What is an email marketing pipeline? Think of it as a pipeline or funnel you use to direct the masses to an introduction point for your offer. This would be your web site or capture page. If they are interested in learning more, they fill out the form on your site and they are now entered in to your email marketing pipeline (your database).
Once they are in the pipeline, your autoresponder begins following up, sharing information, building rapport, and sorting. How does your autoresponder sort?
Each of your messages should include a call to action. If the reader wants to place an order, you should give them a “click here to order now” line, image, etc… If the reader has questions, you should let them know how to contact you to ask those questions. If the reader is no longer interested and wants out of your email marketing pipeline, they can click a simple removal link.
You can even check your back office to sort your list even further by looking at open rates and click-through rates.
Understanding this approach to list building and follow up can give you a massive advantage over most online marketers. Far too many people are tossing up a sales page and driving traffic to that page in the hopes of getting sales. This is an incredibly ineffective process.
Instead, using a pipeline like we describe above, you are able to effectively control the steps in the process. Let’s look at those steps and see how you can use them to make marketing decisions for your offer.
Capture Page It starts with the capture page. This should be the first thing someone sees when they click a link or visit your site. The capture page shows them what is available and invites them to ask for more information. This is where a good lead magnet can come in handy. Bribing your visitors just may be a good way to get more prospects in to your pipeline.
Testing Your Capture Page Do NOT Skip This Step! If you are driving traffic to your capture page and getting zero response, this does NOT mean you have failed. It simply means you’ve got changes to make. If you know the offer itself is solid, the things to look at and test include your headline, the copy itself, the lead magnet (if you are using one). Also, check to see how your capture page looks on mobile devices, tablets, desktops, etc… Sometimes, a simple adjustment can make all the difference.
Follow Up Letters Once you are getting requests for more information, your autoresponder begins taking over and sending your follow up letters. These are the letters you created in your autoresponder campaign. These letters need to have balance between building rapport, solving a problem, and asking for the sale.
Testing Your Follow Up Letters This is more involved but absolutely critical to your success. It starts with the basics.
Are your subscribers not confirming their subscription request? You may want to add a custom subscription confirmation page to make sure they know what to expect right after they subscribe. This double opt-in process assures that you have high quality interested prospects in your pipeline.
Once they have confirmed their subscription, are they opening the letters your autoresponder is sending? You can view and track your open rates in your back office at any time. Got a low open rate? Make sure you are giving yourself the best shot at success by personalizing your subject lines. Make sure your subject line is able to draw interest but not be too “spammy” looking. This will vary quite a bit from industry to industry but a little common sense can be very helpful, here. Testing subject lines may help you get better open rates.
Once the message has been opened, are your readers taking action? Are they clicking through on your call to actions? Your back office allows you to collect click-through rates, so you can track this, as well. If you are not getting click-throughs, here are some of the elements you can test: The call to action itself. Is it good? Is it clear? Are you using images, links, or both? Where is the call to action in your message? Is there only one, or do you have 3? Do you compel your reader with your call to action to make them want to click through to take the next step?
This part of the process is definitely more involved, but can lead to dramatic improvements in close rates.
A well designed and well managed email marketing pipeline can be the difference between a company that succeeds and the next “Well, that didn’t work” story.
Take the time to build a solid pipeline. Test for results. Make the necessary changes. When you are getting the results you are looking for, open the flood gates with your promotions and begin reaping the benefits of a job well done!
Feel free to share your own email marketing pipeline comments, questions, or stories in the comments, below.