8-Step Professional Email Marketing at Competitive Rates
Whether you’re a business or a nonprofit, you probably have an email list. And if you’re like most of them, you aren’t getting as much value out of it as you want.
If you have any of these email frustrations…
- Low open rates (poor engagement)
- High opt-out numbers (lack of loyalty or commitment)
- No measurements for how well your emails actually work (no data tracking)
- Low click-through rates (ineffective email copywriting)
- High bounce rates (outdated list)
- They open them, they click, but they don’t take action (ineffective landing page)
… then you have symptoms of an underperforming email marketing strategy.
Each problem listed above has a root cause (listed in parentheses). And each of these root causes can be overcome through effective use of email best practices.
But we can boil the entire email marketing strategy down to one question:
What do your donors and customers expect from your emails?
This is the fundamental question of email marketing. And whether you’re a nonprofit or a business, here’s a small sample of questions you need to consider:
Q: Do they expect emails weekly, monthly, daily?
Q: How often are they comfortable being asked to give or buy something?
Q: What kinds of content do they look for in your emails besides asking for money or sales?
Q: Do they have expectations about how long it should be?
Q: Do they look for stuff to share on social media, or just keep to themselves?
When you fail to address these questions, you end up with annoyed, frustrated, burned out, and invisible customers and donors.
They stop reading. They stop opening. They stop giving. They stop buying.
ProActive Email Case Study: Email Burnout and Suspicion
There’s one particular nonprofit whose email list I subscribed to a while back. They send out a new email every single day. And every one of them describes horrific suffering, abuse, and terror. Every single day. Not only have these started going to my spam filter because I don’t always open them, but they’ve worn me out.
Now, I’m ‘deadened’ to their cause, and have no interest in giving or learning more. It also makes me question their credibility, because this much action can’t possibly be happening every single day. Life is not an action film. Even terrorists have to eat and sleep.
Because I questioned their credibility, I looked them up on Charity Navigator. They aren’t listed anywhere – even on the list of charities too small for them to officially rate. So now it’s, “Are they a scam?”
All this resulted from their strategy to flood their list with daily emails and extreme content.
ProActive Email Rule #1: Know your audience! And don’t alienate them.
The Easy Answer to Ineffective Email Marketing
There is no easy answer.
Now, how does that deceptive subheading make you feel? Annoyed? Deceived?
How do email list subscribers feel when companies do that to them in their subject lines?
ProActive Email Rule #2: Don’t lie to your list!
Sounds simple, but it happens a lot.
Don’t promise a free download if it’s not free. Too obvious? You also shouldn’t promise something is free but then make them jump through four steps and tons of fields before they can get it.
An advertisement once promised me something free. But then screen after screen kept asking me for more information, when all I wanted was the free thing THEY promised. In the end, I gave up. They alienated me – a worse result than if they’d done nothing at all.
8-Step Complete Package Email Copywriting
Trained by the AWAI Email Copywriting program with Jay White, and now building a growing list of satisfied customers, ProActive Content has developed its own 8-Step Complete Package Email Copywriting Service.
Here’s the process we use to create emails that meet your goals:
1. Research: Discuss your needs, goals, business/nonprofit, and customers/donors
This is the most vital step of all email marketing best practices. The best results happen when this step is fully implemented. It often takes several hours (or days, depending on the complexity). But this upfront investment of time produces a far better final product.
As we learn about your products and services, we’re looking for the key elements that will make up the heart of the email campaign.
2. Organize research, testimonials, and notes
This is where key messages and themes will emerge and be developed.
3. Set the framework for the campaign
Do you want a single email to promote a single cause? A weekly email or newsletter? An autoresponder series? How many emails in the series? Do you want a landing page geared specifically to the emails? (Research recommends that you do). We build the rest of the campaign on this foundation.
4. Determine the calls to action you want your readers to respond to
These are your goals, the things we will measure. An unclear or absent (yes, it happens!) call to action renders the whole campaign inert.
5. Write the emails
If it’s an email series, we write them in the order your subscribers will receive them. This ensures thematic continuity. This is also the step that makes or breaks the success of your campaign, where professional email copywriting separates you from the pack. How much of a difference will it make to get a 25% open rate verses a 10% open rate?
Using time-tested structures, methods, phrases, transitions, white space, and other techniques that blend story-based marketing, simple language, and emotionally engaging copy, you’ll receive emails that made one happy client exclaim (pardon the language):
“That email is **** good!!! That is what I am talking about!!! I love the flow and the information that was given!” — Adam H, Bay Equity Home Mortgage
6. Create subject lines that get opened
If no one opens it, it won’t get read. Many organizations over-complicate this part. This is the one and only purpose of a subject line (again, as long as you aren’t deceptive – see Rule #2).
A subject line does not have to communicate your values. Or make anything clear. Or convince someone to buy or click. It may sometimes also do these things. But if it does, it’s only to accomplish the one thing it must do: Get the reader to open the email.
Keeping this in mind, we will usually brainstorm a list of several options for subject lines. There is no way to know which one will actually work best. This part is not an exact science. We can pick the one we like best. Or, we can pick two or three, and run an A/B split test on a small portion of your list (highly recommended).
7. Design and send the email
Many organizations have people who do this for them already. But ProActive Content offers a Complete Package Email Copywriting Service. This means that if you don’t want to hassle with uploading our content to your email delivery service, you don’t have to.
If you don’t have an email delivery service, we are happy to share our experience with the ones we’ve worked with.
We can use any of the following email platforms:
- Constant Contact (our recommended email delivery service – contact us and we can get you a great deal on this one, or click here to sign up for a free trial)
- Get Response
- Whatever other email provider you might be using
8. Track the data
Whether it’s through Constant Contact, Google Analytics, or other methods, you’ve got to know how well your email is working. And if you did an A/B test on a subject line or other feature, make sure and act on what the data shows. You can do this automatically in most email platforms.
ProActive Content will do this for you if you don’t have the time or personnel to do it yourself.
Make Your Email Marketing An Asset
One of the most effective uses of email is with repeat customers and donors. Cultivating loyalty. It’s generally less effective with readers who have no connection to your organization. To them, it’s almost always spam.
But with an effective lead generation pathway, you’re sending emails to people who want to hear from you. They gave you their email for a reason.
And with a subscriber list, your task is not to convince them. It’s to retain them. Keep them giving. Keep them participating. Keep them informed.
Get in touch with us for a free consultation, and find out if ProActive Content is the right choice for your next email marketing campaign.
A Point of Clarification – Business or Nonprofit?
There are significant differences in email marketing for businesses verses for nonprofits.
What donors expect is very different from what customers expect.
So while our process applies to both in broad strokes, ProActive Content is also highly skilled and researched in the specifics of marketing to both these segments.
Get ProActive Email Copywriting working for you today.