Part 2 of Starting Your Effective Business Email Marketing Strategy This Year…
In Part 1 of creating your effective business email marketing program, we discussed how to get started, how to conquer the “I Don’t Have Time” parody and also how to persuade more people to sign-up to your email marketing campaign and hence get more business and prospects.
In this post we’re going to look deeper at growth rates of your email marketing system. Once you get your email marketing form on your homepage (somewhere that really stands out and people can SEE it… Like at the top of your homepage, is the obvious and SUGGESTED place for best results), you need to get results by TESTING it.
But lets say you have done all this and still, your results are flat lining with subscribers and your results looks like this…
Now, while your thinking that this doesn’t look good, the positive is, that a flat email subscription rate, is way better than a declining one where people are unsubscribing faster that you can get them in.
However, every new business wants to see growth and here’s some ideas that you can double check to ensure that you have the best chances of email marketing growth in 2013.
Effective Business Email Strategy 1 – Check Your Subscription Forms
The very first thing you need to check ASAP (in January before the year gets away from you) is your process for online subscribers. You can gain access to this via many good business email marketing programs and they look similar to this…
So you need to really place your attention to the amount of first time (unique views) who are coming to your website for the first time and then seeing your form, going WOW… “I NEED this offer” and giving you their details, it’s great when you can see this number growing as your form is working somewhat well. In the image above this number is the S/UD column.
While the total displays is the amount of people who have seen your form for the first time and also kept re-visiting your website (which by the way is a great thing and why you need an informative blog).
On average, from thousands of tests which I’ve observed, most conversion rates are low, usually around the 1% to 3% mark. 3% to 5% is good and if you’re above 10% then you’re going great guns and have a PROVEN process, if not, stick with me here and I’ll walk you how to IMPROVE your subscription conversion rates.
Improving Your Email Marketing Subscription Rates
You need to (without a doubt) be split testing your subscription forms. When you run split tests (which are available in Aweber, which I use and believe to be the optimum solution for this) you will find out many important things.
Some of the things you can split test in forms are:
1. The heading or offer you are giving
2. The color of the forms and text color (Dark Red always seems to do well with tests)
3. The position of your form, is it visible at the top of your page (and at the bottom of every blog post)
4. How many fields are you offering (often just asking for an email gets higher opt-in, than a name and email for example, the trade off is the less qualified the prospects are, so test a form with only an email, and one with name, email and phone etc).
Testing all the possible pain points will give you a great start to having your form achieve the highest possible potential.
Here is a free downloadable guide to split testing for business email marketing, which helps simplify this process for you.
What do you do if your conversion rates are high, but the amount of new subscribers are low?…
So by now you know your subscription form is doing it’s job… If only people could find it, they would subscribe!
To correct this you can try the following…
1. One of the best things you can do to get the form in front of existing and new visitors eyes is, add a “POP UP” version of the form (even if you hate pop ups, use this method as it works see the test results here). You can modify the settings of how often the form will display per person, for example, every time they visit or every x number of days.
2. You can also test where you place your form. For example, if it’s been at the bottom of your pages, move it towards the top and above the fold if possible (this is recommended for best results). If you have had your form on a separate “Newsletter” page or on your “Contact Us” page, then try also moving it / copying it to your homepage and the bottom of each of your blog posts if you want more subscribers.
3. Add your form to as many pages as you can in as visible of an area as possible. Also, try and design your form as visible as possible, Aweber, has excellent design tools and templates to make this VERY easy (easier than any other form builder I believe, and I’ve used the majority of them).
The ONE THING you need to take away from this and really take in, is split testing in not a one-time thing, you need to continually tweak, test and measure your results. Then make regular monthly, weekly or daily times to look and analyze your stats and makes changes accordingly, you’ll never stop learning with this process.
A word of warning however… With your split testing, only change one thing at a time unless you have a very complex split testing software, because you need to know if something works and causes a surge of signups or stops them all together and it can quite literally be like that. Change one word or one colour on a form and things stop, change it back and they work, who knows why and quite frankly who cares as long as you can improve on it and get those results back if the whole thing stops.
Your sign up process and form is a major role of your website and businesses growth, but it’s not the only thing…
2. Optimize All Growth Opportunities
You cannot leave your local and off-line efforts out in the cold either. The online environment is often referred to as “perfect for testing offline offers”, because you can very quickly split-test offers, forms and products online much faster than locally.
Then as soon as you have a great online offer, begin to look at your local and off-line efforts and really capitalize on them.
You could create local sign-up sheets like this:
Or you could create a voucher offer after they sign-up like this one:
You could even checkout the social apps available and use your iPad to bring in new leads:
So, you can use the above ideas for a local shop or permanent residence, as well as if you’re a traveling representative for your own business, or a business which you work for. The offline idea of collecting subscribers is extremely powerful, and is how I collected well over 1,000 leads in my local area of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
My strategy was to go to local business networking events, and have an offer for people on my business cards, an offer that allowed them to have a complimentary consult with me for 20 minutes worth $50. In that consult, they would need to give me their details and we would swap cards and information so I could get back to them. I would always “OVER-DELIVER” on my first consult with the information I gave and this did two things…
1. It blew the competitors clean out of the water, as I was giving away information that was costing thousands of dollars in consulting fee’s which competitors weren’t game not to charge for.
2. More IMPORTANTLY however, was the amount of information allowed me to really BOND with my prospects and “STAND OUT” as someone who CARED (and I sincerely did), and most importantly leaving them “WANTING MORE”.
So when I asked them, would you like me to give you more information on this topic and stay in touch with “X” via email, they would indeed reply with a resounding “YES”.
I would then say to them, before I can send you your future tips, lets subscribe now, I have a system that only lets me send my most important information to you “AFTER” you subscribe and confirm you have allowed it, then I would whip out my iPad and say the magic words… “Lets Do This Now” so you can receive these emails from me (as it’s incredibly important to you to only add people who request you add them to your follow up list).
They never balked at this idea… Not once!
3. Finish Up with Social Media Subscribers
There well over half of all America which have a social profile of some kind. And it’s for this reason alone that many businesses KNOW they need to be on social media also. And they are getting with the program: 94% of all businesses which have a marketing team are using social media.
And now even the small and micro-businesses who don’t have marketing teams are using social media and outsourcing their weaknesses to solve the social media puzzle permanently and effectively.
You need to pay close attention to the social media, “prospect signup” areas, as they are incredibly powerful to gaining a massive audience and following, if you do it right. For example you can:
1. By placing a form on Facebook (and most email service providers will allow you to add a form on your Facebook page tabs. Another very useful way is to use an app like GroSocial, so you can easily setup your customized tabs, and one in particular focuses on turning “Likes” from your Facebook page, into subscribers (see a live example of this, by clicking “Like” on my facebook page: www.Facebook.com/AdamPriceCountryMusic to see how I’ve used Aweber to do this).
2. Use Pinterest to display and create “gated” content. Some very savvy Pinterest users have created a lead funnel, where they have pinned content (articles, videos, craft, photos, videos etc) taking their new followers to a page to subscribe which requires them to sign-up to get that content. Now this is VERY clever, but always remember that you need to give instant access to what you promised, or you will risk losing your new followers forever.
3. Mention your subscribe pages by commenting about them on Twitter. But there is a technique about doing this, only talk about the VALUE they’ll be receiving, don’t just blatantly ask straight out or you may not see many subscribers at all. You really need to sell “FREE” these day by giving them important reasons to STOP what they’re doing now and subscribe.
If you push out your email marketing campaign to all your social followers on regular intervals throughout the year, you will begin to see a trend of more subscribers.If you wish to know more ways to collect subscriber info, then you can tap into many apps specifically for this, for shopping carts, CRMs, social media campaigns etc. which will work with most email marketing services. If you’re looking to use Aweber (highly recommended) then see what variables you have here to choose from.
What’s Next In Part 3?
We’ll be improving your messages so that people will actually read them, click on the links and what you can do to really improve the process and increase conversions.
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