From a marketing standpoint, an email list is undoubtedly one of the most potent assets that a company can have (especially when that network has the chance to grow thanks to great content). When engaging in email newsletter marketing, you have full control of the timing, content, and context in which you share information. You are not subject to the often unpredictable algorithms of social media and are more likely to establish a meaningful connection to customers.
As a tool, the research on email marketing is conclusive—it works. In fact, data indicates that email newsletter subscribers:
- Arrive onsite from direct links at a higher percentage than search engine results or social media.
- Spend 80% more time at a site than other visitors.
- Are twice as likely to buy a product or service
Of course, in order for your email newsletter to have the impact you want it to, you need to first get subscribers to sign up and then make sure you’re targeting readers at the right time. To help you fine-tune this aspect of your email marketing strategy, today we are looking at registration and segmentation. Ready to reap the benefits of sharing your top-notch content by email? Let’s dive in.
Registration: Your guide to getting more email newsletter subscribers
Below you’ll find some proven best practices for high-performing signup forms.
Keep it simple
It can be tempting to go for the jackpot and try to amass all sorts of valuable data in your signup form, but you must resist the temptation! From the number of fields asking for information to color schemes and even vocabulary, your form should be easy for readers to digest. It often makes sense to pose a second strategic, and required, question (more on that below), but rather than adding too many fields, keep your focus on the goal — getting the email address.
Don’t play hide and seek
This may seem obvious, but time and time again we see businesses bury their signup pages in some obscure location on the website. People lose interest easily so be sure to place your signup form in the upper part of your website, where visitors can easily find it.
(Make it easy to sign up like Backlinko!)
Give visitors a reason to subscribe
We talk a lot about transparency at GANDT, and that is because it is one of the most effective ways to earn the respect of clients, customers, and, of course, readers. A sign-up form should clearly state what information you’ll be sending out in addition to the frequency. This allows you to set expectations right from the start and will leave readers feeling satisfied when you deliver on your promise.
Offer an inticing incentive
Especially if you’re just starting out and are eager to recruit lots of subscribers fast—providing a tangible incentive for signing up may well be your ticket. Whether that is a discount, a small gift, or access to ‘locked’ content (think ebooks, guides, checklists) offering something in exchange for an email address can help you grow your list faster.
(Don’t mind if I do! Thanks, Kate Spade.)
Use a catchy call-to-action
In a sea of email marketing content, it can be tough to stand out. An excellent way to ensure that visitors are willing to give you the time of day is to grab their attention with a catchy phrase that will make them excited for what they’ll receive. This can be done in a few different ways depending on the nature of your brand and the tone of your content. Focus on producing a smile, generating intrigue, or just generally catching the reader off guard.
(Madewell making their visitors feel special.)
Segmentation: Tap into the true potential of your email marketing list
Once you have people signed up for your newsletter, now is not the time to get lazy!
Mailchimp’s latest user data showed that segmented campaigns get 14.37% more opens and 64.78% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.
Segmenting your marketing list can seem like a daunting prospect at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s look at some quick and easy segmentation strategies that you can get started on today.
Work with any available demographics
The first way many marketers begin email marketing segmentation is by demographic data. Even basic information such as age and gender can provide you with a lot more insight into a person’s needs and interests. If you’re a clothing retailer, for example, then gender would be extremely valuable to know to make sure your email newsletter lands the way you want them to.
Take note of email engagement
Open rate and clickthrough rate are the main metrics that you keep track of in your email marketing service.
At the very least, you want to have subscribers sorted into two main groups: active and inactive. This allows you to develop a specialized campaign designed to re-engage your inactive subscribers.
Alternatively, you can focus your energy on those who are already lightly engaged and invest in getting them to follow through with a purchase. This can be done by sending an email announcement of an upcoming sale and then categorizing everyone who clicks through the email link as “interested.” You then have all the information you need to create a unique campaign to further target them as likely buyers.
(Think they might be losing interest, introduce a new feature like Wirecutter.)
Use geographic area to your advantage
If your business is mainly reliant on location to influence purchasing decisions—this is a big one! Several ways to make wise use of geographic data include:
- Sending your emails at the optimum times for customers in different time zones.
- Highlighting regional promotions that focus on events in certain store locations.
- Noting where your customers shop and sending out offers specific to the physical store that you know they visit.
- Emphasizing a particular location in your headlines or content to capture readers’ attention and let them know they are being offered a tailored experience.
Pay attention to the position in the sales funnel
This is a fantastic way to use your resources wisely and ensure any attempt at customization resonates. When you think about it, of course, it makes sense that someone at the top of the funnel should be receiving different targeted emails than those at the bottom—but this often is not the case.
When you’re just welcoming a new subscriber, for instance, you want to provide a more general overview and highlight your brand’s unique core values. On the other hand, if they’ve been signed up for a while and interacted with certain email content (such as clicking through a link), you can use this information to determine what exactly they’re interested in and send more targeted emails on that product or service.