Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow your membership website, but you have to get it right. In this article, we’ll cover how to run a successful email campaign—an effective means of reaching your membership-site goals.
Why Focus on Running a Successful Email Campaign?
Learning how to run a successful email campaign will help you grow your membership-site user base. Not only that, but email marketing also helps keep your membership-site subscribers engaged and ensures they renew when it’s time.
If you can persuade a visitor to join your email list, an invaluable channel of communication opens between you. Now you can send them high-value content and demonstrate your abilities and industry expertise.
When the time is right, you can use an email campaign to invite them to join your membership site, giving them an opportunity to access more of your valuable content.
Furthermore, once they’ve joined your membership program, your email campaigns will help keep them engaged.
Sending them links to content in your membership area, to new posts on your blog, and to other useful information will help strengthen your relationship and increase the chances of them staying a member.
So now that we’ve covered the “whys”, let’s look at the “hows” of running a successful email campaign.
Choose the Right Tools
The first step is choosing the right tools, and that means selecting an email marketing service that will manage your subscribers and send out your email campaigns.
You’ll also need to find a way to enable your website visitors to physically join your list.
A popular, free email marketing service is MailChimp, while more feature-rich premium options include ConvertKit and (our favorite) ActiveCampaign.
As for adding sign-up forms to your WordPress website, OptinForms is a good free option, while OptinMonster is one of the most powerful ways to add email sign-up, pop-up forms to any site.
If you're part of the MemberPress community, you can use the OptinMonster add-on to start using OptinMonster across your entire site.
You can also more precisely target your campaigns by member status so as not to inconvenience your existing subscribers.
Create a Welcome Message
Once a visitor makes the decision to join your list, they expect something in return, whether it’s a lead magnet or simply an email. It’s therefore important to welcome new subscribers to your list with an introductory message.
If you want to run a successful campaign, the first message of the campaign itself shouldn’t be the first email a subscriber receives from you.
Instead, use the autoresponder feature of your chosen email marketing tool to ensure each new subscriber is automatically sent at least one message as soon as they join your list.
Take the time to introduce yourself, explain the benefits subscribers can expect to receive, and ask the recipient a question to find out more about their expectations and how you can help them.
This information is invaluable when it comes to creating a successful campaign in the future.
Produce an Initial Email Sequence
Once you’ve sent that initial welcome message using the autoresponder, start creating a longer sequence of emails to be dripped out at set intervals.
When creating this sequence of emails for your campaign, remember to give more than you take.
If you want to run a successful campaign that helps you reach your membership-site goals, think about how you can help your audience as much as possible first. Only then can you ask them to perform an action that helps you.
Automate Everything You Possibly Can
Both previous steps included using the automation features of email marketing services to get things up and running.
However, it’s worth stressing the importance of leveraging automation when it comes to successfully continuing your email marketing campaign.
Be sure to explore the features of your email marketing software to find out what else you can automate.
Some tools let you trigger a new series of emails after a subscriber has completed a certain action.
This could include after a reader has clicked on a specific link in your email, abandoned their shopping cart, interacted with an element on your website, or done something else to indicate they’re ready to receive another campaign.
Analyze and Optimize
Sometimes creating an email campaign feels like shouting into the void. You never really know who’s receiving your emails, if they’re being opened, or, if you’re using automation, when they will be sent out.
However, thanks to the tracking and reporting tools found in the best email marketing services, you can now get good insight into how your subscribers are interacting with your content.
It’s highly recommended that you take the time to understand the reporting capabilities of your chosen tool. Being able to see which subject lines from your email campaigns have the highest open rates and which messages result in members unsubscribing can help you optimize your content for better results.
Effectively Manage Your List of Subscribers
In addition to analyzing how your email campaign content is performing, be sure to take a look at how your list subscribers are behaving.
With most email marketing services, your monthly fee is based on the number of subscribers you have. Therefore, it’s well worth your time to clean up your list by removing anyone who hasn’t been engaging with your content.
However, before you go pruning that list, there are a few things you can try to reengage inactive subscribers.
One approach is to identify users who may still be interested in your membership site but just don’t open your emails. To do this, you could try sending out an email campaign to just those subscribers, offering them a discount coupon on your product.
If they’ve been pondering whether to sign up or not, this offer should give them the nudge they need to move forward.
If they don’t, it’s probably safe to assume they’re no longer interested in your content and can be removed from your list.
Other options include sending an invitation to a webinar, a link to a poll, asking them directly why they aren’t engaging, or some other message to try and reawaken interest.
Inviting them to resubscribe to confirm their continued interest is another popular option.
While a big list may flatter your ego, if you want to run a successful email campaign, having an engaged list is your priority.
Use Your List!
If you really want to run a successful campaign, you have to actually use your list. It’s not uncommon to hear from website owners who’ve put in the effort to grow their list but then never get around to sending any messages.
Not only is this a wasted opportunity for you, you’re also letting your audience down. After all, they volunteered to join your list, giving you permission to email them, and they’re getting nothing?
Don’t let that happen. It doesn’t take much to run an email campaign. There’s no need to go all in with email marketing today. Creating a single autoresponder message to welcome new members is a great way to get started.
Then, whenever you have time, add another email to the sequence to start creating a drip-fed succession of emails that offer value, with a focus on your end goal.
What stage are you at on your journey in running a successful email campaign? Please let us know in the comments below.
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