How can I turn email subscribers into customers?

by | Mon 11 May, 20

It’s a unique feeling, getting your first 50, 100, 1000 subscribers to your email list or newsletter, there’s just one problem – Not enough of them are buying! The convenience is high and the effort is minimal for somebody to subscribe to an email newsletter, but for them to click-through and buy your product or service takes a bigger effort. You have to make this step engaging, and worth the extra time and money for the reader.

Let’s start with the plain facts;
  • To become an email subscriber, it only takes 10 seconds and your email address
  • Personalised marketing emails attain better open and click-through rates
  • Not every email subscriber is going to be active, and not every email subscriber is going to take interest into every single one of your emails.

It’s all about personalisation:

If you’re consistently throwing emails out blindly, you’re not going to get much of an enthusiastic response. Personalised emails can deliver transaction rates 6 times higher than your typical one size fits all marketing email. Remember, your email subscribers aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, they’re genuine prospective customers who all have intentions to buy products in one form or another, whether they know it or not, that’s not your issue!

The main focus on your email’s subject line should be tailoring it to every subscriber you’ve got. Yes – This might appear time-consuming on the tin, but you can use a whole host of tools. 

One of the best known tools is the merge tag feature in Mailchimp. A merge tag takes your subscriber list and gives you the ability to use fillers for different areas of your email template. This means you can send out emails that are tailored to each subscriber, you might make the filler tailor towards their first name, their username, or their email address. 

You don’t just have to focus on the subscriber’s name and user, you could personalise your subject lines so it references their nearest store, or one of your products that might suit the subscriber (We’re talking more here about the male-female, old-young splits – Which also work, but provide a more generalised scope).

How can i turn email subscribers into customers?

Get Segmenting!

If you have your email subscriber list together in one place, it’s time to begin segmenting your list. You want to be sending emails to different groups of people so that the right emails reach the right person at the right time. Without prior segmentation, your emails are going to be left alone by a lot of your subscribers, either because they’re not relevant enough, or not useful enough to that specific subscriber. Less than 15% of email subscribers agree that more than half of the emails they receive are useful.

A good segmentation strategy is to use the sales funnel – Sending emails based on where your subscribers are in terms of how close they could be to becoming a customer.

Stage 1 – Awareness

For your newest subscribers, you want to make them aware of your products/services, and the solution you can provide to them. This can be content such as a welcome email, links to your website, your blog and social media channels, or things like podcasts, photos & digital catalogues.

Stage 2 – Evaluation

For your active subscribers, (i.e. those who will have grasped the style of your content and the services you provide) your 2nd segmented email list should be with the sole intention of converting subscribers into leads. A lead isn’t a sale, more a piece of bait (No – your subscribers aren’t fish, but they will leap onto the resources you use in these emails just like a fish would try to take the bait from a fishing hook).

To turn your subscribers into viable leads, you’re going to need to give them resources that are useful to them, so you are providing them with a viable excuse to buy. Offer special discounts in your email campaigns, provide downloadable links to membership plans, provide a sign-up form for your loyalty club. You should be testing out anything that will help your subscribers make an informed buying decision.

Stage 3 – Conversion

This list is built on those subscribers who have seen all of your resources and are now in the psychological pipeline to buy. We want to maximise the number of subscribers that successfully make a purchase. Depending on your offering, you could send out a demo kit, or a free trial. If you’re giving them a free taster of what your product or service is, it’ll be the best chance you have of converting them from a subscriber to a purchasing customer.

Follow up your demo and trial emails with subject lines like these:

  • “Harry, your trial period is about to expire – Start your full journey here
  • “Enjoyed your demo experience? Why not get started today”
  • “Free trial ending soon, Gemma? We would hate to see you go…”

Don’t wait until their taster experience is over, keep reminding them (But don’t over-do it with the frequency of contact) – If they have signed up for a month’s free trial, perhaps send a gentle reminder after each week, urging them to opt into your full service. You could offer a lifetime discount, a free referral code, a beginner’s guide – Whatever your industry is, provide your prospective customer with a little package that tempts them to stay with you long term.

It’s not efficient to just send one string of email to your subscribers, as there’s no way you can test different approaches quickly, you can’t do A/B approaches, and you aren’t utilising the different types of subscribers you have in ways that increase the chances of them converting into customers.

How can i turn email subscribers into customers?

Showcase the benefits of your product/service, not the features

A great email marketing campaign will showcase your products or services in a customer-centred way. It’s all happy days if you’re showcasing the features your product or service offers, but it’s no use to a subscriber who doesn’t know how it would help them.

Promoting the features is self-absorbing, disconnecting, and unemotional to your email subscribers. Sure – Your new range of customised laptops might come with an Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, but to somebody who isn’t proficient in PC specs, but is considering buying a PC, this means nothing to them.

Instead, tell your subscribers this PC is a must-buy, it will transform the speed of their multi-tasking needs, a start-up will take less than 10 seconds, you can store as many songs and videos as you like with instant access. Think of benefits to your product that will benefit the modern customer, those benefits that will trigger an emotional response, and make them think, “to be fair, that will help me out a lot when I’m doing A, B, C…”. 

In such a technologically advancing world, it is important to give your subscribers products and services that are relevant and will give them valid benefits now, and into the future, regardless of whether they are a B2C perspective, or another business owner (B2B marketing). Dynamic product recommendations can boost email CTR by 35%, so make sure you stay relevant, stay new, and keep your subscribers enticed by the benefits to THEM, and not the features that make YOU the best.

Another thing to make sure on is to find the perfect frequency as to where your emails get the most engagement. Depending on your industry, a daily email could be wasteful, but an email once per week could see open rates and CTR soar. You might find you get more subscribers turning into leads on a certain day of the week, so you could send out more promotions on that said day.

You might even find a lot of your subscribers are engaging well, but it seems they’re hesitant to buy. Offer legitimate social proof, such as testimonials and samples of some of the best reviews from your website or store in your email newsletter campaigns.

Hey, should you need a little help getting better conversions from your email campaigns, our 7-Step Success Formula For Sending Lead Generating Email Campaigns can help you turn subscribers, into customers.

Remember – Every email list subscriber is a potential customer, your job is to take the steps to guide them to make their first purchase…

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