Talia is a frequent keynote speaker at marketing conferences, teaching conversion optimization and growth on stages such as Google, Unbounce, MozCon, GMIC, CXL live, Search Love, Learn Inbound and many more.
She is the Co-founder & CMO at Banana Splash and was recently listed as one of the most influential voices in conversion optimization.
Latest posts by Talia Wolf (see all)
- Are heatmaps actually effective? Interview with HotJar Founder - April 16, 2018
- Social Listening: How to Increase Conversions Using Social Media Insights - March 18, 2018
- How to go from blank screen to high-converting copy [webinar] - February 22, 2018
Email marketing continues to be one of the highest converting traffic sources. Are you making the most of it?
In this webinar Anna, Education Director at Drip walked us through the exact tactics and strategy that deliver high-converting drip campaigns. If you want to create a rock-solid drip campaign that gets long-term conversions, you should watch this replay.
Anna has taught email marketing strategies on stages like ‘MicroConf’, ‘Automated’ and ‘LeadCon’. So whether you’re just getting started or are already running a drip campaign, this session is for you.
Here’s what we learned:
- The important questions you should ask before sending automated emails
- The email format and timing that converts the best for YOUR business
- The most common automation tactics and how to use them
- How to master personalization (going beyond ‘Hi, <Name>)
- The most important metrics to help you make decisions
Ready to get started? Check out the video below. You can also find the complete transcript and screenshots below:
How to create high-converting drip campaigns:
Talia: We’re live. Hi, everyone.
Talia: As you know, I send out weekly emails discussing the topics you care about. I noticed that I consistently get questions about email marketing: “How do you do it? What are drip campaigns? How do you run them? What’s the best way to do that?” So I decided to do a webinar about it. I did an article about how I do email marketing a few months ago and it got amazing feedback. So when I realized I wanted to do a webinar about drip campaigns, I knew I had to reach out to Anna.
Anna and I connected a couple of months ago when I switched over from my old email marketing platform to Drip. I needed some more features, I wanted to feel that I was giving you my subscribers, the content that you want using segmentation the right way. So, I reached out to Anna, and Anna and her team were fabulous because they basically took all the pain away from doing it myself, and migrated everything for me, which is awesome.
Anna is the head of education at Drip so, she knows everything about drip campaigns. Ask her anything. And here’s how it’s going to go. I’ll hand over the mic to Anna and she’s going to walk you through the presentation. You guys can ask all your questions in the chat and I will be monitoring the questions.
Anna: Fantastic. I wanted to say thank you so much for the warm introduction, Talia. If you’re not familiar with me, my name’s Anna Jacobsen. I am the Education Director here at Drip. And Talia’s super generous, I know a lot about drip campaigns. There are some things I don’t know, but I will find out the answer if you need the answer and I’ll get that for you. I’ve been working with Drip and Drip customers and marketing for quite some time now. And it’s my passion to help people grow in what they’re doing with marketing, specifically email marketing, but it does dovetail a lot how all of your marketing efforts come together, and I’m really passionate about that. And I wanted to say thank you for showing up, especially from us here at Drip. It means a lot to us that that you’re investing in your own education, trying to figure out what’s the best way to do this. And I know that it is a time investment for you, so I want to be respectful of that.
I wanted to ask you this question, if this webinar is for you or if it’s gonna be a waste of your time. Because sometimes, you know, we sign up for things and we think, “Oh, I should go to this live training. I think that’s gonna be really helpful for me.” But I would caution every single person here today against the mindset of just sitting back and passively ingesting. Because my belief, my personal belief is that if we’re passive listeners in this kind of situation and we don’t actually take down action items, it is a waste of our time. It doesn’t matter how valuable the presentation is or what kind of tactics you learn. If you don’t make the effort to say, “This is the thing I’m going to hold myself accountable to do,” and no chained results out of the learning, my opinion is that, it may sound harsh to say, but it’s a waste of time, and I ultimately really don’t want that for you.
So, let’s talk about how this is gonna work. We’re gonna run for about 60 minutes. The entire presentation I have is less than that, so we’ll have time for Q&A. And speaking of Q&A, if you have questions, this platform is fantastic for questions. Crowdcast lets you type them in. So, I would like you to, instead of trying to remember what they are at the end, type them as you think of them. And I can’t see the questions right now, but Talia is so gracious as to monitor that and help me out with questions. And we’ll answer as many as we can, I’ll answer as many as we can at the end.
And this is really important. I mentioned this a little bit briefly a second ago, but if you don’t have a notepad, and I believe Talia put this on the page where you signed up, if you don’t have a notepad and if you don’t have a pen and paper, get up from your seat and go find one because it’s helpful, in my opinion, to actually have a pad of paper and a pen. Our brains work a little differently when we’re actually writing with our hand. And if you don’t have that, those action items I talked about, you’re not gonna write them down. So, you do need that in front of you. So, we are going to be covering a lot today.
Anna: Awesome. A little bit about me, I live in Minneapolis, moved here as the result of the acquisition. I’ve done a lot with Drip. But as much as I love marketing, my main passion is the outdoors, cycling, enjoying Minneapolis lakes is a little bit of my personal life right there. And enough about me, let’s get into you. I wanna figure out a little bit of kind of check the pulse of where we’re at with automation. Because the whole idea today is to really understand how to get started with drip campaigns, but the underlying foundation of that is really automation. And so, what I’d like you to do right now is, in the chat box, I want every single person who’s attending today to give me between 1-5, with five being extremely automated and you’re not really sure if you can do much more in terms of automation, to one, with not having any automation at all. Can you give me a number of where you’re at? And Talia, if you wouldn’t mind just calling out some of the numbers you’re seeing coming through. We don’t have to get an average but just to see a few of them.
Talia: Quite a few ones, quite a few threes. Got someone here, CJ’s going for 2.5. We’ve got 1.5, Patrick. So, yeah, I mean, we’ve got quite a few people saying ones, right, but we’ve also got a few four. I can’t see a five. I know, Barry, you know, there’s a few people here taking it to the extreme, 3.14. Yes. But mainly, we’re seeing, I’d say, we see an average of about two, right. And then there’s a few here saying zero, minus one. So, I think, yeah, let’s say, about one and a half to two.
Anna: Okay, that means we have a lot of low-hanging fruit. And that’s exciting to me because as you start automating, you start twisting the dials, you find ways to improve, and you get to a point where you’re thinking, “I don’t know how much more I can improve.” And I love helping those folks out, but it does take a little bit more time to dig in and find the little knobs to turn. If you haven’t automated at all, then there’s some quick wins and some easy takeaways that you’re gonna really love out of this presentation. But we are gonna talk about some advanced tactics, too.
Before we do that, I understand that we have a number of ones. And I don’t wanna assume that each of us are doing email marketing or that we do have a list. And I wanted to briefly cover my ethos behind email marketing and list building. Every point that I’m gonna make today, I am positioning as kind of in the context of your business. Because if this isn’t tied to revenue, isn’t tied to your bottom line, a lot of it could be lost in terms of, “Why is this important?” And so, as I go through my points, you’re going to see them all phrased as a money losing problem. You’re going to see me present to you money losing problems, and then I’m gonna show you a solution. And they’re all related to drip emails, so it’s all gonna tie back in.
The first money losing problem is if you don’t have a strategy, and this is something that I see really often, where someone will come in and they’ll say, “I need to try this new tool. I need to try this new tool for automation.” And they’ll go in and they say, “I love this feature. I love that feature.” But instead of understanding why they’re using the tool, they latch on to the feature and ultimately don’t see long-term success. And so, to avoid that, I want you to ask some questions. Strategy, by the way, is important, because if you don’t plan out these questions in advance, you’re going to find yourself trapped in this hamster wheel of trying to use features that aren’t really related to your revenue.
So, the first question I want you to ask is, who is buying for me, who is my audience? When you understand those people, you’re gonna be able to better build automation to support the mindset behind why they’re buying. So, you need to write that down, who’s buying from you.
Who isn’t buying from you, and why? If you first understand who is buying from you, then you can start to understand who isn’t. And everyone who isn’t buying from you, ultimately, the goal is to get them to buy. And if you understand who they are, then you can create the emails, the drip emails that get them to that point. So, you need to understand who those other people are that aren’t buying from you. And really, if you’re answering question number one, question number two is just a matter of digging into everybody else. Who are these people? One of my favorite ways to do this is to go in and say, “Okay, well, if I have a list, do I have a segment of my customers? Those are the people who are buying from me. Let me dig into that list or that group of customers, and look for common trends.” And then do the same thing for the other folks.
Third question is, which of my current efforts is most effective, or are most effective? Sometimes they get my grammar mixed up. So, to understand that, you really have to be able to measure. I’m gonna talk about measurement later in today’s presentation, but right now, just for the sake of this argument, is if you have a shopping cart, if you have any kind of checkout or payments system, that’s going to show you revenue, and you really need to be able to tie in what you’re doing right now to revenue. If you don’t know that, write that down as a question mark for yourself that we’ll come back to later.
Strategy question number four, what will I do for people who don’t buy? So often, we focus on getting new subscribers, getting those people to buy, but there’s a big chunk of those who fall off. They fall off our radar. These people are what I’d like to call uncaptured customers. And if you’re able to focus on the people who haven’t bought from you, who have been this loyal subscriber for a while, but understand the mindset of who those people are, then you can start converting the people who aren’t buying, who’ve been lingering around for a while. In order to do that, you really have to understand who those people are and take some time for personalization and segmentation. And we will get back to that point, again, later in today’s presentation.
And the fifth question I have for you today is, how can I turn happy customers into a growth channel? One common theme throughout all these questions is it either comes back to the issue of segmentation or automation. And this one really talks about automation, really. So, you come in and you say, “Well, who are the people that have bought from me?” The fact of the matter is, if you’ve got one person to buy from you, it is much easier to get them to buy from you again or say good things about you than it is to go and get a new customer. And so, you really wanna utilize those people as a growth channel, and the key to that is through automation, triggering email campaigns that ask them for recommendations, that give them the tools to spread the word and grow your presence by early, and that’s something that’s really well-powered through automation.
So, that’s the first money losing problem, is that you don’t have a strategy, and these are very common strategy questions. You may riff off of these five to develop your own strategy questions. But these, at least, should give you a nice place to start with what questions you should be thinking about.
Money Losing Problem: You Don’t Have a List
The second money losing problem, and I alluded to this a little bit earlier, is that you don’t have a list. And it’s surprising to me how often I talk to marketers who say, “You know, I’ve got a small list. I really don’t think it’s large enough.” And they’ll be maybe in the, you know, 10s to 20s to 30s on their list. You may be much larger than that or you may have no list at all. But I did wanna cover this so we understand why a list is so important.
Here’s some facts, at least 98% of people will not buy your products or services the first time they see your website. So that means you’ve got a lot of drive-bys. They’ll come to your site, they’ll leave, and then they’re lost. All your efforts to get them to your site mean nothing. Your list lets you educate subscribers so they’re more likely to buy. A list lets you gain higher control of your cash flow and it gives you the ability to send time-specific promotions. And so, if you have an idea for a promotion, you can send out a well-timed email promotion and watch more sales come in. And if you stabilize your revenue highs and lows, you can use a list to do that instead of just saying, “Okay, it’s feast or famine.” Your list can give you the power to have evergreen campaigns, drip campaigns, we’ll talk about in a moment, that work for you 24/7/365. And I think, for a lot of us who’ve been in feast-or-famine mode, that’s a super attractive and compelling option.
And then, I love this one, because someone asked me the other day, “Anna, do you take vacations?” And I thought, I don’t think I know the last time I took a vacation. And especially for people who invest in their own businesses so heavily, sometimes we have to invest back in ourselves. If you have a list, that can help you do that, works when you aren’t. So, being able to take a step back, refresh yourself, get your mind right, and think about what’s working for your business. Sometimes it’s hard to do that if you’re not taking a break for yourself. And if you have a list, you can have that work so you could have, actually, let your mind rest.
Money Losing Problem: Using the Wrong Design Template
So, the third money losing problem is…it’s a little interesting because I don’t think many people intuitively think of this as a money losing problem. Usually, they think of it as a question like this. They think of it as, how should my emails look? And this is one of the most common questions I get. People frequently think that a specific color combination or font choice is going to make a huge difference in the performance of their emails. And that’s not necessarily always the case. But the underlying question is actually very important. How should my emails look? And most often, people are wondering between plain text emails and highly templated emails.
Problem: Formats and designs that hurt open rates and conversions. And a lot of folks, like I said, they don’t think about this as a money losing problem, but they think of it more as a stylistic-ing problem. And two reasons why it’s a money losing problem. First reason is, if you are a certain kind of business, you need a very visual template that showcases your business the right way. If you’re another kind of business, you actually need plain text emails for a very specific reason that actually highlights a different aspect of who you are as a business and allows you to convert better in that way.
The second aspect to this problem is a very technical one. A lot of folks don’t know this, but businesses that can rely on plain text emails actually have a technical advantage over those that require highly templated emails. Their technical advantage is their emails, just by the nature of being plain text, they reach the inbox more often. And that’s a complex reason why, but I don’t have time to explain today. I wish I could. But if you’ll kind of apples to apples, a highly templated email versus a plain text email, which one’s going to go to the inbox better, more often, it’s going to be the plain text email.
I want you to think for a second about the last email marketing email you saw, the kind of marketing message email you saw. I’m thinking one right now. Hopefully, you have a visual image. What does that email look like? So, the one in my head looks like this. And this is an email from Jet, and there’s a lot happening here. There’s a lot that’s working really well. They have a very clear call to action. They’ve got enough [SP] bar over the top, takes them back to the site. What you’re seeing here is very much of a benchmark for what you might see with an ecommerce business. Jet is a huge ecommerce business, huge, huge, huge, massive. Connected to Walmart. It’s basically Walmart’s version of Amazon, right? I use Jet for a while, just pretty happy with it, and they’re still sending me emails. A lot of times when businesses think about sending emails, they will think about this kind of email. And while this works for some businesses, it should not be the standard for every business.
Contrast that, this email you see right here with this one. This email is from James Clear, and this what I would call more in the line of plain text. A true plain text email has very little styling. And what you see here with the header, the italics, the custom font, that’s a little bit of styling, but still, it’s so minimal that it allows him the benefit of high open rates. Why would James Clear choose to do this instead of what you saw with Jet? Well, you really have to think about his business objective. With Jet, their business objective is to showcase and really grab people’s attention with the different products they have. They have to have that visual presence, and frankly, a big brand, very strong brand for the size of company they are and who they’re trying to reach. James’ objective is really to build his own personal brand. He has his own line of products. He has info products, he’s a speaker and a coach and he has a podcast and he makes revenue through the ads on that podcast. But his objective is very different, and the power of his message would be lost if he tried to put a ton of visual components in this.
So, one action item I have for you today is write down the answer to, “Should I use plain text or fancy templates?” Remember I asked you to get your paper and pen out? This is where I want you to start writing down, and there’s gonna be a few of these today. So, please, take a second. I’m gonna wait for you to write this down. You could see on this slide that I have two points. Ecommerce usually needs templates that’s highly stylized. Personal brands, info products, coaches, trainers, they should use minimal styling or plain text. That’s really kind of the big barrier or separation I see between these two. Final thought on why template choices matter.
They do hugely affect open and click rates. Most coaches, consultants, information product creators, you know what the average is for these folks? Maybe this is you. The average is a 10% to 25% open rate on their emails. Do you know what yours is? Now, switching from a template that’s hurting your open rates to a plain text template may not get you a jump to 30% or 35%, but it probably will improve your open rates. If you do make that big leap, you’ll get about two to three times more people seeing every email. There are other tactics you can use to get higher open rates, and I would love to welcome your questions on that, if you have them. What kind of impact would people opening your emails two to three times more? What kind of impact would that have on your revenue? Just imagine that.
Money Losing Problem: Disengaged Subscribers
So, we’re gonna move to the second money losing problem, and this is people who disengage, subscribers who disengage. And when you signed up for today’s training, one of the things that you wanted to learn about was email timing. And when you see this money losing problem, you’re saying, “Oh, we’re talking about disengaged subscribers. What does that have to do…? Is that, you know, related to email timing?” It actually is. Disengagement is a timing problem. Think about this. Someone’s signing up for your marketing list. Maybe you hopped on to their site, you saw their opt-in box, maybe you offered them something, like 10% off your products, and they opted in.
Recently something I did with Glossier. And by the way, if you ever buy beauty products, I’m guessing about half of us do. Glossier is a really cool brand that I’ve just been in love with lately. But you see here at the bottom, if you’re ever curious about how to make good opt-ins, this is one of the best I’ve ever seen. They say, “We also make emails. We do this thing, recent email updates on stuff.” And it’s really cute and cheeky. It its their brand really well. But imagine that you signed up for Glossier’s email. And this never happens, but let’s pretend you’re in Gmail and you see this, “You have no emails. Your at inbox zero.” And you’re waiting and you’re waiting, and nothing comes from Glossier. Three weeks go by… Right? And then, oh, here on the list, we got a good, you know, good thing going with Glossier, and that’s the email that you expected after you opted in, but it’s three weeks later. And at this point, maybe you’re wondering, “What’s Glossier? You know, who are these people? Did I ever sign up for this?” And it’s surprising how these gaps in communication can really hurt engagement.
When there are long gaps between you and your subscribers, between when your subscribers hear from you, they disengage. And the example I just used is on the first opt-in, and that’s a really common thing. You would not believe how often, and I’ve done audits for a bunch of companies on this. They’ll have an opt-in box and there’s no clear connection between someone submitting, “Yes, I want emails from you,” and clicking opt-in, and some kind of first touch. It’s surprising, a lot of times, people make the mistake of saying, “Well, if you sign up, you’ll be added to my email list. And maybe, two weeks later, you get my latest newsletter.” Two weeks is a long time. So, what do you do to fix this? The other time I see gaps is maybe someone gets that first email but they don’t hear from you for, you know, three weeks until your next newsletter comes out. Long gaps do hurt engagement. People forget about you. They’re not top-of-mind anymore.
Instead of this gap, I want you to imagine the absolute opposite. If you had the confidence, imagine having the confidence knowing, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the first emails that you sent were your absolute best emails, and every single one of your new subscribers got your best emails first. So, if you’re looking for ways to get started with drip emails, I’m gonna give you a big hint. This is, in my opinion, the absolute best way for a beginner to use drip emails. And that is to use an automated email sequence to serve up your best content, your best emails to your new subscribers. So, instead of getting dead air or maybe just one email, they’re nurtured with your best stuff. So, there are many ways, many ways to use your emails, and we’ll get into some more of them. But if you haven’t ever used it for, if you’re one of those number ones, you said, “Never automated. I’m not really in that realm. I kind of know what drip emails are,” this is your tactic. This is the best tactic if you’re just getting started.
So, imagine this, if you’re not really sure what this looks like, imagine this. You have a new subscriber, and first experience with them, instead of getting just one email is this kind of time-delay sequence of your best emails. And in terms of timing these individual automated emails, my favorite is to go one day at a time. Day one, you get the first email. It’s usually sent right after opt-in. Day two, the very next day after, you send another one of your highly converting emails. Now, you may choose to lengthen this out a bit, and that’s fine. And the common thing that you’ve heard as a marketer is, if you’re not sure what to do here, test it, and I would keep going with that. If one day doesn’t really get you the results you want, you could try backing off to a different time frame, but I usually go for one day.
Action item. So, this task, this is something I want you to write down on your notepad. I want you to find your best converting emails, and I want you to make them into a drip campaign for your new subscribers. So, a lot goes into this. How do you find your best converting emails? Well, the answer to that is to use your emails with highest open, excuse me, click and reply rates, and your lowest unsubscribe rates. I’m guessing that nearly all of you have access to this data. It does not matter which email platform you use. Nearly all of you have access to this data. Now, one data point you may not have access to would be conversion rates. And in my opinion, the emails with the highest conversion rates, coupled with those other metrics, should be ones that go first.
If you’re looking for more kind of anecdotal tips on how to craft these emails, you may need to take a look at the content of the email and be really sure that nothing in the email refers to a specific date, like October 5th, because that would not be good in an evergreen drip email. The other thing that I would recommend is, the first email that you send in this drip campaign, I would be very careful to be clear about who you are. It doesn’t have to be a long novel, but do take some time to introduce yourself. You could include a line about white labeling using, “Hey, add me to your contact list.” Those things are really good for a first email. And then the next email that you send, certainly take the copy that’s been very highly converting. But if you aren’t talking about your main product in that email, I would make sure that that rises to the top in that second email.
Money Losing Problem: Not Using Automation
So, what’s your third money losing problem? It’s not using automation. And you may be thinking, “Well, aren’t drip emails and automation, isn’t that the same thing? Like, didn’t we just talk about that?” Well, I think that you have a point. If that’s what you’re thinking right now, you do have a point. Because the basis of a drip email is, is it’s an automated email, right? It’s going one, two, three, four, you know, days at a time, you’re not doing anything. So, technically, that’s automation. So, but let’s break it down because automation is so much more than that. Automation starts with drip emails, but if that’s where you end, what you’re doing is you’re leaving money on the table. There’s actually a lot more you can do. If we’re gonna break it down to the very basic elements, let’s take a look at what automation really is.
Simply explained, automation, it’s just triggers and actions, those two things. Triggers and actions, what are they? They form the basis of any automation. And if you wanna get more complex, you can add in things like decisions and stopping points. But at the very minimum, if you’re just one of those people who are doing basic automation or none, you need to understand triggers and actions. You can build on that with decisions and stopping points later, but let’s understand what a trigger is.
A trigger is what starts automation. So, some examples of that would be completing a purchase. That could be a trigger. And then you could trigger a thank you email. Requesting a demo, that could be a trigger. Attending a webinar, that could be a trigger. And then for actions, completing a purchase would be the trigger, and then the action that would make sense in that regard would be sending an email with item redemption instructions. Requesting a demo, what would be the appropriate action there? Sending an email that says, “Find time on my calendar.” That would be the resulting action. Things that happen automatically, because this trigger happened, then you do this action. Attending a webinar, that can be triggering a follow-up campaign, that’s like a drip email campaign. Because you know these people attended your webinar, the action here could be, “Well, they attended my webinar on the basics of drip email marketing, so why don’t I send them automated campaign of my five best tips on automation.” So, those are some basic trigger and action examples.
Now, not all actions have to be sending emails. You can also do actions, like applying tags or adding people to a segment. And this is where we kind of deviate from the very basics of automation. We start thinking about, “Well, what other things can I do? What other power is there?” And a lot of the stuff under the hood with automation, and you know how they came to this today, but if you wanna think about options down the road, a lot of the under the hood power could be your own process. If you know who your segments are, by using things like tags, really finely tuned lists. I don’t love lists but if that’s what you’re working with, then there are ways to finely tune those. That’s the kind of thing where you’re not sending out an email, it’s automated, you’re automatically putting someone into this group with this tag, or you’re taking them out of this group with this tag.
An example of that would be, you’ve got a group of people with the lead tag, and then you have a group of people with the kind of sales tag, and then you have a group of people with a customer tag. If someone is a lead, they’re probably not in the sale stage yet, so they keep that tag. But once they move to the sale stage, you could take the lead tag off, put the sales tag on, and then you can kind of see how that keeps going. All of that would be happening automatically. Who wants to manually apply and remove tags? This truly is automation. Even though you’re not sending emails, you’re helping your own process stay in sync and really make sense. So, automation helps a ton in that regard. In fact, I get excited about sending email automatically, but some of the secret sauce that I’ve seen, for the most effective marketers, is in this process side, too.
So, what’s the action for you? Is that pad of paper handy? I hope it is. I want you to write down this task. Start your own automation, especially for anyone who put one into that chat box. Here are some common examples. When someone buys from you more than once, you can send them an NPS survey. And if you don’t currently do NPS, that’s something that you may wanna grow into. But to automatically send that out is one of my favorite ways of seeing automation work for, especially for people who sell anything or who really rely on the sentiment of their customers because it matters over the long term, like a subscription service. Another one, especially for someone who does content marketing, let’s say that you send out a lot of blog posts. Maybe you have these different groups of people you talk to, and they clicked on your blog post about entrepreneurship. You can automatically tag them when they click on that blog post in your email with the tag entrepreneur.
I wanna show you a really quick live example and so I’m gonna escape out of the presentation into Drip.
Talia: Question coming in from attendees here: What is NPS survey?
Anna: Yeah, NPS is net promoter score. The last time I saw NPS in the wild was, like… Oh, it was actually kn an airport. I was at JFK yesterday, and the airport had a set of buttons on the window, or not on the window, on the mirror in the bathroom. And it says, “How happy are you with the cleanliness of this bathroom?” And you could touch the button with a smiley face, the medium face, the kind of grumpy face, and the really mad face to show how satisfied you were. That’s net promoter score. Crazy place to think of it, but that’s net promoter score. The other one that I saw recently was Adobe. I was using Photoshop and they said, “How likely are you to recommend Photoshop to someone you know?” And it gave me a range of, I think it was 1 through 10, and 10 being the highest.
And so, NPS, at the heart of it, it’s just understanding the sentiment of someone who’s already your customer, who’s using your product, and usually used in situations where you have repeat customers, subscription-based businesses, any kind of membership kind of thing, that’s a very common example. But it’s just really gauging sentiment. And people who are really low NPS, that tells you, “Man, I have work to do with those folks.” If they’re high NPS, then you could send them a link to share with their friends, say, maybe, you know, “If you know someone who could find this helpful, send to one person.”
So, the other one way you can automate that I love, and if you’re using Drip, we make it as really easy, but you can actually can do this in any email marketing platform, is it’s a kind of a coupling of what you’re doing with newsletters and seeing that in an automated way, kind of helping that grow. I need to make sure that I’m able to access this. Let’s see. I hope I’m logged in here. I think I may have gotten logged out. Okay.
So, I’m gonna send a new email, and this is not an automated email. This is what you would think of as, like, a one-time email. And a lot of times, what you’re seeing with these one-time newsletter style emails is, you’ll get a certain open rate, and instead of getting the open rate you wanted, maybe it’s, you know, low, single-digits, 15% or something like that. And that’s usually a frustrating position to be in because you’ve spent so much time and energy making this work. And so, one thing that I love is, if you’re not really happy with your open rates, you really should use this tactic, and in Drip, it’s automated, where instead of sending it one time, you take the people who did not open your email the first time and you send it to them with a different subject line. And again, you can do this in any email marketing platform. If you want to set a reminder for four days out, come back in, create a segment of people who didn’t open, copy the broadcast or the newsletter, send it out to people with a new subject line, just for the people who didn’t open. Great way to recapture those folks.
With Drip, it’s just one click, and you can say, “Resend this broadcast to subscribers who didn’t open it.” I’m gonna say wait four days. I’m gonna put in a new subject. And then when I schedule this email to send the first time, it’s gonna send out today. And then in four days, it’s gonna check anyone who didn’t open it, resend to them with a different subject so it doesn’t look like they’re getting the same email twice. And just with that simple automation, you’re now boosting your open rates dramatically. So, I call it the second chance. But it’s something that I love. And in Drip, it’s automated, but you can do it in a non-automated way with other platforms. So, make sure we’re tracking with the slides here.
Money Losing Problem: Talking the Same Way to Everyone
So, the fourth money losing problem is talking the same way to everyone. And this is something that I think most email marketers do. So, if this is something you do, that’s totally fine. But we’re gonna show you how to fix this problem today. So, I want you to think about what comes to mind when you hear the word personalization. The first time I heard it, in regards to email, I thought of something like this, “Hi, first name.” And if you’re using this right now, go ahead and type a one into chat. Let me know, are you using people’s first names? Because that’s a really good first step to personalize. Hopefully, some of us are doing that right now. I’d love to see people respond with one, if you are using people’s first names in emails.
Talia: Yeah, we’re seeing ones.
Anna: Awesome. You probably have heard people talk about email personalization and you’re thinking, “I mean, I’m using first names, is that what they’re talking about?” And the answer is, most often, no. Except for the start, but if that’s where it ends, then you’re really not tapping the power of personalization. Personalization’s real power goes untapped by most email marketers. So, let’s talk about how you can tap into that.
First, an example. So, I have a buddy whose name is Brandon and he has a variety of different groups he talks to. He has a product that really works with marketers and designers and developers. And so, in the past, he actually sent emails to these folks that were all the same. But about a year ago, he made a big shift. And so, this is an email that he used to send to people, to everyone. But he realized that he was talking to marketers, and so he actually created email that, instead of saying, “I want you to think about the first time you ever had to attach a price to yourself,” he said, “as a marketer.” And then, for developers, he sent out the same email. “I want you to think about the first time you ever had to attach a price to yourself as a designer.”
And so, what Brandon did is he identified these different personas he talked to and he found that he had, I think it was about five personas, designers, developers, agencies, marketers, the freelancers. And he created five different versions of his drip campaigns. Because he had one that was really successful and he was just imagining, “Well, how can I make this more successful?” And when he did that, he saw his conversion rate skyrocket.
So, if you wanna do something like this, if you wanna start personalizing beyond someone’s first name, here’s what you need to do. First, you have to understand, and this is really critical, you have to understand who are the main different personas that you talk to. If you don’t understand this, then you’re not gonna be able to do any kind of personalization. And this really does require you to take, I would say, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, putting some thought into this. Because your first thought, you may miss a couple. Now, if there’s just a tiny handful of folks in one of your personas, you may not create a campaign for those, but definitely get your big ones. Now, if you aren’t creating these segments in your current email marketing, and the way I mentioned earlier to do these segments is with tagging. So, let’s say that you wanna create a segment of designers or developers, you could have a designer tag or a developer tag or an entrepreneur tag.
If you aren’t currently seeing this segmented out in your email marketing, one way you can do this is, in this first bullet here, if you aren’t seeing that, you can actually send in your first email out, your introductory email to your brand new subscribers, you can ask them to self-identify. You can say, “Click this link if you’re a developer. Click this link if you’re a designer.” And then on that link click, you can then create an automation that sends them a campaign that’s specific to that mindset. And if they don’t click, you can have a delay and sends like a generalized campaign. But just that one tactic is actually going to create a much more compelling experience for your subscribers.
One thing that we see so often is that we create products that can serve a wide variety of people. And when we see conversion rate suffer, we think, “Oh, I should make this product more specific to one market.” But what if, instead of making our products more specific to a very tiny market, we made our marketing for that product very specific to that person? And I really believe in this because it allows you to have so much more potential for who you can reach. The only task I want you to write down is for you to customize the existing emails that you send to main segments by changing keywords. If you go back here, you’ll see that Brandon changed one word.
Now, of course, down the road, you could write very customized email follow-up sequences in drip campaigns for folks based on who they are. But if you start anywhere, I would start small, with just one word. So, in this case, he said, in the past, he said, “Attach a price to yourself.” Instead of just stopping there, he said, “As a designer.” And so, what he ended up doing is creating these different versions, just adding that extra word. And so, when you create your first drip campaign, you can start generalized. But if you want to start personalizing, you can create multiple versions of that campaign, adding one word, talking directly to that one persona. It’s a really great way to start personalizing. If you already have a drip campaign, take a look at it, look for key areas where you can start inserting that persona, just with one word, create these different versions, and then create the automation to support that.
Now, the last money losing problem I’m gonna address today is not knowing your numbers. If I asked you your number one thing you track with emails, what would your answer be? And I actually want you to type that in the chat. A lot of times, I’ll see people say things like open rates. Other people say, “Well, click-through rates is mine.” Whatever it is, reply rates, whatever it is, that one thing, if you first think about tracking an email, what’s the thing you think of? Answer and chat for me right now, if you would. We’re gonna give you a few more seconds to answer. So, if you haven’t got anything, go ahead and do that. And then, Talia, when you see a few come in, can you shout out what you’re seeing? Or not shout, but let me know what you’re seeing.
Talia: So, we’ve got Christine here saying that she tracks revenue. And we’ve got a few people saying open rates. We’ve got click-through rates and click-to-deliver rates, CTR, open rates. So, we’re seeing a lot of kind of CTR and open rate from what I can see here. Less people are tracking revenue, I think, more open rates and click-through rates.
Anna: Okay. And that actually is really in line with what I’ve seen. The fact is that if you’re tracking anything at all, that’s a really…that means, that’s a positive indicator. It’s more common for people to not track these things when they’re just getting started especially. But even, you know, deep into their marketing game, their email marketing game, I’m surprised how often people aren’t tracking metrics from revenue, or from emails, I should say. So, to the people who are tracking revenue, fantastic. You’re ahead of the game. Congratulations. To those who aren’t, I wanna give you some hope and some options to start tracking that. Because when you hear tracking revenue from emails, you start thinking about, I’m guessing you start thinking about, “Oh, I have to get a new analytics platform. I have to go, you know, learn how to do complex tracking. I have to install Pixels.” And I wanna give you some hope. It doesn’t have to be that overwhelming.
Before I show you some quick workarounds for this, I wanna show you a screen in Drip. And so, if we have any Drip users in the house, I want you to look at the screen. Because if you aren’t using this right now, my challenge to you is to start using it. This is the conversion report. In Drip, we make a report that allows you to create a dashboard to tell you how things are performing based on revenue. Now, what you’re seeing here is a “Became a Customer” report, and this is actually one from Drip from a few years ago. And I’m not gonna tab around to it because I don’t wanna reveal actual email addresses, but if I click on that Subscriber tab, one thing you would see is you would see every person who became a customer and the email they received right before they made that action. And what I learned from this was so valuable. I started to see trends in which of my emails were pushing us toward the most conversions. Other places in Drip, you can also see conversion rate column in the emails that you send, so you can really track that. As long as you have a conversion report set up, you’re gonna start to see these conversion rates come in automatically. So, you don’t have to do that tracking in Drip, even tracks value in the door.
Now, if you aren’t using Drip, or if you’re not ready to set up that kind of report, I do have a challenge for you in an action item. What I would tell you to do is to write down the answer to this. What am I tracking right now? Write that down on your piece of paper. And then I would also write down, I didn’t put this in the slide, but also write down, what do I wanna be tracking? If you wanna be tracking conversions and you don’t have access to a sophisticated analytics tool, I would really challenge you to use UTMs. And if you’re not sure what UTM is, another thing to write down is google UTMs. You can google that later. But what it really does is it allows you to see in Google Analytics where your traffic is coming from to your pages. So, let’s say you send out an email about pizza pans, and you got brand new pizza pan you’re selling. And your guess is that after you send this email, you’re gonna see a lot of pizza pan sales, but you don’t know because you aren’t tracking conversions.
Now, marketer A, let’s call her Sally, she’s not tracking conversions, she sees a huge burst in pizza pan sales and says, “Oh, it must be from the email.” And marketer B, let’s call her Susan, she’s using UTMs. And after the sales, she goes into Google Analytics, and she can see that her sales page has the most hits in terms of tracking from that email campaign. So, it’s better than not tracking at all, UTMs. If you are using a tool that tracks conversions, a tool like Drip, I would definitely set up that conversion report to make it even easier. A few more things that you can track, my favorite, of course, is conversions. But you can track subscriber count, and that can help you see, you know, how your subscriber base is growing. You can track open, clicks, unsubscribes, lots of other things you can track as well. But my favorite, of course, is conversions. And I wanted to explain why before we move on to questions and answers.
If we’re not tracking what we’re doing relating back to dollars, we’re almost flying blind in terms of what’s working and what’s not. When we do track for this, we can say, “Is this making a difference for me or is it something I should cut out? Is this just noise to my subscriber?” Because if it’s just noise to the subscriber, if it’s not getting high open rates, if it’s taking a lot of work on your end, then we really have to consider making our process more efficient and only focusing on what’s gonna drive revenue. So, that’s one of my favorite ways to track, to optimize for revenue, and to only do things that are really effective in terms of bringing dollars in the door.
Okay. So, what’s next for us? If you like what you saw here, I actually do coaching calls on a regular basis over at convertedu.com. You can check that out there. A lot of it is really Drip-centric. But if you’re just curious about more of this, you can show up there. And then, I wanted to offer up a time to do Q&A.
Talia: To answer Silvia, UTMs are essentially URL parameters that you are adding to your original links. So, if your website was etsy.com, you would just actually be adding at the end of that link a parameter, which you can get on Google. You just google UTM. And every time someone hits that specific link, you will see it in Google Analytics. So, that’s about that. Now, we only have about eight minutes to answer questions. So, I wanna make sure we make best of that. So, here are some of the questions that I saw coming in. Let’s start with, “We’re working with new clients who have no history of generating content. We’re sending emails. Where is a safe place to start up to sign up for my email list? Basically, where’s the best place to start? Ideas to get contents from small or overburdened clients is such a huge bottleneck.” This is from Melinda.
Anna: A lot of times, this question changes based on what the client is selling. And so, what I would ask the client is, what kinds of collateral have you created that has helped you in sales? Maybe they have a blog post that really pushed sales out dramatically. Maybe they have an eBook that has been used in their sales process that’s really helped folks convert. Maybe they have a short video clip. Any kind of content that’s worked for them in the past is something I would try to repurpose. Even if it’s been, maybe they’re a local business and they’ve gone on the radio with a local DJ, you can get a transcript of that, you can pull up the best parts and put that into an email. So, as often as you can, try to repurpose, because it does take time, and it can be in terms of effort, a little expensive to create new content, and you’re also not sure if it’s gonna work or not. So, try to go off of what’s already worked and repurpose for email, and that’ll help you hit the ground running, giving you time to see, “Well, is that sticking with my subscribers? Do they like that? Should I create more of that?” If you’re flying blind, it’s hard to know where to start. So, try to get some things that already worked before.
Talia: Love it. Yeah, I completely agree. I do a lot of repurposing of content. So, that’s a great technique. So, John asks, “How can the template affect the open rate, other than determining whether it actually hits the inbox?”
Anna: Sure, yeah. So, open rates, there’s a little bit of complexity here, but when Google or Yahoo! or someone’s corporate inbox sees your email come through, it’s actually checking a number of things in the email to determine if it’s spam or not, or if it’s a marketing message or not. You’re familiar with the primary tab and the promotions tab? Google is looking in the template for cues to see if it’s a promotion email or not. And what’s interesting is plain text templates squeak by more often than highly stylized templates do, so that’s one of the biggest things in that regard.
Talia: Yeah, you’ll notice that all my emails are plain text. The additional reason for that is because I write all my emails, and it has a personal touch to them. It’s me writing to you as who you are, rather than an entire marketing campaign with loads of pictures and photos and other products. But that really depends on your tone and voice of the business and your goals as a company. So, another question we have here is, “Hey, there. I use iContact for sending the email to client database. My client is from a B2B industry. Well, open rate is nearly about 11% only. Is this too low? I’m trying to increase the number of clicks in the emails. Do you suggest if there are any strategies to use for B2B industries, specifically?”
Anna: First, I’m gonna answer the question of too low. I believe that every open rate is always too low. And I know that sounds crazy. But that means that it doesn’t matter if you’re an all-star marketer, it’s still gonna be something you can improve on. So, don’t feel like you’re failing. If you have 11%, that’s still a place to improve on, just like an all-star marketer with an open rate that they love. If you love your open rate, that means you may need to come back and say, “What other tactics can I try to choose more of this?” No one is perfect, we all have work to do. So, one thing you can do to try to bump that up, take a look at your template. Also, take a look at who you’re sending to. If you are sending to people who have been on your list for a long, long time but have a history of not opening your emails, you may need to prune people off of your list. If people haven’t opened your emails in the last 10 months, chances are they probably switched jobs. That happens a lot in B2B, right? So, whatever options you have for pruning, some are built-in, some you have to go in and do your own, “Look at this,” try to prune people off, that’s gonna bump your open rates up. The last part of that question related to content suggestions for B2B, is that right, Talia?
Anna: Okay. So, you really have to think about the person you’re talking to. A lot of times, in B2B, we are using tactics that are very formal. And now, more of what we’re seeing is B2B is so often coming back to things that have worked for B2C. And it’s all coming back to your brand and how personable you are, if you’re actually able to solve the problem that that individual has. Because in the business, you’re actually not talking to that other B as a business, you’re talking to the individual in that business, the person on the sales team, the person who’s trying to make the decisions for marketing ops, the person who’s trying to optimize the production process. They have a real problem they’re trying to solve. So, find out what that problem is and start talking about that.
Talia: Love it. At the end of the day, we are solving the pains of your customer, and that’s what comes first. So, if your emails are kind of focused on that, you’re in the right track.
Anna: For sure.
Talia: So, Sylvia…okay, we’ve got maybe a time for two questions. So, Sylvia says, maybe not directly on topic, but, “Where did anyone get the idea that an email or language [SP] is attractive when miles-long 1 equals 37 pages, when put into words, I hate them, talk about 20 things, lists, testimonials. I scroll fast if I haven’t left altogether.” So, you’re talking about long copy versus short copy, Sylvia, right?
Anna: Yeah, count me in. That’s a huge… You see these trends that people say, “Always the big trend in marketing, I must do this.” Don’t do trends. There’s no such thing as something that’s going to work for everyone. And if you have seen that this is not reaching the people you’re trying to reach, don’t do it. Don’t do it because it seems like someone else says, “Oh, this is the way to go.” If you know that your lead or the person you’re talking to, the person on the other end is very short on time, you really need to be careful about that and respect that. Get to the point, if you need to. Pull up that call to action early. Come back to their exact pain point as early as you can. Because if you’re not able to do that, people are thinking, “Can they solve my problem?” So, I would encourage you to make the decision that’s right for you and reject the trend, especially if it’s something that you don’t feel matches what the need is.
Talia: Generally, guys, you know, my aunt said, “Best practices suck. Don’t use best practices.” I write long copy for my emails, for my sales pitch. That does not mean it would work for everyone else. You have to find, you know, understand who you’re talking, audiences, and write for them, the landing pages, emails, everything you do. So, think about it that way. So, John asked a question, this is gonna be our last question because we got just one minute left. So, if you guys… Yes, they are long, Ellaine. So, you guys, if you can stay on, great. If not, we’ll have this transcript in here, so don’t worry. So, “Hi, there, this is Jane, Growth and Customer Success at Embed Social, a SaaS company. Our customer, which are quite diverse, think of B2B plus SMEs plus marketing agencies, freelancers.” Okay. “Our product, think the management of photos, galleries, Facebook, Google Reviews between major social platforms and websites. Our question is, what would be the best approach to target our customers with campaigns as they are diverse? Some of them are free users, some of them are trial users, and some of them are paying.”
Anna: Okay. So, my hope for you is that you have some kind of segmentation in place and you have visibility in terms of, “Is my contact this or this?” Because the challenge that you’ll face is, let’s say you are email marketer five years ago. You probably would have sent the same introductory email, “Here’s who we are as a business,” to every single one of those people. And you’re gonna have a lot of folks who say, “Is this gonna resonate to me?” Or you see an email that says, “If you are this, here’s what we offer you. If you’re this, here’s what we offer you.” And that just…it misses the mark in terms of what email is in this day and age. Email has the power to talk exactly to who that person is. Now, that power is based on the foundation of knowing who that person is in the first place. So, you got to talk to your development team and your product team and say, “Hey, guys, can you send this data to our platform? Can you tell me which person is in which segment? I need this coming back to my email platform so I can segment on this.”
So, make that segmentation decision your primary focus right now. I will get that fixed first. And then you can start thinking about, really, it’s more of going back to the white board and saying, “This persona, what’s their main pain point?” And make that really clear for each one, and then start modifying emails that will go only to that persona and highlight that pain point based on where they’re at in the customer journey. You may have people that have stuck with you for a long, long time. You’ll craft emails about keeping them around longer based on their pain points. You may have someone who’s just met you for the first time. It’s gonna be very different conversation, but it’s all gonna come back to the persona. So, make sure you have that data and then think about the personas.
Talia: So, I’ll just say, also, a great way to start is by using Segment.io or Intercom. Great platforms that help you segment those clients of yours, understand who they are, where they are, and they integrate with every email platform, most email platforms. Plus, checkout Dana DiTomaso’s webinar she had with us a couple months ago. She talked exactly about how to personalize emails in a really cool way. So, you’ll love that. Unfortunately, we’re overtime. And guys, thank you so much for taking the time. Anna, you are brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Feel free, guys, to keep asking questions in here. And then, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna copy and paste everything into an email to Anna. And then, when she has a time, she’ll answer. You’ll have a replay of this and the transcript available in the next few days on our blog. Have a great day, everyone. And once again, Anna, thank you so much for taking the time to teach us and, you know, build the knowledge.
Anna: So happy to be here. Thank you all for being here. Thank you so much, Talia, for allowing me to do this. It was such a pleasure.
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