There’s no denying that email marketing should be an important part of any brand’s strategy in 2020. Email allows you to connect with people long after they’ve left your website, giving you the opportunity to continue building a relationship with them.

And who knows where that relationship may lead? That subscriber just might become your next client or customer! This is why it’s so important to take email marketing seriously and be smart about how you’re growing your list and what you’re sending.

That’s why we had to make it a topic for #ContentWritingChat.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Mastering Email Marketing in 2020 with Liz Willits

Our guest host for this month’s #ContentWritingChat was Liz Willits. Liz is actually a content strategist on the AWeber team, which is an email marketing platform that you’re probably familiar with. She’s also a keynote speaker and marketing consultant. We were so excited to have her join our chat so she could share some of her expertise. Let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: Why should email marketing continue to be a priority for brands this year and into the future?

If you need a little convincing that email is still worth your time, you’ll want to check out a few of the responses we got during the chat. They’ll prove exactly why email is still valuable today and will be well into the future.

As Liz said, email is an amazing way to get the attention of your audience. And let’s be honest, that’s not always easy to do on social media. With ever-changing algorithms and pay-to-play tactics, it’s often hard to get discovered. Email makes this easier and it’s more affordable than having to pay to “boost” every social media post you publish.

Another important thing to consider is that we don’t own any of the social media platforms we use. Should they shut down one day, we would lose the community we’ve built on those platforms. That’s why it’s important to get those people onto your email list (which you actually own).

Plus, email provides a simple and effective way to talk one-on-one with your community. Provide value. Answer questions. And get to know them better!

Q2: Getting people onto your email list is an important first step. How do you do this?

People aren’t going to be inclined to sign up for any old email list because they’re not always quick to hand over their contact information. So, if you want to boost your subscribers, you have to be smart about getting them to sign up!

Liz’s advice is to offer some sort of free lead magnet via a sign-up form or a landing page. This allows you to deliver something of value in exchange for their name and email address. Once you’ve created a lead magnet, make sure you’re taking action to spread the word about it.

When creating your lead magnet, think about what your target audience struggles with and how you can help them. That’s going to be irresistible and will surely attract new subscribers.

If you’re running an online shop, take Lexie’s suggestion of offering a first-time buyer discount. Everyone loves to save money and people will happily join your list if they know they’ll be getting a discount code.

You can really get creative with your lead magnets. They can be videos, checklists, printables, and even mini courses. It helps to ask your audience what would be most appealing to them.

And make sure you keep Michelle’s advice in mind. Start your list before you actually need it. Don’t wait until you have something to launch to start building a list. Begin attracting subscribers now and prioritize nurturing those relationships.

Q3: Once you have subscribers, you want to keep the list warm. How can we write emails that actually generate opens, click-throughs, and conversions?

Keeping your list warm is going to require you to stay in touch with your audience on a regular basis. Don’t go ages without emailing them, otherwise they just might forget all about you! Plus, people won’t stick around if you’re sending content they don’t love. Here are some tips:

Liz says to identify your audience’s pain points and send emails that help solve them. Everyone wants a solution to their biggest problems, right? So, make sure you’re providing that to your subscribers! It’s all about adding value.

And if you aren’t sure what your audience is struggling with, it never hurts to ask. Talk to them via email or social media or you can even send out a survey.

Once you’ve got a great idea for the body of your email, crafting a click-worthy subject line is just as important. Your subject is the first thing they’ll see. And you want to leave them intrigued and wanting more so they’ll actually open the email.

It also helps to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. As Bill said, think about what kind of email you would feel compelled to open. What would make you click a link or ultimately make a purchase? Keep that in mind as you craft your copy and your call to action.

Storytelling is always a powerful tactic when it comes to email marketing, so don’t be afraid to take your subscribers on a journey with you.

You’ll also want to consider current trends and what’s going on in the world when you’re sending emails so you can ensure nothing comes off as inappropriate.

Q4: Which stats should we pay close attention to in order to track email marketing success?

To continue improving your email marketing, stats are an important part of the game. They’ll indicate what’s working and what’s not so you can make changes as needed. Here are some things to keep an eye on:

Liz suggests watching stats like open rates, click-through rates, sales, unsubscribers, and bounce rate. Especially if you’re selling something, you’ll want to keep an eye on how many people are clicking through to your site and how many are actually converting.

Carla always tracks her open rates and click-through rates. Her open rates allow her to see which email subject lines perform the best, thus shaping the content she creates in the future.

As Lexie said, clicks indicate what’s valuable to a subscriber. What seems to be getting the attention of your audience? That’s a good way to see what kind of content appeals to them and addressed their needs.

Another stat to track is how long someone is actually spending on your page. Valuable content means they’ll be more inclined to stick around longer!

Response rate is also great to track. Are your emails generating conversations with your subscribers? And what kind of overall response are you getting? Is it positive or negative? What can you learn from these conversations to create amazing emails moving forward?

And one last thing to keep in mind… Don’t just check your stats for the first 24 hours after your email was sent. Rachel suggests coming back in 48 hours to review the response your email marketing garnered.

Q5: What if open rates and conversions are low? What can be done to improve this?

When you want people to read your emails, you want to see a high open rate. And when you want to make sales, you want to see skyrocketing conversions. But if this isn’t happening for you, how can you change it? Check out these tips:

Liz’s advice is to start off by sending a few emails that are going to be very valuable to your target audience. It sets them up for what to expect with your list. And when they see that you consistently deliver high-quality emails, they’ll want to open what you send in the future. She also said this will help if you have any deliverability issues with your emails because providers will see that people do want your content in their inboxes.

Liz also says it’s smart to A/B test your emails to see what increases your open rates and click-through rates. This will tell you so much about what resonates with your audience.

Bill feels that content fails for three reasons: the wrong message, the wrong audience, or the wrong timing. It would be wise to ask yourself if any of these are the case when it comes to an email that didn’t perform as well as you hoped.

Another great tactic is to segment your list so you can target your content based on the interests of your subscribers.

It also never hurts to seek feedback from your audience. They’ll tell you exactly what they like if you simply ask them! What would they like to see more of from you? What makes them open an email? Get some tips from them and tweak your email marketing accordingly to do some testing.

Q6: What are some important types of emails that you should send to your list?

Get ready to write! These are some emails that you should be sending!

Liz says you should send a welcome email, a survey to get to know your subscribers better, and send some emails based on actions that subscribers take. This allows you to really tailor your content to their interests and needs.

It’s also smart to send out any announcements, new features or offers, and some fun stuff here and there!

Rachel enjoys sending out quarterly or monthly updates. She also sends emails for product launches, links, and she’ll do a pulse check for pivots.

Just remember to make sure what you send out is actually valuable!

Q7: What are your go-to tools for handling email? And do you have any resources for learning more about mastering email marketing?

The tools you use are really going to make things so much easier for you when it comes to email. Plus, resources help you become a better marketer too! Here are some suggestions to check out:

For Liz, she’s all about AWeber. As a Content Strategist for their team, she sees first-hand how it can handle email automation, newsletters, forms, landing pages, and much more.

Optin Monster is another favorite for many content creators, as is Mailchimp.

And of course, Canva really comes in handy for creating amazing email graphics!

Resources like Hootsuite and Hubspot will really help you out!

And of course, there’s also blog posts from Neil Patel!

Q8: Open Q&A for our guest host, Liz!

Here are a couple responses Liz shared to questions asked during the chat:

Liz knows that social media algorithms can be tricky! That’s why email is so important because it allows you to easily connect with your list.

She also said to never buy an email list, always test and review emails, and make sure you clean your list regularly.

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest.

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