by Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft and co-author of “Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy“
Email marketing is one of the oldest and most effective methods of digital marketing. Decades after it was first introduced, email still consistently delivers the highest conversion rates of any marketing method.
Knowing how to use email marketing – or best leverage email marketing services – throughout the buyer’s journey can make a tremendous difference in conversions and repeat sales. To help you get the most of your email marketing, here’s a list of dos and don’ts to keep your email and your business on the right track.
Do This: Provide Timely and Consistent Follow-up
Not That: Manually Write and Send Individual Emails One By One
Most entrepreneurs intend to send follow up emails, but many of them don’t. Making connections and following up with one email isn’t likely to result in sales. The key is to have timely and consistent follow-up so that every time you send a message out to your list you are prepared to respond to those who engage with it.
Customers have grown accustomed to instant communication, and they expect a fast response from every business they encounter. If they don’t receive an answer within a few hours, there’s a good chance they won’t read your response at all.
Prepared responses ensure consistent messaging as you nurture customers through the buying process. They’re also better educated and prepared to close by the time they reach the sales team.
Consider boosting efficiency by having the prepared responses sent out immediately by your marketing software. Marketing campaigns automate the process of follow-up. For example, if a customer clicks a link to purchase your new product, but doesn’t complete the order, you can follow-up with a reminder or offer.
Do This: Prioritize Sales Calls by Lead Score
Not That: Randomly Call People On Your List
Randomly selecting people from your list not only wastes time, but it can cost you sales. Customers don’t wait until you’re ready. You have to be ready when they are.
All of your leads should be qualified and prioritized. Those that engage more with your marketing content are more likely to become paying customers. Create a scoring methodology that identifies those who are most interested. When it’s time to make sales calls, the highest scores should rise to the top of the list and get called first.
The more you automate processes like lead scoring, the quicker you’ll be talking to the customers that are ready to buy. With a good system, you’ll see improved response time and close rates while reducing the effort required by sales staff.
Do This: Keep Customer Information in One Place
Not That: Store Customer Data in Spreadsheets and Files
When customer information is stored in multiple locations, mistakes happen. It’s that simple. Staff will forget to update billing information, appointments, and purchase orders. They’ll look in the wrong place and find the wrong data, or won’t be able to find what they’re looking for at all. The result is always unhappy customers, leads who never become customers, and more money spent reconciling records.
When it comes time to add or update customer information, there should be a single repository. All staff and devices should be able to pull customer data from a central location. Decide on a solution and train your staff. Not only will you have happier customers; you’ll also reduce the frustration of your staff.
Do This: Automate Hiring Procedures
Not That: Check Every Candidate Manually
Hiring the perfect candidate is one of the most difficult and time-consuming business decisions. A manual process requires careful screening of sometimes thousands of applicants. It’s more than a full-time job.
Many business processes can be easily automated, including those involved with hiring new employees. From taking applications online to following up with candidates, automation can perform many of the administrative tasks. Combining automation with a central location for candidate information makes it easy to retain records and know exactly where they are in the process.
Do This: Confirm Meetings Instantly
Not That: Emailing Back and Forth
The days of sending five or ten emails back and forth to settle on a meeting time are gone. Today’s technology makes it easy for customers to submit information and choose a time and date for the meeting. Once they’ve submitted their information, the customer receives a message confirming that the appointment.
You can make this process more efficient and ensure everyone is prepared by sending out follow-up emails. A campaign triggered by a date can issue reminders, send paperwork, and other information as needed.
Do This: Make Your Customers Feel Appreciated
Not That: Lose Touch with Customers and Leads
Don’t lose touch with your customers and leads because you can’t figure out what they want. Instead of bombarding your email list with constant messages that don’t offer value, make it a point to send them something they look forward to. You can identify the type of content they want by how they engage with your emails. The data is there.
Show your customers that you appreciate them with prompt customer service and responsiveness. Make it a priority to answer responses you get to the messages you’ve sent out. Those who engage with you are your most valuable customers. Go out of your way to make them feel appreciated and welcomed as you continue the dialog.
Take it one step at a time as you work through your “don’t” list. As you evaluate each item consider what you can do to improve the customer experience while reducing your workload. Email marketing is effective when it’s personal, but even more effective when it’s scalable.
Clate Mask is the CEO and co-founder of Infusionsoft. Clate has been educating and inspiring entrepreneurs for over a decade, and is recognized by the small business community as a visionary leader. Clate is a national speaker on entrepreneurship and small business success, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller “Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy“.