The “S” Word in Email Marketing and How It Can Increase Your Sales

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An astonishing 145 billion emails are sent globally every single day. That is a mind-bogglingly big number! It is therefore no wonder that most emails go unread. Nevertheless, we spend an average of over 11 hours per week reading and answering emails.

With 11 hours+ each week spent on a task, it is no surprise that we have become pretty good at it. We can spot a Nigerian financial scam or an offer of cheap Viagra and hit the delete button faster than a speeding bullet!

The trouble is, of course, that the people you are sending your email marketing campaign emails to have also got pretty good at hitting the delete button. What percentage of your emails get opened? Average open rates vary by industry and by the strength of the relationship you have with your emailees. We have seen open rates below 10% and it is rare to see open rates over 50%. Therefore, at least half (and possibly considerably more) of the emails you send are not even being opened.

If only more people opened your emails, and read what you had to say, and called you, … Would that lead to more sales for you?

What I want to focus on today is one small but really powerful thing that you can do, right now, to increase your open rates. And it will also increase the number of people who read your emails and take the action you want … more sales.

It’s the “S” word. It’s Segmentation.

Segmentation means splitting your email list into smaller segments. So you might have a prospect segment and a current customer segment or those people living within 10 miles or another segment of those living further away or maybe past customers you have not spoken to for over a year.

Adding segmentation to your email marketing is like adding petrol to a fire. Instead of sending out a generic email such as:

Special Offer From Acme Widgets Ltd

Hi <firstname>,

I don’t know whether you are aware but we have been making some changes at Acme Widgets Ltd and we are pleased to be able to offer 3 widgets for the price of two to anybody who purchases before the end of this month. So, call us now!

You could send out much more specific emails. Maybe something like this:

We’ve Missed You <firstname>

Hi <firstname>,

It is over a year since we last saw you and we’re missing you. You will probably not know about all the great changes that we have made here in the last year. Some of which could really help you. So, it would be great to see you again. I know you live a bit of a distance away so we talked it over here are we wanted to make a suggestion to you. One of our changes about 3 months ago was to introduce the new Extra-Plus Widget which you will not have seen and we think you will really like. So, as an “ethical bribe” to encourage you to make a trip of visiting us, we’d like to offer you the option of 3 Extra-Plus Widgets for the price of two. Simply pop in before the end of the month to take up this offer.

Neither email is great as my example is too vague and general but I hope it still gives you the idea – that segmentation gives you the ability to talk more directly to your customer/patient/prospect/etc. To talk to them in words that are relevant to them and will appeal to them. It gives you a way of increasing your sales.

So, how do you do this?

Firstly, you have to capture the relevant data. If all you know about somebody is their email address then segmentation is impossible. Capture as much detail as you can. Where and when did you first make contact? Are they a customer? When and what did they last buy? What do you know about them (sex, age, location, etc.)? Plus the things that are more specific to your business. For instance, if you are in the complementary therapy industry then you might want to keep a note of the problems they have come to you with in the past.

Of course, when capturing all this data, treat it with the utmost respect. At the very minimum, make sure you conform to the data protection rules. You might also want to use codes that mean something to you but would not mean anything to anybody else if they were to get hold of the data.

Then, think through how best to segment this list. At the very least you probably want to group prospects separate from clients. But, as you can see above, there might be many other ways to segment your list that will help your business.

But that’s not the only way.

Some of the more sophisticated email marketing systems allow you to store criteria against each person in your list. They then allow you to select based upon that criteria. In this way, you can “dynamically” segment your list whenever you need to for your different email marketing campaigns.

In this way you will be able to better target your emails which means that the people who receive them will be more likely to open them and, when they see emails coming through from you, they will already know that it is likely to be relevant to them, so they will be more inclined to read it. And, the content can be more powerful and more effective.

If you need help with implementing an email marketing campaign or in building a segmented list of people, then call us and ask us to explain our different email marketing offerings to you. We would love to be able to help you get more sales from your email marketing.

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