5 Advanced Email Marketing Tips for 2021

If you feel like you have a strong grasp of email marketing, but you just want to take it to a whole another level. Then stick with me. This article is the last in a three-part series on email marketing tips that help you get more out of your list in terms of clicks, opens, and sales. Just like last time you’re going to want to stick until the end to get my number one tip, and also to learn how to get more of my email marketing tips for free sent to your inbox.

This article is going to be more focused on tactically based topics of email marketing. So if you’re looking for more fundamentals, then you’re going to want to check out articles one and two.

Tip #1: Segment your lists.

It can be really difficult to resonate with every single person you’re trying to email if you’re not catering to their particular needs. So what you can do is you can use your email marketing services tags feature, or segment feature to cut out your list into more specific groups. For example, you might have prospects versus customers in your email list and even within the customer’s list, you might break that down even further to first-year customers versus second year customers and so on.

The purpose of this is to make sure that you’re providing meaningful context behind every message that you’re sending out in your email campaigns. You wouldn’t necessarily send the same message to a first-year customer as a fifth year customer, because the fifth year customer has been with you for so much longer.

When you’re first starting out, simply keep your prospects and your customers in separate lists. Then over time you can incorporate more of these sophisticated segments based on the types of customers that you serve. A word of warning here, though. Don’t over-complicate this process. You don’t need to necessarily make 10 different lists out of your one list when really two or three lists would be fine.

Tip #2: Audit your lists.

Whether you’ve had your list for just one year or five years it ain’t get really easy to get an unwieldy list. And that leads to two potential outcome,  either your list is no longer engaging with you or it’s not getting you the results that you want.

The problem with either of these issues is that it leads to you creating a negative feedback loop for yourself. If you’re creating a ton of email campaigns and trying really hard to engage your list, but they’re not engaging with you, then you’re going to be a little bit less motivated to write your next email campaign to your audience.

This decrease in motivation will make it harder for you to create the content that your audience deserves. And as a result, more and more people are going to be unsubscribing. To combat this, I recommend sending this email once or twice in a year, “Hey, just checking in. I noticed you haven’t been engaging with some of the content that I’ve been sending you so I just wanted to make sure that you still want to be on this list. In the case that you do, do me a favor and click that button below. Otherwise, if I don’t hear from you, I’ll be removing you at the end of this week. Thanks again”.

By sending this email, we’re giving our email subscriber an opportunity to demonstrate to us that we still are relevant in their lives and in the case where we aren’t, we are giving ourselves an opportunity to do spring cleaning on our email list. If your email service provider has the option, you can create a segment of those people that have been less engaged in recent months and send it just to them. However, it’s also fine to send this to your entire list if it’s just once or twice a year, just to make sure that you are maintaining good list hygiene.

Tip #3: Validate your lists.

Aside from auditing your list for engagement, it can be equally as helpful to validate your lists. This is especially helpful if you’ve purchased your leads from a lead gen site. Whenever my company has done so, we’ve had to run our lists through Email List Verify or another email validation service, just to make sure that we remove any bogus emails or spam traps.

Email List Verify is really simple to use. All you need to do is upload your list on their site, click validate, and then wait for the results. Once the results have been generated, it’ll tell you specifically which emails are valid and which emails are invalid. It’ll also identify which emails they’re not a hundred percent sure are valid or invalid and then you can make the call as to whether or not you want to email those contacts.

One of the nice perks about Email List Verify is that there’s always a 10 or 15% coupon out there. So be sure to look for that if you are going to use their services. The reason why it’s really important to validate your emails is because if you have bought your list, it can be really common for there to be spam traps in a bot list. And what those are is essential, if you are emailing these spam traps, it’ll potentially impact the deliverability of your future campaigns because of the fact that you’ve triggered this spam trap.

From the other side of things, email service providers are trying to identify who are malicious senders. And so by making sure that we’re not delivering to the spam traps, we will preserve the deliverability of our email domain.

In my use case, we would use Email List Verify at least once every single year with our entire list. And the reason why is because in our industry, it’s really common for there to be 15 to 20% turnover year over year in the people that we’re emailing.

Tip #4: A/B test your email campaigns.

This is most easily done with email service providers like MailChimp, but pretty much what it is, is it’s where you’re going to send two different versions of your email campaign to two different segments of your audience.

So this relates back to tip number one in that it’ll make sure that you are identifying which of the two versions of your email will be more effective with your audience. By A/B testing, we’re going to be able to better identify which subject tests will resonate with our audience more as well as which call to actions or body copy is going to be more effective. Sometimes you’d be surprised.

For example, I’ve sent a campaign before with the subject line of, Back to School Resources for [organization name]”, and I thought that this personalization would be great for engagement. However, when I compared it to a second version that used the subject line, Back to School Resources for You”, that subject line ended up performing way better.

My main recommendation here is to make sure that you are only changing one variable in every A/B test. By doing so, you’ll make sure that you’re not introducing some potentially confounding variables into your campaign.

Tip #5: Always be able to answer ANA.

This is an acronym that I came up with for my team to teach them some email marketing principles. And it stands for this, Audience Needs and Ask. Audience is all about who am I writing for and what do they care about?Needs is all about making sure that you are meeting a particular and specific need of our audience. And ask is all about what is our ask and is it clear? The way I teach this to my team is to ask them to create a one sentence summary of their email campaign that addresses these three points.

If they weren’t able to answer every single component of it, then they have to go back to the drawing board to rework their campaign. The reason why I consider this my number one advanced email marketing tip is because it’s so simple in theory, and yet difficult in practice. Even after sending hundreds of email marketing campaigns, I still fall prone to struggling sometimes to connect all three core principles together. So try to incorporate as much ANA as possible. ANA is the key to effective email marketing, and it really encapsulates a ton of the tips that I’ve gone over in this email marketing series.

Big takeaways

There are two things I want you to remember from this article:

  1. You want to make sure that you’re practicing good list hygiene, make sure that you’re validating your list and auditing your list on a regular basis. This way you won’t negatively impact the email deliverability of your domain, and you’ll actually make it to the inbox of your subscribers.
  2. The second big takeaway is to remember the acronym, ANA. Always be able to answer who your audience is, what their need is and what your ask is in the campaign. By doing so, you’ll make sure that all of your email marketing campaigns have a clear purpose and benefit to the reader.

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