You get a lead to sign up and then your sales team take it ahead and get it converted. Deal closed. That happens only in an ideal world, which ceases to exist. Lead nurturing, converting and retaining is not a one-day wonder. You need to do so many things simultaneously to keep your leads engaged and informed. The entire process of moving your leads to the sales funnel includes dozens of steps. When we are discussing the lead conversion process, it might sound like simple 1-2-3 steps. But there are so many things to do and you require so much collaboration for that. You need your sales team to respond almost immediately when your lead is ready. Your sales team will need to get in touch with the marketers to follow up after the purchase happens.
Marketing-Sales Alignment is crucial. Let’s take the human body as an example to get to the root of this concept. When you are driving, your brain sends signals to your hands and feet based on the vision your eyes see. It is based on these signals that you shift your car/bike smoothly even in heavy traffic. You know when to press the brake, when to change the gear, when to look at the rear-view mirror and when to accelerate. It apparently looks like a simple task but is not that simple. Marketing-Sales Alignment is something like this.
With all the reports of inbox overloading and deliverability issues, emails were supposed to get a setback; until the reports of Q4 2016 hit the internet. According to the report from Experian–
Email marketing is not same as Marketing Automation. Email marketing can be automated with a marketing automation tool.
Let’s start from the beginning again.
Email marketing is a simple tool used to create emails and send them to a static contact list. Campaign Monitor notes that every $1 investment in email marketing can give a return of $40 revenue. This means email marketing has a great ROI. Since every business has an email address, it is easier to stay connected via emails. You can communicate, collaborate, and build a professional relationship through email marketing. But it still is only a batch and blast tool. You end up sending the same email to your entire contact list. If your recipients find them relevant, great. If not, you lose them in a snap.
On one hand, 84% of all buyers found crucial information online that helped in their home search. On the other hand, home sales clocked a 9% rise in March 2017 as compared to the same time last year. Real-estate industry is probably the most lucrative industry as the median price of a home sold in March this year went up by 7.5% y-o-y, touching $273,000. All these information combined together is enough to say that real-estate marketers and agents are steadily competing to get attention online. Like every other industry, real-estate is also relying heavily on sending relevant marketing messages than just cold-calling leads. Since a B2C sales cycle is typically short, real estate marketers are doing everything to send out personalized messages that will trigger conversions. And to do this, they are readily adopting real-estate marketing automation tools. Having said that, I can safely say, real estate marketing automation is swiftly changing the face of marketing for real estate agents and marketers.
Given that 2017 is the year of email, it is predicted that almost 2225.3 billion emails will go out this year! Understanding the anatomy of email template design practices can be a tough game for businesses. So how would you up your game this year to deploy smart email template design practices for your email marketing?
Did you hear about the new US Postal Service (USPS) that will allow people to get a sneak peak of their mail before it arrives? Yep, this is for the postal mails that we get. Now, according to the news, you can opt for an email notification for this update. In the update, you will get an image of the front part of your letter that is ‘arriving’ in your mailbox soon.While reading this, I realized that in order to send out such updates to every individual a high-end email system is going to be the first requirement. High Inbox delivery is mandatory, and there is no place for messages landing in the spam box.
Emails continue to be marketers’ choice of a communication channel. Not just marketers, even customers prefer to have relevant emails and push notifications rather than frequent calls. This ofcourse lays down the need to optimize email marketing so that email conversion rate goes up. Thanks to customer-oriented marketing practices, now email marketing have become essentially personalized and targeted. When this is clubbed with relevant social engagement, drip push campaigns, lead behavior tracking, dynamic segmentation, and omnichannel marketing – the overall email conversion rate is bound to increase.
Email marketing is evolving. It is steadily moving from ‘acquisition’ to ‘awareness.’ According to a survey by Campaigner reported on StreetFight, increasing the open rates was the biggest challenge that marketers faced in 2016. Marketers now believe that email conversion rate depends on brand awareness and loyalty. That is where email marketing is heading to this year.
Last month I was asked to create email campaigns. Everything was going great until I got stuck with the email subject line. I went through numerous email subject line examples to create compelling subject lines. I had to run around 5 A/B tests to finally decide the best subject lines for my last email campaign. After all, email subject lines are like the gateway that decides the immediate action of your recipients. And there’s no taking risk in that.
Let’s say your email lists are segmented properly and you have set up a drip campaign for all your new sign-ups. You set the behavioral triggers, conditions and actions, build your entire email flowchart, and is all set to hit the ‘publish’ button. You took extra care in drafting your email content, providing all the requisite information and links – but you just wrote off your subject lines. Result: Your email campaign fails to trigger enough engagement because you see unread email percentage soaring high.
Solution: Time to test your subject lines as well.
Why do you need to test your subject lines?
When you are building a drip email sequence, you add many actions and conditional triggers. For instance, while using the Aritic PinPoint Lite plan, you can create behavioral email drips. In this, you add actions that follow only when your recipient opens your email. If they don’t open, you create two or three sequences more to make them open your email so that you can nurture further.
However, if they are not opening your emails at all, your drip sequence fails to work. However much you try, a poor subject line brings down your entire drip campaign single-handedly.
This is what follows:
- Your leads’ score falls, pushing it back to the top of your marketing funnel (and probably after a while, out of the funnel).
- Your leads feel disconnected and assume you are blasting their inboxes. Soon, they unsubscribe or mark you as spam.
- If a majority of your users are marking you as spam, it will hurt your email sending reputation. That will again impact all the email campaigns you build in the future.
- Your sales team will not have good quality leads to follow-up and convert.
In short, one thing will lead to another.
Alternatively, working hard to create a good subject line that is relevant, engaging, and short can help you get rid of all the issues above. Your drip series will perform well. Your leads will engage more, and your chances of conversion will go up.
Why am I so focused on drip emails?
It is odd to assume that you will be sitting and writing an email after every two or three days and manually send them out, isn’t it? Even if it is about welcoming new subscribers and helping them with the onboarding process, you will want to have it automated so that you can focus on analyzing how your leads are engaging.
Be it your automated drip email campaigns or an exclusive manually written follow-up, everything boils down to the same thing: your subject line will decide the fate of your email.
Every email subscriber has a lifespan termed as email subscriber lifecycle. It begins when they subscribe to an email list. A customer lifecycle is broadly divided into three categories: awareness, consideration, and decision. And in all these stages, they require a lot of nurturing via emails, landing pages, social media interactions, SMS campaigns, push notifications and mobile alerts. Awareness is the stage when a new lead is trying to understand the problem they are facing. In this stage they are not very clear about their problem statement. They will look up randomly across the web and anywhere they find resources that somehow relate to their problem statement, they will dig in to know more. Next comes the consideration stage. The journey from awareness to consideration is not very short. It takes a lot of emails, eBooks, whitepapers, webinars and other content materials to make them realise their exact problem statement.
Once they know their problems, it becomes a more targeted search wherein they start looking for specific solutions. Here you send targeted and carefully designed content that has tips, practices, and other such materials that will help them understand the most suited solution for their problem. Last is the decision stage. This is the stage where marketers promote their solutions and servoces directly, because now thier leads know what they exactly want and marketers get the best ooportunity to let them know why they are best option.