In addition to this distribution on a macro level, he also found that in his very own garden 80% of the peas were in only 20% of the pods!
Based on these observations, Pareto’s principle (also known as the 80-20 rule), was born.
From pea pods to business
The 80-20 principle has been proven time and time again in a variety of business disciplines, so recently I thought to myself “What does the 80-20 rule applied to email marketing look like?”
After all, if you can cut out 80% of your email marketing efforts and focus on the 20% that produces the majority of your results, why not do it?
Thus this article was born. I’m going to cover the 20% of email marketing campaign factors you should pay close attention to if you want to reduce your marketing spend, improve conversion rates, and get a much higher ROI from email marketing.
80-20 email marketing rule #1: Start a conversation.
“Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.”
Leave it to Mark Twain to give some of the most sound marketing advice of the 21st century. Your customers are bombarded with sales messages everyday in their inbox; everyone is communicating with them.
However, do you know how many companies are actually taking the time and making a sincere effort to start a meaningful, two-way conversation? Probably Zero.
The 80-20 rule is all about doing little things (the 20%) that will give you the greatest return. Starting a conversation with someone as soon as they become a lead on your email list is an easy thing to do, yet so few companies actually take the time to do it.
All that you have to do is ask them what issues they are looking to solve, what their struggles are, etc. and ask them to hit “reply.”
After they send your company what they are struggling with (and you or someone from your company takes the time to response personally), you’ll be ahead of 99% of the competition.
80-20 email marketing rule #2: Segment your lists as soon as possible.
As your email list grows, the same message is not going to resonate with everyone. For instance, let’s say that you own an ecommerce store. Would you send the same message to someone that has never bought anything from you as you would a loyal customer who has purchased dozens of items from your store?
Probably not. They are in two completely different places in the buying cycle. It’s like talking to a 2nd grader and a 10th grader with the same message; it just isn’t going to resonate with both audiences.
Fortunately, email segmentation is pretty easy with most modern email marketing/marketing automation software.
If you have the ability to segment, but you aren’t doing it yet, you’re not following the 80-20 rule, and in turn are missing out on a substantial amount of easy revenue.
80-20 email marketing rule #3: Test everything rigorously.
Trusting your gut as a marketer is okay from time to time, but you better back it up with data. You can’t afford not to optimize your email marketing campaigns, as haphazard email marketing management can quickly turn into a money pit for an organization.
I’ve heard some companies say that email marketing “just doesn’t work for them,” but in every case I’ve seen it’s not “email marketing” that’s the problem, it’s a lack of testing and execution of strategy.
Subject lines, copy, CTAs, landing pages…it should all be tested. Leave nothing to chance. Optimization is what will produce the 20% of campaigns that give 80% of the results.
80-20 email marketing rule #4: Upsell while they’re in buyers mode.
This is a quick and easy win (Amazon and other online retailers are experts at this). When someone finally comes off of the hip to buy something, they likely are going to need complimentary products.
Depending on your industry and product offering these complimentary products can vary widely, but there is always opportunity to upsell someone at the time of purchase, or right after they have made a purchase.
The rule of thumb here is simple; get more results from your email marketing by striking while the iron is hot. If a customer has just bought something then implementing an automated upsell as part of your campaign is an easy way to get a substantial amount of extra revenue without much extra work.
Upsells are a lever in any business that can give you an edge. Use them.
80-20 email marketing rule #5: Don’t overlook the value of strong copy.
You can get everything else right, but if your email copy isn’t good, you won’t sell a thing (or you won’t sell much).
It literally pains me when I see both big and small brands sending out emails with inferior copy. It’s clear that whoever is writing these emails are just putting words down on a page; they don’t really know how to motivate customers or leads to action, they don’t know how to sell!
It’s a tragedy really, the thousands upon thousands of dollars in revenue being lost as a result of poor email copy. If you’re following the 80-20 rules of email marketing, you should be ashamed; because it’s such an easy and cost-effective fix.
I don’t care if you hire me or someone else, but if you are sending emails to leads and customers please hire a proven email copywriter that knows what makes your leads and/or customers tick!
So what should you do now?
The five 80-20 email marketing tips above will help increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns so that you can convert more leads into sales; making your company more money in the process.
If you know that your email copy isn’t up to snuff, I can help. My job is to help companies design email campaigns and write copy to help increase open rates, click through rates, and ultimately turn leads into sales.
If you’re ready to do that, and want to make an investment to increase your sales and drastically improve the effectiveness of your emails, contact me here.