If you’ve been around marketing for longer than 5 minutes, you have probably heard that email marketing campaigns are the single most effective way to make a profit. In fact, you’ve probably seen marketers share those huge percentages about just how high the return on investment can be with email.
I’m not going to bore you by repeating those stats here, I will merely confirm that the stories are true. Email is indeed the best way to create outrageously profitable marketing campaigns.
However, there is a catch. You actually have to know what you’re doing. The good news is that there is a relatively small number of things you have to take care of, in order to ensure you get those results.
Let’s get our terms right first
A lot of people misunderstand what an “email marketing campaign” is. But it is fairly easy to understand things if you look at the concept of campaigns in marketing in general.
If you look at a traditional flyer campaign, this might involve a company that sends a team of people to go out to a mall and hand out a flyer promoting their latest store location. In the case of this flyer campaign, the goal of the campaign is to promote this new location.
On the other hand, you might have this huge corporation that runs a series of different TV ads over a period of several months as a “campaign” to promote brand awareness.
These two examples might seem very different, but the one thing that they have in common is that they are both based around “achieving a single goal”. It doesn’t matter if a campaign is done in a single day by handing a single flyer to random people, or done over a period of time through a combination of tv ads, radio ads and billboards.
What this means in terms of email marketing campaigns
An email marketing campaign might involve sending a single broadcast to a big list, a series of broadcasts or it might involve an automated drip sequence.
If it involves multiple emails, the one thing that unifies them is that they are all working towards a certain goal. Just to be clear, they do not need to all have the same offer, link or CTA. They are however working towards one clearly defined purpose.
The biggest secret to highly profitable email marketing campaigns
If you’re like most people, you might be looking for a guide on how to set up “the one profitable campaign”. That right there is the biggest mistake. What you want to do instead is to set things up in such a way that you consistently produce highly profitable email marketing campaigns as a rule.
In fact, there is no “step by step” guide on how to make any one given campaign profitable if you don’t have the general foundations set up right. And in this guide, this is what we are going to do.
I am going to take you step by step, and turn you into the kind of marketer who can easily set up highly profitable email marketing campaigns. And it is a lot easier than you think. Just implement the following 5 key secrets in order to achieve massive success.
1) Pick the right platform
This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, as there are quite a few traps when choosing a platform. The irony is that unless you’re an email veteran, you’re likely to fall for some of the tricks that are used by the major platforms out there. Let me show you a great way of avoiding the pitfalls, it only involves two simple things.
The first thing: avoid decorative features and feature-based pricing
Here’s an industry secret for you. Most platforms make most of their money on novices who don’t know any better. This is one reason why we at Emercury attract highly-profitable veterans who run away from the fancy platforms designed to sucker in novices.
And when I say “don’t know any better” I’m referring to decorative features that don’t improve your profitability, yet increase the price tag. How are you going to create “highly profitable campaigns” if your platform punishes you for success?
Some of them create feature lock-ins where you have to upgrade to a much more-expensive plan the moment you need some small thing. And that higher plan includes even more decorative features that you do not need, won’t use and are still charged for.
Consider the model we have at Emercury. We focus on the core features, and let you plug-in best-of-breed solutions as you need them. The difference between our plans is mostly in terms of the level of service you get. We don’t use features to bully you into higher-level plans. To learn about this distinction, look at this point-by-point comparison versus another platform.
Second: Observe, do they mention things like deliverability, engagement and strategy?
This is the flipside of the first one. Most profitability in email marketing comes from your deliverability, engagement and strategy. Not from a shiny interface that lets you play around with “cool features” that make 0.1% difference in the real world.
If you ever talk to a veteran making millions from email, they spend a lot of time talking about deliverability, which is how well your emails get delivered. Or they discuss engagement, which is how people respond to your emails.
If a platform doesn’t even mention deliverability, I can promise you that their deliverability is probably quite bad. It doesn’t matter how good your campaigns are, if a large percentage do not even get delivered.
In fact, some of the most expensive platforms can have the worst delivery, which in turn costs you money. In essence they charge you for stuffing the platform with a bunch of decorative features that do not contribute to your bottom line, at the cost of sacrificing things that do actually matter, such as, again, deliverability.
At Emercury you will notice we focus a lot on email deliverability as well as strategy. When you get on Emercury, what you get is a human-based service, not a piece of software. Yes, you also get access to software, but it is merely a tool with which to implement the profitable strategies we help you come up with and utilize.
If you want to get a sense for the Emercury experience, consider booking a free demo to see what working with our strategic team is like.
2) Understand automations & broadcasts
You will send all of your emails in one of two ways. It will either be sent through a broadcast, or sent through automation.
The main mistake most people make is to focus on one to the exclusion of the other. But the truth is that the best marketers know how to use the two in a complimentary way.
To help you understand this, consider first reading our super-popular article on automations vs broadcast emailing. This will help you to understand when to use one or the other. Then, consider reading the follow-up article I crafted for Mailcon.
Next, you will want to get acquainted with the basics of setting up automations. This is very simple if you follow our beginner’s guide to email automation.
This popular guide is super-optimized to make sure you only do what is absolutely necessary to get 90% of the benefits, with maybe 5% of the effort.
Yes, there are more advanced and complicated levels in building automations, and we do cover them elsewhere on our blog. However, the truth is that if you just follow the recipe in this beginner’s guide, you can start setting up really effective automations that are more than good enough for highly profitable email campaigns.
3) Produce valuable content
Look, there is no way around this. Value-driven marketing is the only kind of marketing that works these days. And that is especially true in email marketing. You just can’t get away with just sending people offers and constantly just asking them to buy stuff.
You have to actually give them some sort of value and create engagement. In fact, the reason I put this point right in the middle of the 5 keys is because it is at the core of profitable email marketing.
If I can simplify profitability in email marketing and whittle it down to one thing, it would be engagement. The more engagement you get out of your list, the more money you will make out of your list.
And what is the number one thing that can increase your engagement? Well, it is producing and sharing more valuable content. There are of course other tricks as well, and you can learn about them in our super popular article: the secret to all email profits – engagement.
How this ties into running profit-generating campaigns
Just to clarify, this doesn’t mean you can never run a campaign that is focused on a special offer or a sale. You might have (for example) a black friday offer. Such an offer doesn’t need to include a bunch of valuable content.
It can be all about that great sale or offer you have going on that week. Tell people how much they will save, tell them time is running out, and link them to the discount page or coupon. No need to provide “valuable content” in the email as well.
But this is where I want to change your mindset and how you think
Making a campaign more profitable isn’t just about what you do inside of that one campaign itself. It is about everything that you do in your email marketing before that campaign.
And when it comes to creating engagement through valuable content, this is a priority in order to set a great foundation. This is why in general when we coach people on setting up their welcome sequences, we recommend delaying sales content and offers until people become hooked and engaged from all the pure value-driven content first.
And consider this, a campaign designed to create trust and engagement is also an email marketing campaign. Too many people in online marketing think that a campaign is when you go “buy buy buy now, special offer”.
Just remember those examples from traditional marketing. The goal of a campaign isn’t always sales. Sometimes it can be a proxy such as “increasing brand awareness”.
In terms of email marketing, you might have an automated campaign that welcomes people to your list. Or a campaign that introduces them to your brand and creates trust and loyalty.
Sending pure sales-driven campaigns to an engaged audience that craves getting your emails is like making money at the push of a button. The trick is making sure that they become such an engaged audience in the first place.
4) Measure and optimize
This is kind of a huge secret to profitability in all of marketing, and well business in general. The most profitable businesses measure their efforts and results. And then they tweak and optimize based on those measurements.
Fortunately, when it comes to email marketing, you only need to measure one thing, and that is engagement. And when it comes to tracking email engagement, you only need to keep track of two metrics: your open rates and your clickthrough rates.
Now, this isn’t to say that just looking at these two metrics will automatically make you into a wizard. I just want to point out that unlike with other channels, there isn’t an endless amount of possible metrics to look at. And this is kind of a liberating idea. It can make it a lot easier to get started and skip the procrastination stage.
I want to remind you of the mindset shift we’re going with here
These aren’t tricks to make any one given campaign more profitable. These 5 keys are about becoming more profitable with your campaigns in general.
And when it comes to measuring and optimizing things, it means looking at the metrics for every campaign, and then learning from the results. If it is an automated sequence, you can of course play around and tweak it. If it is a broadcast, you can try doing things differently with your next broadcasts and then look at your engagement metrics again.
You repeat this process until you are an expert on producing highly profitable campaigns. It really is that simple. You do have to put in the work, but the work itself isn’t too complicated.
And yes, I do realize that what I shared is kind of vague and just a general process. You might be asking “ok, but what tweak do I make in order to increase engagement by how much?”
However, I don’t know you, the reader, personally. And I don’t know your exact business model and specific offerings. This is necessary to give you a more specific tip or more personalized guidance. Consider that a service like this is in fact included in some of the Emercury plans though.
And if you’re not ready to get that plan immediately, consider requesting a free demo to get a sense for this personalized experience. We can schedule this meeting (for free), and you can tell me about your business and your specific needs and challenges.
5) Build up a high reputation
There are many reasons that experienced email veterans keep moving their huge lists to Emercury. One of the main reasons is something called “deliverability”. In the case of these list owners, simply moving to Emercury can often result in huge additional profits, just by making this switch.
So what’s the secret here, what is the big deal with this “deliverability” thing”? Well, let me ask you a question. When you send out a campaign with an amazing offer, how much money do you make from the subscribers who never get that email in the first place?
No, this is not a trick question, but one that makes you consider something that most email senders try to hide from you behind a wall of decorative features. You make exactly zero profit on emails that do not get delivered.
A lot of people are surprised when they hear this, because they assume delivery is a given when you buy a fancy expensive email-sending plan on a fancy email-sending platform. Here’s the funny part though: unless they go out of their way to talk about delivery, it is not part of the package.
They just “send” your emails, but do not care all that much if your emails actually get delivered and land into an inbox. Their focus is primarily on developing decorative features that get more inexperienced people to buy a subscription.
Here is the good news
Deliverability doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, everything we mentioned leading up to this point has a great impact on increasing your deliverability.
The one main thing that determines whether inbox providers accept your email and place it into the subscriber’s inbox? Well, this is what we call sender reputation.
And while it can get a bit more complicated, there is one major factor that helps you establish and maintain a great reputation, and that is producing good engagement.
The more your subscribers open your emails and click on your links, the better your sender score gets. And the best way to get and improve your engagement? Well, first, work to produce super-valuable content. And then second, track and measure the engagement, optimizing and tweaking as you go. This will get you to a pretty high engagement rate over time.
Now, with that said, while simply making sure to have great engagement is the main factor in your emails getting delivered, it is not the only factor. And deliverability is beyond the scope of this article.
You can go ahead and read our content on email deliverability, or (what I suggest instead) consider giving Emercury a try. Deliverability is at the core of our service, both in terms of features that center around deliverability, as well as a team that guides you by the hand and helps you achieve peak deliverability and more profitable campaigns.
The sixth key: Get someone on your side
You know, there is a saying about how experienced people learn from their own mistakes, but the really smart people learn from other people’s mistakes. The same is true when it comes to the smart marketers I know. They don’t want to waste time “learning from their own experience”. It’s a lot faster when you learn from other people’s experiences.
And here’s a funny thing, when you have access to a great mentor, this is exactly what you get. Access to someone else’s experience, so you know how to do things right and skip every mistake before it even comes up.
But do you know what’s even better than a mentor who has a lot of personal experience? One that has a ton of experience helping others. A mentor with a ton of personal experience, but also experience working with and helping hundreds of marketers just like you.
And wouldn’t you believe it, you just happen to be so lucky that you ran into just such an opportunity. You see, over here at Emercury we have been personally involved in the growth and success of thousands of marketers for over a decade. We have advised, helped and guided all of these marketers to more success and profits. This is just something that we see as integral to the Emercury experience.
And if you want to get a sense for that “Emercury Experience”, consider booking a free demo with our team. Isn’t it about time that you felt what it’s like to have someone on your side? Someone that is excited for, and cheering for your marketing success.
Because that is what we believe in. We don’t see Emercury users as “customers”, we see them as partners. The more profit they make from marketing, the more they will utilize our marketing platform. So it’s a general and overall win-win.