You are being misled…
When marketers mention “improve your email marketing revenue,” you always hear the same recycled list of ways:
- Grow the size of your email list
- Improve your email click through rates
- Improve your email open rates
- Build a stronger “relationship” with your list
- Email your list more often
- Email your list less often so people do not unsubscribe
- Send more sales related emails
- Provide more value by posting great content
- And the list goes on…
Let’s be clear. I’m not saying these things don’t help improve your email marketing revenue. They certainly can.
However, there are two things I believe to be far more important than any of the things listed above that few marketers talk about.
- Getting the RIGHT leads
- Keeping your email sender reputation high
Getting the RIGHT leads eliminates a lot, if not all of your email marketing revenue problems. When you have the perfect lead for your product, service, offer, content, etc. Everything falls into place.
You may be thinking “the title says ‘without growing your list size.’ Doesn’t getting the right leads mean I have to build a bigger list?”
No, it doesn’t mean that at all.
If you replaced ALL of your unqualified leads with raving fans who love you and will buy anything from you, your list would be the same size right?
However, the revenue you generate from that email list will significantly improve!
Before getting to the meat and potatoes of this content, it’s important that you understand what email sender reputation is.
Have you heard of “email sender reputation” before?
If not, I will give you a short definition:
Email Sender Reputation
A score assigned by mailbox providers like Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. That determines the trustworthiness of an email sender’s IP address.
All mailbox providers use several metrics to calculate your email sender reputation. Including spam complaints, mailing to unknown users, industry blacklists, and more.
If you want a more in-depth explanation of email sender reputation scores, you can check out this blog post from Hub Spot.
In this article you are going to learn these three things:
- How to collect high-quality leads
- How to find your low-quality leads and re-engage them properly
- How to increase your email sender reputation
I can guarantee you that your email marketing revenue will increase after learning how to do the three things listed above.
Everything in this article will be broken down into five main tactics:
- How to find which traffic sources are giving you low-quality leads
- Top 6 tactics to get you higher quality leads
- The 3 most effective ways to clean your email list
- How to run a re-engagement campaign to your unresponsive leads
- 4 Proven methods that will keep your leads active and interested
How to use these tactics: I listed each tactic above based on your subscriber’s journey as a member of your list.
Each tactic has a list of steps, methods, or resources. In total, you’ll learn 15 different ways to improve your email marketing revenue.
You do not have to implement any of the five tactics in the order I present them.
It’s your choice to apply all five tactics or chose the ones that are most relevant to your business, then take action.
Alright, enough fluff. Let’s get started!
How to find which traffic sources are giving you low-quality leads
This section will teach you how to check your traffic sources for low-quality leads.
Low-quality traffic sources can cause all types of issues for your email marketing. Including low email deliverability, low engagement, and a loss of revenue, due to building a list of unqualified leads.
There are five steps in this section that should be followed in order. Let’s start with step 1:
Step 1: Review all your traffic sources in your tracking and analytics
If you don’t know what tracking or analytics are, then you probably don’t have it setup on your website yet.
If that is the case, this entire section will not apply to you yet.
To learn about tracking, I recommend reading this free tracking guide. Then come back to this section at a later time.
Don’t go reading that free tracking guide now. You need to finish this content first.
Still reading this section? Ok good.
That means you have tracking or analytics setup on your website. So you’re going to get a lot of actionable tactics in this section that you will love!
Step 2: Look for traffic sources that have a negative ROI
The first thing you need to do is log into your tracking or analytical tool of choice. Then look for all your traffic sources that have a negative ROI.
Negative ROI can be a sign that the leads you are collecting are not a good fit for your offer.
If you are only using one or two traffic sources, then look at the interests, ad groups, demographics or audiences you are targeting in your traffic network. After that, check if any of them have a negative ROI.
If all your email marketing sources are performing poorly, then you probably have a problem with your offer or funnel. Another possible problem could be, the traffic sources you are using are not a good fit for your offer.
In those cases, you will want to go through your entire funnel. Take a long, hard, look at what you are offering. Also, compare offers that are performing well for others on the traffic sources you have been using.
Are you advanced in paid traffic?
You might be thinking “this guy has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.” It’s ok I totally understand.
Advanced paid traffic buyers sometimes use sophisticated strategies like going negative during their customer acquisition process.
Is that you?
Then you’ll need to be measuring this based on LTV (lifetime custom value) as opposed to just your campaign ROI.
Step 3: Look for traffic sources that have low email marketing engagement
If you are not segmenting or tagging your leads based on the traffic source or campaign they came from. You need to start doing it, like yesterday!
It is hard to find holes in your traffic sources if you don’t know which leads came from where.
Not segmenting or tagging your leads per traffic source or campaign? For now, just pretend that you have so that the rest of this step makes sense.
Now it’s time to look at your email autoresponder or CRM stats. Look for any traffic sources that are providing leads who are not engaging with your emails.
I would classify any leads that have not opened an email in the past 60 days as a low engaged lead.
Any leads that have not clicked any links in your emails over the past 90 days is a low engaged lead as well.
You can be more aggressive with the numbers I have given you above. Based on my experience and what I’ve seen work for others, 60 days for opens and 90 days for click-throughs are a great starting point.
This step is important because leads who do not engage with your emails can decrease your email sender reputation.
Which makes it harder for you to deliver emails to your entire list. Including your high-quality customers who you want to reach!
Step 4: Segment leads from low performing traffic sources
In steps 1-3 you have identified your leads that came from negative ROI sources and your leads that have little engagement. It’s time to segment these leads and place them onto a new list.
If you have a backup email autoresponder or CRM it’s even better to place these leads there.
You might be thinking, “but why?”.
In short, you want to email these potentially lower quality leads on an entirely different account, with a different IP address, even a different sender domain if possible, so that you do not ruin the email sender reputation of your primary email sending account.
Step 5: Email low performing leads separately and monitor their performance
Since these leads are now segmented out, you want to start emailing them to see how they perform.
Emailing them from a backup account will allow you to test these leads without deleting them and without ruining your primary accounts email sender reputation.
The metrics you want to be paying attention to while you email these leads are open rates, CTR (click through rate), bounces and sales.
The subscribers that perform well should be moved back onto your main list or main autoresponder/CRM.
Any subscribers that are not performing can either be:
- Deleted from your database
- Kept, but emailed separately from your main list, autoresponder/CRM.
Some people prefer to get rid of the dead weight by deleting them. Some prefer never to remove any subscribers.
Don’t spend too much time deciding. If you have to think twice about it, then just keep these low performing leads on a separate list or autoresponder/CRM account and move on.
That’s it for tactic #1. Time to jump to Tactic #2…
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Top 6 tactics to get you higher quality leads
In this section, you are going to learn how to make sure you are only collecting the highest quality leads possible.
Doing this will help increase your email sender reputation because you will receive more engaged leads that open and click links in your emails.
The higher your email sender reputation, the more of your emails get delivered. More emails getting delivered will increase your email marketing revenue.
Here are the 6 most effective ways to pre-qualify your leads:
1. Force a survey before your prospect opts-in
A proven way to increase conversions and improve lead quality is to use micro-commitments. There’s a bunch of research and case studies out there on this so I won’t bore you with all the scientific reasons micro-commitments work.
Instead, I’ll give you a simple explanation…
When you go on a first date with someone, are you more likely to give the other person a hug or ask them to marry you?
I’m sure a hug is more likely to happen for the overwhelming majority of us. To get to the point of wanting to marry someone, smaller commitments need to happen before that.
Like a second date, getting to know the other person better, a kiss, and meeting the other person’s family.
You make a bunch of micro-commitments before you get to the point where you say to yourself “I’m ready to marry him/her.”
Well, your sales funnel should be doing the same thing to your prospects. Don’t try to “marry” them on the first date.
Get them to make micro-commitments by filling out a survey first before you “get down on one knee” so to speak.
A simple yet extremely effective way to set up surveys on your landing page is to get your prospect to say “yes” to questions that will naturally convince them to want your solution.
For example, let’s say you have an offer that teaches people how to get a six-pack in just 30 days.
You could ask these series of questions:
Do you want a six pack?
Has it been hard for you to get a six pack?
Would you like to know how to get a six pack in 30 days?
If your prospect answers “yes” to all 3 of these questions. It would be tough for them to say “no” to your offer on “how to get a six-pack in just 30 days” because that would contradict what they just told themselves they wanted.
Makes sense? Ok great!
If you want more in-depth information on how to use surveys to pre-qualify leads, check out Ryan Levesque blog post here .
Let’s move on…
2. Add more content to your landing page
Typically, the less content and more mysterious you make your landing page the higher your opt-in rate.
The problem with this method is that you also collect a lot more unqualified leads.
Adding more content to your landing page helps your prospects better understand your offer. It will increase your lead quality since anyone not interested won’t give you their email address.
Here’s a list of content you can add to your landing page to give your prospects more clarity on your offer:
- Bullet points
- Summary paragraph
- A short 1-3 minute video explaining your offer
Another benefit to doing this is that it will help educate your prospect on why they need your offer, which increases the chances of them consuming or purchasing your offer.
Keep in mind that this will lower your opt-in rates, but it will increase your lead quality.
3. Use a reverse squeeze page
The concept of a reverse squeeze page is to give value to your prospect before asking for their email address. When you provide value first, you get valuable leads.
The first step of this tactic is to create a great piece of content. The content can be a video or typed.
Once you have completed your content, you need to break it up into two separate web pages. Your content should be broken up at its climax so that the reader is eager to read the 2nd half of it.
Make sure that you provide enough value on the 1st page of your content to keep the reader engaged.
Once your website visitor finishes the 1st half of your content, you ask them to give you their email address to continue reading the rest of the content.
The key to this strategy is creating GREAT content. You want your content to be share-worthy. If it is share-worthy, then your customers will share it, and you’ll get even more leads.
This next tactic is the sister method to the Reverse Squeeze Page…
4. Use a multi-step reverse squeeze page
The concept is the same as the reverse squeeze page. Except that you will break up the content in more than two web pages to create even more user engagement.
Creating more sections takes a little more work to set-up because you will have more than two web pages to create. However, the quality of the leads will be even better than a reverse squeeze page.
When making a multi-step reverse squeeze page, you will still need to create a great piece of content first.
Then you will break up the content into 3-5 web pages.
At the bottom of each page, you will create a hyperlink that says “continue reading.” If it’s video content, you will put “continue watching.”
Multi-step reverse squeeze pages create more engagement because the prospect has to click to continue consuming your content.
Every click they make to move to the next page is a mental “yes” in their head that’s training them to desire the content and solutions you provide.
Once the reader reaches the last page, they will click on the “continue reading” link and see a squeeze page that asks for their email address to finish your content.
This tactic works really well because the reader has already mentally convinced themselves they want to read the rest of the article by clicking on the ‘continue reading” or “continue watching” links multiple times.
When prospects reach your last page, that means they found your content valuable.
Now when they give you their email address, they will be a much more qualified and higher quality lead.
If the multi-step reverse squeeze page method still sounds a little confusing to you. Check out Justin Brooke’s video explanation.
5. Ask for more sign up information on your landing page
Asking for more information is one of the easiest tactics to setup in this “Top 6 tactics to get you higher quality leads” section.
In the “Add more content to your squeeze page” section we talked about how adding more information to your landing page can lower your conversion rates but increase quality.
The same can be said for asking for more information from your prospect, the more sign up information you request from your prospect the higher the quality of the lead will be.
Just think about it. Are you more likely to give your email, phone number and address to a company, or more likely to give just your email?
It takes a certain level of trust to give more information to a company. So when your prospects do provide that information, you are sure to be receiving a much higher quality lead.
Here are some more things you can ask for besides their email address:
- Full name
- First name & last name
- Phone number
- Company Name
- Company Size
- Company Revenue
- You can also just add some check boxes that forces the subscriber to choose the categories they are interested in
Earlier I mentioned that this is very easy to setup. Our next tactic is even easier…
6. Use double opt-in confirmation
I will be honest, and upfront here…
I’m not a big fan of this method. From my testing, the higher quality leads I received, did not make up for the decrease in conversion rate that I got from requiring my subscribers to confirm their email address using double opt-in.
However, I do know other people who have seen good results from it. So I figured I should add this method to this section.
Every situation and niche are different so don’t take my results as the be all end all. Test this yourself and see if it works for you. It’s the easiest to setup, and you can find out quickly if this works for you or not.
Plus, top marketing minds and brands like Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger, Seth Godin, Tim Ferris and many others all currently use double opt-in, which means it must work well for some.
If you do not know what double opt-in confirmation is, then let me give you a quick explanation…
(Already know what double opt-in confirmation is? Skip to tactic #3 “Scrub Your Email List”).
Double opt-in confirmation forces the subscriber to confirm their email address before being added to your email list.
They will be sent an email that asks them to click a confirmation link. Once your subscriber has clicked that link they will be added to your email list. If the subscriber does not click the link, they will not be added to your list.
Any subscriber that takes the time to check their email and confirm it to receive your content is going to be a high-quality lead.
Double confirmation ensures you are collecting valid email addresses, which helps improve your email sender reputation and your email deliverability.
The 3 most effective ways to clean your email list
Collecting invalid email addresses is a HUGE problem in the online world.
The three most common reasons you are collecting invalid email addresses are:
- Prospects intentionally giving you a fake email address
- Prospects giving you an email address that was valid at the time but no longer is
- Prospects mistakenly mistyping their email address
Scrubbing your email list is one of the most important aspects of email marketing, yet few people do it.
It is email marketing suicide not to get rid of invalid email addresses that are on your list.
Every time you email an invalid email address or have emails bounce, your email sender reputation drops, which causes your email deliverability to drop too.
Do you want to purposely make it harder for yourself to reach your good customers?
I didn’t think so. That’s why you should be cleaning your email list consistently.
There are three main ways to clean your email list. I’m going to list them from the least automated to the most automated solution…
Manually clean your list in bulk on a 1-3 month basis
There are email verification services that allow you to manually upload your email list and verify the emails you have collected.
The downside to doing it manually is that you have to continually download all your email lists and then upload them to the email verification service every 1-3 months to clean your email list.
This can be extremely time-consuming and discourage you from consistently cleaning your list as often as you should.
Integrate with the API of an email verification service
The two services I mentioned above both have an API.
In other words, you can integrate your web forms with their email verification services to clean your list automatically.
Doing so will prevent you from having to manually do the work every time you want to clean your list.
This option can be costly if you are not a programmer. You will have to pay a programmer to integrate the email verification service of your choosing into every web form you currently have and every new web form you create in the future.
Another downside is that it can be difficult sometimes to hack web page builder web forms. If you use software like Leadpages, Instapage, Clickfunnels, Optimize Press, Thrive Themes, etc. It may not be possible to do.
Integrating with email verification software API’s tends to work better if you have an HTML website.
Before you go this route, I suggest you consult with your programmer to have them confirm if they can make the API integration for you.
If they can, this is a good way to ensure high-quality leads and keep your email list clean.
Using LeadShield is by far the best, most automated and easiest solution of the three list cleaning methods.
LeadShield is an email verification service that integrates with your CRM or autoresponder in just a few clicks. It will then pull all your email lists and verify them automatically for you.
No programmers or technical knowledge is needed which is why this software is so easy to use.
There are a bunch of other powerful features LeadShield has like automatically moving your invalid emails to a different list so that they do not affect your email sender reputation.
You can learn more about LeadShield’s features here.
The downside to using LeadShield is that you may not be consistently building your email list. If you’re not, then paying a monthly fee to clean your lists may not be a good investment for your current business model.
How to run a re-engagement campaign to your unresponsive leads
Running re-engagement campaigns is another crucial element to keeping your email sender reputation high so that your emails get delivered to your customers.
Re-engagement campaigns are designed to segment out your inactive email subscribers, then put them through a re-activation email campaign to try to re-engage them again.
The reason this is important is that when your email subscribers are not opening or clicking your emails, your email sender reputation drops.
When that happens, your email deliverability drops. Which again means many of your precious subscribers are not receiving your emails.
In this section, I am going to teach you how to run a re-engagement campaign with your email list in just five simple steps. Here are the steps:
- Segment people who have not opened your emails in the past three months
- Email your un-opens
- Move individuals who have not opened your re-engagement email into a different CRM or autoresponder
- Email un-engaged leads separately or delete them
- Rinse and repeat every three months
Step 1: Segment people who have not opened your emails in the past three months
Log into your CRM or email autoresponder. Then, segment the people who have not opened an email within the last three months.
If you currently don’t know how to do that then contact your CRM or email autoresponder support team to ask.
If your CRM or email autoresponder does not have the ability to segment people who have not opened your emails, you need to switch companies FAST! I recommend Active Campaign.
Step 2: Email the un-opens
Once you have segmented the people who have not opened your emails within the past three months, you need to send them an email.
The key to this email is to use an attention grabbing subject line. Something like “My last email to you,” “I am leaving forever,” “I’m deleting you,” or any other subject line you come up.
In the body of the email, explain that you noticed they haven’t opened any of your emails in the past three months and you want to know if they still want to be on your email list.
Then you ask them to click a link that is in that email to let you know that they still want to receive your emails.
Tell them that if they do not click the link, that is a sign that they are no longer interested in hearing from you and you will remove them from your email list.
Step 3: Move people who have not opened your re-engagement email into a different CRM or Autoresponder
After five days, move any subscribers who have not opened your re-engagement email or have not clicked the link in the email into a different CRM or autoresponder.
If you do not have a backup CRM or autoresponder, you can move them to a separate list.
I do want to let you know that moving these subscribers to a different list as opposed to a different autoresponder account is not as effective.
The purpose of moving these subscribers to a different CRM or autoresponder account is so that these inactive and low-quality lead’s lack of engagement do not affect the email sender reputation of your main account.
Step 4: Email un-engaged leads separately or delete them
Now that you have successfully segmented your low-quality leads from your primary CRM or autoresponder account. It’s time to try to re-engage and monetize them by sending them emails.
You can duplicate the same emails you send to your primary email list. Or, you can create a different email to send to your low-quality leads.
Some people prefer to delete the deadweight as opposed to keeping them in a separate account forever.
I don’t, but if you would like to then a good time frame is six months. After six months of inactivity on your backup account, you can delete those inactive subscribers if you wish.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat every three months
Run re-engagement campaigns a minimum of every three months to keep your list as clean as possible.
A clean list will keep your email sender reputation high, which increases your email deliverability and gets your emails delivered to your customers inbox instead of the SPAM folder.
This last section of this article will teach you how to keep the email subscribers on your main CRM or autoresponder account active and interested…
4 Proven methods that will keep your leads active and interested
Keeping your leads active and interested is critical for many reasons:
- Email list activity increases your email sender reputation and email deliverability
- It extends the length of your relationship with each subscriber
- Helps you build your list faster because current subscribers will tell others about you
- The more active and interested your list is the more money you will make from it
- You can’t drive email traffic if your lists are not opening and clicking links in your emails
Time to dive into some proven methods that will keep your leads active and interested…
Method 1: Email frequently. At the minimum of once a week
There is a lot of email marketing competition now and days. According to Fortune Magazine, the average person receives 147 emails a day, wowzers!
Businesses are starting to catch on to the fact that email is the MOST POWERFUL form of traffic on the internet.
Emailing your list more often will help your customers remember who you are, why they gave you their email address, refreshes what value they receive by opening your emails, builds rapport, and helps your branding.
The frequency of emailing depends on the industry you are in. I suggest at least once a week no matter which industry you are in.
There can be exceptions. But, I assure you that emailing your list once a week at a minimum will only help you and not hurt you.
Another advantage to emailing more frequently is that you will get fewer spam complaints if people can remember who you are. People often join email lists, then forget and hit the spam button.
Have you done that? Yea, me too.
Method 2: Make your emails event based
Another great way to keep your list active and engaged is to use event-based emails.
For example, every first Monday of the month you could bundle together some products you own and then sell them to your customer base at a discount and call it “Massive Mondays.”
Here is another example, you could interview an industry expert under the age of 21 every week. Then every Wednesday you release the interview and call it “Wizkid Wednesday.”
The possibilities are endless!
If you implement this into your email marketing, you will keep your leads active, interested and generate more revenue.
Method 3: Make your emails engaging and entertaining
An old school but highly effective email tactic is to use personality and storytelling in your emails.
When you combine personality with story telling, your prospects get to know you better.
Everyone loves to be entertained so your subscribers will open your emails because they will enjoy reading them.
Be careful not to cross the line, though. Know your audience and be wise about how much personality you put into your emails based on that.
If you have a Christian email list and you are a person who uses a lot of profanity. You probably shouldn’t show that side of your personality in your emails.
Method 4: Link to useful information
Curation has become very popular online. HUGE sites like Huffington Post make a killing from curating content.
When you link to GREAT content in your emails, you become known for being an awesome content aggregator. Because of this, subscribers will open your emails and stay highly engaged.
Make sure the content you link to is GREAT content or curating won’t work.
Do you read a lot of blogs, magazines, courses? Listen to podcasts and audio books? Or consistently watch information videos?
Curating will work perfectly for you then.
Using this strategy will help you to drive more traffic when it’s time to do promotions that put money in your pocket because your list will be looking forward to your emails and trust your judgment.
Bonus: Different types of emails that can be sent to keep your list active
To help you get your creative juices flowing I wanted to provide a list of email types that you can use to keep your list active:
- Curated content
- Event based
- Sales promotional
- Company anniversary
- Coupon discount
- Time based discount
- Educational content
- Trending topics
- Featured subscriber
- Featured product
- Product review
- Best practices
Let’s quickly recap what you learned:
- How to find which traffic sources are giving you low-quality leads
- Top 6 tactics to get you higher quality leads
- The 3 most effective ways to clean your email list
- How to run a re-engagement campaign to your unresponsive leads
- 4 Proven methods that will keep your leads active and interested
Use these five tactics to collect high quality leads, identify and re-engage your low-quality leads, and increase your email sender reputation.
You might be wondering what to do next. Here are four simple action steps you can use to take your email marketing to the next level.
YOUR ACTION STEPS:
- Choose 1 of the 5 tactics from this article that you feel applies to your business.
- Implement those changes right away.
- Evaluate all the changes you have made. Make tweaks or changes if needed.
- Select a different tactic then rinse and repeat.
Share your opinions and questions by commenting below. We’d love to hear what you thought about this content!
About The Author Brandon Shelton is the Founder of Mechanical Marketing (a SAAS and digital information publishing company) who loves studying marketing and playing basketball.
He’s certified in Google Analytics, has helped grow ClickMagick to a 7-figure SAAS as a partner and Chief Growth Officer, CMO at Gearbubble (a 8-figure/yr ecommerce SAAS) and is the Founder of LeadShield.