Email Marketing Mastery by DigitalMarketer is one of the many courses about email marketing that DM has. It’s presented by Richard Lindner, the President and Co-Founder of DigitalMarketer.
Richard starts by explaining the role email marketing can play in the different aspects of a business (e.g., branding, referrals, retention, engagement, acquisition, reactivation, direct sales, and traffic), and how email marketing is the best way to take people through the different phases of a marketing funnel.
DM uses five types of email campaigns (indoctrination, engagement, ascension, segmentation, and re-engagement) throughout the customer journey to move people from one stage to another as well as re-engage them when they no longer interact with your emails.
Next comes the different types of emails you need. Most businesses focus only on promoting their offers, completely ignoring relationship building.
Something that he really stressed was the necessity of thinking about how you’ll add value to and monetize a list before building it. In this way, you make sure that it won’t die since you’ll constantly be emailing and nurturing it. I made this mistake myself.
He then deals with the creation of copy from the subject line to the body copy as well as the layout of your emails. You’ll also find lots of great ideas here on how to get people to open your emails, read them, and take action.
Next, he lays out a plan for tracking and measuring your results. I really liked this one section. And the last section is on how to make sure your emails reach the inbox of your subscribers (deliverability).
The following notes from Email Marketing Mastery by DigitalMarketer are meant to be concise, reminding me of high-level concepts and not trying to recreate the whole course. This summary is basically a bunch of notes and lessons paraphrased or quoted directly from the course and does not contain my own thoughts.
Module 1. The Role of Email Marketing
• Email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. It yields an average of 4300% ROI for businesses in the United States. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is about $44.
• Email marketing can be used in so many different aspects of your business; it can be used for branding, referrals, retention, engagement, acquisition, reactivation, direct sales, and traffic (e.g., to your landing pages, to your content, to your offers, to other people’s stuff).
• Email marketing is simply marketing… and hopefully, you’re already doing that. If you want to know where to focus email marketing efforts in your business, just start with what’s already working!
• Email, more than any other core discipline of digital marketing, has the ability to speed up the movement of prospects through the different steps of the customer journey.
• Typically, it takes more than one successful transaction with your brand for someone else to actually become a fan of your brand, which is why you need to get them to come back and offer them more products and services—email is a great way to do this.
• The role of email marketing in any business is to assist in moving a customer from one stage of the customer journey to the next!
• You’ll need different types of emails and email campaigns to move a customer through each stage of the lifecycle.
Three Different “Types” of Emails
• There are three different categories of email:
- Promotional: This is the category that people focus most of their efforts on.
• The average revenue per transactional email is 2x-5x higher than standard bulk email. It also has higher open rates because you know exactly what they’re interested in.
• Types of transactional emails:
- Order confirmations: If you’re offering things such as access to digital information, physical products, appointments, coupons, etc. you want to think of ways to optimize this.
- Purchase receipts
- Shipping notifications: People are the most engaged and excited at a couple of points in the buying process that most businesses completely ignore. People are reminded of those points (happy times) when they get a shipping notification, and they’re more open to purchasing something additional at this time.
- Account creation: This is a great transactional email to re-affirm people’s decision to use your offering, keep them excited, and ask them to ascend.
- Return confirmations: Most businesses completely ignore these because they want to minimize the contact since something negative has happened—they just retreat so as to not “offend” the customer more. Realize that if you’re honoring a return policy, you’re actually doing something positive and giving a good impression of the company, which makes this the perfect time to re-engage them in your customer journey.
- Support tickets: These can be a great method of ascension.
- Password reminders
- Unsubscribe confirmations: In these, you want to give them additional ways to communicate with you and your brand. “Not an email person? Connect with us on X.”
• Companies using email to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. This means that you have to continuously send out free, ungated content to your list. If you only live on the promotional side (you only ask), your subscribers will get tired of you at some point.
• Types of relational emails:
- New subscriber email: This is probably the most important relational email.
- Lead magnet delivery
- Newsletter/blog article
- Webinar confirmation
- Surveys & review requests
- Social updates: When Twitter wants people to know something about their platform, they don’t tweet it, they send them an email.
- Contest announcements
- Referral requests
• 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a direct result of an email marketing message.
• Types of promotional emails—some of these are also relational in nature:
- Promotional content: Content with the purpose of not only providing value first but also teeing up a sale.
- New lead magnets
- Sale announcements
- New product release
- Webinar announcements
- Event announcements
- Trial offers
- Upgrade offers
• The primary goal of transactional emails is customer service (delivering the thing that the customer requested). The primary goal of relational emails is to increase engagement and nurture your subscriber base. As for the transactional emails, their primary goals is to generate sales, up-sells, and cross-sells. With that said, each type serves other goals.
Transactional emails can help you increase brand awareness if you put social sharing in them, as well as, gobble up additional percentages of these channels with your subscriber base so that you’re not just talking to them in one place. They can be used for lead generation where you ask people for referrals since they’re really excited at that moment—assuming that the transaction is successful. They can help you with retention and loyalty, as well as, engagement and nurturing where you link them to your best content. And obviously, they can be used for sales and up-sells.
Relational emails can be used for brand awareness especially if it’s free, ungated content. Free, ungated content gets the highest number of social shares. They’re great at lead generation since you’re sending people to free stuff that gets shared, and that should lead people into different campaigns. Retention and loyalty is an obvious one. Also, your content can seamlessly lead people and generate sales and up-sells.
Promotional emails can absolutely be used for lead generation just by adding some tweaks (e.g., social sharing icons), and also adding paid email drops to other people’s lists. Getting people to buy more and move along the customer journey makes them more loyal and increases retention. Engagement and nurturing happens when they enter in that value loop, so you’re sending emails whether relational or promotional, they’re valuable to them so they open them, click on the links, purchase, and it’s giving them equal or higher value than what you’re asking for in return.
• Write down every type of transactional and relational emails you’re sending out. Next, you want to write down what you’re asking people to do outside of being informative (e.g., asking them to follow you on social media, asking them to refer a friend to you), and come up with ideas that you can implement to maximize these categories of emails. Something as simple as adding two or three sentences to your emails could have a dramatic effect on the growth of your social properties, the number of referrals you’re getting, and the sales that you make.
The TWO Send Types
• There are two ways to send emails to your subscriber base:
- Broadcast: These are emails that you’re sending to all of your subscribers or specific segments of your subscribers.
- Triggered Emails: These are emails that get sent automatically after certain actions have taken place.
• There are only two types of emails that should be broadcast to your entire database: promotions and newsletters—obviously, not every promotion should be sent out to your entire database! Everything else should be triggered by a specific action or behavior, so a subscriber does something and that triggers an email go out.
• Just because you can trigger something, doesn’t mean you should! Here are some triggered emails that should be used:
- New subscriber welcome: This should be something that’s triggered for everyone, once. Even if people are re-opting in for engagement or ascension purposes, this should only be sent out once.
- Lead magnet delivery
- Registration confirmation
- Purchase receipts
- Segmented promos: If you’re sending out an email that is meant to segment someone by interest and trigger another promo, that second promo should happen seamlessly and immediately.
- Referral requests: If someone gives you positive feedback, then you should instantly trigger a referral request—this is the most important time to ask someone to share your brand with others.
- Cart abandonment: If someone starts to make a purchase, but then stops, you need to email them automatically and immediately to recoup that sale.
- Re-engagement: If someone stops opening or clicking your emails, you should automatically trigger a campaign with the sole purpose of getting that lost subscriber back and re-engage them with your brand.
Email Marketing & List Building
• It’s a common mistake to think that since we’re talking about email, we need to start with list building. The phrase “The Money is in the List!” is right and wrong.
Most marketers focus on growing their email list and spend very little thought or effort on how they’re going to make money from that list once they have it.
Your job is to build an email list to add value and monetize it, and if you don’t know how you’ll do either of those, you shouldn’t start building a list. Figuring out how you’ll add value to and monetize a new lead is your number one priority.
An email list is a living thing; if you don’t know what you’ll do with a list, then you won’t do anything with it, and if you’re not emailing it, it will simply die. In fact, if you go days without sending any emails, your subscribers have already forgotten you, and by emailing them at this point, you’ll be perceived as interruptive, intrusive, and there’s a high probability that they’ll see you as spam and just unsubscribe.
• Two big mistakes most marketers make when they’re building their email list:
- They fail to follow up with their new subscribers: If you go days without following up with a new subscriber, then they’ve forgotten about you. You’re just not that important to them especially if you’ve just met—the same thing applies in traditional business and personal relationships.
- They send the exact same email everyone on their list: Business tend to send the same email to everyone on their list no matter how they found them, what they subscribed for, when they subscribed, or what they did after they subscribed.
Module 2. Creating Your Promo Calendar
Gathering Promotional Assets
• The number one asset that you as a marketer have at your disposal is the email list.
• The role of the promotional calendar in any business is to elicit action. You want your subscribers to do something whether it’s to purchase something, raise their hand to express interest in something, come into your store, call you, etc.
• Two vital assets for creating a winning marketing calendar:
- Your Product & Service Catalog (Product Asset Sheet): This will help you know what you have that you can sell.
- Your Goals & Planned Promos (Promotional Planning Worksheet): This will help you figure out when you’re going to sell it and who you’re going to sell it to.
Your Product & Service Catalog (Product Asset Sheet)
Most people skip this part (whether they’re bringing a new employee on, starting with a new company, or they themselves are responsible for the email marketing efforts of their company). They forget about products, services, or promotions that they’ve run successfully in the past.
The goal of this sheet is to aggregate every asset that you have to leverage on your marketing calendar. Before you can talk about what you should send, to whom, and when, you want to know what you have to send (this makes it easy to create a calendar).
You need to create a promotional asset sheet for every product and service in your catalog. It will contain:
- Name of the product or service.
- Price (full price and sale price if you use certain products for acquisition).
- Where does the buying transaction occur? You want to know what needs to happen for someone to go from aware to a promoter because as you start to put things together, you need to know your call-to-action(s); as you start to think past the promotional calendar and into the email copy, you want to know what the copy needs to do.
- Have you sold it via email before? And if yes, did it work? If the results were terrible (it didn’t work), then you want to know why (e.g., wrong segment, no opens or clicks, what you’re asking people to do was too much) so you can change your strategy.
- When did you promote it last?
- How many emails did you send? You need to know what the results were and how many emails you sent to get those results.
- Is it currently available to promote? If no, why not? Sometimes it’s unavailable because it’s seasonal or because your inventory is empty or because you ran out of seats for a live event, etc.
Your Goals & Planned Promos (Promotional Planning Worksheet)
This is about identifying your goals and leveraging your email list to achieve them.
There are 12 steps to creating a winning promotional calendar:
- Start with 12-month revenue goals (where do you want to be)? When you don’t have a target, you always win even if you lose.
- List non-revenue goals (e.g., launch blog, podcast, book, new location).
- Slot holiday promotions into the appropriate month. You want to participate in at least 5 traditional holiday promotions each year.
- Slot annual promotions into the appropriate month. What have you done year over year that’s done well (e.g., DigitalMarketer’s Traffic & Conversion Summit)?
- Denote seasonality (slow and busy months). When are your ideal prospects and your current buyers in a buying frenzy and when is trying to sell to them the hardest it’ll ever be?
- Slot non-revenue goals into the appropriate month.
- Break out revenue goals monthly (keep seasonality in mind).
- Add revenue projections (set promos plus rebills and subscriptions if you’re doing this not as an email channel only).
- Subtract “expected” from “target” and fill in “remaining” revenue needed.
- Brainstorm additional promo ideas (list in potential promotions). If you have time left on your calendar as a whole or on a particular month, you need to brainstorm ideas for new promos to fill that time even if you’ve hit your goal. Also, you’re going to need to adjust your goal because it’s too low.
- Spot-check and adjust (does it meet your goals? Is it achievable?).
- List additional needs (new product/service, sales presentation). This entire process is more than just calendar planning; it should set goals and initiatives for your company. If you have a goal and you’re leveraging a particular channel to achieve it, but you can’t achieve it, perhaps because you’re out of things to sell, then you need to create new products and services. If you have a fully developed product line, but there’s no way that you’ll achieve your goal with just a particular channel, then it’s time to look at adding other channels. The goals and the promotional planning worksheet should dictate what projects you tackle and when.
Creating Your 30 Day Calendar
• There are 4 types of promotions:
- Activation: The goal of this type of promotion or campaign is to take a large segment of prospects that have never become buyers and make them buyers—it’s typically deployed to sell a low-dollar entry item. It can also be deployed to prospects that haven’t purchased in a while.
- Monetization: The goal of this one is to make as much money from this campaign as possible. It’s best to run an activation campaign either a week or two weeks before a monetization campaign; if someone becomes a buyer (especially if they’ve never purchased from you before), and they have a good initial transaction, then they’re 5x more likely to buy another higher item from you.
- Segmentation: With this, you’re focusing mainly on interest-based segmentation. You want people to raise their hand if they’re interested and then you only talk to those people moving forward.
- Wildcard: This is where you try something new. Ideally, you want to leverage as many proven campaigns as you can, but you also want to try something entirely new. Typically, you’ll do this at the last week of the month but only if you’re actually at or above your goal. If you’re below your goal, you want to scrap the wildcard and run something that you know can help you catch up to your goal.
• Use the Monthly Planning Worksheet to help you plan the entire month—fill out one for every single promo you’re planning to run for that month. If you want to optimize your email list, you’ll mail at least one promotion per week (whether that promotion has 3, 5, or 7 emails is up to you).
If you’re not mailing at least once per week, then you’re not maintaining the highest level of engagement with your email list, and you’re not training them that you’re going to send them offers, which will result in lower deliverability, higher unsubscribes, and higher spam complaints.
You may be running 2, 3, 4, or more campaigns per week. It all depends on the size of your list.
The number of emails you send depends on the goal and the revenue target. For example, if you’re leveraging a proven campaign, you should know the number; if not, you’ll have to make a guess at some point.
And since you’re going to miss a few times (you can’t win all the time), you need to have a backup promo. Sometimes, on that very first email, you just know immediately that there is no way that a particular campaign for a particular segment is going to generate x amount of money or activate x number of buyers. Having a backup promotion can be the difference between hitting monthly, quarterly, and annual goals and falling flat on your face.
A backup promotion will be something that’s either going to hit the revenue target or it will allow you to hit a different target to rebound later in a particular month.
Again, make sure to spot-check all the way back. If everything as a target on the Monthly Planning Worksheet doesn’t add up to the target for a particular month in the Promotional Planning Worksheet (with not only these promos, but with any additional revenue that we put in that category of the expected revenue), then you’ve already missed. You need to go back and either move some promos around, add additional promos, add additional segments to do additional promos to, or lower your projections (it’s better to lower your projections ahead of time than to set projections and miss).
• A flash sale is a great example of activation campaigns.
• You want to relate this to the customer journey. For activation campaigns, you’ll be sending to low-dollar offers, lead magnets, webinars, etc., which can also be used for segmentation campaigns—while activation can also work as segmentation, segmentation involves no purchasing. For monetization campaigns, you’ll be focusing more on core offers and profit-maximizers.
It is very important to keep in mind that for monetization campaigns, you can’t just send people to a sales page to get people to buy a $5000 product/service/partnership; you’ll need more time with this type of campaign, which means that you might have to do something like a webinar, etc.
• With monthly planning, you’ll constantly be asking yourself the question: Who should get this?
Creating Your 90 Day Rolling Calendar
• What you have in your Promotional Planning Worksheet is kind of a guideline for the entire 12 months of the year. You’ve made some projections, some reasonable expectations, and some flat out guesses in some cases on the revenue that you expect to generate from promotions. Now, you want to take from that single sheet of paper and flesh it out one month at a time for three months.
• There is a reason why you want to stick to 90 days. It has to do with spacing:
- Offer Spacing (60-90 days in between): This is about the product/service that you’re offering. If you can mask it to where they don’t know you’re offering the same thing, you can sell the same thing two months in a row.
- Campaign Spacing (90 days in between): This is about the different ways you can use to sell something.
- Promo Type Spacing (15-30 days in between): This is about the different types of promotions.
Offer is what you’re selling (product/service). Campaign is how you’re selling it. Promo is the different types of engagement mechanisms you’re leveraging.
Offer Spacing (60-90 days in between)
If you run an offer at the beginning of month one, then you don’t want to run that exact offer again (exact offer, exact campaign) for 60 days to 90 days—that is, until the third month.
Suppose you have a webinar (e.g., Creating an Unstoppable Agency), and the sole purpose of this webinar is to get people to become certified partners of your company. If you run this webinar on week2/month1, you want to wait at least 90 days before you run it again.
Campaign Spacing (90 days in between)
If you’re going to sell the same thing in the exact same way, then we’re talking definitively 90 days in between. If you have a diversified product line, this is would be easy; however, if you only have one or two products, then you may need to focus on how many different ways you can use to sell that one or two products without telling people on your list that you’re selling the same thing you’ve just tried to sell them before.
Promo Type Spacing (15-30 days in between)
Suppose you do a flash sale week1/month1, you would want to wait at least until week 3 (maybe week1/month2). You don’t want your list to only purchase when you’re running sales, and you don’t want your list to become blind because you run them so often.
• You want to mix things up! For example, you can have an activation campaign for the first week, a segmentation campaign for the second week, and monetization campaign for the third; this way for the third week, anyone who wasn’t segmented out by interest in the second and who was activated in the first, can go through a monetization campaign since these are very recent buyers.
• Do not forget that, at least once a week, you want to send valuable and ungated content to your subscribers in addition to your promos! If you only ask without giving anything in return, people will open your emails less, they’ll start to eventually delete your emails before even reading them, and finally, they’ll unsubscribe.
Module 3. Email Campaign Creation
Email Campaigns Explained
• There are five types of email campaigns:
- Re-engagement: With this, you’ll be able to re-engage subscribers that otherwise would be worthless; and in fact, worse than worthless because once a subscriber truly becomes un-engaged, not only are they just inactive, they actually hurt the deliverability of your emails to your engaged subscribers.
• An indoctrination campaign is a triggered campaign sent immediately following an initial subscription that is designed to engender the brand to the new subscriber. This one is sent only once—the very first time someone subscribes.
• An engagement campaign is an interest-based, triggered campaign sent immediately following an action designed to make a relevant offer (and usually a sale) to your subscriber.
It doesn’t have to be a new subscriber; ideally, a brand new subscriber will receive an engagement campaign right after the indoctrination campaign because if they’ve opted-in based on something that’s specific (and this should be the case, in general), you’ll now be able to follow up with them on relevant information and offers.
• An ascension campaign is a triggered campaign sent immediately following purchase to start the “value loop” designed to turn ordinary buyers into multi-buyers. This comes right after a successful engagement campaign that made them buy.
The value loop is simply you sending them more valuable information, content, and offers.
• A segmentation campaign is a manual campaign sent to your entire database as a promotion that is designed to segment your subscribers by interest. If you want to get someone into an engagement campaign (an interest-based campaign), you’ll need to segment people who would be interested.
• A re-engagement campaign is a triggered campaign sent to any subscriber who has not opened or clicked an email in the last 30-60 days; it’s designed to re-engage the subscriber with the brand.
• All the different pieces of email marketing work to move your customer through the customer journey (from aware to promoter).
Storyboarding Your Indoctrination Campaign
• The role of the indoctrination campaign is to welcome by telling them what they can expect and what they need to do next to get the biggest benefit from you and your brand.
• Just because someone has subscribed to your email list doesn’t mean that they recognize your name in their inbox yet or look forward to hearing from you. This is why you need an indoctrination campaign.
• By storyboarding your indoctrination campaign, you’ll:
- Welcome and introduce the new subscribers to your brand.
- Restate the benefit of being a subscriber: You need to always remind people of why they were excited and why they took action.
- Tell them what to expect as it relates to topic and frequency.
- Tell them what to do next.
- Encourage whitelisting.
- Put your best foot forward: Think of this as your first date where you’ll have to wear your best clothes, tell your best stories and jokes… you need to show your best stuff right upfront.
- The campaign will last 1-3 emails.
• The first email will be just a welcome email where you talk about who you are and what you stand for. If you have a company that’s built on a mission or a vision, now is the time to sell that and get them excited about being a part of what you’re doing. This is also the time to start sending them around to make them follow you on other social channels if they want more cool stuff. Make sure to end this email with a loop where you tell them to stay tuned because you’ll be sending them your best stuff.
The second email will be your best of #1. You send this the next day after they subscribe. Ideally, this should be content or press.
The third email will be you best of #2. This can be content (a good subject line for this is: This made me think of you).
By the way, you want to reference back the positive things that you did (you’ve sent) in the previous email, and talk them into going back to search for them in their inbox if they haven’t seen them.
And again, the job of these three emails is to build a relationship with the new subscriber—remember the customer journey.
Storyboarding Your Engagement Campaign
• The role of the engagement campaign is to turn subscribers into converts by prescribing the next logical step based on what you know they’re currently interested in. You want to move them from the subscribe phase to the convert phase in their customer journey.
• By storyboarding your engagement campaign, you’ll:
- Turn subscribers into converts: You’ll need to determine what a conversion is for your business. Is it a sale? Is it printing out a coupon and bringing it to a physical location? Is it booking an appointment? Is it scheduling a 15-minute consultation?
- Reference the previous positive action: You don’t want to talk about the things that your subscribers didn’t do that you wanted them to do, but when they do something that you did want them to do, you want to reference back.
- Overcome (or inoculate against) known objections.
- Prescribe the next logical step: You want to explain that if they did x and they’re interested in x then they need to do x.
- Ask for the order.
• Now that your subscriber knows who you are and you know what they’re most interested in right now, you’ll need to answer two questions:
- What’s the next step I want them to take?
- Do I have any reason to believe they’re ready to take that next step? Just because you want them to take that step doesn’t mean they’re ready to take it. If you ask too much too soon, it can damage the relationship!
• If you’ve got nowhere to go but marriage (e.g., enterprise solutions, luxury items, mortgage, professional, services), then it’s time to deploy a nurture campaign. The reason these types of businesses need a nurture campaign is that, usually, they don’t have any small, entry-level sale.
The first email in a nurture campaign is a consumption email (you want them to consume whatever it is that they downloaded). A subject line might be: Did you get the report?
The second email would also be a consumption email, but you’re going to be really specific with this one. A subject line might be: Worried that your best employee is leaving? The email should be about something you know they’ve thought about or a conversation (big pain point) they’re actively having in their mind.
The third email is, again, a consumption email where you’ll ask them if there’s something you can help with. A subject line could be: How can I help? You might include a couple of testimonials from your best clients, too.
Then you would take a day off.
The fifth email would be a proof + CTA email. You want to focus on proof since you’re trying to walk them down a road of nurturing and relationship building; typically, it would be a testimonial or a case study. And you’ll add a call-to-action.
The sixth email will be just like the fifth.
The seventh email will be a CTA email.
• Now, if the next logical step is small, and you know they’re ready… you need an up-sell campaign (not a nurture campaign). You can have a goodwill campaign (not very aggressive) or a throat-grabber campaign (more aggressive).
The first email would be a consumption email. The subject might be: Did you get the report?
Take a day off.
The third email would be another consumption campaign that’s going to be specific to whatever is in the “report”.
Take another day off.
The fifth email is a proof + CTA email. Same thing for the sixth email.
The seventh would be a CTA email.
The first email would be a gain email (this campaign uses the gain/fear/logic approach). The subject line could be: Get more sleep… TONIGHT!
Take a day off.
The third email is a logic email. The subject might be: 40% our best-selling mattresses.
Another day off.
The fifth email is a fear email. The subject would be something like: Sale ending soon!
The sixth is another fear email. Subject: SAVE 40%: Only 48 hours left!
And the seventh would be a final fear email. Subject: FINAL WARNING: Sale Ends at MIDNIGHT!
Storyboarding Your Ascension Campaign
• By storyboarding your ascension campaign, you’ll:
- Reference the previous positive action.
- Overcome (or inoculate against) known objections.
- Prescribe the next logical step.
- Turn ordinary buyers into multi-buyers.
- Increase the trust and authority they feel for your brand.
- Ascend them from a customer into a raving fan.
• For this campaign, you also want to answer the following questions:
- What is the next step I want them to take?
- Do I have any reason to believe they are ready to take that next step?
- Do I have anything else to sell them?
Crafting a Consumption Campaign
• Here we’re talking about you having just made a big sale (e.g., mortgage, enterprise solution, mattress), so the next logical step isn’t to make people another expensive offer, it’s for them to consume and get value in order for you to move them down the customer journey where they’ll passively (and later, actively) promote, defend, and refer you because they’ve had such a great relationship with you.
The first email in this campaign will be a consumption email; you want them to start consuming or implementing the major purchase they’ve just made, so you’ll have to make it as easy for them (4 or 5 quick wins) to begin as possible. Your subject here could be: Your employee quick start plan.
The second email will be another consumption email. If you offer enterprise solutions, for example, you want them to have a rep (at least a temporary onboarding rep) or a success agent. Your subject might be: Meet your new best friend!
The third will also be a consumption email.
Take a day off.
The fifth email will be a nurture email. Again, for enterprise solutions, it’s not just the person who bought (e.g., the manager), you’ll need to get the employees who are going to use the solution to buy in. The subject could be: Send this to your employees to get them excited!
The sixth is another nurture email.
And you’ll have a final email that’s also a nurture email.
You want to be fantastic, give a ton of value, and build a deep relationship and connection with your client. Really go out of your way to make sure they have everything they need to get value from that offer.
• Remember that you serve a market; you want to be market-centric and not product-centric. Keep asking yourself: What is the next logical thing that my customer needs or should buy or should want? And remove the constraint of it being your own product/service because you can, and sometimes should, offer other people’s stuff.
Crafting an Upsell Campaign
• Here we’re talking about the next step being small and you know they’re ready, in which case you shouldn’t focus on consumption and nurture, you should focus on up-selling.
Here’s an example of DigitalMarketer where they want to up-sell their Content Marketing Mastery Course to people who’ve purchased their Content Marketing Execution Plan.
The first email will be a content email where they share a blog article to get people to agree that they’re adding additional value over and above the execution plan they purchased, as well as, get them to understand that what’s in the execution plan is just a small part of a much bigger picture that they should want.
They take the second day off.
The third email is a hybrid, so it’s information/content plus a CTA.
They take another day off.
The fifth one is a pure CTA.
The sixth email is a logic email. The subject could be: Get certified for free!
The seventh email is a fear email. The subject might be: Last chance to save $100…
Storyboarding Your Segmentation Campaign
• The role of the segmentation campaign is to pique the interest of subscribers who got “stuck” on their journey and get them to segment themselves based on what they’re interested in right now.
• By storyboarding your segmentation campaign, you’ll:
- Broadcast to your full database minus anyone who’s in an indoctrination, engagement, or ascension campaign—you don’t want to broadcast to people who are actively going through other campaigns.
- Deliver value-in-advance to keep your list fresh and active.
- Create demand in subscribers and customers who have fallen away or gotten stuck in the customer journey.
- Put subscribers into a relevant engagement series to restart the journey wherever they left off.
• There are three methods for segmentation:
- Use content (blog posts and lead magnets): You want to see if they click to read your blog posts and if they re-subscribe to get your lead magnets.
- Use special offers (sales and coupons).
- Use events (webinars and meet-ups).
• A flash sale campaign is one of the best segmentation campaigns; what’s great about it is that you don’t need any excuse to run it.
In a flash sale campaign, there’s only one email type: CTA. It lasts three days (three emails).
• Another great segmentation campaign is the (Are You Still?) or the (Have You Yet?) campaign.
Suppose you offer HR management/Payroll SaaS. You get a bunch of subscribers that joined your list by downloading something or attending a webinar, but for some reason, they didn’t continue in the customer journey. You’ll need to restart that buying cycle and re-engage them.
Again, all of your emails are going to be CTA-based. A subject could be something like: Are you still losing good employees? or Have you picked a benefit package yet?
Your third and last email could be something like: How can I help? In this, you’ll just list all the ways you can help them.
• Another segmentation campaign you can use is a webinar campaign. Let’s take the example of the enterprise offering HR management/Payroll SaaS.
All of the email types in this campaign are going to be registration emails. If people register for the webinar it means that they’ve raised their hand and told you that you should put them in an engagement series where you’ll continue to talk to them about that subject.
Your first registration email could have a subject like: LIVE Training: 10 steps to attract and keep A+ talent.
The second could be: Join me LIVE, tomorrow at 2 PM.
The third would be something like: Don’t stand me up!
And you might have a fourth email saying: We’re all waiting on YOU!
Storyboarding Your Re-Engagement Campaign
• By storyboarding your re-engagement campaign, you’ll:
- Call out “inactive” subscribers.
- Encourage them to re-engage with your emails.
- Remind them of the benefits of being a subscriber.
- Tell them what they’ve missed.
- Lower complaints.
- Increase deliverability.
• Your email list is slowly dying. Email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year. Also, about 17% of Americans create a new email address every 6 months and 30% change email addresses annually. Furthermore, unengaged subscriber mark your emails as spam (the new unsubscribe) 9x more than engaged subscribers.
• There are many reasons that subscribers become unengaged:
- Email frequency: This goes both ways (emailing too frequently or not emailing enough), and it’s actually the number one reason subscribers become unengaged. If you don’t indoctrinate your subscribers and you don’t email at least 3-5 times a week, there is a good chance that they’ve already forgotten about you.
- Boring or repetitive content.
- Irrelevant or dated content: This will not only cause people to become unengaged, but you’ll also lose authority and credibility.
- Too many other emails: People become unengaged and discard their email addresses because too many people are emailing them.
- Only wanted the freebie: People become unengaged with lists because they’ve never intended to become engaged in the first place, which is actually your fault! You need to indoctrinate people properly from the beginning; show them who you are, what you do, what you’re about, what you stand for and against, and the benefits of knowing you and your brand.
- Changed email address.
- Abandoned email address.
- Engaged with your competition.
• The role of the re-engagement campaign is to call out inactive subscribers and get them to start engaging with your emails again… to get re-excited about you and your brand.
• The first step in launching a re-engagement campaign is to determine who has become unengaged with your emails. For DM, they determine this by looking at who hasn’t purchased in 6 months or who hasn’t opened/clicked an email in the last 60 days.
You might want to start with a year for purchases and 120 days for opens/clicks. And don’t be surprised if 30-50% of your list is unengaged (not opening/clicking, not moving through the customer journey, and costing you deliverability with your engaged subscribers).
• Here is DM’s re-engagement campaign structure:
The first email will be a re-engagement email. The subject is: Hey [FIRST NAME] is everything ok?
The second day is off.
The third is another re-engagement email. The subject is: is this still [FIRST NAME]’s email?
The fourth day is off.
The fifth email is, again, a re-engagement email. The subject is: Hey [FIRST NAME], what has you stuck? With this email, they want to remind them that they can help them! This simply a three-question survey to get them re-engaged.
The sixth day is also off.
If they still haven’t engaged, they’ll send a seventh re-engagement email. The subject is: [FIRST NAME], can you help? Please? In this one, again, they ask people to participate in a short survey (although, they’re not really interested in diving into what people say in the survey). Getting them to take the survey is more about re-engagement than analysis—it’s about generating a micro-commitment.
• If you send a re-engagement campaign but nothing happens, you now want to deploy a win-back campaign—the difference is the tone.
Remember that anytime they open or click at any point in these two campaigns, you’ve successfully re-engaged them, and there is no point in continuing with the rest of the emails.
Here is the structure of a win-back campaign:
The first email is a re-engagement email. The subject is: I want you back!
The second email is also a re-engagement email. The subject is: I’ve got a gift for you (sssshhhh, it’s a surprise 😉. Obviously, you want to make sure that it’s a really valuable gift.
The third email is another re-engagement email. The subject is: Am I still welcome in your inbox?
A fourth day off.
The fifth email is another re-engagement email, and the subject will be: Should I unsubscribe you?
The sixth day is off.
The seventh and last email is also a re-engagement email with the subject: Is this goodbye? If you’re planning to email them from time to time (but not so often), you might not want to use that subject line. If you do, however, plan to definitively not email them ever again, by all means, use it.
• If the re-engagement campaign and the win-back campaign don’t work, then stop emailing them!
• A well-thought-out re-engagement campaign, including the win-back campaign, should have a 3-5% conversion rate. The reason the conversion rate is low is simply that, for whatever reason, they are unengaged.
• You want to read every one of your emails and sales messages aloud. If something doesn’t flow correctly out loud, then there’s a good chance it’s not going to flow correctly in the mind of your customers when they’re reading it silently.
Module 4. Email Copywriting and Design
Harvesting Proven Sales Copy
• The first trick to writing really great email copy is to start with what’s currently working (i.e., generating leads and sales). If you’re brand new or you’re starting a new business or you’re not really versed in the business that you’re working for, it’s a good idea to see what copy your competitors are using.
• In repurposing winning copy (yours and your competitors’), you want to look at:
- Hooks and leads
- Lists and benefits
- Proof and stories
• You want to create a swipe file of controls, then you want to leverage and beat those controls down the road.
• After you have aggregated control copy, you now want to ask yourself the four “magic” email copywriting questions:
- Why now? You’re asking your subscribers to do something (e.g., print out a coupon, register for a webinar, come to your store, give you a call, schedule a demo, buy something), and since email is an interruptive medium, you’ll need to tell them why you’re asking now; is it because it’s new? Is it on sale? Is it limited or exclusive? Is it timely?
- Who Cares? Whether it’s new, on sale, timely, etc., you’ll need to determine what would make them care. You want to think about who would be affected the most (positively or negatively) by having or not having what you’re selling.
- Why should they care? You can’t expect people to connect the dots; it’s your job as a marketer to do that. If you know why it’s important to email them now and who should care, it’s time to start painting the picture of why they should care and helping them see how their life looks like now (before your product/service) and after. On another hand, you want to call them out (by segment) in the copy.
- How can you prove it? You want to prove that whatever it is you’re offering/talking about does what you say it does. This is why you need to aggregate proof (e.g., testimonials, case studies, new stories).
The Four Reasons People Buy
• There are only four reasons that make people buy (you need to keep these in mind when writing email copy):
- Personal gain.
- Logic and research: This is especially true when you’re going through a bigger purchase or bigger buying cycle. You have to understand that people are going to apply logic (e.g., timing, price) and research your brand, which is why you need to leverage these in your CTAs.
- Social proof or 3rd party influence.
- Fear of loss or missing out: This is why scarcity and time-based promotions are so effective.
Points of Belief
• You need to understand where people are now, where you need to take them for them to acknowledge that what you have is what they need, and what points of belief that you need to inoculate against or overcome. Here are five steps:
- Define the desired end result: You have to know what they really want, and more importantly, you have to be able to tell them how what you have will get them what they want. This is why testimonials and case studies are so important because even if people aren’t sure of what they truly want, they can see themselves in others; they can see someone on the other side who was where they are now and realize that that is what they want, too.
- Acknowledge where they are today (and why they are stuck): You have to acknowledge where they are, why they’re stuck, and why it’s not 100% their fault.
- List “the points of belief”: What are the new ideas or concepts that they need to understand or believe to be true/false? The points of belief not only inform what your email phrasing should be, but they also determine the length of the campaign or the customer journey.
- List the pain points: What are the known objections that you need to overcome or inoculate against?
- Establish a timeline: How many emails will it take to overcome all known objections and pain points? When you have multiple points of belief and things you need to overcome, you may need many emails.
Crafting Your Subject Lines
• The job of the subject line is to sell the open. The job of the body copy is to sell the click. The job of the landing page or the destination is to sell whatever you’re selling. Do not try to make any one of these do the job of the other.
• There are four types of subject lines:
- Blind or curiosity subject lines.
- Direct or benefit-based subject lines.
- Urgency or scarcity-based subject lines.
- Proof of results-based subject lines.
Blind/Curiosity Subject Lines
- Less _________ = More Sales
- Why he paid Google $524,838.71…
- Kinda weird but VERY profitable
- 7 business doubling “hacks”? 1,322,956 free clicks from…
- 137% more sales with boomerang trick…
- 9 “Oddball” Penny Traffic Sources
Direct/Benefit Subject Lines
- [Facebook Ads] Get more clicks…
- Create opt-in pages that convert like crazy
- Generate traffic on demand
- How To Write Bullets That Sell
- Start building your list for just $1
- A Native Ad in 60 Minutes or Less
- Steal These Email Templates…
Urgency/Scarcity Subject Lines
- 85% off sale ends at Midnight
- No More Discounts on T&C
- Closing Down Soon!
- Last Chance to be a VIP
- You’re about to miss out…
- You’re going to miss this?!?
- Final Notice (just hours left)
Proof/Results Subject Lines
- [Case Study] $188,674 from a dead list
- Mom of two “makes” $10K in 4 days
- This guy makes 6 figures per month?
- AZ shoe store owner 20X’s business by sending what?
- 23,247 leads in less than 30 days
- Swipe this $17,609.10 template (Download)
- [Case Study] 259% ROI using new traffic source…
• You want to use and leverage all the different types of subject lines so that you give people different reasons to open an email.
Crafting Your Body Copy
• In order to craft body copy, it’s important that you remember the four magic questions.
• Just like subject lines, there are four body copy chunks that you can use:
• Each email will have four sections:
• The best time to use proof, curiosity, or credibility is in your intro.
The body copy is great for benefits or results.
The close is best for scarcity or social proof. The reason you want to use scarcity is that people have too many decisions to make each day, which means that everything they think of goes through a process where it’s either done immediately or delayed, and this is why you need to tell your subscriber when they need to make a decision.
As for the P.S., you want to use social proof or scarcity.
Leveraging this structure gives your subscribers many reasons to click instead of just one, which doesn’t work really well.
Queuing the Click
• Simply writing the body copy isn’t enough to make sure that people are clicking, you’ll need to queue the click. Think of this as the transitional copy in between the different body chunks or the different methods to get people to click your links. Here are a few of them:
- Pose a benefit-driven question. Example: How do our high-converting email templates work? Click here to find out.
- Connect proof with product. Example: The machine boosts conversion rates by 34% – Tomorrow! See how it works here: link
- Lead them to “Yes”! Example: Want to generate more sales from email? Use this: link
- Show them the after. Example: Once you have my templates, you’ll never have to write another email again… I will have already done it for you. Just copy – paste – send. Get my templates here: link
- Show them you’re human. Example: This is the only time I’ve ever cried as an adult. Find out why here: link
- The takeaway. Example: This is your last chance to get ________: link
Module 5. Optimizing Opens and Clicks
Getting More Opens
• You have just 3-4 seconds to grab your readers’ attention and interest them enough to open and read your email.
• 9 tricks to increase your email open rates:
- Timing is everything: Avoid the “inbox purge” by delivering your emails between 8:30-10:00 AM, 2:30-3:30 PM, or 8:00-midnight.
- Call them by name: Personalization in the subject line can increase open rates by 23%.
- Positive in the AM / Negative in the PM: People typically wake up in a positive mood, so you don’t want to send them anything negative in the morning. If you’re going to use a negative subject line, do it later in the day; however, you want to come back with a positive spin or at least offer a solution for positivity.
- Be provocative, controversial, or relevant: No one wants to read boring emails with dated information!
- Use odd or specific numbers: If you round up (or down), people think you’re lying. Not only do specific numbers catch our attention, but they’re also more credible.
- Keep it short: 6-10 words or 25 characters is the sweet spot for opens! The most important aspect here is to make sure that what’s readable sells the open.
- Use the second subject line: You’ve got another 6-10 words to tell your subscriber why they should open your email.
- Add symbols to stand out: Adding the right symbols to your subject line can increase opens by 10-15%. EmailStuff is a great resource for symbols, and here is another resource.
- Use your logo or your pic: Stand out in the “new” inbox by leveraging your brand!
Getting More Clicks
• Here are 6 ways you can increase the CTR of your emails:
- Press Play: It’s usually a picture with a play button inside the email. You’ll get an additional boost if you add the play button plus a description underneath it of the video.
- Your Thoughts?: This is sort of a survey where you ask a question, and all the “answers” to it take people to the same page. You want to make sure to ask a question that people care about and don’t—at least definitively—know the answer to. You also want to make sure to answer the question in whatever page you’re sending them to.
- Best of Both Worlds: This is a combination of both (a video and a survey); it’s really a video about a survey.
- Video in Email: This is really an animated GIF with a play button in the middle. They could be about everything from actual videos to just blog posts where you simply scroll through one.
- Final Countdown: When you build a closing email or a sale is ending, you can leverage the stopwatch icon in the subject line, and once they open the email, people find an animated countdown timer in the email that takes people (when they click it) to a page where there is a countdown timer. You’ll need to find a plugin for the countdown timer in the email.
- Flash Em: Flashing banners almost double the CTR of your emails.
Module 6. Tracking and Measuring Results
Benchmarking Your Results
• You simply cannot set realistic goals without benchmarking your current results! You need to benchmark to know whether you’re getting better.
• You have to answer the question: “How well is email working for you right now?”
- How big is your list?
- Are you mailing the entire list? You want to know the number of people that you’re emailing when you send a broadcast email.
- How many people open your emails?
- How many people click?
- How many people unsubscribe?
- How many people complain?
• 5 steps to benchmark email performance:
- Look back and chart every broadcast email for the past 3, 6, and 12 months—the process will involve a lot of manual data entry. This will give you a deep dive into the types of emails you’ve been sending (e.g., what’s working, what’s not, what people are engaging with, what people are repelled by, etc.).
- Establish averages for opens, clicks, unsubscribes, complaints, and forwards.
- Identify irregularities… any breakout good or bad! What emails have you sent that had double the unsubscribes average? What emails have you sent that had half the unsubscribes average? What emails have you sent that had double or triple the average click, open, or forward rates? And then, you’ll need to figure out why!
- Look for patterns (e.g., topic, day, time, from, etc.) that get either really good or really bad results. The goal is to look for seasonality as you go year over year; you want to know the times of the year where—historically—your email performance increases and where it dips.
- Set baseline numbers and goals for everything.
What to Track and When to Track it
• Here are the KPIs you want to monitor and when you should monitor them:
- Review and spot check weekly: Every week, you’ll be looking for early indicators and green arrows. You’ll analyze opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and complaints.
- Deep dive and correct monthly: Every month, you’ll be looking for emerging trends—good or bad. You’ll analyze email times, topics, and types.
• Ideally, you want to fill out your tracking sheet daily, even multiple times a day since this will allow you to see different benchmarks throughout the day (better understanding of good and bad times of the day).
• Whether you’re looking at the sheet weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, you should be benchmarking your best and worst in every category simply because you want to duplicate the good results and avoid the negative ones.
• The tracking sheet is intended for use for broadcast emails only, not for triggered follow-up sequences. It’ll be used strictly for emails that you’re manually broadcasting to all or a segment of your email list.
• If you see that a lot more emails get sent that get delivered, you might want to focus on deliverability and email list hygiene—you want to have a delivery % in above 92-93. You can use services such as TowerData or BriteVerify.
Module 7. Email Deliverability
3 Ways to Prove You’re NOT a Spammer
• If your emails aren’t hitting in the inbox, then everything else you’re doing doesn’t matter!
• Worldwide, just 79% of commercial emails land in the inbox. This means that for every five emails sent, one never reaches the intended recipient—in reality, it’s more like two out of five emails never reach the recipient.
• 3 ways to prove you’re not a spammer:
- Mailer reputation: This is about how you look from a bulk-mailer standpoint.
- Sender infrastructure: This is about technically setting up things in a way that makes you look like you know what you’re doing.
- Subscriber engagement: This one is the most important, and it’s the one that you have the most control over.
Your Mailer Reputation
• The first thing that the ISPs look at when determining your reputation is:
- Message volume: This is not exactly about how much you’re sending, but how consistent are you with your volume. You don’t want to hit massive highs and then go for long periods of time with sending little to no emails; you want to have a nice and even flow.
- Delivery rate: Most of the emails you’re sending should get through to the inbox (94% or more delivery rate).
- Blacklist status: You need to be clear and clean of any blacklist for both your IP and domain for the last 6 months.
• You want to make sure you’re constantly monitoring those three things. You want to be aware of how many emails you’re sending (volume).
You want to monitor delivery by IP(s). When you send an email, you want to know your IP(s)’ delivery rate to Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc. And when you have a low delivery rate, make sure to know that it’s happening and, and then dive in to figure out why.
Blacklists are really about your list building; how you’re doing it, how you’re doing indoctrination, and more importantly, re-engagement. If you’re building lists appropriately, indoctrinating people, removing them from your list when they’re no longer engaged (of course, after deploying a re-engagement and win-back campaigns), then you shouldn’t have too many spam complaints and blacklist issues.
Your Sender Infrastructure
• If you’re not a technical person (you don’t know what things like DNS, FTP, domain registrar mean), you’ll need to get a specialist to work on this; however, you do need to know the things they should do.
• When it comes to sender infrastructure, you need to focus on these areas:
- SPF (Sender Policy Framework): This authorizes the IP addresses, as well as the domain addresses that send your email. So, if you have your domain in one place and your IP in another place (you’re using a third-party ESP), you’ll need to go into your domain registrar and set up these different records; for example, you’ll say that when an email from email@example.com originates from these 9 IP addresses, it’s okay because that’s actually you—you’re verifying that the email that says it’s originating from your domain is actually yours, even though it’s hosted on a different IP.
- Sender ID: This validates the origin of email messages by verifying the IP addresses of the sender against the owner of the domain. When you set up your sender ID, you’ll be saying that you own x domain, which is hosted on x IP, and that when email originates from these IP addresses (even though it’s different from the IP on x), it’s actually coming from you.
- DKIM: This is an email authentication method through which emails are digitally signed on a domain basis.
- Feedback Loops (ESPs have this automatically set up): The way a feedback loop works is that if someone marks your message as spam in AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, etc., it triggers an action in that service to where it fires a post over and lets you know that (1) they marked spam, and (2) it actually removes them from your email list. Setting up feedback loops prevents ISPs from marking you as a spammer.
Basically, these are sender verifications; they are different ways to tell the ISPs that it is you who is actually sending the emails when you’re using an ESP. Different ISPs use different methods of verification; therefore, you want to make sure that you have all of them set up.
• Use MxToolbox to see whether your SPF and DKIM records have been set up.
Your Subscriber Engagement
• As long as you have the technical stuff set up, which is mostly just checking boxes, all the ISPs care about is how your people are reacting to your emails. If people don’t get engaged with your emails, and you’re still sending them, you’ll look like a spammer. Engagement has the highest effect on your deliverability.
• There are four factors that lead to engagement:
- Email open rate: You want to know the percentage, not the number, of your email opens. The higher the percentage, the higher the engagement, and the higher the engagement, the higher the deliverability.
- Lateral scroll rate: You want to know whether people scroll or not once they open your emails. This is the only way ISPs know whether or not people are engaging with your emails.
- Hard/Soft bounce rate: A hard bounce happens because an email address is not real (doesn’t exist), and a soft bounce happens for a number of reasons. If you continue to send emails to bad email addresses or addresses that reject them, you’ll look like a spammer.
- Unsubscribe and complaint rate.
Monitoring & Tracking Deliverability
• A tool that you want to use is MailMonitor. This service is strictly for inbox placement, not necessarily email deliverability as a whole.
If you take the seed addresses that they give and put them on your email list, it will break down your deliverability. Suppose you have four IP addresses and you send a broadcast email, it will tell you the deliverability of that message in Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc., by each IP address.
If you see that you’re having deliverability issues with one specific IP and one ISP (e.g., your IP 2 is being completely blocked by Yahoo), you know where to focus your efforts and contact your ESP to fix them.
• Another tool is Sender Score, which is free. It will allow you to monitor your sender reputation; you don’t want to see anything under 93%.
This tool will be predominantly used by people who have dedicated IP addresses. If you have a shared IP, you really can’t use it.
• The third tool is EmailReach. This allows you to set up tracking on domain and IP blacklisting, as well as set up proactive emails.
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