Email marketing is as important as ever. We’ve made this point multiple times throughout this blog. While open rates have surely declined over the years, email is still the #1 driver of revenue for most digital entrepreneurs.
So finding ways to improve or optimize your existing email marketing efforts is always something worthy of your time. Especially for those of us who sell digital products.
In today’s article, we’ll cover 11 different ideas to improve this critical part of your business.
Just one of these strategies can help you turn more subscribers into customers and customers into repeat buyers.
Check out some email marketing benchmarks and strategies from other knowledge creators in our 2021 Knowledge Creator Marketing Study:
#1: Don’t Sweat Your Open Rates
Are your open rates important? Yes, of course. Are they as important as many business owners make them out to be? Not quite. Too many online marketers spend too much time worrying about this statistic more than is really needed.
If you’re emailing your entire house list, on average you do want to see anywhere between 15%-20% opens. Above 20% if possible. If it’s under 15% then that’s a signal to dive in and find ways to either segment your list, test different subject lines, etc.
The reason to not always focus on open rates is that sometimes the technology isn’t always 100% correct. That’s to be expected with any platform. So instead, focus on the data point that always tells the truth...sales!
Do your emails generate sales? If yes, keep doing what you’re doing! If no, even the best open rate wouldn’t make as much of a difference as finding out why your email copy is converting.
#2: First Line Headline
We all know how important your subject lines are, right? But in order of importance, following your subject line the next part of your email to focus on is the very first line.
Since this line shows up in the preview section both on desktop and mobile, it acts as the second headline for your email and another opportunity to draw readers in. So it pays to give it a little additional special attention.
You can duplicate the subject line, write a curiosity hook, or lead with a straight benefit. Whatever works best for that specific email message.
#3: You’re The Secret Ingredient
Tactics, tactics, and more tactics. That’s typically what you’ll find when looking for ways to improve your email marketing efforts. And with good reason too, tactics work. But as you well know in our digital landscape tactics can work one day and hit dry the land the next.
But one thing that will never change is your ability to create a relationship with your readers. When you combine your unique personality with the value of proven content, you’ll be harnessing a skill that has created fame, wealth, and long-term success for thousands of entrepreneurs, bloggers, and influencers alike.
#4: Don’t Hide Your Flaws
It can be tempting to market and showcase only the good features of your product or service. But doing so can actually weaken conversions. Think of your favorite product right now...couldn’t you find at least 1 or 2 flaws in it? Every product has them.
And this is actually a good thing! Because you can turn those flaws into reasons to buy. Here’s an example:
Flaw: Your online course is expensive.
Reason To Buy: “In my experience, often times you get what you pay for. Not just in the quality of the product you purchase, but also the way in which you treat something better if you paid more for it. My course is not only designed in a way to get you the results you seek but priced at a point so this is the last course you’ll ever need to buy. This one will work because you’ll finally be committed to it!”
Make a list of your product or services flaws and find all the different ways you can create reasons to buy because of them. This single idea can instantly make all your email marketing better.
#5: Always Be Linking
In our experience, every email you send should contain a link. Whether it’s leading your prospect to buy from you, someone else, or even to a piece of content that preps them to buy from you later on. Almost always you want to be linking out to something.
Are there exceptions? Of course. There may be some emails where you don’t feel it’s necessary or they just bought from you and you’re sending a simple “thank you” email... But for the most part, you should always be linking.
Your prospect joined your list because they have a problem and view you as someone with a solution. You want to give them as many opportunities to get that solution as possible.
#6: Incorporate ManyChat
The buzz around Facebook Messenger bots is a valid one. When done right they work extremely well! Typically they have a higher open rate than email because people notice them easier and they don’t like having something unread in their Facebook feed.
But top Knowledge Commerce entrepreneurs aren’t using one or the other...they’re using both!
Obviously, they’re still emailing, but they’re now building out ManyChat sequences to help drive prospects back to their inbox to open an email they may have just sent them. Or in some cases, they’re including the same message in ManyChat.
Without a doubt, finding ways to incorporate ManyChat into your overall email marketing strategy will not only help increase opens but help you stay top of mind with your list.
You can search our previous blog posts to find all kinds of additional information on how to use this kind of chatbot.
#7: Be Aggressive Early
One common mistake we see many online entrepreneurs make is not emailing aggressively enough immediately after a prospect subscribes to their list. This is a huge mistake and one that can be costing you more sales than you realize.
When someone opts onto your list that’s when they’re the “hottest” on whatever it is you offer. The longer you wait to email them, the less likely they are to convert into customers. Or better put, delay becomes the death of the sale.
So be aggressive early. Find ways to email them special promotions in those first few days. Even if it’s just a low priced offer. The goal is to turn leads into customers without leaving too much time for them to lose interest or go elsewhere.
#8: Personalize Your Follow Up
If you’re selling high ticket type products like courses or coaching, sending personal follow up emails can be a great way to get the attention of a distracted prospect.
If you’re using Kajabi Automations, you can also create a campaign which sends a personalized feeling emailing to anyone who’s opened a specific previous message. This allows you to target those who you know have an interest or have read your message, but for one reason or another haven’t taken the next step.
You can even do this manually by sending one-off emails to each prospect. If you sell a high enough priced product this can be well worth your time!
Focus on following up with them! Remember it’s easier and less expensive to convert your existing subscribers into customers than to pay money to acquire new ones.
#9: Experiments Never Fail
One of the most common phrases in online marketing is “test it”. While this might sound like just some easy throwaway advice people give, it’s actually incredibly valuable when applied.
Because here’s the thing, no one ever truly knows if something is going to work or not. We all have our opinions and previous experiences, but none of us really know. Until we test it. And the beauty of running an online business is that testing something can be relatively risk-free and done quite quickly.
So instead of looking at something not turning out the way you thought it should’ve, look at it as an “experiment that never fails” because it’s always showing you what’s the next best step.
Quicken the feedback loop to learn what works and optimize your business around it.
#10: Email More Often
How often are you emailing? Time and again we find that the most successful digital entrepreneurs we work with are the ones who are also emailing the most frequently. For many, that’s daily. For others, it’s 3-4 times a week.
The point here is if you’re emailing right by delivering value and framing it in a way that’s fun to read, and you’re not just screaming “sale” in every email you send...you can be sending far more emails than you think.
And don’t be scared of unsubscribers. That’s just part of the game. In fact, if you’re not getting unsubscribes you’re probably not emailing enough which means you’re leaving sales on the table!
Just emailing a little more often can be the one thing to bring in that additional revenue which transforms your business and lifestyle.
#11: Break The Rules
At the end of the day, the greatest thing about running your own online business is you’re the one who gets to call the shots. While there will never be a shortage of guru’s telling you to do this or to do that, the buck always stops with you.
So grant yourself permission to break the rules, follow your intuition, or try something completely new. That’s how breakthroughs are made!
And if it doesn’t pan out how you hoped it would, no problem! Rarely is much lost anyway. You can always jump back on the “what’s working bandwagon” and get moving in the right direction.
Idea Wrap Up
When it comes to selling an online course, membership sites, or any kind of digital products, email is king. You want to constantly look for ways to improve not only each email you send but your overall strategy as well.
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