Several weeks ago, we had the privilege of spending three days immersed in the Marketing United conference thrown by Emma. People from around nation and the world travelled to downtown Nashville to be a part of Emma’s first annual marketing conference.

We heard talks from people like Cody Jones from Infusionsoft and interacted with exciting companies like Avari. We came away with a wealth of knowledge to apply to our email marketing skills to help you succeed in reaching your audiences. Today we want to share several pieces of what we learned.

Personalize, segment, personalize, segment.

Sometimes it seemed like those were the only two words with any meaning at the conference. Personalize and segment. After a while, the words just sounded like gibberish.

Inboxes flood every day with retail promotions, company newsletters, ministry updates, blog posts, etc. it’s more vital now than ever to make sure that your emails are reaching the right audiences and impacting readers. Personalization is a powerful way to do that.

You can even take that concept one step further and segment your audience into groups according to donor level, content format desires, or content preferences, you instantly guarantee a higher conversion rate as well.

It’s no longer an option to just send all of your content to your entire audience. As Kim Alexander from Garden & Gun said, “I don’t want my subscribers to see an email from me and think, ‘ugh, not again.’” Utilizing personalization and segmentation guarantees higher conversion rates and a more faithful audience.

Automation is key

Automation follows on the heels of personalization and segmentation. Your followers, supporters and customers want to feel valued when they see an email from you, and automation can save you a lot of stress while still yielding great results. Whether it’s a simple automated welcome that gets sent out after someone signs up for a newsletter or blog subscription or an intricate web of emails based on user clicks and opens in previous emails, automated options are endless. Automation allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level without half the work of a normal campaign.  

It’s okay to lose subscribers

Numbers aren’t everything. You can have thousands of people in your lists but if no one is opening your emails and even fewer people are clicking through to your website, then your numbers don’t mean anything.

Analyze your audience and isolate inactive subscribers using segmenting tools. Keep them out of your daily or weekly email campaigns for three to six months and then re-engage them to find out if they missed your content. Follow up with surveys to find out why or why not. Not only will this weed out your email lists, but it’ll also give you more insight into what your remaining audience really wants from you.

Content is king—or at least, it should be.

During the conference, we got the chance to listen to a hilarious, refreshing talk by Ann Handley from Marketing Profs on how to creatively market yourself and your organization against your competition.

One of the points she brought up stunned us—If you covered up your logo, would people still know who you were based on the way you tell your story and market your brand. If no, evaluate the way you use tone and voice to get your message across. As Handley says, “Voice is the secret sauce of the recipe.” Content really is king and marketing your brand in a fresh voice that sets you apart from everyone else in your industry is essential to success.

Want more effective marketing? Contact us to see how we can help you optimize your email campaigns and branding to help you tell your story more powerfully.