Part 2 goes one-step further and helps you get the most out of your email campaigns and efforts.
Be a Trusted Email Sender
There’s no better way to be successful with email marketing than to send emails recipients actually want to open, read and share. The best way to do this is to only send messages that provide some sort of value.
If you’re a small business without much to say or offer, sending an email once a month, or quarter, is enough. If you’re a business that regularly generates valuable content, or consistently provides exclusive offers or discounts, multiple emails a week or month may still be effective.
Don’t send emails just because it seems like it’s been a while since the last one was sent out. Instead, only send emails when there’s something significant to offer.
The recipient doesn’t care how often they receive an email from a brand. Their only concern is the value of each and every email.
Otherwise, you’re just sending something that will end up in their trash.
Personalize the Email Address
When someone views their inbox the first thing they’re looking for is names they recognize. These names can be friends and family, colleagues or brands. People know which people and businesses they enjoy communicating with (or receiving communications from), and open these emails first.
Names that recipients recognize stand out and prompt them to open the message. Names they don’t recognize are left unopened until later, or even ignored completely.
Email addresses like:
Don’t look personal. These are email addresses which often send out mass-messages. There’s nothing personal about these names and people are rarely persuaded to believe they are.
Recipients don’t have the time or desire to open these types of emails. If they don’t instantly recognize the email address they probably won’t open it at all.
When choosing the email address that’ll be used to send out marketing messages, pick one that looks like it’s from a real person; not some faceless, automated robot.
Write an Honest and Clear Subject Line
The most important part of every single email is the subject line. This single line often decides whether an email will be opened, ignored, deleted or marked as spam.
In 50 characters or less, a subject line must explain the purpose and intent of an email, invoke a reaction, stand out or detail its value; sometimes all four. A subject line is responsible for getting the recipient to open.
Don’t be too clever when writing subject lines; it’s often better to be straightforward than write something so witty it’s misunderstood. Five – ten words aren’t enough to explain context and it’s easy for a subject line to be misinterpreted if it isn’t direct.
Don’t attempt to hide the emails purpose or trick the recipient into opening the message based on a few words.
If the email is asking the recipient to take a specific action, requesting information, or attempting to sell something, make this clear. This is the difference between trying to capture leads by quantity over quality.
If the email is only for a small group of people interested in a very specific topic, use the subject line to be transparent. If only a handful of people open the email, but all are interested in whatever the email’s topic, this is far better than 1000 opens and only 5 interested recipients.
Effective subject line writing involves a practice that makes many marketers uncomfortable; honesty and transparency. Tell recipients what the email is about, briefly, and make sure to live up to that promise.
Write a Less-Formal Email
When people send and receive emails they typically don’t expect perfectly worded, eloquent and professional messages. Email is a quick-form of communication that is generally used for close friends, family and colleagues. Even inter-office email has a casual feel to it.
Don’t write emails that sound like they should appear below a company’s letter head.
Effective online marketing requires understanding how people communicate on different platforms, and adapting. A message on Facebook shouldn’t look the same as a brochure, and an email shouldn’t look like a sales-pitch.
Email is often quick, more relaxed and less rigid than other forms of business communication. As a brand, it’s important to recognize this difference and adapt.
Write emails like they’re to a close friend. Speak casually, without the need to sound so buttoned-up and professional.
This doesn’t mean a brand should always use emoticons or social media abbreviations, but it does mean they don’t always need to be avoided. What’s more important is that each message is written for the intended recipient.
The key is to learn, and then speak, their language.
Each Email Must Provide Actual Value
Don’t just send an email for the purpose of sending an email.
Emails should be sent every week, or month, ONLY if there is something new and unique to say every week or month. Emails should never be sent out for the sole purpose of reminding recipients the business exists.
The best time to send an email is when there’s something interesting or value to provide to recipients, and only if it’s unique and exclusive.
If a business has a coupon to give to recipients, this is an example of good value. However, sending the same exact email the next week is an example of a non-unique or non-exclusive message. The better strategy is to send out a different coupon, with a different offer.
While it is true that recipients occasionally overlook emails and may not have seen one the first time around, it’s more likely they did see it and just didn’t feel it was relevant.
If a brand created an amazing eBook and wants to send it to all of the email addresses they have, the brand shouldn’t send an email every week with the same wording, images and links. Instead, switch it up and make it appear like different messages.
Consider this strategy:
- First Email – Alert recipients to the creation of a new eBook and include an exclusive link only they can access (with the input of their email address).
- Second Email – Remind them about the eBook and let them know that if they Tweet the link and @mention the brand, they’ll be signed up for a special contest.
- Third Email – Update recipients about the value and success of the eBook and let them know other people are talking about it online and social media. Embed some reviews, social shares or testimonials.
- Fourth Email – Let them know the link will expire on a set date, but tell them they can request a PDF version of the eBook by sending an email to: eBook@BrandName.com
Only send messages when there’s something interesting to say, or don’t send anything at all.