Email marketing has found its place in most companies’ online marketing mix as a customer loyalty tool. More accurately it is used to start a dialogue with leads and customers to increase or generate sales. So we can split post-lead email marketing in two areas; getting leads to become customers and generating more profit from clients. But first, we discuss the usage of email marketing as a lead generation tool.
Email marketing for lead generation
Email marketing has its uses in the pre-lead process and is often used in cooperation with a partner by placing a text message or banner ad in relevant newsletters or by buying the right to mail to a partners’ list. Especially the latter requires extra diligence to arrive at an acceptable cost per lead/client.
One way of mitigating the risk of mailing to a rented list (usually you ‘rent’ the database for one time use) is structuring the fee that you pay to your media partner to be a cost-per-acquisition. This means paying for every lead generated as opposed to paying for every mail sent out.
If this is not an option then you should make sure the database is comprised of high quality contacts, that the database is mailed infrequently and that the people in the database have the same demographics as your target audience.
A good way to find these opportunities is going on the websites that your clients visit (ask them!) and looking if there’s a newsletter available. If this is the case then there is often the opportunity to rent this list or place a message in that newsletter. Make sure that if you intend to rent the list that all people in the database have ‘opted in’ to being mailed by partners.
Once you have a shortlist of opportunities you then contact them to ask for rates. With the rates in hand you can now calculate what response you need to make a profit.
Let’s say the list you want to buy has 25.000 contacts in it and has a cost of $3000 for a one time dedicated email. This is how your calculation would look (please replace the numbers with your own averages and estimations).
Cost = $3.000
Distribution = 25k
Open Rate = 28%
Click Thru Rate = 6,5%
Demo Download Conversion Rate = 4%
That means that of 25k emails sent 7000 open the mail. Of those 455 click thru to your site and 18 sign up for a demo. That means that the cost per lead is $166,- (3000/18).
You can decide if this number is acceptable, based on your average earnings per lead and desired return on marketing investment.
The content of these emails should be actionable, to the point and promotional in nature. Make sure all the important information is ‘above the fold’ (viewable without scrolling down) and that there is one call to action which is supported by a button that viewers can click.
Converting leads to clients
When someone shows interest online they are usually contacted by the sales department. While this is without a doubt the most effective channel of conversion it makes sense to start a secondary path. Email marketing can be very effective in keeping your product (and their interest in it!) at the top of their mind while at the same time being a non-intrusive means of contact.
Try to keep these emails educational in tone while at the same time discussing your products. The more trading you get your leads to do with the demo platform the more likely they are to become clients and so it makes sense to send them information on it. A good way to do this is a how-to on selected features of the trading platform in a quick step-by-step format. Besides this, a guide on how to open an account and the general on boarding process is advisable.
A more advanced way of going about this is by automating the process based on certain triggers like demo trading behaviour, time spent, contacts by other channels etc etc. There is, for instance, a solution by Interwoven which takes all channels (except for online advertising) and integrates them in this way.
Email Marketing to clients
The basic premiss is that keeping constant contact with clients increases their awareness of your company, which in turn increases revenues.
The optimal use of email marketing to current customers is offering value while keeping promotional content to a minimum. While this is counter intuitive to most sales organizations the best way to generate more sales is actually not selling in this stage.
The customer is already convinced of your product, they wouldn’t be a customer otherwise. Note that promotion of products the customer is not using (or is decreasing in volume with) is usually a good idea.
So, increasing customer loyalty is the objective of email marketing in this stage. The idea is to offer value by sending informational emails like a newsletter. Market news, how-to guides or educational content in general, pod or vod (audio or video) casts and whitepapers are universally well received.