Tired of Low Conversion Rates in Email?Written by Robert Woodford
December 18, 2012 # 11:40 am # Expert Guides, Specials # One Comment
Typical conversion rates of 1% or 2% are only great for people with low standards. Highly successful and effective email marketing campaigns should be able to reach conversion rates of at least 5%, if not higher, whether in email sales rates or email click-through rates. Masters can even reach double digit conversion rates in their niches. Here are some tricks to reach higher email conversion thresholds.
1. Craft a Great Sales Email.
You don’t have to have a professional background in copywriting or be a particularly clever writer to be effective with customers. You do have to be persuasive, offering email readers a high perception of value or savings. Instead of learning to do that from regular Joes on some forum, study and mimic the masters. You should be looking at the copywriting techniques perfected by virtuosos like John Carlton, Dan Kennedy, Michael Fortin or Gary Halbert. In looking at their sample sales copy, note the font, the type of headlines, highlighting strategies and use of colored type. It might also behoove you to study Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and its use in copywriting.
2. Pre-qualify customers.
Don’t waste time mailing your best offers to people who’ve never spent a dime on your site or even so much as downloaded one free eBook. Save your sales pitches and discounts for those who’ve proven themselves. Craft a list of proven buyers or seminar enrollees. At the very least have a lists of proven downloaders and click-through visitors. Email marketing software or site analytics can provide this valuable information so that you can target such customers. You can also pre-qualify customers by forcing them to register or signup for your site before they can finish placing an order or completing a download. Don’t worry; this usually will not make a customer abandon the transaction. These proven customers will be most receptive to future offers.
3. Match your message to the market.
When you register a visitor to your site, get more than just email addresses. Try to get personal data so you can know your demographic and their interests. Do this by having easy multiple choice options to click regarding why they are interested in the site, what products or offerings they find attractive and what their main goals are. Then, craft sales messages to appeal to specific passions.
4. Build Relationships with those on your email lists.
Connections translate into purchases and clicks. Subscribers have to trust your words and your pitches. They have to like you. To engender that, be more personable. Share stories about your life and why you use your own products, services or materials. Such stories often resonate with readers and match their own experiences, prompting a sense of kinship. Have a photo. Post a phone number where they can reach you. Respond occasionally to emails from customers.
5. Increase branding.
Rarely does a site have a product or service so unique that it can’t be bought elsewhere. People often cater to one particular site because of branding and brand message. Sear your brand into the minds of email readers — not just through email contact, but also through pay per click advertising around the web and even offline advertising. This costs money, but there are other ways to spread your brand inexpensively. One way is to network with bloggers who agree to mention your brand in their posts and even share personal experiences. Hold events to give away freebies to bloggers and encourage them to write about their experience.
6. Give incentives.
Incentives make customers feel special and prompt quick action. Try offering VIP access to sales events when you send your emails. Mention a rewards club where customers can accumulate points for purchases or downloads. Promise members-only information if customers agree to register. Offer early bird savings to those who act immediately.
7. Post reviews of your products and services.
Testimonials and positive reviews are major factors in conversions. Make sure your sales letter includes actual testimonies from customers or clients. Also, post reviews of your site and its offerings around the web, either by through your own effort or by enlisting writers to do it for you. Make sure the reviews include a link back to your site.
8. Follow up.
Since you likely have the mailing address of customers on your proven buyers list, do what successful email marketers do: follow-up with a postcard when people make a new purchase or simply click a link in a email. For customers who clicked an email but didn’t buy, follow-up with a stronger sales pitch. Also, don’t be afraid to follow-up with telemarketing. Conversion rates rise when representatives speak to customers by phone.
9. Create partnerships with forums who might also agree to send out emails to their members.
When people have a interest in a niche or theme, they likely join related forums. Find the forums that relate to your niche. Run promotions through them. Offer site owners special coupon codes for their members only. Most sites love offering exclusive deals to their membership and will agree to email offers on your behalf. This could expand your signups and grow your customer base, in addition to increasing conversions.
10. Use more sophisticated marketing tools.
Don’t just use text in your email pitches. Include infographics. Link to video sales pitches. Offer webinars, call in conferences and slide shows.