Followup Marketing with Email

Jim Kimmons
Solopreneur Business Success
7 min readMay 21

You MUST Embrace the Proper Use of Email in Your Sales Efforts

From the website at the title link, here are some 2020 email marketing statistics to show the importance of email in business and sales:

  • There are 3.9 billion global email users.
  • 293.6 billion emails/day were sent in 2019.
  • For every dollar you spend in email marketing, you can expect an average of $42 in return.
  • 9 out of 10 marketers use email to distribute content.
  • 81% of all small to medium businesses use email as their primary customer acquisition tool, and 80% say the same about customer retention.

No matter what your products or services, it’s difficult to imagine how you can’t improve sales in some way by using email effectively. Make the commitment to develop or improve your email marketing or customer communications.

Important: As you go through these tips and tools for email sales strategies, one rule should be followed in all cases. Never send an email without some information of value to the recipient or an offer related to their original contact with your business. It takes less than a second to mark your mail as spam and send you to the trash bin.

Build Your Own List(s)

While you can find many offers of email lists for your type of business, it’s not the best way to go. Even if the list provider is trying to do their best to keep the list clean and relevant to your business, it’s not easy to do and you can damage your business reputation with bulk emailings to purchased lists.

It will take longer to build your own list, but perhaps not as long as you think. The value of building your own list is mostly due to the fact that they’ve been in contact with you at some point and provided their email address. This indicates that you have some product, service, or information that they have found of value in the past. Where can you get email addresses for your list?

  • Forms on your website, but not just “join our email list” forms. Those may work now and then, but not usually with a visitor to your site who doesn’t know you yet. Offer special information, reports, case studies, coupons, product reports, etc. via email on your site.
  • Go through your emails for the past few years and harvest every email address you find there.
  • Put your email address prominently on your business card.
  • On your site, offer some special status or privilege to those on your newsletter or email list. It could be advance notice of sales, special content, etc.
  • Advertise your email address in every place you have ads.

It may surprise you at how quickly you can build up an email list for your business.

Segment Your Lists for More Power

As your list grows, you should begin to segment it by separating addresses into groups with different characteristics. It can be product interest, services, geographic location, or any other characteristic that can help you to tailor emails to smaller but more focused prospect/customer groups. Examples include:

  • A specific group or type of products, such as accessories for a specific brand or product
  • An interest in one area of your services, such as inventory accounting or civil suit legal services
  • Geography
  • Gender
  • B2B business type
  • Purchase interests
  • Past purchases

You know what your customers want and where their interests lie, especially if they come to your list from a webform that indicates a specific area of interest. Segmenting them into groups will allow you to send very targeted emails focused on their interest. Any member on the list can be in more than one group as well.

3 Categories of Sales Related Emails

Other than just normal email conversations with prospects and customers, there are emails sent for sales purposes. When you’re emailing prospects or customers, especially in bulk emails, know in which of these categories your email is intended to fall and why:

  • Autoresponder — As the word implies, this is an automated email that responds to some action by the recipient. Often it is to thank them for submitting a form or taking some other action on a website, or it can be to respond to an email initiating contact. It’s usually a single email and can also assure the sender that a more detailed or personal response is coming soon.
  • Drip Email — This is a series of pre-written emails scheduled to go out automatically over a specified timeline. Depending on the length of a sales cycle, emails could drip out daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
  • Purposed Email — This is email, usually a single email sent to one or more recipients, that has a purpose such as the announcement of a sale, offering of new information related to a previous inquiry, newsletter, etc. Even if a newsletter sent on a schedule, it’s not considered drip email because it isn’t prepared until the time to send it out.

Most of the information out there, including at the title link, is about drip and autoresponders. However, at any time you may find that you want to touch base with a group of prospects or customers.

This “purposed” email is one you prepare for a specific reason, perhaps a new product or service, or maybe related to current events. Just sending an email to a group because you think you need to let them know you’re still out there is a mistake. Once someone finds your email annoying or of no value, it’s over.

It’s Called Drip, not Thunderstorm

Drip email isn’t just sending a series of emails to a new member of your list. There should be a plan, and it should be focused on building a relationship that leads to a sale, and the timeline should fit with your normal period from contact to sale.

  1. What’s the goal of the campaign? — Are you trying to move a brand new prospect toward their first purchase or are you trying to nurture a previous customer and entice them to buy again. There are other reasons for a drip, but know what the goal is for each.
  2. Who is the target of this drip? — Do you have a list segment that fits the goal of this drip? Can you segment out a group?
  3. How many emails in the series & how long? — How long is your usual sales cycle? How many contacts does it normally take to generate a purchase? How far apart should the emails be sent?
  4. Don’t leave them in the drip too long? — Don’t annoy your prospect who just purchased or took the action you want by having them receive another drip email later. Get them out of the drip immediately.

Drip email can be very effective if done properly, so don’t waste your list with a poor plan.

Content of the Perfect Sales Email

You’ve worked long and hard to build a great email list and segment the list for better email targeting. Don’t blow it by sending ineffective emails. Here are the top points for the perfect sales email:

  • Don’t lose them at the subject line — The majority of sales emails that hit the trash do so without ever being opened. The subject line is critical. There is help at a couple of websites that analyze your headline and offer improvement suggestions:
  • Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer
  • Personalize the body content — Don’t start it with “Dear Subscriber.” Personalize it with their name and/or company name.
  • Have a call-to-action — An interesting email with valuable content that gets read by the recipient is of little value to you unless you get them to do something. Have an actionable call-to-action that encourages them to click and buy or take some other action you want, even if it’s just go to your site for new content.

Don’t waste a carefully collected and segmented email list by sending emails that don’t at least cover those three critical points.

Use a Quality Email Service

From free to inexpensive, there are drip and bulk email services that automate your processes and provide other bells & whistles like opens and clickthrough statistics. Here are 10 of the most popular, reviews and details at the title link:

Check these out to see which fit your needs best for both features and budget. Some have free plans that will get you started.

Video Works

Statistics show that interactive email content is very effective and that video in an email can increase clickthrough rates by 300%. When you’re shopping those email services above, make sure you can embed video if it is something you want to do for your business. Almost any business can benefit from video, even if it’s just showcasing products or services.

Measure Results & Take Action

The best email services for drip and bulk email will have statistical reports to show you what’s happening with your emails.

This is an example of one of many reports (the title link) that Mailchimp offers. When you find a specific email isn’t performing well, make changes. An example would be a low open rate. You probably need to improve your subject line.

Wrapping Up

Too many small businesses spend time and money in maintaining a website, marketing, and running advertisements in print, media, and online only to drop the ball when they attract a prospect.

Use the tools and resources here to evaluate your current sales processes and make improvements, or you may want to start from scratch.

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