The success or failure of email marketing
For some, email marketing is a very effective tool, but for others it fails to yield any results whatsoever. For email marketing to be effective, it is essential to have real insight into your market and to thoroughly understand your potential customers and their demands. But you won't be able to gain this understanding with one-sided communication, instead, you will need to develop two-sided, dialogue-like communication with your customers and potential customers.
There are three basic tools for developing two-sided communication in email marketing.
- Emails replies: Either use a sender email address that your subscribers can actually reply to or set a reply-to email address. Taking the time to read the emails you receive from your newsletter subscribers will help you assess whether your content is engaging and useful for your subscribers.
- Reports: Email open rates and click-through rates show you how relevant the subject line and the content of a given email was for your readers relative to your other emails.
- Surveys: The surveys (forms) you conduct among your readers and prospects will provide you with the essential feedback you need to understand the different attitudes, demands, and opinions of the market. While the previous two tools provide you with relatively little (or lower quality) information, various surveys can collect plenty of insightful information for you much faster, in higher quality, and at a lower cost than other methods.
Once you have gathered enough information with a number of excellent surveys, you have two ways of utilizing that information to boost the effectiveness of your marketing:
- Finding the perfect offer*: If you have a better understanding of your target market, then it will be way easier to find the offers that will prove to be effective in your online marketing campaigns.
- Presenting the offer*: The second element of every successful campaign is presenting the offer, which includes the words you use, the mood you create, etc. If you understand your market, you won't wonder how to speak to it.
* we use the word 'offer' in the broadest sense, where it means more than just the core product or service offer of your business. It basically includes anything that you present to your audience in order to receive some kind of response from them. In this sense, an opt-in or even a click-through might be called an offer, because you are offering some kind of value to your visitor or reader in exchange for a click-through or opt-in.
Conducting surveys with SalesAutopilot
SalesAutopilot is an outstanding tool for using forms to conduct and evaluate surveys and then to apply the survey results to your future communications.
Here are some examples:
- Surveying your newsletter readers to find out what they are interested in reading about.
- Surveying potential customers to find out what they don't like about the products or services of your competitors.
- Surveying potential customers to find out how important certain aspects of a product or service are to them.
- Surveying potential customers to find out how important it is for them to solve certain problems.
- Surveying your customers a month after their initial purchase to find out what questions / problems they have encountered.
- Regular customer satisfaction surveys.
- Surveying the future participants of an event to find out the expectations they have.
The process of creating your survey
We have listed the 6 steps of creating a general survey below. Of course, as you start to have more practice with SalesAutopilot, you will see that you can deviate from some of these steps.
1.) Planning your survey. First, it's worth taking some time to consider the questions you will ask, who you will ask, the format you expect for the responses, how you will evaluate those responses, and how you will utilize the results in the future. Another important question is how you will motivate your readers and customers to fill out the survey.
2.) Adding the response fields to the list. Once you have selected the list of subscribers you will survey, you then have to expand the list with the fields that will contain the responses to your survey. You can add these fields on the List fields page. (If you forget to add a field, you will be able to add it with the form wizard, but it's more convenient to do it on the List fields page.) You can find the details here.
3.) Create the form and its Thank You page. SalesAutopilot's built-in form wizard makes creating the update form for your survey fast and easy. You can find the details here.
4.) Refining the look of your form. If you would like to use a form that not only matches, but perfectly fits into your corporate image, then you will have to give the source code of your SalesAutopilot form to your webmaster who can fine-tune its design. Once he or she is done, you will have to upload the source code of the altered form to SalesAutopilot by opening the original form, going to the "Upload" tab and pasting the form's source code into the appropriate field. You can find the details here.
5.) Creating the email that prompts the survey. There are two ways of having your subscribers fill out update forms. The first, which is more commonly used, is to create the email (or emails) which ask the subscriber to fill out the survey, and then you use the "Insert Merge Tags" ( […] ) function to simply insert the form's link. The second way of doing surveys is to take the source code of the update form (the survey itself), copy it, and paste it into the Thank You page of an already existing signup form (on the "Upload" tab). Thus you will create a two-step signup process where the visitor subscribes on the first page, and then in addition to that, they can fill out your survey (update form) on the second page if they want to. This is a win-win situation for you: those who don't fill out the form have already subscribed, and those who do fill out the form will provide you with valuable information.
6.) Testing the system. As it is with every complex system, it is crucial that you test how your system works. In the case of a survey, this means that you send the survey prompting email to yourself with a test delivery, you click on the link that opens the form, you fill out the form, and then you check your list to see if all the information was added to the list correctly. Actually, this last step is only necessary if you had your webmaster "re-tailor" the form. If that wasn't the case, then you can be sure that SalesAutopilot added all the information to your list correctly.