The key to success on the web is not just to gain traffic but also to control that traffic. What does that mean? It means that you need to know how to decide which of your visitors you want to talk to at any time.
It means that you need to understand your visitors and to know what they’re thinking, what their moods are and what they’re interested in at any given time.
And it means you need to know how and when to strike when it comes to selling products or encouraging people to sign up to your mailing list.
How building a list of followers lets you control your traffic
You can do all this by building a mailing list and then segmenting that list. In this report, you’re going to see why email marketing is incredibly powerful and how you can take your marketing to the next level compared with your competition in this regard.
Email Marketing: The Basics
First, let’s go over the basics of email marketing again for those that aren’t familiar.
Email marketing is of course the process of marketing via email. In other words, this means you’re going to be building a big list – a collection of emails – and you’ll do this by asking visitor to your site to share their contact details when they land on your home page.
This in turn requires an autoresponder. An autoresponder is a tool that you use to create email forms and then to manage all of the contacts on your list.
You can use the form somewhere on your page to let people input their details and you’ll use the autoresponder to actually send all your emails.
It should be immediately apparent what the value of this is. Sending all your emails manually using Gmail or another web client is not easy and would likely result in many not getting delivered.
You’d have to send lots of different emails for longer lists and you’d need to manually manage any requests to subscribe or unsubscribe.
An autoresponder manages all that for you, so you just need to write one email and then click ‘send’.
The other benefit of an autoresponder though is that it can collect data for you and use that information to do a range of different things. For example, an autoresponder can show you the percentage of subscribers who actually open your emails.
If your email subject headings aren’t successfully encouraging people to read, then you can identify this problem and work on a solution.
You can then see all the visitors who did read a given message in one place. Or choose to see all the ones that didn’t. You can see the open rate for different individual visitors and you organize your list by different factors.
That’s another handy thing about using an autoresponder: it will allow you to grab more information using the form embedded on your page and that information can then be used to group your visitors. Want to just message the men? Go for it. Want to just message the people over 30? You can do that too.
Or how about having multiple different mailing lists for different brands, or even for different products?
All of this can be accomplished using just a single autoresponder.
Lead Warmth and Email Segmentation
The true power of all this information comes from being able to use it that data in order to pick and choose who your messages go to.
For instance, you can decide that you want to send an email only to people who fall into particular categories.
We’re going to look at how this can be useful for choosing a demographic to message in a moment.
But first, what we’re interested in to begin with is sending emails based on engagement, retention and lead warmth.
A lead is anyone who has shown some kind of interest in buying from you. That means that anyone who has signed up to your mailing list can be considered a lead because they have demonstrated an interest simply by doing this.
But at the same time, a lead is also anyone who visits your site, or who takes your card. This is a ‘cold’ lead, whereas someone who actually gives you their contact details is a ‘warm’ lead.
Leads get warmer the more interest they show in what you do and what you’re selling.And the warmer a lead is, the more likely they are to buy from you.
In fact, this is the true and most useful purpose of having a mailing list to begin with: it allows you to take your ice cold leads and turn them into warm leads and then paying customers.
I always liken this to asking for someone’s phone number. If you were to just walk up to someone in a club and ask for their number, they’d likely just tell you to go away.
Why would they give you their number when they know nothing about you and have shown no interest in you?
First, you need to chat to them and let them get to know you. If they look at you and smile, they’re a cold lead. If they respond to your witty banter and tell you their name, they’re a warm lead.
If they’ve kissed you or let you buy them a drink, they’re a hot lead. And once they’re hot, you can ask for their number.
This is all about timing. Time this wrong and they’re not going to give you their number because you haven’t laid the ground work!
The exact same thing is true with internet marketing. If someone visits your site and you tell them right away to buy your product, they won’t. Why would they?
You haven’t given them any reason to trust you. You haven’t told them anything about you. They don’t know much about the product.
Ask them to hand over their email after a few blog posts though and you can gently start to increase engagement. This is then when you wow them with all your information and all your knowledge. You entertain them a little and you let them get to know you.
If they don’t open your emails, that’s the equivalent of giving you the cold shoulder. That’s like the girl or guy in the club that isn’t laughing at your jokes and keeps looking away.
If you try and sell to them now, you become spam. And you get deleted. And they never return to your website.
But if they open your emails, you know you’re in with a shot. That means you can then send them some more information about your products and get them excited for your product launch.
If during that they still keep opening your emails, then you know you’ve got an even better chance of success. And if you now try and sell to them, there’s a much better chance they’ll buy from you.
And using email segmentation you can do exactly that: you can see which of your visitors are actually opening your emails, are actually clicking your links and are scrolling down to the bottom.
And in fact, using cookies it is even possible to see which of those visitors has been to your website and looked at your products. You can see who has hovered on your products and been tempted to click buy.
Now you can send just those people an email promoting your product. You won’t upset anyone who isn’t interested and the people who do receive it are highly likely to be keen to buy from you.
That’s how you turn cold leads into hot leads and buyers using email segmentation! It’s powerful stuff, so don’t overlook it.
Targeting by Segmentation
Another strategy you can use is email segmentation combined with targeting.
By now, you hopefully know what targeting is. This is when you define your buyer persona: the kind of person who is most likely to buy from you. You know their age, you know their sex, you know their interests and hobbies. You know where they go.
Then, using that information, you target that person specifically using your marketing.
In the case of email segmentation, this means that you’re going to collect more data and information about them when they give you their email address.
So instead of just asking for their name and email, you’ll instead ask about their age, sex, interests, job etc. You can also ask them how they found your site etc.
And while you’re at it, if you have multiple sites or very different categories on your site, you could have more than one email list.
Why not have a mailing list for your readers that like martial arts and another that just want fitness advice.
This is important because if you have a broad subject matter like that, then you can otherwise risk becoming a pain for them.
Imagine you sign up to a health and fitness site that talks a lot about bodybuilding but you just want to know how to lose your belly fat.
Every now and then, something useful comes through but most of the time it’s all about how to use creatine and how to pose on stage. This is pointless for you and eventually you tune out and maybe unsubscribe.
By asking visitors what they were interested in, or by having two separate mailing lists, the site owners could have avoided that!
A Few More Tips for Email Marketers
So that’s email marketing and segmentation. But for any of that to work, you also need to make sure that people are signing up to your mailing list in the first place. And there are a few ways you can encourage this.
Firstly, make sure that you show your mailing list wherever you can. At the very least, that should mean that your mailing list shown at the bottom of your posts.
At the same time though, you can also place this in the side bars so that your list is visible on every page of your site.Another tip is to make sure that you draw attention to it. A mistake a lot of people make is to create their mailing list and then just ‘hope’ that people see it.
Far more effective is to occasionally tell people about it and to explain in your posts why it’s a good opportunity and why people should be excited to sign up.
Here’s the thing though: you should always be honest.
The aim of a mailing list is not to grow it as much as you possibly can. Instead, the aim is to grow it as much as you can with only highly targeted visitors.
If your visitors have no interest in what you’re offering through your list, then you will just frustrate them and effectively be spamming.
This is why you need to be careful when giving away free incentives.
Sure, this can be a great way to encourage people to sign up… but you risk attracting people who are just there for a ‘freebie’ and who will never actually read your emails once you start sending them.
What you need to do then is to make sure every one of your subscribers know what they will be getting and that they all have an interest in that subject matter and a potential interest in buying from you.
You do this by being honest and upfront. While you’re going to split your audience into categories, every single one of them should meet this initial requirement.
Don’t worry about numbers. Worry about targeting.
And then after you’ve done that targeting, using email segmentation to target further.
So, there you go. That’s how you segment your audience and use that to get far better engagement. It’s not just about building traffic: it’s about controlling that traffic, knowing that traffic and deciding who sees what.
If you read the advice of any marketer, they almost always describe their mailing list as being their most important asset. But it will only be that for you if you know how to make the most of it.
We hope you enjoyed our series on how to grow traffic to your business website. If you don’t have time to implement these measures on your own,why not browse our services.