Like most marketing agencies, we do a lot of email marketing for our clients. When you do something a lot and spend time perfecting your approach, you sometimes forget how important some of the little steps are. I was reminded of this at a marketing meetup I attended recently.
During the meetup, a discussion started around lead capture using website pop-ups, and follow-up through email. I was amazed to find that three things we do all the time related to this topic were considered "Wow" moments for many of the marketers at the meetup.
In this post, I'm going to share those three very easy tactics which can help improve your email marketing performance.
1. Always Capture the First Name with an Email Address on a Pop-up
Inbound marketing relies on the use of lead magnets such as ebooks, whitepapers, templates, and other deep content that brands offer in exchange for contact information. To capture this information, you need a form, either on a landing page or a website pop-up. Forms are a barrier to conversion because people don't like filling them out, particularly when they're too long.
While there are lots of tips for how you can optimize forms to lower the barriers to conversion, when you start talking website pop-ups, forms almost disappear.
Pop-ups are rightly perceived by both marketers and website visitors to be more opportunistic than landing pages - after all, someone had to click something else, like an ad, or a call-to-action in order to get to a landing page. A website pop-up just appears out of no-where. Because of this, many marketers minimize form fields in pop-ups to just the email address.
The problem is, with only an email address you can't personalize marketing automation follow up. The stats on this are clear - Campaign Monitor put together a list of email personalization stats and found that:
"Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%, while emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened."
Of course, someone can research the email and try to find the person's first name, but then your marketing is no longer automated. A better way is to ask visitors for one more piece of information, a first name.
Visitors are usually willing to share their first name, and that gives you the ability to personalize your email templates for marketing automation. Just having that first name lets you personalize the subject, the greeting, and include a personalized statement in the body of the email. We always ask for a first name and email in our pop-ups because we can then let our marketing automation take it from there to send personalized outreach.
2. Always Use Email to Deliver Content Offers
We used to give people the ability to download our content offers from the 'Thank You' page after they had opted in. Now we deliver all of our content offers by email, for a couple of good reasons:
It helps prevent the capture of bogus email addresses. Simply put, many people just want the content and not the follow-up, so they put in a bogus email address. If you tell them that the content they want will be delivered via email, they're going to give you a real address. It may not be their primary email, but it's a step in the right direction. We make it clear on the landing page text, and on the submit button using text like, "Email Me That Ebook"
It helps inbox credibility. Your ability to use email marketing effectively depends, in large part, on your inbox credibility. Outbound Engine defines inbox credibility as a "combination of deliverability metrics and the desire of the end user to engage with your email." Simply put, the more your emails land in peoples inboxes - and the more people engage with them - the more likely your emails will be delivered to inboxes. If you don't have good inbox credibility, much of your email marketing may end up in the SPAM folder, and if you have very poor inbox credibility, email providers may stop delivering your emails altogether. People are going to be looking for the offer they just opted in for. It's a great chance for you to get an email into their inbox for them to open.
3. One Email Can Set the stage for Future Email Contact
Kissmetrics confirms that one of the best ways to make sure you can continue to get into your prospect's inbox is to ask them to whitelist you. That first email is a great time to say, "If you like the content we give you, whitelist us so that we can give you more in the future."
Over To You
These are three best practices we recommend to anyone who asks, and that we put in place for our clients. If you're not following these practices, start right away - you'll capture better contact email addresses, get more emails into inboxes, and get whitelisted more often.