What is the purpose of your email marketing campaign? Whether you’re a B2B or B2C, the purpose is typically going to be the same. You’re going to want some sort of engagement back from whoever you’re sending it to, whether or not you got these people from subscribing on your website to a newsletter, or you purchased their name through a list, or you got their name through a list. Either way, the purpose is typically some sort of engagement back. Now, the level of engagement that you’re looking for, that’s where it comes down to how you’re going to create your email and how you’re going to do the creative behind it.
Be specific with your e mail marketing
But the purpose is sending out something and in 2019, 2018 too, and it’s going to continue to be like this. The trends are down as far as open rate, click rate, and things like that because email marketing is losing its effectiveness because marketers like me and possibly you have just ruined it over the past 10 years. With it being less effective, you want to try and get straight to the point which is going to change some of the creative side. What email system are you using? There’s tons of CRM systems out there. You can be using a free one, like constant contact or MailChimp.
So many email marketing software to chose from
Those have their limitations, especially if they’re free. Even the paid ones have limitations too. We’re just doing one off blast. You can’t really control the format too much, which we’ll get into next, but CRM systems out there. HubSpot is a very popular. I’m personally not a fan of it because of the cost and because of how they lock you into a multi year contract. It also has its limitations from a design standpoint. Infusionsoft is something that we used years ago and used for many years. That is a great system because not only does it have the plain text, email marketing format that will go into next, but then it also has a ton of back-end automation to put people through campaigns and nurture them and build all that out.
Infusionsoft is a great option. Sharpspring is great because it does some advanced tracking and some advanced list building and things like that and it searches out on the Internet and social platforms and things like that and pulls information back in. SharpSpring is great for it, whether it uses Zoho, Sugar, CRM, anything like that, you have to have some sort of system in place. You do not want this to just be a one off blast. You have to keep on going back in and set it up. You want to build out a campaign to where you’re sending micro pieces of content, let’s say over eight weeks and you’re hitting everybody either once a week or once every two weeks and you’re building out so that when somebody new gets put in your funnel, you know that they’re going to get these six emails right ma’am, emails over eight weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, whatever it is, but building out that automation first is going to be critical to make it efficient.
But if you’re just anxious to get something out there and see some sort of response like I was initially, you can just send out a broadcast email to say, “I’m sending something out to everybody on the list and then this is what you want to call to action to be, to at least get some sort of engagement.” But either way, put a system in place. Do not try and do this, preferably, with a constant contact or MailChimp. Do not try and do with that. Spend a little bit of money.
Avoid emails that look like home depot ad
There’s a bunch of CRM systems that’ll do monthly plans like SharpSpring, Infusionsoft, and others. Just for a small amount of money just put it in there and you’ll be much better off. The format. This is the biggest change that has happened over probably the last two years. Some people are picking up to it now, and I’ve been saying this for a couple of years and we implemented it years ago, is you cannot make your email marketing look like a home depot ad. You need to remove the images, you need to remove the band of text at the top that says, “View this in a browser.” Remove your headline, remove your logo, remove stuff embedded inside of the body, remove as many images as possible and you want this just to be in simple plain text and you want to still have it be an HTML.
I’m not saying go to a rich text format. You still want the HTML because you still want to embed the code and the tracking code so that way, you can track what they’re clicking and what they aren’t clicking in the opens, but you got to stop making it look like an ad where you’ve got images all over the place and click here and watch this and it just looks like an ad that you’ll see. One thing is that depending on what type of email system this is going to, whether it’s corporate one or it’s a Gmail system or something like that, they will automatically flag it and throw it into the junk or spam or with Gmail they’ll put into promotions, if you have too many images or too many links.
Be careful not to spam
The format needs to be simpler to where you’re just saying, essentially, you’re trying to make it look like you just type this email. You can say some sort of intro and then go straight into some text. Make sure that it’s not a big paragraph of text. You want it to be broken out to where you’ve got separation between your thoughts and your lines, putting a link in there because you want to be able to track this with your CRM system that you’re sending it through. Putting a link which is your main call to action or maybe two that’s all I would say is the max because otherwise this stuff is going to get flagged as spam. When you lay it out, make sure it’s very clear, very straight to the point. Keep it simple and short because people are not going to want to scroll through emails like they used to and putting maybe max two links in there and then driving that creative throughout your entire email marketing campaign is going to be a must have because you want to make it look like it’s a sequence that’s consistent with the creativity behind it.
The biggest point here is to stop using images that flag spam. Nobody likes looking at them and especially if you’re doing B2B, this just looks really cheesy these days. The center line content is the other side of that. When you look at an email from email marketing standpoint, when it comes into you, you can see that people have everything center justified and there’s a box and there’s a border along each side of it that looks like an automation tool created it and that looks very cheesy and generic, again, like an ad. You can go into the backend of the CSS and do some code changes there.
Or some email systems like Infusionsoft can make it look just by default, like you want it to be a plain email. You want everything shifted to the left justification. You want it to look just like a normal email that you signed. You do not want to have borders or images or banners or anything like that. Just make it look as plain and as simple as possible. Have a simple signature, no big logos, no big images, nothing like that. Then the other side of it, if you want to a little hack is buried that unsubscribe down below, put some space in between the end of your email signature and then where that unsubscribe is put 600 pixels, 800 pixels of empty space because that way people can just easily scroll and click unsubscribe because you want it to not appear like you’re just sending somebody through automation. Keeping it simple is the biggest factor here in the email marketing format in 2019. Systems are getting smart to it, people are getting annoyed with it, so you just keep it simple. All right. Now, we’re getting into the email list.
Whether you have a list or it’s a couple of years old, it’s outdated or you want to get some new contacts into your list, this is going to be the critical step to get quality data. In my experience, I do not use any sort of list building services that get their information from Hoovers or DNB and it’s old and outdated and they’re going to build a list based on your criteria. We get hit from those companies all the time. I’ve known people that have owned those companies before. To me, that is not a play to go down because you have zero control. If you can’t search and query it yourself and look at the data and then pull more, and more, and more, that’s not an effective way to build the list. The best way that I’ve ever received a bill of list is going to be ZoomInfo.
Now, ZoomInfo, that’s something we used for years. We’re currently not using it. This is not endorsed by them, but ZoomInfo, you can look into their system. I don’t know what the pricing is going to be when you are reading this post, but right now it’s about $5,000 a year. You get 5,000 automatic exports, but you get to access their entire database and you just get to do search queries in it, and keyword phrases, and cities, and states, and titles, and things like that. You get to go into their system, pull all that information out, you can copy and paste it into a spreadsheet to not use any of your credits, or you can just upload it into the system and then download it with one click to use some of your credits.
But either way, for a year, $5,000 if you’re really looking to build out a list, this is the most effective for anybody that’s bootstrapped and doing it from the ground up that doesn’t have the marketing spend. You can put the $5,000 in and then just build a list out by searching, copy, and pasting into a spreadsheet. The other way to do it is to hire a freelancer or somebody from the outside to strictly do data scraping. From that aspect is you’re going to build out search queries or you’re going to build a list of search criteria and pay somebody most likely offshore or overseas, so that when the rate is lower, pay somebody to go through, do a Google search, find a company name, go to that website, pull the contact information, and copy that onto the spreadsheet. That’s really the other way to do it. At the end of the day, that’s probably going to be the least cost behind it, but there is going to be some issues with language barriers.
It could be communication issues, the quality of it, the time of it, things like that. Really at the end of the day, the only two options that I see for building our list is going to be using ZoomInfo and searching list yourself or using a freelancer or an agency from the outside that can do offshore list building because it is going to be ridiculously cheap compared to using somebody in the US or in Europe, if you can. Ideally, you want to try and have a list built by having a newsletter then having people subscribe to it and then you can just send out your newsletter once a week, once a month, things like that. But from the beginning when you have nobody and you don’t want to wait months and months and or a year to get a newsletter list built up before you send your first piece, go out there and get that information. The other way you can do it is to use your LinkedIn connections. Now, I try not to have us reach out to people through LinkedIn using their email addresses because most time it’s their personal email addresses, but sometimes wires get crossed and they get pulled into our system and they get blasted.
A lot of times people are going to get either annoyed by that or they’re going to click the unsubscribe and flag you as spam, which would cause issues in the future. But just sending people a link on LinkedIn or posting and saying, “Hey guys, check out my newsletter. Here’s some content we’re producing. Just subscribe so you can be notified.
We’ll send it to you every week.” That would be the best way to do it. But if you don’t have that luxury, if you don’t have the time ZoomInfo or having somebody do data scraping for you outside, you can go to upwork.com or any sort of freelance site and get them to have somebody that you can look at reviews and say, “This person has been doing this. Here’s all the reviews. Their cost is maybe three, four, five, six bucks an hour, 10 bucks an hour or something like that.” Have them build out the list and then they get that back to you quickly and you can start building slowly over time. But either way, building that list in my recommendation, do not use any sort of third party group that’s going to say, “I’m going to build your list for you,” because most of the time they suck.