In week six of my Growth Marketing Scholarship by the CXL Institute, I went through the following courses:
- Product Messaging
- Email Marketing
Here’s everything I learned:
1. Writing the First Draft
What’s the structure of a home page?
- UVP — Outcome/result your customer wants + unique quality of your product.
- Motivation — the problems of your target audience.
- Value- the qualities that make your product better than everyone else is.
- Anxiety — address uncertainties, objections, perceived risks.
- CTA — motivate the user to buy your product.
Where can we get ideas about the copy?
- Surveys / Polls.
- Online Reviews.
- Remote User Tests.
- 1-on-1 Interviews.
Here are three steps to avoid staring at a blank page:
- Add the most dominant messages in our VOC spreadsheet from each conversion element category into the template.
- Where possible, replace each message with verbatim swipes from your spreadsheet into a “you”-focused, second-person narrative.
- Identify any areas that can (or should) be strengthened with social proof and/or 3rd-party proof points.
2. Editing or “Punching Up” Your Sales Page
Seven simple rules to effective edit your sales copy:
- Be clear, even explicit.
Remember — clarity trumps persuasion.
If you don’t say it, your reader won’t see it. Your reader can’t read your mind. Put it on the page. Tell your reader what they need to know.
- Match the reader’s mindset.
A well-researched, message-matched headline will often outperform an un-researched “persuasive-trick” headline.
- Blow them away with value.
Create a list of specific, happy outcomes and eliminate specific pain points. Then, prove all of them with data and testimonials.
- Use quantifiable proof, if possible.
- Paint a picture by:
#1: Lift “word pictures” from customers.
#2: Replace general nouns with specific ones.
#3: Replace generic adjectives with vivid ones.
#4: Replace weak verbs with punchy ones.
#5: Call out your reader and their needs!
- Show and tell generously.
- Cut anything that’s not doing real work.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is it reflecting or matching motivation?
Is it conveying or clarifying value?
Is it proving a claim?
Is it addressing anxiety?
Is it adding authenticity or specificity to your claim?
3. Formatting & Laying Out Your Sales Page
Here are a couple of design factors that can improve the effectiveness of your copy:
#1: The position of each piece of copy on the page.
#2: The size of each piece of copy.
#3: The order of each piece of copy.
#4: The amount of space/clutter around your copy.
#5: The typography of your copy.
#6: Directional cues toward (or away from) your copy.
#7: Color contrast vs background, imagery, buttons
4. Email Marketing Basics
Email can send direct:
- At the time that it’s most relevant to the recipient.
- With the products/content that are personalized.
- Can track individual recipient engagement and automate your follow up.
The average email read rate is 25–30% compared to < 10% on social media.
Email drives the best ROI of any marketing channel: $38 for every $1 invested.
The Anatomy of an Email:
- Subject Line
- Branded graphic header
- Main message
- Supporting Message
5 things you should always do:
- Get permission
Subscribers should opt-in (not be auto-opted in.) You should set expectations on frequency, value, security. You shouldn’t harvest email addresses from websites
- Follow the Law — CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
You should do the following things — accurately identify the sender, create an opt-out mechanism, include a physical address (or P.O. Box) and don’t commit fraud. If you don’t do these things, the ISPs can take legal action.
- Have a Testing Plan
Opens < Clicks < Conversions
✔ Subject lines
✔ Day of week
Also watch your:
- Use Email’s Secret Weapon: DATA
Personalization + Segmentation + Automation + Optimization
5 things you should never do:
- Don’t Start from Scratch
Email = Blog + Social + Video ++
- Don’t Use One Big Image or a Bunch of Small Ones
- Don’t Buy an Email List
If you want to grow your list quickly, instead invest in:
➔ Media: digital media, sponsored emails, etc.
➔ SEO/Inbound lead generation.
➔ Register-to-Win (and other email sign-ups) promotions.
➔ In-store (or in-air) sign up scripts and contests.
- Don’t Ignore Mobile
- Don’t Send Without a Pre-Flight Check.
5. How to Optimize Your Email Marketing List Growth
How to grow your email list:
✔ Send regularly (at least 1x/month.)
✔ Deliver relevant, valuable, engaging content.
✔ Monitor your inbox placement.
✔ Welcome & warm-up new subscribers, clients, or prospects.
✔ Clean out bad addresses and repeated bounces regularly (and automatically.)
✔ Remove those who unsubscribe and complain immediately (and automatically.)
✔ Consider trimming inactive subscribers (or sending to them less frequently.)
✔ First, try to re-engage them with your best content (or an explicit invite to “come back.”)
How NOT to grow your email list?
- Don’t buy, rent, trade, or borrow lists.
- Don’t harvest addresses. Scraping emails from the web or guessing at them and auto-opting in is illegal.
- Don’t assume permission. It’s illegal in most countries (if not the U.S. yet) and a bad quality list growth tactic globally. Ask for and EARN your subscribers’ permission.
Here’s how you can optimize your sign-up form:
✔ Perfectly placed at the end of content consumption.
✔ (TIP: Try lightboxes upon “exit intent” for 4–8x faster growth.)
✔ Requested an email address in exchange for larger content offers (webinars, eBooks, etc.)
✔ At least one invite should be on the home page.
✔ Value (news, education, coupons, downloads)
✔ Set frequency
✔ Promise privacy!
- Progressive Profiling
Email List Building 2.0 — Partners:
✔ Choose a relevant, symbiotic partner who has the attention of your target audience.
✔ Swap content, not lists.
✔ Offer value and entice subscribers to opt indirectly for your emails.
✔ Swapping offers may not always fit.
✔ Exclusivity of the offer matters.
Email List Building 2.0 — Paid Media
✔ Unless you offer eCommerce, garnering an email opt-in should be a goal for media campaigns.
✔ Pay-per-acquisition email ad placement.
✔ Custom audience targeting (Pair with your existing email list to find more people like your best subscribers/customers.)
✔ Partner with data vendors if possible i.e. what to do with that email list you were looking into buying.
Email List Building 2.0 — Get Creative!
Where does your audience spend time?
How ELSE can you reach them?
6. Optimizing Email Marketing Copy & Design
Keep it Skimmable (not necessarily Short.)
Email Design/Style Should Fit the Message.
Text-only emails can work better in sales automation, and B2B or nonprofit marketing automation.
Email Marketing design must consider accessibility for all readers & devices.
Make Design Accessible… With Images Off.
In order to blend images and text, we need to design on a “grid.”
The Email Grid
Think in terms of cutting images — we have to use straight lines to cut and don’t want to “split” an image if we don’t have to.
Think in terms of cutting images — we have to use straight lines to cut and don’t want to “split” an image if we don’t have to. Background images are finally ok,* but also should be avoided if possible.
In 2018, up to 60% of subscribers read email on a phone or tablet.
Mobile-Friendly Email Design Quick Tips:
✔ Lots of white space between headlines, body copy, and calls to action.
✔ At least 40px tall/wide buttons.
✔ Bigger font: Minimum 14pt font size for body copy that sizes up on mobile devices (25–30pt.)
7. Using Data to Drive Email Marketing Relevance and Results
Data can — and SHOULD — inform the content, timing and impact of our email marketing programs.
Test & Learn
What metrics to watch:
✔ Views (Opens)
✔ Click-to-View rate
✔ Purchases or donations
Remember: Define your metrics for success first!
Thank you for reading this article!