All Posts by test tech

Shaking hands Building trust

Building Trust with Your Customers with Email Marketing

Let’s not fool ourselves. Regardless of how well-worded your intentions are for your business’s presence in the online world, such presence always serves one thing and one thing only: the bottom line.

To be more specific about it, your venture into the online world was meant to induce a chance in the physical world that is favorable to your brand be it an increase in brand awareness, better on-foot traffic to your different store fronts or, better yet, increased sales figures every month. If your email marketing is not geared towards making any of those a reality, then what’s the point of having an online platform for your business in the first place?

But how does one go about making sure that their email marketing efforts do ultimately serve that all-too-important bottom line? Before you go about making money, you must have customers and that would need conversion. And to convert, you must build trust with your audience.

What is Relationship Marketing Exactly?

Before we go about learning how to build trust with our subscribers, it is important to learn one important online strategy which is Relationship Marketing. The concept is quite broad so it’s best to get acquainted with the concept through an example.

Imagine yourself browsing through YouTube watching your favorite YouTuber’s content. And then, suddenly, the browser stops playing to interject an advertisement about fast food or shampoo for 30 seconds or so. The question is this: did you like the experience of having your immersion broken? If the answer is no, then you are one of several millions of web browsers who have just been subjected to what is known as Interruptive Marketing.

This kind of marketing is a holdover from the traditional marketing strategies that one gets to see on TV or on print. It takes your focus from one thing to introduce another thing to focus on. However, interruptive marketing is far worse online than in the TV. At least on the latter, you get a warning. Online, they come unannounced and break whatever line of thought you just had.

With Relationship Marketing, there is a newer focus being introduced. Instead of seeing things from a purely transactional standpoint i.e. “push product to sell”, Relationship Marketing is more about the more interacting aspects of the sale. This is brought about by massive changes in consumer behavior in recent years.

In recent times, people could care less why you think you are the best brand in the market. However, they might just gravitate towards your brand if you have something that they are looking for. By caring for their needs, a business tends to convert its audience more. And with better conversion comes better sales.

Fortunately for you, relationship marketing is a good fit for email marketing. The reason for this is that you are already marketing to a people that have already shown an interest to your brand. In essence, you don’t have to do a lot of work in introducing yourself to these people. What your focus is now should be on maintaining a healthy relationship with these subscribers so they would take the final steps towards converting into a paying customer.

But Interruptive Marketing is at its worst also in emails. Due to the permissive nature of emails, any kind of content a brand sends out to a person who never consented to receiving the same is going to be marked as one of the Internet’s dirtiest words: Spam. No matter how good your email marketing is, if you can’t get that trust through building a relationship with your subscribers, all of your email will get sent to that spam folder that most users will not even bother opening for years.

A Caveat

However, before we proceed, it is important that you understand what the “relationship” part in Relationship Marketing stands for. It is not exactly 100% human interactions akin to the real world as that is still impossible with current Internet technologies.

But what relationship means for email marketing is that it is all about finding out how your subscribers behave. From their purchase histories to their preferences and even the budget that they feel most comfortable spending at, relationship marketing is all about finding crucial consumer information which you can use to make them convert.

If that sounds heartless, it is because it is as a concept. But this is all forgiven depending on your chosen strategies. The worst ones make your brand sound like they are trying way too hard with its approach towards subscribers. The best ones, on the other hand, put your business in a position where it can take customer input and act on it accordingly.

What Trust Building Does for Your Email Marketing

If done right, building trust can allow your email marketing efforts to enjoy a few advantages which will include the following:

  • Better Growth and Retention

Maintaining a sizeable population of subscribers is crucial to your sales. In fact, a 1% increase in your subscriber base has the potential to result in a 20% in your business’s annual revenues. Simply put, more people being subscribed to your list is going to result in an increase in sales for your business on a regular basis.

Building trust can make this easier for you out of the simple reason that it is easier to push products towards a loyal customer base that already likes you or have a favorable relationship with you. But to make them like you, your brand has to leave a good impression by showing these people that you have their best interests at heart or, at the very least, can provide for what they need.

  • Improved Referrals

Out of all the marketing strategies that you could use, there is nothing more potent than the Word of Mouth. The reason for this is because the words of a living, breathing human being are far more relatable and believable than any line of marketing that your team can come up with which results in a rather compelling message.

This is also brought about by current customer behaviors. As of the late 2010s, 84% of consumers make their purchasing decisions as to what their friends recommend to them. By building trust with your subscribers, you have an easier time making them customers. And if these customers continue to build a relationship with you, they are more likely to tell other people to subscribe to your list. Better yet, they’d skip all of that and convert into customers.

Of course, that works the other way too. If the kind of experiences that customers have with your business is poor, lacking, or downright terrible, they will tell others to stay away from your business. And no amount of effective marketing strategy can remove a blemish on your reputation online.

  • Instant Feedback

One key element about relationships is that transparency increases the closer people get. If there is something that you did that not a lot of people liked, your closest of friends will be the first to tell you so.

The same thing applies in email marketing. The concept of an email is that it already provides a direct line of communication between you and every single person subscribed to your email list. If you provide a product or start a campaign that is not resonating with these people, they will not hesitate to tell you so.

Of course, this is only possible if you give the impression that their opinions do matter. And to do that, you need to address problems as they are brought to your attention.

Along with your trust building strategies, your ability to handle customer feedback will make or break your marketing efforts. You can address the issues point by point or explain things that might confuse your subscribers. The point is that you give the impression that whatever they are trying to convey to you has reached your team and that your business is doing its best to address the situation.

The worst that you can do, on other hand, is to be dismissive about customer feedback and shift the blame back to your subscribers. If you do that, you can expect for the subscriber count on your email list to drop by the hundreds or thousands.

  • Knowing and Applying Changes

One great thing about feedback is that it gives you an idea on what to change on your strategies for absolutely free. Supposed that your strategies right now are not yielding optimum results for your business. Perhaps you can launch a “Tell us What you Think” campaign to garner some opinions on why your business is not reaching out to a lot of potential subscribers.

And if you doubt the power of user-generated ideas, just remember that the always on Wi-Fi feature that Starbucks implemented in the 2010s was not technically an idea that their marketing team or board of directors imagined. It came from everyday people who felt that they should at least be doing something else while waiting for their coffee like complete transactions or browse the Internet. And from that simple idea came one of Starbucks’ more defining store features to date.

Of course, it is still up to your discretion as to what changes should be applied into your strategies. You just can’t give your customers and subscribers full rein as to what should be included in your email marketing strategies. Rather, you should know what people are looking for, determine if this is something that you can offer on your budget, and then find a way to implement the changes.

  • Standing Out from the Competition

Finding a unique take on an existing product or an approach towards customer service is getting harder these days. In fact, you could say that originality is getting harder to achieve as the years pass.

However, you don’t exactly have to find something new in order to build trust with your subscribers. Instead, you just have to find that unique approach that will resonate with them the most.

For example, you can tie your automated email program to a panel on your website where people can ask things, or even a chatbot! Try and have them set you up the same. This automatically makes them subscribe to your email list while also giving them notifications on when and how your team answered such a query.

It is a rather simple addition to your website and email but it gives site visitors and would-be customers the impression that you allow people to interact with your business. And with interaction comes humanity which means that people would hesitate less in converting as a customer for your brand.

The point is that you don’t have to be elaborate in order to stand out from the competition. By knowing what needs to be fixed, you can add simple tweaks to your email marketing system which increases brand interaction to an even higher degree.

Building Trust in your Email Marketing

So how does one go about building trust with their subscribers? There are a few ways that you can go about doing this but there are strategies out there that have yielded the best results for different brands.

However, don’t get fooled. None of these strategies are about making people trust you more as that is something that you must figure out on your own. What these strategies do, on the other hand, is to put your brand in a position where it can engage with people in a more human manner. With that out of the way, here are some of the easier yet effective strategies that you can implement on your email marketing efforts.

  • Get Permission First

First things first: You have to remember that sending out communication to people that have not consented to receiving the same is always bad for business. You are going to be marked as a spammer and whatever message you will send, no matter how good, gets ignored.

And being ignored is just the first of your problems. Without consent, you can expect for lower engagement with your content, a massive decrease in conversions from your subscribers, and an increase in your unsubscribe rates. As such, you have to give your subscribers the option to “opt in” with regards to the communications they get from your business.

This option acts like a filter of sorts so that the subscriber can get the messages that they feel are the most relevant to them. There are some programs out there that also allow email marketers to “ask for permission” from their subscribers before they can send out specific types of email. This way, subscribers can get only the type of messages that they want which should keep engagement with your email campaigns at a stable, if not high, rate.

  • Personalise

Technically, your subscribers will know who they are getting messages from (it’s in the header, after all) but you still have to personalise elements in your message. This way, the reader exactly knows who is sending them a message and what they can expect from the content just by reading the headline.

This is not an elaborate strategy that you can apply. What you will have to do is to not make things generic with your heading. Instead of sending something like “Notice of Termination” for your customers who have their subscriptions ending soon, say something like “Hey, (Insert Name Here), would you like to Remain Subscribed?” The latter sounds more inviting than the former to any reader and it gives the impression of humanity on your messages.

As for the name that pops up on their inbox, you can opt for non-generic options like your brand name or any other name related to their subscription. For instance, if that subscriber was subscribed because you have a weekly newsletter, then you can use the name of that newsletter for the heading. Just make sure that you don’t choose generic options like “No Reply” or “Sender”.

  • KISS: Keep it Short and Simple

Simplicity is always important when engaging with customers. You have to understand that not a lot of people have the time to go through your messages. They’d rather have it delivered in one go and, preferably, with a low word count.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how short and simple your messages should be. Just remember to use common, everyday words while still keeping things creative. It also goes without saying that your heading should give readers an idea as to what is contained in the message in one glance. Misleading or vague headers can lead to your messages being ignored or marked as spam.

As for the structure of the message, you can always use the one that a lot of effective bloggers employ which goes like this:

  • Introduce the Problem – 2. Offer the Solution – 3. Challenge the Reader

The first few sentences should establish the necessity of this message. The middle part should be an explanation on how this premise is going to be settled. And for the last part of the message, it should focus on making the reader perform something that will benefit both of you.

If done right, you could craft a message that gets to the point and is not so long that it takes multiple scroll-throughs just to finish. The less you waste your subscriber’s time telling something important, the more likely it is that they are going to follow through the conversion process.

  • The Initial Sequence

Right after signing up for your email list, what would be the first messages or content that your subscribers will receive? That would be different from brand to brand but the point is that your email should offer what is called an “Initial Sequence”.

This sequence is a series of emails and content designed to keep interest for the subscription at a high and give the impression to the subscriber that they are in for something valuable. Perhaps, you could start with a welcome email which will introduce readers to your email list and give them the assurance of more valuable content.

Then what would follow are what marketers would call as Deal Sweeteners. Most businesses with an online shop offer exclusive deals to subscribers such as first-peeks at yet to be published content, discounts, coupons, and other tangible rewards.

What is important here is that you give your subscribers a reward of sorts for making the effort of signing up. It does not have to be something expensive or elaborate. A little boost here and there in their experience with you given on their first few interactions with your brand is enough to make most people to remain engaged with your emails.

  • Segmenting your Email List

One other trick you could do to make your emails more relevant to subscribers is to categorise your email list into several sub-groups. You should know that not everyone in your email list signed up for the same reasons. Some just want to buy your stuff, others want in-depth information that you can provide, and some would want to do a bit of both. And so on.

You can do this with the help of an automated email marketing system that can group subscribers according to their preferences and activity. This will be advantageous on two fronts. First, grouping your subscribers will make sure that whatever content you make will be relevant to each particular group which increases engagement.

Second, it helps you optimise your email list. During the course of your grouping efforts, you will discover which subscribers have been active the most and which have stopped engaging with you whilst still remaining subscribed. From this you can find a new opportunity to re-engage with inactive subscribers, sending them a unique email and offering something that is unique to that group.

To Conclude

Granted, the topic of building trust when it comes to email marketing has always been a rather confusing subject. Trust, after all, is a concept that is hard to quantify. Even the things that you think would tell you that a person trusts your brand would not exactly give you the assurance of the same.

In essence, a subscriber might constantly engage with your brand or even make the final step to conversion but you could not really tell if they truly trust your business or not.

But what you can be certain is that trust can be built through constant favourable interactions, no matter the format and the method. Your goal with your email marketing strategies right now is to let your subscribers feel the humanity behind the brand.

If they see that there are people behind your business that are in the position to provide for what they are looking for, chances are that conversion will be easier for these people. And the rest, as they say, would follow.

Email Marketing and Why it’s Critical for Small Businesses

Perhaps you have been told of the wonders of email marketing and how it can be a rather useful tool for your business. However, as is with any skeptical person when encountering something new, you’d be wondering this:

Why should I even bother with that?

It’s not that you find the whole thing to be sketchy, just to be clear. It’s just that you’d rather know what you are truly getting yourself into before, well, jumping in head first. Without a doubt, email marketing is a fairly effective tool that your business can rely on. However, what you might not have known is that it’s presence in your arsenal of marketing tools is not only welcome but also truly crucial for your business’s survival in the online market. And here is why.

Buyers actually Like Email

As a small business, the first hurdle that you have to clear when it comes to online marketing is your budget. To be frank, your business won’t have a lot so things like video advertisements and banner ads are still out of the equation.

So your next best bet is Social Media and indeed some businesses have thrived with doing their marketing through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Here is the thing, though: Social Media, as good as it is, does not still have an optimum level of generating the organic reach that brands are looking for. That means that all those Likes, Shares, and Re-Tweets do not necessarily convert to an increase in walk-in customers and, of course, sales.

Your next best bet, then, is Email marketing which makes for a more direct and professional-looking channel to reach out to your leads and make them convert into paying customers. This could work to your advantage since people actually prefer using their email in communicating, as surprising as that sounds.

In fact, there is roughly 34% of the entire world’s population that still uses email for everything that they do online. That translates to 2.5 billion people as of now.

The secret to all of this is the rather permissive nature of email. It’s basically content that the person has willfully and knowingly allow in to their daily online interactions. In practice, people get signed up on email lists because they want to. They get emails from you because they are interact with you and have given their permission for you to engage with them.

From a marketer’s perspective, this means that you are already interacting with people who have more or less shown interest for your brand. This would mean that you’d have an easier time converting them into paying customers than you would with a complete stranger to your brand.

Here are a few more reasons why consumers would prefer email over any other marketing channel.

  • It’s Actually Convenient

Since email is easier to access through the phone than on the computer, it is the more preferred method of communication for a lot of consumers today. Also, email allows a brand to uniquely interact with consumers by giving away tangible digital rewards such as coupons and special links in every mail that they send out. For the consumer, it is an easy communication channel. For the brand, it is a platform where many unique interactions can happen; at the same time to boot.

  • It’s Personal

A lot of modern-day consumers actually do not like conventional advertisements over the tone that they use. It’s either too general or too vague to the point that the brand may be sending a message but they are actually not talking to each audience member on a more personal, intimate level.

This is where email has the advantage as you can easily segment your emails to respond to different specific actions made by a person. If a person subscribes, they get an email. If they buy something, they get an email. If they bailed on their cart, reached an anniversary, or are celebrating a special date, they get an email. The number of touchpoints along the journey and its variations amongst different niches means the number of options are practically endless.

The importance of personalizing your emails is that they become relevant to the consumer depending on what they were doing or intending to perform. And when a message is relevant, the chances of it being rejected are reduced. The way that relevance can also be improved is through the compelling offer that you give through each email that you send out.

  • It’s Quick

Responding in real time is the key to keeping that relationship you have with your customers alive and active. This means that they must be notified that you know about something beneficial they did for the business and offer them a reward for it.

This is where emails are advantageous as you can give compelling and relevant offers to your customers. And the best part is that you can give unique offers to multiple people in your email list simultaneously. This depends on how well you set up your automated email system but it does not remove the fact that you can create multiple unique interactions occurring within seconds from each other all over the world through email.

Mobile Reach

There is the fact that the population of mobile users have tremendously increased in the past decade. Whether it is shopping or watching videos or consuming other content, there is always a person using their mobile device to access the internet for one reason or another. And all of these actions will be closely tied to their emails.

As a matter of fact, checking one’s email is one of the most popular online activities among mobile users today, beating out browsing the web, games, and even social media by 78%. This only goes to show that email still plays a crucial role in online activities either in a personal computer or a mobile device.

And email marketing does offer one unique advantage for businesses wanting to reach out to mobile users: everything is already set up for them. Unlike in SMS marketing or website optimization, a small business does not have to invest in new technology for email marketing save for an automation system which is rather easy to master.

So, how optimized are emails for the mobile platform? As of now, 48% of emails sent worldwide are opened on mobile devices. However, only 11% of those are optimized for mobile devices. As a result, 69% of users tend to delete emails that are not mobile optimized but this also means that 64% users tend to make crucial decisions when they read email on their mobile devices.

As such, there are a few things that you could do to optimize your emails and make them reach out to mobile users.

  • Keep Things Simple – The template that you are going to use must be something that is easy to see and use on a mobile screen. Something that can be easily navigated through regardless of the native screen size and has a cleaner layout tends to do the trick here.
  • Limit on the Images – Images are a strong form of content but they are not native to the email content type. They take longer to load which breaks the immersion and some may just prove to be a hassle to scroll through on smaller screens.
  • Optimize Text – If possible, the reader has to get the core of your message without having to scroll more than 3 times. Use short sentences and paragraphs and get to the point as soon as you can.
  • Use the Call to Action prompts – In mobile devices, a CTA button will prove to be more engaging than a link. This is so that the option to click through remains within the control of the reader and they don’t accidentally click on something when they are still reading your message. It also goes without saying that your button should be big enough so users with large fingers can click on them easily.

The essence here is that the population of mobile users are growing every year. Catering to their specific content needs while optimizing your email’s design is one way to reach out to this new breed of Internet user which hopefully translates to more conversions.


As of now, Social Media remains one of the top marketing tools for small businesses. But that is not to say that it hasn’t got any limitations depending on the platform. For example, there may be text and character limits for each post which can affect how you can convey messages. Also, as far as traditional ads are concerned in this platform, they are always separated and can be seen as intrusive.

With email, however, there is a wide range of options to make your emails personalized and interactive. An email automation system can allow to craft messages in direct response to any specific action that a person makes regarding your business. Yes, two or more persons will get the same message but the relevance of what such message contains is quite considerable that whatever you are trying to say does not feel forced or robotic.

Aside from automation, there is actually quite a lot that you can add or say in your message that is going to make your message all the more personalized and engaging. Adding links to digital coupons in your message tends to encourage buyers to buy more from your online shop or a link to a preview to new content makes them want to convert more.

The point is that email gives you tons of options that will keep interest for your brand alive for your email list. It’s up to your diligence and creativity to discover what you can do to spruce things up for your emails.


As was previously stated, your marketing budget as a small business is not exactly on par with what bigger companies have. So, a few of the more effective and conventional marketing campaigns are still a bit beyond your reach for now.

This is where email marketing has an added advantage as the asking price to set up one is relatively low even for small businesses. All you need is a subscription to an email marketing platform, your email list, and a plan on what content to put out and when.

And in as much as it is inexpensive to start with, maintaining an email marketing campaign is equally cost-effective. The act of updating your emails or renewing subscriptions for the tools you use for your campaigns is not hard nor will it cost you a lot in the long run.

This is a stark contrast to some forms of online marketing that can cost thousands of dollars every year to maintain. With email marketing, you would be paying by the penny for every recipient which is comparatively not much.

But, of course, money is not the sole issue here. What about the manpower? Would it eventually be demanding to maintain an email marketing campaign if you need people to do it for you? The answer is “Not Really”.

There is the option to hire the services of an outsourcing email agency to do the job for you – We could do that for you. Yes, there is an up-front investment that comes with this kind of arrangement but their work will ultimately help you save money in the long run.

With somebody else doing the email marketing for you, your team now has enough room to focus on other tasks. And since this email marketing team is experienced with their field, they can produce better results than you. All it takes is for you to get help from the right kind of agency.


Perhaps the biggest advantage that email marketing has is its ability to produce a sizeable return of investment relative to your investment on it. The value it brings to your business can be categorized in 4 fields which are:

  • An increase in company revenue
  • Increase in traffic to your website and walk-in customers to your physical store
  • Improved sales conversions
  • Better brand awareness
  • Ease of integration to all your existing marketing campaigns, doubling their results as well.

There are quite a lot more benefits that email marketing can do for your business, depending on the situation. However, the core appeal of the tool can be simplified into one phrase: double the results at a fraction of the cost.

With a good email marketing system set up, you can establish your foothold in the online market, increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your sites, and improve on customer conversions which tends to results in better sales. And best of all is that such a system can be set up in no time and for practically low costs.

Regardless of how long you have been in business, you can have an email marketing system set up easily on your own or, preferably, with the help of an agency. Once done, the system will do the rest in managing your email interactions while your team focuses on other core aspects of the business.

Email Marketing Automation 101

Even if it is one of the older online marketing channels out there, if not the oldest, Email marketing remains a fairly viable tool. If done right, you can use email marketing to establish a relationship of sorts with potential audiences and strengthen what you already have with existing customers. Stepping further, with Email marketing automation we shall see just how efficient it could make your business.

But giving personalized marketing experiences is not possible if you do it manually. There are just too many people on your email list that you have to personally respond to but you still have to communicate with all of them on a regular basis.

This is where an Email Marketing Automation system comes into play as it can make the process easier and be rewarding for you. With the right setup and focus, you can not only create emails that are compelling but you could also make your audiences and customers look forward to hearing from you in the future.

In order to do that, it is important that we cover some of the basics first.

Why Would it Matter?

The most basic definition of automated emailing is that it serves as your way of personally corresponding to people in an email list without having to actually create multiple personal emails for each person.

In contrast to email newsletters and one-time campaigns that you create and send to those people in your email list, automated email is something that you set up once but you can use for as long as that compelling reason to engage is active. In essence, it automatically sends email to an individual upon the activation of certain triggers.

For instance, you want to thank a person for signing up to your email list or having been subscribed to you for quite a while now. The system would then automatically send an email to that person welcoming them to your business or thanking them for their continued subscription – Not to everyone else who would not be interested in those emails.

That is the basic concept of automating your email. However, the question that you would want to have answered is this: why should I even bother automating my email marketing.

The answer lies in one word: Time.

You have to understand that an email list can be comprised of hundreds of email addresses. This means that personally creating unique mails for each of those addresses or directly responding to whatever actions those people make in response to your offers is next to impossible.

An automated email system can do all of that at a rate faster than what you could muster. Through the use of certain triggers, the system can create mail that is timely, personalized, and relevant to the reader. In fact, it can create hundreds of bespoke emails for different peopel on your email list all at the same time.

And if you do need further convincing, here are some of the more practical benefits from having your email marketing automated.

  1. Quick Response

In relation to the time element, you have to understand that your brand will technically operate on a worldwide scale once it goes online. This means that you will have to deal with people who live on a different time zone than you.

And here lies the problem: how can you respond to an action if you can’t be online 24/7? And even if you do happen to notice that they have performed something, it takes time to create a message acknowledging that action.

With automated marketing, all actions made by a subscriber will be acknowledged at the instance that it was performed. This should increase the chances of that action initiating a dialogue between you and that subscriber.

  1. Faster Lead Generation

The point of marketing is not just to funnel traffic to your pages but to convert that traffic into paying customers. After all, it is customers that consume whatever you have to offer while audience members merely receive information without acting on it.

With automated email systems, you can make your marketing campaigns even more successful. How this works is quite simple: automated systems can identify the kind of person that the subscriber is. By looking at how that person’s behavior activates time and event-based triggers, the system would know what kind of marketing message it needs to send to compel that person to act.

As a matter of fact, automation systems do not treat your email list as this one long, continuous database. It divides it into different groups based on demographics, behaviors, and other qualifiers. By doing so, the system can make sure that whatever it sends to a person is always timely and relevant.

  1. Customer Relations Management

Converting people into customers is just the start. Retaining them is where a lot of marketers face challenges as not every customer is bound to return for another transaction. And then there are those that started a transaction but, for one reason or another, did not complete it.

An automated system can quickly identify these people and send out messages that can retarget them. Offers like special discounts and sneak peeks into yet-to-be-released content are just some of several ways to entice long-time subscribers and cart abandoners into performing another transaction with your brand. This way, you can maximize the sales potential for every lead that your brand converts.

How To Automate Your Email Marketing?

The concept might look intimidating now but automating your email system is actually quite simple and easy to follow. Here are the steps that would help in automating your Email Marketing campaigns.

  1. Building the List

First and foremost, you have to get the leads that would form the base of your subscriber list. To do this, you can do some list-building activities on your part. This includes:

  • Hosting an event on social media.
  • Optimizing your website for opt-in subscriptions.
  • Inviting people to subscribe to your upcoming list.
  • Set up giveaways.
  • Direct mail.
  • Telemarketing.
  • Blogging
  • Other social media activities.

To successfully build on your list through any of the mentioned strategies, it is important that you direct people to somewhere that they can sign up to your email list at. You can create a sign-up sheet on your website or a dedicated page through your Google drive.

You also have the option to buy your email list from a listing service. However, this is never recommended for automated email marketing. The people that you will be sending automated emails should have come to know of your brand through natural means. If they were in the mail list by their own volition, that person will be a bit more responsive to what you will have to offer to them.

Next, you have to pick an Email Service Provider. There are quite a lot of them in the market right now but you should pick the one that is easy enough for you to understand and master and has a subscription fee that you can manage on a monthly basis.

  1. Segmenting Your List

A common mistake marketers often make with email lists is that they don’t bother to segment them any further. So what you get is one long email list that does not respect the diversity of needs and behaviors of subscribers. In the end, you will be sending the same message to everybody which may only be relevant to some and not taking full advantage of what an Automated Email Service can offer.

There are also some benefits to be had from segmenting your email list. This includes;

  • Boost Email Open Rates – The more relevant that email is to the person, the likelier they are going to open it.
  • Improve Click-Through Rates – If you put a certain link on your emails, the reader will be compelled to click through it provided that the email itself is relevant to them.
  • Decrease Unsubscription Rates – People tend to unsubscribe if an email provider continuously sends them email that they do not find to be valuable to them. By matching your emails to different specific subgroups of subscribers, you decrease the chances of your emails being seen as spam.

The goal with segmentation is to find out how that user became part of your email list. As such, your segments should look something like these:

  • Newcomers/New Subscribers – Emails in this class should be in response to a person becoming a new addition to your email lists.
  • Preferences and Interests – Some subscribers want certain kinds of notifications from. You can set some subscribers to receive only notifications for new sales or new content while others get notifications for everything. Aside from this, you can subdivide your subscribers according to what they like the most from your brand’s offerings.
  • Location – This classification is necessary for some event-based triggers. For instance, you might be hosting an event in a local area. As such, you can put your subscribers who live near the area in a group of their own.
  • Engagement – There are various ways that you can group your subscribers by how active they are in interacting with you. You can group them according to their open rates or their level of activity with the brand. You can also group them according to the number of successful transactions they have completed with you.
  • Lead Magnets – These are the offers that would compel the reader to do something for you. More often than not, this is used so persons will subscribe to your list.
  • Cart Abandonment – More often than not, you would rather group all those that failed to complete a sales process in one place. The reason for this is that you might want to create a separate and more compelling retargetting email for these people so they would start another transaction and, this time, complete it.,

These are just some classifiers that you can use to segment your email list. The point here is that you should diversify your email list so each person gets a message they will most likely respond to.

  • Setting the Automation

Regardless of the service provider of your choice, automation for email marketing always come in two forms:

  1. Time-Based
  2. Behavior-Based

Time-Based Triggers – This automation triggers are activated once a certain date or time limit is reached. For example, you can set a deactivation notice to be sent to your subscribers if they fail to renew their subscription within a set period like a month of a week.

Aside from notifications, you can use time-based triggers for what is called as Drip-Feed automation. In here, parts of a larger content are slowly being published via email at scheduled dates. You may have an online course, for example, and want to entice people to enroll in it. You can use time triggers to release the new course module by module using weekly, semi-weekly, or monthly triggers.

In either use, time-based triggers are considered to be the primary form of automation. It would be the first type of automation you would set up, building on it later on with the next type of activators.

A major element in time-based triggers is, well, Timing. You have to send those emails at the time when people are the most recipient to such. Any date at the opposite ends of the week have the least amount of open-through rates when it comes to email. This means that days like Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays are not recommended.

However, mid-week and the days before the weekend are where people tend to do all their digital correspondence. This means that you should consider setting your time-based triggers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Behavior-Based Triggers – Unlike time-based triggers which are reliant on the passage of time, behavior-based triggers are reliant on the performance of certain acts. As such, they are the smarter and more personalized form of automation as they ensure that your subscribers would get mail that is relevant to what they are thinking at that moment.

For instance, a person just subscribed to your email list. You can set the service provider to release a Welcome email to thank that person for subscribing. You can also use behavior-based triggers to send automated mail for other behaviors such as:

  • Completing a series of consecutive purchases
  • Failing to complete a purchase by abandoning the digital cart
  • Being inactive for quite a while
  • Renewing their subscription

You might think that this automation covers also transactional actions like just paying for an order or resetting a password. It is not. Behavior-based automated email differs in the sense that it is still a piece of marketing content. As such, your goal here is to reward the person for performing certain actions or encouraging them to do something for you.

Depending on the program of your choice, you should be able to set up different time and behavior based triggers for your emails. This way, the system knows what kind of message to send to a subscriber and when.

  • Crafting Your Message

An automated email can perform different functions such as reminding long-time subscribers of something new, asking subscribers to perform something for you, or reminding them of a deadline. As such, automated emails can have different content depending on the person that is going to receive them.

As such, here are a few tips that you can use to make your email content all the more engaging.

  1. Make the Subject Stand Out

Subject lines can make or break your emails which is why you should make them not only stand out but do so for the right reasons. When crafting the heading of your emails, there are a few psychological triggers that you can tap into.

  • Curiosity – Make your headline interesting enough to compel that person to open it but don’t be too clever. You want that reader to think about opening that mail but you can’t be too cryptic. Just give enough hints so the reader would get an idea as to what you are talking about.
  • Facts – Another clever trick that you can use is to appeal to the part of the brain that does all the logic and thinking. To do this, include some numbers on your heading. Whether it be dates or discount rates, numbers tend to draw the eye and make that person seriously consider about opening that mail.
  • Non-Threatening Nature – Obviously, you want that reader to not be too intimidated from clicking through. As such, you have to word your headings in such a way that it is not too demanding or pushy. Use words that are inviting, friendly, and conversational.
  1. Write to One Person

When writing your automated email, it is natural to think of the thousands of people that are going to receive it. However, it would be easier for you to write that as if you are writing to just one person only.

How do you this? If you know about Buyer Personas, then you can predict how people are going to react to your message depending on their mentality, age, and other demographic markers.

If you have no buyer personas in mind, then think about this: if exposed to that message, how are your potential customers going to react? More specifically, how are persons going to act on that message based on their values, what they like, and what they dislike?

You can even use your marketing data to get an impression of your audience’s general behavior. The point here is to always write your messages while keeping your audience in mind.

  1. Tone Really Matters

When writing automated emails, it is recommended that you don’t sound too corporate. The goal of email marketing is too build rapport with your subscribers and sounding like you are talking to other business executives or shareholders won’t do the trick.

For example, you want to tell them that you are offering price-saving discounts to customers. You don’t say something like “We are offering ways to help you save on your purchases!” because that sounds too disconnected and advertisement-like. Instead, use a phrase like “Hey, would you like to check this deal? You might like it”.

The latter sounds a bit more casual and personal. Of course, you can inject humor here and there since jokes can make you instantly connect with people. Just don’t make it sound forced so people won’t be repulsed by your entire message.

Remember that people nowadays are just looking for a reason to ignore emails. Do not give them such and make sure that you appeal to them on a personal level.

What Content Can You Make?

It goes without saying that you should take the time in crafting the message for your email automation system. So what, then, can you make for your automated emails? Here are several types of emails that any email service provider can send automatically.

  1. Welcome emails – This is sent to anyone who has just been newly subscribed to your email list. It should contain something along the lines of you thanking them for becoming a part of the list.
  2. The Lead Magnet – This type of email was designed to bring in more people to your email list. Lead magnets often come in series and in the form of challenges or mini-courses.
  3. The Sales Funnel – Automated email of this type is sent to people who have are about to convert into customers or have been long time consumers of your brand. It could be made up of a series of videos promoting your new content, a sales promotion, or follow-ups to something that a subscriber purchased from you.
  4. Up Sells and Cross Sells – This email is best directed for repeat customers. You should consider rewarding those that have been loyal to your brand by offering something that enhances their previous purchase.

If someone bought a videogame console from you, for example, you can offer a bundle pack with an extra controller or several games at a cheaper rate before their order is shipped.

Alternatively, you can predict when they are due for a next purchase and pre-empt them by offering a new offer in advance of everybody else.

It is recommended that you take the time writing these emails yourself. Also, you should revamp them from time to time to reflect whatever new offer you have. Once done, the service provider of your choice will do the rest of the work in figuring out what kind of message should be sent to a subscriber.

Monitoring and Improving Your Campaigns

Although automated email has made it possible to do your email marketing hands-off, it is a system that you should set up one day and fail to build on for the next few months. In order to get the best results, it is recommended that you monitor how your emails are performing and identify where they can be improved at.

When analyzing how good (or lacking) your email campaigns are, there are a few aspects that you should be looking at which are the following:

  1. Open Rates – As was previously stated, Open Rates are the number of times your subscribers would open the emails you have sent them. An automated service provider would give you the numerical data that would tell you exactly how many times a certain emails of yours was opened by their recipients.

And if the rates are low, you have to consider that maybe your subject line was not compelling enough or that your timing in sending the message was way off.

  1. Click-Through Rates – Upon opening the email, are your subscribers performing the actions that you need for them to make? For instance, you might have provided a link in your email. Is traffic coming from that email to your intended web page high enough?

If not, you have to consider the idea that perhaps the body of your message is not compelling enough to compel people to do action. Another problem maybe that the value or lead magnet that you are offering is either irrelevant or poorly worded.

Lastly, the narrative structure of the message might have some problems. The best ones do follow a sequence of an informative body followed by a strong call to action in the end. Of course, the link you want them to click through must be visible enough within the message,

  1. Unsubscribe Rates – What you have to remember is that you cannot fully eliminate the chance of people unsubscribing to your list. That is usually okay as those that would unsubscribe wouldn’t have been interested in what you offer anyway.

What you should be looking for, however, is a rather high unsubscribe rate. This is a clear indication that you are losing a sizeable portion of your potential customer base. If so, consider the following: Are you delivering on what you promise? Is the automated email they received relevant to whatever segment of the email list that that person belonged to? Is the value you offer too little? Are you sending too many at a time that it can be viewed as spam?

Once you have identified key problems in your automated emails, you could now easily do some corrections. Fortunately, the best automated email programs out there remember your corrections and would adjust the emails that they send to subscribers accordingly.

To Wrap Things Up

Automating your email marketing is something that should not be too complicated for you to follow. If done right, however, you can allow for multiple personalized experiences with each of your subscribers. The best part is that you are converting people to customers, most at the same time, without having to talk to them personally.

The key here is to set your automation up to a level where the program will do all the thinking on what to send, who to send it to, and when. If done right, you should have a self-sustaining email marketing system that would not only bringing in a lot of people to your brand but would keep them engaged for as long as possible.

Email marketing mistakes

Common Small Business Email Marketing Mistakes

For small businesses, email still represents a cheap, effective way to establish or maintain a relationship with clients. But there’s the rub. While the medium is fairly neutral-to-positive, the content has the power to either attract or repel. So before you hit “send” on your next email campaign, take heed of these six common email marketing mistakes.

1. Emailing Without Permission

Getting an email newsletter that you didn’t sign up for feels like an invasion of privacy. As House notes, small businesses often start their email marketing campaigns by buying a list and then hitting everyone on that list. “There’s probably not a worse thing you can do,” he says. “You get started off on the wrong foot, and people expect to start receiving spam from you.” The moral? Don’t take shortcuts (even expensive ones). Build up your list organically by having an opt-in form on your website or, if you have a brick-and-mortar business, using a sign-up sheet.

2. Having Ineffective or Irrelevant Subject and “From” Lines

You can’t guarantee that someone will open your email, but a good way to make it unlikely that they’ll open it is to use a boring subject line. Mark Schmulen, a general manager at Constant Contact, says a subject line should promise short, digestable information that is likely to be of interest. One example: “2 Things Facebook Can Do to Help Your Business.” The reader only has to worry about reading two things and, if the email is properly targeted, there’s a good chance he’ll click through to see what it’s about.

The “from” lines are also important. Schmulen points out that few people are likely to open an email if they don’t recognize the sender. Plus, make sure you use an email address that uses your company’s domain — a Gmail or Yahoo address is a tip-off that the company is small-time, he says.

3. Blasting Irrelevant Content

Make sure your emails are relevant to the audience you’re blasting them to. Suppose you have a family and you signed up to get email from a travel firm. If you get a few emails with information about singles vacations, it’s not only going to be irrelevant to your needs, but it’s likely to sour you on the company, too. At that point, Schmulen says, “even if the fourth one is for families, you’re already checked out.”

4. Not Looking at the Numbers

You just sent out a batch of emails — any idea how many were opened? How many bounced back? If you don’t have that information, you’re operating in a vacuum and have no way to determine if the program is a success. Make sure you’re analyzing and comparing the numbers, which can help you get the most out of future email blasts. Metrics can provide useful information to boost email marketing efficacy, including the best day and time to send the email, the most effective subject lines and the content that most resonates with your audience.

5. Having No Purpose

According to Schmulen, many people start an email marketing campaign with only a vague notion about why they’re doing it. “They haven’t really thought about what their true goals are or what’s in it for the subscriber,” he says. So what are your goals? Educate? Start a dialogue? Inform your consumers of news and events in the industry? Having a purpose will dictate your content, so figure it out before you start typing.

6. Providing No Entry for Dialogue

House says that a good email is like a good tweet or a good blog entry — if people like it, they will pass it around. So to maximize the chances that your message will be shared, write provocative and interesting content. And don’t be afraid to ask your readers for their own content. “It’s important to state your point of view,” House says, “but you should ask readers to share their thoughts, too.” A good conversation sparked by an email marketing campaign can easily go online and manifest on Twitter and Facebook.

So you see it really does pay to heed the advice and not fall for the same email marketing mistakes.