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Framework: Targeted Email Marketing for Productized Services

If you aren’t sending regular emails to your leads and clients, you should get started now. It is an almost guaranteed way to increase your bottom line.

Email marketing for agencies is a very specific topic, though. After all, you want to generate new leads in a cost-effective way. And while there’s a lot you can do with modern email marketing automation, many agency owners end up getting overwhelmed.

The following blog post should help you get an overview of the benefits of targeted email marketing, why SPP doesn’t send marketing emails, and how you can automate your campaigns with external tools.

What is targeted email marketing?

A popular email marketing strategy is creating targeted emails that are sent to a specific group of people. By sending the right email and segmenting your audience, you can effectively sell a product or service compared to a regular eblast.

In order to achieve this goal, use an email marketing platform that allows you to segment your leads and customers based on their behavior, for instance purchases, or interactions in your app.

5 benefits of targeted email marketing campaigns

Email marketing is the preferred channel by many marketers who optimize their campaigns for return on investment (ROI). For every pound (GBP) spent, you can get as much as £42 back in revenue.

As the owner of a productized business, you might be used to work with tight budgets. Luckily, there’s potential for a higher ROI by using planned email marketing efforts.

If you already hold information about leads and clients, that’s all you need to segment them, and send targeted campaigns.

Let’s look at all the benefits targeted email marketing has to offer.

1. Higher relevancy

Segmentation allows you to send messages to your audience that they are interested in. Nothing screams spam more than an email the recipient has no interest in. Moreover, implementing DMARC protocols reduces the risk of email phishing, preventing issues related to DMARC failure and ensuring your messages reach the right audience.

To make your email marketing relevant, you need to collect the information your clients or leads provide. If you use SPP as your client portal, we automatically save the most crucial information, for instance:

  • client status

  • first and last name

  • email address

  • account creation date

  • last login date

  • billing address

  • number of purchases

  • purchase history

  • balance available

  • phone number

If you need to save more information, you can use custom CRM fields.

2. Better customer retention

Everyone dreams about a long customer lifetime value. The more targetd your emails are, the higher the chance that you can keep clients long-term.

For instance, even if a client cancel a recurring subscription, with targeted email campaigns, you can recover them at a later time. Offer a slight discount, educate them on new services, and more.

3. Improved client relations

Improved relevancy shows your clients that you run a valuable brand who doesn’t simply throw every service at them. Instead, you took your time to understand and learn about them. This has a positive impact upon your relationship with your clients.

While not easily measurable, you’ll notice that your clients will be happier overall, more open to receiving marketing emails, and they might share their thoughts on social media.

Meet and exceed your customer’s expectations, but don’t overwhelm them with marketing campaigns. If you don’t have enough data about a client, market to them later.

4. Higher ROI

Delivering the right message means there’s a higher chance your clients will open your email campaign, interact with it, and purchase your productized service.

By knowing what your clients or leads are interested in, you’re able to create deals that seem attractive. Let’s look at an example:

You run an agency that offers SEO content creation services as well as link building services. For both services you have separate pricing pages, but you only use one order form to capture leads.

You could add a hidden field to your order form and pre-fill it with either content writing or link building, depending on where your lead originally came from. Then, with the help of Zapier, send that data about the customer to the email marketing tool, and tag the client account.

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Those who bought content writing could be offered link building as they might be interested. Ideally, use a drip campaign to explain the service to them instead of offering it straight away. Not everyone is familiar with link building!

5. Recover abandoned shopping carts

SPP already helps you recover abandoned shopping carts by sending an automated email after 24 hours. That is, if your leads have a client account.

You can also send your own cart abandonment emails and disable the internal SPP email. Simply use MailChimp or ActiveCampaign for abandoned checkout invoices, and tag your clients, then add them to a campaign.

ActiveCampaign logo
Subscribe and tag clients in ActiveCampaign.
Learn more →

You’ll have a bit more control over what kind of abandoned cart emails, and how often, you can send.

Marketing emails in SPP

When you send an order update to your team or a client from SPP, it goes out via email. These important emails, along with receipts, password resets and welcome emails are considered “transactional”.

In other words, they are 1-on-1 emails triggered by some action in your client portal.

The other kind and the topic of today’s conversation is marketing email. These are your newsletters, automation sequences, product announcements and so on.


Why am I telling you all this?

Because inboxes like Gmail treat transactional emails and marketing emails differently. If we want our important stuff to get through we can’t send marketing emails from the same email server as our order updates, or we risk having high priority notifications lumped together with marketing.

For that reason, we haven’t built any mass email features into SPP.

Since you can’t send any bulk or marketing emails from SPP, you’ll need to get a dedicated tool for the job.

How to create a targeted email marketing campaign

Choosing an email tool

We’ve had success with ActiveCampaign and it’s pretty good overall. MailChimp is also nice. Coincidentally SPP integrates with both, but really you can connect any software with Zapier, and grow your email list.

MailChimp logo
Subscribe and tag clients in MailChimp.
Learn more →

What to look for when selecting email marketing software for agencies? Fancy features aside, it’s the meat and potatoes of email marketing:

  • Can you trigger emails based on a tag?

  • Can you send email sequences to a target audience?

  • Can you send newsletters?

  • Can you create personalized emails?

That’s all we need for now.

What emails to send?

We know by now how clients need multiple exposures to your brand before committing to buy from you.

Ideally, you should send just the right number of emails to provide value, while not annoying your potential future clients–which is why it’s important to segment subscribers. To segment them, you could create different signup forms for your landing pages and add them to a list based on where they signed up from. For instance, if they signed up on a page for your content writing services, add them to a content writing drip campaign.

Based on the above, here’s a simple sales funnel you can implement for prospective customers who’ve just signed up to your client portal or filled out an opt-in form on your website:

  • Day 0: Thanks for signing up, here are your details, click here to check out our services. This email is automatically sent from SPP, and can be adjusted to suit your preferences.

  • Day 1: Why they should choose you, what’s your story, what makes your agency awesome. Describe the process of how your service works.

  • Day 2: Time to address objections. A good place to start is “Are you going to deliver what you say you will?”. To address this and other objections you can include social proof, testimonials, and case studies. We’ve emailed three days in a row at this point.

  • Day 4: Helpful content. Tell them what to look for when outsourcing the service you provide. This is genuinely useful even if they don’t end up buying. Make sure your agency fits that criteria, it would be weird if it didn’t.

  • Day 6: Send a coupon or a special offer of some kind. For certain buyers, that’s enough to push them over the edge.

  • Days 8+: More tips and advice, whether they’re your best blog articles or unique content for that email. As we get farther from the signup date you can ease up on your email frequency.

This is a straightforward time-based sequence and we don’t take into account any user behaviors for simplicity’s sake. If they do convert at any point, they should be removed from the sequence.

Now comes the hard part – coming up with content for your emails.

Writing your emails

Here are some tips for writing your email content with a personal touch:

  • Keep your emails singularly focused. Each email in your sequence is responsible for one thing and one thing only. Whether it’s getting the reader to click a link, send a reply, address their objection, or establish your expertise. Don’t mix and match calls to action.

  • Use short email subject lines. Keep in mind that many subscribers read emails on their mobile device. If you send targeted emails with a long subject line, they will most likely get cut off.

  • Put content in the actual email, not just a link to it. When sending content from your blog you can send it as a link, or include the gist of the piece in your email’s body, along with a link to the full post. The latter avoids an extra click and gives people some value in the email itself. If they want to share or save it for later they can still use the link.

  • Compose in your email client. Yes, we’re sending marketing emails, but we can still do our best to make it feel like a true 1-on-1 email, even if it has an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Open up your Gmail or Apple Mail and start writing as if you’re replying to a prospect. For me, it feels more natural to write emails this way, even if I end up sending them to many people.

  • Write all your emails, then copy them over. This keeps you out of the settings and makes it easy to make quick changes across emails. We’ll handle email templates next.

Styling your emails

Inline image

Weirdly, nicer looking emails aren’t always better, especially if we’re going to be sending educational and helpful content like I’m going to show you.

Above is an example of our simple template. To send simple emails like this, we’ve had to abandon any visual drag and drop editors thrown our way, and edit the raw HTML. Your mileage may vary.

Whichever style you go with, make a template and use it for all marketing emails you send.

Check out reallygoodemails.com for many examples of email copy and designs.

Putting it all together

Go to your SPP workspace and enable the email integration of your choice. Or select Zapier if your email service isn’t natively supported.

You’ll need just two rules for this to work:

  1. Add everyone who signs up to a list.

  2. Tag buyers with a “client” tag.

Inline image

Finally, in your email automation tool, you can begin setting up the automation.

  • The entry point should be all new subscribers.

  • The goal should be “client” tag added.

The specifics of adding your emails will vary from platform to platform. In general, make sure you use the same template, the same From header and Sender email throughout your campaign.

Targeted email marketing FAQ

How do you target someone in email marketing?

Thanks to email segmentation, you can target specific groups of people, for instance leads, existing customers, or churned ones. The segmentation is basically a way to categorize and tag subscribers based on their behavior.

How do I create a targeted email?

You can either use email marketing services or software to send a targeted email. The software requires knowledge to grow your email list, and craft compelling copy that subscribers want to read. A service provider can handle everything for you.

How do you target new customers in email marketing?

The easiest way to target new customers is by adding them from the beginning to an email list (by asking them to opt into your list). This can be when they sign up for your services, or during a purchase.

Bonus: send a monthly newsletter

Your follow-up sequence will only last 2, maybe 4 weeks. It doesn’t have to be dead air after that.

Sending a monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your prospects and clients after the initial emails.

Talk about any new services you’ve added, process changes, new team members, featured clients, seasonal sales. It could even be a collection of relevant links for that month.

As you begin to get some data from your reports you can start adapting your emails, testing different variations, or implementing more advanced conditions.

Avatar of Chris Willow
Founder of SPP
Chris started Service Provider Pro back in 2014 as a way to help automate a video production agency he was running at the time. Being early to productized services, he was frustrated with having to piecemeal different tools and services and ended up building an all-in-one client portal platform for himself and a few friends. That eventually took off and now Chris helps agency owners scale through software and systems.

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