**UPDATED** - NOW INCLUDES CHANGES IN EMAIL REGULATION IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES AND EVEN MORE MISTAKES!
How many emails do you get daily? A couple of hundred? Are you looking forward to receiving one more email? Guess what – your clients probably aren't so enthusiastic either.
I run a digital detox business called Consciously Digital and think that people receive way too many useless emails these days. This is why "25 Key Mistakes You Make in Email Marketing" is NOT a regular digital marketing course. I will teach you how to do LESS, and not MORE email marketing (while getting a better result). This course is about how to do email marketing in an age of digital distraction, when your customers are overwhelmed by hundreds of messages coming their way.
It's very practical: we will look at over 50 examples of well and poorly executed email campaigns, so that you can learn from other people’s mistakes, instead of making your own costly ones.
You will learn, how to ask people for a permission to email them, write a killer email copy, choose a great subject line, avoid spam filters, choose the best sending times and days - all the regular things. But most importantly, you will learn to create emails that make your subscribers look forward to hearing from you!
As a result of taking this course, you will:
• Understand how your clients act and behave online
• Understand how to capture the attention of your best clients, no matter the distractions around
• Know how to make customers excited about your product without spending much time or money on it
• Learn how to build not simply a loyal customer base, but raving fans who are looking forward to every email you’ll be sending, and will be happy to share them
Is this course for you? Watch this video to know why the founder of a digital detox business is teaching this course and why it's important to be a consciously digital marketer and not spam your customers (hint: it's better for your business!) You can also take the quick test below to determine how many typical mistakes you make.
In this part, you will learn about two ways to approach email marketing - a "bee" and a "flower" marketing. One of them allows you to attract subscribers and customers to sign up for your newsletter - can you guess, which one is it?
Exercise for this lecture:
To start creating your great emailing marketing strategy, write down answers to the following two questions:
Learn the key differences between traditional and consciously digital marketer in getting people's email, as well as some quick "flower" strategies helping you to ask for a permission.
Exercise: make a list of 5 different creative ways to ask a person for a permission to put them on your mailing list (imagine you’re doing it at a party, at work, in the bus, online, after your conference speech).
If you already have a website that people visit, and your content is decent, you will be asking for permission to email them in exchange for great giveaways, like an online brochure, ebook, free online course, list of useful resources etc. Learn about it in this video.
Learn about creating amazing sign up forms and a big difference that the name of a small button can make
Exercise: create a sign-up form based on the instructions from this video
What if you don't yet have a website or traffic? Is it too early to start mailing campaigns? How can you ask people for a permission to stay in touch? Learn in this video!
Exercise: Set up weekly and monthly goal on how many people you want to ask for a permission. Pick one way described in this chapter that resonates with you the most and stick to it at least for one week. If you don't see it working after a week, change it to something else.
You’ve got somebody signing up for your email list – now what? Most marketers fail at making their “confirm subscription” emails engaging, and lose their potential subscribers halfway. In this video, I will explain you how to make sure that people don't forget to confirm their subscription.
Exercise: Review all your sign up confirmation messages across all pages and emails. Make sure each of them is no more than 100 words long, and give people a clear benefit of signing up to your newsletters, urgency of the action and clear instructions how to do that, as well as provide extra value (i.e. a link to something interesting). This should all be written in your personal style, rather than a generic one.
You've managed to get people on your list - now what? The biggest mistake that you can make is to treat all your subscribers equally. Learn why it's important to have a separate strategy for your new subscribers in this video.
Exercise: If you already produce content or have been sending email campaigns, identify your the best pieces (i.e. the most popular or shared blog post, email with the most opens etc.). Rewrite one or two slightly to share with your new subscribers.
In this video, we'll talk about creating a standard onboarding email for your new subscribers that you will be able to use every time a new person gives you a permission to email them.
Exercise: Write an onboarding email template for your new sign ups of no more than 130 words. Either set it up to be sent automatically to any new person (recommended) within 24 hours, or if you find it challenging, define 1-2 (two is better) days per week when you will manually go through all sign ups and send them this new onboarding email.
Rather than sending one email, why not send an onboarding series? This way you will make sure that you are constantly in touch with your subscribers at the most important phase of their journey - when they have just joined the list and their engagement level is at its top. Learn how to do that in this video.
Exercise: Create an email sequence using the template below this video. You can modify it according to your needs and business particularities – most importantly, you need to be clear about the desired outcomes and what type of content you’d be using to achieve that. Use this template to plan your onboarding email sequence and create the one.
You now have your great content and mailing campaign plans – now let’s make sure that it goes to the right people. In this video, we’ll talk about segmenting your existing list, and specifically a situation where you already have a mailing list, which was not built in a very sustainable way.
Exercise: Segment your mailing list. Identify all those who haven’t opened your email for 6 months or more, and put them into a separate segment (or better yet, list) in case you were putting random people on your mailing list.
Learn four key principles that laws in all countries have in common. Which law do you need to comply with - that of a sender or a recipient? Learn in this video!
Two companies have been recently fined for several hundred thousand pounds for not complying with the UK email law. If you don't want to follow their example, you'd better learn what you should not do if your subscribers come from the UK.
With the new EU data privacy regulation coming into play on the 25th May 2018, most of existing email marketing practices will become illegal. Learn what will change.
US email regulation is considered the most liberal one, while the Canadian one is more strict. Learn the key differences between the two.
Learn 7 practical steps you need to take to comply with most regulations.
Exercise: download the legal requirements checklist below this video and check your existing campaigns against it. You need to answer YES to all of them if you want to comply.
One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is spending hours on preparing their most amazing content, and then taking 30 seconds to come up with a subject line and sending it without testing. In this video, learn all the secrets to creating and test your email subject lines, resulting into more people opening your emails!
Exercise: Remember our first email example from Yoga retreat company? I suggest that you have a look at it again and try to write 5 different subject lines to it according to what we discuss in this chapter (email attached below).
If your opening rates are low, your emails might be getting into the spam folders. In this video, we will look at the most typical mistakes that make your email end up in spam – and how you can avoid it.
Exercise: Look at your last 3-6 email campaigns and highlight “spam” words that you’ve been using (you’ll probably have the tendency to use the same ones over and over again – pay attention to them next time you are composing an email). Put them on the list near your computer and look at it while writing your next email.
Learn about the key words that get your email in the spam folder, which fonts and colors you should and shouldn't use, and other secrets to pass the spam filter!
Exercise: Write a pre-header of 100 characters or less, and send test emails containing them to your email. Before that, check what it looks like in various browsers (chrome, safari, opera, explorer, firefox), and on your mobile. Make amendments if necessary.
Ever wondered what you could write about in your newsletters? In this video, we will discuss several ways of coming up with topics that will be of a great interest to your subscribers
Exercise: List all the benefits of your product to your customers. In other words, not what it does, but what it can do for them. Now pick one quality, and think of a story that can be a base for your email
How long should your email be? What is the best way to structure it? Learn about 4 typical mistakes that marketers make when creating a copy
Exercise: Take an email campaign you are about to send, check it against the following five questions:
Is your email text easily scanable and contains keywords that will make it easier for people to scan it?
Does it have one idea and one call to action only?
Does your call to action have clear instructions?
Does the email tell a story or create an intrigue?
Is it personalized?
Keep editing your email until you get five Yes answers.
Now that you have created the most amazing content, how do you make sure that it is well-organized? In this video, we will talk about four key formatting mistakes that marketers make that make it difficult to perceive their emails
In this video, we'll talk about how to use pictures in your emails to have the biggest impact.
Exercise. Choose at least 5 different pictures that best reflect your idea you want to share in the email. Pick the final 2 or 3, and use A/B testing for your next email campaign to see which one produces a better CTR.
Do you optimize your newsletter campaigns for mobile devices? If not, you should watch this video, in which I talk about the key things you need to pay attention to to make sure your emails are readable on all devices.
Is it once a day, once a week or once a month? Watch this video to find out how often it's best to send your emails.
Which day of the week and time works best for sending an email? Learn what the latest research says about it in this video!
Exercise: Answer the following questions. What do you know about the typical habits of your customers? When are they most likely to read their emails? Would they do it while commuting on their mobiles? You might get this information from looking at your last email campaign performance, your website analytics (if you have any), or just by talking to them! Can you adjust the timing and content based on their behaviour?
There are four groups of people in your database, and you want to have a separate strategy for all of them. In this video, we'll start talking about the most engaged part of your list - your new subscribers. Learn practical examples of how to get the most from their first interactions with you from this video.
Learn how to maintain high the interest of your core subscribers you have been with you for a while.
They might have once be interested in what you do, but are not anymore, and they don't open and read your emails. How can you re-engage your inactive subscribers? Learn the best ways in this video!
Once the person has unsubscribed from your emails, is this really the end of your relationships? It doesn't have to be - see examples of companies who manage to convince their unsubscribers to come back to them.
Exercise: Check the percentage of your new, active, inactive subscribers and unsubscribed customers based on your average for the last 6-12 months. Let’s assume you’re getting 6% new, 24% engaged, 68% disengaged, and 2% unsubscribed (plug in your own numbers). Choose the metrics you want to improve first (hint – this depends on your desired final outcome). Start with one segment, and create an email template or sequence to target this segment. Proceed with other ones.
In this video, we will discuss, whether you need to set up email automation and what it can and can’t help you with.
Exercise: Before setting up automation, please answer the following questions to check if automation is right for you:
Do you already have an engaged list and great content?
Does your business require a high degree of personalized communication (in this case, automation might not be the right choice)?
Does your business/customers have a lot of unpredictable situations that require tailored responses (then marketing automation might not be right)?
Do you have a clear new email acquisition strategy?
If you are happy with your answers, proceed to steps to set up your marketing automation, otherwise review the previous videos first.
In this video, I will share with you a five-step methodology of creating automated emails. I recommend you follow it one step after another to make sure your automation works best.
Learn different ways to segment your audience to create automated messages and build up your understanding of how to segment your audience for the best result.
In this video, I will continue explaining you how to segment your audience for email automation. We'll talk about segmenting your audience based on their past behaviour, demographic characteristics and the topic of interest.
Exercise: Think about what sort of subscribers segmentation will work best for your business. By that I mean is what kind of category of people you are emailing to are most likely to buy from you? Is it different gender, people with different interests, or those who have been longest on your list? And with that in mind, choose your segmentation principle and apply it.
If you aren’t testing and measuring your mailing campaign, you have literally no clue about the impact you have on people. And then it becomes very similar to spamming them. In this video, we will talk about the key metrics you want to set up to measure your success.
In this video, I will show you how to tie your metrics to your business goals and create reasonable KPIs. We'll crunch in some numbers together, and you can later use the same methodology to calculate KPIs for you.
Exercise: Today please develop the KPIs that will be relevant to your business just as I have done. Put a date in your diary when you’ll do an audit of all your last campaigns. Depending on how often you send your emails, it can be every month or every three months. When doing the audit, look at the best and worst performing campaigns, and make notes as to what works and what doesn’t.
By now you might feel that email marketing takes an awful amount of time and start asking yourself whether it’s all worth the effort. Don't worry! In this video, I will share with you steps to make email marketing work for you, no matter how much time you’ve got.
Anastasia is a TEDx speaker, coach, start-up mentor, entrepreneur, Huffington Post blogger and book author. In the middle of a successful international career in digital marketing in London she gave up her smartphone to start a digital detox consultancy Consciously Digital.
She helps companies and individuals find a balance between online and offline lives, and works with businesses that are interested in ethical digital marketing that does not overwhelm their users.
Anastasia has over 15 years of successful international track record in digital marketing and communications, having worked both for top-3 global tech companies, and having grown up a number of international online start-ups from the scratch.
Anastasia is a mentor with Startup Direct, a governmental program supporting small businesses in the UK, and with Westminster Business Council in London. She has an MBA from SDA Bocconi (Italy) and New York University Stern (USA) and a PhD from Moscow State Lomonosov University (Russia). She runs two coaching businesses.