5 Ways to Organize Email Marketing to Achieve Higher ROI

5 Ways to Organize Email Marketing To Achieve Higher ROI - Duct Tape MarketingI like to say that email marketing is like a headed cabbage. It might seem like a simple concept, but it has many layers.

In fact, the deeper you go into the email rabbit hole, the more you realize that there are more things you need to pay attention to and optimize than you had thought.

Before you know it, you can get overwhelmed with ESP features, analytical metrics, and dozens of option forms. This can result in a disease that I call email confusion; companies that suffer from it show symptoms such as low open rate, low click-through rate, and unengaged subscribers.

Luckily, there is a very effective cure for that. If you organize your email marketing effectively, you’ll see the results right away: improved open rates, engaged subscribers, better conversion rate and higher ROI.

In this post, I’m going to share 5 things you can do to organize your email marketing. There is a special bonus for overachievers at the end of the post, so be sure to check it out.

1. SEGMENTATION / TAGGING

Segmentation is the cornerstone of email marketing because it informs smarter campaigns. By grouping your subscribers based on a set of characteristics, or triggers, you ensure that you send relevant information to a highly targeted audience.

Many email service providers (ESPs) let you tag each subscriber based on the actions they performed, such as buying your product, visiting sales page, or dropping out of the webinar half-way.

To make sure you have good data on hand to segment your subscribers, make sure you set up tagging for every kind of event that’s relevant for your business.

Even if your ESP doesn’t allow tagging, there is a number of ways you can segment your list simply based on campaign activity. Look at the following groups and see how you can serve them differently:

  • subscribers who open most of your emails but don’t click
  • subscribers who click but don’t convert (send them a new campaign with more reasons to purchase your product)
  • subscribers who didn’t open the last email (if it was an important email, re-send it with a new subject line)
  • subscribers who have consistently replied to your emails (they are your biggest fans, so treat them accordingly)

2. ORGANIZING OPT-IN FORMS

If you’ve been building your email list for a while, you probably have dozens of opt-in forms floating around your website, landing pages, and affiliate web properties.

Many of them probably use similar language or offer the same opt-in freebies.

If you don’t keep those forms organized, you might end up doing double work and wasting time that could be better spent on email analytics or A/B tests.

A big step towards organizing your opt-ins is creating them in one platform, whether that’s your ESP or another tool, such as LeadPages.

Being able to look at a single page with a list of all opt-in forms you own will allow you to save time on creating new ones, analyze and compare their performance and reuse the most effective ones.

3. EDITORIAL CALENDAR FOR EMAIL

You need to have a thought-out strategy and schedule for your email marketing so that the emails you send feel like a coordinated campaign (vs. a series of one-off messages).

While developing a content calendar takes time, it will save you more time down the road, because your marketing team won’t have to go through the same strategizing process for each of the emails they send.

Here are a few details to include in your email planner (you can download an Excel template for this planner at the end of the post):

  1. Email send date.
  2. Email topic.
  3. Owner. (Who on your team is crafting this email?)
  4. Subject line.
  5. Goal. (Examples: lead generation, purchase, event signups, etc)
  6. Target segment / persona.
  7. Send list.

4. LEDGER FOR A/B TESTS

A/B testing is one of the most powerful tactics you can use for developing best-performing email campaigns. You can learn powerful insights about your audience and rely on hard data (instead of your gut) when crafting your next email campaign.

However, the bigger your team is and the more tests you run, the easier it is to get lost in results if you don’t keep them organized.

This is why you need to keep a ledger with all tests that you’re running. If you’re using a tool that helps you organize this — great! If you’re not ready to invest in a tool yet, build out an Excel spreadsheet with the following columns:

  • Test start and end date
  • Hypothesis
  • Success metrics
  • Confidence level
  • Key takeaways

If you want to download a pre-made testing ledger template, there is a link at the end of this post.

5. IDEA LOG

Finally, any email marketing manager should always keep a pulse on what other players are doing with email. Which means… they need to subscribe to dozens of newsletters and regularly check them.

I can immediately see this becoming an inbox nightmare very quickly.

Here are a few steps you can take to keep spying on others’ email marketing efforts and keep that business tidy:

  • Create filters in Gmail that would sort different newsletters in respective labeled “folders” (make sure to check off “Skip the inbox” so that these messages don’t distract you in your main inbox)
  • Schedule an hour every week where you go through all newsletters to check for cool campaign and design ideas and examples of excellent copywriting
  • Export the best examples to a shared Evernote folder

BONUS: TOOLS TO BECOME A MORE ORGANIZED EMAIL MARKETER

Keeping email marketing organized pays off in many ways, the most important one of which is higher return on your investment.

To help you organize your efforts well, I prepared an Excel template that you can use to plan your emails, build an effective email strategy and keep track of all experimentation you’re doing.

It’s completely free, and you can download it right here.5 Ways to Organize Email Marketing To Achieve Higher ROI - Duct Tape Marketing

I’d love to hear how YOU are organizing your email marketing: the tools, the tricks, the smart hacks — please share them in the comments!

Kasey LuckKasey Luck runs Bold & Zesty, a free newsletter about email marketing & productivity. Previously she did marketing at the most active venture fund in the world, 500 Startups, where she grew email list by 25,000 subscribers in 1 year. Connect with Kasey here.

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape MarketingCan you hear it?

Bounce, bounce, bounce.

No, that’s not the distant sound of the discotheque down the street. That’s the sound of visitors leaving your landing page. Visitors you’ll never see again.

Something on your landing page is throwing your visitors off and making them turn around.

Your landing page may be hiding a conversion killer.

Can you sleep peacefully, knowing that you might be driving potential customers away?

Let’s put those fears to rest today. Let me show you how to find those conversion killers and turn them into conversion boosters!

Designed (not) to Convert

Your landing page is one of the most important pages on your site. It’s where a majority of your leads and sales will come from.

As a result, if you make a mistake designing your landing page the effect is much more detrimental to your business than if you made the same mistake elsewhere.

At Thrive Themes, we’re all about conversions. In a recent case study, we asked our audience to send us their landing pages for review and optimization. Entries came in all shapes and sizes, but a few specific and fundamental mistakes kept cropping up over and over again.

Conversion Killer 1 – Why Should I Care About Your Offer?

 Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want to buy a quarter-inch hole!”

One of the biggest mistakes you can make designing your landing page is to focus entirely on describing your product or offer.

Feature: What is it?

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

When your reader first finds your content, they’re not interested in a detailed description of your offer. All they want to know is why they should stay. That’s why your landing page must illustrate the benefit of your offer.

Presenting the DTM podcast in a very blunt, feature-oriented fashion. Doesn’t sound too interesting, does it?

Benefit-oriented: Why should you care?

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

Here’s the same podcast, presented in a different light. Suddenly you feel engaged as if part of a story.

These examples are, of course, deliberately exaggerated. Everyone who does marketing stuff has heard of features vs. benefits, and most of us think we’re doing it right. What we’ve found is that a lot of people still make this mistake, even if to a lesser degree.

In other words: Just because you’ve heard of emphasizing benefits over features doesn’t mean you aren’t making this mistake right now.

How do you fix it?

  • Think about the questions “Why should I care” and “What is it.” With this in mind, read every paragraph and line of your landing page.
  • Make sure every line is an answer to “Why should I care.”

Conversion killer 2: Drowning Your Conversion Goal in Distractions

Have you ever landed on a page looking like this:

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

See how many objects stand out on the page? You don’t know where to click. So many bright objects demanding your attention that you’ll be forced to click yourself out of there before decision paralysis kicks in.

Your navigation bar, your social share buttons, and your popular content links are great elements to have on your homepage or blog page. Visitors to these pages are generally the ones who have already decided to stay and look at your content more closely.

New visitors, though, they might not know who you are or what you can offer them. Your new visitor needs one single benefit to give them a reason to stay and subscribe.

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

That’s why we design a landing page leading the visitor toward a single goal, usually a subscribe button or buy-button.

How do you fix it?

  • Design your page with only one attractive element, brightly colored to contrast with the rest of the content.
  • Remove any other distractions. Anything that isn’t explicitly helping your conversion goal needs to go.

Conversion killer 3: Failing to Keep the Scent

Your sales funnel isn’t so much a collection of different elements linked together, but a solid pipeline with a single thought and purpose.

If you’re designing your ads or writing your guest posts separately from your landing pages, it might lead to a disconnect in your funnel.

3 Landing Page Blunders That Can Kill Your Conversions - Duct Tape Marketing

Logistical disconnect:

Your ad promotes one specific offer with a specific benefit but links to your homepage. Your visitor needs to click through your navigation or look through several other offers to find the correct one. At that point, they’ll feel quite confused.

Disconnect in look and feel:

Your ad is bright and colorful but leads to a landing page that’s dull and clinical. Your visitor feels they ended up in the wrong place.

Value proposition disconnect:

Your promotional ad says “Get Your Free Business Coaching Session!”, but leads to a landing page with a business coaching video. Great video, but your visitor might feel lost after expecting to sign up for a live coaching session.

These sorts of things make your visitor think “Hang on, am I supposed to be here?” When you look at this from a visitor’s perspective, the problem is obvious. But how can you design your pages so that they surely keep the scent?

How do you fix it?

  • Run through your own sales funnel. For every step, try looking at it from the perspective of someone who knows absolutely nothing about your website or business.

Pro Tip: If you feel unsure about a part of your funnel, you can pinpoint the problem with tools like Hotjar. Surveys and heat mapping can be the key to reading your visitor’s mind.

Silence the Bounce and Boost Your Conversion

If you found yourself guilty of the above mishaps, you know what you need to start changing to bring in results.

Remember to measure results before and after every change you make, so you know what’s working and what’s not.

Let’s be honest, though. Going back to eliminate conversion killers can be exhausting. It’s much easier to design the page from the ground up with no such flaws. Check out how you can do it with our free RAPID landing page course!

Silence the bounce. Sleep like a baby, knowing that your leads are safely clicking through, as they should.

Jay PitkänenJay Pitkänen is passionate about copywriting, inbound marketing and turning marketing jargon into something humans can understand. When he isn’t waxing lyrical about conversion optimization on the Thrive Themes blog, you can find him roaming the streets of major European cities looking for business opportunities.

Master the Art to Finding the Right Referrals

Referrals are an important part of any successful business and shouldn’t be overlooked. Referrals don’t just happen, though that would be wonderful. You need to be creative, persistent and implement a strategy to generate them. Are you providing exceptional customer…

Read More