What a difference a tweak makes!

If you’ve spent any time talking to me, working with me or reading this blog then you’ve likely picked up how firmly I believe in marketing automation. Marketing automation is like cloning yourself in your business several times over – it allows you to create personalised and timely communications with your customers and potential customers in an automated fashion.


And what other online marketing strategy can offer the opportunity for consistent revenue throughout the entire customer journey, from prospect to long-term?

I’ve you’ve ever seen a spike in online sales after sending out an email to your list and you’re looking to make even more revenue, OR if you’ve never done email marketing before or maybe just dabbled with it a bit in the past, today is going to be quite a pleasant surprise.

Starting with this number : $30,000

As the title says, just three little marketing automation related tweaks made a $30,000 difference in my bottom line. This happened at a time of year in my business that was traditionally a sales trough (Christmas time when you don’t sell gift products can be tough!) I knew they’d have an impact, but the size of that number surprised even me!

See, I knew there were aspects of my marketing automation strategy that could use a facelift.

  • I wanted more people to open my emails and take action
  • I wanted more sales generated from my email marketing
  • I wanted to constantly attract new potential customers and grow my email list

Whenever you want to reach a new goal, you know some parts of your marketing strategy are going to have to change.

So I set to work making adjustments, starting with :

1. Email subject line tweaks

The money is in the email list, right? I am sure you’ve read this before but for this to happen, the first step is for people to open your emails. Try these four email subject line tweaks to improve your email open rates.

#1: Be interesting

One of the first things that you see in your inbox is the subject line. If you find the subject line interesting you may click to see what’s inside, if not you’ll probably delete the email without even opening.

So it’s not surprising that statistics show almost a third of email recipients open an email just because they liked the subject line.

How can you make your subject lines interesting?

  • Keep it short, less than 50 characters.
  • Don’t make false promises not supported by the content of the email (sometimes referred to as ‘click baiting’).
  • Don’t use all capitals or exclamation marks (this comes across like you’re shouting).
  • Avoid words that imply the recipient has to do something difficult (like reading a long report) – instead, use words that describe benefits.
  • Test different types of subject lines to find out what works for your audience. You can do this through your email marketing program, or by simply segmenting your list and sending out the same email (with a different subject line) and measuring the results.

#2: Be personal

Send your emails from your own name (not the name of your blog or business), and address it to the recipient’s first name.

Also, within the email content try to make it less formal by adding personalisation throughout the content (like you’re having an ongoing conversation), and sign off with a friendly message.

#3: Don’t be spammy

More than 20% of emails send never make it to the subscriber’s inbox. Why is that? They get caught by spam filters. Why does this happen?

  • Because of the subject line – avoid using symbols, exclamation marks, words like ‘Free’, ‘Buy’, ‘Rich’. When mail servers find these in the subject line they may proactively move the emails to the spam folder;
  • When a lot of people mark your email as spam this passes a negative signal to the spam filters and the end result is all your emails to end up in the spam folder even before people see them; and
  • Too many links in the email content – This is another reason that can lower the integrity of your emails. Avoid having too many links in the content especially if they link to different domains.

#4: Be quality

In many cases people configure their email marketing platforms to send out an email automatically whenever they publish a new post on their blog or website or every time they have a sale or promotion on. While this is a great method to save time, it is not the best when it comes to the quality of your email content.

What do your customers and email subscribers want to hear from you about? Do you have some commonly asked questions you receive? Does your product require different usage depending on the season or time of year? Always aim to give away quality information, so even if they don’t buy they feel as though you’ve added value to their day.

2. Clear call to action

If you could only have two things in an email, they would the subject line and the call to action. Here are the best ways to nail the call to action in your email campaigns:

#1: Make it short

This is the most common and damaging mistake with email calls to action, or any call to action for that matter. Being too wordy in your call to action makes it harder for the reader to understand what they have to do!

I spent some time clicking through recent emails from ecommerce sites. There was an intriguing trend for the call to action “Shop now.” None of the retailers ever used more than four words for its call to action.

#2: Tell people what to do – specifically

For some of you, this will be Call To Action 101. For others, it might be a revelation. Either way, everyone should remember this tip for calls to action: Tell people exactly what you want them to do – ONE thing only, not a series of instructions.

Start with a short verb (look, send, buy, give, shop, go, share) and then keep it brief.

#3: Include urgency

When do you want your readers to take action? Now! “Now” is an almost perfect call-to-action word: it’s super short, so you can add it to almost any call to action.

It’s also about as simple and clear as you can be, so it’s easily and universally understood. Even toddlers and dogs understand!

#4: Make it stand out

Some conversion experts use an interesting trick to see if a call to action is eye catching enough. They blur their eyes or look away from the page. Then they look back quickly and see which element they notice first.

This is an imprecise method, but it gives you an idea of how clear a call to action needs to be. It needs to be as visible, or even more visible, than the hero shot (the image of the product or the report) or the headline.

That’s why you often see the call to action as a red button – the call to action needs to be visible enough that it’s the first or second thing you notice.

3. Email list building

So if the money is in the email list, then the bigger the list the bigger the bank account, right?

The best way to get a high opt-in rate for your email list building is giving away something of high value to the customer. For an eCommerce website, the temptation is to have a generic “Subscribe to receive $X gift voucher” or “20% off your first order” or the like. But think about it, is your best, most ideal customer going to be attracted to you like this, or are you attracting the discount scavengers who will only buy at the cheapest price?

Have a think about how else you can attract and grow a quality email list – a list of people you know are perfect for your products.

One great example I love, is the clothing webstore that offers a free style guide that is personalised to the individual fashion and style preferences of the customer.

By answering a simple questionnaire and giving your name and email address, you receive a PDF guide put together by a stylist that shows you exactly what colours and clothes suit your figure, personality, need and budget.

You may have more than one email sign-up offer, which may target customers who are at different stages of their purchase decision journey.

For example, the personalized style guide would appeal to someone who is trying to figure out what sort of clothes would suit her, before even considering making a purchase.

Then you could also have a special offer, such as free express post, which is aimed at the customer who is ready to buy right now.

One more thing…

For more information about marketing information, grab my free Guide to Marketing Automation Success!

About our Ausmumpreneur Expert :


Catherine Langman is an award-winning business owner with extensive professional experience in brand communications, digital design and online marketing. As a business coach to Productpreneurs, Catherine has helped clients with product-based businesses to achieve massive growth in their own businesses. Find out more about Catherine here: www.catherinelangman.com