This article teaches a method to qualify and convert leads from an email subscribing list, segmenting them into different funnels and moving them up the loyalty ladder through emails. When you apply a solid process to it, email marketing works like a virtual salesman—driving sales day after day on autopilot. The problem is that most marketers make one, or both, of these big mistakes:
- The first big mistake is that they fail to follow-up. It sounds crazy, but most of the business owners don’t have a single follow-up campaign in place. They send emails to their list when they “feel like it.”
- The second big mistake marketers make is sending the exact same email to everyone on their list.
To avoid these mistakes, we will present you our proven method to email marketing which consists of 5 different types of e-mails, each type with a different purpose:
- Indoctrinate – Introduce new leads to you and your brand, and turn strangers into friends
- Engage – Talk to your leads about what interests them and encourage them to buy a relevant product or service.
- Ascend – Welcome your new customers or clients and encourage them to upgrade their experience by purchasing from you again.
- Segment – Learn what they want to hear more about and what they might want to buy next.
- Re-Engage/Win Back – Bring them back when they’ve fallen out of touch or the relationship has gone cold.
The important thing here is to see these different emails as a funnel, a new prospect must be INDOCTRINATED before they’ll engage with your message; must ENGAGE before they’ll buy; must buy before they’ll ASCEND; and once the process is over they’ll need to be SEGMENTED based on interest before they become RE-ENGAGED and buy again.
Next, let’s dive deeper into each email type:
The first step is to teach your new prospect about you, your company and your brand. You need to indoctrinate them. Who are you? What do you stand for? Why are you different? What should they expect from you? How often? What should they do next? The Indoctrination Phase is about bonding with your audience at a time when they’re most excited about you and your message: the days immediately following their initial subscription.
TIP: If you want them to see a video, show an image of the video with the play button, and then link that image to the video on your website. This is a great way to entice clicks because it appears that you can play the video right there in the email.
There are 3 easy methods to boost engagement from your leads:
- Have them accept small commitments
Ask Them to Whitelist You (and More) In future emails you’ll be asking your subscriber to do things such as read a blog post, download a white paper or purchase an offer. An Indoctrination email is the time to start training your new subscribers to make small commitments. The first micro-commitment is to ask them to “whitelist” your email address to ensure safe delivery of your email to their inbox. Create a link to a page on your website that gives clear whitelisting instructions and let them know that they run the risk of not receiving your emails if they don’t whitelist you.
- Open loops
Cliffhangers create tension, and tension creates attention. The human brain craves conclusions, which is why the best emails leave your subscriber on the edge of their seat —anxiously awaiting your next email.
- Bounce them around
This may be the most important purpose of your Indoctrination email. The primary metric used to determine whether your future emails will make it to the inbox or the SPAM box is engagement. In other words, when your subscribers take actions like… Open your email… Click on a link in your email… Favorite/Star your email, or… Reply to your email… Also, clicks on social media links increase click-through rates of the emails, which is a sign of engagement. More importantly, when your subscribers follow your brand on Facebook and Twitter, this increases the chance that they’ll open your emails in the future. And increased open rates increase…you guessed it…ENGAGEMENT! That’s why the perfect welcome mail not only indoctrinates your new subscribers to your brand and message, it also gets them to take specific actions that will improve your deliverability and ensure your emails hit the primary inbox, and not some secondary folder or “Spam” box.
The role of an Engagement email is simple: To convert prospects into customers. In other words, Engagement emails make offers and ask for the order.
Lead Magnets are critical because they are the entry point into an Engagement Series. The quality of your Lead Magnet is the #1 variable in determining how fast your list will grow and whether someone will opt in to any particular Engagement Series to receive an offer. So… what the heck is a Lead Magnet? A Lead Magnet is simply a small “chunk” of value (usually content) that solves a SPECIFIC problem for a SPECIFIC market that is offered in exchange for an opt in. Some common types of Lead Magnets include: Special Reports, White Papers, Case Studies, Price Sheets, Cheat Sheets, Free Downloads… Lead Magnets are also critical because they are the entry point into your Invisible Selling Machine. The very act of opting in to receive a Lead Magnet indicates interest in the topic of that Lead Magnet, which should trigger a new Engagement Series dedicated to that topic.
Price determines the duration of your Engagement Series. You don’t need to kill an ant with an atomic bomb. You don’t need a 30-day email series to sell a low-dollar product. If it’s been some days and they haven’t bought—it’s ok. Let them drop out of that Engagement Series and back into a Segmentation Series and start talking to them about another topic.
- For low-ticket, impulse buy offers you should typically email for 3-5 days. Anything much longer than this, while you might see a few more sales, does far more damage to the list than can be recouped with these minimal sales.
- For products with a mid-range price point we typically set up a series that runs 5-10 days.
- High-ticket items can require up to a 21-day email series (or longer) but usually no less than 7 days.
A template for an Engagement Series is the Gain/Logic/Fear campaing, which is intended for anyone that opted in for a Lead Magnet but didn’t buy your initial offer. It works because there are three primary reasons that people do just about anything: Gain – We move toward the things we want. Logic – We move toward what makes rational sense. Fear – We move away from the things that can harm us or toward something we think is going away:
The first email in the Gain/Logic/Fear follow-up series should begin with a curiosity-based subject line. I would encourage you to push the envelope a bit and avoid “corporate speak” at all costs…
Although it may seem illogical, the logic angle is the least effective of the three. While we like to think of ourselves as logical beings, the reality is most purchase decisions are made based on emotion (i.e. gain and fear), not logic. But the logic email is still important, because there are some prospects that will weigh all options and make a logical decision to purchase or not. This group represents a smaller percentage of the market, but to ignore them completely would be a mistake.
On day three we turn up the heat by deploying the fear of loss. We have two versions of this last email in the series. The first is for offers that have a true deadline or some element of scarcity. It might be a limited quantity, a closing date or a looming price increase or a sale that’s ending.
Are You Still? / Have You Yet
But despite its effectiveness, some prospects still won’t buy from this series. And that’s ok! Your Engagement Series doesn’t have to end here. You can extend the Engagement campaigns by stacking a Gain/ Logic/Fear series with an “Are You Still? / Have You Yet?” series…
Why is the “Are you still?” campaign so effective? It’s simple: nobody likes to feel stuck. Your prospect arrived at your website or called your office because they have a problem that needs a solution. And they took the first step of requesting your Lead Magnet because they’re serious, and they believe that you have a solution to their problem. So make no mistake: they’re stuck. If they had the solution, they wouldn’t have found you in the first place. They’re stuck, and they want to get unstuck. So if you want to give your sales a boost, all you have to do is tell them they’re stuck. Twist the knife ever-so-gently while reminding them that you have the solution, and you’ll move them to action. And that’s exactly what the “Are you still?” campaign does… Another variation of the “Are you still?” campaign is the “Have you yet?” campaign. The psychology behind this campaign is identical, so you can use this version to mix up your messages, so you aren’t repeating the exact same email over and over again.
Here’s what a series might look like if you added an “Are you still? Have you yet?” campaign on top of the Gain, Logic, Fear campaign:
- Day 0 – On the day they opt in for the Lead Magnet, you’ll send them a welcome email with access information for the Lead Magnet itself.
- Day 1 – G/L/F Email #1 (Gain)
- Day 2 – G/L/F Email #2 (Logic)
- Day 3 – G/L/F Email #3 (Fear)
- Day 7 – Are you still? / Have you yet? (First Attempt)
- Day 14 – Are you still? / Have you yet? (Second Attempt)
- Day 21 – Are you still? / Have you yet? (Third Attempt)
For every offer you make to your audience, there is some percentage of buyers that would buy more. And that’s why every buyer you acquire through an Engagement email series should receive an Ascension Series email immediately after their initial purchase. Here are some methods of Ascension:
- Immediate Upsells – Offering a product or service with the same desired end result as the prior purchase.
- Cross-Sells – Offering a product or service with a related desired end result to the prior purchase.
- Bundles and Kits – Offering multiple products in a package to create a new value proposition.
- Affiliate/CPA Offers – Offering a similar or related product as an affiliate to earn a commission from the sale.
- Premium Subscription – Offering a product or service with recurring billing.
So…what do you do when customers and prospects say “NO” to the Engagement or Ascension Series you send them? Simple… you change the message until they respond. The goal of the Segmentation Series is to get your prospect to “raise their hand” and show interest in a particular topic by either opening, clicking or opting in to a relevant offer. And when they take this action (i.e. when the Segmentation Series has done its job) the prospect will then be placed into an appropriate Engagement Series.
Let’s start by defining the two different methods you can use to send email:
- Autoresponders – Sending emails automatically based on a set schedule that begins when the prospect opts in to the list. Example: A 7-day autoresponder will automatically send one email per day for 7 days following the initial opt in.
- Broadcasts – Sending an email one time to everyone on a list (or segment of a list) at that moment in time. Example: An email written to promote webinar registration and sent to everyone on a list at one time.
Broadcast email allows you to be timelier with your email messages, and allows you to test the performance of an email before it becomes part of an autoresponder sequence. After all, what’s the point of automating something if it isn’t working?
For the most part, autoresponder series are used for: Indoctrination, Engagement, Ascension and Re-engagement. Segmentation is the only phase of the Invisible Sales Machine dominated by broadcast email. To be more specific, segmentation emails are broadcast to any subscriber not currently receiving an Engagement or Ascension Series.
The Re-Engagement Phase of the Invisible Selling Machine is more about ensuring you are able to reach your most engaged subscribers—by either reenergizing or removing those with zero engagement.
In order to write up an email series with the goal of re-engaging those disengaged subscribers and moving them into a relevant Engagement Series. Use a subject line like “Are you ok?” or “Is everything ok?” or similar.
Include a list of links to content and resources they’ve been missing. Hit them over the head with the benefit you provide to your email subscribers, and encourage them to opt in to receive a “free gift” of some sort. (By the way, this “free gift” should be a Lead Magnet that places the subscriber in an Engagement Series.) But don’t stop there. Move subscribers that respond (i.e. open and/or click) out of this Re-Engagement Series, but continue to send the campaign to the remaining disengaged subscribers. You can… Inquire whether you have their best email address Ask how you can best serve them (i.e. run a survey) Offer them a different free gift (i.e. a different Lead Magnet) Suggest they read a blog post or watch a video (i.e. a blog launch) In other words, just hit them with as much content and value as you can for 5 – 7 days.
If they still don’t respond, it’s time to switch gears and start talking about LOSS instead of GAIN…
HOW TO PROPERLY CRAFT ALL PARTS OF AN EMAIL
THE SUBJECT LINE:
The subject line has one job and one job alone—to sell the OPEN. Don’t try to use the subject line to sell the click, the opt in, or a product. That is not the function of the subject line. There are two main types of subject lines…
- Blind – A curiosity based subject line intended to maximize open rate.
- Direct – A benefit based subject line that qualifies the reader before opening.
If your offer is strong and you know people like it, then volume is the name of the game, and a blind subject line will typically drive more volume than a direct subject line. However, direct subject lines qualify the lead before opening the email, so you will enjoy better click and conversion rates.
Any good subject line contains at least one of these 7 elements:
1 – Direct Benefit: The most straight-forward and clear method for writing an email subject line is to communicate how opening the email will benefit the reader. How will the content of your email get them something they want? Or, how will it protect them against something they don’t want?
2 – Curiosity: A well-crafted curiosity based email subject line will often get outstanding open rates. That said, a curiosity based email subject line, alone, will often fail miserably, so where possible, combine one of these other elements (particularly News or Self Interest) with curiosity.
3 – Scarcity: A powerful element to add to any email subject line is a legitimate reason to act NOW. The best way to move someone to action is to communicate that the resource you’re promising in the email is finite in some way. Can you use, for example, deadlines, limited quantities or seating limitations to communicate urgency or scarcity in your email subject line?
4 – News: You can pull great open rates by communicating that your email contains something that is new to the reader.
5 – Social Proof: People make decisions, in part, by observing the decisions other people have made. Effective email subject lines often provide proof that other people have made the choice you would like your reader to make. Have an impressive number of people already made the choice you’d like your reader to make?
6 – Story: An email subject line that tells the beginning of a story can be effective. The subject line will need to create curiosity to get opened. How can your email be wrapped in a story?
7 – Humanity: In the end… people do business with people. Remember to mix some humanity in with your promotional and content email. How can you connect person to person with your reader?
8 – Perhaps more importantly— NONE of the best email subject lines are: Cute or Clever
Hope this article will help you build an efficient emailing marketing campaign with a proper strategies to attract new customers and bind your clients to your brand.