• Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

hey everyone I'm Susan Hsu partner at 500 startups I work on the growth marketing team at 500 where I help art portfolio and accelerator companies with email marketing content and inbound marketing and conversion optimization so today we're going to talk about email marketing one of my favorite subjects of all time but before I get started I need to add a little disclaimer that this is typically 500 startups internal material so that means that the tips and must use I'm about to go over our learnings that I've compiled from sending millions of emails and there are things that we typically only share with 500 portfolio or accelerator companies so with that I'm gonna ask you to please pay very close attention because there's a lot of stuff in here I'm gonna go over it really fast and again it's normally not public okay first a quick intro to my background back in the day I started working with a then little-known blogger named Ramin Satie who went on to become a New York Times Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller all in one week and one of the most successful and well-respected internet marketers in the world at I will teach you to be rich calm we did all of our selling on the back end and if you don't know what that means you'll soon learn what it means later that is through drip email marketing and we basically turn a blog into a completely bootstrapped mid seven-figure business from there I joined a media start up selling research and data to the Facebook and social apps ecosystem which got acquired in 2011 and then I went over to appSumo promoting online and software products and the creators of sumo me which is today one of the most used suite of content marketing tools on the web at appSumo I ran email marketing that is daily email marketing to a list of about 700,000 subscribers making six-figure revenues monthly just from that email list I'm also the creator of the ultimate email playbook which is 43 scripts for startups a compilation of totally copyable totally optimized emails for everything from your welcomed campaigns to reactivation to emails to investors and many many more use cases it is my book of shortcuts from working with hundreds of startups on their email marketing and you can check it out at email for startups comm slash ultimate – email – playbook okay so I know that some of you and yes the screen is supposed to be black right now I know that some of you may be wondering if there's going to be any new material in this webinar since you've seen my email for marketing for startups webinar that I previously recorded or maybe you've been to one of my public talks at a conference or accelerated programming or whatever so this is what I have to say to that question in all seriousness it is worth noting as we watch this wonderful animated gif that most of us all of us love to acquire new information aka give me the hacks even as we're hard-pressed to implement the simple fundamentals that we learn way long ago and still haven't incorporated into our businesses so today I'm gonna go over some updated fundamentals of email marketing for startups and next I'll cover a few next-level strategies that experienced email marketers can use to go even further okay so why email well maybe this is gonna sound a little bit 2 ish but I really don't care I'm recording a webinar about email marketing so what have I got to lose I love email and when I say I love email what I really mean is that I love making money from email and that is because email is still the most effective highest ROI way to communicate with an audience of any size and get people to complete an action whether that's supporting a critical nonprofit mission electing an American president buying your ebook or completing your onboarding flow email is foundation of all other channels you have to have an email address to sign up as a Facebook user and while there are almost one-and-a-half or probably by now more than one and a half billion monthly active Facebook users around the world there are almost three times as many email accounts so you get reach that means everyone has an email account and everyone accesses it accesses it at least some of the time some parts of the week there are about four billion email accounts worldwide maybe more by now and a quarter of these are work accounts which bodes really well for b2b if you're selling b2b email is still the number one way to reach b2b clients and customers nothing else even comes close also email is an owned channel not a rented one which has really important implications firstly the subscribers you have on email are your contacts you can take them from one email marketing tool to another MailChimp or autopilot or SendGrid does not own your email list they're just tools for you secondly there are no display or distribution algorithms as determined by advertising platforms to game or optimize and finally email marketing efforts are fully trackable which I love you can track every key action in your email campaigns slice and dice by segments and even track one-to-one emails with tools like sidekick by HubSpot my current favorite alrightso email marketing is the miracle cure what is next well before we get into the details of where you're going to build your swimming pool full of money this is the reality the challenges and email marketing are really big it starts with deliverability which I'll talk about later in this webinar but before but after your email gets delivered there are still more challenges the reality is that the average person gets over 500 marketing emails per month that's the average person and that's just marketing emails that's the average person I repeat not your recipient who might even be more sought-after if they're in an especially valuable demographic so how do you get people to actually open the emails that you've so painstakingly written and scheduled well average open rates across most industries hover around 23 to 25 percent you will get a higher open rate if your list is nicely targeted which is a bigger subscriber acquisition question and you'll get a higher open rate if your brand is well regarded in its niche ie it's a recognized and liked from name but what if you're just a startup just getting started and you don't have a lot of this going for you you don't have a lot of brand recognition well the number one problem with most startups email marketing is that they're not doing it or they're not doing it consistently but once they start and once they start doing consistently they aka you face an even bigger problem one that's a lot harder to solve than just setting up your first welcome email and hitting send most of us are focused on ourselves most of the time deeply addictively focused on ourselves we just can't look away the problem is your customers and your subscribers are just as deeply addicted ly focused on themselves as you are on yourself your started your metrics that you're trying to hit by the end of this week at this point those customers and subscribers still don't care about your product and they probably don't even remember your brand's name so let's quickly review the customer awareness lifecycle as a basis for how to solve this problem to me this is really helpful in illustrating where email marketing comes into play so most people who have the potential to be great future customers for your business are still hanging out in the unaware or only in the problem aware stages of this life of this lifecycle those first two stages so if you blast them with a bunch of emails about your product or brand while they're still hanging out in the unaware or only in the problem aware phases they will unsubscribe your job rather with email marketing your job is to move your customers along from unaware to problem aware to solution aware to product aware that's where you get to tell them about what your product actually actually is and not any earlier in this lifecycle to finally conversion and you do this through lifecycle messaging email is one in my opinion the most effective form of lifecycle messaging but it's not the only one and it should be accompanied and amplified by your work on other channels retargeting mobile and intent based ads so first things first like everything in marketing and maybe in life email is a funnel very few people buy at the top of any funnel the purpose of all campaigns all email campaigns and later event and behavior based segmentation is to guide people along your conversion funnel to help them buy on the back end not immediately because most people simply won't okay with that in mind let's look at a few of the things that email can do for your business first subscriber or user or customer activation email marketing can help you activate subscribers or casual visitors into users registered users and paying customers email marketing can help you amplify other content marketing that you're doing for example a blog post or a video you produced can get shared and further distributed via email as part of an activation or an engagement campaign email can be used for user education to teach users about your product about your brand about how to use it and to address common pain points that come up through customer service or that you observe from activation drop-offs and of course email can help your customers to buy on the back end when they're not ready to buy on the front end which is going to be most of the time and just a little note about this most people don't buy on the front end which means buying right away upon initial visit to your sales or product page in fact 99% of your great potential future customers these are good perfectly good customers will be much more likely to buy and repeat by repeatedly buy on the back end that is after they've gotten to know you for a while email can also be used to activate other channels for example mobile app updates I recently received an email notifying me that Amazon my Amazon Instant app had been updated and that I should go to the App Store and update my app so that I could buy and watch movies more easily and as a side note here when in doubt always just track Amazon's past they always know what to do they always know what they're doing okay now as I mentioned and I can't repeat enough conversion doesn't happen from one single email just like marriage usually doesn't happen from the first date likewise email ROI doesn't happen in the very first email that you sent or in any single one email by itself so on this slide here's a quick breakdown of a few of the types of campaigns you can send to just send to subscribers to move them along now the key to winning with email marketing is consistency and repetition and great psychological copy but we'll get into that later for now let's just take a look at the campaign coverage you should be aiming for so that you're not random and low ROI but instead consistent strategic and actually effective each of these campaign types can have a lot of single messages strung together within them so let's go over what they are okay so with your welcomed campaign with which can extend beyond your first single welcome email you want to confirm signup expectations and then trained open and click behavior now specifically what I mean is when I send a welcome campaign when I send a first welcome message and then go on to send a welcome campaign I usually like to say hey as a reminder here's Who I am here's what my startup is here's what my company is in case you forgot because I know you're not thinking about me all the time and here's why you signed up and I'm just making good on that promise of why you signed up and here's what you can expect over the next couple of days over the next couple of days or over the next week I'm gonna be sending you some great tips all about how about how you can improve your email marketing as a start-up so if you want to catch those be sure to add me to your main inbox or to your contacts so that I don't get filtered and you don't miss out on any of those great tips now you're setting expectations and you're also literally training open and click behavior because you're getting subscribers to open that first email which makes it much easier to open future emails from your from name and then if you include a call to action in their in your welcome email or you're welcome campaigns you're getting people used to the action of clicking on the links that you send them ok so the next type of campaign we have listed here is an activation or an onboarding campaign now the primary purpose of the emails in this campaign are just to get your subscribers to your activation event or your activation threshold as soon as humanly possible now it's up to you to define what your activation event actually is whether that is watch a video or read a blog post or share a link or even buy a product I don't know that's up to your business to define but the activation series the activation part of your drip series has the goal of trying to get subscribers to that event to complete that event as quickly as possible without delay the next type of campaign I have here is engagement campaign now an engagement campaign consists of emails that are there to get subscribers either to your next level of sorry your next activation threshold so from a first time user to a repeat user from a first time by a one time buyer to a repeat buyer or just to keep your leads warm through a newsletter where you maybe can amplify some of your content that you're publishing in other areas next we have a conversion type campaign or multiple conversion multiple emails within a conversion campaign now these are what I call the hard sell where you're actually encouraging users to purchase or to complete in a much stronger fashion the action that you want them to complete and then we have reactivation which is kind of a broad category that includes it's basically an incentivized wake-up call for dormant users now again there are actually more types of email campaigns I could not fit onto this slide sadly here in my notes I also have listed some stuff like retention campaigns which are event based triggers aimed at retaining users who are who you know are about to drop off based on your tracking and then we also have referral campaigns which are really great for acquiring highly qualified users who are friends of your current subscriber or in the network of your current subscriber and then very importantly we have transactional emails which are emails that are like if you don't know what a transactional email is we've all received them before it's kind of like here's your password here's your receipt here's the confirmation of account registration account details and again people really overlook transactional emails because we think oh it's just – all logistical but it's not it's a great opportunity to convince and convert because transactional emails have the highest open rate and view rate of any email type across the board maybe even more than their welcome email okay so what about unsubscribes it's the ultimate email marketers rejection right unsubscribes basically happened for two categories of reasons very simple it's either you or it's them but let's dig into that a little bit deeper because it's a little more complicated than that so as we saw in the previous couple of slides email works for activation but that's not all it does email also works as in any kind of finalize marketing email also works for qualifying leads which is why it's related to unsubscribes so let's stick in in more detail until why unsubscribes happen so either you're having a content quality problem you're sending irrelevant content you're sending content that maybe is just plain bad or boring or maybe it's not targeted for example you're sending girl fashion specific content to a list that's actually a bunch of dudes which is it sounds silly but that's actually something that has happened with a company I've worked with and while it might seem really foolish it's actually pretty normal how that could happen if you're not too too careful with your acquisition efforts and you get a bunch of subscribers on there and you're not tracking exactly who they are and then you realize oh wow my my messaging was targeted for one type of segment and actually I wasn't that specific as to who all is on this list and receiving these messages so that's kind of related to the content quality issue and unsubscribe the unsubscribes also happened due to send frequency and when I say son frequency it's not what you think so it just half what you think in half not what you think send frequency problems can happen because you send your emails too frequently which is what most startups and starving artists alike are afraid of or some frequency problems happen because you're not sending frequently enough and this is related to the consistency and repetition factors that are so important for successful in mail marketing now under the the reasons why unsubscribe paths unsubscribes happen that could be their fault it could be due to lead quality so you didn't get high enough quality leads for example if you purchased a list or you scraped a list but it wasn't a good source or it could just be due to lead timing or where they are in the life side maybe they're just too early or maybe even you caught them too late now here's my question to you does your email marketing just plain suck email is a great direct response and by direct response I mean that you can communicate directly to your audience without an intermediary like an ad agency or an ad platform like Facebook that steps in between email was a great direct response channel this is the one big way that email is really different from advertising and it's worth keeping in mind because once you start treating email like advertising then you're definitely doing it wrong direct response is really useful because it gives you immediate feedback on whether your marketing is good or not so if people unsubscribe or they don't open etc then that's basically telling you something about your work now that said since I love presenting contradictions since they are the reality of life here is the most important thing of all once you've studied up on all your psychological marketing on your copywriting and you know that it's not because your content just plain sucks here's this here's the most important thing to remember now sometimes people unsubscribe because your email marketing sucks but other times people unsubscribe because they're just the wrong customer in those cases let them go focus on targeted cost-effective acquisition instead alright so that wraps up this webinar on the fundamentals of email marketing for startups with me Susan su partner 500 startups on the growth marketing team next up I have my next webinar the golden rules of email marketing where I'll I break down all the do's and don'ts of how to do your email marketing and if you're looking for even more please check out my site email for startups calm or my playbook of scripts that you can steal email for startups calm slash ultimate – email – a book or find me on twitter at susan f su and i'll look forward to talking to you soon thanks again for watching

As found on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *