Email marketing has been around for more than 20 years now and in some respects it has changed a lot. What hasn’t changed is the way many marketers seem not to care about just how much has their main marketing tool evolved over the years. Having an opt-in pop-up jumping out of your every web page will yield little to no results these days. Users are accustomed to it so much that I actually had people tell me that they pause for a second when visiting a new page (it’s almost always an ecommerce site) and get ready to close that annoying pop-up before they continue browsing.
Twenty years later email marketers have managed to create a system that mostly serves one purpose: to annoy the heck out of prospects. This happened because:
People Are Sick of Being Sold To
Think about it. We’re all bombarded with thousands of advertising messages every day. Do you really want another marketing message hitting your private mailbox, trying to sell you a product you don’t really need?
Consumers Want Solutions To Their Problems, Not Your Product
We are starting to see a slight improvement here as a lot of marketers are starting to realize that they have to give something before they get something.
Rarely Anything Stands Out Enough To Grab Their Attention
There is a perception that all marketing efforts are copy-pasted from a single blueprint: same call-to-action, same emails, same wording, same style, different products.
They Feel Like They Are Just Another Number
And they feel like that because it’s actually true. There’s been some progress on this front as well but a lot of businesses are still trying to sell the same old thing to everyone without taking into consideration the buyer’s journey, history, wants or needs.
Grow your Revenue by Focusing On Personalization
There’s a lot you can do to combat all of these pain-points (and there are generally a lot of points), especially if you want to increase your revenue by growing a targeted marketing list. Establishing a proper relationship with buyers before trying to sell to them is important. Let’s focus on how you can make it big by utilizing personalization and how it can translate to getting more qualified leads.
1. Segmentation Is Sexy
If you’re displaying the same opt-in form on every page on your site, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to personalize the call-to-action according to the preferences of your visitors. Everyone has a different reason for visiting your page and if you don’t address that specific reason, there is a high chance of missing the mark when it comes to your messaging.
Consider this; you are trying to generate leads for a small e-commerce business specializing in household items. You’ve created an opt-in form trying to get people to subscribe to your newsletter that gives them a heads up when you add stuff to your inventory. Now, if a customer is browsing your sofa page, it is because they are looking for a sofa. They probably won’t sign up for your newsletter because it doesn’t address their immediate need.
However, if every part of your page offers up a sign in form that address the searchers need, you will have a higher opt-in rate. In this particular case, if the customer went to your sofa page to browse your selection and got prompted to sign up for a newsletter or a short mail that will alert them when you get a new type of sofa in stock they just might take you up on your offer.
2. Geo-Target Your Users
Another smart way to segment your marketing lists is by geographical location. Depending on how much your subscribers have decided to share with you, you might be able to pinpoint their location quite precisely.
If you can gauge their region, you stand a better chance of offering something that might be valuable to them. Selling a snow shovel to someone in Florida might prove a bit tricky, but if you already know their location, why not offer sun lotion or swimwear.
You can use geo-targeting on your site to deliver relevant sign-up offers that might strike a chord with the user, or in an email, to send a custom-tailored newsletter to all your subscribers in a certain location. Of course, there is a lot more to it than just that, so you’ll want to check out a post from Search Engine Land to get the latest scoop on geo-targeting.
3. Open Communications Channels
Offering live chat support is a great way to build up a relationship with your users and get up-close and personal with them. It offers you an opportunity to really address all their pain points and misconceptions in the start instead of letting them getting agitated and frustrated by your page.
If it makes sense for your business have a live chat support that will politely and friendly greet visitors to your site. Remember, this is not the time for a sales pitch, this is the time to start building a relationship with them and to show them how great it is to do business with them. If they are not interested in help, remain unobtrusive. However, if they are interested, your first priority is to solve their problem. Kissmetrics wrote a great blog about how to sound more human, less robot over live chat.
After you’ve made a good first impression, you can nudge them towards other content they might find useful and suggest that they opt-in to receive your newsletter or alert emails.
4. Consider the Device
More and more users are buying directly from their smartphones and tablets and an even greater percentage are using their hand-held devices to do research prior to making a decision.
You have to design your page and your content so that it’s mobile-friendly first, everything else second. If users don’t have a great experience browsing your page on their smartphone they will leave and never return.
However, if you make everything accessible and intuitive, you’ll win them over – or, at least, you will be over the first hurdle. Remember, if they leave instantly then you won’t even get a chance to get them on board so nothing you’ve invested on down the line will make any difference at all. Check out this article from UXMag to learn why personalization for mobile will become increasingly more important in the future.
5. New Versus Return Customers
Another thing you want to consider is who is looking at your sign-up page. How you interact with different types of visitors will have a determining factor on whether or not they like you so offering the same to everyone simply won’t cut it.
- Example A: A New Visitor – someone brand new who’s just discovered your site
If you’re dealing with a new visitor, you might want to give them a chance to get to know you better. A perfect start to this relationship might be to try and find out the specific problem they are facing and to offer up a solution. Or to redirect them to a page that explains a bit more about your brand. Starting this relationship on the right foot is key. If you start at the beginning and progress towards asking them to opt-in, you will have far better results when it comes to sign-up rates.
- Example B: A Return Visitor – was there before but did not purchase anything
Returning visitors are known to you but they are simply not converting or opting in for some reason. This means that you are doing something wrong. Try changing the wording of the form or the image you’re using. What you need to find out is what is causing them to leave without opting in and why are they returning to your page. Chances are that these visitors are ready to give you a shot but there is something that is off-putting to them and it’s connected to your opt-in form –placement, wording, style, colors, or photo. Find out what it is and change it!
- Example C: A Repeat Customer – someone with whom you’ve already done business
This is someone you can confidently serve the best pitch of your life. If they are not on your mailing list or they’ve opted out during purchase, make sure you let them know that you know something about them!
The best way to do this is to offer tips and tricks on using the product or service that they bought recently. A simple how-to guide will do the trick and a good number of them will opt-in because you’re offering highly targeted content– something that they will definitely get a use from.
Personalizing user experience is a lead magnet. Not only will you be getting more sign-ups but you will also have a lot more information about those subscribers. This will allow you to segment your list better and to target them with tailored content that will help you nurture and grow your relationship. Email marketing is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ thing; you have to constantly find fresh, new ways of staying relevant. If you can do that your revenue will grow at the same pace as your marketing lists!