don’t work.
• Marketing automation. When someone signs up for email, there will be an action. They open the email or they don’t. If they do, something happens. If they don’t, something else happens.
• Subset. Depending on what happens, you can dump someone into another automation by their action on your site.
Malick encouraged retailers to engage in email marketing for the long-term in order to really benefit. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.