Understanding your email subscribers is one of the best ways to increase your sales through email marketing.
If you think about it, what’s one of the first things you do when you rise up? If you are a workaholic like me, it would be checking your email.
Research shows that in 2021, 4.03 billion people around the world use email. And that number is expected to grow to 4.48 billion by 2024. There is no digital platform that comes close in potential reach than emails. And that’s one of the reasons email marketing is very powerful.
On top of that, according to Hubspot, around 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement in 2020.
On top of that, email marketing has been proven to have the highest return on investment for small businesses.
But in order for you to get high ROI from email marketing, the first and foremost step to take is to understand your email subscribers.
In this blog post, I share my thoughts and experience on how to understand your email subscribers and turn them into customers and brand advocates.
There is a simple saying in email marketing that says:
Email marketing is about sending the right message to the right people at the right time.
So let’s dissect that. There are essentially three components.
- Right message
- Right people
- Right time
But how do you know and find these? The following four methods have helped me and my clients optimise our email marketing campaigns.
Use Analytics Tools
I am a big advocate for using analytics and measurement tools to understand your target audience, website visitors, and certainly, your email subscribers.
Using analytics and measurement tools help you understand your email subscribers on a profound level. But first, we need to talk about what we are trying to learn. Here are some questions to help guide this process.
- Is our email content giving them value?
- Is our email content educating them?
- Is our email content building trust?
- Do we understand what our email subscribers are looking for?
- Are we helping our email subscribers solve their problems?
- Are we communicating our email content in ways that they can understand and engage with?
- Are they becoming more interested and engaged over time?
- Are they taking sales actions or showing signs of making buying decisions?
So, what analytics tools can you use to get more perspective on these questions? Here are 3 main types of tools that can help you.
- Website Analytics (Google Analytics)
You can measure how people are interacting on your site after they receive your emails. What content and pages they spend time on and engage with is a good indicator. Also, how much time they spend on your website can explain how engaged they are. With a tool like Google Analytics tracking traffic coming from your emails, there is so much you can do and track to learn more about your email subscribers.
- Email Marketing Analytics
If you use an Email Marketing platform like ActiveCampaign, you can track and measure an extensive list of metrics that help you understand your email subscribers better. For starters, you can measure open rates and click rates. But there is much more to do.
One of my favourite ways to how engaged email subscribers are is to develop an engagement score. An engagement score or qualification score is something you create and is not a standard metric. It is essentially a way to ascertain how engaged someone is based on the actions they take.
You might say that every time someone opens an email, they get +1 point. If they click on a link, they get +5 points. If they download a pdf or add a product to the cart, they gain +10 points, and so forth.
And that’s just scratching the surface of what you can learn and understand about your email subscribers.
- Social Media Analytics
Social media platforms are a great place to learn more about your email subscribers. After all, your email subscribers are your potential customers. Paying attention to what your target audience is saying, doing, reacting on social media brings a valuable perspective. It also helps you understand what content they would be more likely to engage with.
One of the best tools that can help you understand your target audience better on social platforms is Mention. However, you can also go yourself to the social platforms that your target audience spends the most time on and do some digging. For example, if you go on Facebook, you can search for video and posts on a topic and see how people comment and react to that content. You can go to specific groups and see what types of posts get the most attention.
Talk To Your Customers & Prospective Customers
Talking to your customer and prospective customers is another great way to learn about your email subscribers. Whether it’s a face-to-face interaction or an online poll, there are several ways to getting direct insights from your target audience.
Hotjar is a great tool to use if you want to do an online poll on your website and get insights from your site visitors.
A/B Testing is perhaps the holy grail of understanding your email subscribers. By A/B testing your emails, you can learn what works better. From email content, subject lines, call-to-action, and email journeys, there’s a lot to test.
To conduct successful A/B testing, you need to ensure you do the following.
- Come up with a hypothesis – i.e. changing the subject line would increase open rates
- Control your variables – don’t A/B test several hypothesises at the same time
- Collect enough data and sample size
- Make changes only after you have enough evidence
Develop Your Buyers Personas
Developing buyer personas is a vital exercise every business should do. If you haven’t already, I suggest you do. Here’s an entire blog post on how you can conduct a buyer persona exercise.
A buyer persona will help you understand your subscribers’ challenges, goals, motivations, values, and interests.
For example, you might end up having a buyer persona, Kevin Smith; a 25-year-old male looking to become an entrepreneur, has some savings but doesn’t have enough experience to start a business and is looking to break out of his 9-5 job and create his own business.
A buyer persona tells you a lot more about your email subscribers than most marketing research data.