Email Growth Hacks for Successful Marketers

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Growth Hacking Your Email with up to 20% Increases in Opens and Clicks Using “Rocket Science”

Growth hacking is hotter than Hansel. Rightly so, as it takes the best parts of consumer mass marketing, omni-channel social media, email best practices, a spicy pinch of guerrilla marketing and the magic of a MMORPG. Throw in some sweet tech tricks and you have a potentially profitable stew. Two of the leading voices advocating growth hacking techniques are Growth Hacker TV and GrowthHackers.com.

growth hacking email

Typically growth hacking is talked about and used the most by young, hungry startups looking to leverage their moxy and brash ‘techosity’ into internet millions. (Or at least millions of fans) Take a bunch of smart, ambitious people, limit their budget, focus their scope on 1-2 key objectives and then growth hack the hell out of it! The results can be spectacular. By its nature marketing is mid to long-term and not typically focused on immediate, short-term gains. (It can of course generate substantial short-term results if executed flawlessly)

The not so hip and sexy-cool core of almost every successful digital marketing program is email. Yeah it’s not as sexy as social media, viral vines, retweeted tweets and Clarity.fm prisons but when it is executed exceptionally it produces exceptional results. Few things bring consistent revenue like growth hacking email.

To quote the absolutely top-notch folks at Growthhacker.tv : (Bronson Taylor rocks)

[Successful marketers] know that the goal wasn’t just to get a branded ebook in your hands. The goal was to get your email address and start you on a drip campaign that would send you certain emails at certain times in the hopes of closing you on a subscription [or purchase]. 

But what if your company is NOT a young hungry internet startup? What if instead of trying frantically to build your email subscriber list using any means possible you already have a big, chewy email list of actual customers? What if instead you are the successful marketer of a successful marketing company? What if instead of only moxy, verve and panache you instead are armed with great products, strong marketing, a well liked brand and a substantial email list of customers and prospects?

What if instead of only growth hacking 100,000 new email subscribers you want to growth hack $500,000 in incremental revenue? (although to be certain you would gladly also welcome those new subscribers.)

If you are an already successful marketer at a successful company, can you still growth hack actual money in incremental sales?

Si. Si se puede.

Email is fantastically effective when done well. However if all it took was sending out a bunch of email blasts it wouldn’t be so effective. What makes a well executed email marketing program hyper effective is implementing the core of email best practices to drive up engagement, opens, clicks and purchases.

The core of email best practices are focused on:

  1. Time optimization. Only send email when your subscribers are most likely to not only open but click on links and actually complete a purchase.
  2. Subject and/or content personalization. Through A/B testing, data analysis and demo/psychographics optimize and target based on users not generic segments.
  3. List segmentation. segment, divide and target your subscriber list based on topics, content, geography and demo/psychographics data, send the right content to the right people.
  4. Separate active from inactive or dead users. Pruning hard and soft bounces, segregating inactive users from active users, and targeting most actives.

Building a large email subscriber list is difficult and extremely time-consuming. Adhering to email best practices is exponentially more difficult and time-consuming. Successful marketers are even shorter on time than most. And then to make it worse when you DON’T get these best practices right, your subscribers penalize you hard (54% Unsubscribed from emails)!

Clearly kicking butt by leveraging these email best practices can bring substantial positive returns (and avoid the negative ones). Can it bring growth hacking level returns?

In the right hands and paired with the right strategy, marketing automation tools can deliver mind-blowing results. There has not been a plethora of marketing automation tools focused on taming the email marketing beast. Recently I found one that combines the best parts of big data analysis, intelligent best practices implementation and marketing automation to deliver a compelling growth hacking tool set. A new San Diego based startup called Embarke has taken on this challenge. In short:

Embarke takes the smartest set of email marketing best practices and empowers successful email marketers to turn them into automated, rules-based data intelligence to drive higher engagement, which leads to higher revenue.

Their tagline:   Engagement = revenue. 

Embarke integrates with the Email Service Providers (ESPs) and Marketing Automation Tools we are already using, so it typically only takes about 15 minutes to get things going.

Embarke growth hacking email

Embarke is a young startup in the burgeoning tech scene in San Diego that is making some well-respected waves. They have an impressive list of clients already and are growing at a rapid pace. Embarke is a TechStars graduate and received a much-lauded $1.25M round a few months ago and seem to be building solid momentum.

How Embarke’s platform works:

Embarke helps you understand the users behind the email address, intimately

  • They perform detailed behavioral analysis on each of the email users individually, so you can target them as people instead of generic segments. (Subject personalization AND time optimization.)

The platform enables automatic optimization and segmentation of users

  • Their platform automatically moves inactive users to different segments so they don’t negatively impact your sender reputation. (Smart list segmentation and active vs inactive.)

Empowers you to take action on user data, automatically

  • Set it, and forget it. Embarke delivers the right messages to each individual at the time they are most likely to engage. (Time optimization.)

Growth Hack by increasing opens, clicks, engagement, and revenue

  • Embarke’s algorithms and automatic optimization are achieving a 5%-20% increase in opens and clicks, without any extra day-to-day effort on the email marketers part.

Embarke growth hacking email

Embarke delivers a highly intelligent marketing automation tool that can drive a 5-20% increase in opens and clicks and empowers successful marketers to automate email marketing best practices without changing your email service provider. Taken together these intelligent data robots can remove a lot of friction for your customers and enable serious growth hacking. Presently they are partnered with ESP SendGrid, (“responsible for 2% of the world’s non-spam email delivery.”) to leverage their Event API. The company says that other leading ESP partnerships are coming online in the coming months.

Watch this short 1:30 video to see how they do Intelligent targeting.

Imagine if you are a successful email marketer at a brand with a mid-sized email subscriber list of say 100,000 people. If you could consistently and predictably achieve 5-20% increases in opens and clicks in every email campaign how would you do things differently? How much of an impact would that make at your organization?

Embarke’s algorithms and analytics are nearly rocket science for email. Luckily, they are the data rocket scientists that empower marketers to consistently implement email marketing best practices. That drives growth hacking for email. I have seen some impressive results from several of Embarke’s clients (Can’t share them here till they publish them) and the open and click improvements are growing as their algorithms get more sophisticated.

Embarke is poised to make some serious money for it’s customers and itself. And that is the name of the game in growth hacking: grow awareness, grow fan base, grow customers, grow revenue and bring it back full circle to the beginning and keep spinning it up. There are some others in the space targeting mobile apps and looking to drive similar engagement like Customer.io and others so expect this space to get extra chewy real soon.

If a 5-20% increase in your email opens and clicks doesn’t drive serious revenue growth, then you haven’t put enough effort into improving slide for your customers.

Image courtesy of Micael Altemark on Flickr

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