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August 22, 2017

How to Make Your Email Marketing More Effective Immediately

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GUEST: Daniel Miller, Director of Marketing for Benchmark Email

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Email is always a hot topic, and we all know that outreach is a critical component of effective prospecting.

But just because we realize the importance of email, it doesn’t mean we’re anywhere close to using it as effectively as we can.

We recently interviewed Daniel Miller, Director of Marketing for Benchmark Email, who lives and breathes the world of email marketing. He shared his best tips for what to change today in your email strategy, including segmenting your subscribers, focusing on your first emails, and injecting personality into your messaging.

Here’s what we learned from that interview.

Why You Should Use Multiple Email Campaigns a Month

A lot of businesses have a fear of sending too many emails. You don’t need to blast out noisy messages every day, but try to find your limit.

There have been a lot of studies that show that people who email more do tend to get more unsubscribes, but sales and engagements also increase. Maybe everyone doesn’t want to hear from you every day, but there are some people who do.

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Learning to properly segment and find where your limits are is key. Is this person a loyalty person? a passerby? a student just trying to download a free whitepaper? Once you’ve segmented your subscriber list, you can send to those different people however often you need to.

When you set up different email strategies, it also helps you establish a different voice. You can have a different personality for each segment.

A Story About Personality

Daniel told a great story about personality in an email campaign. He referenced Simple Banking Company, a company trying to redefine how banking works. Email marketing is one of their main channels of communications.

Every so often, they have to send out updates to their terms of use. You would think that these updates would be serious, boring emails, but they were able to turn them into their most engaging and anticipated emails. Their subscribers can’t wait to get that email because it has jokes and personality while still informing them about policy changes.

“If you don’t set a personality to your emails,” Daniel said, “your subscribers are going to be unengaged and, eventually, unsubscribed.”

Nail the Very First Email

When Daniel talks to customers about the customer journey, email marketing is often left out of that equation. Yes, they think it’s part of the journey, but they underestimate the power that email marketing has.

Let’s say I subscribe to messaging from Google, which is already a reputable company, so my expectations are high. If they don’t meet that expectation on the first email, my likelihood to open the next one plummets. But if you surpass my expectations with an amazing step-by-step email guide on how to improve my Google analytics, I’ll be attentive to every single email you send me.

The lesson here? Don’t underestimate your first impression with email marketing.

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Benchmark’s Top Business Challenge

We asked Daniel, “What’s the top business challenge for you and your team today?”

He responded with two words: nine languages. Benchmark is a global company, and language is their strong suit, but it’s still a huge challenge.

Any change they want to make to the website, any wording in an email has to be carefully considered. When you have to look at nine different countries, with different marketing strategies for each, anytime you change one word you have to ask if the translation works.

In English, putting “email marketing,” “best software,” etc. may fit in a given space, but when you translate that to German, it’s 26 characters longer and doesn’t fit. Having the flexibility to do what each region requires to continue the company’s momentum is one of their biggest challenges.

Some of the emerging markets right now are Japan and Latin America (Brazil specifically). The different email preferences are interesting: in China, they love templates and lots of colors in their emails. Japan doesn’t want any of that: they just want simple text. Latin America’s preferences are similar to ours, but they’re still on the learning curve of best practices.

In a world connected by the Internet, you still have to use very different marketing strategies in various regions.

What is most effective when someone is trying to sell to you?

We like to ask all of our podcast guests this question. Here’s how Daniel responded:

“This may sound cliche, but I’m interested in people who are themselves. You can smell an imposter from a mile away. You see these emails written out with all this jargon, and you think, ‘Do you really talk like that?’ If I receive an email that looks like it was written by an actual person, that’s going to catch my eye.

“Aside from that, persistence catches my eye. There are a lot of times where I see an email come in, and I think if it’s important it’ll come back again. If that person is persistent I’ll eventually schedule that call for a demo. They need to be somebody who isn’t trying to look for that quick sell but is really trying to explore a solution with you.

“If somebody says, ‘I can fix your problems,’ that’s a script. But if they say they’d like to learn what kind of problems I have, with persistence, that will get my full attention.”

Acceleration Insight

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In each episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we ask our guests for one nugget of wisdom they would impart to a sales professional. Here’s this one:

“Data is everything. In this day and age, if you’re not using data to leverage your business, you’re shooting in the dark every single time. With the tools we have at this time, it’s so easy to pull out data that will show you the issues throughout your organization. If you can’t find that, I think you’re doing it totally backwards.

“Any business structure you try to build, learn to quantify it and improve it with data. If you don’t do it, your competitors will.”

This post is based on a podcast interview with Daniel Miller from Benchmark Email. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.