When it comes to email marketing many marketers run in head first without thinking about a strategy or how they are going to monetize a list.   If this is you that’s okay many people do it, you’re not the only one – even I have done it.

In today’s article I will be talking about building out your sales funnels to tighten up your backend and get up to 30% more conversions. Then I really wanted to educate you about how building a relationship with your audience will always trump sales in the long run. Finally, I am going to give you a quick run down on why you should start your email marketing with a strategy and plan in place to make the job less daunting.

I want to thank Annemarie for giving me the chance to provide some great content and help you get started in the right direction with email marketing.

Building Strong Monetizing Sales Funnels:

There are a few different types of sales funnels that range from getting a client to buy your product or service to the one we are talking about today which is to increase the amount of money spent per transaction. With a monetizing sales funnel there are often two types that are most well known which is the linear or straight line funnel or the tree-line funnel.

1.  Linear or Straight Line Sales Funnel (Basic)
This is the most basic and easiest to understand of the 2 major sales funnels and can be seen as a one time up-sell to a product or a down-sell if a customer does not purchase your product or service.

2.  The Tree-line Sales Funnel (Advanced)
This is a more advanced style of sales funnel as the offers presented to the customer are based on the customer’s previous actions, including buying products and what pages they visit on your website. These sales funnels are slightly more complicated to set up and do require maintenance and a constant eye on your customer avatar to notice any subtle changes that may affect the conversion rate. An example of a tree line sales funnel.

Relationship always trumps sales:

When it comes to email marketing it’s always about building the relationship first. Without trust, integrity or understanding between the sender and the reciever there will almost never be a sale.

The objective of email marketing is to build a long-term relationship with your subscriber. Now I am not promoting that you send free content, free content, free content. If you create a product or service the key to making it work and getting your customer to appreciate and respect your work is one for it to be awesome and two it needs to over deliver on the price point you have set.

My mentor Ed Dale once said that “you should always give away your best content” and I am certainly going to back that up today.

Whenever I make a really cool piece of software or write a really great piece of email sequence I often ask the client if they will let me showcase it on my wall of fame for others to see. Not to stroke my own ego, but to give people my best content and show them how a proper email sequence should be written.

I have worked in many cases with big corporate clients where the objective is to re-engage subscribers on the mailing lists after being spammed for years about discount this, discount that and special price here. They had unsubscribe rates of 50-60% every month.

With this corporation we set up a strategy to give 90% content to every 10% of emails. So every 1 in 10 emails was a slight soft call to action sales message in which we offered an external 3rd party review of the product and service listing both the good and bad. By the time the team and I had finished our work with the corporation their unsubscribe rate had dropped down to below 5% and sales from email marketing had increased by 45%. (This also included a few other strategies.)

As you can see from that example it’s not about how big your list is but the relationship you have with that list. Frank Kern was an expert at this for many years when he was in the internet marketing game; if you ever watched his email series it would be almost a 70/30 approach: where 70% was content and 30% was sales and it obviously worked well for him.

So don’t you think that if it works for a corporation and it works for Frank Kern, it’ll work for you?

Email Marketing Plan and Strategy:

This is one of my personal pet hates and it really does hurt me hard when I see marketers or corporations going into email marketing and they don’t have a strategy or plan.  I often get to the point in the interview where they tell me about this great product they are going to give away for free to get leads. Then I ask the dreaded question “Then what?” and the answer is more often than not, “I will sell them products” or something like that. WRONG ANSWER!

Email marketing is like any other form of marketing: it needs a strategy or plan so you know where it is going and if it is performing to its required goals. For example with SEO our goal is to get number #1 on all the search engines. For email marketing your goals should be a pre-specified number of sales, opens, click-throughs and responses per email.

In any basic email marketing plan I include the following information:

1.  Who are your readers

When It comes to finding out about who my own or a client’s subscribers are I create a customer avatar of the ideal client. I will include information such as income, sex, family, relationship status, job position, hair color, hobbies, clothing and more…

I do this so that when I or my team create an email series we can bring up our picture of the ideal customer and know exactly who we are talking to and why they need to read this content or buy this product or service.

2.  What is the purpose of your email?

In determining the purpose of the email marketing strategy I look into what does the subscriber want to hear from me, what useful information can I provide them and what do I want my email marketing campaign to accomplish? Is it to make me money? Or is it to further build our relationship or maybe I want to cement my authority in the market.

Any of these goals are fine so long as you are true to yourself about the goal you want to achieve. Because if you are not your reader will be able to tell if you are truly faking what your end goal is.

3.  What are your goals:

Goals are great because they give you a pathway and also milestones you set yourself to achieve. When creating goals I advise to start out with the smallest and then take a little step bigger with the next goal. This keeps up your momentum and also helps to remove the pain, stress and procrastination when it comes to achieving big goals.

Goals I set out for email campaigns include:

  • Open rate
  • Sales %
  • Click thru rates
  • Survey fill out rates
  • Feedback levels

These are just a few things that I set up on a basic email campaign to help the team and I track that we are achieving the goals that were set out to be achieved. It is also a good idea to associate a time or deadline with these goals so you have a strict time limit to adhere to.

4.  How often are you going to send an email?

This one is very important and I am surprised by the number of marketers who do not write this down before they start email marketing.

The best way I like to set this out if I am not too sure is to sit down with my business and my personal calendar in Ical on the Mac and think about what email frequency would make sense for communicating with me. Don’t think that you have to give your list something every week or month because that is what your email marketing strategy says. If you have nothing useful to give, say or buy then don’t email your list. They will thank you for it. Just give them a little note saying sorry I did not email you this week or month but I truly found nothing that would have been of use to you, I am sure I will have something next week or month. Your subscribers will thank you for having their best interests at heart.

Joshua Bretag is the creator of my autoresponder guy a team of leading experts in email marketing that are pushing the boundaries on what is possible with email marketing while achieving astounding results with email campaigns. If you would like to find out more about what Josh and his team does please click the link http://www.myautoresponderguy.com


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