Think about your vegetable garden. Everyone has a different idea on how you should go about planting—start your seeds indoors vs. wait until the sun warms the outdoor soil, organic vs chemical fertilizer, etc. Every gardener has an opinion, but one agricultural method seems to stand above the rest: permaculture.

Permaculture varies from traditional gardening in that most of the preparation happens in the winter, and the plants are then basically set on autopilot the rest of the year. Of course, they do require some cultivation, but work is minimized through effective planning and preparation.

What does this have to do with ecommerce leads and making money? Well, if you have leads, then you have seeds; you just need to learn to prepare the soil. Tell me, are you ready to plant your first money tree? Permaculture is very much like marketing automation. Here’s how to automate your sales funnel.

How Can You Optimize Email Marketing?

One of the most effective tools for qualifying and converting leads is email marketing. Unfortunately, ecommerce has low email conversion rates compared to other industries. Here are the average open, click-through, and click-to-open statistics for emails sent by ecommerce businesses:

  • Open rate: 16.78%
  • Click-through ratio: 3.07%
  • Click-to-open ratio: 18.27%

Let’s circle back to the idea of permaculture and learn what can be done when water is scarce. One organization in India, Aranya Agricultural Alternatives, works primarily in the drylands with impoverished farmers. The dry climate provides conditions where growing food is difficult, since rainfall is nearly non-existent (except throughout the brief monsoon season). So, how do they solve this issue and provide their plants with water?

Permaculturists use rainwater harvesting techniques when confronted with a dry climate. Through these techniques, they are able to collect the water that falls and store it for future use. What can you learn from this method to apply to your email campaigns?

While the farmers collect water, you should collect data. Some of your email tactics will produce success, and others will fail. When converting leads, you need to take notes and store as much information as you can about campaigns that flop and campaigns that soar.

Most email marketing platforms automatically store pertinent data for you. If you’re using a system like MailChimp or Constant Contact, learn to spot trends in the analytics dashboard and in the body of emails that did well—and in those that didn’t. From your data, compile a formula for future email campaigns. The planning will pay off.

Here are some basic email marketing tips that I have learned over the years:

  1. Readers love personalization. Use the recipient’s name in every email. When relevant, also use their location, company name, and any other personalization tokens that could instill a sense of belonging.
  2. Emotions sell. Soundest lists belonging, hope, guilt, vanity, fear, lust, and greed as the seven basic emotions that drive conversions. Trigger these feelings to provoke action from your readers.
  3. Subject lines are critical. You want your email subject lines…