What is an email campaign? An email campaign is basically a string of related messages aimed to bring a recipient to a specific new action step. These may be triggered automatically i.e. upon purchase or opt-in, or manually, which you might use if you have specific considerations such as customer geography or the launch of a special campaign.
Initial Prospect Campaigns (Do’s and Dont’s)Initial prospect campaigns are designed to take a lead from information received after a customer fills out a web form (for a white paper, a webinar, an appointment form, etc.), and then convert that customer into a sale i.e. via eCommerce or appointment. If you have free software, this strategy may just encourage activation or use. Bear in mind that a good prospect campaign, like any other basic e-mail campaign, consists of 3 key ingredients:
- Education – Teaching about benefits of your app or service; the current state of the industry; etc. The emails should answer the question, why is this product or service useful for decision-making? This aspect is very important in building trust before getting to the next step.
- Social proof/testimonials – Divulge your product’s major results, major media coverage, or validation by experts, etc. Has the product or service gotten amazing results for others, or been validated by noteworthy figures? This component will lift response to those initial e-mails.
- Call-to-action – Make the call-to-action obvious over the first 3 to 6 e-mails. This message should get the prospect on the phone for that appointment. Ensure to provide the specific benefits along with clear next steps.
- Lack of segmentation (by industry; geography; level of experience – whatever is relevant).
- Not long enough. Extend the front-end campaign. I had an eCommerce client who, after finishing an interview with me, realized the value in this point and extended his front-end from 8 to 24 emails. The additional emails weren’t pushy, but they added more education, additional social proof…and he ended up with a lot more converts.
- Feeble calls-to-action. Maybe the front-end emails are heavy on the education, or they’re just giving updates, but they’re not driving the prospect to that first appointment, first activation step, purchase, etc. If you read the first 12 emails of a campaign and don’t know what the company really wants the customer to do, there’s a problem. The benefits need to be provided, but there should always be a strong and clear “here’s what to do next”.
“Last Swing” Prospect Campaigns (Do’s and Dont’s)If a prospect does not take a conversion action initially (after 16 to 30 emails), they shouldn’t necessarily be relegated to the “newsletter only” or “useless” category of your email buckets. There are a number of factors that might be contributing to a non-conversion earlier on – no permission from boss; minimal current budget; on vacation and didn’t see emails; didn’t like previous offers; etc.
- Maintain a less frequent pace with unconverted leads, but pursue them with specific content and calls-to-action that confront their potential objections and present new potential benefits.
- The initial prospect sequence should directly address the main reasons a prospect should convert, and combat primary objections; you want to continue to pull information out of the customer, to make the calls and gather the quantitate and qualitative data to find out what factors will or won’t convert.
- A less frequent, ongoing “last swing” campaign should address other potential benefits and combat other potential objections (such as complexity of product, addressing market competitors, etc.).
Stick to the Principles
- Make initial campaigns at least one month in length, emphasizing objections and benefits in order of importance from early in sequence to late in sequence.
- Be explicit and direct about call-to-action messaging. Stress the benefits and point them in the right direction.
- Extend additional “last swing” emails to a monthly or bi-weekly email, extending out another four to six months after opt-in.
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