How businesses can use email marketing to turn casual fans into paying buyers
Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, Web publishers, email specialists
Post by Megan Totka
Building a solid following on a social media platform promotes brand awareness — but how can businesses convert those casual fans into paying buyers? The most effective way is through email marketing. It’s such a powerful marketing tool that marketers earn on average $38 for every $1 spent on email marketing, making conversion of social media followers to email list participants so important to a company’s bottom line.
Social media and email marketing are different animals, of course. Liking a Facebook page does not always equal an opt-in for email notifications — but with some smart integration and timing, you can bask in the benefits of both.
Take a look at some ways to encourage your social followers to support you through email, too.
Cultivating an engaged social media following certainly increases brand awareness — but we know that email marketing is a much stronger asset when it comes to people actually clicking and buying in the moment. So how do you get those followers to also opt in to your email marketing list?
Well, you can start by asking. Make sure you are consistently posting your opt-in details. You can also create a call-to-action on social platforms like Facebook that prompt your followers to opt-in to email marketing.
Another way to grab the attention of social followers and prompt them to opt in to your email list is through offering premium content on your social channels. When they click your link for a free premium ebook, for example, they will also be asked to opt in. You can also host contests or giveaways that require an email signup to enter. There are a lot of ways to prompt your social fans to sign up for your email list too — just make sure it’s part of your schedule social strategy.
The email sales funnel
Once your social fans are also email subscribers, your opportunity to sell rises. Simply sending out a basic newsletter every week, however, won’t up your revenue. You need to make sure the email marketing platform you use offers the support you need to actually land sales.
Here are some of the most important features in email marketing you should seek:
When emails are personalized, they have 2.5 times higher click-through rates and generate 6 times more sales than non-customized versions of the same emails. You want people to know that you care about their customer journey. With personalization you can create profiles of your customers using existing data and send emails based on behavior, age, gender, location and more.
For example, an online retail store sends out monthly offers to their email list for 10 percent off certain products. Before personalization, this retailer would have sent a blanket email offer with an image of a women wearing the product to everyone regardless of age or gender. Using personalization, the same retailer now sends different emails to segments of their list dynamically based on their age and gender dramatically increasing sales.
How they stack up
Campaign Monitor: With a one-time setup, relevant and personalized customer journeys keep audiences engaged over time. Campaign Monitor uses data from more than 260 integrations with business systems you already use to build hyper-personalized emails. You can use their drag and drop interface to easily create custom customer journeys to continually move people through your sales funnel no matter how they engage with your emails. Campaign Monitor also creates customer profiles for everyone in your list with information gathered from applications you’ve connected like Salesforce and Shopify. This allows for easy segmentation and highly effective personalized email campaigns.
MailChimp: The “merge fields” concept of dynamic email marketing was popularized by MailChimp. MailChimp offers basic personalization based on data you provide and it integrates with other apps, like Facebook. Marketers can offer suggested items to individual customers in email and remind customers about abandoned carts (both are paid upgrades). MailChimp doesn’t offer easy-to-use customer journey interfaces and what is offered is pretty basic.
GetResponse: This email marketing platform does offer automation workflows where users can create personalized email campaigns based on data. The customer journey workflow interface is a bit clunky and somewhat difficult to use. Another downside is GetResponse integrates with only 100 other business systems, so you need to make sure they integrate with systems you currently use before considering it.
Email marketing should never take a one-size-fits-all approach. You need different messaging for different customers with different needs. Email marketing platforms should let you accomplish that easily, without much adjustment and with the same branding and design.
How they stack up
Campaign Monitor: You can slice and dice your audience parameters easily by demographics (male/female, age, etc.) and expose different messages to unique audiences within the same email campaign. Campaign Monitor’s drag and drop email template builder makes creating different emails for each segment and customer persona easy.
MailChimp: MailChimp does allow for list segmentation and you can send differenent emails to each segment. The downside is that most of this is done manually. The platform doesn’t create customer profiles automatically with the data entered or gathered from integrations. This is a major downside of MailChimp for marketers looking to easily create dynamic campaigns that wow customers.
GetResponse: The platform offers good data segmentation capabilities and the ability to dynamically send personalized emails based on customer profiles.
While the best email marketing is automated, you really do need a human side to help you build the best campaigns. This includes technical support but also the ability to pick up the phone (or send an email) and receive a timely and helpful response.
How they stack up
Campaign Monitor: Campaign Monitor makes good on its claim to employ a “team of humans committed to growth.” This company is seems dedicated to great customer support. They offer 24/7 customer support as well as a dedicated customer success team to help customers generate the highest ROI using industry best practices.
MailChimp: The marketing platform relies on online technology to assist customers – mainly through live chat and technical support question/answer forums.
GetResponse: The platform offers live chat, email and phone support. If you want more one on one customer success coaching you have to purchase their enterprise services.
Combining social and email marketing efforts can really make a positive impact on your bottom line. Start with a smart social-to-email strategy, and follow up with the right email marketing platform.