So you’ve curated a list of contacts through your websites opt-in forms, and you’re now ready to start marketing to your list. Great! What should you be sending to your audience? How often should you be sending out messaging? In this article I am going to explore these questions, and give you several more tips to maximize your lists success.

First, when you are considering what to send to your contacts, don’t send out strictly marketing material. Remember these contacts were already interested enough in what you were selling to join your mailing list. Being overly aggressive will lead to a high rate of unsubscribes, and shake customer confidence.

So what types of things should you be sending? Identify what areas of the market you are a leader. For example, Think Forward Media is an expert at bringing affordable, enterprise class hosting to the local small business. Through our understanding of hosting, we have provided a number of articles that touch on the subject. When writing the article, take into consideration what questions people would be asking, and how you can demonstrate you are a competent market leader. At the end of the article, be sure to add a clear call to action, that gives your potential leads the ability to reach out and ask questions, or purchase your product or service.

Another important consideration when developing your drip marketing campaign if frequency. How often you send out mailing lists is an important consideration to any successful drip marketing strategy. Keep in mind that sending low quality messages more frequently will harm your reputation. It’s important to decide on a schedule that will keep you top of mind for your customers, while also giving your sufficient time to research, develop, and write your topic. Consistency is key, so if your goal is to send a message once per week, then be sure to build time into your schedule to meet this goal.

Now that you have a topic and a message prepared, it’s important to bring the traffic back to your website. Customers who’ve taken the time to read your message are highly interested, and qualified leads. Keep in mind the customer has not only chosen to opt in to receive your message but also has opened your message. Therefore it’s important to keep up this momentum and give the customer a strong call to action. If your message relates to one of your core products or services, then one of the most powerful tools to turn your leads into a conversion is a landing page.

A Note About Landing Pages

best practices for PCI So just what is a landing page? In short, a landing page is a stripped down page that lives on your website that focuses specifically on a single product or service. Landing pages generally aren’t linked to from your website, although the can be, and are often used in social media, advertisement and opt in marketing campaigns.

A well designed landing page should outline your product or service, provide relevant information to the customer, and then provide a clear way to purchase that product. This page may omit your websites primary navigation similar to how am eCommerce website will omit their primary navigation on their checkout pages. This prevents customers from leaving the funnel, and increases conversions.


Putting the “Drip” in Drip Marketing

When we talk about drip marketing, we are talking about small persistent messages that eventually turn a lead into a customer. This tends to take the form of regular consistent messages, tips, and information about your company and the services you offer.  The easiest, and most common way to build a successful drip funnel is through the use of a campaign. A campaign allows you to schedule messages in one of two ways, ether contacts are sent the same message as they are released, or you can have contacts start at the beginning of your campaign, each contact seeing a different message depending on where they are in the campaign. Each type of campaign has specific benefits, and downfalls.

If you run a blog website, or a time sensitive business (such as a company that does flash sales), or even release regular sales or deals, having all customers seeing the same messaging is critical to maximize your offers success. Therefore, it would make the most sense to construct and send your messages to all current subscribers, and have new subscribers only see current messaging. However, if you sell a high value item (such as a website), your business is primarily B2B, or your product is niche, you might opt to send a campaign that walks through the benefits of your product or service. Each customer would then benefit from starting at the beginning of the campaign.

You’re not constrained to use one method, or the other. Many companies schedule many emails to go to new subscribers to ensure they are consistent, but then insert the occasional sales related email. This strategy gives you the flexibility to write new campaign emails when you’re not busy, while also converting hot leads to new customers.

Segments – Knowing your customer

One of the most powerful tools of any optin software is segments. Segments allow you to organize your contacts based on a set of criteria; This can include such things as geography, which can be useful if a certain product or promotion applies to only a certain country, by acquisition source such as when a customer is added through a sale, vs added through an opt-in form; or any other demographic you can collect.

Segments are powerful because you can use them to personalize your email and send specific marketing targeted to your leads to improve the odds of conversion. For example, say a customer purchased a website from you. You may want to schedule a follow up email with them in 1 or 2 weeks time to ask them how they are liking their new website, and ask them if they want SEO services.

This type of up-sell message is common at the point of sale, in person a fast food employee might ask “Would you like fries with that” for example, and in the eCommerce space, you might see a window in the checkout called “Suggested products” or “People also purchased” these up-sells, while effective, only provide limited exposure. By being able to target a paying customer, after the time of purchase, they will be more likely to trust, and want to purchase your product.

You may also have distinct campaigns for distinct segments of your audience. For example, if your customer purchased a WordPress website, your campaign might include details about cool features in WordPress to help them get the most out of their new website. Where a lead that has opted into the website might see tips on how to find a good web designer.

As you can see an opt-in and drip marketing strategy are a critical part of any successful online business by being able to directly reach out to qualified potential leads and turn them into customers. If an opt-in marketing campaign is something you believe your business could benefit from, give Think Forward Media a call!