Ask a marketer to list their priorities in 2017 and most of them would put driving traffic and lead generation at the top.
Hubspot’s State of Inbound report reveals just that with more than 60% of them listing generating traffic and leads as their top priorities in all regions.
Capturing a lead — someone who has a potential of providing revenue to your business — however, isn’t an easy job. In fact, for modern day marketers, lead generation is one of the biggest challenges in 2017.
According to BrightTalk, 80% of them report that their efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective.
While an increase in social media penetration and its familiarity has contributed to quality leads and helped sooth down a marketers’ anxiety, it still isn’t close to the oldest and the most effective medium for lead generation: e-mail marketing.
Email has come a long way. According to the Radicati group, we are nearing a worldwide user base of 3 Billion by 2020.
In 2014, McKinsey released a now widely cited study. It highlights that email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers.
These numbers are huge. However, they don’t just put light onto a bigger market to tap in for lead generation, but also serve to be an alarming call to get intelligent and smarter with email marketing.
In this article, we explore 4 ways you can use email to generate and close leads — the smarter way.
1) PERSONALIZE AND SEGMENT
At each instant, every person is in a different buying cycle. Moreover, they don’t necessarily have the same root cause backing their decision to purchase from you.
This is where email Personalization & Segmentation become critical to your lead generating email marketing strategy.
Econsultancy reports that businesses who personalize email report a 14% uplift in sales. However, while the commercial case is strong here, only 5% of companies are personalizing their emails.
In an age where an average user receives an average of 121 emails per day, segmented and personalized emails help companies stand out. So how do you do it right?
At the core, it is all about defining your audience based on certain parameters. An important thing to remember is that personalization goes beyond calling people by their names in the email body and subject.
In the e-mail below, Hubspot has segmented me:
- As someone who has an interest in the courses offered by the Hubspot Academy;
- Personalized the e-mail with my name;
- Personalized the email with the content that I’d like to consume;
- Provided a human face to their business. Notice, I have received this email from Justin Lee and not HubSpot Asia. An important point to note here is that people do business with people.
Read: Infographic: The Future of Email Content — Alive and Personal
2) USE EMAIL AUTOMATION
Email automation is one of the most important (and smartest) aspects of email marketing today.
In fact, in a report by Marketo and Ascend2, 91% of the most successful users agreed that marketing automation is “very important”.
Here’s an example:
A user visits your e-commerce website, checks out your product, adds it to the cart and bounces off.
In traditional marketing, the user will still receive emails but they will not be relevant, targeted and personalized. Moreover, these emails are manually driven.
Where marketing automation excels is by triggering emails based on user activity. These emails are part of marketing automation or drip marketing campaign.
In our example above, the user will receive a triggered email informing them about an item in their cart. Few days later, they will get a 25% discount on the product.
Marketing automation enables trigger-driven, behavior-based emails that you create in advance — saving you time, energy, and heaps of money. This makes an email more personal, relevant, and timely — which is at the core of email marketing.
3) KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
If you plan to run email marketing at scale, data will be the crux of your strategy.
Measurement and analytics of your email marketing strategy leads to smarter decision — which in turn increase the overall ROI based on optimizations and changes. So, what are the metrics you should you measure and analyze for intelligent email marketing?
Click Through Rate: Click through rate is a measure of whether or not your email sparked interest in your target audience. It’s important to factor in the various parameters that affect CTR before making optimization decisions.
Conversion Rate: After someone has clicked on your email, the next goal is for them to perform a desired action. This can be purchasing a product or filling up a lead. Whatever the end goal may be, conversion rate tells the story of how relevant is the overall offer. If you are consistently seeing a poor conversion rate, it is important to optimize the strategy.
Forwarding rate: It is vital to keep an eye on the email sharing rate or forwarding rate metric. Forwarding rate determines the relevancy of your email and also the number of new users you can generate. Hence, it becomes one of the important metrics to track.
ROI: There are many ways to calculate ROI and it depends what you want to achieve from your business. On a simpler level, it is a factor of all your investments and the profit you made from it.
Measurement and analytics is critical for an intelligent email marketing strategy. Data driven decisions hardly go wrong.
4) MAKE IT MOBILE FIRST
Smartphones are key to a smarter email marketing.
“By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion”. — The Radicati Group “Email Statistics Report, 2014–2018”
The growth of mobile as a means of email communication has been nothing short of tremendous.
According to Emailmonday, Mobile email opens have grown by 180%. So, if you are a modern day marketer without a clear mobile first strategy for email marketing, then you are missing out on a lot of leads, customers and added ROI.
With a mobile-friendly email, you ensure consistent communication across devices. A mobile friendly email is tailored to mobile and has elements stacked up in a manner that creates better experiences.
Some of the key elements include shorter copy, using a larger font size and having a distinct call to action .
Here’s a great infographic by Salesforce that highlights key mobile-friendly elements that should be part of your next email.
In an age where Social Media dominates the ad spend pie, email marketing has been a clear outlier. Slowly and steadily, it has become a disruptive channel in terms of return on investment.
Clearly, marketers have taken notice. Which is why an average user receives about 121 emails per day.
So the next time you send an email, make sure your business stands out by practicing smarter and intelligent email marketing. Today it isn’t just a best practice, it is necessary for a successful marketing strategy.
This article was originally published on Mailigen — a ridiculously awesome email marketing platform for all your business needs.
Originally answered on Quora
If there’s only ONE skill you can develop and be good at, it should be that of having a Growth Mindset.
As you grow older, life is going to get tougher (don’t let anyone tell you it’s going to be easy).
You will face many obstacles and roadblocks that will stop you from achieving from what you want to do. You will also feel dumb a lot of times.
But all that’s okay. Feeling a little dumb is fine. What isn’t is the notion that you will remain dumb on a particular topic forever.
The world is moving at an unprecedented pace. There are technologies and inventions popping up everyday from every corner of the world.
So, how do you keep up?
- You can choose to have a fixed mindset. You will become stagnant and sooner or later someone more dynamic, agile, and growth driven will replace you.
- Or you can develop a growth mindset. This way, you stay curious, learn, and be at the top of your food chain.
Growth mindset is a push you need to provide yourself every day so that whenever you feel you do not know about something or you can’t do it because you lack the knowledge, you take that challenge head on.
Growth mindset is an always on activity — a habit more than a skill.
Doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 38, aim to develop a growth mindset. It will benefit you your entire life.
Waste time no more!
- TED-Ed (Highly Recommended): TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed’s growing library of lessons, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform.
- Shots of Awe (Highly Recommended) — Jason Silva (the host of Brain Games) will blow your mind!
- thenewboston (Recommended): You will learn more by watching Bucky Roberts teach you stuff than by spending time anywhere else. From Photoshop to Python to C++ to Java to Adobe After Effects — you name it!
- How to start a startup: Everything about how to start a startup, for free, from some of the world experts. The series of lectures offer close to 1,000 minutes of content if you watch it all.
Other amazing channels to geek out:
- Vsauce (Highly Recommended)
- AsapSCIENCE(Highly Recommended)
- The RSA
- Big Think (Recommended)
- eHow (Recommended)
- The Next Web: One of the best sources for technology and business related news. They have quite an active Youtube channel as well which is worth checking out.
- Hacker Noon, and FreeCodeCamp: These two medium publications are at the top of their game — bringing you the best of 21st Century tech.
- Gibbon: Gibbon is an amazing source of curated knowledge from an inspiring community. It offers what they call as “playlists for learning” wherein you get to learn things via articles, videos and more — all in step by step manner.
- Oliver Emberton: Oliver is an inspiring writer. He is like those teachers who break a hard to understand concept of life into an example that will stay with you for a long time. I am a regular reader of his blog and I can vouch for the quality and effectiveness of his writing. Bonus: You can also follow him on Quora: Oliver Emberton.
- 8tracks (Highly Recommended): Go nowhere else for great music on the internet!
- Digital Inspiration: Mr. Amit Agarwal authors the hugely popular and award-winning Digital Inspiration blog where he writes how-to guidesaround computer software, consumer gadgets, and web apps. You will be surprised by how much you can learn by just following his blog weekly!
- Less Wrong: A community blog that will make you question yourself, your life and your existence as a whole — offering you a more rational perspective on the whole. Ex article: Simulate and Defer To More Rational Selves
- HubSpot Blog (Recommended): If you are a business professional (especially a Marketer) then you should not miss Hubspot at all. It’s famous for its amazing and quality content on everything. Ex article:Psychology for Marketers: 9 Revealing Principles of Human Behavior.
- Extra News Feed: Explore the other side (and interesting) side of politics.
- Buffer blog: Everything related to social media. They offer creative content and will never bore you with their articles. Even if you are not a social media professional, you will end up loving some of their articles. Ex article: 15 Psychological Studies That Will Boost Your Marketing.
- Brain Pickings (Highly recommended)– Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are. It is maintained by Maria Popova who reads over 12–13 books a week to post all the awesomeness that’s in there.
- HowStuffWorks (HighlyRecommended) — HowStuffWorks is a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications and is the award-winning source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. Gamut of categories to feed your intellectual hunger.
- TED: Ideas worth spreading — Learn from the experts by watching under 20 minutes of mind expanding talks. Start with Sir Ken Robinson’s talk:-How schools kill creativity!
- Investopedia– Learn everything there is to know about finance. From dictionary to tutorials, they have it all!
- Mind Tools — An amazing website to train you in different aspects of life!
- Mental Floss — An amazing website that offers random, interesting articles and facts.
- The Art of Manliness — Another mind expanding blog to keep you inspired and intellectually hungry. Example article The Power of Ritual: Building Shared Worlds and Bonds That Transcend the Everyday
- BBC — Future — Know more about the future stuff that matters. Example:Timeline of the far future
- Litemind .(Recommended) — Litemind is about exploring ways to use our minds efficiently. Covering articles on being more creative,thinking more clearly, boosting your brainpower, developing yourself andmore.
- Entrepreneur. — For all the entrepreneurs out there.The website offers some amazing insights related to entrepreneurial world.
- Stumbleupon (Recommended) : This helps in discovering more stuff that interests you!
- Big Think: They have some great stuff!
- The Mind Unleashed: Helps you discover yourself scientifically, culturally and intellectually. Example article: What If Everything You Were Ever Taught Was A Lie?
- Top Documentary Films — — Choose from a wide category and watch some interesting documentaries. Example (and favorite one): The Century of the Self (Highly recommended)
- Free Online Course Materials (MIT OpenCourseWare), Coursera,edX– They need no introduction!
- Project Gutenberg — Find over 40,000 ebooks
- Goodreads — Learn more about your favorite books, review them, find lists, award winning books, quotes, trivia, join reading groups etc.
- Zenpecils — Meet art + inspiration + mind expansion.
- MAKE– DIY Projects, how-tos and inspiration from geeks, makers and hackers.
- Duolingo (Highly Recommended): Want to learn a new language but can’t find a reliable source? Duolingo is your solution.
- The Muse: For some kick-ass career advice and more!
- Coffitivity — Did you know that cafes are one of the best places to spark your creativity? Since now you do, check out coffitivity that creates the atmosphere of a coffee shop straight from your laptop/PC.
- IFTT: Standing for “if this then that,” IFTTT helps different apps, online programs, and services work together to make your life way easier. Think getting the weather texted to you every morning or having your photos automatically save to Dropbox. 😀
- Codeacademy (Highly Recommended): Extremely addictive website that helps you make the most of your time on the internet and teaches you all about the languages that back it and more!
- Canva: Love designing? Then here’s Canva for you that makes designing insanely easy for you and the only limitation is your imagination.
- Sporcle: Sporcle is still the best place on the internet for testing your knowledge. You can take quizzes on any topic imaginable, which is a pretty fun way to learn new things (and also to challenge your co-workers to see who knows more about obscure TV references or countries of the world).
- FACTSlides → Amazing FACTS you didn’t know!: FACTSlides allows you to click through a variety of random facts that not only feed your curiosity, but are also perfect fodder for the break room. For example, did you know that UPS delivery trucks save 10 million gallons of gas every year by making no left turns?
- 99U : An amazing blog that keeps your brain healthy by stimulating it with beautiful insights into creativity and more!
- Fast Company (Highly Recommended): You will never get bored of FastCo if you love business, innovation and everything in between.
- zenhabits: One of the most popular blogs out there. Leo’s advice on life and his thoughts about stuff we take for granted is marked by extremely meticulous and perspicuous insights.
- Farnam Street: Recently discovered this gem of a blog. From Psychology, to books, to decision making, one can find very interesting reads on the blog.
BONUS: For some mind expanding documentaries (Over 300 + of them) check Down The Rabbit Hole We Go! 300+ Mind Expanding Documentaries.
If you know someone who could benefit from the above list, don’t forget to click on the heart below to recommend!