This is our sixth and final episode in the Email Marketing series on the Tech of Business podcast. I’m your host Jaime Slutzky and today it’s just me and the mic, wrapping up the conversation to make sure that you have all the tools in your arsenal to make the advice and conversations relevant and actionable.
Let’s talk about tackling segmentation and tagging your subscribers so that you can increase the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
The very first and easiest group to segment and identify are the people who you’re currently doing one-on-one work with. They are your VIP clients. And right on the heels of that group are other clients or purchasers… these are your group participants, course or membership site purchasers or those who have bought a digital product from you and currently have access to the material they purchased.
Start by looking at these people. How would you characterize them? What term do you use to talk about them with your mentor or coach? That’s the term that you’ll want to be able to use inside your email marketing platform to describe them.
The next group of people who are easiest to segment is your past clients and those who previously had access to material (but don’t any longer.) This group of people might have several subsections depending on the type of business you run – because some might be potential repeat clients whereas others might not.
We’ll get into a couple of sample businesses later in the episode and dig into the differences here.
The next segment that may or may not be easy to setup is to split your leads by the way they entered into email list to begin with. Freebies and webinars and challenges and consults and every other possible way that someone could choose to be on your list are great for growing a list of interested people, but if we don’t capture why they subscribed, it’s hard to make an offer that is relevant to them.
Now would be a really good time to update the active lead sources… so if you have an ongoing webinar or freebie, go into the intake process and also insert the segmentation for all new leads.
I’ll show you what I mean – over at https://techofbusiness.com/freebie/email-sequence/ you can sign up for one of my freebies. This particular freebie provides you access to the PDF inside my MemberVault account and will take you through a series of emails. At the final stage of those emails, my automation tags you such that you’re ready to receive emails as part of my most general full list. I also at that time make sure it’s clear that I know you’ve received this particular freebie.
So, why is this important?
Well… let’s say that I’m going to be a guest expert on a podcast or a virtual summit or a webinar talking specifically about the tech that this freebie discusses, there is a far greater likelihood that it would be of interest to you than it would to someone who chose to subscribe to my email list from a very different option. So, I might send a special email to this segment that explains how my appearance and the content that I share has a direct correlation to the freebie that you downloaded. The rest of my email list will likely get a less specific version of the email. The idea here is that you’ll know that I’m speaking directly to you and that will make it more likely that you’ll take action!
And that’s the power of segmenting – sending the best most relevant emails to the people who are most likely to take action on them. Click To Tweet
So, we’ve talked about creating segments for your current clients, past clients and leads based on the way they got onto your email list… but what if you don’t have enough data to create these types of segments?
We can segment our audience based on their behavior.
That is to say, our audiences leave breadcrumbs as they interact with us. Opening emails. Clicking links. Looking at pages on your website. Replying to emails. Joining our Facebook groups. Engaging with us on social media.
These are all pieces that we can use to build our segments further… some of this may be a manual process, some may be entirely automated…
And manual isn’t bad – I use a manual process as my clients move through my done for you services. It’s far easier to add a task to my task list (automatically) every time I take payment and manually jump into ActiveCampaign to update the appropriate tags.
Sometimes it’s a matter of figuring out what’s important to you and how you’ll best be able to serve the individuals in your audience.
For many of my clients, the best segments based on behavior are viewing certain pages of the website…
That is to say, if someone looks at the work with me page several times, they are more likely interested in working with you.
Or if someone looks at blog posts all revolving around a specific topic, that topic is of interest to them, so they are more likely to be interested in an opportunity that also addresses that specific topic.
Of course, the ability to know the pages that people are viewing isn’t always easy – it depends on some back end systems… ActiveCampaign has site tracking and some of the other email marketing systems do as well.
Site tracking only works if you’re able to add a cookie to your subscribers’ browser. This is done by them clicking on a link in an email – and as with any cookies, it’s not perfect (we hold different cookies on each device and with each browser within those devices) but it’s a good guess. And a good guess is better than no information at all.
I mentioned earlier that user activity on social media is a way to segment things out – if you go live regularly on your Facebook page, encouraging people to comment or give an emotion on the live is a great way to see who shows up. You can then make a notation inside your EMS that these people hang out on Facebook… so next time you plan on going live, give them a heads up via email…. It’s about completing the circle.
Let’s talk in the Tech of Business Community about other segments that are proving useful in your business or that you would like to explore. The community can be accessed at https://techofbusiness.com/community/
The final way to delve into segmenting is to ask your audience…
Give this or that options inside emails, ask them to complete a quick survey, encourage the click and get to know your audience. The more you know about your audience, from geography and family structure to business goals and zone of genius, the more likely you’ll be able to help each individual in your audience get the most out of interacting with you and your business.
Last episode, episode 62 with Ramon Darling, focused on using email to enhance the experience for your customers. I want to get into that more now.
For every online purchase that a customer or client makes – it’s not good enough to just send them a receipt and the product. This is the best time to over deliver and wow that new client.
I’ve recommended this before, but it’s worth repeating – sending access and receipt information is two separate emails – one goes to the accounting department, the other goes to the user. They may be the same person, but they might not – your new client’s workflow might have them automatically forwarding those purchase receipts to their bookkeeper or accountant – mixing login or access information in that email can cause confusion.
But that’s not entirely what I wanted to talk about just now – nope, I want to showcase successful ways I’ve seen service providers and infopreneurs over-deliver in their very first on-boarding email.
And for that, it’s slightly different depending on the type of product or service you’re selling. I put these into four categories.
- Category 1: Client has purchased an online course or a group program ahead of the start date
- Category 2: Client has purchased a fully available self-guided course or membership site access.
- Category 3: Client has purchased a guided course (usually using drip features)
- Category 4: Client has purchased done-for-you or done-with-you services
For all the categories, the very first email should set expectations. Outline exactly how often they will hear from you and where they will hear from you – be it via email, inside a facebook group, via voxer or any other type of messaging system or in a standalone utility such as on their student dashboard or user portal of some kind.
In this email, provide instructions for access to the community, content or resources as well as clearly define how they are to communicate with you. By listing out this information you’ll make it super clear and be able to hold boundaries.
When a client is in category 1 and waiting for the start date, you’ll want to get them used to opening your emails and taking some kind of action. The easiest action to have someone do is to reply to the email and answer a question.
When a client is in category 4 and needs to get on your schedule, make this easy for them… use a scheduling software tool that allows them to pick a time that works. I personally use Acuity Scheduling which you can look at by going to https://techofbusiness.com/acuity/ . Also at this time it’s really prudent to remind them of your turnaround time and any delay clauses that they have agreed to.
For clients in category 2 or category 3, they are mostly self-guided but you want to make sure that they know that you’re silently by their side. So, I recommend a series of emails that promote getting started and keep going.
At the end of the day, regardless of the category, regularly hitting the inbox and helping your client achieve the results that they are seeking is the best course of action.
So, if it’s three emails in the first week and then one email a week until they complete, then that’s what you do. If it’s one email to kick things off and emails every other week to check in, then go for it.
Another great feature of email marketing systems is that you can give your client options on how frequently they hear from you in regards to this particular purchase.
And don’t rely solely on automated emails – I love the idea of sending a personal message to a client when they hit a milestone or a roadblock on their journey… you can use automation to trigger a notification to yourself for this.
I feel like I’m talking in circles, so let’s use a couple of concrete examples to fully comprehend these ideas.
The first example is for a live multi-week course. The cart opens about 1 week before the course starts. There is material to consume on a course delivery platform and live sessions held via zoom that the client can attend.
Let’s talk tagging… we can tag anyone who visits the sales page with “Visited SP course XYZ” and then anyone who purchases will get the tag “Client course XYZ” they may also get “Active Client” and you’ll want to remove any tags that might be used to target them further. Nobody wants to be sold to when they’ve already purchased.
Once they are a client in that course, you’ll be sending them access information and expectations. Then every couple of days between the purchase date and course launch date, you’ll send them emails that help them get excited – might be a bit of pre-work or a special welcome video or something that asks what they hope to get out of the course… the idea is to help them carve out time to get their full results.
Then you’ll continue to communicate with them via email and however else you’ve setup communication (I’d say this is probably in a Facebook group!)
And after the course wraps up… a couple more touch points to see how you can help them further and of course to close the loop. It’s nice when there is a nice little bow tied up at the end of the offering.
Our second example is a course that gets dripped each week for 6 weeks. It’s a completely stand-alone, self-paced course. In this case, the tagging is similar to the last example, we’ll want to tag people who look at the sales page and purchase the course – and clean up any tags so that we don’t market this same course to them again. I also recommend tying the course progress to tags within your email marketing system to help encourage them to keep going.
I like to start the emails for this type of product and client with an email a day for the first 3 days. Then skip a couple of days and send an email the day before the next module is dripped and an email two days after that next module is dripped. From there, I continue with an email the day each new module is dripped until all content is delivered.
In these emails, if you’re tracking progress, you can call out “I see you’ve competed everything to this point… “ or “I see that you haven’t finished module X, is there something I can help you with…” or even “I noticed that you’ve been watching the videos but not doing the exercises, how can I help you…” – see the power in tracking their progress?
And once the client has all the content, keep touching base with them to help them keep going and get to completion. Just because you’ve finished dripping, doesn’t mean that you can’t still help them achieve their goal, even if it takes a little longer!
Our third example is for done-for-you services. I’ll use a bookkeeper as an example for this one. The role of the bookkeeper is to make sure that your financial records are kept up to date. And possibly to highlight anomalies in your spending or income. So, where does email marketing come in to enhance the experience? It’s certainly not used to send updates and status reports – but there is a role for sure.
A bookkeeper would go a long way to keeping their client happy by sending automated emails one or two days before they go in and reconcile a given period – asking if there are any specific things to look out for or any special considerations worth noting. It might be helpful to send out a reminder to clients that quarterly taxes are due. This is above and beyond the general newsletter style emails – giving a more personalized touch to the one-on-one clients.
How can you use email marketing to enhance the experience your clients have with you and your business? I’m sure you’ll find a few nuggets that are going to help you stand out.
Email marketing is a fabulous tool – but it’s only as good as the work that goes into it. When you don’t have a system to keep it organized, it can become another weight on your shoulders instead of highlight of your day.
While many businesses that I work with use email marketing, no two businesses work with the tool in the exact same way… which is why I believe that hitting the reset button and bringing in an expert and outside perspective is a valuable exercise for your business.
If you’re interested in learning how you can work with me to make your email marketing platform work harder for you, DM me on Instagram, I’m @techofbusiness. Or head over to https://techofbusiness.com/work-with-me/.