GetResponse is the world's easiest email marketing platform, helping over 350,000 small businesses, marketers and brands get better results. At GetResponse, we help people create stunning email marketing campaigns with ease.
But, building an email list isn’t all there is to making your email blasts effective. You also need to make sure to keep your database clean and your contacts engaged. Otherwise, your messages won’t generate the results you’re hoping for, or even worse – they may be landing in the spam folder.
Let’s consider what it takes to keep your communication engaging.
Based on the data from the , we can see that emails that beat the average results in terms of open and click-through rates tend to have one of the following characteristics:
They’re personalized, i.e., the content is tailored to meet their recipients’ needs.
They contain visual or engaging content, e.g., videos.
They’re often automated, which means they reach the email recipients at the optimal time.
While employing these tactics doesn’t guarantee instant success, it can definitely help you increase your email campaign engagement rates – and put you ahead of your competitors, too.
One example of a company that maintains high subscriber engagement by running A/B tests and personalizing their email campaigns is a lead generation agency called Submission Technology.
These results aren’t something outside of a typical marketer’s reach.
Let’s take personalization, for instance.
In the example of Submission Technology, they’re segmenting their audience and delivering personalized email campaigns based on their users’ gender.
For an ecommerce brand, this should be a relatively easy tactic to apply.
Similarly, you could segment your audience based on their purchase history or engagement level.
You can actually achieve this pretty easily using the engagement score feature in GetResponse.
The system automatically identifies and scores your contacts’ activity based on their interactions with your emails. The score is represented by the number of bars, 1-5 shown under the contact’s name in the Search Contacts section of your account.
This is what it looks like when you’re looking at one of your contacts lists:
To create a segment using the engagement score, all you have to do is select the right set of conditions, e.g., contact details > engagement score > is equal to > highly engaged.
Once you’ve created your segment, you can present them a more personalized offer or use them to create a Lookalike Audience when creating your Facebook ads.
To learn more about this feature, check out our FAQ page.
Whether you’ve already built an email list or are about to start one, you’ll need a technological partner to back you up.
Your email blast service or email service provider (ESP) plays an important role when it comes to building and maintaining strong deliverability.
The ESP usually takes care of various processes like bounce and complaint handling, managing the unsubscribe requests, delivering your messages, contacting the ISPs, authenticating your communication, and providing you with analytical reports.
If you aren’t currently using any providers or you’re considering switching, GetResponse can help you run your email campaigns effectively.
Keeping the end goal in mind
In email marketing, as is the case with other marketing channels, it pays off to keep your end goal in mind.
What is that you want your email blast or campaign to achieve?
Click-throughs to your site? Resource downloads? Product orders?
The answer to this question should guide you when designing your messages.
It should dictate what you’re going to include in your subject line, the preheader, the copy, and most importantly – in the call to action.
All of the components of your message should point your audience towards the action you want them to perform.
Ideally, you’ll have one primary call to action. This way, it won’t compete for attention with other buttons or text links.
If this isn’t realistic in your case, make sure to keep it the most prominent one.
You’ll want to test this approach, but usually, it’s best to limit the number of options you present to your audience. By offering too many options, you may be thinking you’re providing them value, but in reality, you’re pushing them into the paralysis by analysis state.
Here’s an example of an email message that offers just one primary call to action button.
2. What is the best time to send an email blast?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to running email marketing campaigns.
There’s no easy answer, even though we’ve tackled it a couple of times in the past in the or this infographic.
In my opinion, generalizing that your entire audience will open your email blast at a certain time or day of the week is not the right approach.
Consumers are all different, and they change their behavioral habits depending on the situation they’re in.
So here are the steps I propose, in this specific order:
Rather than picking the ideal time for everyone, use an algorithm that’s going to adjust the email sending time for each of your contacts individually. In GetResponse, this feature is called Perfect Timing.
If you’d rather choose that your email blast reaches your audience at a specific time, go ahead and analyze this report to pick the most optimal hour.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate time slot (10 AM and 2 PM seem to be the most promising), send your email blast using the Time Travel feature.
Similarly to Perfect Timing, it’ll adjust the time of the sendout for you, but this time only to make sure that the message reaches your audience at a specific hour according to their time zone.
Email blasts, broadcasts, campaigns – it doesn’t matter
As long as your campaigns are purely permission-based and you’re following the the naming is a secondary thing.
So, go ahead and start preparing your next email campaign.
And if you need help with that, just check out the guide we’ve prepared below.
Worried about your emails going to the spam folder? We’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’re sharing 12 reasons why your emails go to spam instead of the inbox and what you can do to prevent them from doing so in the future.
As you’re about to see, you’ll be able to fix most of these issues all by yourself as they’re directly related either to what’s inside of your email messages or how you build and manage your email lists.
Only a few will require some additional help from your provider.
For each element, I’ve also included actionable tips that along with the will help you build strong email deliverability and get your emails in front of your subscribers’ eyes.
Why emails go to spam instead of the inbox
Why do my emails go to spam?
For many years of internet providing a simple and fast way to communicate, there has been a great development in the number of “actors” trying to reach people, that don’t want to hear from them.
Mailbox providers in a chase of better user experience try to stop this internet noise by filtering those messages, that are highly unlikely to be wanted or expected by the mailbox owner.
Spam folder is the “purgatory” of the email flow, and without it, we all would be flooded in our inboxes.
But no spam filtering system is bulletproof. False positives happen.
Being mistaken for one of the “bad guys” is a reason for even a good email landing in the spam folder.
When that happens, you need to change its mind.
Martin Schwill, Deliverability Manager at GetResponse
12 reasons why your emails go to the spam folder and what you can do to stop that from happening
1. You don’t have the permission to contact your recipients
There’s nothing wrong in wanting a big email list.
Although our studies show that email marketers with the largest lists tend to have lower average email open rates, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that their potential to generate sales revenue is huge.
But having a big contact list shouldn’t be a goal in itself. And you shouldn’t aim for it at all costs.
Recent regulations like the GDPR or the upcoming CCPA have become stricter about how email marketers handle customer personal information. It’s no longer enough that you give your email recipients the option to unsubscribe.
Before you start sending your email campaigns, you should always make sure that you have the permission to do so.
If you neglect that, you’re not only risking that your emails will be going to spam, but also that you’ll be fined.
That’s why if:
you’re still filling your email campaigns with contacts from Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn, or any other place where you’ve interacted with people,
you’re an ecommerce business automatically adding people to your list from the checkout page,
you’re using a pre-checked newsletter consent checkbox in your web form,
buying or downloading email lists from the ‘reputable sites’…
…you should stop right now.
There are plenty of perfectly good methods out there you could try.
And if you’re unsure whether it’s OK to contact some of the people who’re already in your database, consider running a reconfirmation campaign. By sending an email that’s going to ask your audience to continue and stay opt in, you can be sure that only those who’re still interested in your offer will end up on the list.
These will help you easily store, manage, and view all the consents that your contacts have given you.
GDPR fields are similar to custom fields that you’re probably already familiar with, but there’s one significant difference: instead of editing your consents, you can only create newer versions.
Thanks to this, you won’t end up overwriting your contacts’ permission settings and you’ll know exactly which version of the consent they’ve given you.
Here’s an example of what you’ll see when one of you contacts gives you their consent, e.g., when signing up through one of your landing pages.
Pro tip 2: If you want to stop your emails from going to spam, make sure to always exclude contacts who haven’t given you the right consent.
This will help you avoid making mistakes when you’re running email marketing campaigns that aren’t dedicated to your entire database.
Here’s how you can do this in GetResponse:
To select your target audience, check the box next to the name of the list or segment you want to include or exclude from receiving your message. If the same subscriber is present in more than one list or segment, they’ll receive the email only once.
On top of using lists and segments, you can also use suppression lists, where you can store any contacts that shouldn’t receive your communication. A suppression list won’t be included automatically, so make sure to include it manually when sending your email campaign.
2. It’s not clear what your subscribers are signing up for
Transparency is key, especially when you’re building an email list.
When filling out your signup form, users should be fully aware of what kind of communication they’re going to be receiving in the future.
It’s not alright to advertise one service and send emails about another one unless you’ve specified that in your web form.
Or to say that you’re just collecting submissions for a competition and end up using the email database for marketing communication.
Be crystal clear about what you’re going to talk about in your emails. And then deliver on that promise.
When you do that, you’ll see that your unsubscribe, and complaint rates will drop.
And as for your chances of leaving the junk folder – they’ll most definitely increase.
Pro tip 1: Make sure that your web form, the thank you page following it, and your welcome email clearly state what your users are signing up for.
Doing this early in the subscription process improves your chances of building strong relationships with your audience. And, reducing the likelihood of your emails going to spam.
Example of a subscription confirmation page from Further. On this page, Further reminds their users about the type of content they’ll receive in the future and how they can make sure they won’t miss out on the content. By doing this, they’re decreasing the unsubscribe rates and improving their deliverability at the same time.
Pro tip 2: If you want to lower your unsubscribe rate, make sure to fill out the name and description of your email lists.
This will help your audience decide which lists they want to stay subscribed to and which ones they want to opt out from.
Here’s what it looks like when a contact clicks the unsubscribe link in one of the emails sent by the GetResponse Marketing Team.
They see all the essential information regarding their subscription. This includes the date of their subscription and the name and description of the list they’ve signed up to.
3. You’re making it difficult to unsubscribe
This one’s among the top reasons why email recipients report emails as spam.
If someone wants to stop receiving marketing communication from a particular sender, the last thing they want to do is to spend extra time looking for a way to unsubscribe.
The moment they find it difficult or lose trust in their request being processed successfully – they report the message as spam or manually move it to their spam box.
In both cases, the marketer is at loss.
Here’s what you should avoid:
Burying down the unsubscribe link below the main part of your footer (e.g., by adding empty lines on top of it)
Hiding the unsubscribe link (e.g., by changing the copy or writing in a hard to read color)
Making your recipients contact you to resign from the newsletter
Making recipients log into some form of a panel to unsubscribe or change their mailing preferences
Taking unreasonably long to process your users’ requests to unsubscribe
Adding any of the above roadblocks just gets you closer to having your emails marked as spam and having them negatively evaluated by ISPs spam filters.
Here’s one example of an email I received that’s making one of the mistakes I’ve mentioned above. Something you don’t want to do in your own email communication.
Pro tip 1: If you’re worried about your unsubscribe rate being too high, consider offering your subscribers a way to opt down and lower the mailing frequency.
A separate email list or segment will be enough for you to divide your recipients into separate groups, e.g., those who want to receive your emails every couple of days and those who prefer a weekly roundup.
Alternatively, you could also add a short description explaining why the subscriber is receiving your emails and reminding them when or how they’ve signed up for your newsletter.
Pro tip 2: If you’re seeing that your spam complaints are high and you’ve followed the tips described in points 1-3, you could try providing an additional unsubscribe link right after your preheader text.
This may look like a radical move, but it’s better to have more people unsubscribing from your list rather than having them report your messages as spam.
Note: Our observations suggest that people from particular cultures may have a higher tendency to click the ‘report as spam’ button. One of such countries is Russia, which tends to observe the highest average complaint rates as we’ve found in the .
Moving your unsubscribe link to the preheader may be your best bet if your target audience shows similar tendencies.
4. Your email frequency is off
Emailing too frequently?
People get tired and start ignoring your emails. They stop engaging with your communication, and because of that, internet service providers (ISPs) such as Gmail move your newsletters to the junk folder.
Sending one email every couple of months or so?
People don’t remember you and deliberately ignore your emails (maybe even mark them as spam). Or they accidentally miss one or two and lose the chance of seeing your content for several months straight.
As you can see, neither of these options is good for your email deliverability or your ROI.
The second one’s problematic for yet another reason.
If you have a big email list that you contact only every couple of months, ISPs might get alerted by the sudden email blasts. Such spikes in activity might cause temporary blocks, higher bounce rates, and more emails going to the junk folder.
Pro tip 1: Set the right by putting together your key email marketing metrics, like the total number of conversions, unsubscribe rates, and bounce rates).
Once you decide on the right email schedule, make sure to communicate it to your audience, e.g., in your subscription form or the welcome email.
Pro tip 2: If you want to increase your email frequency without alerting the spam filters, start by contacting your most engaged subscribers first. Use suppression lists and exclude segments less likely to respond to your email campaigns.
After you’ve managed to successfully engage your best recipients, you can start slowly including those who read your newsletters less eagerly.
Some email marketers can get away with having high email frequency. Here, even the name of the newsletter suggests that it’s a daily newsletter update. Be careful with this approach, though, as it can easily backfire. Users can get overwhelmed by too frequent communication. That will result in an opaque churn. Meaning, they won’t unsubscribe from your communication, but by ignoring it, they’ll be affecting your overall email deliverability.
5. You’re not paying enough attention to email list hygiene
Email list hygiene may sound like a funny term. But it’s a process that can have a massive impact on your email deliverability.
Email list hygiene management is about identifying the engaged subscribers, re-engaging those who’ve become unresponsive, and getting rid of those who hold no business value.
And whom do we mean, when we’re saying that they’re holding no business value?
Not just people who are no longer engaging with your communication, clicked the unsubscribe button, or marked your emails as spam.
We also mean those who’ve provided a wrong email address or those who’ve abandoned their mailboxes.
To keep your list clean – and hygienic – you should use confirmed opt-in (a.k.a. double opt-in) and run re-engagement campaigns on a regular basis.
Sending a last resort campaign may work even better, if you put it together with a Facebook or Google Ads campaign.
By doing this, you’ll make sure that your list is clean from misspelled, inactive, or spam trap emails.
If you’re using GetResponse, this process is simple.
You can run Facebook ads directly from your account. Just select the list or segment you want to reach with your Facebook ad, customize your ad, and you’re good to go.
If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to choose whether you want to remove such subscribers from your list completely or try retargeting them using another marketing channel.
Bear in mind that there’s no set rule for when a contact should be identified as inactive. This will largely depend on your sales cycle.
In ecommerce, for example, some recipients stay inactive for the larger part of the year, but they’ll check their emails for discount codes and information about promotions around the holiday season.
Take a look at this example report for one of our automated emails. We send this email to users right after they’ve filled out the subscription form in the GetResponse Resources. Notice that the bounce rate is almost 3%, most of which is caused by hard bounces (misspelled or non-existent email addresses). Removing these addresses automatically and early into the subscription, will help you ensure your deliverability is unaffected, especially when you’re planning some bigger promotional activities.
6. Your emails are image-heavy (and text-light!)
Email marketing is slightly different from other marketing channels.
Although images do play a big role in it, they can’t dominate your newsletters.
Many email marketers make this mistake: they pack their email templates with images, to make them look nicer, and spend less time coming up with the sales copy.
Here’s one such example from a renowned brand. Notice that even though there’s text in the email body, it’s still part of an image.
Follow up emails are a great source of valuable information. If you plan them carefully, you might expect high engagement rates (e.g., open and click-through rate). This article is aimed at helping you apply follow ups strategically and increase the value of your email marketing.
What is a follow up email
A follow up email is an email you send after any significant point in the customer journey with a goal to collect a piece of information.
You might send follow up emails to people who download your content asking them if they found it valuable.
You can send a follow up email to people who are in the middle of a free trial of your service, with questions regarding their experience.
You can follow up after an event in order to touch base.
You can schedule your follow ups as autoresponders to create tailor-made programs that will perfectly match your subscribers’ needs and interests.
I recommend following a simple principle – send a follow up email whenever there is an information need that justifies sending one. Obviously, you should always consider your target audience preferences and use common sense.
Those information needs vary from company to company and depend on whether you operate in a B2B or B2C environment. Here are a few common examples:
B2C follow up emails
Welcome email: an email sent whenever a new person joins your email marketing list. You can use this email to show the new subscribers what they can expect from your email marketing program.
A fragment of a welcome email from Fellow. The email promotes the awarded product, a blog with interesting content, incentivizes purchase with a discount code, and informs about the brand’s social media channels.
Thank you email: there are a lot of reasons to send a thank you email. Maybe someone has bought your product or took part in an event that you organized? Follow up to get valuable feedback that will help you improve your customer experience.
Outreach follow up: these are tough nuts to crack. Here’s what Ada Durzyńska, GetResponse blog’s editor has to say:
As the blog’s editor, I receive hundreds of outreach emails every day and, what’s more surprising, two times as many follow-up emails. Why is that? Well, many times, people want to follow up too quickly, sometimes following up two times on an email sent 10 minutes earlier.
It’s only natural for a person to want to know if their email has been read, and to want answers ASAP. But, give the person you reach out to some more time to read your email and familiarize themselves with your offer. If you want to follow up quickly, wait at least a few hours. If it’s not an urgent matter – the soonest you should follow up is the next day.
Remember to always attach the previous outreach message in your follow up in a way you find suitable (forward, reply, or as an attachment).
As for the email’s copy – make it sound kind, light-hearted, and be patient. Try to include a question in your follow up email, it’s harder for the reader to skip. So, for example, switch the usual “Just making sure you saw this” for something just a bit more engaging, like “What do you think of my offer?”, or even something as straightforward as “is the silence a ‘no’?“.
Also, while making the email as unobtrusive for the reader as you can, don’t be overmodest. A good “I’m following up on this email, because it’s worth not giving up!” will take you further than “I know you’re probably too busy to read such emails, and I really don’t want to bother you…“. And, for the sake of being nice to others, skip the “are you alive?!” and “I’m CC’ing all your management on this email”.
Make the subject line stand out, because the more creative you get, the better chances are you’re going to get a reply, either positive or negative. Just to be clear, “A quick follow up” is the subject line of (probably) 99% of follow up emails.
Free-trial follow up: if you provide a SaaS product, you probably offer a free-trial period when people can test if it provides a solution to their problems. Send at least one follow up email during the fee-trial in order to monitor customer satisfaction.
Product campaign follow up: so you’ve launched a promo campaign for a new product. Track conversion and send a follow up email to those who visited the landing page.
An email from care/of with customized product based on survey results.
Customer satisfaction survey: ask your customers if they are satisfied with your product and the overall experience. You can send a simple follow up email with an NPS score. Segment contacts based on the perception of your business and personalize further communication. E.g., find out what’s bothering the unhappy ones, what you can do to improve the customer experience, ask the happy one for a testimonial.
An email from IKEA with the Net Promoter Score (NPS), sent after visiting their shopping center.
Customer feedback: use follow up emails to check if customers remain satisfied with your product after the purchase. Remember that satisfied customers are likely to come back and recommend your product. Such feedback loop with your customers provides you with valuable information that helps you develop your product and can be used as user-generated content for marketing purposes.
B2B follow up emails
The customer journey in B2B environment might be longer and more complex. Here are a few practical tips form the expert, Beata Patfield, Senior Business Development Executive at GetResponse:
Event follow up:
Be personable! Call them by name, ask about something personal you’d spoken about previously, show you were actually listening. Did their kid ace those SATs?
Go through your past interactions. Were there any questions you were supposed to get back to them on? Make sure to do it now.
Be brief. Don’t write a three paragraph email just to ask them if they like your product.
Leave the ball in their court. Make sure to finish strong with a specific and actionable CTA – ‘Let me know what you think!’ or ‘When can we jump on a call to discuss your feedback?’ is always better than ‘let’s touch base’ or ‘looking forward to hearing from you’.
And finally, don’t forget the CC. If they had a colleague involved in the conversation, make sure to include them. Otherwise, at best you’ll be deemed as forgetful, at worst – disrespectful.
Sales follow up email:
Speed matters. Contact your prospects as soon as you can after you hear from them. Do you really want your competition to beat you to it?
Don’t give up. It may take up to 5-7 tries to actually get through to your prospect.
Check your metrics. Do your emails get opened? Just like with online marketing, it matters what time you send your emails and what you put in your subject line. If you’re getting opens but not replies, revamp your content.
Use multiple channels if one isn’t sufficient. No reply to your emails? Give them a call. Not picking up? Look for them on LinkedIn on Skype – you have many options at your fingertips, all you have to do is look.
Be flexible and adapt. Once you’ve established two-way communication, have a plan but be open to change. Your process is to answer the inquiry, demo the product, then reach a decision – but your prospect can switch things up on you, and you just have to roll with it. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
If you like the idea of automated emails – using autoresponders and marketing automation workflows to send emails in specific time intervals or in response to your customer’s actions, here’s a perfect article for you:
Some time ago we did a podcast with Dr Dave Chaffey, CEO and co-founder of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights, where he gives the following advice:
“You should be looking at the lifecycle of the prospect, as they are interacting with your business and figure out how you can provide reminders to encourage them to buy with you.
(…) One of the touchpoints to start with is the welcome. The first thing you can do is create a welcome series instead of a welcome email. The welcome sequence is the first impression. That first email you send is in some ways the most important one. And if you turn it into a sequence, you can engage your audience from the very beginning of the subscription.”
So, think about the customer journey, and decide if one email or rather a series of emails will bring the best results. Here’s a comparison between a single email and an email cycle.
Follow up email
Follow up email cycle
you ask one question/approach issue from one angle
you can ask a few questions/approach the issue from different angles
you can progressively profile your contacts
How to write a follow up email
Here are a few tips that will help you write an effective follow up email.
Tips for writing a great follow up email
1. Think of the information you would like to get
What exactly do you need to know? Think carefully about the purpose of the follow up email. It will help you set up a goal for the email (determine CTA) and create a compelling email. This step determines whether it’s a good idea to send this message at all.
2. Use a subject line and a preheader to provide a clear message
The subject line and preheader are the elements that your contacts see before opening the email. Make good use of the inbox space and increase enagagement.
3. Keep it short
Focus on the goal of the message. Whether you want to ask for a favor or pose a question, get straight to the point:
explain why you are emailing
emphasize the call to action.
When do you send follow up emails?
Ready to create your own follow ups?
Sign up for a free trial and make the most of your email marketing program.
This article explores the methodology and technology of sales funnels – the fastest and the easiest way to promote, sell, and deliver your products or services online. You’ll find this article useful if you have an idea for an online business and you’re looking for a solution to put it quickly into action.
What is a sales funnel?
The idea of a sales funnel dates back to 1898 when E. St. Elmo Lewis developed a purchase funnel, or purchasing funnel – a marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey from the moment of attracting customers towards the purchase of a product or service.
Since then, it’s been given different names (i.e. purchase funnel, sales funnel, marketing funnel, conversion funnel) but the model stays the same, which means that it’s:
universal: it can be applied to virtually any business in any industry
timeless: times change but the idea stays relevant
In ecommerce, for example, we use the term conversion funnel to describe the customer journey from the awareness stage (usually by driving traffic to a website through paid advertising in search engines and social media) to the conversion stage, when a website visitor becomes a customer.
You might also call it a business funnel, since it allows you to go into business and sell pretty much anything from a physical product, through an ebook, to an online course.
If using a sales funnel to sell an online course is something you’re looking for, make sure to register for our free webinar with Leslie Samuel. You’ll take away a step-by-step demo on how to build a sales funnel for an online course and much more.
Can’t make it? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording after the webinar.
Why do you need a sales funnel?
As a business owner or a marketer, you know how complex the sales process might be. A journey from prospect to a satisfied customer might be a long and difficult one. And paradoxically, the constantly growing number of marketing tools doesn’t help you start selling immediately.
That’s exactly why you need a sales funnel. It offers you a simple roadmap to revenue. It helps you focus on the most important stages of online sales: lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales. With a sales funnel, you can start making money quickly and optimize business processes as you go.
How does a sales funnel work?
The goal of a sales funnel is pretty much self-explanatory – it drives sales. Whatever it is that you do, the sales funnel is there to help you get more business. The sales funnel model represents the customer journey as a series of stages.
What are the stages of a sales funnel?
The original purchase funnel has 4 key stages:
Awareness – when potential customers become aware of your product or service.
Interest – when they actively express an interest in what you have to offer.
Desire – when they know that your product or service is the perfect fit to their needs.
Action – the moment of purchase.
As your business develops and leans more towards recurring purchases, you can expand your funnel by adding additional stages.
The more complex version of the funnel might look like this:
Awareness – when potential customers become aware of your product or service.
Interest – when they actively express an interest in what you have to offer.
Evaluation – when prospects examine competitors’ solutions and compare their offers against yours.
Decision – when your offer is shortlisted and it’s time for some negotiation before the final decision is reached.
Purchase – the moment of purchase, when a prospect becomes a customer.
Reevaluation – customer has been using your product for a while. Every now and then they might look for other solutions that will meet their needs. (hopefully, if they’re satisfied with your product or service, they won’t feel the need to look for a different solution).
Repurchase – when a customer repurchases your product or service.
You should use the individual stages of the funnel as a blueprint for your marketing and sales communication. Monitor the results and optimize your actions to drive more sales in less time.
Here’s a short video from Ian Cleary from RazorSocial that will help you understand the different stages of a sales funnel and how they will impact your business.
GetResponse Autofunnel | The five stages of a sales funnel - YouTube
The sales funnel model + technology = Autofunnel
What happens when you apply powerful technology to a solid marketing model? Yes, you’re right! You end up with an ultimate selling machine – Autofunnel.
Send traffic straight to your sales page with the quick sales funnel, or nurture new contacts with automated emails before presenting your offer with the full sales funnel.
What are the key elements of a sales funnel?
Usually, when you think of a sales funnel you think of combining different tools for different individual purposes: an ecommerce platform, landing page creator, email marketing software, webinar solution, social media apps, etc. to set up a sales process.
In this case, your job is not only to plan an online business strategy, but also to carry out an in-depth research of the available tools and integrating them so that they bring you positive results.
Fortunately, it’s so much easier with Autofunnel. You actually have 2 sales funnels to choose from.
Quick sales funnel
A very simple funnel that consists of just two elements:
a sales page
With a sales page you can customize the order form and encourage leads to buy your products. The order form is a place where your leads can see all the products they’re purchasing and how much they’ll pay.
Autofunnel sales page templates grouped by the product type
a confirmation page
The confirmation page shows your customers the order summary, a download link, or contact details. Your customers also get an automated confirmation email, where you can say thanks and confirm the order.
Sales funnel focuses on the process of collecting leads and finalizing the sales process. Use it to find potential buyers, promote and sell products online, and increase sales results.
The full sales funnel consists of the following elements:
a signup page with an exit popup form
It’s a landing page where you can collect leads by encouraging them to sign up to your list. You can tell them what they’ll get in return for their signup. You can also offer a freebie to get even more signups. This page has an inline form and an exit pop up form (appears when someone tries to exit the page).
a followup email
A message which is sent to your subscribers as an instant, automated reply message.
a sales page
It’s a page where you can turn leads into customers. You can design a page to promote products and encourage potential customers to buy them. When they choose a product on the sales page, they’ll get to the order page where they can complete the purchase.
an order form
The order form is the place where your leads can see all the products they’re purchasing and how much they will pay.
an abandoned cart email
It’s an email sent to your customers when they don’t complete their purchase. This email reminds them about the products left in the cart, including their name, price, and the URL.
a confirmation page
It’s the page where your customers can see their order summary, a download link and other contact details.
a confirmation email
After making a purchase, your customers will get a confirmation email. There’ll be a clickable button there. When your customers click on it, they’ll see their order summary.
And if you want to see how to create a full sales funnel, here’s a walkthrough video:
Full sales funnel walkthrough | How to create a sales funnel | GetResponse Autofunnel - YouTube
Here’s another video form Ian Cleary from RazorSocial where he shows how to bridge the gap between marketing and technology with a sales funnel. For the purpose of this demo he is building a full sales funnel for a photography course.
GetResponse Autofunnel | How to create a sales funnel - YouTube
The majority of people prefer receiving communication from companies through email (73% according to the DMA research), that’s why newsletters remain the essence of online marketing for most businesses. If done right, they effectively turn subscribers into satisfied customers and are a reliable source of revenue for your business.
This article will provide you with some useful information to help you create great newsletters.
If you feel like you need a general overview of email marketing first, here’s an extensive article that will provide you with context for your newsletters:
If you want to optimize your email campaigns for higher opens, clicks, and conversions, you’ll find the following article very useful:
What is a newsletter?
An email newsletter (or e-newsletter, online newsletter) is an email message sent to subscribers on a regular schedule. Newsletters are used along the customer journey, assisting subscribers with relevant content that helps them perform actions you expect them to perform.
You can use newsletters to keep in touch with your subscribers, prospects, and customers along the customer journey. Well planned email newsletters provide subscribers with relevant information and help them in the decision-making process. Also, they help you achieve business goals.
What is the average newsletter open rate and click-through rate?
The average newsletter results according to are as follows:
Open rate: 20.92%
Click−through rate: 3.07%
Click−to−open rate: 14.65%
Bear in mind that these numbers can vary depending on the type of industry you’re in, your audience, or the nature of your communication.
As a general rule, it’s best to compare your results to other companies within the same vertical. You’ll find this data in the report I’ve mentioned above.
How do I create a newsletter?
In order to create an effective email newsletter you need to, first and foremost, take the following factors into consideration:
Goal: what do you expect your subscribers to do after they receive the newsletter?
Content: what content do they need to follow the CTA?
Design: how to communicate the message effectively?
The most important factor is the goal of your newsletter. That’s simply because the goal of the newsletter will help you choose the most compelling call to action. And I firmly believe that you should always start designing your newsletters with choosing the right CTA.
You don’t need a team of graphic designers in order to create outstanding email newsletter.
Tools like GetResponse come with hundreds of free newsletter templates, which you can use as your own and edit them to your liking.
What should I include in a newsletter?
The basic elements of a newsletter are:
The subject line and preheader: subscribers read the subject line and preheader of your newsletter to decide whether to open or ignore it.
Header: the header appears in the preview pane. Use it to introduce your offer or encourage subscribers to read further.
Body: make sure the content is aligned with the goal of your newsletter
CTA: the call to action is the most important element of your email newsletter. Make it prominent and crystal clear.
Newsletter ideas with examples
As you already know, the most important thing is to set a goal for your newsletter. That’s why we would like to present the newsletter ideas from the goal perspective. It’s so much easier to come up with awesome newsletter content ideas when you’ve set the right goal.
Goal: Product presentation – show (and sell) the product
The following email newsletter ideas will come in handy if you want to introduce your product to your subscribers. Such emails are crucial during the evaluation stage, when your prospect gather information that allows them to make a decision whether to buy your product or not.
Remember that it’s not only about explaining what makes your products different from those of your competitors. Often, it’s about educating your prospects on the subject matter and helping them recognize if they need such products at all.
1. New product announcement: plan an email marketing campaign that will spark a feeling of anticipation among your subscribers. You can announce the key ideas of a product that is yet to come and use the feedback in the development process.
This email form Texas Beard Co. uses a gif to present the new product. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”, I guess that a well-thought-out gif is worth at least a few pictures.
2. Featured feature: an email focusing one particular feature of the product, e.g. Email Newsletter templates in GetResponse.
The primary goal of this email from Fridababy is to introduce the new product. The email skillfully presents the features of the product and urges subscribers to go shopping. The design is simple. It balances product pictures with great copy and encapsulates the brand spirit.
3. Interview with an expert: create an email with a short interview with people responsible for the product. Let them share the idea behind it. You can provide a video and an excerpt with a link to a blog post with the full transcript.
4. Ask me anything: you can send an email inviting your subscribers to participate in a AMA session focused around the upcoming product.
5. Unexpected ways to use the product: show users how they can go beyond the obvious with your product.
6. Behind the scenes: product development might be quite an adventure. Start creating content during the development process and use it to engage your subscribers.
7. A poll or survey: if you want to know what your subscribers think about your new or existing products, you can ask them directly simply by sending a survey.
8. Special event invitations: are you planning a special event during which you will show the prototype of your product. Run an email exclusive campaign inviting subscribers to take part.
9. Email course: does using your product require knowledge and skills. An email course is a great way to educate your prospects and customers so that they can use the product to their full potential.
10. Case studies: a case study presents real-life examples of your product providing a solution to a problem.
11. Customer reviews: opinions of other customers provide social proof for you marketing communication. Make sure to include them in your email cycles.
12. Industry news: provide broader context for the problems that your products solve with relevant industry news.
Goal: drive traffic from email
13. Tweet of the week: let your subscribers know what’s happening in your social media channels. Show why it’s worth to follow.
14. Contests and giveaways: don’t leave your subscribers behind, inform them about the cool things in social media.
This email form Crayola drives traffic from email in order to drive social media engagement. Remember that you can use social media to build your email list, but it might also be a good idea to invite your subscribers to your social media profiles.
15. Webinars: organize webinars related to your products. Such online events are a great way to build your email list and a chance to interact and gather feedback from attendees.
Goal: increase sales
16. Promotional email: a promotional email has always been one of the pillars of email marketing.
17. Time-limited promo: promotions tend to drive engagement. Introduce time-limit in order to create the sense of urgency and convince subscribers that now is the best time to buy.
The following email from Secret Escapes introduces a 24-hour sale. There is a counter at the top in order to remind subscribers that time is running out.
18. Holiday offer: use the 2019 Retail Calendar to plan and execute high-impact marketing campaigns.
The primary goal of this email from KIND is to use the national holiday to drive sales. The design is dominated by creative product pictures. In order to boost sales, there’s also an incentive – free delivery on order over a certain amount.
19. Cross-sell: use your ecommerce data to offer your customers complimentary products. Create content that explains why it’s a good idea to buy recommended products.
In this newsletter Ooni uses 2 CTAs: subscribers can download a chapter of their Cooking with Fire cookbook and buy one of the two ovens. The cookbook is a great example of complimentary content that drives product sales. People who know how to make a great pizza are obviously more likely to buy a pizza oven for the grilling season.
20. Up-sell: explain the differences between versions of your products and services. Show the benefits of and encourage subscribers to buy the higher versions.
21. Real-time marketing: think of ways to use a current craze to fuel your marketing. Email allows you to quickly jump on the bandwagon and create a newsletter that will use the power of synergy.
The following email from Shake Shack promotes a line of custom products designed for the fans during the final season of Game of Thrones.
22. Event announcement: plan a series of newsletters informing about your upcoming event. E.g. you can introduce speakers, attendees, present the venue, and run ticket sales campaigns.
A minimalistic email from The Conference informing about the upcoming event.
Goal: content distribution
23. Blog posts: if you run a blog, use email as distribution platform.
24. Top lists: depending on the number of blogs you publish, you can send an email with a list of the few most popular.
25. Roundup newsletter: a weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletter presenting most important facts relevant to your subscribers’ needs and preferences.
26. Holiday newsletter: you can come up with holiday-related content that your subscribers will find useful.
Goal: scale your business
27. Job postings: use your email list as a source of talent for your company. It’s very likely that you’ll find great employees among people who are genuinely interested in your brand.
Ss Brewtech informs about new career opportunities via this newsletter.
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Although they’re “just” for your own staff and colleagues, employee newsletters shouldn’t be taken for granted. Once you learn how to do internal email newsletters best, they can be effective communication tools. It’s important to thoughtfully craft them as a strong employee newsletter can serve an important role inside the organization.
Things you should know about Internal Email Newsletters:
Before going into how to come up with excellent internal email marketing messages, it’s important to know what the objectives of these newsletters are and what elements define them.
Why do you want to send internal newsletters to your employees? These are the main reasons why employee newsletters are so popular in various departments such as Human Resources, Employer Branding, and organizations in general:
To inform. Email newsletters circulate in a company to distribute information intended for affected employees. The information included is relevant and useful for targeted departments and employees – even regardless of hierarchical rankings.
To break down silos. Aside from distributing relevant information to everyone in a company, email newsletters can also be used as tools to encourage camaraderie among employees, who normally don’t have a strong everyday belonging feeling as they might be separated by cubicles, team designations, or departmental assignments.
Provide framing and an external narrative. All employees also have their own families, friends, and social circles. So explaining why companies do things and giving them an easy way to be proud and spread the word, can be a very strong catalyst for word-of-mouth.
Reduce email overload. Instead of sending multiple notices, announcements, or acknowledgments to various departments and employee groups, a company can make use of internal email newsletters as a more efficient distribution of information.
Work together with other communication channels. Email newsletters can present company information as a reference alongside other channels. For instance, they can announce or acknowledge the achievements of a specific team or department. Where normally this would only be found on an intranet, slack or bulletin board posting.
Grease the wheels of employee onboarding. Getting new employees up to speed with everything that’s going on in the company is just as important for the new recruits as it is for the organization itself. You want your new employees to feel that they’re part of the team as quickly as possible. And not only because you need their help in your key projects. A highly effective onboarding process can improving employee commitment up to 18x as a recent study showed.
Get feedback and improve employee happiness. When you have teams working off-site, with a distributed team in various locations or even in one location but on different projects it is easy to lose touch.Internal emails can help you learn, engage and retain your employees for longer. Ask feedback through employee email surveys. It is important to not just say you care about employees – but show action on points raised. Email can be one piece to aid in getting feedback and improving happiness and retention.
An internal email from GetResponse, asking for feedback in a survey form.
Improve your products and services. In your internal newsletters, you can tickle your employees. Tickle them to give back fresh ideas through surveys – encourage them to participate in different innovation places. Workgroups, Brainstorms or Hackathons. Solutions to the challenges your company is facing are often found by anyone in the company. Email as a firestarter to get valuable feedback from people across all departments. This includes employees who are not as prone to speak up by themselves or hard to meet in the corridor.
Example of an onboarding employee email newsletter sent to newly recruited members of the GetResponse team
Elements of effective employee newsletters
To write effective internal email newsletters, the following elements should be taken into account:
Target audience. Internal newsletters have a fixed target audience – internal company employees. This sounds like one group, but often it isn’t. What do they want to hear about and are interested in? If you have a big company or very diverse interests represented, think about adding segmentation on the content. For instance segment on the departmental level.
Content relevance. All email newsletters should be written to serve a purpose. So mix and match the content with the above-mentioned objectives. At the same time, readers shouldn’t feel that they wasted their time reading (and acting on) your email. Or the email marketing engagement will plummet a few newsletters in.
Format and presentation. Adopt a consistent format to make newsletters familiar and easy to read/digest for everyone. It’s handy to keep a similar layout, style, and overall presentation for internal newsletters. Use a fixed but flexible email template. Why not do some grid style planning on it? Getting it right once will save a lot of time and effort.
Tone of voice and style. Your tone of Voice and style to use depend mostly on what the company or organization stands for and sounds like. It’s important to pick a style that suits the company. Hitting the right tone will also make your newsletters engaging and appealing.A company like Red Bull might want to pick a different tone than a Starbucks, and these differ quite dramatically from a law firm, non-profit, or governmental, for instance. It can be light-hearted or more stern and formal. We often speak about company culture, an internal newsletter is a tangible “representative” of company culture.
Boy’s Day email precisely targeted at male team members. Such occasions are a great opportunity to come up with a completely new email template design.
Pointers for writing better internal newsletters
The objectives and elements already give you an idea of what makes the most effective internal email newsletters. Keep them in mind while writing. Your goals will guide the writing of your internal email newsletters.
Ensure that information is complete. Readers shouldn’t feel like they are only being teased. Where a B2C sales emails might want to tease out engagement, you want to give enough info. Internal newsletters aren’t school books either: try to be complete – but not overcomplete. The amount of information needed is probably smaller than you expect!
Linking to – for instance – an intranet for more info is great. Or a reference “ask X at department Y for more information” can be a good way to encourage interdepartmental contact and dialog.
Keep internal newsletters simple.There is no international award for brevity. But there should be! Make your newsletters short. Short. Have short sentences and short paragraphs. The point in making things concise and simple is avoiding that people skip the info altogether.
Bear in mind that everyone in the company is (or should be?) busy and won’t always have the luxury of time to read wordy and long-winded newsletters.
Most importantly newsletters should demonstrate a sense of fluidity so reading them appears natural. Especially think about rewriting that CEO musing. (they do love their long intros and columns!). Rewrite it a few times to make it better.
Make newsletters engaging and empowering. Employees should read the internal newsletters because they find them interesting or engaging. Not because the boss demands them to do so. There is nothing wrong in making the emails engaging enough to create a habit of reading them, but how?
To make newsletters more engaging, use a conversational or casual tone. Unless it’s a company policy, it isn’t required to write in a formal tone. They are often not as strict as official company or organization correspondence so you have some leeway for making them interesting and engaging.
Be creative or use humor. To make newsletters engaging, be creative or use a bit of humor. For example when putting on a reporter-hat about a recently held company event, don’t just yodel out the facts in straight journalistic powerpoint-to-bullet-point form. Try adding in some humor-laced comments along with candid photos. (You know what I mean, when I say just don’t overdo it.)When a department or project team “achieves a commendable feat”, as they say. Let everyone know and they can serve as an inspiration. Like you. Already read halfway through this huge blogpost. Well done, a “commendable feat”! You might feel a bit inspired already? More recommended internal newsletter topics coming up at the end of this article.
Use visuals images and photos if you can. Imagine a device that looks like a endless teleprompter of lengthy, non-stop blocks of grey text. Feeding line after line of boring text. The human is a visual animal.The reading experience with images is so much better. In fact, according to a recent study by GetResponse, . Visuals are certainly recommended when writing about boring facts and corporate updates. Depending on your tone-of-voice, your own pictures (non-stock) featuring the in-house employees always do better.
Keep it appropriate. Creativity and some humor make newsletters better but always keep it appropriate. When reporting about layoffs or poor company performance, for example, humor is out of the question. It might go without saying, but it’s not right to make fun at times of unfortunate events and to make fun of a specific employee or department for the sake of making the newsletter engaging.
Keep improving. – A/B testing is a form of an experiment to determine tweaks that can enhance the results of a project or campaign. There are a number of other you can consider. In doing internal email newsletters, think mostly about the subject lines and the type of topics. Of course, the changes or tweaks that received the most favorable KPI’s / statistics will likely be used for succeeding newsletters. But next to the numbers, quality feedback is also important. You can just walk up to your colleagues and ask, or do it in form of an employee questionnaire.
Internal email newsletter informing team members about a new mobile app they can use to make their days even sweeter
19. Employee newsletters examples and ideas
Employee engagement with your email doesn’t happen overnight. For that to happen, you need to communicate with them regularly and make your emails interesting. Have a bit of an edge too.
To make sure your emails get opened and read, it’s best if you have a few “golden topics”, but also switch it up every once in a while. Employee newsletters aren’t strictly business-related only.
Here are 19 employee newsletters example and ideas to get the internal communication juices running. Most of them you can use as standalone mail or a a segment in your company newsletter:
1. New team member announcement
Is someone new joining the team? Take this chance to present their profile and let them say a few words about themselves.
A new member intro shouldn’t read like a resume. Instead, a personal angle usually works better. Think about hobbies, an interesting book they’ve recently read, favorite music, or how they like to spend their free time.
This will help make a connection with colleagues. It is a conversation starter for the new recruit and get to know those who share similar interests.
Ada, GetResponse Blog Editor, introduced herself when she first joined the Marketing Team.
2. Commendable feats and milestones
Employees do extraordinary things all the time. Perhaps they’ve hit a milestone to be proud about. When a department or project team “achieves a commendable feat”, let everyone know through the internal newsletter and they can serve as an inspiration.
Whether they’ve been with your company for over 10 years or they’ve run their first ultramarathon, let others join in on the celebration. Also a great place to show “Employee of the Month” or “Employee of the Year” is in your internal newsletter.
Build up a team spirit, some additional likability and they are happy to cheer and congratulate each other on their achievements.
3. Personal anniversaries and other celebrations
You don’t have to offer cake or spa vouchers to celebrate your employees’ birthdays and other special events.
If one of your employees had a baby, got married, or it’s their birthday, you can send them your congratulations and best wishes.
It’s great seeing how team members’ lives are changing over the years, when they’ve received different kinds of those emails during their time in your company.
4. Recommendations and must-sees
It can be that some of your employees aren’t local. Maybe relocated to join your company or they’re working remotely and only rarely visit the company HQ.
A top recommendations on places, shows, or restaurants to visit could be a bit of a different topic – some companies do centrally organise outings to go see sporting events or a concert together with others from the company.
What if your office is in a small town and everyone knows everything there is to see?
Then you can focus on a different kind of recommendations. For example, books, movies, or interesting playlists.
This type of communication can help your team members plan their time outside of the company or start discussions on things they like to do in their spare time.
And who knows, they may even choose to organize a team get-away to catch a few drinks or visit a concert after hours?
5. Team spotlight
Team spotlights are more common in enterprise, but it’s not exclusive to big companies.
Introduce the team – whom it consists of, what they’re working on, and what others can reach out to them about. People usually don’t know what other teams are working on.
They may know something about their area of work, but not necessarily the details.
Newer employees often end up not knowing who to ask about certain projects or if something’s being developed. Something an employee / project directory (They used to call that a Face Book, can you imagine?!) on an intranet could relieve if you’d go and actively search in it. Turns out, nobody is that active if they don’t know the details of the projects exist.
Including a team spotlight in your employee newsletter can help bridge that.
Additionally it gets a bit of coffee machine: “Hey weren’t you in the newsletter?” going and employees know where to turn if they have an issue in a given area.
6. Team party
Company retreats, parties, and getaways are popular these days.
If your team’s relatively small, organizing them is pretty easy.
But if you have a few hundred employees, some of whom are working abroad, planning everything requires a lot of effort.
You can avoid some of that hassle by sending regular updates with details about what’s coming and what your team members have to do to join you on a trip.
It’s also useful to store all that information in one single space, like a company intranet, to which you’d point from all your emails.
If you’re planning this type of email communication, make sure to keep it going even some time after the event’s taken place.
Prepare a summary, send pictures and videos, and ask for feedback so that your next company retreat will be even better.
7. Special day events
You can’t organize team getaways all the time. But why not bring the party to the team. By that I mean organizing a special day at the office.
You can plan them around special dates, like the International Coffee Day, Star Wars Day, or Read a Book Day.
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate, there is a whole calendar with holidays and special days. Your special day events can be one-off, or something you run regularly.
For example, do a movie screening night, or a board game afternoons every couple of weeks. Slightly less frequently, team members are invited to have fun on various occasions like Pizza Day or Fry-Day.
8. Competitions and contests
Everybody has that one (a bit too) competitive colleague. Some competitive spirit is always good though. And you will see that employees also have the same drive in..
Although the Equal Pay Act was passed in the early 1960s, women in 2019 are in a constant uphill battle to earn the same amount as their male counterparts.
The wage gap continues to result in a lower overall median wage for women than for men in the same occupation. Industries based in science and math continue to be dominated by men with remarkably low percentages of the workforce being made up by women.
Our team wanted to find out which cities were the best locations for professional women based on income, workforce, and wage gap. Based on income and workforce reports from the census, this is what we found out.
Best Paying Jobs for Women According to Average Salary
The occupations with the highest annual salary for women cover a wide range of industries, including business, healthcare, engineering, and technology.
The highest average salary for women goes to chief executive officers, but even that average doesn’t break six figures, and according to Payscale, the average CEO salary, in general, falls around $159,000 per year.
Industry Workforces Across the US Broken Down by Gender
Depending on the industry you work in, women can sometimes be the majority of the workforce. In fact, for education, public service occupations, and healthcare, they make up a much larger percentage of the workforce than men.
Somewhat surprisingly, they also have a slight edge in legal occupations and the business industry.
However, for computer, engineering, math, and science-based jobs, which make up over a third of the best paying jobs for women, fewer than 1 in three workers are female on average.
Best Cities for Women to Work in Based on Lowest Wage Gap
The wage gap is clearly evident according to the US Census. Based on mean earnings, men made, on average, 22% more each year than women did. The wage gap ranges from 12% to a whopping 38% in Sacramento and Atlanta.
Cities with the Highest Percentage of Female Workforce by Industry.
If you’re planning on going into any of these fields, the following cities are places to look for jobs. In most cases, women make up the majority of the workforce for these industries in their top cities. Detroit has the highest percentage of females working in the computer, engineering, math, and science fields. Although the percentage is still far less than half, it’s much closer to a 50/50 split than most other cities.
Female Percentage of the Workforce by Industry
If you’re wondering how your city stacks up against the rest of the top fifty US metropolitan areas, you can see what percentage of each industry workforce is made up of women in the graphic above.
Professional women continue to shatter glass ceilings and take the world by storm. We’re proud to have incredible women both as colleagues and clients, and we love watching them succeed.
Our team of tech geeks and creative experts continue to support women in their marketing ventures, whether they’re brand managers looking to create the perfect email series for their clients or the entrepreneur conquering markets all over.