Effective email marketing sequences are at the heart of any successful online business. They provide a way to nurture leads, build relationships, and ultimately convert prospects into customers. When done well, email marketing can be a potent sales tool.
The problem is that many businesses struggle to create sequences that drive results, often because they make common mistakes that kill their chances of success.
In this article, we’ll share tips on creating effective email marketing sequences that will help you boost sales and grow your business while also avoiding the most common mistakes.
How to create effective email marketing sequences
Here are the best tips for creating email marketing sequences that work.
1. Define your goals
As with anything else in business, you need to start with a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your email marketing sequences.
Are you looking to boost sales of a particular product? Generate leads for your sales team? Drive traffic to your website?
Suppose you set out to start a blog or website. In that case, some specific goals you might have include building a list of newsletter subscribers that amount to a certain percentage of website visitors, generating a certain number of leads from the blog content you create, and eventually getting that list to convert at least a certain percentage into customers.
Whatever your goal may be, make sure it is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This will help you create sequences that are targeted and effective.
Having the right goals will also allow you to get the most out of various integrations between your email marketing platform and third-party software. For example, Honeybook plays very well with different email marketing software to help grow multiple businesses with as little effort as possible.
2. Know the start and end of your sequence
The start of your sequence is just as important as the end (and vice versa). You need to ensure that you’re beginning with a strong hook that will capture your readers’ attention and motivate them to keep reading.
Your opening email should also be clear about what the sequence will be about. There’s nothing worse than getting sucked into an email only to find out it’s just a sales pitch in disguise.
As for the end of your sequence, you want to make sure you’re closing with a bang. Summarize the key points of your set of emails, provide a solid call to action, and make it easy for your reader to take the next step.
3. Create engaging email content that resonates with your audience
Your email content should be engaging, interesting, and relevant to your audience. It should also be aligned with your overall marketing goals.
Remember, the goal of email marketing is not to hard sell your products or services. Instead, it’s about building relationships and providing value. With that in mind, ensure your content is helpful, informative, and solves a problem for your reader. Additionally, your email content should be well-written and free of errors. Be sure to proofread each email before you hit send.
Let’s say that you’re promoting affiliate marketing tools for beginners. You could create a series of emails that provide helpful tips, tricks, and advice on how to get started with affiliate marketing. This type of content is engaging, informative, and directly aligned with your goal of promoting your product.
4. Write catchy subject lines
While this is email marketing 101 in terms of creating effective email marketing sequences, it’s always worth mentioning. Your subject line is the first (and sometimes only) thing your reader will see, so it needs to be strong enough to make them want to open your email.
Use provocative questions, interesting facts, or even a bit of humor to pique your reader’s interest. Just make sure that whatever you do, your subject line is relevant to the rest of your email content.
This also applies to whichever industry you’re in as well. If you’re a wedding planner and send an email to promote your services, make sure the subject line is catchy and relevant to weddings. You want the reader to know precisely what they’re going to read about before they even open your email. That way, there are no surprises, and they’ll be more likely actually to read your email. Some examples of great subject lines for wedding planners could be “10 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs” or “The Funny Side to Weddings Expert Don’t Talk About”.
Making the subject line all about your company or product is a surefire way to get your email deleted without being opened. Instead, consider the needs of your reader and how your product or service can help them solve a problem.
5. Personalize your emails
Making personalized email marketing work for your business is easier than you think. You don’t need to go out and buy expensive software or hire a team of data scientists to get started – there are several simple ways to personalize your emails without going over the top.
One way to personalize your email content is to use the recipient’s name in the subject line and throughout the body of your email. This helps create a more intimate feeling and lets your reader know they’re not just another number on your list.
Another big one is to remember to use your voice when writing email content. Inject some personality into your emails, so they feel they’re coming from a human, not a faceless corporation.
6. Use strong calls to action
While “click here” is the easy way out when thinking about a call to action, it will generally not get you the results you’re looking for. Your call-to-action should be specific, actionable, and relevant to your email content.
For example, if you’re promoting a 3-door French refrigerator, you could say “Upgrade your kitchen with the latest 3-door French refrigerator”, or “Unlock new culinary possibilities with the 3-door French refrigerator”. Both of these paint a better picture of the product if the user were to click on the link, as opposed to a generic “click here” call-to-action.
Whatever you do, make sure your CTA is clear and easy to understand. You want your reader to know precisely what they need to do next.
7. Consider the best time to send emails
Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this subtopic, there are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding when to send your emails.
First, consider your audience and their schedule. If you’re targeting working professionals, they will likely be busiest during the weekdays. Sending your emails on weekends or early mornings/late nights is more likely to result in them being ignored.
Second, take a look at your analytics, specifically the open and click-through rates. If you notice that you tend to get higher engagement on certain days or times of day, stick to those times for future email sends.
Finally, don’t forget about the holidays. There are bound to be days throughout the year when your audience is busy with family, travel, or other commitments. Sending emails these days is likely to result in lower engagement rates.
Many of the top email marketing platforms can now also automatically send specific emails to the people on your list based on the time they best engage with your content.
8. Send mobile-friendly emails
Similar to how websites now need to be responsive and adapt to different screen sizes, your email content also needs to be optimized for such sizes, and most specifically, mobile reading.
As many as 85 percent of online users access their emails on mobile, so your content must be easily read and digested on a smaller screen.
There are several ways to make your email mobile-friendly, but one of the easiest is to use a responsive design template. This type of template automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed.
Another way to optimize your email for mobile is to keep your content short and sweet. Long paragraphs and large images will be difficult to read on a small screen, so stick to shorter sentences and smaller photos.
You should also avoid using too many font types or sizes, as this can make your email look messy and unorganized on mobile.
9. Automate your email marketing campaigns
Using email automation, you can set up your email marketing sequence ahead of time and have it automatically send the right message to the right people at the right time.
For example, let’s say you’re launching a new product. You could create an email sequence that starts with a series of educational emails about the product, then moves on to promotional emails, followed by reminder emails for people who haven’t yet made a purchase.
Considering the various triggers that might prompt someone to buy your product, you could set up different automation sequences. For example, if someone signs up for a free trial of your product, they would automatically be added to a different email sequence than someone who is already a paying customer.
Not only does automation save you time by taking care of the email sending process for you, but it also allows you to send more targeted and relevant messages to your audience.
And since automated emails tend to have higher open and click-through rates than one-off promotional emails, you’re likely also to see a boost in sales.
10. Segment your subscriber list
This is another big one for those looking to create effective email marketing sequences that make sales.
Simply put, the more segmented your list is, the more targeted and relevant your emails can be.
And when your emails are more targeted and relevant, they’re more likely to be opened and clicked on.
There are several different ways you can segment your subscriber list, but some of the most common include:
- Purchase history
- Engagement level (opens, clicks, etc.)
- Job title/industry
You can also segment your list based on interests or other factors, which will require you to do more digging.
A person interested in exercising might be interested in doing it at a gym or at home. So you might want to segment them further into “gym-goers” or “home fitness enthusiasts.”
The latter might then be more open to a Bowflex home gym discount than someone who goes to the gym.
Once you have your list segmented, you can start creating targeted email content that speaks directly to the needs and interests of each group.
For example, if you have a segmented list of female customers who live in the United States, you could create an email sequence with content about how to style the clothes you sell for different occasions.
On the other hand, if you have a segmented list of male customers who live in Australia, you could create an email sequence with content about how to dress for the beach or a barbecue.
While this depends on your business and the type of products and services you offer, you can see how segmentation allows you to send much more targeted and relevant emails that are more likely to be opened and clicked on.
11. Measure, test, analyze, and improve your results
Knowing your email marketing metrics is crucial for understanding what’s working and what’s not.
The most important metric to track is your open rate, which will give you an idea of how many people see your emails.
Your click-through rate (CTR) is also essential, as it will tell you how many people click on your email links.
Other metrics you might want to track include unsubscribe, bounce, and spam report rates.
You can also use A/B testing to test different aspects of your email sequence, such as subject lines, call-to-action buttons, or the time of day you send your emails.
If a business offers Magento 2 development services, a test might be to see which subject line gets more opens: “Magento 2 Development Services” or “Save Time and Money with Magento 2 Development.”
The same can be said for a business that offers a subscription box. It might want to test which subject line gets more opens: “New Subscription Box from XYZ” or “Get Your Monthly Surprise with XYZ.”
If you want to level up your email marketing, testing is a key (and a never-ending) process to help improve your results.
12. Re-engage inactive customers
Finally, consider that just because someone hasn’t bought anything from you in a while doesn’t mean they’re never going to purchase from you again.
It’s always a good idea to have a re-engagement email sequence on hand for those that haven’t interacted with your brand for some time.
This could simply be sending them a discount code or giving them early access to new products.
While email list building is essential to driving more sales from your list, re-engaging people who have shown some interest in the past (whether through opting in, buying your products or services, or anything else in between) is usually much cheaper than acquiring new leads.
Creating effective email marketing sequences is vital for anyone that wants to boost their sales and grow their business.
By following the above tips, you can create email sequences that are targeted, relevant, and engaging – driving more sales and keeping your customers coming back for more.
Remember to always to be testing, measuring, and analyzing your results to continue improving your email marketing sequences over time.