That’s only natural because it’s the most-used medium of communication in business. It’s something people expect and accept as a necessary evil.
But not a lot of businesses analyze their email marketing campaigns. And that’s not because they don’t care (well, some don’t), rather the reason they don’t analyze their campaigns is there are so many metrics available:
Number of clicks
Number of opens
And a while lot more.
So, if you’re busy running your own business, who’d have time to analyze each of these metrics, right?
That’s what this article is about. I’m going to share the only 3 metrics you need to keep an eye on, why, and what they mean. I’ll also include how you can improve on them.
And that means you collect email addresses through a form on your site (or ads or through social media). You are doing it by exchanging something of value to them like a PDF download, an email course, a free consultation, or a sample product.
You are not buying lists, so that makes all the leads you capture interested in your brand (more or less). They are valid and explicitly gave their contact information.
If you do that, then you obviously don’t have to worry about delivery rates and spam traps among others.
Lastly, if you are applying proper segmentation and sending only relevant content to them, then you’re not at risk of having your content deemed irrelevant or marked as spam.
But if you are buying lists, or getting then from other sources apart from form submissions on your website (e.g. newsletter signup) or on your ads (e.g. Facebook Lead Ads), and if you aren’t segmenting your list and sending relevant content, then you definitely have to watch out for all those other metrics. Or, another approach is to stop doing that altogether and use email marketing properly.
This brings us to the next step—which metrics should you actually care about.
The Only 3 Email Marketing Metrics You Need to Track
Open rate is the percentage of people who opened your email. It is calculated by dividing the number of opens by the number of emails delivered. What that means is if there are bounces, like incorrect emails or email no longer exists, they are subtracted from the final number.
Email Open Rate = Number of Opens / Number of Delivered Emails x 100%
Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a list of 1,000 emails. You send an email campaign to them. 20 were recorded as bounced, making only 980 as delivered. Out of those, 500 opened their emails. Using the formula, 500/980, that’s a 51% open rate for that particular email campaign.
What It Means
High open rates indicate an engaged list. You can find averages for your industry from other email marketing software provider to benchmark if your open rates are good. But just remember that those are averages.
When people open your email, it means it’s relevant to them, or at least, the subject line is.
This is actually the first hurdle you need to overcome in email marketing— getting people to open your email.
And going back to my notes earlier, the reason for this is you don’t have to worry about delivery rates and high bounces because you got the email in your database ethically.
How to Improve
If you are starting out, benchmarking your open rate with the industry is good. But over time, the best way to determine if you’re email marketing is improving or not is by benchmarking with your own average open rates.
To improve your open rates, you can use the built-in A/B testing feature in your email marketing software. Normally, the way this works is you come up with two (or more) different subject lines. Then, the software automatically takes 20-30% of your list and send the different variations equally.
After 4 hours (or more depending on the setting), the variation with the better open rate gets sent to the rest of your list.
Some tips you can use to improve your open rates are as follows:
There is one thing you do need to remember about open rates—it’s only an estimate.
Open rates are calculated by your email marketing software when one of these two things happen:
Your recipient enabled images to be viewed (manually or automatically)
They clicked on a link in the email
The reason for #1 is that most email marketing software add an image in the email that get sent. If it’s downloaded, that marks as an open. So, if they have images blocked/not download by default (like Outlook), then even if they opened your email, it won’t count as an open. For that to happen, they have to click on a link in the email.
Open rates mean people deemed your subject worthy for their time. They open it and read it. So, once you get pas this barrier, your email contents (both copy and design) have to work to bring them to the next step that you want— a click.
Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click your email. It is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of emails delivered.
CTR = Number of clicks / number of emails delivered x 100%
Some use another version of this which is the click-to-open rate (CTOR), where the clicks is divided by the number of people who opened your email.
CTOR = Number of clicks / number of emails opened
Continuing from the example earlier:
1,000 emails sent
500 opened (51% open rate)
Let’s say 75 people clicked on your email.
Using the formula, the CTR for this particular email is 7.6%. Then if you look into CTOR, it’s going to be 15%.
What It Means
Click-through rates (CTRs) indicate the highest level of engagement in your email campaigns because both your copy and design compelled the reader to take action — which is to click on a link.
If people are clicking on your email, that means your email is relevant to them. So, that higher this number is, the more engaged your audience is.
How to Improve
If you want to improve your CTRs, the first thing you need to do is check against benchmarks in your industry or your previous click-through rates.
Next, make sure that you are sending relevant email to your audience. Remember, proper segmentation is key here.
If you’re following all those best practices, and your CTRs are still low, then you can try following these tips:
Change the design of your email
Add more links (add a link to images, the copy, and some buttons)
Ask your list about different topics or frequency —> this will allow you more segmentation options.
Remember that you are not limited to linking to your website only. You can use this to link to other sources your reader will find valuable.
Let’s say you came across a particular forecast by an expert in the industry, or a new technology that might affect you or your customers. That is definitely something you would want to include in your email.
Important Notes About Click-Through Rates
There’s another way to measure CTRs — that’s using unique link clicks as opposed to total clicks. Normally, the total link clicks are used. But whatever you decide, make sure you keep it consistent so you know if you are improving.
CTRs mean people are taking action on your email. Once you get them to click, it’s up to the next part to do their thing. In the case of your website, you want them to take action. You want them to convert.
Which brings us to the final metric you should track in your email marketing campaigns…
Conversion rate is the ultimate email marketing metric you should be tracking. It represents the percentage of people who performed an action you want (a conversion). It is calculated by dividing the total number of people who performed the desired action by the number of emails delivered.
Conversion rate = Number of people who converted / Number of emails delivered
The conversion action can be different for different industries:
Conversion rates matter because it is directly related to your business goals. The more people who take action, aka convert, the better it is for your business.
But, like I mentioned earlier, don’t make your every email focus on conversion. There are a lot of things you can do like share your company’s history, how you got started, what you think will happen in the next couple of years, etc.
Don’t over optimize for conversion. Focus on providing value.
How to Improve
The basic premise is to follow all the best practices for email marketing. Once you have that down, the next area you can look into is align your copy or call-to-action with the stage in the buyer’s journey.
If the person is still researching (consideration stage), then sending them to download a comparison or to watch a video detailing the comparison between product A and product B, then that would increase the likelihood of them converting. If you send them to a product page where they can buy, then most likely they won’t buy it because they are not yet ready.
Another area you can look into is to align your copy with the page you are sending them to (message match). For example, in your email, you want them to purchase an email course from you. If you direct them to your homepage, then there’s a high chance that they will not convert. But if you lead them to a specific landing page for that particular offer, then there’s a higher chance of them converting.
There are a lot of email marketing metrics that you can analyze. But if you are using email marketing best practices like segmenting your list and providing educational content via lead nurturing campaigns, then you only need to worry about improving your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns. Click-throughs are 100.95% higher in segmented email campaigns than non-segmented campaigns.
Action point: don’t reinvent the wheel. Start with these basic segmentation.
Address (e.g. city, barangay)
Social Status (e.g. single, married)
Frequency of Purchase
Content Topic Interests
This is not an exhaustive list, but merely a starting point. Depending on the nature of your organization, some will be applicable while some won’t make sense. The important takeaway is to start segmenting right now.
3. Create Educational Content for Each Segment
Educational content is a type of content that doesn’t mention any product/service or prices.
The main objective of this type of content is to either generate awareness or inform. Generating awareness means making the reader realize they have a problem, need, or want. Informing means letting the reader know about a solution or a topic.
Action point: think about the problems your product/service is solving, then create content about that problem without mentioning your product/service.
For example, you’re an accountant and you prepare tax returns. Create content about the different taxes, what they mean, what forms to use, and what the due dates are.
If you’re a cafe, instead of talking about your one-of-a-kind coffee or your delectable cakes, create content about coffee — everything from planting, sourcing, coffee cherries, processing of the beans, different types of grinds, etc.
In both examples, you’re talking about your industry and what you do without talking about yourself. You’re merely sharing your expertise. You’re telling the whole world that you know what you’re talking about.
4. Send Targeted Content
Generic content is ineffective. It’s the biggest reason why, despite a lot of content are created daily, only a few of them stand out.
Once you create educational content, the next logical step is to distribute it. This can be done in two ways: organically and through paid channels.
Continuing from the previous example of a cafe, you can create a series called “from bean to cup.”
In this email series, you can start with the planting season, perfect altitudes for growing coffee, etc. Then the next email can be about taking care of the coffee tree and the time it takes for it to start bearing coffee cherries (around 5 years). Your next email can be about picking the cherries, the different methods of processing, etc.
5. Send from Your Email Address
Sending from your email address says a lot about your organization — whether you’re personable or not.
The biggest benefit of using this tactic is it increases your chance of engagement with your customers. Take note, though, that the biggest downside of this tactic is you’ll start receiving a lot of email replies from them — both good and bad.
Action point: Pick one person to represent the organization. Use his/her name in the “from name” in your email marketing software.
Most organizations have a hard time choosing a person to represent them publicly. For small businesses and startups, this is usually the founder. For others, choosing one might involve a couple of discussions.
One criteria that must be considered here is the risk of turnover. Sending from a “person” allows the recipients to develop a relationship with the organization. They can put a face behind your organization. If the sender keeps on changing, this will be difficult to achieve.
Lastly, it doesn’t really matter if the email was written by the sender (i.e. founder, or someone else). What matters more is the people behind it are aligned and aiming for a common goal.
6. Use Automation to Your Advantage
Most email marketing software have automation built in it. This allows you to do more with less.
The demands for the modern marketer is increasing. You simply can’t spend all your time in the office nor take your work home every day. It’s not sustainable.
Action point: Determine specific trigger actions and/or behaviors that would signify the start of your email automation series.
For example, you can create an email course about the different grinds of coffee. The specific trigger, i.e. the action that would start the automation, is a signup for the email course. So, once they filled-up a specific form and/or page on your website, the automation starts. They immediately receive email #1. After a predetermined time period, for example, after 3 days, they’d receive email #2, and the next email until they reach the end.
In most cases, marketers aren’t the only ones who interact with their customers. So, it’s only natural that you get other people’s point of view — sales, IT, operations, etc.
Action point: Ask the other departments what customers say or complain about. Or, an even better option, is to spend time shadowing what they do so you get first-hand feedback on what’s really happening.
For example, you’re Starbucks. Instead of shutting yourself inside your office, go to one (or more) of the stores. Spend time behind the counter. Ask the customers themselves.
Are people asking or ordering the daily offerings? What are their comments about it? Is it too sweet? Just right? What about the tumblers, are people looking at them but not buying? Why?
You can’t find the answers to these questions with reports alone. Nor can you get them inside the office. Go out and engage with your customers and other departments.
If you’re one of those organizations, you’re only harnessing less than 10% of email marketing’s full potential.
Action point: Learn the different types of marketing emails and start using them. One of the most powerful one was already tackled in a separate tactic — lead nurturing.
If you’re continuously creating content and publishing them on your blog, you can compile them into a real newsletter and send that out.
9. Use Marketing Offers
Marketing offers are significant pieces of content that people are willing to gain access to in exchange for their contact information. It’s also known as lead magnets, trip wires, and content upgrades. Regardless of what term you use, the most important thing to remember is that they are used to collect information that you can use later on.
Have you ever heard these before? If you’re a digital marketer in the Philippines, you would have most likely said these statements yourself.
Email marketing is dead.
Email marketing will not be successful without effective list segmentation. The only reason marketers claim that email marketing is dead is because they don’t know how to segment their list. To them, their entire list is the newsletter list. Nothing else. They don’t create content around different topics. And that’s hte main reason they can’t segment their list. That’s the main reason they see poor results.
Research over the years across industries all over the world have already proven that without segmentation, email marketing will not work.
According to one study, it can increase sales leads and revenues by as much as 24%! And yes, it will increase your open rates and click-through rates as well. But you know those are just the basic email marketing metrics, right? It’s the ones that affect your bottomline are more important.
The only way email marketing will be effective without segmentation is when you are in a very niche topic with a very niche audience — which is basically its own form of segmentation 😉
But email marketing is not dead. It still boasts the highest ROI across all marketing channels. One way to quickly differentiate yourself from the rest?
There are 4 broad categories of segmentation: geographic, demographics, psychographics, and behavioral. Among these, behavioral is the most powerful one.
All use cases below are using the example of a local pet store with eCommerce shop that only offer its within Metro Manila. Some segmentation listed below doesn’t apply to our pet store so there are no use cases presented.
The data discussed in this list doesn’t have to be asked all in one long-form. What do you think will happen if a single form on your website asks for 25 questions at once? They’d probably not fill-it out.
Some of these can be collected later on using progressing profiling; while some need not be asked — meaning, they are collected automatically.
4 Categories of Segmentation
Address refers to any location you either have customers or want to serve. For example, you may have 3 stores across 3 different cities.
Sample Use Case:
Each of the 3 stores partnered with a veterinary clinic near them. They are offering a free rabies vaccination for the whole month of May.
You might want to send an email to remind your customers to get their free rabies vaccination. So, instead of using generic message in your email, you can make it more personal by using the residents of each city to go to the respective veterinary clinics that were endorsed. This would make it relevant to the recipients. Think about it. Would a resident of BGC travel all the way to QC just to go to the vet? Or would it seem more likely that a Makati resident visit a vet clinic in Makati too?
This applies more to international markets, but can be used locally too. If you deliver nationwide, you can show personalization by using local dialects. Or if your customer-base has a distinct community, use that to your advantage.
Climate in the Philippines doesn’t change much as opposed to other countries with four seasons. But you can use the two seasons we have as themes for your campaigns, especially for your email list.
Area refers to the bigger geographic location of the address you collected.
Sample Use Case:
When asking in your forms, you break down the 17 cities in metro manila and add an others field. When people choose others, you can set your eCommerce platform to not enable further purchasing and have a text displayed as “Sorry, we only deliver to Metro Manila at this moment.”
Birthdays are a great way to reconnect with your customers and give them something of value.
Sample Use Case:
Show your customers that you appreciate them by sending them a simple thank you email on the day of their birthday. Or if you want to take it a step further, write them a real thank you card saying how much you appreciate them. That’s it. No selling. Just appreciation.
Another way to use the date you already have is to calculate age. Age can be used as a way to craft the primary message of your campaign.
Sample Use Case:
Provided that you’re margins can take it — or as an organizational strategy to differentiate yourself — you offer discounts on the day/week/month your birthday according to the age. For example, you chose a day as your period for this offering.
You offer X% off on ALL products / services when customers come in on their birthdays. When a customer comes in on his 30th birthday, they get 30% discount on everything they buy in your store.
You can add conditions here such as any day 7 days before or after the birthday, or within the birth month.
3. Other Dates
Apart from birthdays, there are significant dates that might matter to your organization. Think of anniversaries, first purchase, last purchase, etc.
In the case of our local pet store, we can collect birthdays of their pets!
Sample Use Cases:
You send an email to pet owners during the birth month of their pets. For example, you can offer them a 50% discount on all purchases during this month.
You can also use this data to create lead nurture emails that guide them along the recommended life of a dog. For example, on weeks 5-6 the pet owner should start thinking about their puppies training plan. Then starting week 7 or 8, the actual training starts.
Or another way you can use dates is during the anniversary of their subscription to your list. You can send a simple thank you email, or some sort of personalized message to them for joining your email list.
Knowing the gender of your customer can sometimes work wonders for your organization.
Sample Use Case:
This is an oversimplification, but accessories for pets (clothes, shoes, etc.) are often bought by women. So, you can send a campaign targeting only pet parents who are women. This gives you a higher chance of engagement and ROI instead of sending to everyone on your list.
This refers to their educational attainment. Higher education usually mean two things: the person has a high sense of accomplishment and/or a little well-off in life (whether that’s by their own doing or through family).
While this may not be an important information for our pet store example, your organization might be different and need this information (e.g. B2B and coaching businesses).
6. Social Status
Social status refers to whether they are single, married, etc. Looking at changes in this status may give you an idea as to how their behavior may change.
Sample Use Case:
(not for pet store eCommerce shop)
You can use the change in social status as part of your advertisement campaigns. For example, when a person changes their status from single to engaged, they now become an audience for your campaign. Let’s say you sell customized gifts for wedding giveaways. You can create an ad campaign that targets only newly engaged couples for this.
Depending on how you look at it, you can either use this field to collect the number of people in the household, ask if they are by themselves or living with relatives, etc.
8. Life Stage
If it’s relevant, you can ask for where they are in their lives, although this can be inferred from their age. The standard life stages are infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age.
Of course, most probably can’t ask infants and children. The point here is that for each of these life stages, people have different interests, actions, and behaviors associated with them. Use that to your advantage when crafting your campaigns.
9. Occupation/Job Title
Occupation is usually an open-ended question where people type in their job titles. For a pet store, this doesn’t make sense to collect. But if you’re a SaaS software, it does makes sense to collect this information. You get to learn more about your audience.
This can be by department, e.g. marketing, sales, it, management; or by title, e.g. chief happiness officer, head of business development.
Before choosing which one to use, always apply the most important rule when it comes to asking for information on forms (and therefore segmentation): will it help you know your audience better? If it will not help you understand them better, don’t bother asking it. If you won’t use it, again, don’t ask the question.
Role is somewhat related to occupation. The difference is that this usually refers to the rank inside their organization. Depending on how you define these levels, that will determine the options your customers can choose.
For example, the options for these could be: student/intern, individual contributor, manager, director, vice-president, C-suite.
Each of the roles presented above are different because an individual contributor will have different concerns from the CEO.
These roles don’t apply to our pet store example, but definitely for B2B companies.
This is self-explanatory. For our local pet store, it doesn’t make sense to collect this at all. But for B2B, this is especially important. Some B2C might also benefit from this, especially the software companies.
It pays to know your market’s default disposition. This will help you guide how you communicate.
For example, you’re an outgoing marketer. But, your customers are mostly reserved. What do you think will happen if you continue using fluffy words, colorful design, and everything just stands out?
Knowing this doesn’t limit you to your campaigns. You can use this knowledge to guide you in crafting your entire website copy (and all your campaigns).
What do your customers value the most? Is it money? Is it convenience? Do they appreciate high quality work?
If you’re trying to sell high-end, specialized dog food that costs 800 per kilo, but your customers care about price, you won’t get the results you’re expecting.
Your actions as a business in general has to match what your customers value. Otherwise, you will have a hard time implementing successful marketing campaigns.
Attitudes are a way of thinking or feeling towards something. What does your customer feel about a year-long sale? Year after year? Does your customer smile or cringe when they hear your brand name? Or are they wondering what your brand is all about?
1. Products/Services Availed
This one is also self-explanatory.
Identify what your customers bought from you so you can send them related info for that product/service later on, or upsell/cross-sell something that is related.
Sample Use Case:
You looked at your database and saw that a lot of dog owners are buying 2kg bags of dog food. You’re assuming they are doing so only because that’s what they see displayed in-store.
You then send out an email to these specific customers to tell them you have 15kg bags of these dog food. You have limited stocks of them. And that they can save 15% compared to buying seven 2kg bags.
Intent is another way most organizations implement campaigns on — whether or not they will buy from you. You can use this to guide product launches, etc. For example, you can create a simple survey asking whether people will be a product with these features. Or given a product, ask how much they will most likely buy it for.
All things being equal, it’s known that past behavior (like previous purchases) is the best predictor of future behavior. Asking for intent is a hypothetical question. People say all kinds of things but rarely follows through.
One way to really execute on this is to use pre-orders. This means they pay you now while you develop and launch your new product/service. If people aren’t buying it, dig deeper to find the reason:
Do they not trust you?
Do they don’t trust the product/service you’re developing?
Is there something you need to change that will make them buy it?
Is it the price?
If after analyzing the different angles and people still aren’t pre-ordering, that means there’s probably no need for the product/service you’re thinking.
Take note that if you don’t deliver, you won’t be able to do this again. It will greatly damage your brand.
A person who started her research process (awareness) won’t be happy seeing promos about your products. She’ll be happier seeing whether or not this product can help me solve my problems first. Because if not, no amount of promotion and discounting can and will persuade her to buy from you.
As a general rule of thumb, use this breakdown to guide your content creation:
It pays to know which occasion your customers are preparing/buying for. This will help you communicate more effectively.
For the pet store, this isn’t much of an issue because there’s typically no cyclical periods in raising a pet (except for birthdays).
But if you’re a new accounting firm and eager to get clients, a campaign to get other people to switch to you won’t do very well if you’re sending this in March and April — tax season. You’d be better off holding this off in May or June after everyone has finished filing their tax returns.
Maybe even run a campaign targeting people who had a negative experience with their accountants. Think about it. You’d have less competition because other firms are done with their tax season campaign. But if your campaign targets people who had negative experiences with their current firm, you can lay the groundwork so you can capture their business.
Engagement means how engaged your leads are. If your email marketing software is connected to social, you will have the ability to track the interactions your company had with the customer. For some, this can be identified using lead scoring.
Sample Use Case:
You can send freebies to your most engaged customers, ask them to refer you, or a simple thank you. On the other side, you can create a separate win-back campaign to your least engaged subscribers (or worse, people who say something negative about you).
6. Buying Frequency
Buying frequency refers to how often these people buy from you at a certain period. There might be some technical roadblocks, but it is worth combining offline data with online data to get the whole picture.
Sample Use Case:
For example, a customer buys dog food online 4x a year. If you don’t combine this with offline data, you might think this customer won’t go over that limit. But, if you look at offline data, this customer might be buying straight from the store itself after seeing the vet — and that’s every 6 months. So the customer only buys online if they don’t visit the vet.
If you know this, you can send a special campaign for these group of customers and offer them free shipping or maybe even a subscription offer. That way, they don’t have to stop by your store or worry about not having enough dog food.
As a side note, most Philippine companies waste this important data point. A lot of companies offer their loyalty programs. But, 99% of them offer the same thing — buy x times, get 1 free. They don’t go beyond this point.
7. Content Topic
This refers to broader categories of the content you produce. For example, our pet store might have multiple articles on training, first time pet owners, choosing the right food, etc.
Sample Use Case:
Let’s say you create content around different topics related to taking care of your dog:
First-time pet owners
Choosing the right dog food
You can ask your list directly for which topics they are interested in, or log in your email marketing software and group people who visited these topics and send only those content.
8. Interest Level
The interest level can be about different stages your list goes through. For example, it can be as simple as beginner, intermediate, and advance.
A first-time pet owner will have different sets of questions/concerns than someone who already has five dogs in the house. Consider that when it comes to segmenting your list.
Or in other industries, let’s say you’re someone who teaches Facebook Marketing. You might use the beginner, intermediate, and advance segmentation. For example, topics in your beginner level include adding the Facebook Pixel, different types of audiences, and the different campaign structures. But for your advanced level, you might cover retargeting, evergreen campaigns, and combining FB ads with Google Ads (and other PPC).
9. Content Format
This refers to the different types of content your audience consumes — i.e. blog articles, eBooks, webinars, PDF downloads, etc.
If your content marketing is on its A-game, you can further improve your ROI when you distinguish which ones your list prefers.
Sample Use Case:
Whenever you send out a new content email, you noticed that your existing leads don’t download your PDF that much.
On the other hand, you noticed that when you share videos about the content offering you just launched, you get a lot of engagement.
In your next email, instead of sending an email asking them to download, you can include the video about it. This might give you a better way of engaging your list.
10. Content Engagement
This refers to the amount of time leads are spending with your content.
This is an indication of their interest in your company, and should be used to either reawaken waning interest, or move leads along through the sales cycle while they’re at their height of engagement with your content.
Again, depending on the marketing software you are using, this can be tracked automatically and give you notifications.
Sample Use Case:
For example, you setup a notification in your subscription pricing page that when people come back to it 3x in 7 days, but didn’t buy yet. This way, you can send a manual email or call them up directly to ask them if they have questions about this subscription.
While this may be an overkill when it comes to our pet store, this is usually how SaaS companies do their marketing and sales. They know that people visiting their pricing page a couple of times in a short amount of time means they are actively looking and looking to buy soon. If they can speak with you, answer your questions and concerns, you’re most likely going to buy from them.
11. Buying Behavior
Change in buying behavior can indicate the person is becoming more or less interested in your organization. This is somewhat similar to buying frequency, or the products/services they availed, so take that into consideration.
If you look at frequency to determine how you can further segment your campaign, you can think of buying behavior as indication of whether they are still going to be a customer or not.
Sample Use Case:
If someone regularly buys dog food every two months, then suddenly they didn’t in two consecutive 2-month periods, what does that mean? If they buy cakes annually for their furry friends’ birthday, then didn’t buy this year, what does that mean?
In both cases, you can create a campaign that reminds them about their purchase, or maybe even offer a small discount. Maybe you can even remind them about your relationship (they bought 16 bags in the last 2 years) or something to that effect.
12. Call-to-action clicks or Clicks with tags
These are a special type of link clicks that allow you to segment your list further. More sophisticated marketing software does this tracking automatically. But for marketers who don’t have the budget, simple UTM tags will do the trick.
This replaces the need to ask them in your forms. And as you know, shorter forms lead to more conversions.
Sample Use Case:
Send an email that asks for the recipient’s input. For example, which statement best describes you:
first-time pet parent
i have several pets before
Then, when they click on the “first-time pet parent,” they get tagged into that segment already. The same holds true for the other choices.
Then, you can use this segmentation to personalize the content you’re sending. A first-time pet parent needs more hand-holding. You explain more things and provide more resources. But the experienced one will find that annoying. Instead, you can simply sent short reminders. That way, you’re simply reminding them of things they should have known already.
13. Satisfaction Rating
If you’re running feedback surveys or customer satisfaction surveys (which you should), you can segment people in this different groups. For example, the most known feedback survey is the NPS.
You can segment your promoters, detractors, and neutral.
Then, after a few days, you can ask for referrals from your promoters. While you reach out to your detractors to learn more about the reasons behind the low score.
The key to succeeding in digital marketing is segmentation because it allows you to know more about your leads and customers. It also allows you to be hyper-focused and only sends relevant content to them.
These are only some ways you can segment your email list. The sample use cases above might not necessarily apply to your business (unless you’re a pet store with an eCommerce shop), but that should give you an idea of how to use them.
Remember, irrelevant content is the main reason people unsubscribe from your list. If you don’t continuously invest in knowing your customers, you will never know what they want or what they care about.
Start segmenting your email list today.
Have you tried any of these list segmentation before? I’d love to know. Let’s chat in the comments below!
The trick here is to cast a wide enough net that you don’t exclude a lot of people.
Pro Tip #1: Since we’re starting out, we are targeting people here who are at the top of the funnel. These are the people who are in stage 1 or 2 of the 5 stages of awareness.
And if I haven’t repeated this enough, lead nurturing campaigns are designed to move the lead down to the next stage in your marketing and sales funnel.
This may take a while or may take a combination of multiple campaigns. So, don’t expect immediate results.
Putting them all together
Here’s the cool part about the exercise you went through a while ago. Every step you took in the previous section comes into play here.
To recap, here’s what you did:
Decide what to sell
List FAQs / common objections
Determine your audience
Segment your audience
Decide what related content to give away
The exciting part here is that everything you need to create the lead nurturing campaign is already done. You’re just now going to set it up — starting from the bottom.
You already have your marketing offer created. Now, all you need to do is to enable your leads to download them. Here’s what you do.
1. Create a Thank You Page
Now that you have your PDF offer, it’s time to create a thank you page.
A thank you page is a special type of page on your website where people can access your marketing offers. That’s why this is the first step in our lead nurturing process. You can read more about thank you pages in my previous article.
How you create them differs depending on what you use or plan to use. In my case, I’m using Thrive Themes. It’s a conversion-focused theme that allows me to create and design landing pages/thank you pages with ease.
You can also use standalone landing page builders like Instapage.
Or if your email marketing software already offers it, use the built-in landing page builder. For example, if you are using ConvertKit, you can do it there without the need for any special software.
Keep this simple for now. Add a link or button to enable download of your PDF. That way, when people click on it, they can download the PDF you just made.
Here’s an example of a simple thank you page I made…
After publishing this page, take note of its URL. You’re going to use it in the next steps.
Pro Tip #2: Add a noindex tag to this page so that no one can accidentally stumble upon this page from search engines.
Pro Tip #3: When you have your next offer, add a call-to-action here to keep the user engaged. Think of it as the next logical step in your sales process. So if they downloaded a “checklist on pros and cons of the different dog food diets,” your next offer could be something like “the science behind dry dog food and why it’s the best diet for your dogs.” You create a call-to-action and put it in the thank you page so that they “keep converting” and engaging with you.
2. Create a Thank You Email
A thank you email is a supplement to the thank you page. It is basically a confirmation of the action that your user just took. For example, if it’s to download a checklist, it’s an email that does two things:
Thank them for downloading the checklist; and,
Allowing them to download the checklist
You can either use a direct download link in the email or use the URL for the thank you page instead. That way, people go back to your site again to download the offer.
I always go for the latter option because I can include a follow-up offer on my thank you page. We’ll talk about that in some future article.
In that article, I shared the 9 key elements of an effective landing page and why landing pages are a must if you want to start generating more leads.
4. Create a Call-to-Action (CTA)
A call-to-action in digital marketing is a way for marketers to link to their marketing offers. Essentially, it’s a link that points to a landing page.
It can be as simple as “subscribe now” or “download this eBook.”
There are best practices for crafting the copy of CTAs and there are multiple variations you can use — from plain-text links to images, or placements like sidebar, homepage, within the blog posts, etc.
Here’s an example of an image CTA…
I just add this to relevant blog posts (like this one you’re reading), add a link, and you’re good to go.
Go ahead, try clicking on it to see how it works. You’ll be redirected to a landing page.
Distribution is a step that is often neglected by marketers. After all, you cannot nurture any leads if you don’t get any leads in the first place.
For some, this is what they do.
They create an awesome marketing offer, they post it once on their social media accounts and forget about it.
Just remember this: not everyone can and will see what you post today. 10 weeks from now, your offer would still be valuable (I hope). But by then, no one has seen/heard about you and your offer.
Don’t forget to keep sharing / posting about the offer you worked so hard to create.
Another way to distribute your marketing offer is to put them all over your website. For example, if you browse different pages of my site, I have placed multiple CTAs for the Case Study I made.
You can also go back to your previous blog posts and add them there as links, like what I did above.
I currently use ConvertKit. There are other alternatives out there from simple ones like MailChimp and the ones packed with features like InfusionSoft or HubSpot.
All you do is write the emails.
You can either be fancy — use the templates or create your own — or be simple and just write it out in plain text and add minimal formatting like bold, bullets, and headers.
Let’s say you created a PDF checklist for 10 signs you need to change your dog food now.
Here’s how your emails might look like…
Email 1: Thank you email
Thank the person for downloading your checklist. Ask them if they have questions to simply reply to the email, call you, visit your store, or follow you on social media.
Email 2: Segmentation email
Ask them how they find the checklist, whether it’s valuable or not. Then, ask your segmenting question with a couple of options.
For example: Do you own a…?
When they click on one, now you know which ones they have.
Email 3-5: FAQ email
Since you segmented people in the previous step, now you can easily send targeted content to them.
In the earlier step, you listed down your FAQs. Now, it’s time to tailor that depending on which segment they fall under.
For example, a puppy owner would have different needs, wants, and problems than an owner of a mature dog.
So, create 3 sets of FAQs that send when people click on the segment they are in. Meaning, if they indicated they are a puppy owner, you send them FAQs that might include “is it time to feed my puppy dry food?” or something like that.
But if it’s a mature dog owner, your FAQ email might include information about diets and what older dogs need that may not have crossed their mind.
Pro Tip: Use the one or two sentence answers you made to cover this section. Then, link back to your other articles where you answered the questions more thoroughly. This way, your email won’t be too long. And if people wants to read more, they can simply click through it.
Which brings me to the next step…
BONUS: Create Supplemental Content
This is an optional step since it isn’t part of the lead nurturing campaign itself. This is, however, an important step for more effective distribution.
The more places you can showcase your marketing offer, the better.
Basically, this step is to create more blog posts related to the topic so you have more chances of linking the landing page of your PDF.
If you noticed, throughout this article, I have tons of links to my other articles. If I don’t write blog posts like this, then I won’t be able to link to my other articles — or in your case, the marketing offer.
So, what are you going to do next
In this article, you’ve learned a step-by-step process on how to create a simple lead nurturing campaign using tools you are most probably already using.
“Subscribe to my newsletter” is a lousy call-to-action that no longer works. It is also often used ineffectively. If you want to increase your email list, aka generate new leads, it’s time to offer something of real value.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
Great lead nurturing campaigns are what separates effective marketers apart from the mediocre ones.
In this article, I’ll be sharing some email marketing examples from local international brands. I’ll include some background about the email, explain what’s good about it and some areas for improvement.
Just to be clear, I’m sharing only about lead nurturing emails.
Microsoft Office: Welcome Email Series to Office 365
Background about the email
I recently started using to Office 365 — the subscription-based model of Microsoft Office’s suite.
Part of my work includes analysis and reporting. I wanted to know if MS Excel is the right spreadsheet tool for me.
They offered a 30-day trial. Yey!
So, after filling out the necessary forms and entering my credit card details, I receive this email from them.
Then, I received this email after a couple of days.
I won’t include the entire email series here. Rather, I only wanted to highlight that upon subscription — the trigger — a welcome email is sent. Then, another email is sent after a few days. This corresponds directly to the 7-step process in the lead nurturing campaign article.
Email 1 from Microsoft Office
What I love about this campaign
There are two things I love about this email.
First, it tells you exactly what you need to know to completely use MS Office. They highlighted that my trial ends on a certain date.
While they didn’t include that I can cancel my trial anytime, Microsoft hinted that I can do so in the billing section of my account. They even provided direct link to it. This is very important because it shows that they are confident in their product.
They are giving me quick access should I decide to cancel. They are not hiding this section in some corner of their website.
Makes you start to wonder where the unsubscribe/cancel links are in that email, huh?
Also, this email was sent last April. So, if I’m viewing it now in May, that means my subscription might have already started. By including that piece of information in the email itself, they are making it easy for me.
If you are not sharing these types of information easily with your customers, it only shows how much you don’t care about their experience. The message you’re sending is that you want to make it harder for them to do business with you.
Next, they gave a top-level overview of how to use Office 365 fully by sharing a 3-step process. This is very important. Remember, I just subscribed. Meaning, I’m a new user.
The marketer behind this email series didn’t assume that I know what to do next after subscribing. Also, unless you’re not familiar with how software selling goes right now (especially SaaS), everything is done via the internet.
What that means is you pay AND download the software over the internet. No need for CD-ROMs or USBs.
As a side note, that’s also the reason why I opted to buy the new MacBook as an upgrade from my MacBook Air. Despite having only a USB-C port, I really don’t need to connect anything to it apart from power.
One of Microsoft’s strategies is a unified platform across all devices — Universal Windows Platform. With that in mind, they subtly shared that by downloading the desktop apps and mobile apps, it will all just be connected with each other.
Lastly, the package I chose allows me to share it with 4 other people. So, they also highlighted this in the email and gave me a link that leads me directly to share it.
Again, this only shows that Microsoft believes in its product so much that they actually tell you what you can do — in this case share the software with 4 other people — so I will have more reasons to actually continue with the subscription.
Areas for improvement
The only thing i see that is worth improving here is the image used.
There is a Microsoft Philippines. Meaning, they are catering to the local market. But the images used are definitely not Filipinos.
Of course, there might be some limitations here as to what they can do. But given that they have a local presence here in the country, it’s better if they used Filipinos in their images.
Email 2 from Microsoft Office
What I love about this campaign
Email 2 is all about One Drive. Microsoft is telling me in this email that I have a whopping 1Tb of space included in my subscription.
It’s great because, like the first email, the marketer didn’t assume that I know what OneDrive is.
In fact, it’s very new to me. I’ve been a Dropbox and Google Drive user since the early 2000’s. I actually haven’t used OneDrive yet since I already have my workflow setup using Dropbox and Google Drive. So, this is just good FYI for me.
Perhaps I can use it as extra storage later on when my accounts are full. The other great thing about this email is that they included a video (link) that will help you understand more about how OneDrive works. If you’re not familiar with the concept of cloud storage and syncing, viewing the video will help you understand this better.
Areas for improvement
Apart from the image like I mentioned in what to improve in email 1, I couldn’t find anything else to improve.
Power Mac Center: Service Email Update
Background about this email
I bought a new MacBook last December while I was traveling to the US. However, a few days after I came back to the Philippines, I noticed that whenever i pressed the letter “t” on my keyboard, it is making a double input.
So all words that has a letter “t” ended looking like tthis. Itt’s annoying!
I had my laptop checked. They took it in. The next day, I received this email as a confirmation that my laptop was with them.
What I love about this campaign
There were a couple of things that I liked in this email. First, it acknowledged that I recently went to them to have my laptop serviced.
Despite this email being automated, it shows the person who just parted with their device (me) that they have it and will do their best to exceed my expectations.
The other thing I liked about this is it was “timely.” This email was sent the day after i went to have my laptop serviced. While it may have been great to receive this email right away, there might be some operational nuances that could have prevented this.
On a separate note, I also received SMS updates about this service repair. First, they said it’s being diagnosed by a technician, and another with the results of the said diagnosis.
Areas for improvement
Of course, there are simple things Power Mac Center can do to further improve this email.
Unfortunately, it didn’t include the details of the actual service nor said anything about it. Apart from the service promise stated in the email, they could have included a summary of the issue I had.
As a little background, when you go to have your device fixed, they make you fill-up forms that includes all these information already. So, why not make use of them?
For example, they could have included the laptop, model, issue, etc. in the email body itself. This way, it’s an additional assurance that they really are working on my device.
For the contents of the email, modern business communication dictates that you forego communication like a robot.
Would you talk to another person in front of you using the words “Warm greetings”? I don’t think so.
Unless you’re Sheldon Cooper, you don’t talk (or write) like that. It makes you sound insincere. Also, I’m not a Mr./Ms.
It’s easier to either remove this or make sure you can toggle this properly in your email marketing software. You can use personalization variables to do this.
Next, I’m not a fan of using ALL CAPS — especially in subject lines, much more in an entire sentence. As I said before, using all caps letters is tantamount to shouting. This might not be the intention, but from the reader’s side, they look desperate — trying to hard to be noticed in the inbox.
Another area of improvement I can see here are the images (the photo and the social sharing icons). I tried different browsers and internet connections, but they don’t seem to load.
It’s best to double-check the images you’re using. Since this is an automated email, PowerMac might have overlooked this when they changed something that’s why the files aren’t loading.
I recently went on an overnight trip to Tagaytay with my wife and some friends. We booked an Airbnb. This email was sent a few days before the actual stay.
What I love about this campaign
It’s a short email but has all the necessary information you need to know. It includes who to contact, how to contact them, and the things you need to know beforehand (house rules).
The email also includes how you can contact Airbnb — 24/7, anywhere in the world. For me, this email basically says Airbnb cares about it’s guests. They know their role — a platform that connects hosts from travelers.
Areas for improvement
The only thing I can see that is worth improving in this email is to include the address and directions to the place in the email itself. You can actually see this if you click on the “view full itinerary” button.
But it would have been great if everything is already listed in the email. That way, you don’t have to navigate elsewhere.
I wasn’t able to verify this, but it might have something to do with some security settings. I’m only one of the guests in this trip. I wasn’t the one who booked the trip itself. So, I may be seeing something different from the person who booked the trip itself.
So, what are you going to do next
These are 3 examples of great lead nurturing emails I recently came across with.
Again, i didn’t include one-time sends. I will tackle those in a separate post next time. Now that you have seen real-life examples of lead nurturing emails — what’s great about them and what you can improve — it’s time to do your own.
Read my post on how to create a simple lead nurturing email campaign and start delivering real value to your leads.
Email marketing automation is the use of email marketing to efficiently communicate with your prospects and customers after they meet certain criteria and/or performed some action.
As digital marketers today, we all have a lot of stuff on our plates. Aside from email marketing, we also handle social media, advertisement, content creation, maintaining the website, SEO and keyword research, and many more. With more and more technology creeping up each day, we are expected to learn and master all of them.
Sadly, marketing budgets and salaries don’t increase at the same rate as these demands. It’s as if our bosses want us to work 24/7 without extra pay.
How Organizations Use Email Marketing Automation Today
Organizations use email marketing automation are through:
A thank you email
A cart abandonment email.
The thank you email is sent after the person fills-up a form on a landing page on your website to download or register for something. It’s used to deliver your marketing offer and/or inform the person about the next steps. The best practice of this is to use it with a thank you page.
The cart abandonment email is sent after the person adds some items to the cart but does not continue with the checkout. As its name implies, it is an email that reminds a person that they have something in their cart.
From these two examples, you can see that email marketing automation saves you time by doing things that are repetitive and, looking from the grand scheme of things, low-value.
To put it simply, lead nurturing is a series of email that are sent after a certain trigger/event with the end-goal of moving the lead to the next stage in the marketing and sales funnel.
There is a lot expected from digital marketers today. The only way to achieve tangible results — and increased workload — is to work smart. Automate some repetitive activities, but at the same time, bring in the results we need.
So, what are you going to do next
I’ve written about lead nurturing in the past and how you can start creating a simple lead nurturing email campaign.
I also analyzed how some Philippine companies are using lead nurturing. I highlighted the parts that are great and the areas for improvement.
If you’re not using lead nurturing emails, you’re already behind. Imagine the marketers who do. They now freed up some time and are now learning new skills and technologies.
Are you using email marketing automation in your organization? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. However, this does not impact my reviews and comparisons. I only recommend products I’ve reviewed, and in many instances also use, in order to help you make the best choices.