Email Marketing remains one of the best ways of marketing any business in the 21st century. Despite views that “emails are dying” from certain gurus looking to push the latest marketing technique (ie bots), this is far from the truth.

Here however I want to talk about ways that businesses should be using emails to market themselves all year round. There are two very distinct and different campaigns that go out to the two main email lists every business has.

The first email list a business has are prospects — people who have shown some interest in the past, but haven’t yet made a purchase with the business.

The second email list is — you guessed it, all of those who haven’t bought in the past.

It’s really important to note that both of these lists need to be constantly updated and correct. Managing lists of data in particular emails is not a fun task — but is essential, not only to the email campaigns I’m going to cover, but for general business. After all, if a business can’t distinguish between somebody who is a customer and somebody who isn’t, alarm bells need to start ringing.

With two clear lists that don’t clash (ie the same person isn’t on both or neither), you can now look to put together two very different email campaigns one for each.

Before diving into what will go into each campaign, let’s look at the goals every business has.

If a business has a list of people who haven’t bought yet — what should their goal be to try to achieve? That’s right, to sell to as many of this list as possible.

And what about those who have bought before? Easy, get them to buy more of the same or other products/services!

So yes, surprise surprise the goal is ultimately to make more money — through new customers and past customers.

Now whilst email campaigns have the same goal ultimately, how they approach it needs to be very different because they’re dealing with completely different people.

The list of non-customers, prospects, leads and so on are people who already know of the business somewhat, know a little of what they do and perhaps even like what they offer. But for a wide number of reasons they haven’t bought yet. The list of reasons these people haven’t bought yet can be very varied.

  • It could be they don’t know and trust the business yet
  • It may be that they don’t feel like they could be helped by what the business offers
  • They may want to purchase but have barriers — price, time, other commitments and actions needed

They are the main three, but in truth there are literally hundreds. So the goal of the non-customer email campaign is to overcome as many of the reasons and barriers as possible, creating sales.

Then there is the list of customers. Again the goal is to make more sales, to getting customers to buy more. They already know and trust the business, enough to have made a purchase with them before. They definitely felt what the business offered was useful to them, otherwise again they never would have purchased. And there cannot have been any barriers such as price that had stood in their way.

So what is stopping an existing customer coming back for more?

  • It may be that the product/service they purchased is something they can use for life — so they don’t need more of the same. They need something new and different to buy.
  • It also may be that they feel their original purchase meets the needs they have, and they don’t feel like they need anything else from the business.

There may be many other reasons, but these are the main two. It’s also worth mentioning that there may be a small percentage of customers who are simply unhappy with their original purchase — so they have no intention of buying again. Unfortunately there is nothing much an email campaign can do to sell to unsatisfied customers — so the key is for the business to ensure this happens very little if at all. Over deliver, create raving fans.

So we have two email lists full of people who have something holding them back from buying for the first time or subsequent time. Now let’s look at how we can remove these barriers via email campaigns.

Prospect Email Campaign

We’ve already gone over main barriers of purchase for this list — they’re un-certain, un-trusting, they feel like the products on offer can’t help them or are out of their reach.

So how can a business overcome these issues via email?

  • Firstly a business must give, give and give some more. They should be sending emails packed full of valuable information, videos, tips and more. Invitations to free webinars, free events and free downloads is a must too. This will help to build up trust and likeness of the business, which will in turn lead to sales.
  • In between the value (typically 1 in 3 emails) there should be some focus on a single product in particular. But not about it’s cost, or how the businesses X years of experience had allowed them to create it. No, instead focus on Afters. Afters are the ultimate results a customer gets from buying a product. They’re the only thing prospects ultimately care about. Help them understand the benefits and value the product offers them.
  • And lastly, give a great offer. Even if a product has the best Afters in the world, and is seen as great value for money — for some that just isn’t enough. A business should determine what else it can offer for free as part of the package, to make it truly unmissable. A business should end up with a stack of products with a total value, but then have a single smaller price tag for it all. And yes, this may sound expensive — but there are many ways of offering value that doesn’t cost a business much if anything. Educational products such as online courses for example — you pay to record it once, you can then give it out to thousands at no additional cost.

To summarise then, Prospect Email Campaigns should focus on giving and building up trust and brand awareness. By giving, giving and giving even more a business will create customers for life.

Whilst a product or service a business is offering may to their eyes seem amazing, more than often or not it’s not how prospects are perceiving it. A business must make it clear in their emails exactly what a customer can expect.

And lastly, make the offer truly unmissable — pack it full of value, and charge only a fraction (but still at a profit to you — plus doing this means you’ll sell more).

Customer Email Campaign

We already know what is stopping a customer coming back for more — they need other products and services OR they need something that does even more than their original purchase. Ideally therefore a business will already have a chain of products in place that they can upsell. For example, they may have a product at $97. And then one that offers even more and gives more for $297, and so on.

So email campaigns to customers must include;

  • Reinforcement of the great decision they made on their original purchase. This is really important for any purchase they made. Sure, you want them to buy more — but don’t rush in that. Compliment them, remind them of the benefits of their purchase.
  • Next, challenge them — ask if they want to get better results than their initial purchase gives, in a shorter amount of time. Then go on to talk about the Afters of a product that is an ideal upsell — it must still meet their initial needs, but do an even better job of it.
  • Alternatively — offer another product that does a different job and gives a number of different Afters. This is a harder sell, because it can’t be linked to the customers initial purchase. In this event, a business wants to take on approaches from the prospects campaign — giving value, and targeting a whole new area and problem people have entirely.

Running both of these campaigns in conjunction of each other can lead to increased sales in a week or less. A quick note however on good practice;

Good Practice

For both campaigns, and every single email a business sends out, it must ensure it follows good email practice. In short this is;

  • Not sending too often
  • Personalising emails
  • Not repetitive
  • Segmenting lists
  • Giving value
  • Short emails unless the email is asking for a purchase
  • A clear call to action

Stay tuned for a post coming up where I go into more detail about good practice for emails that every business should be using.

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