058: Email Marketing Strategy & Segmentation with Sarah Anderson [Email Marketing Series #1 of 6]

Our new series Beyond the Broadcast: Email Marketing Expanded, begins with this episode all about using your email marketing system more effectively in your business, we’ve got a conversation with Sarah Anderson. She is an email marketing strategist. This is a perfect start to the series (and even better than I had hoped!)

Also in this series, I sit down with representatives from several email marketing service providers. And, just as with the MemberVault series, I’ll wrap up the series with a deep dive episode in which we’ll break down everything from the interviews into an action plan for your business. This action plan is going to work for you no matter where you are in your email marketing strategy. We’ll make it easy, fun and effective!

Email marketing is a tool that every business can use and leverage month in and month out. Email marketing is the tool that lands emails into someone else’s inbox. Our inbox is often the most portable part of our businesses (and lives!) as it’s very easy to scroll through our inbox on our phone. So in a sense, a person’s email is with them all the time and right at their fingertips. This is why we want to be showing up consistently in their inbox.

Sarah Anderson works with her clients on both their email strategy and the words themselves as a copywriter. She works with coaches, course creators, and consultants who are ready to sell more with their email list and really leverage their email lists. She loves working on sales copy, launches, evergreen funnels, and even nurture sequences.

Let’s start at the beginning of the relationship.

That is a nurture or welcome sequence. We, as business owners, should take initiative and nurture the relationship with people who has just joined your email list. Sarah says that “the nurture sequence is your chance to make friends with the person who has just joined your email list.”

New subscribers are excited and need to be treated a little differently than the rest of your email list. You want to use a nurture sequence to introduce them to your brand, who you are, what you do, and how you can really help them. This sets them up for working with you down the line.

There are so many ideas out there of what makes sense regarding frequency of emails. For frequency of nurture sequences, Sarah likes to email a little more frequently in the beginning (like everyday or every other day) and then slowly put more time in between emails. One sequence you’ll see often is the Fibonacci sequence for email sequencing. They get the freebie email on Day 1 then continue with the series — another email on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, then Day 5… doing this sequence it gradually spaces out the emails until they get to the point of your newsletter. In the beginning, you want to get your subscriber used to open your emails “strike while the iron is hot” and get to know them and get in there when they are the most interested. (Psst… here’s a link to Fibonacci sequence!!)

Nurture sequence vs. Segmenting

“Segmenting is really about getting the right email to the right person at the right time.” - Sarah Anderson Click To Tweet

You don’t want someone who just signed up for your email sequence getting emails about your launch. But someone who went to your webinar and has been clicking on your emails IS who you want to get that launch email.

Sarah uses and suggests creating a newsletter segment — the people who are best suited to newsletters or broadcast message — this is generally people who completes the welcome sequence. They will be tagged in your email marketing system to be included in the newsletter segment.

One email in Sarah’s nurture sequence is what she calls a self segmenting email. She sends an email that says “Hey, can you tell me which best describes you?” She’ll give them a few things to click and once they click that link it will track them. And those clickable links can be based on whatever it is your tracking like where they are in their business, what their goals are, what type of business they are in. This helps you see who is on your list and you can use that data to make your emails that much more effective.

Segmenting is not usually a manual process — your systems can take care of adding the right tags and moving people around to the correct segments. It’s simply a tool that allows you to send focused emails to the most likely action takers.

There are other ways to use your segments within your email strategy.

One that both Sarah and I love is during a launch series (which has a lot of emails about that product or service) include a link in that email that says “I don’t want to hear about this anymore”. This allows your subscriber choose their adventure with your emails and let them guide the emails they get. If you are just getting started with segmenting, just start with a few segments. There are so many different ways to use segmenting, don’t get overwhelmed just start with one or two differentiators and grow when the time is right.

Segmenting results in more of your audience liking and interactive with your emails.

The longer someone stays on your list and likes your emails, the more likely they are to eventually purchase from you. Understanding what they want from your emails is paramount to creating that relationship.

Another sequence that Sarah speaks about on this episode is that of an Evergreen Sequence. This is a hybrid of sorts between a nurture sequence and sales sequence. It’s always out there working for you. If you are not sending regular emails that’s where you can still use email marketing to build authority and purchases.

So, do you want to create a forever sequence that can go on and on and nurture people for months? OR… do you want to create a short sales sequence that you put people in where you start with the regular nurture sequence and then you offer them something like a webinar that is leading into a launch? You are offering them value, but then also offering a way for them to work with you so to speak. Sarah recommends doing regular emails but she can see why people don’t want to do it. It is a big commitment. This where you have to look at strategy long term.

There are ways that you can include “sales” aspects in every email. Like for instance, in the footer of Sarah’s emails, there is an “interested in working with me” link that people can click. So that goes out in every email weather it’s sales or nurture or launch or informative.

Sarah and I agree that Email Marketing is a pillar in online business today. You can succeed with email marketing. It can even help focus your week as far as what you are sharing in other aspects of your business like social media and on a podcast.

Benefits of Sending Regular Emails

The primary benefit of consistency is it’s building trust with your subscribers. It helps your audience see that you show up and makes them feel like if they hire you that you aren’t just going to take their money and then disappear. As a business owner, you want to be the top of your subscribers mind for the service that you offer. Building trust is a long term thing. If you can’t start with weekly, start monthly. Start where you are and keep going.

There is a lot of content that goes into emails. Download Sarah’s “Welcome Sequence Roadmap” freebie which contains five emails for your nurture sequence.

Sarah encourages her clients and audience to do something a little extra in your welcome email. You’re using your nurture sequence to build a relationship with your new subscribers and have it lead to a one on one conversations with them.

What to look for In Email Service Providers

  • Option to do segmenting easy with link triggers.
  • Include the option for plain text emails where the format can be changed easily and doesn’t have to be fancy with lots of design (think less graphics, more an email to your mom).
  • Easily integrate or create forms and landing pages, it’s nice to be able to do that within the service but some service providers you need to do that in another tool.

I believe that you can make just about any email marketing platform work in your business. Sure, there is a learning curve and there are different levels of email marketing systems. But, depending on your needs, you’ll find your soulmate tool. As a business owner, you have to understand your business and message so well that email marketing will allow you to connect with the one person that is receiving your email. You want to connect with every one person on your list on a individual basis. Giving a personality to every one person on your list creates the opportunity to connect and feel like they are a part of your community. This is what helps them see that you genuinely care, have a personality and aren’t just in it for the money.

A Tip: Self Selection Before a Major Launch

What if you haven’t done any segmenting yet? Try a pre launch sequence.

This sequence will do a bit of pre-warming and get both you and your audience ready for what’s coming next. Essentially, offer an insane amount of value and tease the upcoming launch. Invite people to opt back in for the upcoming offer.

This strategy allows you to see how many subscribers are interested in different aspects of your business and types of content. They’ll be ready to act on the major launch. If this step is skipped, open rates and conversion rates might be lower and people may not realize that this opportunity is perfect for them!

Have a new product? You can also use self selection as part of a beta launch for that new product as a way of testing it!

Providing people with the power to say “yes” makes your emails more effective!

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