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Email Marketing For Credentialing Programs

Asking prospects to subscribe (opt-in) to your email list for the privilege of getting  your emails—some of which will be purely promotional—is one of the tougher tasks you’ll have  when marketing your credentialing program.  

Just the same, it’s essential that you get that email opt-in because you may never again be as close to your prospect as when you’re in their inbox. It’s precious online real estate.  

Email is a personal conversation with your prospect. It’s not like social media where others can see your posts and exercise their right to comment and butt in. Done correctly, an email sequence can grow and nurture a relationship with your prospect, building trust and goodwill along the way.

Email Open Rates

The average open rate for personal emails ranges from 19–21%. B2C email open rates are a bit higher at 25% and B2B emails average 29%. Truth is, most emails don’t get opened. In order to clear this hurdle, write compelling subject lines because they sell the open. Subject lines are really mini-headlines. Include a benefit, news or curiosity to grab the reader’s attention. Something like:  

 Three fast and easy ways to advance your career in the next 30 days  

 Why some people almost always discover the fast-track to success  

 Stuck in a rut? Let’s fix that.  

 How to get more sales this month using these five magic words  

 How to gain a competitive edge with this smart certification strategy.  

Veteran copywriter Bob Bly says that you can never go wrong with a headline or subject line that starts with the words “How to…”  

Build Your List Every Day  

A great way to build your list is with content marketing, providing information that’s valuable and useful to your target market. Content can include lists, special reports, how-to’s, white papers, mini-courses, infographics, videos, audios and more. Prospects can download content in exchange for opting-in to your email list. If you create webinars, be sure to have attendees register beforehand with their email. If you create videos and post them on your blog, offer companion cheat sheets that viewers can download by opting-in to your list.  

Segmenting Your List and More  

Some subscribers will be brand new to your list and may not yet be certified. Others may be longtime certificants, and you’ll speak differently to them than to newcomers. Most email auto-responder programs allow you to place (segment) subscribers into separate email lists so that you can create custom campaigns for each group.

Popular auto-responder email programs to consider when you’re first starting out include AWeber, Mail Chimp and Constant Contact.

As your content marketing gains traction and pulls more and more  prospects into your sales funnel, you should consider more full-featured automated-marketing options like Pardot or Marketo, which can  grade and score prospects, automatically segment email lists, streamline lead generation and create the opt-in forms, landing pages and lead-nurturing campaigns needed for more sophisticated marketing.  

Your List Is Your Asset  

Your followers on social-media platforms don’t belong to you. You could lose them all tomorrow if the platform bans you (it happens) or changes its rules. Your email list, on the other hand, is an asset you do own, and it can be a real income-generator for your program. Be smart. Get your social-media followers on your email list where you can take full advantage of greater trust and control. Marketing to email subscribers is always easier and more successful than marketing to followers on social media.  

Email Marketing Is Central To Your Success  

The marketing goal for certification sponsors is to build awareness of the certification, secure new prospects, retain existing certificants and cover program costs, if not become outright profitable. 

Digital marketing strategies vary as follows:  

 Email marketing

 Content marketing  

 Social-media marketing  

 Organic and paid search  

 Display advertising like Facebook ads  

 Online events like webinars  

Of all the strategies just mentioned, email marketing is ranked at the top because it ties most of the others together. Want to grab more attention for your recent blog or social-media post? Send an email to your list letting them know new content has been published. Scheduling a webinar, speaking event or launching a contest? Send a registration link or invitation via email.  

Email Offers an Unbeatable ROI  

Marketers gravitate toward email marketing because it’s effective and cost efficient. Forrester Research reports that email marketing generates $44 for every $1 spent, with some companies seeing an ROI as high as $76 for every $1 spent.  

Wait a minute, how could that be?

Well, email marketing is permission-based. Email recipients have agreed to receive your messages. If you’ve done a good job of nurturing the relationship by providing value and  building trust, the ROI will be high because the  prospect is effectively on a journey that includes a purchase, like signing up for your certification exam.  

Email “Out-Connects” Social Media  

There’s no question that social media is growing, but it still doesn’t outpace email use. More consumers use email than other platforms and rely on it daily to communicate.

Email Offers Longer Life Spans than Posts  

Email provides a credible, long-lasting way to connect with subscribers. Sure, you can reach subscribers with a Facebook direct message or a tweet, but the lifespan of social posts fades quickly. reports the lifespan of a tweet to be just 18 minutes before disappearing into the abyss of the newsfeed. Emails, on the other hand, get saved and archived.  

Email Messages Can Be Tailored  

Advances in email automation have made it easier than ever for marketers to personalize their messages. And that goes way beyond just adding a subscriber’s first name to the subject line or salutation. You can dynamically change content based on subscriber preferences and insert more personal fields like job titles, employer names, locations and more.  

Email Marketing Is Measurable  

In fact, it’s one of the most measurable marketing strategies on the planet. You can track everything from who opened your emails and clicked your links to where your subscribers live.  

Reach Subscribers In Real Time  

According to Litmus Research, 74 percent of all emails that get opened are on mobile devices, making email messages much more available and immediate than they were a dozen years ago. All the more reason to make sure that your HTML emails are designed for and responsive to narrow screens. Studies show that email conversions (e.g., clicking a link) are actually higher on smart phones and tablets than on other devices.  

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