Use Data to Drive Better Email Marketing

shutterstock_134263388In an ideal world, your very first email to any given prospect would be so tailored to them that you’d positively dominate their attention and pop out from the clutter in a flash.

Example:

“Hey Steven, it’s a good thing you were searching for marketing software on Google this week, otherwise you may never have found us (and we wouldn’t have found you!).

In your shoes, it seems like learning Ruby on Rails or PHP isn’t the best option, as you’ve got enough on your plate with the business, and that’s one of three reasons why I think our XYZ Software might be a good fit.

Here are the testimonials of three other flower shops like yours here in the northeast who positively love our software for tracking and improving their search optimization results – which I know is your #1 priority (which it should be over 70% of your website hits are straight from Google searches alone – nice work!).

–  Success story #1 Robert

–  Success story #2 Peter

–  Success story #3 Janet

Janet’s business is a lot like yours in that she doesn’t have a fancy storefront, so getting bulk order and corporate clients for her flowers is the route she’s decided to take, too. You’ll like her case study.

My name’s Jeremy and I’m actually the fellow who helped Janet set up her free trial before she fell in love with the system, and I understand you’ve just expanded and money is tight – so I figured a 30-day trial period might be the best option for you.

Would you have 20 minutes on Thursday or next Tuesday to get a walk-through on Skype?

Looking forward to working,

–  Jeremy

XYZ Software Company

PS: Go Patriots!”

That email is a dream come true, right? Perfectly calibrated in terms of the value proposition, understanding the client, showing social proof from other success stories in the exact same shoes, and building major rapport.

In order to do that with every email to every new lead, you’d need a business with such tremendous value per opt-in that you could have a research team follow up on each lead and spend 2 hours composing the perfect email.

Needless to say, most of us cannot do this – but we can do a LOT better than sending the same, cookie-cutter template to every lead we get.

In order to start tailoring messages from the start, there are a few different paths you might take:

1)  Segment the leads as they opt in

2)  Segment them by their click activity within your emails

3)  Segment them via a poll within your email sequence

With the first option, you simply have a multiple choice option on the front of your information capture page, or you include a drop-down menu with whatever criterion might be most useful for you (IE: size of the prospect’s company, current weight loss goal in pounds, main goal for using your service, etc…). Then, each

Second, you can tailor the messaging as the client continues through your email sequence. If your first 3 emails include 2 links that imply different types of goals or interests, you can program specific extra emails to kick out to those prospects who click in your emails, or you can simply have them put onto an entirely new email sequence that communicates more to that specific need.

With the third option, you’d include a poll – possibly presented early in the email sequence (to determine future email content) or possibly presented later in the sequence to determine why the prospect didn’t buy or schedule a call with your team, and to help inch them in the right direction with more targeted communication moving forward. It’s always best to give some kind of bonus or “extra” for people to fill out a poll, as this tends to promote the action. Bare in mind that the “extra” (IE: a white paper, a video series) should not only appeal to one kind of buyer, but should be a more broad bonus. Otherwise, your survey will be skewed only with data from people who want a specific kind of benefit, giving you misleading survey results.

Each of the above methods can help make your initial communication more targeted and more likely to appeal to the customer and get them to take the next logical step in your sales process.

About the Author: Daniel Faggella is an email marketing and marketing automation expert with an obsession for increasing customer lifetime value. He runs CLVboost, a boutique email marketing consultancy in Cambridge, MA, and regularly speaks on email marketing strategy. CLVboost’s clients range from venture backed startup companies to eCommerce businesses to established brick-and-mortar businesses.

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