email marketing planYou already know that email marketing is powerful. And you know that you can generate more sales from your email list than social media.

The question is:

Do you have an email marketing plan to turn subscribers into customers? 

If you’re building an online business, you need a system to follow up with subscribers and get them excited to buy your products and services.

Follow these steps to create an email marketing strategy that makes sales:

1) Choose the right email marketing provider.

If you want to elevate your personalization efforts, choosing the right email marketing service is crucial. Think about the features you want in your email marketing software, including:

  • Integrations. Some email marketing providers give you the ability to export and use important customer data. Having easy access to your subscriber’s name, purchase history, and location will simplify your email marketing plan.
  • Ready-made templates. Choose an email provider that has a wide range of mobile-responsive and customizable templates. Building an email should be quick and efficient, and templates are the first step to this end.
  • List segmentation. An email provider with intuitive segmentation enables you to quickly create different campaigns based on subscriber data you’ve collected. This will allow you to send relevant emails to your subscribers.

When deciding which email marketing service to use for your brand, keep in mind there is no perfect choice. It all depends on your budget, the different functionalities you are looking for, and the number of emails you want to send.

2) Optimize your signup forms.

Try to gather as much information as you can about your subscribers when they opt-in. This way, when you segment your list (step #3 below), you can tailor your content and offers.

Here are a few tips to help you create effective signup forms:

  • Use double opt-in. Send emails to new subscribers to confirm their subscription. Double opt-in forms prevent invalid email addresses from appearing on your list.
  • Keep it simple. Simple forms are easier for people to complete and sign up. Only ask for name, email, and any other information you really need.
  • Include a call to action (CTA). Use persuasive call to action buttons instead of inline links. Make sure your button copy focuses on the benefits and avoids selling. For instance, say “Get the Templates” instead of “Buy the Templates”.
  • Multiple signup forms and free offers. Give website visitors plenty of opportunities to subscribe. Place signup forms on several pages of your website, including the Home page, About page, and Blog page. Create multiple lead magnets and place them in your blog posts as content upgrades.

Bonus: If you want, you can use this Lead Magnet Checklist to create high-converting opt-ins. Click the image below to download.

Create Lead Magnets that Convert Download the Lead Magnet Checklist

3) Segment your list.

Through a combination of time, hard work, and sheer force of will, you’ve been able to build a sizable email list. Now it’s time to create segments based on what your subscribers opted in for.

All effective email marketing plans use segmentation. You’ll be able to send personalized content, offers, and updates to help subscribers take the next step and close the sale.

You can also create segments based on:

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Age
  • Past engagement
  • Purchase history

Depending on your type of business and the products or services you offer, you can also segment based on a subscriber’s job title. The important thing is that you leverage the data you captured during signup.

Related: A Killer Facebook Ads Strategy for Your Email List and Products

4) Personalize your emails.

Did you know that personalized emails are six times more effective than generic emails. Once you’ve segmented your list, it’s time to start getting personal. Here are a few ways to add personalization to your email marketing strategy:

  • Email copy

In an age when technology rules, customers look for more and more personal communications. From the subject line to your core message, make sure you speak to your subscribers in a friendly, conversational tone.

Including their first name in the body of your email can improve your open rates by 26%.

  • Your offers

To encourage subscribers to make purchases, personalize your offers. If you sell sporting goods and a male customer purchased a tennis racket from you, send him a personalized offer for men’s tennis shoes.

  • Sender name and email address

Make your customers feel like a real person sent the email by using the name of an actual person within your business (e.g. kate@mybusiness.com). Avoid using email addresses like sender@mybusiness.com or email@mybusiness.com. Email addresses like these not only make your messages seem impersonal, they also trigger spam filters.

email marketing plan

Personalizing your messages is one of the best ways to make customers feel like you care, maintain the relevancy of your campaigns, foster customer loyalty, and increase conversion rates.

5) Automate your email campaigns.

Your email list is made up of hundreds or thousands of subscribers divided into a wide variety of segments. This makes it impossible for you to craft and personalize individual messages for each subscriber.

This is what email marketing automation was made for.

Simplify your email marketing strategies by taking advantage of automated sequences that send emails to subscribers based on their behavior.

For example, when a website visitor subscribes to your list, send an automated welcome email that contains an exclusive personalized offer.

Here’s another example:

A customer makes a purchase on your website. This action can trigger an email with a personalized product recommendation email to be sent after a certain amount of time has passed, say 60 days.

To automatically send these emails, you just have to craft them in advance and set up the specific workflows through your email provider. Whenever customers meet the triggers you define, your provider will automatically send them the email according to their action.

Once you’ve created all the possible automated journeys for your subscribers, you no longer have to worry about spending a significant portion of your day just sending emails. You can focus on other, more important tasks, like growing your audience and creating new programs.

Wrapping it up

When you put in the hard work of building an email list, you want maximum results. Email marketing tools will help you automate campaigns so you can free up your time to focus on other things, knowing that you are generating sales on autopilot.

Just choose the right email marketing service and follow the steps above, and you will see a huge increase in your engagement and conversion rates.

Ready to build your email list? Click the image below to download the free Lead Magnet Template Pack.

Download the Lead Magnet Template Pack
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When it comes to email marketing, there are so-so subject lines and then there are killer subject lines. Ya know, the ones that have people clicking like crazy to get to your message. Here are 4 ways to turn “meh” email subject lines (that people glaze over) into irresistible ones that get noticed and clicked. Ever been to a speed-networking event where you had 30 seconds to make your pitch? How’d you do?

It’s hard, I know. Taking an involved topic and turning it into a tiny bite-sized chunk is a challenge. And it’s one that marketers face every day with email subject lines.

Email subject lines are like pitches on steroids. Only you don’t have 30 seconds and you can’t use facial expressions and hand gestures to get your point across. Instead, you’ve got 10 words on a screen – and more like 3 seconds – to get the click.

Subject lines have a lot of power to make or break your entire campaign. If you can’t convince people to click, they won’t read your email. So how can we understand what constitutes a good subject line to get better conversions?

Here are four common email subject line mistakes that are hindering your email open rates and simple ways to turn them around and get more people to read your email.

Mistake 1: Asking a Yes or No Question

Everyone scans their inbox the same. We all want to know who is emailing us, what they want and how much time it will require.

The problem here isn’t really with the question. Asking questions can be a good thing, if you can get people thinking about something in a way they hadn’t before.

But a question with a simple Yes or No answer is dangerous. Chances are pretty good that your email is headed for the trash. Why? Because Yes or No emails don’t add any value. Readers already have the answer: either yes or no. Why should they click to read more?

Let’s take this example subject line: “Missing Too Many Project Deadlines?”

First off, my immediate response is “No”. Even if I say “Yes”, there’s no incentive to go for the click. Yes, I’m missing deadlines, and reading this email will make me miss another one. Delete.

The Solve:
Turn the subject line into something that makes readers ask a question instead of answer one. It’s much better to create a question in their minds than to make them answer yours.

For instance, try replacing the subject line above with “Idea to nail every project deadline”.

There’s no question with this subject line. Instead it raises a question: What idea? How can I nail my deadlines? Even using the word “idea” will get readers thinking about the possibilities.

It also identifies that a problem exists, and then hints at a solution. All it takes is one click to find out.

Let’s take a look at some other subject lines that create knowledge gaps:

  • Now that you’re settled in…
  • An Amazing Opportunity!
  • Quick request

What’s this amazing opportunity? Now that I’m settled in, what’s going to happen? Quick request for what?

I want to know, and so will your readers. All you have to do is follow these examples and use subject lines that raise a question, rather than ask one.

Mistake #2. Giving it all away

Did you ever watch the game show “The Price is Right”?

Contestants try to guess the price of some household item so they can win a prize that’s hidden behind a door. What makes this show work is that nobody knows what’s back there. It could be a big prize or it could something small. The magic is in having to guess prices in order to find out.

Like the game show, the inherent role of subject lines is to act as a teaser. You want to keep readers guessing about the longer message that lies inside.

If you tell them everything right up front, you leave no more surprises. What incentive do they have to click through if you’ve already told them everything they need to know?

The solve:
Tell readers just enough so that they know what to expect when they open your email, without saying everything right up front. Be careful not to over-promise. Your email should clearly follow through and deliver on the subject line so that it doesn’t backfire on you.

Take these examples:

  • “The Guide to Staying Fit This Summer”
  • “How Healthcare Companies Can Stay Ahead of the Competition”
  • “At a stand still? Here’s how to get started with Canva”

All of these subject lines work well because they create anticipation. If you create subject lines like this readers will know what to expect, and want to click through to find out more.

Mistake #3. Making it too long and formal

Subject lines that capture peoples’ attention are ones that are short, friendly, and informal.

What happens with subject lines that are too long is that they start sounding like a newsletter title or some technical mumbo jumbo. Long subject lines, especially ones that ‘Capitalize The First Letter‘, tend to sound formal and distant.

People want to feel special and important. Nobody wants to be another number on your list of contacts. Using long subject lines that are formal and impersonal can encourage this impression. Remember that you’re speaking to a real person at the other end of the email.

Long subject lines also put the onus on the reader. By their very nature they make readers work harder to uncover the value. After about the 10th word, “Increase Your Qualified Leads” becomes “blah, blah, blah”. With the hundreds of emails people receive, it’s easy for people to glaze over messages, and the harder you make them work for it upfront, the harder they’ll think they have to work if they accept your click.

The Solve:
The trick here is to make your subject lines long enough, without being too long. Try to write in a tone that’s warm and inviting, as if you were a friend or family member.

Consider these two examples:

  • “How To Use Canva To Create an Infographic That Goes Viral”
  • “Make your first infographic”

The first example does a good job of communicating the value that’s inside, but the use of the initial capital letters, the mention of Canva early on, and the promise of contagious content make it sound stiff and self-promotional. It also sounds too good to be real. This subject line is about Canva first, and the recipient second.

The second subject line makes a personal connection. It comes across casually and puts all the attention on you, the reader. It reads like you’re quietly jabbing a good friend: “Come along with me and let’s have some fun” It gently urges the reader to open it.

Mistake #4. No follow-through

Even though this point has to do with the body of your email, it’s worth mentioning that the content of your email and your subject line should fit together like a hand in a glove. In other words, deliver on your subject line’s promise.

The need to be unique can have marketers really stretching to push the envelope. I mean, we all want the perfect subject line that gets the click, right? The problem is you’ll have a hard time keeping readers engaged if you set the wrong expectations for what comes next.

Just remember that if you promise people an apple, they’re expecting an apple and not an orange. Even the smallest mismatch will create confusion and cause people to unsubscribe.

The Solve:
Subject lines and email messages are like landing pages and ads. If you want to make them work, they have to work together.

For instance, if your subject line is “Best color trends for fall”, people are expecting an email that talks about new fall colors, not “the latest color trends” or “how to work make color work for fall”.

Even the smallest details make a big difference. If you use the word “tips” in your subject line, make sure you use that same word in your email, rather than “guide”, “pointers”, or “ideas”.

Once you’ve written a handful of intriguing, click-worthy subject lines, give your email another read to see which one sets the right expectations for readers once they accept your click.

(NOTE: Being clear on who you’re selling to is the fastest way to boost email conversions. Get my 3-step Customer Avatar Worksheet to make sure you’re saying what people need to hear.)

Download the Customer Avatar Worksheet to get clear on who you're selling to.
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