Email Marketing 101 Course

Lesson 3: What (practically) can you do with email marketing?

Email marketing systems are hugely capable. And like all technology systems, the more sophisticated it gets, the more you have to learn how to use it.

But you don’t have to be a systems or tech nerd like me to do some pretty awesome stuff. Here are some practical things you can do with email marketing that don’t require a PhD in HTML.

Two key things to remember

First, in all of the examples below, keep in mind that you can set things up to happen completely, or partially, automatically. Setting things up will take time, but once they’re up and running you won’t have to spend much (if any) time to keep them running.

Second, keep in mind that you can integrate most email marketing systems with most other popular systems like CRM’s, to-do lists, Trello boards, Slack channels and accounting systems. If you need your email marketing system to integrate with something, you can probably do it.

Now for the things you can practically do with email marketing:

1. Stay top of mind

One the challenges with marketing, lead nurturing and sales is that your clients are usually not ready to buy when you approach them. So you either:

  • have to convince them to buy now (risking being sleazy), or
  • you can make sure you’re top of mind when they’re ready.

The greatest thing about the second option:

They come to you when they’re ready to buy.

If you have an email list (whether that’s a CRM or an email marketing system) you can email people as little as once a month. If your content is valuable to them, that little reminder will help them think of you when the need arises.

2. Build trust and establish your authority

No one buys from someone they don’t trust at least a little bit. There’s just too much spam, scam and low quality out there, so you need to show your subscribers you know what you’re talking about, you can be trusted and you’re going to be around to deliver the goods.

A newsletter is one way to do this, but the name “newsletter” can be a little misleading. People are not that interested in news about you or your company - they’re interested in solving their own problems.

Provide them with something of value on a regular basis. This is how you prove yourself as an expert, and you will be building trust by showing up regularly. When you eventually offer a product or service, they are more likely to buy.

3. Welcome and onboard

Every enquiry, and especially every new client, deserves a high-quality response. That response should make your new lead / client feel welcome, appreciated, and take them through the appropriate next steps.

Your email marketing system can, for example:

  • thank them for downloading a lead magnet from your website
  • follow up with some useful advice
  • remind them that you’re always happy to take a call (with a link to your booking system)
  • tell them what to expect from you next
  • add them to your weekly (monthly / occasional) newsletter

Use slightly more sophisticated features to onboard new clients; for example ask them to fill in a billing information form (and send reminders when appropriate).

4. Keep in touch with past clients

No one likes to feel like a transaction. Combine that with the fact that repeat sales are way easier and cheaper to get than new sales, and you will understand that keeping in touch with past clients is not just courteous - it’s also good business.

You can set up your email marketing system to automatically follow up with past clients over any period of time - from weeks to months to years. Enquire about the results of the last product or service you delivered, remind them you’re still around if they need more help, and even ask for reviews and referrals.

5. Promote and sell products, services and events

And of course, the mainstay of email marketing is to promote and sell your products / services and events.

You have an email list, you know what they’re interested in, and you know what they’ve looked at and purchased in the past. All of this information helps you craft compelling marketing and sales copy that can be delivered straight to your clients’ inboxes. If they had a good experience, and what you’re offering now is interesting, they’re going to have a look.

As you know, it takes multiple “touches” to get someone to pay attention and eventually buy. Email marketing campaigns can designed to go out at the optimal times, tailored to their needs, and provide links to look at your sales collateral.

And of course, a good email marketing campaign will always give them the option to opt out of the promotion (and you can ask why so you don’t pitch the same thing to them again later). If they do buy before the end of your email marketing campaign, skip over the rest of it and take them straight to the thank you, welcome and onboarding bits.

And (yes, it’s still not the end), you can of course offer discounts based on past purchase behaviour.

What you’ve learnt

To some extent, what you can do with email marketing is limited only by your imagination and what you can do with email (which is usually a lot more than most people suspect).

We looked at five practical examples:

  1. Stay top of mind (so they remember you when they next think or talk about a specific problem)
  2. Build trust and establish your authority (so it’s easier for them to buy when you next make an offer)
  3. Welcome and onboard (so they always get a great experience and you spend less time on admin)
  4. Keep in touch with past clients (because it easier and cheaper to get repeat sales)
  5. Promote your products, services and events (to a ready audience of highly-qualified leads)