I started off the “Solve. Involve. Evolve.” series talking about your website or the foundation to your internet marketing strategy.
We then talked about some more complex, but time-tested, strategies that will Solve how to get visitors looking for your product or service to your website.
Now, I have introduced the Involve part of the equation with email marketing which includes one-off strategies of newsletters or special offers as well as email series known as Drip Campaigns or Autoresponder Series.
But, one nagging question may be tickling the grey matter…how do I touch the right people with the right message at the right time?
Today, we’ll share a high-level look at managing a very important business asset, your list of contacts!
Who Should be on My Email Lists?
It seems like common sense as the short answer is anyone you have permission to reach out to.
That would be your customers or clients, prospective buyers, organizations you have a relationship with (although that is probably going to be an individual fitting the other categories).
The key is they should be opted-in and some examples would be:
- You asked them directly and they said yes. I will email people I meet or ask them if it’s appropriate to the conversation we are having.
- Your company is or has done business with them. The “has” part is tricky and should be managed strategically. For an insurance agency, it makes sense to keep in touch with a former client who moved to another state and may move back someday. For a retailer, if a former customer doesn’t buy again in a reasonable amount of time, you should move them to another strategy.
- Developed a relationship at a networking event, trade show or seminar. Put the expectation out there that you are going to email them or simply ask.
- Use your website, business emails, social channels and anywhere you can put a link or button to Join My Mailing list.
Should I use Lists or Tags for Contact Segmentation?
Ah, the List vs. Tag question that comes up often!
There are different strategies for each situation, but I believe a list should be the over-arching attribute or reason someone is on that list. For example, I like to have a Master List of all my current clients, but different lists for my “just kicking the tires” people by line of business.
Then, I like to use Tags that is something unique to that particular client or prospect so you can control the type of messages and offers they see.
For example, suppose you own a Fitness Studio with different types of classes ranging from Personal Training to Yoga. Your current Yoga class participants would not be too interested in offers to join Yoga class! But, you can expose them to different membership options at the gym and give very specific Yoga education to that group only.
Tags can accomplish many things when used because it allows you to further refine your message to sync with what your clients and prospects are interested in, leading to better engagement and increased sales and client retention.
List Management Seems Hard – Any other Benefits?
Well, it is hard and it is not hard (very diplomatic of us!).
If you work with eBurns Marketing Group and our partners, we can help you think through your segmentation strategy. The upfront work has several REALLY BIG ways it can payoff for your company.
The first way to take advantage of your List Management strategy is to use an Email Service Provider (i.e. ActiveCampaign or Constant Contact) that allows you to send out an automated series of email on a PER LIST BASIS. This is marketing gold because you know “stuff” about your client, both current and former, and you can set Tags to deliver the right message.
Going back to the Yoga Class again, you can set a Tag for people who quit the program and do a re-marketing campaign consisting of three to four emails sent out over several days/weeks/months to reinforce why they need to come back to your Yoga Class and you can further incentivize them with special offers. All because you took the time to segment your contact list!
For prospects, you can take all respondents that come in from your website and segment them based on the form they filled out, kicking off a nice series of emails that reinforces the product or service they are asking about, cross-promote other services, offer discounts/coupons…all automatically, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Yes, it’s hard work to think this all through, but it is worth it when your marketing machine is working while you sleep!
Automations are the Future
So our fictitious studio has their Drip Campaigns setup for any lead that comes in from a website or social form (or even added manually by them).
Wouldn’t it be awesome if they were actually able to assign points to actions the prospect takes in emails, on their website or other actions that lead to sales?
How about if you can kick off the automated actions based on those actions or if a prospect hits a certain Lead Scoring threshold? Imagine sending information automatically based this to truly give your visitor the chance to be your next best lead and then, your next best customer!
I can tell you that eBurns Marketing Group is evaluating how to leverage these kind of action based Automations to help our clients Involve their customers and prospects more efficiently and in the way they want to be touched by your company. The advent of mobile technology means you have to Evolve and we will help you do just that.
It is a Commitment on your part as the leader of your business or marketing department. But, I believe that anyone who is investing their “blood, sweat and tears” into their company and career knows it takes the Big C to succeed.
Let eBMG help you succeed today and tomorrow! All it takes is a phone call or email to have an “old fashioned” conversation.