Email and Inbound Marketing

The selling process has changed Why? Because buying habits have changed. Instead of directly going to a store to learn about a new product or service, one can simply search the   internet. If you Google inbound marketing, the first things that comes up is Hubspot. Hubspot’s inbound marketing methodology main point is that the process does not happen on its own, the marketer must be part of it.

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 Inbound marketing defined by Hubspot, “inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more”.
In order for your business to break through the clutter of the internet, your sales and marketing team needs to work together.
Sales + Marketing = Smarketing
Smarketing, termed by Hubspot is meant to highlight the importance of  your sales and marketing team having alighted goals.

The Complete Guide to Inbound Sale, “Sales is no longer about closing, it’s about helping”. Your sales team now acts as a brand adviser where they identify and them solve customers problems. With the vast amount of information available, your sales team is no longer the gate-keep to your brands information. Sales has moved from making cold calls to writing content blogs or using a sales ready website.

Tips for a sales person:
  • Research Research Research. Before picking up the phone, make sure to research the business your selling to thoroughly. Check out their website, social media pages, case studies and any additional helpful information.
  • Determine your goal before picking up the phone.
  • Tailor your conversation with the customer according to your research and goal.  A sales person goal is to solve a problem and educate so understanding what stage in the buying process your customer is at, is highly important.
  • The way you articulate information needs to resonate with your prospect. Speak to the prospect using industry language and don’t  sound like a statical robot.
  • Overall be human and educate! 
Email marketing is part of the closing process in inbound marketing. Email marketing assists in building a relationship through providing the potential customer with relevant content. Email Marketing Essentials, states, “Email marketing is a cost-effective solution that gives you the power to reach customers in a place most people visit every day — their inbox”.

Consider these two statics from Email Marketing Essentials.

  •  “60 percent of online customers have made a purchase as a result of email marketing”.
  • “Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers”.

If you utilize the email marketing channel right, your business will positivity be influenced. To start with, only send email to people who know you. Its too easy for people to delete or mark an email as spam without even looking at it. In order to prevent this, make sure who you are recipient knows you. Permission based email marketing is the best way to retain long lasting relationships.

When sending out emails, make sure you don’t treat your contacts like names on a list, treat them like people. Each customer differs from one another. Some are opting into your emails to learn about your brand where others are repeat customers. Make sure your email content is relevant to the receiver. By viewing your email report, determine what email content readers are opening the most and generating the greatest click through rate. By doing this, your brand is listening to your customers and thus can provide them with content they want to hear about.

Once you understand what your readers are interested in hearing about, establish a content plan. Review customers frequently asked questions online and in person. By doing this, your brand will directly helpping solve problems through your content. Maximize your delivery rate by using a software program such as Constant Contact, will allow you to see if your emails are being received. By examining your bounce and spam rate, you can determine  if your emails are going to an invalid email address or how many readers send your emails directly to their spam folders.

Make sure when customers are signing up to receive your emails that you provide information right then and there what you will be sending them. Make sure you state what value your emails will provide them. Integrating email marketing with other communication channels provides the best results. Use your Twitter, Facebook and other social media account as a way to encourage users to sign up to receive your emails. Constant Contact allows you to use customizable email temples which will make you look more professional. You will be able to add photos, insert your logo, add text, add social media buttons and more. Remember, look good, do good!

Like all marketing tactics, REVIEW AND MEASURE! You can’t determine your emails are effective without reviewing the results. In my previous blog post I wrote about A/B testing and the effectiveness in the Obama campaign. A/B testing will allow your business to see which emails headlines, subject bar, buttons and more are most effective. Check out my previous blog post for more information.

The difficult part of email marketing is to know when to send more emails and when to hold back. Timing is everything. If you overall annoy your email recipients they will opt-out of your emails. The goal here is to find the right balance. For instances, what do you do when a high volume sales season ends. When the New Year hits, many people have finished their shopping and are no longer interested in receiving large volumes of emails sales offerings. How to Connect with Email-Fatigued Prospects in Three Simple Steps, answer this vary question.

  1. Show subscribers you’ve got more to offer than deals and discounts. After a major buying season, customers are less interested in “save big” and more interests in meaningful content. Provide customers with relevant and sharable industry insight to continue to maintain your current relationship.
  2. Offer a steady stream of customized content through an automated series. By creating mini-message sets of content that does not tax your readers schedule or time, your brand show its area of expertise.  To do this, create an umbrella topic relevant to your brand and then push your message through timed automated mini-messages. “The goal is to create meaningful, periodic touch points over the course of a few weeks to remind your subscribers that you’re a valuable resource year-round—not just during the holidays”.
  3. Give customers the option to connect a little less frequently (You know, if that’s what they really want). Shoppers in December may love your daily or weekly emails. But with the change of season think about scaling back the amount of emails sent. Have an option for consumers to choose to reduce the amount of emails received. This way consumers will not opt out of your emails completely. An excellent point made by this article, “With that said, remember: The average email list churns by about 30% every year. If a few subscribers decide to opt out of your list, it’s OK—because new subscribers are everywhere!”
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Email and Inbound Marketing

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