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Ramping Up Your Email Campaign to Encourage New Business
In previous blogs about successfully working the sales funnel, we’ve examined, first, various tactics to make people aware of your existence (top of the funnel), and then ways to spark their interest in what you have to offer (mid-funnel). Now, let’s turn our attention to converting interested buyers into confirmed customers … AKA, the bottom of the sales funnel.
Here, our old friend email can really shine, but its approach fundamentally changes when working to convert prospects into customers.
Email debuted nicely in the mid-funnel. Here, you’ve built an email list of those who viewed blogs and other content from you website, or commented on your social posts. You’ve asked them to register to access other smart content, such as expert guides, white papers, and webcasts, all of which demonstrate your ability to solve their problems and needs.
But now you’ve identified a select few who seem like really warm leads. You’ve done that from the your lead-scoring data collected by CRM or marketing automation tools. For example, you might track responses to your calls to action, page views and visits, or email interactions, all of which indicate growing interest. Other indicators can include email opens and click-throughs, social media shares, downloads, or (best of all) product demo requests.
The value of segmentation
This is where segmentation and personalization come in. In the mid-funnel, it was difficult to discern the needs and interests of people on your growing email list, but by now you have a wealth of information about your warmest prospects’ industries, companies, and job titles.
You can see exactly who responded to your social posts about healthcare printing, for example, or to your blog about transactional marketing tips for banks. You have insight into those who downloaded your ad agency best-practices tip sheet, or your primer on U.S. Postal Service discounts for direct mailers.
Why bother, you ask? Because segmentation and personalization work. According to Mailchimp, properly segmented email enjoys 14.3 percent greater opens, and 100 percent greater click-throughs. And Experian Marketing Services reports that personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates.
Now, begin offering a more selective range of content to address individual needs. Rather than indiscriminately blasting this content to your entire list, you now select the specific individuals whose needs and industries you’ve identified.
Of course, you can’t possibly design new content for every individual. Rather, prepare bottom-funnel content in advance by pre-determined segments and industries.
You might consider using autoresponder technology to simplify things. Here, when someone on your email list engages with your content or visits a webpage containing conversion-oriented information, a prewritten email is automatically sent with offers of additional tailored content. A good explanation by HubSpot is here.
Retargeting email and urgency
Depending on your budget, you may want to employ ads in support of your email campaign. Called retargeting email, this approach targets prospects who’ve shown strong interest in the past, but have gone silent for a while. Modern technology makes it easy to show ads on the internet to these prospects to get them thinking again about becoming a customer. You’ll want to confer with an agency or marketing expert on how to do this, but here’s a concise technical overview of retargeting email.
Email can be used in more ways that content distribution. For example, you may want to create time-based offers available only to new customers, and that expire after a certain time. Technology also is here to help. I’m intrigued by Deadline Funnel, which is designed to add urgency to your email campaigns.
The bottom of the sales funnel is where email excels, in its adaptability, versatility, and powerful calls to action. Use it wisely, and you’ll be well rewarded.
Christopher Hosford is editor at large for Target Marketing. Former editor-in-chief of Nielsen’s Sales & Marketing Management magazine, he’s covered all aspects of sales, marketing, and cutting-edge marketing technologies.