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Does Your Email Marketing Have Contingencies?

When you start your email marketing campaign, do you have a plan of action for those who don’t convert on the first email?  When I say contingencies for email, I’m not talking about a series of emails to the same list 4 or 5 times, what I basically mean is retargeting a recipient with different messages to move them along with their purchasing decision. This goes beyond remarketing which are ads that follow you around the internet, but rather, directly targeted based on their actions within your campaign.

Let’s say you are developing an email campaign to sell a new product you are launching. You have a highly qualified list and you have a series of emails emphasizing the great features and benefits of the product. You launch the first email and get a decent open rate but a high number clicked through but a small percentage purchased. As you launch the next few emails you see that your open rate is getting lower, and you also notice that your click through rate and purchase rate getting lower. Before you know it, you’ve exhausted your list. Let’s take that same scenario and this time we planned for contingencies.

Let’s start with the basics. There are typically four kinds of interactions when you send out an email. They are unopens; open and don’t click; open, click and don’t convert; and convert. In our plan, each one of these interactions is handled differently.

With your contingency plan, you have your list, and your emails, but this time you planned for your visitor’s interactions. Your plan could look something like this. Let’s start with the unopens.

In most campaigns, there is a sizable group that doesn’t open. We don’t know why they didn’t open. I’m not talking about dead emails or emails that go into spam. These are successfully delivered emails that the recipient didn’t open.

Turn a 25% open rate to a 50% open rate

For this group, we can set up a series of three or four emails that have a different subject line each time. Since they didn’t open, the email itself can stay the same. Each email emphasizes different aspects of the product. By doing this you can turn a 25% open rate to a 50% open rate. Once they open an email they will fall into one of the next categories.

The next group, opened but didn’t click, is a tricky group. This group can fall into one of two categories. The first is your message didn’t resonate enough for them to take action, or they opened the email to delete it. Since we can’t do anything about the second group, let’s focus on the first group.

If someone didn’t click on your email, there is a good chance that your message didn’t match their expectations. It could be a variety of reasons but in most cases they didn’t see the value. So you need to ask yourself, what is the value of your product to the customer?

Turn no click into clicks

If your product is going to change their lives, how so? They may not be able to figure this out because your product is so unique. This group is curious. Give them a reason to take the next step. Let them know how it changed other people’s lives.

Testimonials are great for this. Reframe their problem with your product as the solution. This group can get one or two emails more emails then I would let them get cold. The last thing you want to do is upset a large part of your list. Once you get them to click through to the product page, the group moves to the next phase which is, clicked but didn’t purchase.

It is important to note that you should be creating segments all along the way. Also, if someone moves to another group, they should be removed from the previous group. Most email blast platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, as well as others, should be able to do this automatically.

Now you got them to click but they didn’t buy. Why? Is your price is too high? Perhaps they aren’t sure how it will fit their lifestyle? Maybe they don’t see a money back guarantee? In this case where the buyer may be unsure, we need to set up a series of emails to address these concerns.

Help them over the finish line

If they have gone as far as clicking through to your website then we can presume they have an interest. If they don’t buy at that point, then address what could be holding them back. Send them an email with a video demonstration or perhaps a “personal note” from the owner or founder. One or two emails at the most. Again, you want to demonstrate the value, not upset them and have them unsubscribe.

Once you hook them, don’t forget them

Success! After nearly a half dozen emails, you convinced them that your product is right for them. Don’t let the relationship end there. If you have a one off product, send them tips and tricks to help them get the most out of their new product. This can be a weekly series of about 3 or 4 emails. Think about how they would use the product. Perhaps they need to know the best way to clean it or replace a part that will wear down. If there are add-on products, send them a “limited time only” discount to purchase one of these products.

If you have a product that they can reorder, think about offering a volume discount or subscription plan. If you know how long your product will last before they need another, send them a reminder email that it’s time to reorder. At the very least, remind them to follow you on social media.

You’ve sent out twelve emails to the same group without annoying them

Yes, there are people who will unsubscribe. Truthfully, they were never going to buy anyway so you’ll just be wasting your effort on them. However, the remainder of the list, won’t realize they have received nearly twelve emails because it’s not the same message over and over. You’re addressing their concerns, and at the very least, they are aware of the value of your product.

This methodology is a bit more work but it helps increase the conversion rate of the ones who don’t buy on the first email. Another benefit of doing your email campaigns this way is that you will see which message resonates the most with your audience, and you can use this information to better market your product down the road.