You won’t last a day trying to manage your digital marketing efforts — organic or paid — without the help of the right set of tools to build the all-important sales funnels.
Marketers like to call any bunch of tools used as a marketing stack (and you can call it whatever you want). To succeed with your digital marketing efforts, you essentially need funnels (of all kinds), and you’d need the right set of funnel building tools too.
The funnel is simple and usually looks like this (and there’s no need to complicate this one, no matter what reasons you manage to bring up).
You could choose to go the dumb route for each step of that funnel or you can choose to be smart.
Every step of that funnel will need precision, attention to detail, hard work, and continuous optimization — you are never going to land on the perfect funnel and you are never going to get it right the first time around.
To make your life easier, hire professional agencies (not the dumbass ones that just put up ads or write one blog post for you per month).
Either that or you do it yourself with the help of some really smart tools purpose-built to make your sales funnels or lead funnels work.
Even professional agencies use these tools when they set about working with you. I know because I use some of them too.
Here are some of those awesome digital marketing tools you’d need for your digital marketing efforts:
MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or Drip:
You can ignore email marketing all want but you won’t get anywhere. Social media won’t beat it. Your paid advertising won’t beat it. Email marketing is the real money-maker. Period.
The first — and the most important – part of your funnel is your email service provider that allows you to send broadcasts, RSS-to-email campaigns, regular campaigns, and automation sequences.
Pick your options from the many available, but I only have three suggestions Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, and Drip.
If you have a simple business, an e-commerce store, or a brand that relies on pretty looking email templates (not everyone needs these, like I don’t), there’s no better way to start building your list and grow your subscriber base than by using MailChimp.
Nothing comes close to MailChimp for the sheer ease of use, the price (free for 2000 subscribers), and the popularity (meaning which almost everything else you might use works with MailChimp).
Running an eCommerce store? Need to work with lots of visuals? Do you need great customer support? Then look no further than Campaign Monitor (also comes with visual workflows and marketing automation).
If you have anything slightly more complicated that won’t fit into singular lists, you’ll need Drip.
Drip uses tags and advanced workflows to make this marketing automation work, so it’s a worthy option.
I make about 6-7 different offers depending on which page of my website you are on or which blog post you read. I have to use a combination of Sumo and Drip to make that work. Also, it’s hard for me to use lists (like MailChimp) and it’s easier to manage tags (like we do in Drip).
Another worthy mention should go to Convertkit. They are incredibly good and there’s not much difference between Convertkit and Drip (except maybe a slight difference in pricing).
Emails are critical, and I suggest you stop reading and get your email marketing in order. But it’d be nice if you had more smart tools working in different ways to get you the results you seek.
Growthfunnel goes a little beyond what you normally see on websites today. Instead of just relying on pop-ups and letting visitors just take one single action (and get done with it), GrowthFunnel lets you do more.
In essence, this is what GrowthFunnel helps you achieve:
Livechat tools — most of them at least (with the exception of LiveChat and GoSquared — suck big time.
The chat windows pop-up alright but there’s usually no one on the other end to man these windows of opportunity.
Drift tries to change that by being a conversion-driven sales and marketing platform.
One of the ways you can start a conversation is as below:
As your visitors start talking, you are getting close to build relationships and not the rows on your transaction spreadsheets. Hopefully, this leads to better conversions.
Here’s how the folks at Drift put it:
“With Drift on your website, any conversation can be a conversion. Instead of traditional marketing and sales platforms that rely on forms and follow-ups, Drift connects your business with the best leads in real-time, like a virtual assistant for your website.”
Start using drift if you don’t just want to say “Hi” and then “not appear”, maybe Drift can help?
Convertflow works a wee bit different compared to others on this list.
Using smart-looking conversational pop-ups, you could have people take action, respond to your questions, and make visitors “flow-through” well-defined sequences.
Here’s an example:
The reason why this works beautifully is that there’s much less resistance to clicking on one of those blue buttons. If I clicked on “growing my agency”, I’d go to a page on Convertflow website that specifically addresses my concerns (as an agency).
Convertflow also helps with “On-site retargeting” by personalizing content and offers based on details of returning visitors, subscribers, or customers.
You’ve heard about social proof and you already know that we humans tend to trust, believe, and go with what 100,000 others think, do, or say. Normally, you have limited options such as testimonials and slapping 16 logos on your landing page or website to let the world know just how popular your product or service is.
Proof gives you a smart, non-intrusive, and an easy way to improve your conversions and results with a tiny little pop up that slides up from below your website to let your visitors know how many people are viewing the page you are viewing, little details who just happened to purchase a paid account or signed up for a free trial.
Here’s how it looks like:
Which of these conversion-centric tools to help build muscle for your funnels do you use and why?
Exactly 1 out of 143 clients in the last 3 years have bothered with email marketing A/B testing. It’s not surprising since many clients don’t even have “absolutely anything to do” with email marketing itself.
I mean, who the heck bothers with the old and boring email marketing when there are really hot social media platforms out there.
If you ignore email marketing, everything else you do with digital marketing is you sweating the small stuff and doing exactly that you shouldn’t be doing.
Why bother with email marketing A/B testing?
Assuming that you are convinced that you should do email marketing (hopefully), let’s look into the “why” of email marketing A/B testing.
- You do A/B testing because you want to find out what works best for your business
- Data-driven marketing is the only kind of marketing you want to depend on.
- When an average email marketing campaign delivers 4300% ROI, it just makes sense to fine tune and optimize one of the most profitable digital marketing channels out there.
- As always, you never know what subject lines, email copy, delivery timing would work the best with your audience.
Now, coming back to Email A/B testing; it works just like it does while you do A/B testing with ads, landing pages, websites, and others.
With email marketing A/B testing specifically, you can test:
- Subject lines
- The “from name” or the way sender details are presented
- The content of the email
- A particular segment or a set of recipients
- Time zone that the emails are sent on
- Particular weeks of the day the emails are sent
- Recipient Group size, and more.
According to MarketingSherpa, here’s a full list of what you could do email marketing tests on:
The winning emails are decided on a criterion you can setup. Some of those criteria could be open rate, click rate (total unique clicks), total clicks on a particular link, and more.
Most email marketing service providers like Mailchimp, Drip, and Campaign Monitor give you the tools for you to do A/B testing.
The only reason why you aren’t running email marketing A/B tests are because you weren’t aware, you thought it was fancy, or maybe because you genuinely didn’t get around to do it yet.
With email marketing workflows off a fully-customizable and automated tool like Drip (and also with other ESPs), you can also measure actual ROI of your campaigns with A/B testing.
I know you. It’s not going to be easy to convince you about something as obvious as this. So, here are a few examples of how simple email marketing A/B Testing experiments got these businesses results:
Weddingwire is a comprehensive website with everything related to wedding. It lists out vendors, has planning tools for weddings, has a list of wedding venues, photographers, Djs, planners, managers, and much more. Weddingwire also provides a ton of insights, inspiration, reviews on individual wedding related services, and a lot more.
Weddingwire’s newsletter, however, was one those things you could easily do the mistake of “just letting be”. With millions of subscribers, who’d care if there was one social button that doesn’t seem to work as well as it should?
It does matter. When you send out emails to 24 million people or more, everything matters.
While Weddingwire had no problems with people clicking on their main CTA, they were concerned as to why no one was clicking on the regular list of social media buttons.
Of particular concern was to find out why their Pinterest button wasn’t clicked on – from within the newsletter – as much.
The reason why Weddingwire worried about Pinterest was because their users were active there and Pinterest also makes for a great place for information and inspiration on anything to do with weddings.
The regular “social button array” faux pas?
So, when Weddingwire started including pins from their already active Pinterest account, here’s what happened, according to a case study from MarketingSherpa,
“WeddingWire saw a 141% higher Pinterest growth rate compared to the brand’s average, as well as an average lift of 31% on re-pins from email. Top articles reached as high as a 180% lift in re-pins.”
All that traction just for including pins that click through to Pinterest within a newsletter.
The Obama Campaigns
Everyone knows how successful email marketing was for Obama’s election as the president and the following re-election too (all this and you still need convincing that email marketing is critical for your business?).
This also includes the famous “I’ll be Outspent” campaign or the one subject line that says “Hey”.
Everyone knows this. Joshua Green of Bloomberg has a fantastic piece on the Science Behind those Obama Campaign Emails.
But then, there was a ton of detail that was being tested behind the exact same email marketing strategy that helped raise more than $500 million in donations.
Thanks to David Moth of Econsultancy and Amelia Showalter – Obama’s Directory of Digital Analytics in 2013.
Obama’s team found out that a sequential form that asks for information, one detail at a time, worked better than a single, long-form. This produced a 5% lift in conversions.
As Amelia puts it:
“For example, in one test on subject lines Showalter’s team found that the most effective iteration would raise $2.5m in donations, while the worst performing subject line would bring in less than $500,000.
Similarly, the team achieved a 5% uplift in conversions by A/B testing a long online donation form against a sequential format that asks for a little bit of information at a time, with the latter proving to be more effective.”
There were many more tests on the same campaigns for Obama.
For instance, Obama’s team boosted their donations conversion rate by a whopping 20-30% by a simple change of wording from “Save your Payment details now to make the process quicker next time” to “Now save your Payment Information”
Obama’s team also had a lot of insights that most people (marketers and businesses) wouldn’t get:
- The team fostered a culture of testing
- Ugly designs outperformed pretty looking ones
- The test results were shared internally
- Grabby subject lines proved to be worth millions of dollars.
Who would ever think?
It’s nice to see a company that makes A/B testing as the basis of its existence actually run A/B tests (and email marketing A/B tests, at that). Allison Sparrow of Optimizely ran a total of 82 email A/B tests as on 2017 with only 30% of those tests being significant.
How many calls to action should you have within an email? Any sensible marketer would tell you this: one.
But then, do you know for sure? You won’t know until you test.
In Optimizely’s case, they ran a test for 1 CTA vs Multiple CTAs with their existing customers.
The goal was to simply check in on the clicks for the CTA buttons.
The result was that one focused CTA was more effective (by 33% increase in clicks) than multiple ones.
If you are interested in reading more about Email Marketing A/B Testing, here are a few subject lines A/B test ideas from Sujan Patel on MailShake.
But then, most A/B test results won’t even give you any meaningful results. The folks at MixPanel tell you why A/B tests give bullshit results
“So if you’re sick of bullshit results, and you want to produce that 38% lift in conversions to get that pat on the back and the nice case study, then put in the work. Take the time to construct meaningful A/B tests and you’ll get meaningful results.”
Are you doing A/B testing for your email marketing campaigns?
There’s a lot of bullshit marketing advice out there and I am worried that you are spending way too much time reading that same advice and wasting away even more time before you end up working every day in a way that makes a difference to your business.
Forget blogging, SEO, social media, PPC, and whatever it is that you end up reading about.
While this might be repetitive, here’s the first thing you should do if you want to actually do something that makes a difference to your business.
Grow your email list.
Repetitive? Hell, yes.
But are you doing it? I doubt, barring a few exceptions.
In fact, most of the small businesses in the world have absolutely no strategy in place to build their email list.
Forget that email list. Most businesses barely do any kind of digital marketing at all.
The 2017 Small Business Conversion Marketing Report, thanks to the folks at Drip, has a few email marketing statistics that you should note:
Out of 1003 small businesses surveyed, thanks to Drip, see what came up:
- 82.1% of respondents with no website spend under 2 hours a week on marketing, compared to 49.7% of the general survey population.
- 27.7% of highly successful lead generators spend more than 24 hours a week on marketing, compared with 7.3% of those who are unsuccessfully trying to capture leads.
- Just 7.4% of respondents can both capture leads and convert customers from their website.
- Just 23.2% of respondents use landing pages, and 21.9% have blogs.
- However, 27.2% of businesses using landing pages and 21.3% of businesses have great success generating leads—double the lead-gen success rate of the survey panel as a whole.
- Just 27.7% of small businesses use digital advertising of any kind—but those who do have twice as much success making sales online.
- Only 22.7% of small businesses use a formal, software-based system to follow up with their leads, such as an email marketing service, an automation platform, or a CRM.
Social media really feels like that shiny object that doesn’t seem to let go, eh?
Excitement is where Little Promise is
Most businesses today tend to do what we all did historically.
Follow the herd.
Some influencer says “guest blogging” and everyone and their cousin is doing just that.
Guest blogging is major time suck, as I wrote before.
Social media is huge right? Yes, it is. Except that you are probably doing it all wrong and there’s nothing much to show for it.
If you noticed the survey results, all businesses (the ones that are doing something) seem to focus all that time and energy on blogging, websites, and social media. Meanwhile, email marketing is the really the money maker here, and you have these email marketing stats to prove that.
Plus, there’s more. 350 business owners revealed what they do in a survey by Clutch. More than 41% of them share content and engage with followers on social media. About 50% of them plan to “increase time” on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Oh boy, and over 50% rely on in-house staff for social media marketing.
Twitter has an uncertain future, Instagram does not play well for every business, and YouTube takes more time than managing social media. Let’s not even get near Pinterest yet.
Email marketing Destroys Everything Else
If it was just marketers and Email marketing service providers harping about how awesome email marketing was, I’d have ignored it.
When I started using Drip, however, things seem so different.
But ignore me. Let’s just get the data to speak for itself.
According to Martin Zhel of Mail Munch,
“…if you have 2,000 email subscribers, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter – this is what you will get:
• 435 people will open your email
• 120 Facebook fans will see your message
• 40 Twitter followers will see your message
The average email open rate is at 21% and it delivers the highest ROI compared to any other channel.
Img Credit: GetResponse
How much ROI, you ask?
How about 122% median ROI?
24% of email marketers in the United States, thanks to a survey from Relevancy Group, attributed more than a quarter of their overall revenues thanks to email marketing – only thanks to growth in email user base.
In 2014, more than 68% of businesses surveyed rated email marketing as the best channel in terms of ROI.
Email Marketing has more to it than ROI
Modern day email marketing isn’t just about “emails”
There’s advanced automation, personalizing emails to segments of users, use of conditioning logic to ensure that you only send out the most relevant of the emails to your subscribers, lead scoring which starts off an automated VIP nurturing for most engaged email subscribers, and a direct tie-in with sales and purchases, if you used the right email marketing provider.
Now, do you still want to be adamant and spend 40 hours a day on Social media or do you want to take 40 minutes to craft some meaningful autoresponders and email marketing workflows?
While this is a MailChimp Vs Drip tug of war blog post, I use both. I want you to think and decide which one works for you best.
Mailchimp, you very well know, is an absolutely gem of an email marketing software. Recently, they had let out their automation tools for everyone to use, and that makes the good old chimp even more adorable.
Mailchimp is available for free for up to 2000 subscribers or 12,000 emails. You’d primarily work with “lists” in Mailchimp.
Have three brands? You’d primarily have three lists then. If you’d like to do advanced marketing automation, you’d need to use other features within Mailchimp such as segmenting and grouping your customers (say, those who purchased more than $150 in lifetime value or those who never purchased at all)
Of those automation features within Mailchimp, the absolute beast of a feature is eCommerce 360. It essentially connects with your website’s payment processor (WooCommerce in my case) and shows you a display of total orders that originate from your emails (including direct store orders and more).
MailChimp’s eCommerce feature along with its popularity (and hence your ability to integrate it with absolutely anything you’d end up using) is phenomenal value (especially, given that you’d start for free and you’d not even have to pay for automation now).
Simple will do for many businesses, and I’d never suggest anything beyond Mailchimp for these kind of businesses.
Sometimes, especially for businesses with an intent to use content upgrades, use lead scoring, and get into the depths of complex marketing automation, Mailchimp will begin to disappoint if you are looking for “straight forward”.
Don’t write off Mailchimp just yet. It can possibly do everything that every other competing piece of software can, except that it’s not going to be straight forward.
Paul Jarvis explains that you could use advanced marketing strategies to help properly segment your customers and it’s not necessarily true that Mailchimp can’t deliver just because it’s still based on lists and not on “tags” – where tags are the preferred way to do automation today.
Savvas Zortikis, VP product and Growth at GrowthRocks, helpfully listed out a bunch of MailChimp Hacks.
Kirsten Of Sweat Tea goes on to a great length to help you make use of Mailchimp’s segmenting, Grouping, and other features.
Over time, depending on your business, you might find yourself with the need to implement some advanced automation. Here are a few examples where Mailchimp might not work for you:
Using Content Upgrades
If you are confident that content marketing and blogging is the way to go and you also understand the power of content upgrades, then you’ll also understand that you’d have to be relevant.
This means that you’d be offering a WordPress Security Checklist for people who are reading my blog posts. You’d offer Facebook Ads Guide to people reading blog posts on Facebook Advertising.
You’d want to offer a checklist or guide on Funnels and email marketing automation for people reading blog posts on email marketing. You see?
A customer base with changing needs
My business is into end-to-end digital marketing.
By nature, I’d be touching many aspects of digital marketing as a service. For blogging too, I tend to be all over the place. Visitors to this blog are interested in everything from blogging to content strategy; from PPC to retargeting; from funnels to WordPress setup.
For businesses like mine, I’d have one client who only needs blog posts. Others need end-t0-end marketing.
How would I serve them all with a single (or even multiple) lists?
Then, what if I have two or three completely different businesses in addition to my main business here?
When you just can’t hack things together
Paul Jarvis and many others are pros at Mailchimp. Then, there are some smart, tech-savvy marketers who can make Mailchimp do everything they want it to do.
Regular guys like me are already strapped with limited resources (and a gargantuan list of things to do) – work for clients, blog regularly here, and then for Groovy Web Tools. Plus, I have a few courses all primed up to sell.
I can barely put together a form on CSS. Asking me to hack Mailchimp the way I want it to work is a big ask.
Just don’t have the time. You could be just like me.
Do you see why Mailchimp falls out of favor – if you are not Mailchimp Savvy enough — when you start piling up more than it’s built to take?
Say hello to Drip
That’s where the appeal of the new age email marketing automation systems becomes evident. Try to explain the growth of all-in-one email marketing power systems like Drip
Drip has long been a favorite for some savvy marketers and they’ve used the “one list and multiple tags per subscriber” approach to email marketing.
Together with that powerful tag system, visual automation builder, the ability to run as many websites or businesses you want (and paying only once per subscriber, Unlike Mailchimp), Drip makes for a compelling case.
In fact, there’s a lot more to Drip than what you’d come to expect. Here are some power features, apart from the obvious ones such as tags and multiple workflows:
Get Out of Gmail’s “Promotions” tab into the “Personal Tab”
Email deliverability is a huge issue today. Every email you send out risks not getting delivered at all. Or maybe it’ll get into the spam folder right away. It can also get into your subscribers’ “Gmail” promotional tab.
Even if your email reaches your subscribers but ends up in the “promotional tab”, you are losing out big time here. The open rates are going to be negligible or late, or both.
Because Drip defaults to simple, text-based email (ConverKit also uses this approach to email), the emails seem like they are going out from a friend to a friend.
No fancy HTML email templates. No images that won’t get rendered by default. Nothing to filter automated triggers for spam on the user end.
For some reason, however, if you still want to fancy HTML emails. You can still do it with Drip’s Email Editor, those you get at Zurb Foundation [http://foundation.zurb.com/] or dropping an email template of your choice. (Not recommended. Just stick with plain text emails).
This alone, is a winner.
Self-paced, Advanced, Segmented Automation With Drip
Your Offer – relevant automation workflow – nurture leads in that sequence – make sales
With Drip, you can have as many offers. Then, every workflow that’s triggered because of the type or the nature of offer stands on its own. The entire sequence you’d setup for your customers stays relevant.
But then, people chance. Their interests change. They wanted something before and they want something else now.
How will you adapt?
With Drip, you use tags and automation workflows. If my website reader comes in one-day and downloads a WordPress checklist. The sequence of emails that are triggered are all based on WordPress (because that’s what my subscriber expressed interest in).
But then, my subscriber? She is smart and since she already figured out WordPress security. She wants to move on and figure out how to launch Facebook ads. So, she signs up for that guide this time around.
Now, when this happens, I’ve setup automation in such a way that the Drip System just applies a tag to the same subscriber.
When a tag called “Facebook Advertising” is triggered, a separate campaign that’s built for “Facebook advertising” audience is now triggered for her.
Subscribers enter and exit workflows – a collection of campaigns, if you will – depending on their own actions.
Then, it goes on and on. This doesn’t end. But then, subscribers are automatically tossed in and out of relevant campaigns (or even out of the list itself) based on their activity (or the lack of it).
Lead Scoring in Drip
Drip comes with Lead Scoring built in. That’s powerful stuff. With lead scoring, Drip starts allocating points based on actions your subscribers take. Points are also reduced due to actions subscribers don’t take.
Subscribers click on links within emails? Points go up.
Subscribers go and signup for another free download? Points go up.
Subscribers don’t click on links? Points go down.
This itsy bitsy gamification is on until lead scores reach a particular point. At that stage, Drip applies a tag called “Potential lead” and then another sequence of emails specially built to have these leads convert into sales is switched on.
So, as people signup, engage with your email, and stay active, some of those can be identified as potential leads.
You know what happens when your pipeline automatically builds like this over time, don’t you?
Now, how powerful is that?
Maintaining Healthly lists with only “Engaged subscribers”
A healthy, engaged, and active email list is what you need. Even if it has only 100 subscribers.
Growing your email list is not a contest. You aren’t competing with anyone here.
There’s no use having 100,000 people subscribing to your list and then having open rates that are worse than banner ad click through rates.
While we are on the topic of “healthy lists” – always ensure you have “double opt-in” enabled. You don’t want the eager beaver subscribers who dropped their email address but never bothered to verify.
Most likely, they’ll never bother to engage. They won’t buy anything. They won’t click on anything. They won’t read what you work so hard to create.
But then, even those who double opt-in can sometimes fall out of favor with your list. Using Lead Scoring (see above), email activity, and many other ways such as “Bulk operations, List Pruning actions” available inside Drip, you can periodically work on re-engagement campaigns or complete deletion of subscribers.
This way, you’ll always maintain a healthy email list. The only kind of email list worth having.
Forms In Drip
Ask me about forms, and I’ll bore you to death with a lifelong struggle to get the typical forms that ESPs like Mailchimp and Aweber provide.
Without the help of expensive experts, I could never make these forms look and work the way I wanted them.
First off, forms in Drip can at least be styled and made to show up how you want them on your website.
Here’s how I choose to use the forms for this website, specifically for a few offers.
One most important form (depending on what I want to offer) shows up on the bottom right corner of the website (branded and styled straight from where you create forms in Drip). All other forms are hidden and won’t show at all.
Right off the bat, they can have styling that matches your branding and these forms can be set up to show on the bottom left, bottom right, on the left and right of the website, or show up as a light box (typical light box).
These forms open up politely (after certain amount of time or after users scroll to X% of the page. You also have the option of having them show on exit intent).
Pick however, you’d want the forms to show up. You also have the option of embedding the forms or use a link as a “hosted version”.
You can also style your forms beyond what’s available from the Form creation process by using CSS. These are shown as completely styled forms under relevant blog posts.
A few forms are for other kinds of offers (like the one I use for my consulting offers), and you’d not see them here on the website. I use them in cold email outreach, etc.
My forms, as you can guess, can’t always be hiding under blog posts. So, I use Sumo to create forms – click triggers, welcome mat, and inline forms – all over the website.
Integrations with Drip
Now, Drip is one of the fastest growing email marketing automation platforms (along side Convertkit) and it’s only understandable that a lot of other systems and tools you might use for your business play well with Drip. For me, Drip integrates with almost everything I use.
• Drip Integrates with Unbounce (the landing pages tool I use) with webhooks. It obviously also integrates with Leadpages (which now also owns Drip)
• Drip integrates with WooCommerce (which I use for my store. However, I still use Mailchimp’s ecommerce integration and Mailchimp’s ecommerce plugin for the store since I didn’t want to make changes to it yet).
• Drip Integrates with Sumo (the tool I use for multiple sites to grow my subscribers).
• Using Zapier, I connect Mailchimp to Drip. This way, even my customers (who actually purchase any of my services or products) also get into Drip (tagged as customers, obviously).
Mailchimp Vs Drip: What’s your Pick?
I still use Mailchimp. I am a lifetime fan. Two of my other websites still use Mailchimp and the forms are created Divi’s Bloom Optin form builder.
Since I now have slightly advanced needs and also a strong need for complete automation while I have no ability to hack around with tools too much, I only use Mailchimp for its ecommerce features.
Note that Drip also integrates with WooCommerce, Paypal, Stripe, GumRoad, and many other tools that you are likely to use for payment processing. Or there’s Zapier that can help connect Drip to anything you want.
For everything else, especially for building my email list and for automation overall, I use Drip.
Mailchimp is awesome for you if you are just starting out and need a robust, easy, email marketing solution.
You’ll need Drip if you are already convinced that marketing automation is a must-have for your business (which you do).
Drip is everything Mailchimp is, except that it gets easier to do marketing automation at scale with complete flexibility, the awesome automation workflow builder, lead scoring, and more.
What will you pick? MailChimp or Drip Or Both? Tell me about it.
You heard that you should grow your list. It’s repetitive, and it feels like a rallying cry Internet-wide. Marketers, Smart businesses, bloggers, and online publishers — they all swear by email marketing.
Why? What’s so sexy about the “un-sexy” email?
I used to tell everyone who cares to listen that email marketing is like the wife — she takes care of the home. She births, raises, and cares for your children. Without her, your home crumbles.
The only problem? You don’t think that much of a “wife”. In fact, a wife is usually taken for granted (don’t ask me if I can prove it since I am nobody’s wife).
Email marketing is as old as email itself, and this goes back several years since the dawn of the Internet.
There’s a problem with old things. We think they don’t work as well as the “shiny, new” things do. You know? Things like social media, push notifications, fancy ad platforms, Real-time bidding, mobile advertising.
You do those or you don’t. But one thing you should be doing is email marketing.
Why, you ask? Let’s see:
Consider these email marketing stats:
General email marketing stats
By the end of 2019, the number of worldwide email users will increase to 2.9 billion (that’s over 1/3rd of the entire worldwide population) [Source: Radicati ]
The number of emails sent and received per day totaled 205 billion in 2015. By the end of 2019, that number will grow to 246 billion [Source: Radicati ]
92% of all online adults use email [Source: Pew Research ]
These number will grow again, the next time you come back to read this. You’ll come back, won’t you?
What’s the ROI of Email Marketing?
Email marketing gives you an ROI of 4400%. Thats $44 for every $1 in spend (Try to beat that) [Source: Campaign Monitor ]
Now, do you think you should spend all that time on SEO? or PPC? or Social Media? Think about it.
Leads Nurtured by email marketing make for 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads [Source: Annuitas Group]
Explains why you need to have marketing automation workflows
Email Conversion rates are 40X those of Facebook and Twitter [Source: McKinsey & Company]
It’s time you let go of the “social media” fever. Do it for the right reasons but don’t depend on it for revenue.
As long as you keep emails relevant, they drive 18x more revenue than simple broadcast emails (newsletter, anyone?) [Source: Jupiter Research]
Achieve higher relevance with proper email best practices such as segmentation, tagging, or grouping of subscribers and customers, because…
Email Segmentation = More Power
42% of marketers do not send targeted email messages; only 4% use layered targeting. (MarketingProfs, 2016)
83% of companies use at least basic segmentation for their emails. (Econsultancy, 2016)
The ability to segment email lists and individualize email campaign messaging are the most effective personalization tactics for 51% and 50% of marketing influencers respectively. (Ascend2, 2016)
Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015) [Source: HubSpot]
It’s not surprising why that happens, which leads us to…
If you could send a welcome note to your subscribers, they are 33% more likely to engage with you long-term [ Source: chiefmarketer.com]
Personalized emails boost click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10% at least [Source: Aberdeen Group]
Relevance comes from personalization. Do you have that “personality layer” for your marketing?
Email subject lines that include the words “thank you” have the highest above-average engagement levels. (Adestra, 2015)
Quick check: Do your transactional emails, order updates, cart abandonment emails have “thank you” in them?
Emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher clickthrough rates than emails that did not. (HubSpot, 2014)
Comes back to personalization. Today’s ESPs like Drip, MailChimp, and Convertkit make this easier.
The open rate for emails with a personalized message was 17.6%, compared to 11.4% without personalization (Source: Statista, 2014)
Email Marketing Vs Social Media
There’s just too much noise about social media, Social media ROI, and this and that.
It’s just not as effective as it’s hyped to be. It’s good for networking, branding, impressions, and all that jazz.
The average click through rate for your Twitter update us 1.64% (& Facebook reach + conversion is even worse [source: Sign-up.to]
To get into even more granular detail about just where social media stands compared to email marketing, here’s an awesome table from OptinMonster, thanks to Mary Fernandez in 2016
Customers acquired by email have 12% higher lifetime value than average, whereas customers acquired through Facebook have only 1% higher lifetime value than average.
Interestingly, customers acquired through Twitter tend to be worth about 23% less than average. [Source: Custora]
Don’t argue with me on social media ROI, ever again.
Email marketing Vs Paid Ads
Paid ads are the fastest way to help grow your business. I think that if you run paid advertisements pointing to landing pages that focus on collecting leads (and hence grow your email list), it’s a super combination.
If you just did PPC, however, it doesn’t deliver as well as email marketing does.
According to Litmus,
Email: $40 for every $1 spent
Keyword ads: $17 for every $1 spent
Banner ads: $2 for every $1 spent
Banner ads: 0.8%
Rich-media banners: 0.14%
Email also has higher conversion rates per session than search and social combined, found a report by Monetate:
Now, what gives?
Email Marketing Vs Other Distractors online
About 77% of consumers prefer email over social media for permission-based promotional messages [Source: OptinMonster]
And you’ll still spend all that time and money on social media?
Email marketing Stats – others
Thanks to The Hubspot Inbound Report, here are some more stats:
54% of marketers say increasing engagement rate is their top email marketing priority. [Source: Hubspot, Ascend2 2016]
This should be 100% for every business out there. Eh?
11 a.m. ET has the highest clickthrough rate for email sends. (HubSpot, 2015)
15% of marketers surveyed say their company still does not regularly review email opens and clicks; only 23% say they have integrated their website and emails to track what happens after a click. (MarketingProfs, 2016)
When technology is available for everyone to use, what’s stopping you?
Email notifications about abandoned carts have a 40.5% open rate. (eMarketer, 2015)
Makes sense to do the 5 minute job of setting up these “cart abandonment emails” now?
As the number of images in an email increases, the clickthrough rate of the email tends to decrease. [Source: HubSpot, 2014)
Simple lesson: Try pure text emails. You’ll also save your emails from getting into the “promotion” tab, or getting marked as spam for no reason.
Email Marketing Copy, Text, Elements
64% of people prefer rich text emails. (HubSpot, 2014)
Your email marketing can, however, suffer if you go overboard with HTML or images. Rich text can be “rich” in value?
Nearly half (47%) of marketers say they sometimes test alternate subject lines to optimize email performance. (MarketingProfs, 2016)
Are you doing A/B tests? If you aren’t, start today.
The Email Addiction
More than 58% of adults (worldwide) check email, the first thing in the morning [ Source: Ezanga]
People check their smartphones up to (wait for it) 150x per day [Source: kpcb.com]
There’s a chance that you could be in their pipeline, every single morning — and beyond — through the rest of their day.
Make Email Marketing Work for you
You’ll be astonished at what you’d find when you calculate the value of a subscriber — and also every visitor, if you treat them right — is worth for your business.
Bryan Harris of VideoFruit also has a handy calculator for you to determine what an email subscriber is worth to your business.
Go ahead. Calculate your email subscriber value.
Tell me if you should focus on email marketing or not.
B2B Marketing emails always do a tight-rope walk: Should you be serious and sound all corporate-ish or should you dare write out personalized emails?
If you ever wondered, stop doing it. Just make it personal. Here are a few high-energy, fun, and fantastic B2B email marketing examples:
Flywheel: Hey there, Good Looking’!
We use Flywheel for our hosting, and it’s amazing how these guys made something like WordPress managed hosting feel so classy.
You’ll always get personalised, short, well-designed and succinct emails from Flywheel.
Here’s an example:
LiveChat: Pound of Goodness In an Email
LiveChat is one of my favourite LiveChat solutions. It’s the best, the largest, and it’s backed by some of the best people out there.
Their emails come in with tons of goodies. Especially those with blog posts that just seem to answer some of the most common problems small businesses always have.
Google Keeps It Simple
Google’s Suite (earlier Google Apps) has always been focused on on-boarding small, medium, and large-sized businesses. But their emails never come across as too heavy to deal with.
See this Google My Business (obviously written to business owners) email. There’s not a word on that email that’s unnecessary. Practical, smooth, and to the point.
Vero: Learning Vs Selling
Jimmy Daly of Get Vero did an experiment with a massive 14-step campaign just to welcome new subscribers to the Vero Blog. When Jimmy realised that despite some positive feedback and results, they just nuked the 14 emails in favour of a single one as shown below:
What did that email give the folks at Vero? Thousands of replies, and a possibility to learn and adapt to their users’ needs, and get a deeper understanding of their customers’ problems. The point? Create opportunities to learn, gather data, and get insights before “selling”.
Conversio: Insight Layered + Value
Conversio is an all-in-one ecommerce dashboard. It helps you save more time to run your business by aggregating all the data you need to make decisions to a single dashboard. Abandoned Carts, receipts, follow-ups, feedback, reviews — everything that relates to your ecommerce is on Conversio.
But that’s not what’s awesome. This email example is:
First, Conversion seems to detect that customers are using Yotpo for reviews. Second, this email helpfully lets premium members know that they don’t have to continue paying for two different services.
How cool is that? Especially when Conversio could have just danced in the rain after making the sale, right?
GoSquared: Simplicity At Its Best
Simple emails are the hardest to write. It’s always nice to get an email from GoSquared with one of their product updates (it’s another thing that I am partly biased because I use GoSquared too).
Loads of simplicity per email, custom graphics, and energy just comes in.
Close.io: Hey You, I am Talking to You
Steli Efti is an inspiration for me. His accomplishments with cold email outreach, the hustle, the energy, and his writing style — I can never get enough of it.
His emails have no fancy graphics except a few photos sometimes. He doesn’t use elaborate HTML headers. His emails are mostly text (with links sometimes).
Close.io meanwhile focuses on selling purely to startups, SaaS companies, and businesses.
FoodJunky: 1-2-3, That’s it
FoodJunky seems to have a pattern with its effective emails. The company helps businesses manage catering, order food, or arrange for restaurants at the last minute — without HR complications.
If you see their emails, they like to do the step-by-step thing. You know? 1-2-3 and there you go.
Moo: Share Excitement + Teach
Moo is a company that helps makes businesses get access to premium designs for business cards, post cards, and stickers. Plus, they have oodles of character (and that’s something else).
They didn’t miss a little bit if helpful fun in their email campaigns though.
See what they did there?
SmartSheet: Value Delivered, In a Snapshot
Smartsheet helps your business manage and automate collaboration. It allows businesses to use high-value solutions and rich data along with providing everything a business needs for compliance and data management.
Did it go over your head already? Wait, their email makes it much easier to understand.
Singular emails with valuable insights shared as an emailgraphic (Call it whatever).
Woodpecker.co: The No-Sale Email
Woodpecker.co is an awesome tool that can help streamline your cold email outreach efforts. It puts everything you do with Cold email outreach in a single place, allows for automated follow-ups, and provides you with analytics that’ll tell you how well your cold emails are working.
Their emails come without the busy images, if ever. All that they do is share information. Then, some more information. I am yet to see an email from them that says “Sign up”.
Is that good or bad? You tell me.
Do you have any awesome B2B email marketing examples that you can share? I’d be thrilled to hear from you. Please comment below.